Thirty White Horses

There was a head in Terrence’s box that morning, a perfectly formed, bloodless head, with a high domed forehead and a sharp aquiline nose. Stiff gray hair curled tightly against the scalp. The eyes were closed, and bulged slightly. He sat holding it for a while, turning it this way and that, considering it. Its cheeks was smooth and elastic and clean-shaven.

He carried the head to the men in the chains. “Do you know anything about this?” he asked them.

The men in the chains moaned. One of them turned a broken face to Terrence and nodded, a quick, avian bob of the head that meant come here. Terrence went over to him, and held the head up so the man’s one remaining eye could focus on it. “Well?”

“It’s Wendell,” said the man, his voice rattling in his throat. “Over in the main building.”

“Well, what in the world am I supposed to do with him? Why’s he in my box?”

“No,” gasped the man, and screamed as the chain he was on began to move up into the ceiling. Terrence watched him disappear and waited until his screams cut off abruptly.

“Hell,” he said, then rubbed his mouth to remind himself not to swear.