Staged | Teen Ink


July 12, 2013
By Schickster SILVER, Ithaca, New York
Schickster SILVER, Ithaca, New York
5 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain

A reverberation of stillness fills the space of the small, dark theater. It reaches out and clings to each tile and seat chair and aisle. A trail of cold follows the echo, seeping into the floor and the walls. Red is everywhere; faded red on the cushioned seats, silky red on the curtains, blood red on the floor, blood red on the murderer’s panting lips, blood red on the dead woman’s head.


Enter the tiny girl. She twirls faster and faster as she approaches the stage from a large wooden door, swinging and shedding nods of light down the aisle. The child conducts herself through a miniature reenactment of the performance she just saw. Dum, da dum. Dum, da dum. Her shoe squeaks as she twirls once more. Eyes closed, oblivious to the presence of the two statuesque humans, one alive and one not, both hiding behind a curtain and neither making a sound. Oblivious to the repulsive stench she would come across should she take another ten steps. Her childish hums don’t fit into the scene; the killer can hear them like nails on a chalkboard.

The man freezes, his blood chilled by the colder air and his cruel heart. In that instant, he can finally feel it; he can feel his heart punching the insides of his chest in a constant and agonizing rhythm, filling his whole body. Stop! Wait no, don’t stop, that wouldn’t be good. If only it really were made of stone, as silent as his rage had been. He looks down and realizes his hand is still shaking with that rage, clenched around the hammer. There’s a single fleck of blood floating on a white knuckle, gripping to his shaking flesh and staining it. He looks further down. Chopped blonde hair sticks together in clumps, petrified by drying gore. Some of it drips onto the man’s shoe. Don’t shake it off; it’ll make all of the floor boards creak. Don’t shake it off. Ignore the smell. Tears come to the man’s eyes, not out of emotion but out of sheer disgust for the increasingly powerful odor.

Dum, da dum. Dum, diddly dum. The pitter-patter of smaller shoes veers closer, slowing and speeding up at random, going back and forth in no particular rhythm. Dum dum dum dum diddly dee dum. Go away, little girl. Go far, far away. A single tear falls next to the man’s bloodied knuckle, producing a roaring splash in the murderer’s ears that is only just covered up by the sing-songy voice of the child.

“Mommy, I found my coat!”

The rapid pitter-patter of her feet aligns with the man’s heartbeat as she drags her coat out the door from where she came, with the brass buttons scraping along the floor, muffling the creaking of stiff shoes creeping back into darkness, shined to a red glow and heavy with the weight of a woman’s mind.

The theater is once again curtained by darkness, and a little girl with loud shoes and an over-sized pea coat runs away, violently smearing the back of her hand over her nose as she realizes she’s caught a whiff of something truly awful before catching up to her family. Diddly dee dum.

The author's comments:
I wrote this as a prologue to a much longer story I hope to write. It'll follow the little girl in this story as she grows up with a vague recollection of this scene and how it helps her close the cold case of the mystery woman's murder years after it happened.

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