This high interest short story was created to use in conjunction with the Reader.K12.com excerpt of the Pit and the Pendulum as one (potential) theme in common (things are worse in our minds than reality). Purpose of the prankster story was to point out that the "torture" was for the purpose of the prankster's entertainment. In the Pit and the Pendulum, for that excerpt) it is possible that the Spanish Inquisition jailers might have stopped the torture once they had what they wanted (information). May be used as a short story to determine theme. Contains a response question.