A Black Spectre Adventure
OSCAR TRAVERS grabbed another shot from the bar in his anvil-like fist and tossed it back like a glass of water.Â His body was steeled from years of working on the docks, and now, thanks to a combination of whiskey and rage, his nerves were steeled as well.Â Heâ€™d never beaten another human being to death before, but he was more than capable.Â On this night, especially so.Â His pride had been severely bruised, and he was smarting for revenge.
Feeling the alcohol work its way into his system, he glanced again out the window to the Orpheum Theater just down the street.Â The doors would open soon to let the rich and influential step out among the masses for just a moment, then get in their expensive cars and ride back to their posh mansions in exclusive Lakeview Heights.
And Oscar Travers would be waiting.
Inside the Orpheum, the audience applauded as the curtains fell across the stage.Â The sounds echoed through the small, but ornately-crafted theater.Â Brent Gregor clapped, too, from his wheelchair in Box Five.Â As much as he enjoyed the show, a musical farce about love and mistaken-identity, it only served to remind him that he was very much alone.Â Of course, he had his faithful valet, Bernard Worthington, at his side â€“ the only other living person who knew him as The Black Spectre.Â But Brent longed for companionship of another kind, and those thoughts always led in the same direction. Vicky.
As the fates would have it, Victoria Rose, the headstrong, auburn-haired reporter for the Daily Crusader, actually sat far above him in the uppermost balcony.Â With her was her boyfriend and co-worker at the Crusader, Denny Morris, who toiled daily in the newspaperâ€™s archives.
They were celebrating the anniversary of their first date together and Denny had wanted to do something special.Â Heâ€™d saved for many months and managed to pull a few strings to take her to the opening of a new show.Â Though he wished he could have done a lot better than the â€œnosebleed section,â€ he was just glad to have a special night with her without having to encounter his chief rival for Vickyâ€™s attention (aside from the newspaper) â€“ Brent Gregor.Â Vicky was an angel, his angel.Â And on this night, dressed in her beautiful soft-blue gown, she looked just like one.