Tully woke up and spun around to find his chicken cacciatore spread across the tiles. Someone would pay for this… Worse, as he bent down to recover what was left of it, he noticed his right hand had clearly been severed as well, making it difficult for him to lift the plate. Now it’s personal, he thought.
“Come out, you marauding miscreant! Show thineself!” he cried into the empty banquet hall. The gala had clearly finished without him. He was left alone amidst the crumpled napkins, the lipstick-smeared flute glasses and his own broken spirit. For a few minutes, he patrolled the lavishly decorated hall, hoisting down the sleeve of his tuxedo to stem the flow of blood from his severed arteries.
How long have I been out? Tully queried. The chicken was beyond resuscitation, as was his appetite. As he proceeded through the tables in a daze of anger and confusion, he was stopped dead in his tracks by a tapping sound behind him. Was the hall not in fact as empty as he thought?
Tully decided that the best course of action would be to feign ignorance of such a sound, and catch the culprit at his own game. He again began to stride slowly about the tables, the tapping sound growing ever more syncopated. tap tap….tap TAP…tap TAP. He maintained his composure, though just barely. tap TAP…tap TAP…tap TAP…
“A-HA!!” Tully spun around madly, launching a hardened bread roll in the direction of the tapping, blood flying in a glorious arc to follow it. But ’twas too late. The tapping sound had come from the other side of the room, where a window had been left open. The air blew through the crack, and on the back of Tully’s chair, gently rocking against the woodwork, hung…a pair of castanetas.
“GONZALEEEEEEEZ!!!!” Tully screamed into the dim light, as a sound of giggling grew ever fainter.