“Sam,” you scream, “I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about! My name is Vlad, and I don’t know anyone named James! I don’t know what the fuck you’re doing with this play! All I know is that I cranked a fucking record player and now I’m in the middle of a goddamn MADHOUSE…” you pause for a moment and let the irony of your words wash over you, and then continue your tirade.
“I was trying to find Benziah and…”
At the mention of Benziah’s name, everyone in the room gets really quiet. In the sudden void in the babble (punctuated only by the music and the dancers onstage) your rage dulls a bit. It’s no good shouting into silence, after all. Plus the audience would probably hear you and… shit, now you’re starting to think like them.
After a moment’s pause, Sam speaks up.
“Now look, James… or Vlad, or whatever you want to call yourself tonight. The drill’s the same as it’s always been. The door opens, and we come in here and do our little song and dance number until the door closes again. Then we sit and scream inside our own heads until nightfall and we rinse and repeat. Nothing’s changed. The main thing, as far as we’re concerned, is to keep that goddamn audience entertained so that it doesn’t flood in here and rip our goddamn balls off!”
“And to do that,” he continues, raising his voice with every word, “we do the fucking play the same way that we’ve done it every fucking night, and you will either help us with that or get the hell out and go try to survive in some other show in some other room!”
His words echo in the silence. It strikes you, then, that the dancers aren’t dancing anymore. The silence is quickly broken, however, by screaming and the sounds of bones breaking and flesh ripping.
Something out on the stage is killing people.
Sam gets a terrified look on his face and runs for the door. Many of the other actors run along with him, but Carl (or Carlita, or Lucia… whatever he’s calling himself) grabs you by the shoulder and pulls you back.
“No!” He says in a panic. “Don’t go out into the hallway! Come this way!” He gestures towards another door leading further backstage.
He grabs you by your uniform and pulls your face close to his. “HE went out into the hall just a short while ago. You don’t want to meet up with HIM. He’ll kill you.” Carl shudders briefly and mutters something in a very low tone. You think he may have said “if you’re lucky.”
He breaks away from you and runs towards the door leading backstage.
You feel a wave of dizziness pass over you, and your ribs begin to ache again. What horrible timing. You take a moment to pop a few more painkillers and then run off…
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