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Thread: The Masque of the Black Death

  1. #1
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    Default The Masque of the Black Death

    And here comes another one-shot courtesy of me. Yes, it's short and yes it's another adaptation of a Poe short story. This time I adapted one of my favourite pieces 'The Masque of the Red Death' I changed the title from Red to Black because it suited it better and it makes more sense.

    And another point, yes I know the Black Death is also another name for the Bubonic Plague, but that didn't exist in the pokemon world, so ner :P

    Anyway, Enjoy.

    The Masque of the Black Death



    The Black Death, so named for the obsidian taint of the bodily fluids it caused to rush violently out of the body, had taken hold of almost the entire kingdom of Sinnoh. From the mountain town of Celestic to the port town of Canalave, the population had nearly halved in the short amount of time it had taken for the foul virulent plague to assert itself upon the land.

    One man however, was having none of it. No one had any idea how the plague was spreading, it flew on silent wings as if propelled by the very wind itself between people, infecting and destroying as it went. This man, Sinnoh's own Archibald Backlot, decided to gather one hundred of the most merry men and women and gather them in his expansive manor, atop Hearthrome Hill, to wait out the pestilence.

    Upon arrival of all the guests, Mr. Backlot closed the wrought iron gates and ordered for them to be locked and never opened for anyone. Not even for the Queen herself. The walled manor was a perfect place to hide from the disease, the twenty foot tall, three foot thick steel lined wall kept out all who wished to enter and kept anyone from getting out, and then there was the manor security itself. Professionally trained guards able to shoot a head off a Doduo from one hundred yards.

    Mr. Backlot had good reason to keep this plague out. It's symptoms were horribly vicious, the virus attacked the body, sweeping over the immune system as if it were never there at all, great necrotic welts appeared over the body within minutes, the dead flesh spreading and spreading until you bleed black blood from every one of your orifices. Never in Sinnoh's history had anything of this scale appeared, never had something came and wiped out half the population in mere weeks! Oddly though, Pokémon seemed unaffected. They cower before their decaying masters, watching as the life rushes from their bodies, watching as they became overwhelmed with the sickness and slowly died their torturous death. Wild Pokémon silently cheering as the humans that capture them and force them to battle are wiped away like footprints in the sand. The winds gust on, and the humans still continue to die.

    And this is why he smiled as he ordered the gate locked, and the guests to party. The manor was extremely well provisioned and had room enough for his guests. The main foyer was lavishly decorated with chandeliers, velvet and lace. A singular wide staircase, adjacent to the entrance lead to the dining area; another extravagantly decorated part of the house, but this room was different in one striking way. In this room, were seven more, they worked their way around the edge of the long dining table and each were encapsulated odd décor. The first room to your left was furnished entirely in white, the drapes, the sheets, the carpet, the wallpaper, even the furniture. First on your right was awash with orange, second on your left was entirely yellow, second on your right was magnificently green, third on your left was dazzlingly blue and third on your right was shockingly purple. But the last room was the difference amongst the seven, it's furnishings were entirely black, except for the curtained area by the window. Any light sweeping through this room cast it entirely in a blood red glow of which none had ever seen before. It was no wonder why this room remained vacant at all times.


    * * *


    Six months after the locking of the gates, all one hundred of Mr. Backlot's guests still lived, he had invited them all to a masquerade ball in the dining room to mark the half year anniversary of surviving the plague.

    For the occasion, the dining table had been moved and there only stood chairs dotted around the edges of the main room whilst the middle was cleared for dancing. Several of the hundred offered their services to play music on various instruments Mr. Backlot had in his manor and in no time at all the masquerade ball was in full swing.

    People dressed in the most odd costumes – the most bizarre – the most macabre – the most jovial. Each man and woman in dissimilar guises under the bright light of the chandeliers.

    In each room, barring the last one, people stood talking through Buneary ears or Spearow beaks and dancing to the music being played by those on the violin and on the double bass. Sitting idly in the blue room, flanked by various party-goers and well-wishers, was Archibald Backlot himself enjoying the impromptu music combined with the décor of the room he was sat in. In his hand was a bunch of grapes, to which he fed some of the female guests around him.

    Amongst the fun and the frolic, a great chime rang out through the hall and all seven of the rooms. Mr. Backlot had almost forgotten his ebony grandfather clock. The irreverent time keeper stood resolute in the black room bathed in it's blood red splendour, no one saw it tick over, because no one was anywhere near the room. It's reputation as a cursed room held true even at this time of gaiety, each time the clock rang, a shiver was sent down each spine and a fear was felt in each heart.

    It rang for a twelfth and final time, signalling the midnight hour, and at that exact moment a bolt of lightning lit the hall, each window alight with an instantaneous white glow and each room being treated to a momentary burst of coloured light.

    Once the silence had cleared and laughter and revelry returned to the masses, a singular masquerader stepped out of the room with the black furnishings and the red curtains. One dressed in a red cloak, stained in black – dressed in black stained cloth – dressed in a hideous funeral mask displaying a tortured Black Death victim. Uproarious murmurs broke out at once, one even screaming 'It's the Black Death, it comes to take us all!' whilst the black stained figure marched on towards the third room on the left, not one stood in it's way. The music had stopped and a deadly silence deafened all who could hear.

    “Who dares stop the music and the laughter?” inquired Mr. Backlot, stamping out of the blue room, dressed in his toga. “Who dares to mock us with this exuberant display of unabashed light-heartedness?”

    Upon hearing no answer, Mr. Backlot cried “Detain him! Unmask the one who mocks us, so we shall know who to hang in the morning!”

    But not a soul moved to grasp him, nor attempt to reveal his identity.

    “If none shall do it, I shall do it myself!” Feeling quite merry upon the wine he had consumed this evening, Mr. Backlot was perhaps more forward and less suspicious than one should be in such a situation.

    He took the few steps between him and the masquerader, and ripped off the mask. The cloak and cloth immediately dropped to the floor, there was no one in there, only a dusting of powder upon the floor.

    Aghast faces looked on, the same voice as earlier screamed “Look out, the Black Death, it appears to claim us all!” he pointed towards the ceiling where an obsidian figure materialised out of nothing but thin air, the black shadow looked down upon the gathered with a singular blue eye and whisked a gale throughout the hall.

    No one could do anything but stare, the creature had appeared and seemingly done nothing then waited and waited. Archibald Backlot went to speak but found his words caught in his throat, he clutched a hand to his larynx but found it charred and black, the necrotic welts spread across his body and ebony blood seeped from his eyes and ears and mouth. He fell, face first, to the ground and lay still as everyone watched on.

    Before long, Each and every one of the one hundred occupiers of the Backlot Manor, fell victim to the vicious plague and it's torturous symptoms.



    And Darkness and Decay and the Black Death held illimitable dominion over all.


    ---

    Hope you liked. R&R and all that.
    Last edited by Diddy; 11th January 2009 at 12:34 PM. Reason: fixing teh mistakes
    Skogsrĺ

    Gardenia never liked the Old Chateau, but what if the Old Chateau liked her?

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  2. #2
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    Nice. It's not quite the same chill as The Masque of the Red Death, but since I don't have a copy readily available, I can't pinpoint the difference.

    I liked the descriptions, very poetic and Poe like. I really liked the part describing the 'tame' Pokemon cowering before their dying masters. It would've been nicer if that was expanded on; although it has no parallel to the original, a personal account of this happening would be chilling. And great choice on keeping the grandfather clock and lavish decorating scheme.

    I'm not certain on the description of the Black Death. It seems too modern for the style of Poe, with 'virus' and 'immune system' being used. And this:

    It symptoms were horribly vicious, the virus attacked the body, sweeping over the immune system as if it were never there at all, great necrotic welts appeared over your body within minutes, the dead flesh spreading and spreading over your body until you bleed black blood from every one of your orifices.

    -is run-on. It doesn't feel like one whole sentence, more like several smaller ones. Also, the use of 'your' is informal and not fitting of the story. (And there's an 'it' that needs to be 'it's')

    I can't identify which Pokemon is the Black Death from that description.

    I did enjoy reading this. Nice work. I should go find your other Poe story, shouldn't I?
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

    Fluer Noir- A story of a black flower, a shameful history, and magic.

  3. #3
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    It's not quite the same chill as The Masque of the Red Death
    I blame desensitisation personally. But I probably couldn't get the same effect Poe does anyway. lol.

    I liked the descriptions, very poetic and Poe like. I really liked the part describing the 'tame' Pokemon cowering before their dying masters. It would've been nicer if that was expanded on; although it has no parallel to the original, a personal account of this happening would be chilling. And great choice on keeping the grandfather clock and lavish decorating scheme.
    I tried to keep it as 'Poe-like' as possible. And that really includes the thing you say about the dying people etc being expanded upon, It was never really a Poe thing to change scene and talk about someone else's point of view. That's why I didn't do anything like that.

    And keeping the clock and decor was a requisite to be perfectly honest. Why leave those things out? They were awesome in the story (I bought a complete Poe collection a few months ago, really good read) and they left me with great plot points.

    If you read the original as well, you'll see I kept the last line of the story in, obviously changing red to black.

    And I should go fix those mistakes. You were right enough with most.

    I'm not certain on the description of the Black Death. It seems too modern for the style of Poe, with 'virus' and 'immune system' being used.
    The whole point of this really was to bring Poe into the (I suppose) pokemon fanfiction world, So it makes sense if it gets modernised slightly, plus modern is all I know. =]

    I can't identify which Pokemon is the Black Death from that description.
    I would of had a better description, but it would of been odd if I started talking about white hair and big red lower jaw type thing coming from it's neck. It just didn't flow as well, so I omitted it.

    I did enjoy reading this. Nice work. I should go find your other Poe story, shouldn't I?
    Thanks, and if you want to read it, It's called 'The Yellow Delcatty' but I don't think it's as good an interpretation as this.

    Again, thanks for teh review. I may re-style another Poe work in the future.
    Skogsrĺ

    Gardenia never liked the Old Chateau, but what if the Old Chateau liked her?

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  4. #4
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    You could see glimmers of Poe in there.

    figure materialised out of nothing but thin air, the black shadow looked down upon the gathered with a singular blue eye
    I really liked this. I don't think much other description was needed. The only thing i could see was a blue eye that looked menacing. It gave a sense of power and wickedness.

    I didn't really read Poe's 'The Masque of the Red Death' because I didn't like it and some of his work was just hard to get myself through. I liked this though, probably because I could understand it more (read Poe's at school, and felt lazy then and didn't care).

    I feel you could have made it more chilling like Poe's work, but it works.

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