Hands shaking with excitement, the spoon rattling against the teacup in her hands, Staci recounted every second of the oddest audition of her career to her roommate. Her skin flushed from the cocktail of adrenaline and August heat, but she couldn’t sit still or even stop to take a sip. There was too much to say.
Charlotte eyes widened.
“And you said yes?”
“I had to. You know how many times I’ve gone in for roles I was made for, and all I left with was a half-hearted handshake?”
Staci’s eyes glimmered. Yes, the director had seemed more than odd, if not downright creepy, and the low-budget film set, in a dingy warehouse pier, didn’t fill her mind with confidence that this project would be her stepping-stone to stardom. Still, there was a stirring inside of her.
She’d opened the grimy warehouse door, at once desperately hoping she had the right place and desperately hoping she didn’t, to find the familiar buzz of theatre activity already underway. The costumer makers huddled and murmured in one corner, squinting and shaking their heads over reams of avocado green and creamsicle orange fabrics. The set designer paced the stage, alternately placing the cheap metal chair upside-down on the little wooden bar table and then removing it again on an endless loop. Green, purple, blue and red lights flashed on and then off, marionettes of the tech crew.
“STOP PLEASING OTHERS, ANGELA!”
He was in front of her suddenly, screaming so violently the veins in his neck visibly quivered, his eyes bulging and throbbing with rage.
“You are only on this ride once. Are you going to waste it on rodents who don’t even care you exist? Do YOU even care you exist?”
The spittle from the insult flecked her face. In her shock, it took her moments to realize he was delivering lines from the play, so disorienting was his attack.
She had a sudden awareness that all eyes in the tacky, makeshift studio had turned towards them. Without time to discern anything more and with all her faculties having return to her, she leapt.
“You wouldn’t know the first thing about the cost of trying to make it in this place, Frank! This wasn’t handed to me! You...you were born into this! Daddy made sure of it!”
She looked down, briefly, then a back up again, leveling an icy glare on the man.
She paused, for a moment, while her right hand reached inside the shiny black bag dangling at her waist.
“...this ride needs one less passenger.”
By Viva & Matt McCluskey