Draw The Curtain
Smith stood there too sick to speak. He turned to look at the body once more. He begun to weep at the sight, the blood sickened him. Finally, he turned to deputy Tom and managed to mummer “Get her out of here.”
As deputy Tom led the woman out of the shop Smith pondered the message. “Darkness…” he whispered “Curtains…” then it hit him “The theater!” he shouted “Hurry! Assemble the men!” he ordered.
All of them ran frantically from the shop, leaving him alone with the boy. He removed his coat and laid it over the boy’s frightened face, then he too left the shop. As they arrived at the theater his stomach twisted in fear at what they might find there. Upon approach, each man drew his weapon, ready to take action where action was needed. They walked through the doors of the theater. All was silent. “Someone get the lights!” Smith ordered in a whispered in case someone was hiding.
The lights came on. The theater was empty. There had to be over 5,000 seats. Nothing moved an inch. Suddenly the curtains drew back. “Go, go, go!” shouted Smith.
The men ran up and around the stage doors. They found no one, and finally the curtains had reached their end. There, in the middle of the stage sat a man. His eyes frozen open shown fear and his face was hidden in a mask of blood. Smith slowly walked to center stage and stood beside the body. Carved across his forehead above a slice in the skin was the word “open.”
Reluctantly, Smith reached forward and took a hold of the top half of the skin. He then peeled back the man’s scalp revealing a tainted paper. As Smith removed the paper the mans body slumped forward and his skull split open exposing the brain. The men gagged and cringed at the gruesome sight of the now exposed brain. Smith unfolded the paper, turning his back on the blood strewn brain. Slowly, he read the contents of the paper.
It read: “Wanders in that happy valley, through two luminous windows saw the pearl and ruby glowing of the fair palace door, and its sparkle evermore.”
The Lt. drooped the paper. It floated luxuriously down onto the stage. Through gritted teeth he muttered “Find Poe.”