(based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe)
A terrible plague called the Red Death was ravaging Prince Prospero’s duchy. Victims developed bloody red spots, then succumbed quickly— sometimes within minutes. The prince decided to save everyone he cared about — family, friends, the wealthy, the elite; he brought them to a walled and iron-gated city to wait out the pandemic; everyone else he heartlessly left to their fate.
Some months after taking refuge, to help while away the time, he threw a grand masquerade ball in his palace, with masked and costumed musicians and revelers.
Gaiety prevailed, except when the large ebony clock chimed the hours in an ominous manner. As midnight approached, the prince became aware of disquiet and alarm among his guests — one among them was dressed not in finery but in a shroud, with a mask like a death’s head. The prince could see this unwelcome guest was in the guise of a victim of the Red Death! This was infuriating — ruining the rollicking mood of his ball with this horrible reminder of what lurked outside the walls. Drawing his dagger, the Prince pursued the zombie-like figure into the innermost chamber of his palace — a black room luridly lit by a fire shining thru gothic windows, glazed in red glass. But as the prince moved to strike, the figure pulled away its death-mask to reveal… Nothing! There was no face behind the mask, no person within the shroud-like mantle — nothing but an insubstantial specter. The prince was terrified for a moment — before he dropped his dagger and *fell dead from the plague!* For this specter was the personification of the Red Death itself, come to take revenge on the heartless Prince and the selfish subjects surrounding him.