I watched from a distance. My emerald eyes penetrated through the enveloping shadows. A coat of scarlet shaded my flesh. Arms crossed, posture stiff, my stare could calm a storm. Unfortunately, it couldn’t calm the storm within me. The steam filtered out leaving a cold, hollowness. Humility was not a trait that needed any practice. I danced around the scene cloaked with invisibility. My stoic face did not betray me; it was my eyes that played the part of Judas. As I exhaled, the cold front caused the flowers to wither. My mind contorted and twisted while my body remained in a tense position. Deep within the chest, it cried out, but we both knew no one would answer. Eventually the screams were mere whispers. With the dominant gray matter taking its rightful place, a façade of serenity fell upon me. I was ready to step onto the stage. The curtain parted as I put on my mask. The spot light illuminated my clever disguise as I performed to the music that flowed from the world. People applauded and cheered as I mechanically followed the choreography. I would flourish each detail with a gesture of my hand. As I approached the apple, a crack began to split open my mask. Covering my face, I ducked out of sight. The procession continued without one of its members. As those eyes searched for the missing piece of the puzzle, a tremor was found in that dreaded abyss. The dictator had lost its rein, and the occasional rain drop escaped. As the parade continued on its way, slowly order was returned. On my knees, my eyes followed the object. The pieces lay in my hands, still shaking from the experience. A voice behind me made its way to my ears. “How long?” it asked. I straightened but refused to turn. “As long as the beat stays, or until the piper I must pay,” I commented. A gentle laugh echoed around me. I faced the source to find a glass surface. My twin of a different world smirked. My face was blank as my energy began to drain. The blanket of darkness beckoned. Act Two was on its way, and the show had just begun. I drop the acacia branch as I enter backstage. I mustn’t keep them waiting.