A Dark Stage

October 14, 2012
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“Oh my gosh! It’s opening night, why can’t they take it seriously already!” Two well-dressed teenage girls scoffed as the boys played swords with the microphone stands in the background.
“Techies,” was the only retort of Cheyenne to her best friend Bridgette.
“Get back to work! I’m already nervous and your shenanigans aren’t helping anyone,” barked Bridgette.

“Calm down. Sheesh. Can’t anyone have any fun around here?” Caleb grumbled as the curtains opened. Everyone’s hearts simultaneously skipped a beat and the crowd beyond grew silent. The techies quickly dive-rolled off the stage.

Long after the curtains closed, the only ones who remained in the school were Caleb and Bridgette. “Ugh. I can’t believe it’s already nine-thirty.” She checked her cell. “Why did they stick the props room in the basement? There’s absolutely no service here! We wouldn’t even be stuck here if you hadn’t broken that desk playing make-believe. Now we have to spend forever just to paint a new one.”

“Hey! It’s called “LARPing!” You don’t appreciate my creativity.”

“I’m creative. It’s in a more practical form. It’s called drama. I don’t have to take this kind of abuse, I’m leaving.” Her eyes widened and she went silent. It was enough to get Caleb’s attention. He rushed over to find the door locked from the outside.

“Oh no! I can’t be stuck here!” it suddenly occurred to him, “I promised my little sister I would play Barbie with her tonight! She’s going to be so disappointed!”

Bridgette peered skeptically at him. “Barbies?” she was pondering blackmail.

Caleb’s face immediately snapped to look at the ground, “well, I mean, you know, ninja Barbies... she puts the clothes on, I do the stunts” his voice cracked as his face reddened. Bridgette began to regret thinking of blackmail when he seemed so serious. “Hey, do you have a bobby pin?” an idea hatched inside Caleb’s mind.

“I don’t think it will do any justice to that unruly hair…” retorted Bridgette.

He ignored the comment “You may not know this, but I happen to be a lock-picking master. So much so that I have a lock-pick check of plus sixteen.” He knew the DND reference would go right over her blonde hair. She dropped her purse while ferociously picking through it in desperation at the closest chance to her freedom. It and its contents were now scattered about the ground. Reflexively, Caleb’s chivalrous disposition forced him to begin collecting her belongings. A pack of Magic cards caught his attention. Bridgette’s hand shot down to grab the cards, but it was too late.

“Alright, fine! My brother has cute friends that enjoy playing Magic so I play with them every Tuesday night. And I actually kind of… enjoy it…” the last few words trailed into silence. In a desperate attempt to divert Caleb’s shocked stare, she clasped her arms “my goodness, it’s freezing in this place! We are going to have to sleep her all night? I’m going to DIE!” She threw her arms in the air dramatically. Caleb quickly took off his Space Invaders hoodie and rested it gently on her shoulders.

Their sleep was disturbed by sunlight protruding through their eyelids. They opened their eyes to see a thin beam shining through the petite barred window in the far corner. They dare not move from each other’s arms, their breaths shown in the cool air. The door knob slowly began to turn. Their hearts raced, yet not in excitement to depart each other. No, there now lived an inseparable connection in their hearts which would withstand the distance between the stage and the tech balcony. The drama teacher was very surprised to find her drama students.

The second night of the play proved to be more interesting. The actors always look different when you’re hanging upside down from above, attempting to change a stage light, which happened to be exactly Caleb’s predicament.
He gulped as he heard a snap. His body came hurtling toward Bridgette and landed right in her arms. She threw him to the ground in shock. No one dared breathe. She gathered herself and knelt close to him. “You know what they say, techies do it in the dark and actors do it on stage.” She leaned over and kissed him, sealing the deal.

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