This week, Chuck has us clicking on a link where it gives us a his and hers option and whacks it together! A great thing! I love that! I got: 'He's a lonely Opera Singer who believes he can never love again... She's a devious Barbarian with the fear of the uknown.' And well, this is what I came up with. The theatre stuff, well, I used to work in a local theatre near my house... and like most theatres, The Butterbox Theatre is haunted.
Charles was depressed. He knew he was while he brushed on the translucent powder over his face to prevent him from sweating under the hot lights of the theatre.
A knock sounded at the door: “Two minutes!”
“Yep!” he called back. She had broken – shattered – his heart and he knew he’d never find love again. And yet, he had to work with her on the stage for the next three months.
Charles rose from his mirror, pulled the paper from around his collar and switched off the lights. It was time to get his ass to the Stage Manager’s side – where he was first to walk onto the stage to begin his singing.
Charles Montgomery was an Opera Singer.
As soon as he stepped out onto that stage, with the people surrounding him… the music rising up from the pit in front of him as though from the dungeons of Hell itself, conducted by Lucifer himself… as the little man at the dais stood just in front of the audience demanding his orchestra to pay attention and to keep up, work their asses off and play their best every single night… and he turned to Bethany herself as he held her fingertips gently in his hand as they had rehearsed so many times and they sang! Oh, they sang with such harmony – in harmony – that the audience who sat enthralled every night wouldn’t know that they despised each other in real life.
She had cheated on him with one of the extras within weeks of the tour of Australia and then, once they left Melbourne (which was a three month tour there), and his Sydney, Bethany had moved onto another ‘dude’ as though nothing really mattered to her – as though the two year relationship they had shared meant …
Charles was going to propose to Bethany at the closing night in New York City at the after-party. She didn’t know this – but he had planned it and everything.
Act Three was almost finished and they stood side by side, not touching each other. He despised being in her presence, and wished she had been sacked for being such a whore; but beggers can’t be choosers. The make-up woman came up and checked his face to make sure he hadn’t removed any of it from scratching his nose or forehead, then his hair was checked as well just as the doors were closed and the lights in the house were turned down for them to start.
At the last minute, the props guy came around, “Charles, I found another dagger online. It’s better-looking than the plastic one you’ve been using.”
“Okay.” He said swapping over the crappy-looking dagger for the gorgeously jeweled one, “Thanks Harry.”
As the music began, they stepped out into the light and began to sing. It was then, he saw her… the most beautiful woman he’d laid eyes on since Bethany. She sat in the middle of the third row. She was dressed so differently from everyone else and watched every single thing he did – which was the biggest turn-on for him.
By Act Four, Charles’ and Bethany played their parts right through to the bitter ending; where his character stabs Bethany’s and she staggers off the stage. As soon as she’s gone, the curtain falls as the music crescendos and a scream cuts the air.
This happens but … the scream seems a little too real and Charles turned to stage left to see Bethany fall as she spat out blood holding her stomach.
“Oh my god.” He said loud enough that Lucifer heard it.
“What?” he whispered up to him, but it’s too late as Charles raced off the stage before the curtain falls – before the creation of the what was supposed to happen did.
Security surrounded Bethany and pushed him off to one side as he watched her face and witness the one thing he had hoped he would never hope he’d ever see: the light of somebody’s life leave their eyes. Before long, his agent grabbed him, walking him to his dressing room, closing the door against anyone of the media.
As they turn around, the woman from the third row is in there, “I noticed you.”
“You’re not supposed to be in here.” His agent said, “Get out.”
“Charles Montgomery? Your dagger from the other performances was replaced just before this one, wasn’t it?” she said.
He looked up, “Yes.”
She looked around his room, “Normally, they’d return props to the dressing rooms when they swap them over, but the old dagger wasn’t returned here.”
His agent looked around quickly, “Well, Harry takes care of the props. If he thought it was right to replace it, he would have taken the old one back to storage.”
“But tonight is the last night for Sydney… it would have come back to my room to be packed away with my costume.” Charles said, “Which means that Harry either gave me a stage dagger which was faulty or he gave me a … oh… god… a real dagger.”
She sat in his chair at the dressing table, “We must find the other dagger to prove you’re innocent.”
His agent looked over at her, “She was asking for it… she was being a whore.”
“Don’t say that about her. Bethany was hurting… but we had to work together; and that’s something.” Charles said, “She broke my heart, and I’m still honouring my contract.”
“I guess.” He shrugged, “The police still have to talk to you.”
Dawn was breaking when the police had been and gone – after they talked to everyone. The woman stood there outside the stage door waiting for Charles, not knowing whether to stick around or to delve into the unknown world of the heart. She almost turned to leave when the door opened and Charles stepped out into the early morning coolness and looked at her.
“Hi.” She blushed, “I don’t know why I’m here. I’m terrified of commitment, of the unknown of what might be.”
“And yet, I think the knife was yours to begin with.” He walked to her.
“How did you know?”
He gestured to her calf scabbard, “You’re missing some equipment.”
Looking down, she shrugged, “How do you know I didn’t sell it?”
“But you did… online to Harry.”
She smiled, “I’m Bethany’s cousin… never liked her. And our clan had a mark on her for the last few years. It’s taken three of us to track her and I made sure to get the right knife to kill her.” She looked to her hands, “But now my work is done, there’s no future for me… not unless I make one – which is kind of scary.”
He put out his hand, “Let’s make a future together. I never thought I’d find another like Bethany in my life – and you’re scared to take a leap into the unknown magic of life itself.” He smiled, “I think we can help each other.” The door of the taxi opened that had been waiting for Charles and he let her in first. They knew they were just at the beginning; of what? Well, neither of them knew just yet.