300-word Writing Challenge #35 (October 2019) -- VICTORY TO PETER V!

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Starbeast

Benevolent Galaxy Being
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Illinois
A Relic Hunting We Will Go

"Hey Moe. Where's, Larry?"

"Sleeping on the stage."

SLAP "Oww! Why'd you hit me? You know I'm superstitious."

"Listen, Larry. We gotta find that Necronomicon. It's hidden somewhere in this old theater."

"Lady Macbeth..."

"That's, Mcintyre."

"Yeah. She'll give us a million bucks for it."

"Then let's get busy."

#

"Hey fellas! I found the Nekkonomminon."

"Oh boy. We're in the moola, Moe"

"I'm gonna invest in...Nyah! You apple head, that's a Shoggoth! Get rid of it."

"No. He's my friend." SLAP "Ooh!"

"Tekelili"

Moe trembled, "Curly. Tell it to let me go."

"My friend don't like people hitting me."

"I'm sorry friend."

"Tekelili"

"He wants me to hit you."

SLAP "Why, you!"

"Tekelili"

"I was only kidding. I like it. Hit me Curly." SLAP, POKE "Ouch!"

Larry interjected, "Cut out the clowning! We got woik to do. We stand to loose a fortune, if we don't find that book. I wish I knew where it was."

"Tekelili", Shoggoth pointed at a coat of arms, hanging on the wall.

#

"Tekelili"

"He said, we should split the money four ways."

Moe shouts, "What!? Give that stupid blob a share!"

"Tekelili"

"He says, you die now."

"I'm sorry friend. Honest. I'd be happy with a fifth of a share."

"Tekelili"

"He said, done deal."

Larry points, "It's Mrs Mcintyre. Great news lady, we found your book."

"Thank, Lovecraft. Here's your million."

"Ya know, I think I'm gonna buy this theater", exclaimed Moe.

#

"I booked Avengers Endgame, for eight more weeks, Moe"

"Great. We're making a fortune. Where's Curly?"

"Here he comes now."

Moe grumbles, "Where have you been for five hours?"

"I was down town."

"What for?"

"To see a matinee double feature. Two movies!"

"Oh. Two. Want to see two more?"

"Soytanley." POKE "OHHH!"

"TEKELILI"

"He said, you're lunch."

Moe fled.
 
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Culhwch

Lost Boy
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7,528
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Brisbane, Australia
All The Stage, My World

‘What ails you, little sparrow?’

I hadn’t heard my grandfather approach. I glanced over my shoulder. He stood behind where I sat, legs dangling from the gantry running above the stage, already dressed for the performance in the gaudy clothes of Tertius, the villain of Serafina’s Song, one of his favourite roles.

I turned back. ‘It’s nothing.’

‘You’d wound an old man with such untruths?’ His tone was playful, but the words still bit, a little.

I sighed. ‘Have you ever wanted more, saba?’

‘More than the stage?’ He stepped forward, leaning on the handrail. ‘Tonight I am a king. In a week’s time -- a warrior? A merchant? A god? Where else could I be all of those, and visit far flung lands, but on the stage?’

‘It’s all pretend.’

‘It may not be real, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be true.’

I didn’t reply.

‘I know it’s hard for you,’ he said, after a long silence. ‘When I came here, I was a man grown. I’d seen the world. Some of it, anyway. You were born into the company, long after the Raj brought us into his service.’

‘Enslaved us, you mean.’

‘Hush, child. You know, better than most, the weight spoken words can have.’

‘Doesn’t mean it’s not true,’ I said, with perhaps more venom than I’d intended.

‘We play at the Raj’s whim, true. But he cannot enslave our souls.’ It was my grandfather’s turn to sigh. ‘My world is that stage, now. But have heart, dear child. Yours won’t always be.’

‘How can you be sure, saba?’

‘If the stage has taught me anything, it’s that the world adores a happy ending. Mine may be out of grasp, but I promise you, little sparrow, I won’t rest until I’ve helped you win yours.’
 

Venusian Broon

Defending the SF genre with terminal intensity
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Edinburgh
Matryoshka Obscura



Monica toys with her mobile phone. This play is boring.
~​
Captain Blood joins in with the crowd’s cheers as the wooden horse topped with golden Achilles, trundles onto the stage. The actor bellows Ulysses’ plan.

An audience wag shouts, ‘Quiet man, you’ll wake the Trojans!’

~​
Our contraption of ship’s wood and metal, worked to batter the gate was abandoned, crewed with our dead and dying. We clustered around cold fires, hurt and despairing. Sounds of music and revelry floated over us. Triumphant hymns taunt.

Then a
chance! Our beloved champion spots the drunken fools pulling Poseidon’s ram in as a trophy. If we acted quickly we might storm their gates.
~​
Achilles’ death monologue caused much hilarity, the shower of rotten vegetables striking the actor was good sport.
~​
The city is aflame. Bloodlust and avarice reign. I discover our champion. Fallen! An arrow pierces his thigh, but a crushed skull sent him to Hades. I weep despite victory.
~​
Departing the theatre, Blood turns to his companion, “What think you?”

“A fun play indeed!”

Blood nods, smiling over the memory of pompous Achilles.
~​
In the morning all alive were brought before the ruined walls. The females we take as trophies but Nemesis’ wails forfeit the men’s lives. A young lad; hands bound and kneeling. His eyes plead as I ready my thrust.

His face haunts me more than any heroic deed I recite in the decades afterward at my hearth.

~​

In a tavern, Blood brings his companion into his conspiracy. “I have a stratagem, worthy of a Greek, regarding some fat shiny plunder that lies in a nearby tower.”
~
“Comedy!? Two men in tights speaking rubbish,” Monica whispers.

“It's Captain Blood’s plot to steal the crown jewels,” her friend hisses back. “Wait till the torture scene. It’s
hilarious.”
 
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LittleStar

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Joined
Jun 30, 2011
Messages
782
Written and Performed by the Old Quarter Orphanage



Janor thrust his flimsy sword forwards.

Artan clasped it in his armpit and gave a less than mortal ‘Oh no!’, sending the crowd into a thunder of laughter. He fell backwards, as stiff as a board. “I am killed.” He pronounced each syllable individually, monotone. “You’ve sprung me a deathly leak for a goddess’ hand.” He turned his face from the crowd, letting his outstretched hand fall limp to the stage.

Embre entered from the wings. “Wondersome daybreak, what wonders shall you bring?” She stopped, with a hand over her mouth at the scene of horror before her until she saw Janor. “My love. You are safe.” She pulled her too-large dress-tail around, and clasped his hand.

Her skin was still soft, though she’d been alone longer. A flush of heat raced up Janor’s arm to his face. He tucked his pointed ears into his hat and wiped his palms. He’d begged for this part; the only elf taking the only human role. Then he’d begged Matron Diesse not to tell anyone he’d begged for it. But someone like Embre would never have noticed him otherwise. Never have touched his hand, or... Oh Hells! Janor’s heart cracked his ribs.

“Sir Anmar? Are you gladdened to see me?” Embre tugged on his sleeve.

Dead Artan gently swiped his leg to hit Janor, and hissed, urging his cue. He tried, but his tongue was fat and furry like a peach. And Embre kept hold of his hand.

She ducked her head to catch his eye. “Brave Sir Anmar, don’t you want to kiss me?”

Janor’s face burnt hotter than the stage torches. He nodded barely enough to feel, but still the crowd cooed.“I’m sorry...” Janor headed for the curtains. “I... uh forgot something at the castle.”

“Sir Anmar?”
 

J.C. Scoberg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2019
Messages
47
Location
Cymru
E-licit Liaisons

Thom4$$_23 took a seat in the empty theatre and plugged in. He didn’t like to visit the Old Palladium in person but it granted an encrypted anonymity his home connection lacked. Wriggling in the threadbare chair he made himself comfortable as he began to upload.

The familiar surge rushed through him and he blinked – once, twice, three times – and the world suddenly became clearer, richer, more sensual. The tapestries on the wall spoke their tales as he glanced at them and the sound of an orchestra filled the room with arias he now knew. Thom4$$_23 stood, relishing the power of his avatar and rotated his world view to admire the clearer skin, straighter nose and athletic frame of his true self.

He was ready, and the stage called to him.

In a single leap he landed and stepped into an Italian square. The troupe were waiting, attired in renaissance garb and practising their lines ahead of First Night, even x0Mamozzetx0 and Chocolate_Toad. He looked around and spotted Perse(mobile)phone stood near a marble fountain waving at him. He waved back and she blew him a kiss from bright green lips. Emotions stirred within him more strongly than he thought possible; desire, excitement, guilt.

For an age she had haunted his thoughts and too often had he replayed their time together, running analytics over their conversations to assess if she shared his feelings. He could not be certain but he wanted to believe she did. And so he had practised, not just his lines but also the words he would say to her.

And tonight was The Night.

His heart pounded and beyond the fourth wall his hands sweated. He feared heartbreak, and the cheating scans of his official e-lover, but in both his hearts he knew Perse(mobile)phone was worth it.
 

johnnyjet

Western PA High Tech Country Boy
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Nov 11, 2011
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Location
Pennsylvania
The Audience

The audience watched and waited.

The glorious and brightly colored spectacle unfolded itself upon the gaudy stage with a cast of thousands. The performances were thick with drama, romance, mystery, comedy, suspense, irony, mayhem, and pathos. The actors were richly varied in size, shape, texture, color, gender, ethnicity, nationality, and age. The audience cheered, applauded, laughed, gasped, and wept at all the right places. The plot was intricately woven from many fine threads until the moment all of it was tied together into a breath-taking climax.

Then the curtains fell.

The audience seemed to breathe in as one, and then slowly, painfully breathed out. The intermission was interminably long.

Finally, the curtains ascended.

The stage was empty.

One by one, the audience members arose from their seats and went onto the stage. One by one, each one dissolved into a character from the play. Soon the play began moving forward of its own volition, inexorably toward a new and more powerful climax.

They released their passions out toward the empty seats where an audience once sat. Their frustrations grew when they received no accolades, no outbursts of appreciations, no outcries, no gasps, no laughter, no sobbing. Where was the reward for their blood, sweat, and tears, for their herculean exertions, for their outpouring of raw emotions?

Without an audience of approval or disapproval, what worth was their efforts?

Fully drained, they filed back to their seats. The curtains fell again. The theater was an empty shell, gutted of its soul. The silence was complete.

The curtains lifted.

The players were now all on the stage. Motionless. Staring out at the audience. Watching. And waiting.
 

Phyrebrat

ba-Ba-ba-brat
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In your bedroom wardrobe...
A Horseless Carriage

Harriet rolled her eyes at her brother’s petulant bleating. She supposed this was about her beating him at real tennis after church. A man of nineteen years should know better!
‘Saints preserve us, Freddie!’ Mother called from the kitchen as she prepared water crust pastry. ‘Whatever this “flying cigar” was, I’m sure there’s an explantation…Did you see it, Harriet?’
Harriet wandered in. ‘No, just all those poor deer.’
Mother clapped her hands and clods of dough flew like hail. ‘Can’t let all that venison go to waste! Now go away.’
Freddie stormed into the drawing room and moments later Papa hurried out as Beethoven was pounded from the good piano.
‘You alright, old lady?’ Papa asked.
‘Mother thinks I’m in the way of her work…’
He leant down and made a face. ‘Work of Satan, that water crust.’
Harriet giggled. It was true, Mother’s water crust was somewhere between snuff and mortar, but Harriet was more worried eating from the herd who’d been discovered dead - as if Doctor Fell had been at them; those incisions!
‘Papa, aren’t they spoiled?’
‘No, they’ve not been dead long enough,’ he said.
Freddie’s angry No. 2 in D kept her from the drawing room but she did wonder about his incredulous story of the flying cigar. What had he seen?

The doorbell chimed and Soames returned with three men dressed all in black; derbies, greatcoats, gloves - in the height of summer!
She pressed herself against a pilaster and listened to the men’s iffing and butting with Papa. Their odd movements - heads twitching like mother’s beloved Java sparrows - unsettled her more than Freddie’s Beethoven.
They also discomfited Papa, who shook as the trio sped off in a horseless black moriah.
What could they have meant?


“Whatever you think you saw, you did not see.”
 

Mr Orange

Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb...
Joined
Jun 17, 2013
Messages
1,450
Location
Noo Zillund
A Fool’s Paradise

There was applause. Not as much as I had hoped for on closing night, but applause nonetheless. I walked out to receive it and, standing amongst Montagues and Capulets, took a bow. The theatre was full, but it wasn’t on Broadway and shabby would have been a generous description for it. As we left the stage my Romeo approached.

“You coming to the after party, boss?”

“Of course, Peter,” I replied with false cheer, “I just have to attend to something first.”

Alone, I headed down the corridor past the changing rooms. My mood darkened. It didn’t make sense; before my little trip you could throw any kind of adaptation of Romeo and Juliet on and make it big. I mean, Leonardo Di Caprio even made it work! But now my production, original in every way, had been received like it was a shoddily written piece of community theatre. Where was my critical acclaim, my success?

I scowled, opened a locked door and clattered down a steel stair into the cool basement. I sat at a battered desk and looked down at the sheaf of papers that sat on it. The title on the top page read “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

“I hope this one works better than the last, William,” I called towards the steel door at the far end of the basement. A muffled response carried back.

“Or, I might have to consider terminating our agreement,” I continued. There was another muffled response, this one higher in pitch.

“Oh, stop whining. I always thought your stuff was rubbish anyway.”

I glanced at the 8-foot metallic cylinder that stood in the middle of the room. The lights and dials on its side were dormant.


“Next time I think I’ll try J K Rowling.”
 

olive

≧◔◡◔≦
Joined
Oct 26, 2019
Messages
84
The Jump

“Pssst... Pambino? Are you awake?”
“Yeah... My eyes hurt. I can’t see anything.”
“They left the lights on. Now, don’t panic, but can you move?”
“Move? Of course, I can’t move. What are you talking- oh, I can move! Guilio?! What is going on?”
“I can move my limbs for half an hour now. I think, it is the left Leo. Because he jumped.”
“He jumped? He didn’t even talk. Ohh, it is easier than I thought. Hehe.”
“He’s been murmuring incoherently in the middle of the night for months now. You'd know that if you didn’t sleep like a piece of Pentelic marble. Can you move your torso? Poor thing, existing in that pathetic excuse of a lion figure all this time. He finally broke himself from the base, I know it.”
“Yes, I can. Ohh. What do you mean?”
“We are all from the same mould, part of the same structure. He broke the integrity. How many times I told you that?”
“Ah, this is about your crazy theories of moving our existence forward, isn’t it? Sometimes, we end up in bad pieces. Please, let it go?”
“Look at us, Pambino. We aren’t the putti any more. We don’t remember before that. It’s been hundreds of years, we just managed to lose the wings and got a little taller. We change for the better, every time we break. Don’t you get it? If we learn to break ourselves, we could even wake up in art one day! Come on, push yourself forward, it’s an easy break. I knew this disgusting material had to be good for something. Don’t try to stand, just try to go head down. Ready? On three.”
“Ohh...ok. Guilio? I hope you know what you are doing.”
"I do! One, two, threeeeee!”
 
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Perpetual Man

Tim James
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Jun 13, 2006
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6,277
Requiem for Palacial Royalty

Once it had been alive, made of wood and cloth, impossibly holding stories... no not stories... worlds. In truth it was more than just the sum of its parts, paint and scenery the ephemeral men who strutted their time on the boards.

To those that watched, filled the gods and the cheap seats it was a window to the world beyond their tawdry existences, giving a window into the things beyond their existence.

And now it was dying.

Perhaps it might seem trite to suggest that such a thing had a life, but it did. Countless tales had been told by those on the stage, jokes had been jested and songs sung. Every aspect of life had been given form in one way or another.

But that was in days in the past and all that had been represented had fallen away. Once fine fabrics had slowly frayed, torn and rotted; the polished stage had become scuffed and dull, infested with woodworm.

The seats still remained, but their regimented order was gone, some had toppled while others sank into themselves, overcome by time and dust.

Perhaps, deep within the faded corridors, where water dripped from the the leaking slates high above, amid faded colours and peeling wallpaper, voices of old echoed.

"Justlikethat!"

"Boom! Boom!"

"Tickled pink!"

"Well, that's another fine mess!"

Just like those voices, the artificial representation of the outer world had fallen. Death and decay claimed it as the crows claimed the roosts in the broken tower.

A whole universe in microcosm, swirling in a contracting circle of oblivion. Unclaimed. Untouched, desolate worn apart at the hand of entropy.

A slow lingering death, on a dirty forgotten street, with the only tears cried were those of the rain.
 

kameron

New Member
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Oct 30, 2019
Messages
3
“Seriously, Zeth? A traveling spacecraft theater? After listening through the twenty-eighth overenthusiastic hologram message you sent, I took the time and recourses to star jump all this way and this is what you ABSOLUTELY HAD to show me? This place is actually more hideous than my image of whatever goes on inside that oversized head of yours. It looks like you used buckets of Gorblak vomit to paint these walls. Honestly, I’m thoroughly impressed by just how much more awful this idea is compared to your last stroke of genius.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Chaz. My last idea was amazing! The dull creatures on this planet are just not cultured enough to understand how revolutionary it was.”
“Revolutionary? You attached a plasma blade to the thrust fan of your hover craft and marketed it as a mobile Zenith Tree cutting device. What did you call it… the Tree Cutter-Upper 9000 or something? And for the last time, my name is Chad!”
“It was called the Tree Cuttinator v9.0, Chet. And it worked perfectly. I cleared a section of Zenith Trees in a fraction of the time it would have taken using conventional methods.”
“Yes, you absolutely did. And you also cut down three of the colony’s water storage towers in similar record timing. Version 9.0… I don’t even want to imagine what happened with the first eight.”
“Well whoever had the idea to build the water towers right next to a forest, fully aware that they may one day be mistaken for trees in a lumbering expedition, is even more of an unimaginative moron than you! Now if you’ll excuse me, I will be conducting rehearsal of an ancient tragic romance titled Roman and Julia and I need to prepare the set. Good day to you, Chip!”
 

Ursa major

Bearly Believable
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England
The Seven Stages of…
I was born on the first makeshift stage. Not that anyone realised. How could they? I was no more than a mysterious presence, a warm feeling they thought was their own.
I’ve learnt more from the ever-changing cast of playgoers than I have from those treading the boards, or those penning the words they speak.
Do you find it strange that an entity such as myself could have romantic feelings? You shouldn’t. That my love cannot be requited – not in the usual way – provides no hindrance. Your love for me is oft expressed in public. I care not that some of you renounce it in private. It’s enough for me that the latter feel the need to declare their (false) love to the world.
Another apparently useless trait of mine is my passion for conflict. What need I of that? None of you can harm me, not when so many others crave me. I can harm no one because, well, I can’t. Yet conflict is at the heart of what makes me what I am… and why I am so beloved.
Age should have brought me wisdom… and it has. I’ve existed long enough to know how shallow my wisdom – and the wisdom of those I observe – is. And what more can wisdom offer than true self-knowledge?
I love comedy. It gives me a frisson that neither love nor conflict can deliver. Do you think that too is odd? Yet I can enjoy comedy in exactly the same way as you. Mirth requires no equivalent of romance’s lover or conflict’s antagonist. I share my mirth with others, whether a handful of you, or many thousands.
Old age is nothing to me, for I have never left my first childhood, one benefit of being...
...the Magic of Theatre.

 
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M. Robert Gibson

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that
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Feb 10, 2018
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Discovery One
Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.

"How'd you like to go to the opening night of Shakespeare's Hamlet?" asked Emma.
"I didn't know it was on locally."
"It's not. I mean the actual first performance."
I frowned. "What do you mean?"
"You'll see," she said, with a smirk.

* * *

We drove to what looked like a multiplex cinema. However, none of the current Hollywood blockbusters were showing, instead the titles included Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus, Salome by Oscar Wilde and Uncle Vanya by Chekhov. My confusion deepened.

According to the foyer clock, we entered the theatre at seven o'clock and took our seats facing a blank wall. After a couple of minutes, the room darkened, and I had the feeling of simultaneously moving forwards and backwards with my stomach feeling like I was riding a roller-coaster. When the lights came on we appeared to be in Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, complete with audience dressed in early 16th Century period costumes.

Onto the stage strode a slightly balding, bearded man dressed in doublet and hose who looked strangely familiar. He began speaking in a West Country accent. "I'd like to introduce my latest play - The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark."

* * *

The curtain came down, the room darkened and I experienced the same sensations as before, only in reverse. We entered the foyer. "Clever. Some sort of hologram?"
She smiled. "How long do you think we were in there?"
"About three or four hours."
"Look at the clock."
I looked up and barely suppressed a gasp. Only five minutes had elapsed.
Emma handed me a brochure. "You know how actors break the fourth wall? Well you've just broken the fourth dimension."
I read the brochure's title: 'Travels In Theatre Spacetime Amplifying Normative Dimensional And Relativistic Simultaneity Events'.
"Interesting, " I grinned. "Shame about the acronym."
 

MoominAhoy

writing hobbyist
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Messages
9
Location
UK
Lungs.
Like a wilted rose, withered and battered by wind and rain, the old Luminus Theatre stood. So immersed in her excitement, Delilah paid no heed to the drop in temperature as she squeezed through the chained up entrance.

Inside, she noticed the intricate carvings and dusty sculptures that lined the walls of the lobby and she imagined the dazzling array of bright lights, people and music that once graced it's halls, filling it with liveliness. It was unfortunate, that such a grand and proud structure could succumb to the fires caused by the careless hand of a lamp-lighter and that years of heartfelt memories were destroyed within a night. In the aftermath, it was reported that two people - a couple were claimed by the fires, both could not be found after countless searches in every crevasse of the theatre.

As Delilah ventured further, she found herself drawn to a sound. Not just any sound, but something so exquisite and unique that she became lost to song, which echoed throughout the cavity of the auditorium. There was not one but two ethereal voices, and they sang like divine angels.

Lured by only the fragile yet alluring strings of the music that spurned within, Delilah approached the scorched skeleton of the stage.
In a paroxysm of curiosity and wonder, she lifted her gaze to the rafters above, falling upon two figures. Both were singing their hearts out expressing their wretched agony. At once, fear started coursing though Delilah as their faces turned towards her. Lifeless eyes rooted her to the spot, rendering her motionless. Panic blossomed within as unseen smoke began to fill her lungs, slowly asphyxiating her and with her final breath, her voice was carried, joining the haunting chorus of sorrow and tragedy.

Sealed forever within the dilapidated walls.
 

The Judge

Truth. Order. Moderation.
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Nov 10, 2008
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10,580
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nearly the New Forest
The Final Stage


“I’m sorry,” whispered Peggy – talking more loudly seemed disrespectful. “I don’t understand.”

She clutched nervously at her skirt. (Her best; they’d dressed her nicely.) She hadn’t known what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t this wizened official with his pince-nez and ledger.

“You choose your Abiding Environment,” he repeated. “Your… hhnn… hhnn… forever home.”

“I thought I’d be with other people.”

“Oh dear no. That would be… hhnn… hhnn… hell.”

Tears pricked her eyes. “But Robert, my husband, must have passed through here, and my daughter, Jenny.”

“Ah, Familial Reconnection. Not my department. Now, we recommend our… hhnn... hhnn... clientele choose somewhere with personal significance.”

“Like my home?” But with Robert’s job, they’d had so many.

“It need not be a specific place. It can be a medley, a salmagundi. A… hhnn… hhnn… potpourri.”

Peggy shook her head, helpless.

The official held out the ledger. “Open it.”

She did. Blank pages dazzled her. Then an image appeared. “My toy theatre!”

More images, overlaying it – plush seats, crimson curtains, ornate ceilings; balconies, proscenium arches, thrust stages. Gilt, glitz, glamour.

All at once Peggy understood the role theatres had played in her life. Her father’s tales of music hall and Marie Lloyd; watching him from the wings; pantomimes, school plays; dance, operetta; her first job backstage; meeting Robert, the handsome stranger sitting beside her as Fonteyn and Nureyev wove enchantment; pantomime again, with Jenny, and retelling her father’s stories.

“Here,” said Peggy. “I want to be here.”

And she was there, in a wonderful riotous mix of every theatre she’d ever known; dusty scents of greasepaint and bouquets, magic and make-believe. On stage, a girl of twelve, the image of long-dead Jenny, and…

“Dad? Robert! How?”

“All the world’s a stage, Peggy, love. All heaven, too, now you’re with us.”
 

Luiglin

by day Stuart Orford by night Dark Lord's scribe
Joined
Mar 22, 2012
Messages
1,800
Location
Mercia, UK
All the universe is a stage

Bursts of light flickered across the canvas of space as Domain and Insurgent craft danced a disco of death.

There were many eyes, optics and sensors in the Murder Moon watching the battle but only two that mattered.

“Really, a weak point. I know we had to make cutbacks due to the spiralling costs but surely we could have afforded at least a grate for the exhaust?”

Lights sparkled across the fascia of a small, non-descript robot.

“Aesthetics?”

A twinkle of blue and green.

“I suppose that does make sense. We can’t have an old-fashioned looking Murder Moon after all.”

One red flash.

“You compute right, that was sarcasm.”

Darf Lordius sighed, although the sound that came out of his breathing regulator was more like a space fighter changing down a gear.

“’All the universe is a stage, and all the men, women, cyborgs, clones and robots merely players; They have their exits and their entrances.’ One of my previous incarnations said that.”

Purple blinks.

“Yes, really. He makes sense now. I had my stage, I made my play and now this incarnation’s time is up, this is my exit.”

He tapped his chest.

“To be honest, I’m not sure I’ll miss it. This outfit may have looked good a few years back but does look so very dated when compared to more recent evil dictators.”

The floor kicked, sending them stumbling sideways. Another kick and they lurched back again.

“You better get going, Grand Moff Minion. Take my spare Die Fighter.”

A rainbow nimbus of light erupted in salute as the robot rolled off.

“Oh, by the way. Next incarnation, I fancy something along the lines of a hulking mauve monstrosity with a penchant for a jewel encrusted glove and a more sympathetic back story.”
 
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Abernovo

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Sep 13, 2011
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3,061
The View from the Gods (or, The Void Stares Back)


The Chief Archivist is touring the collections.

″How are the subjects?″

A technician moves aside. ″They seem to be thriving. Do you wish to see? You can look through the windows down into the enclosures, or there are cameras for remote viewing, close up.″

The windows are chosen. From the height of the control room, there is not much for them to see. Trees cover the closest part of both compounds, the canopy allowing only glimpses of what is below. Beyond, streams and rivers cut through grasslands. The primary subjects, who live in caves built into the cliffs which form the compound walls are not visible.

I can see them. I am the Core. I watch every exhibit. I watch every section of this repository ship.

The aquatic containment units from this planet fascinate me. They hold subjects of high intelligence, who have established that food can only be introduced from certain points. Even a quasi-random pattern has not prevented them from detecting movement, and heading to investigate it, in a matter of moments.

These biped communities are also interesting, though.

The Chief Archivist steps back. ″It seems a bit boring. Do you really believe they should be kept in the dangerous exhibit section?″

The Oxygen-Rich Compounds Director speaks for the first time. ″I am positive. This may be one species whose genetic profile we perhaps should not regenerate. Their literature has been partially decoded, and is fascinated by either wiping out sub-groups of their own, or hunting other species of their planet even when they had no need to.″

A warning signal alerts me to movement in one of the forest compounds from the planet. A subject is poking at my hidden camera, my eye, with a stick. Another has climbed the cliff and appeared at the window.
 
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