FINDERS KEEPERS

The wooden door is already ajar, you reason, edging forwards once more. Besides, whoever was on the other side ran away from you. It figures if they’re a monster, they are not of the scary kind. You’re not completely careless, though; you keep your back to the wall as you approach the door, and lean forward slowly to peer through the gap. From your vantage point, you can see no movement.

You push the door open. The hinge is well-oiled, and moves without complaint, and you hear a soft tinkling as the door pushes something along on the ground. You walk into the room and look behind the door. There’s a glass vial on the ground. A thick cork keeps the dark liquid inside from spilling out.

It is only when the vial is in your hand that you notice what the liquid is: blood, or something that looks exactly like it. You swallow heavily, disturbed, but something makes you stick the vial in your back pocket. It seems a waste to leave in on the ground, and besides, it could prove useful. In the worst case, you can give it to Mark.

Decided, you set about exploring the room, and quickly realise where you are: backstage. It seems like theatres—whether above or below ground—look exactly the same. The left wall is lined with mirrors and small stools. In every corner of the room are heaps of boxes filled with the most random assortment of objects: wine bottles, cloaks, outfits of black leather. And—clearing you of any doubts—beside the door you just entered is a small archway covered by a curtain, leading, most probably, to the stage.

On the other side of the curtain is a small table, devoid of clutter except for a crystal ball, a handwritten note, and three cards. It doesn’t have much on it, but is that a table of magic tricks?

What do you do?

* Examine the table.
* Go through the curtain and onto the stage.