Maybe these re-animated bodies are friendly, you tell yourself. And anyway, that mime seemed like a jerk, right?
Cautious, yet feeling unmistakably heroic, you rush over to a body – a man in his 50s, you’d wager – and tear the tape off his mouth.
‘Damn it!’ he cries, wincing as he struggles with the ropes.
As you begin to undo the ropes, you adopt an apologetic tone. ‘I’m sorry, I’d heard the cry from outside and –’
‘And you figure’d you’d save the day, huh? I get it,’ he sighs, as you free him from the ropes, ‘but you’re a fool to come here. You don’t know the black magic they’re conjuring.’
‘I got a glimpse of it just now, whatever the hell that puppet-show was,’ you snap back, helping another middle-aged gentleman from his bindings, ‘and shouldn’t you be a little more grateful, being freed from that… trance you were in?’
The man scoffs as he helps a woman of a certain age from her ropes. ‘Freed? You call this freedom?’ He laughs again. ‘I’ve never been free. And neither have you. And we’ve all come here to accept that fact.’
‘He’s right,’ the older gent you just freed (?) adds, picking up his bowler hat, ‘we’re all hostages of history now, moving towards its one end – the manifestation of God.’
Rest assured, you’re thoroughly weirded out. ‘Hold on, what? I thought this was a – umm – a theatre reunion?’ You laugh, all too hollowly. ‘Is this, like, some sort of theatre trick?’
‘Unfortunately, no,’ the older woman sneers, ‘this isn’t a trick – this is real. Really real. Like, as real as real gets.’
You’re alarmed. ‘Really? What do you mean?’
Twin #1 turns to you. ‘The Board of Trustees dug up an Indian burial mound on school grounds to start fracking underneath, they weren’t opposed when a group of alumni calling themselves The Nine promised funding if they could set up a so-called participatory theatre experience at the next reunion, and now the alumni are secretly enacting a blood ritual to resurrect the corpse of Erich von Straussheim himself.’
‘The school founder?’ you gasp. ‘They want to resurrect him? And, wait, he wasn’t Native American, was he?’
Before anyone can answer, a crowd of alumni wearing head-to-toe body suits that make them appear faceless bursts through the door, accompanied by the atonal thundering of timpani drums.
‘What the fuck is this!?’ you cry, as they fill the room and start dancing in a whirling, wordless maelstrom.
‘It’s the Edema Uru’nai!’ the Woman of a Certain Age screams, ‘Flee for your lives!’
And you watch in apoplectic horror as she flings herself out the window, with a bolt of lightning following closely thereafter which hits her at the same moment that she crashes on the ground, very thoroughly dead. Looking back, you see four of the faceless alumni tearing open the stomach of Twin #2 and throwing his entrails into the middle of the room, while Twin #1 – restrained by three other faceless alumni – struggles and watches helplessly.
‘Please! Eustace! No!’ he sobs, before getting knocked out by other alumni and dismembered, in turn.
Well, this went south pretty quickly. But you may be able to survive, yet. You could, after all, attempt to join the faceless alumni by eating the entrails of Twin #2, or you could jump out the window, and hope you survive the fall (and possible lightning strike). What do you do?