The Masque of the Red Death, originally published as The Mask of the Red Death: A Fantasy, is an 1842 short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. It is a fictional plague sweeping through the land. Prince Prospero, the main character in the short story, is hiding from the plague in an abbey, along with a bunch of other nobles. Despite the plague being quite horrific and consisting of symptoms like sweating blood and dying within 30 minutes, the nobles think they are safe in the abbey. In fact, they are so relaxed about their situation that Prospero hosts a big masquerade ball. The only downside of the abbey, which is quite luxurious, is the decor. There are seven rooms which are colour-coded and arranged east to west. The last of these rooms is a creepy room that is decorated in black and scarlet. This room contains a huge clock that scares the guests whenever it chimes on the hour. The clock does not disrupt the masquerade for long, however. People keep partying until it strikes midnight. Then, a mysterious figure shows up… Poe uses his supporting character, Prince Prospero, to show the wealth of royalty in this story. This character’s speaks of wealth and happiness. Prospero’s wealth was so vast that he was easily able to support one thousand of his loyal comrades, hundreds of servants, and a seemingly endless number of parties. Enjoy free online English audiobook “The Masque of the Red Death”, a novel by Edgar Allan Poe.