The valley sides are sharp as a sword blow, snow blowing like smoke in the cutting wind. The hills are stripped to black, the trees dark ribs cresting a spine of rock.
Hideo locks the door, clicks one light switch, then the next, the theatre sinking to darkness, leaving only the stage lit.
Their flesh is heavy with frost, strings of sinew holding together slack joints. They yearn for heat to melt the armour from their backs, the swords from their hands.
Footsteps behind the curtain. ‘Who’s there?’ Hideo’s own voice sounds brittle in his ears.
Something touches his hand, like old meat kept frozen too long. His palm tingles from the cold.
‘We’re closed. Next performance tomorrow.’
The sound of metal hushing against metal. The smell of blood.
The pool of heat expands across the floor as they gather around.
Written for What Pegman Saw, a prompt using Google Streetview. Pop along and join in, do.
Don’t ask where this little piece of horror came from. I found the destroyed theatre, looked at sites about Noh theatre, where I not only found some very disturbing demon masks but this line ‘Japanese religion fears the spirits of those who died violently or in the grip of rage’ and of course, my brain mixed this idea with the theatre, with dead Samurai warriors lost in the snowcapped hills …