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.]