“You people don’t know what you’re doing… You think it’s fun, brandishing torches, setting fire to the pyre, while He is looking at you from behind the mask. Idiots! Go on, carry on playing, lose yourself in these wild dances and the sound of the viola… You have no idea.”
They ignored the old man and continued playing, laughing, shouting, drunk on pot and cheap alcohol, well into the night. What or who they invoked no-one will ever know.
In the pale dawn, the following morning, some of them came back to the village, pale as death, shivering, covered with blistered. Some of the others never reappeared. A later search around the still smoking pyre merely showed lots of empty bottles, some old bones, and a weird mask, apparently made of leather, which seemed to be covered in dark congealed blood. There was a brief investigation, but the witnesses were incoherent. The case was quickly closed.