“And if the sun were so bold as to lay down his arms and be cradled in her own, together they would cycle forever but never touch.”-Four-Part Moon Cycles
She was the one who made photocopies of flyers and carried rainbow-striped umbrellas. She played trumpet in the streets and flew like a phoenix darting over the shadows. She would toss pennies into fountains and dance in the rain. I was the one who stood back and painted on printer paper, the watercolor running arcs across the shadows.
We must’ve watched it at least twenty times, resting our foreheads against the sinewy, dew-heavy window. Sometimes we watched it from the reflection of the window, other times almost sinking into the old tv screen. At each triumph, we clapped, each sorrow we mourned, but the reactions were always the same. Actors leaped across the stage, becoming one and two people at once. Bravery.
I’ve always wondered what it would look like, bounding into the tv screen to join those characters in their bold lines, daunting personalities. Where there was such a thing as scripted illusions, scripted life.
“You came just about at the end-I can run it again if you want.” Karin’s box of microwaved popcorn was sliding down her pant leg, spilling popcorn all over her knees, but she didn’t seem to mind. The air was cold outside, and it was relief enough walking into the ‘museum’ to hear the film rolling.
“Nah, I’ve already watched ‘Four-Part Moon Cycles’ before.” Upon entering the ‘museum’, Karin had been blasting the reel over her boom box strapped under the driver’s seat of her camper. There were probably so many old records and mashed up Just Dance DVD’s smushed underneath that just the driver’s seat could be called ‘historic’; not to mention her stamp collection, microphones, old ‘80s costumes, and autographs from the famous ones.
“Are you ever going to let me into that brain of yours?”
“Just saying, you should have ‘the theatre museum’ open for business, like spray-painted on your camper. It could earn you some bucks.”
“No, thanks. I want to be earning big bucks up there.” Karin pointed to the poster of Four-Part Moon Cycles taped to the wall, eyeing the stage longingly. I brushed the popcorn off her lap, grabbing the box and trying to shove it inside the trash can.
Sighing, Karin looked down at her wheels, running a fingertip up along the sides and edges of her chair. The words wouldn’t come, and suddenly I wished I was brave for real, that the script didn’t need to come as a guide.
“Well...so do I! I’ll have the script of ‘Runaways’ tattooed on my heart if we could actually have a chance.” I grinned at the sound of Karin’s laugh. 90% chance she would laugh. I knew it. Near a 2% chance, she could actually live her dream.
I didn’t need the numbers to understand how hard it would be for me, too. What was I going to do after I majored in art and drama, and nobody would hire me-hire us?
“Did your music theory background get you into that program?” I inquired, hoping to get my mind off of the numbers. They wouldn’t stop churning like wads of melted butter in my brain, the gooey clumps suffocating me. 7% chance. 50% odds you will do this. And I didn’t even like math.
“Oh, yeah! I’m learning the broadway stuff now, Day!” She grabbed a remote and started singing into it, her voice blending the lyrics into honey-filled verses. “Together, we’ll fly away to a new world! Fly away to a mended woooorld!”
I joined in, grabbing a brush and losing myself, time and time and time again. If only it could be like this forever, the Daysha and Karin show all night and all day. But my voice was too screechy, and Karin stuck her tongue out at me, trying to stifle her laughter. If I looked very closely, I could see traces of her reflection in each dewdrop on the window. Maybe I should’ve warmed up my voice, today.
The foggy and muggy days were the best, where I could shake the trees and light rain would drizzle me with droplets, and I’d want to belt out the boogie right then and there, swing my hips and nobody would be watching. It was a sanctuary; when nobody was watching, and the fog would be that eerie scene where mystery lurked in the shadows.
“You think we should join them-at Muse?” I didn’t know where it came from, the knife which slashed through the fog, leaving only me and my wide hips and square shoulders and unattractive, overweight reflection in the collected droplets.
“Muse? Why...why now?”
“So, you don’t know then I presume, about the protest sit-in thing going on with...you know, people like us?” Karin motioned to her wheelchair and partially sagged into it.
She was the one who made photocopies of flyers and carried rainbow-striped umbrellas. She played trumpet in the streets and flew like a phoenix darting over the shadows. She would toss pennies into fountains and dance in the rain. I was the one who stood back and painted on printer paper, the heavy acrylic making an arc over the sky. If only I could paint myself a new world, a new look, a new life…
“You yourself said that you would do the impossible to get onstage, and that’s all you have to say for yourself?”
The rain started again, and I remembered the soggy mess my socks had become. Can you try it again? Can you dance in it, again?
“I don’t know...it’ll just make us weirder.” I didn’t tell her the truth-that nobody would actually give a second thought. Actors acted in a certain way, looked a certain way. Maybe that was why I liked it, being molded into someone else.
“You sound like them, Day. Listen to yourself.” Maybe, in a cyan sky world where the clouds rinsed out the impurities, there would be rainbow-striped umbrellas and fizzy drinks at every store. But the clouds were gray and so was the sleet soaked sky, the ink dribbling down from them like the words and ideas Karin and I shared.
“Nevermind about that. Say-um, Karin, what time is the appointment?”
“Sometime around noon. You can stay here if you’d like, but I’ll be going with the other people. There will be boys…maybe handsome boys...” Karin teased mockingly, and I smiled.
“I’m sure the boys won’t miss me, and neither will those Muse auditioners. It won’t be dangerous, right? I wouldn’t want you getting yourself hurt.” Karin wrinkled her nose and rolled her eyes playfully, pausing for a moment to look out the slanted window.
“This is for the future. For our future, Daysha, and for their future. Why can’t people who look like us, who have chairs like me-have a chance onstage?” I would love to be the molder of the clay, the shaper of the play, but I didn’t tell Karin. Our hearts were onstage with the others. “The sit-in won’t be dangerous. It’s just on the steps, you know with signs and stuff. You could think of it as revenge…”
Revenge. I wasn’t expecting much last year at the Revolving Spring auditions. Man, those people could sing, and sing the tornado of stars to rise from their slumbers. I was surprised they didn’t mistake me to be the janitor. Revenge. After all, I was their plastic bag. They threw it away millions of times, threw me away, and it will never decompose.
“How about we watch Lilting Sun again.” I offered, heading back towards the mini-kitchen in the back to sift through the compact discs. They were as old as the original records, or maybe new old versions.
“Sure. Hey, I’ll be back soon Day. It’s starting in a few minutes.” A series of beeps erupted from her phone, and I forced myself to give her a nonchalant smile.
“Good luck then.”
“Yeah.” We were wordless and deprived of the void we could hide in. I pushed the disc of Lilting Sun inside the port, struggling to find the right words, but Karin was gone, lost to the speckled, rainy sky.
I looked up directions to Muse, even though I already had the directions to the performing arts theatre memorized thirteen times over. Sometimes, I wished I was a chameleon, a small lizard, blending into the cracks where nobody would think to look. What did Karin call it? A sit-in. Even though they weren't going to be sitting at some restaurant.
I should've been thinking about the screencast, about Marley and Mauve and Lilting Sun, but instead, I found myself wondering how fast I could run to meet Karin for the protest. No, it would be too small to be a protest. The sit-in?
Words were complicated.
I put on my coat and I ran outside, almost slipping and sliding on the pavement, dashing and dodging through the sea of people, the ocean of rain streaming from the skies. I had forgotten to close the screencast.
Muse hadn't changed at all. When I was younger, I would press my face up to the glass and peer through the windows and I could see the stage. That was my home, that stage. I knew it from the beginning. Too bad they didn’t see it in me, the lights, the velvet curtains, the stage. It was there in place of my heart.
Karin saw me, half-running to where a small group of people stood, clustered against the wind and cold, holding up signs and trying to shout, their voices getting louder. She ran, wrapping me into a tight hug.
“Not really. Do you think...do you think this can make a difference?”
We stared at each other, then at the looming theatre building, where more people began hollering over the wind. Sooner or later, the security would open the doors and try to shoo us out, but that wouldn’t drive us away. We were the people who built doors and left them open for others to walk through; we were the dancers and actors and future leaders; we were meant for the stage.
You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.
Hey! I just wanted to say, thank you so much for following me! Your follow means the world to me!
Hey, I'll help you write a story. Send me a Google Doc!
Okay, so this story was weird. I went with my heart this time and decided that for my fortieth story, I would do something different than my original writing style. I don't really know how to feel about it though. Usually, I write on paper first and then type it out, but this time I just typed it out first...and the process was much smoother, so I may do that again. So, yeah! 40 stories: this weird one. :P
Shout out writer ✨Cookie Carla https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/cookie-carla/ ✨Cherri Joanna https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/cherri-joanna/ Shout out story 🧨By Frances https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/contests/80/submissions/54265/ These are this weeks writers and story, in you free time please check them out.
Awesome! Thanks for the links! They're all great authors
New story out would love your feedback on it.
Sure! I'll read it tomorrow for sure :) Sorry for the late reply
The girl even at the beginning I used to write on paper and then type it with each glance on my notebook. I know directly typing is way smoother but it doesn't give the feel of writing. Right? Coming to your story yes your story was way off at the beginning but it caught its attention in the middle. I haven't read your stories before to understand the difference between your writing style. But I loved this one too. Your idea was unique and good. Congo on your 40 stories. Keep writing.
Thank you so much! If you had the time, I would love to understand what was off in my story so I could fix it! Thanks again :)
I swear I can still see rainbow umbrellas piercing colours in the rain. I love what you did with character--Daysha and Karin have been cut out and are more than paper dolls. I'm still admiring what you did here: "Lilting Sun inside the port, struggling to find the right words, but but Karin was gone, lost to the speckled, rainy sky." The rolling transition between the two paragraphs are tipsy, like heavy rain. Love it.
Aw, thank you so much! That was actually a typo on my part, the part where the two paragraphs separated there...but I'm glad you liked it :P
Whoa, keep making typos then, haha. They come out brilliant. :)
Haha thanks :P
Hey, would you like to be the first one to read my new series? It's called Destiny. And this chance will probably disappear soon, as someone else will come along to be the first...
This was so good!!! I would like the dialogue to have more character in it, and maybe ease up on the passive voice, but this was an amazing story!!! Great job!!!
Thank you so much for the feedback!
:D No prob
Clever...and I want a sequel!
Thanks! And I was thinking this would be more of a standalone story, but maybe I'll think of doing a sequel :)
CONGRATS ON 40 STORIES WOOOO
Thank you so much!!