Thursday, June 12, 2008

Water Jumping and Baby Penguins

[The night air is thick with dreadful anticipation. We know that Corn has been in a foul mood since we all arrived. It seems with each passing victim he gets more and more irritable. His features have changed, though subtle as it is.]

[We sit in our seats, hands and legs cuffed, chains linking ankles to wrists. We won't be going anywhere in the near future. We just hope to get out of this alive and not in the bellies of the Quelchers.]

[The stench of those who have died and been torn asunder lingers. The hot air intensifies the smell.]

[We look and we see him.]


[Claps hands. Lights flicker and then come on.]

[He stumbles, his steps not as sure as they were a few months earlier. What little hair he had had sticks up in tufts of blond and gray—alfalfa licks that dot his skull. The one unseeing eye sags and looks as if it will drop from its socket.]

Have you all been having a jolly good time?

[His smile drags across his face, exposing rotting teeth. He closes his lips and looks to be chewing. He spits out a brown tooth and it lands near the edge of the stage.]

Who's next? [Blood drips down his chin.]


[We watch as the spot light shines over the audience and comes to a stop in our balcony area. The man looks like he could have been a rough and gruff individual at one time. But, now he appears to be nothing more than a shell of himself.]

[He doesn't seem to notice as his head snaps back and the headlight beams shoot from his eyes and to the silver screen.]


This should be good.

[Corn cackles.]

[Claps hands. Lights go out. The show begins.]


He stands in water too deep for anyone to stand in. The water is clear and he can see his feet touching the bottom. Fish swim about his ankles.

"You can jump up and get out."

Two men appear near him. He grabs one by the arm and looks to the expanse of sky above them. They both squat in the water and then he stands quickly. Like a slingshot he propels the man out of the water and into the air. The man's legs seem impossibly too long but he manages to reach up and grab the sky, pulling himself from the ocean.

The second man looks at him, sakes his head and starts to back away.

"Your turn," he says.


"It's you or . . . this baby penguin."

The baby penguin appears, its small body in his hands.


"Okay, then the penguin it is."

He dunks the penguin in the water and then catapults him toward the sky, but it is no longer there. The sky is now the ceiling of a room. The penguin hits it and its body breaks, blood spattering from it on impact. It sprays down on the man . . .


[The film ends and we are breathless and our hearts ache for the baby penguin. What we think was just someone's dream makes matters worse when we see blood on us, on the floor around us. Even Corn has spots of crimson on his fading yellow suit and skin.}

[Screams fill the Theater and we look to the man who had dreamt such a nightmare. He is missing from his seat but we don't have to look far to see that he is plastered near the ceiling. Hooks that we don't think were there before, hold him suspended in the air. He sways back and forth and blood pours from him, spattering the Theater of Nightmares and its occupants.]

[Our collective screams continue.]



[Corn's throws his head back as he laughs]

Too much on your mind? Too much weighing you down? What is on your mind that holds you back? What change are you afraid to make?


[We watch in awe and fear as Corn's eye seems to grow stronger, the tissues around the socket firming and the eye no longer wobbling and appearing as if it would fall out.]

[Something in our collective brains clicks and we are suddenly aware of something that we can not speak but only think: the dreams, the nightmares are not only about us, but about Corn. What is it that weakens him or strengthens him? It is just out of our reach and frustration fills us.]

[He walks to the edge of the stage and picks up the brown tooth. He pops it in his mouth and laughs again.]

[Corn's rejuvenation scares us and our hearts sink, but we must hold on. . .]

Thursday, May 15, 2008

En Day Cowd Are Goon

[Darkness fills the room.]

[The man in the corner tosses and turns, his eyes closed, his body sweat-soaked, sheets on the floor. The yellowed skin is chalky, like damp dust in an old abandoned building.]

[He dreams.]


The floors are lit with runway lights. The stage is worn, dilapidated and on the verge of collapsing. Above it sits several cages, the doors open and its occupants long gone. Broken spotlights line the ceiling; the curtains are in tatters, shredded from top to bottom.

Beyond the stage, the aisles are lit with the same runway lights; the stadium seats are empty. Many of them are broken, leaning to one side or other or not there at all. Bones sit in other seats, the muscles of their bodies gone, leaving them as pick up sticks for someone else to clean up.

A lone piano sits near the stage. A tune plays and the man keying it looks rugged and old, his hair gone, his skin sagging, his eyes . . . his eyes missing.

He begins to sing, his voice soft and anguished but he can't hear his own words.

His head jerks up and he looks into the dark of the theater. The hissing comes from all around him. Words intermingle and he strains to hear them.

En day cowd are goon.
En day cowd are goon.

"No," he says and stands, but the piano continues to play. The hissing intensifies and he stares toward the seats. Shadows dance and voices speak.

En day cowd are goon.
En day cowd are goon.

Small red eyes appear in the dark. They move toward him and he backs away and onto the stage. He stumbles backward and sees the bones rising from their seats, their whispers blending with the other voices.

En day cowd are goon.
En day cowd are goon.

Hands reach for him and he screams . . .


[He sits up. Hands on head. Blood trickles from his nose. One eye is vacant, the other one intense.]

It's not over.

[He is angry and he stands from the bed.]

It's not over. Oh no. It's just beginning. . .

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Exploding Torpedoes and Dust Everywhere

[Dust hangs in the air. We've noticed it over the last several days. For some reason, the theater is not as clean as it was when we entered this place over eight weeks ago.]

[It has been silent for the last few days. Our meals arrive as normal and the trays are taken away by the shadowy hands of servants we can barely make out in the dark.]

[But, still, we can't help but wonder why there is dust swirling about whenever the spotlight comes on.]

[We listen as the footsteps echo through the building and we know he approaches.]


So, you think you are all smart?

[Clicks teeth. Taps hand on chin.]

I think some of you have gotten lucky. Not today. Someone . . . someone will pay today.


[The spotlight comes on and we watch as it centers on an older man, his skin sagging and body thin beneath the dark clothes he wears.]

[Without speaking, the man's head rises and he looks at the descending silver screen.]

[Corn snaps his finger and the dream projects from the man's eyes and we watch as . . .]


The boat speeds ahead on the open water. He steers it and his face is frantic.

The scene shifts and he is now flying in an old war plane, his eyes looking from the cockpit down toward the water. He sees the boat and the plane's nose dips. As the plane descends he presses a button on the control panel. A hatch opens and the bombs drop from the plane.

The scene shifts again and he is back in the boat looking over his shoulder. He sees the bombs and they are more like torpedoes now. They hit the water and skirt toward him. He gives the boat all she has but the torpedoes gain ground.

In desperation, he jumps from the boat and swims toward the oncoming torpedoes. He grows as they shrink. He tries to scoop them up in his arms but one gets away.

The explosion that ensues wipes away the dream . . .


[There is a scream, but it is not the man's. He is not in his seat and the person beside him is bleeding. The person on the other side is dead, her face missing, as is part of her torso.]

[The woman who is screaming is missing one arm and her skin is charred.]


Some dreams are quite literal. Too much for this gentleman to bear.

[Looks back to the screen, watches the remnants of the explosion fade.]

He could have overcome if he would have done something about that temper. Words can be so damning in anger.

[Snaps fingers and light dims.]

Quenchers. Clean up time.


[We hear their hisses and odd words as they move from the holes in the walls and floors and make their way to the dead woman. The other woman's crying ceases in a gurgle and, though we can't see what is happening, we know that the Quelchers didn't just take the dead body.]

[But, there is something else. A clue. We're not entirely sure Corn meant to give it to us but he did.]

[Some dreams are quite literal.]

[We ponder the thought as Corn leaves the stage for another week.]

[Our attention is diverted as the Quelchers finish eating and slink back to their holes.]

[Something else catches our attention. The man in the back row who stayed when he could have left, stands and makes his way down the center aisle. He hops up onto the stage and though we can't hear his foot falls we know he is walking toward the cage the woman hangs in.]

[His words are soft and we can only assume he is talking to the children.]

She will be free soon.

[Then he is whispering and we hear no more.]

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Shattered Windows, Vampires and He Who Stayed

There are children . . . four of them.

[Her voice catches us by surprise. We look down to the dark stage. Though no lights are on, we can still see the outline of the cage and the silhouette of the girl. Beneath the cage sits the children.]

[We count them.]

[There are four. The oldest is under ten and she holds the youngest—an infant girl—in her arms. The middle two are boys.]

I am obligated to these children . . .

[We turn our heads toward the other end of the stage.]


[Click clack. Click clack. Click clack.]

She speaks words of wisdom.

[Head whips from side to side. Voice deepens to a growl.]



[We are startled by the change in Corn's voice; at how he snaps his head from side to side as if . . he were talking to someone who is not there.]


But, she is right.



[The anger erupts from Corn's mouth and if he were any closer to the audience we would fear for those nearest him.]

[We watch as his shadowed form approaches the cage.]


[Snaps fingers. Lights come on.]

[The cage has been lowered. He peers into the girl's eyes. She does not cower away.]

What else?

[His voice is a growl. Spittle flies from his lips.]


[His face softens slightly and he looks to his left.]

Give her a moment.

{Brows crease. Anger flares in his eyes and he cocks his head to the right.]



[For the first time in weeks, our hearts give a collective leap. Something has soured for Corn and he appears to be falling apart.]

[One of us whispers into another's ear. That one follows suit, whispering to another and then another and another. The statement reaches each of us and we are both joyous and terrified at the same time.]

He is arguing with himself. He is a dual personality.

[It is a trait we had not seen up to this moment and we are not sure if it is good or bad.]

[Murmurings fill our ranks. What if's enter our souls.]


The children need me. That is why we can't get married yet.

[Tears streak down her face and her voice is but a whisper.]



[Corn slams his fist onto the stage flooring. The tile cracks and splinters, sinking in an inch or two.]

[He turns from her. Points to the cage opposite her.]

He didn't figure it out in time. Will you?


[We look to where the man had once been. In his place is the pulpy remains of flesh and bones. We see one eye dangling down and through one of the bars of the cage. A dried pool of blood sits beneath it. In the pool is what looks like the man's scalp.]


[Turning. Searching.]

[Corn stomps off the stage and drops into the audience. His anger is visible.]


[Points. Sneers. Lone eye dances with anticipation.]

You're next.

[Snaps fingers. Lights dim. Silver screen drops from the rafters, hiding the cages and the children beneath the girl.]

[The man's eyes snap open. They are not vacant like most of Corn's victims. They hold a contempt in them.]

Let's see you make it out of here alive.

[The nightmare pours from his eyes and onto the screen.]


He is in an abandoned cafeteria. The building is dusty and the walls are made of glass allowing them to see their surroundings outside the cafeteria.

Around him are children and he is one of them—the oldest in the bunch. They all have dark hair and appear to be frail.

They are scared.

"He's coming," one little boy says. They begin searching but none of them leave the cafeteria. Fear oozes from their pores and the outside world feels dangerous.

A dilapidated car drives by, its black exterior flaking away; wheels dusty, windows missing.

He leaves the building and walks to the car. As he looks in he sees the one they fear. The man is not more than a boy himself. Eyes dark, hair the same; skin painfully pale; lips void of color; clothes tattered.

He reaches in and shakes the man's hand. The hand is rough and he pulls it away. The man speaks but he is backing away toward the building. The words are lost to him.

The car drives off and he runs back into the cafeteria.

As he enters, night falls around them. He huddles the kids in the center of the cafeteria. The fear is thick and they all look around.

The man comes back, walking this time. With him, he brings hundreds of others like him. Pale, dark haired, dark skinned, tattered clothes, lifeless eyes. They shatter the windows of the building but never enter.

"We've not invited them in," someone says.

Though they are safe from the vampires, they still huddle in the center of the room, too fearful of what would happen if one of them left their group.

The man and his people leave as the sun rises.

"He'll be back," the little boy says.


Vampires? Broken windows? Night? You're a work of art, young man.

[Corn giggles. Strokes chin.]

You have issues.

[Grin widens.]

What is your problem? Why is your nightmare significant to you?


[His head hangs down on his chest as Corn taunts him. Off to the side we hear the Quelchers howling and moaning. We can feel their hunger in the electric air of the theater.]

[He turns his eyes to Corn. They are not void of emotion and understanding.]

[Corn steps back, scowl on his face.]


You think you know the answer, don't you?


[Man smiles.]

Unfulfilled dreams. Goals never met . . . There are obstacles in my way.


What else?

[Corn whispers.]

[He whips his head to the left as if staring at someone.]



I said shut-up.

[His own hand slaps him across the left side of his cheek.]


[There is a slight screech of pain as Corn slaps himself.]

[We wonder if the dual personality is the one who cried out in pain or if it were Corn himself.]

[At any rate, the other voice goes silent.]


I'm my own enemy.

[The shackles on his ankles snap.]

I'm too abrasive with people and I need to be gentle, to address people in a different way.

[The cuffs on each wrists snap open, releasing his arms.]

I've ignored things about me for too long and they need to be addressed.

[His skin changes from pail to tan, his eyes turn blue, his lips flush pink. His clothes remain dark.]

I have a lot of things that I need to address, to change about me if I am to be happy.



[Corn staggers backward.]

You people are catching on too easily.


[We watch as the theater doors open again and light washes the dark aisles and the remaining audience members. The people are like flowers as they crane their necks toward the light, attempting to get just a touch of the sun's rays on their pale skin.]



[Points to door. Eyes squint against the bright sunlight.]


[The man stands and walks up the aisle.]

[We watch as he reaches the door and looks back. We follow his gaze to Corn, who is limping away, toward the stage.]

[The man slips into a seat in the back row and the doors close as if he had left the theater.]

[We are curious as to why he stayed, but none of us breathe whispers to each other for fear he would be noticed.]

[Darkness envelopes us and Corn stomps away. He yells in anger as he leaves the area, exiting stage right. It echoes in our ears.]

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

No Woods For the Crashing Heart

Come now, what do we have here?

[Eyes narrow, smile widens.]

This one should be quite fun.


[We barely have enough time to adjust in our seats before Corn is stroking his chin, eyes on the young girl near the very back row.]

[Tiny and gaunt. She looks barely old enough to tie her shoes but we all know—or think we know—that she is older than her appearance. At this point, we are not sure what is real and what is false around here.]

[The nightmares continue on. The whispers and howls echo off the walls and ceiling. The quelchers hiss and hum. Waiting. Hungry.]


[Pushing through the people in their seats. He pulls one up and pushes him into the center aisle.]

You can have him.


[The man stumbles and falls. Hands out in front, catching himself. Blood prickles on his palms from the hard floor.]

[We watch the quelchers dash from their hiding spots and tear at the man. His screams pierce our ears and we cover them in hopes of drowning him out. Clothes and skin fall away, blood splatters the floor, seats and dazed audience members.]

[The screams end quickly and blood spills from a gash in his throat. His mouth works up and down, his eyes bulge. Then he is gone, dragged from the aisle toward the many holes in the walls. We see an arm disappear in one and look away. We assume the rest of him has gone the way of the holes as well.]

[Several of our members vomit.]



[He looks to the feeding quelchers. Face turns to sneer.]

Don't play with your food.

[Eyes back at the young woman.]

Do you ever feel you have no control over anything, Missy?


[Her head snaps up and the lights beam from her eyes. The story plays out before us. Black and white pictures dance along the silver screen.]


She sits on the porch of an old house. Next to her sits a young man, his eyes on her and then they both are looking past yard and across an old worn out street to an ancient field of stumps and shrubs. Beyond the field is a tall woods, its trees close together, forming a wall.

They both look up to the helicopter flying over head. Moments later, police pull up in their cruisers. People pour out of the cars and into the fields, flashlights swooping the grounds.

A plane flies overhead. Its engine sputters and then it nosedives into the trees. People yell and run for the trees and then they are gone.

A hot air balloon flies over the house and field. As it gets over the woods it descends, the balloon flapping in the wind. It disappears among the trees.

The police arrive again. Like before, people file out of the cars—too many to fit in the handful of cruisers. They search the field and woods, calling out, but not heard.

The people disappear in to the woods . . .


[Her eyes close on their own and the movie suddenly ends. Her skin is soaked with sweat and she breathes hard.]

[We watch on as Corn glares at her, the sneer on his lips one of pure joy.]


[Opens mouth to speak, but stops when girl speaks.]


We are to be married. But, something is wrong. Something . . . else is in control . . .


[We watch as Corn's face contorts. Blood spills from his rotting eye and he growls.]


[The girl smiles.]



There is more.

[A tear streaks from one of her eyes.]

I'm not sure what it is but I can feel it; I can see it.



[He stands and stomps up the aisle toward the stage. His hand smashes the back of one lady's head. Her neck snaps and the quelchers howl.]

[They start from their holes.]

[He turns to them.]

Leave the dead where she lay.

[Snaps fingers and all is dark. Snaps fingers and the lights are back.]


[The girl is gone from her seat. She sits in another of those cages, similar to the man with the shattered teeth. No quelchers below her. Instead there are children. They sit, heads turned, eyes dark, hair disheveled, faces sad.]

Can you figure it out?

[Corn asks as he lifts one child from her seat.]

Figure it out and you all go free. If you don't, then you all . . .

[He points to the wall, to the many eyes peering out of them. Blood smears the edges of the holes.]


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Fairy Teeth and the One That Got Away

[The harsh steel on steel creaking grates on our nerves. We look from our seats. Down below us a cage hangs at center stage. The young man entrapped in it sits on his haunches. Eyes distant, hair disheveled.]

[Quelchers surround the cage. Drool slipping from their mouths, spattering the floor. Hungry eyes gawk at him. Groping fingers outstretched, touching the steel bars, trying to get to him.]

[But he sits on the floor in the center of the cage, keeping them from reaching him from the bottom.]

[Someone gags behind us when they see what he is doing. A moment passes and there is vomiting. The smell pierces our senses and our collective eyes water. If not because of the odor, then because of the sight before us.]

[The man babbles words we can't understand. We think that is because every couple of minutes he raises his arm to his mouth and pulls off a piece of flesh. He chews it, swallows it, babbles and tears off more, repeating the process.]

[Several of the Quelchers lap at the blood splattered onto the floor and each other.]


The mind is a terrible thing to lose.

[Steps from the shadows. Patch over the dying eye. Other eye ablaze in intensity.]

Once lost, it can be so hard to find.

[Waves hand. Quelchers disperse, growling as they go.]

[Snaps fingers. Cage lowers.]

You haven't figured it out, have you?


[The man looks up. Blood drips from his chin; a piece of flesh dangles from his half open mouth. He cocks his head to one side.]

[Corn reaches in, a yellowed finger stretching toward him.]

[The man snaps out, his remaining teeth clattering together. One of them cracks, crumbles. He spits it out and across the cage.]

[Corn smiles.]


I think we'll leave you there a little longer.

[Turns. Snaps fingers. Cage ascends.]

Who's next?


[We are reminded of a roulette wheel without the tick-ticking of the pegs as it spends, as the spot light searches across the audience. It glances by sallow faces, distant eyes, before settling on a young woman. At one time, she may have been beautiful, but her features betray any attractiveness she may have had.]

[Her eyes do not blink with the glare of the light; her head does not move. There is little to suggest she is still among the living; her breathing is shallow and other than that we might think she was dead.]

[Corn stands at center stage. He says nothing. Only looks on, as do we. His wicked smile falters slightly, but not enough for those in the audience to tell. But, we saw it.]

Roll it.

[The lights die, the film rolls, the woman's head jerks up to the screen . . .]


She is a child, her hair golden, her cheeks pink. She is still innocent of the world's evils and charms. She lies in her bed, pink blanket pulled to her chest and tucked underneath her arms. Her eyes flutter, then open, exposing their brilliant blue.

Except for the night light in the corner, the room is dark. She sits up and lifts her pillow. There are two quarters lying there. A broad smile stretches her face as she stares at the shiny coins.

Her attention is drawn from the coins and toward her closet, slightly ajar. It had been closed a moment earlier. She stands, her heart crashing in her chest. She opens the closet and sees the small creature running through a hole. Reaching out she grabs hold of one of its legs and is pulled through the hole.

In the bright light of the new world she sees the creature running, its feet kicking up dust behind it. She follows.

It runs into a building, the door left open. As she enters she sees them—thousands, millions of heads on pedestals. She almost screams but cups her hands over her mouth. For a moment, she thinks to run away, to try to get back home. Looking closer at the heads, she sees they are fake, their mouths open and many of them missing teeth. Few of them have full sets and most of them are missing at least a tooth or two.

Sounds of giggling feel her ears and she follows it down the hall and into another room. There stands the creature, its body hairless, its skin light blue; small useless wings protrude from between its shoulder blades; long white hair flows down its back; a tail juts out just above the tailbone.

There are more heads in this room, each of these belonging to children. None of them have full sets of teeth, but their mouths are open just like the ones in the main room.

The creature turns, showing her . . . her own face sitting on a pedestal. The tooth she had placed on the pillow sits in the lower gum line just above two other teeth and beside another one.

He smiles and reaches for her . . .


You are strong


[For the first time since coming here, since being drawn to this spectacle of pain and death, we can smile.]

[The woman's features have changed, her hair blonde, cheeks rosy, eyes blue. Her clothes are no longer dark, her figure no longer wilting away like everyone else's]

[The chains around her wrists and ankles have been broken and lie upon the floor.]


[Scowls. Lone eye glaring.]

[Moments pass. His face softens. Sharp teeth protrude from smiling lips.]

You knew, didn't you?


[She nods at Corn's question.]


What does it mean?


[Her lips part and she speaks, her voice golden and loud in the silent theater.]

I am strong and confident. I meet things head on and don't shy away from them. I am careful with my choices and wise beyond my years.

I am everything you are not.


[Laughter. It echoes through the auditorium.]

Everything I am not? Very witty of you. You have passed. You have done what others could not. You may go.


[She stands. Every head in the theater cranes toward her. Corn does not move.]

[The double doors at the end of the center aisle opens, emitting light from an outside world we have not seen in a long while. Dust motes hang in the air, caught in the beams of light. We long to run toward it, to escape.]

[She leaves her seat and pushes by the zombie-like people around her. The Quelchers peek from their holes in the walls and wail as she walks through the exit.]

[The doors close with a loud clang and we are casts in the dark again.]


One is the loneliest number. Will anyone else find their way?

[He laughs. It echoes. We cringe.]

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Funeral of the Bloodied Eyes

[We have leave our perch in the rafters for a more comfortable seating arrangement. The balcony seats are free and from their position we can close our eyes or duck away if needed.]

[We still are not sure about the madman on the stage, his frantic eyes—even the dead one appears frantic to us—scouring the audience, picking them out one by one and feasting on their dreams, their nightmares.]

[The stage has been dark for quite some time. We occasionally here a cry of pain or fear and that horrible whispering but we have no clue where Corn is. We sense him among us, but that is all.]


And we move on.


[We jump at the sound of his voice.]

[A brilliant orange light appears to the right of center stage. The man from the last show sits in his cage. The bottom is flat, bars all around. A bird cage. Blood lines the floor, face white, lips swollen, eyes vacant. Two teeth lie in front of him.]

[Quelchers—four of them—stand near the dangling cage. One on each side. They whisper still.]]


Ulnet tobe clands

Ulnet tobe clands

Ulnet tobe clands


[Snaps fingers. Light fades. Another one focuses on another man in the front row.]

There’s a fine line between reality and dreams. An even finer line between reality and nightmares.

[Snaps fingers. All is dark again.]


[We here the clop-clop of shoes on the floor, followed by a loud thump. We flinch. Some of us scream. Our hearts race in anticipation and fear.]

Roll it!

[His voice booms in the theater, echoing off the walls.]

[The silver screen lights up and we gaze at the man whose story is to be told. His eyes are alight and we watch as the images pour from him and onto the screen.]


He stands in the center of a large church, hair combed, blue suit and striped tie. He looks around the room, his hazel eyes taking in the scene before him. The church’s red carpet and light tan walls offer stark contrasts to each other. Each pew is packed with black men, women and children, all of them dressed in their Sunday bests.

It takes him a minute to realize he is standing but there are no seats remaining for him to sit in. He looks around, trying to find somewhere to go, to get out of the pristine aisle that ran up the center of the church.

A giant of a man stood at the pulpit. His arms waved wildly as he talked, his afro bounced with each movement.

To the right of the pulpit sat the ivory casket. The man inside had broad shoulders and wore a blue pinstriped suit. His hair framed his head in curls and oil.

The man’s breath catches in his throat when the preacher points at him and then to the dead man.

He looks to the coffin to see the dead man rising up. A long black hand stretches out from the coffin, pointing toward him. The dead man lies back down and then looks up again. He shakes his head. An eyeball burst from the socket and dangles by his cheekbone. His face crumples and then implodes.

Screams fill the sanctuary . . .


[The only audible sounds during the nightmare are the popping eyeball and the screams that follow. Now, as we sit, our hands over our eyes, we realize we are the ones screaming.]

[So real. So very real.]


I knew this one would be bad.

[Snaps fingers. Light appears on him. He scratches his head, frowns. Then chuckles.]


[We watch as Corn leaps from the stage and into the aisle in front of the first row. His shoes send a resounding clack into the air that reverberates off the walls.]

[The man sits in the seat, his head lulled back, one arm dangling between his legs, the other one on his stomach. From our spot in the balcony we can barely make out the color of red on his ivory skin. But it is obvious as to what it is.]

[Corn reaches down and grabs him by his scalp.]

[We scream.]


[Shakes head.]

Too bad.

[Lets man’s head drop, lulling on its neck.]

Sometimes, you have to let go. You have to face things that aren’t right in your life. You have to be willing to make a change.

[Turns to the stage and then back to the audience.]

A hard heart is the hardest thing to break. It’s like a bad habit.


[The Quelchers slink from their holes and toward the front of the theater. They stand before Corn, their eyes on the body, their tongues dripping wet from open mouths.]


[The light snaps off as the Quelchers advance to the body.]

[We cringe at the sounds of flesh rinding from bone. Slurps and growls and chewing.]


Let it go. Sometimes, you have to just let it go . . .