“Okay,” Scott the director said. “If you two are ready we’ll start the read through now.”
I stared at the pages in my hand. This was the first time I’d auditioned with this company and clearly they did things differently from others I’d worked with. “What is this play?” I asked. “There’s no title, no author.” I skimmed down the lines before adding “and these pages don’t give me any idea what the play is about.”
“It’s something new,” Scott replied. “First time author and a recently finished play. I would have been shocked if you’d recognised it.”
I’d only met Scott ten minutes earlier, when I walked into the rehearsal room. Two minutes later I’d been introduced to Peter, the man sitting next to me, although I couldn’t help feeling I’d seen him before somewhere. It wasn’t just the play confusing me either. Why had I been told to take my shoes off when Peter was still wearing his?
I glanced at the phone on the floor in front of me, silently cursing the impossible timing of this impromptu rehearsal. I couldn’t miss the message. Over the past eight weeks I’d been receiving mysterious but alluring texts from an unknown number. When the first one arrived, my initial instinct had been to delete it and block the sender.In the end I’d saved it without replying. I just didn’t have it in me to delete a text saying: *I’ve been watching you. One day we’ll share a kiss…and more.*
My silence hadn’t deterred whomever the sender was. The texts had kept on coming, each subsequent one more alluring than those I’d seen before, as if the person behind them knew how lonely I was, how much I craved attention.
*Two o’clock, Market Hall auditions. The veil will be lifted.*The words of that last texthad sent excitement coursing through my veins. My mysterious sender had coxed all my secret dreams and desires out of me over time, rewarding me with words describing how he—I assumed it was a ‘he’—would make those wishes come true.
“Very good so far,” Scott interrupted us once we’d gone through the first page of what appeared to be a budding romance between two men, except there was a dark edge to everything we’d read so far. “I like the fear in your voice, Josh,” he said to me. “Even without knowing the full story, you’re getting the tone just right.” His words made me glow inside.
“It was easy,” Peter read. “He was so desperate for attention I didn’t even have to try.”
I stared at the page, expecting to see my character’s name in front of the next line but finding a different one instead.
“Desperation will do that,” Scott’s voice speaking the next line took me by surprise.
My phone vibrated on the floor next to my feet and I reached forward to glance at the screen and read the message, only half-listening to Scott continuing his lines, barely aware of him slowly walking towards me and circling my chair.
“It just takes finding the right subject. There’s so many lonely people out there who’ll do just about anything to end their isolation.” Too busy fiddling with my phone, I noticed but ignored the tone of his voice changing from engaging to threatening.
*Got you* I read on my screen moments before something was pulled over my head and my world went dark.
“That’s how you get them.” Scott’s voice was the last thing I heard before a needle broke my skin and I lost consciousness.
Yes, I moved over to the dark side again. Considering the book I finished reading today that is hardly surprising though.
As always other—and possibly happier—stories based on the same picture can be found in the Monday Flash Fics Facebook group. Please join us there. The more the merrier.