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Cecilia didn’t know why she was here. Actually, she didn’t know how she even came here. One moment she was fighting at home, the next, she was in this darkened theatre.
Heavy tapestries hung over the Gothic windows, cobwebs springing eerily at the edges. The curtain was closed, the dust clouding its deep red color. Even the theatre seats were thickened with a cushion of grey. Cecilia stood in the middle of it all, watching the silence.
“Did you come to watch the show?”
The voice was childish, and Cecilia swung around, surprised. There stood a young girl, her eyes bright and questioning. For a second, Cecilia was stunned. But then the girl reached out and pulled her into one of the musty seats.
“Did you come to watch the show?” the little girl repeated. “Did you come to watch?”
Her eerie voice made it difficult to understand her. In the calm but chilling theatre, the little girl seemed at home with the missing audience. She bounced up and down excitedly, pointing to the curtains.
“Watch!” she said. “Watch the show!”
Slowly, the curtains rose. Cecilia’s eyes widened in amazement. The abandoned theatre was putting on its own play.
First came a man and woman, both of whom were dancing to a strange cello’s echo. They laughed and twirled together, ignoring all but themselves. Cecilia’s lips curved into a smile. Obviously they were in love, in love with the dance and each other. The girl beside her watched solemnly.
Suddenly, the set behind them began to shake. It started slowly at first, but began to rock back and forth heavily. Cecilia opened her mouth to warn them—
Too late. The couple was hit, and their lifeless bodies fell off the stage. The little girl next to Cecilia frowned at her.
“Watch the show.”
Yes, the show continued. Cecilia’s mind was whirling, but when a man onstage started to cry for his beloved, she forgot about the couple and resumed watching. A rose hung limply in his fingers, the act of wandering away. It pricked the man’s thumb, and blood dripped slowly onto the stage.
Almost halfway out of her seat, she screamed—silently. The point where blood flowed began to blacken, dark flesh curling into ashy smoke. A hand reached out and pulled Cecilia back into her seat, just as the contagious smoke touched her, briefly.
Cecilia turned to face the young girl. She shook her head sadly, and said, almost to herself, “You’re just like the others...aren’t you?”
Once more, Cecilia opened her mouth to speak, but the sweet lullaby tune cut through the air, stopping any words. She turned to face the handsome man. His eyes seemed to say, Sing with me.
A tinge of red colored her pale skin, and she accepted his hand. The two took the stage, singing the lullaby. To Cecilia’s wonder, she found that she could sing just as well as the man in front of her. Every note was tuned to the perfect pitch, and she gazed into the man’s eyes.
The curtains made a whooshing sound as they closed, signaling the end of the show. Cecilia smiled, warming to the theatre and its many actors.
The actors! Why was she in this—?
No one saw her last second of fame.
The little girl closed her eyes sadly, and said, with a melancholy tone, “Didn’t I tell you to watch the show?”