Opulence, by its very definition, is cruel.
I have watched for hours and hours while these aristocrats have reveled in their frivolous masquerade. All in this place was gathered for them at enormous expense, a novel concept by their reckoning. The orchestra was airy, the dances were joyous, and hundreds of goblets passed many hands, the wine the color of blood. Here in their den of iniquity, they drowned themselves in riches and dulled their senses with pride and arrogance. They have all but forgotten the terrors they abandoned to the world outside their sealed fortress walls. This is why they could never divine my purpose.
Many nights I spent among the revelers, none were wise enough to see me, to understand my true nature. Laughter and gossip rung the halls as I passed as silent as a creeping shadow, a phantasm among the merry. I alone was the subject of idle rumor, easily recognized, discussed, and summarily forgotten. Idle fascination was the only disguise I required in this endless charade. So much the pity for them.
It was only when I stepped over the first corpse that I knew my plan was nearly complete. The gathering crowds were oblivious as each one drank from their poisoned wine. Beneath my dread mask, I danced with each and every lord and lady as they all fell one by one. Before long, not a soul remained except for me.
For I alone... am Consequence.
Thank you for reading!
This story has two main inspirations. Firstly, this was loosely inspired by the short story "The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allan Poe, one of my all-time favorite authors. Secondly, this was submitted as part of Mother Comb's Campfire Stories challenge. I definitely went more the gothic route, but I always like putting my own spin on things. See the link to her article below.
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About the Creator
I am an archaeologist and amateur story-teller. On my profile, you'll be in for fantasy, science fiction, and the occasional thriller. History, horror, whimsy, and adventure lie in wait. Feel free to comment and interact.
From New Hampshire
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Compelling and original writing
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The story invoked strong personal emotions
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Writing reflected the title & theme