Sarah and I walked to the monthly masquerade, slightly chilled from the windy night. My white dress with rows of gold colored beads on the top half and white mask that covered the top part of my face that I had pain-stakingly sewn clashed with the darkness of the night. Sarah's purple and black dress and mask that she had made merely blended in with the dark. My brown hair was being teased in all directions from the wind, same as Sarah's red hair.
When we finally reached the location of the Masquerade, The Paris Opera House from which I was banned, we entered a large, warm, crowded room. The room was well lit, a giant chandelier hanging in the middle of the room. As Sarah and I entered the room, we simply talked a bit, about how loud the musicians were, how hilarious it was that people were already drunk and falling all over each other, topics similar to that. As it was growing more and more boring, I saw a figure walking down the steps.
He was extremely tall, dressed in a red suit, with a red cape and the mask of the Death's head. The Death's head's eyes seemed to be fixed into a position of anger. As he reached the bottom of the steps, a man approached him, obviously he was intoxicated, for he was tripping as he was walking. I didn't hear the man say anything; however, I did hear the man with the Death's head loudly reply, "Do not touch me, for I am the Red Death! Can you not read?"
The Red Death then turned away from the man, and the man looked thoughtfully at the Red Death's cape. The Red Death's costume was very good; he was obviously wealthy. The red formal suit with the skull as a head mask was slightly intimidating; nevertheless, the dressing was fascinating. I continued to study the stranger's costume. As staring, I saw a woman bump into him, drunk as well, and grabbed his left arm, gesturing to dance with her. He bowed, said something, then turned back to the staircase, and I saw what he had meant by "Can you not read?" for on the back of his red cape, in gold letters, it said "Do Not Touch Me, for I am The Red Death!"
The Red Death then turned from the stair case, and looked in my direction. He then started walking toward my direction. I looked to my right, and saw Sarah sitting in a nearby chair, staring at the floor, apparently in deep thought. I looked back in the direction of the Red Death; however, he was gone. "Excuse me, mademoiselle, would you care to dance with me?"
Well, I figured no one else was going to ask me; thus, might as well take the complimentand dance.
"Of course, monsieur," I replied.
We started to simply twirl and do the 'triple step' over and over again, the musicians playing their instruments so loud it pounded in my chest. Then, he started to talk. "You know, tonight," he began, "You look as if you were an angel." His voice was magic.
"Well, thank you," Well, was there anything to say to that? I felt as if I should have said something else, but what can you say to a stranger, dressed as The Red Death, who has asked you to dance, and then calls you an angel?
"Tu est tres belle, mon ange."
What…? How could he tell? I was wearing a mask!
"Merci, monsieur," Again, is there anything to say?This is awkward, but I like the way this man thinks! I shifted my gaze to my hand that he was holding to do the triple step. I noticed that his hands were in black gloves, and he had inhumanly long, spider-like fingers.
That's a little on the strange side…..
"Has anyone told you that before? If not, they are either horridly stupid, or terrible liars."
Gee, that's nice…I think…..darn, don't blush!
"Well, that's a sin…" darn, I blushed……
I could only glance back at him and force a tiny smile in return. I could only see the empty holes of the Death's Head glowering at me.
I felt myself growing hot from the dancing and the humidity of the room. I was sweating so much, I could feel the mask slipping…
"Escumez-moi, monsieur, I shall go outside for a brief moment, please, do excuse me."
"Of course, mon ange," He let go of my hand and waist, and bowed. Now, I noticed his voice was oddly familiar….but it couldn't be…..
I did a small curtsey and walked quickly away. I approached the doors to go outside. As I stepped out, I adjusted my mask and sighed.
What? Who whispered my name? I turned, and saw the Red Death. No, not the Red Death….Erik….Erik was the Red Death.
I stood there for a moment, in awe.
"What are you doing here?"
"What are we all doing here?"
"I don't know, you tell me, I'm stupid," I thought.
"Dancing at a masquerade…" I replied.
"Please, help me out, I have no clue!" I stayed silent and stared at the ground.
Erik merely sighed and walked until we was right in front of me. He placed his hand on my shoulder. I stared back at him, staring at me, and held back a shudder. I could now see his yellow eyes in the dark.
He whispered, "What do you think I'm doing here?"
"I. Don't. Know. I… don't… know…I don't know!"
I remained silent. The quiet was eerie.
He sighed. His breath smelled of the breath of a corpse's.
"Rebecca…I…" he let his voice trail off. Now I knew…
"Rebecca…I…I love you."
Yes, now I knew. Did he? Did I ? No, I didn't…
I would like to, though…
I think I did.
Yes, I did.
I know I did.
"I love you, too, Erik."
And I did.