Vince lay silently in the dark, staring at who knows what. He couldn’t see anything; it was so dark. It was thick and viscous and fluid. He could actually see it moving and swirling in front of him. When Vincent breathed in, it felt as though he was breathing darkness. It felt like molasses, or maybe he made it feel that way in his thoughts, and it tasted musty, dusty, and old. Dust filled his throat and he coughed. It was cramped, too. Claustrophobic and choking. He twisted his fingers on the floor beneath and felt the soft dust on his fingertips. Vince felt around for the flashlight that he brought down with him. When he felt the cold handle of the flashlight, his fingers immediately closed around it. Before he flicked it on, though, he listened for footsteps from above. When he was sure all was silent, Vince slowly flicked on the flashlight and the bright light flooded the small storage space. He got on his hands and knees, but he was still too tall and his head bumped the ceiling of the space. He crawled across the dusty floor until the light if his flashlight hit a trapdoor in the ceiling. When Vince reached up and pushed open the trapdoor, he knew it was unlocked because the staff had lost the key. He should know, because he was the one who lost the key, on purpose, of course. The trapdoor swung open and hit the stage floor above with a loud thump!
Vince winced at the loud noise as it echoed in his ears, but he carried on. He crawled out of the hole that was the cramped storage space and onto the glossy-floored stage. It was dark onstage, but it wasn’t pitch black. When he looked around, he wasn’t looking at a sea of endless thick darkness, it was more like looking through a black tinted window. Vince blinked a few times to adjust his eyes to the change of lighting. He waved his flashlight around, surveying the surrounding area. Vince was standing on a small stage and the curtains were drawn, giving the space a warm and cozy feel. He peeled back the velvet curtain a bit. The fabric was soft and the thin layer of dust collected on it made it softer. He stepped out to the front of the stage, and let the curtain fall back into place behind him. Scanning his flashlight across the room that was beyond the stage curtains, he illuminated white, rectangular tables draped with clean, gingham tablecloths. Wooden, white chairs accompanied the tables, just enough to seat parents and a few dozen children. The floor was black and white checkered, like a stereotypical 1950’s kitchen. Vince jumped off the stage and landed on his feet, his boots hitting the floor loudly.
Vince stalked around the tables, heading towards the doorway that led out of the room. His foot hit a chair and he stumbled. He grabbed on to the back of a nearby chair to stop his fall. He quietly swore under his breath. He regained balance on both feet. Vince’s toe throbbed wear he had hit it. He continued, his pace quicker this time. His heart was pounding, although he had done this a million times before, it felt a bit different this time. Vince reached the doorway in a view strides. The doorway led out into a dark hallway lined with several rooms. He peered out cautiously. He turned his head to look out into the other side of the hallway. When he did a bright light shone in his eyes. Vince’s eyes snapped shut, but he opened them again, just to see what was causing the light. Through the glare of the light, Vince saw a young man standing before him, pointing a flashlight directly at Vince’s face. The young man looked about college age with short, mousy blonde-brown hair. He was wearing a white shirt that tucked into his black pants with a black utility belt. A tie complimented his shirt along with two black pockets, one on each side of the tie. A name tag on the pocket said “Jeremy” and under his name said “Night Guard.” Jeremy was quivering, and Vince could clearly see the sweat on his palms as he constantly readjusted the flashlight that was slipping in his hands.
“Boo,” Vince said nonchalantly, taking the flashlight from Jeremy’s hands. Jeremy made a noise that was in between a whimper and a squeak. He resembled more of a mouse than a night guard.
Jeremy contorted his face into faked confidence that was so easy for Vince (or any other person, in fact) to see right through. “P-please leave the p-p-premises before I call the a-authorities,” said Jeremy, shakily. Vince could practically smell the fear coming of him.
Vince laughed in amusement. “Listen, kid. I got work to do and I did not hide underneath a stage just to be stopped by a mouse dressed up to go trick-or-treating.” Vince shoved past Jeremy, continuing down the dark hallway.
Jeremy hesitated before deciding to go after Vincent. “Stop!” Jeremy said. It sounded like he was trying to be forceful, but it just came out as another squeak that made Vince chuckle. “I-I’m warning you, s-sir!” He started to go after Vince, but before he could get any closer, Vince turned around and shone his flashlight in Jeremy’s eyes. Jeremy stopped in his tracks and shut his eyes tight, trying to shield the light with his hands.
“Let’s see how you like it,” Vince said. “Not so fun, huh?” He continued down the hallway, pointing his flashlight back into the dreaded darkness. “Now go back to whence ye came, or whatever,” he said, without looking back.
Jeremy sighed and turned around. He started walking the opposite direction of Vince, towards the security office. He stared at his feet the whole way, feeling like a disappointment. He was going to get fired for sure.
Love Can Be
Love can be:
A warm hand, grasping yours
A hug, protecting you.
A rainbow, varied and colorful.
Love is a family reunion
A best friend to lean on
It’s a story, a song, a place, a motion
It’s cold like heartbreak
It’s a train, moving on.
The color of a vibrant, ripe orange
Like a cool glass of mango juice on a hot day
Sounds like a summer pop song blasting through the speakers of a convertible in LA
Tastes like soft orange sorbet
And smells like bright spring flowers
Looks like sunshine
Feels like a fizzing orange soda on your tongue
It moves like the slow drip of a melting creamsicle in the sun
Two bright sunny colors clashing together.
To create a wonderful summer day.