You Found Me
To The Stage!
Dress rehearsals went exceptionally well, which I thought was a good thing, but it seems to have made Katie an even bigger nervous wreck. She sits next to me in the seating area of the auditorium, biting on her cuticles and looking at the stage with wide eyes.
"Hey, what's wrong?" I softly ask, resting my arm around her shoulders, "Dress rehearsals went well. Shouldn't that boost your confidence?"
"You would think, but the old superstition says a bad dress rehearsal means a great opening night," She replies in a whisper.
"And with that logic, shouldn't a good dress rehearsal mean a perfect opening night?" I press, taking notice of the goosebumps forming along the bare skin of her arms. Sighing, I remove my jacket and place it over her.
"I don't know," She murmurs, looking down at her lap, as she pulls my jacket closed around her and leans into me, resting her head on my shoulder.
The auditorium begins to fill up around us, as nicely dressed students come out and sit in strategic areas. They stand out, but make an attempt at blending in regardless.
"I never should have let Bunny talk me into this," Katie grumbles, "I'm a music student, not a theater kid."
"This is music when you really get down to it. Look at the shows Black Veil Brides and your brothers put on. It's not just music, there's a lot of theatrics behind it," I offer, trying to encourage her, "Hell, look at Andy when he's on the stage."
She releases a quiet snigger at this and replies, "Yeah. He's not only all over the place, but some of the moves he does...you're right. If I want BFFT to go anywhere, I have to get used to this."
Katie looks up at the stage again, taking a couple deep breaths as she sits up and then looks over at me. I spot a new spark in her eyes, as she smiles up at me and I know she's going to be great.
"Exactly," I whisper, leaning closer to her, "Besides, how many times have you watched the movie? If anyone's got this, it's you. Not to mention, I've got this and I meant what I said earlier."
I pat the script that sits on my lap, smiling down at her. Her smile widens in return as she looks at the script, then back up to me, and I add, "And I'll be sitting right here, front and center, with the rest of our wild posse."
An anxious looking Red catches my attention from just behind the curtain and motions for Katie to get backstage. I smirk, standing up and pulling Katie into my arms, as I whisper, "You're going to be great tonight, but right now it looks like you're being summoned."
As we pull away, she looks over to see Red, and wordlessly nods before facing me again. I give her a good luck kiss, then release her, and she tries to pass back my jacket. I shake my head, telling her to use it in the show somehow, then watch as she nods and walks up the stairs, behind the red, velvet curtain.
Just as I'm about to sit back down, the guys, Juliet, Katie's brothers and Alicia walk up to me. The majority of them hold beautiful bouquets of different colored flowers in their hands, then Alicia passes the one in her hands to me. She smiles and says, "For Micro, after the show."
"Thanks," I reply, smiling at her and checking out the flowers. Katie's going to love these, "Did you pick them out?"
"I wish. Those were Juliet's find," She explains, taking her seat between Jinxx and me.
I sit back down, gently placing the beautiful bouquet of peach roses, sunflowers and blue irises beside me and resting the script on my lap again.
"So how'd dress rehearsal go?" Jayy asks, as he sits on my other side.
"Went really well," I answer, "You guys actually just missed Katie."
"No, we didn't," Dahvie retorts with a smirk, "We were purposely waiting for her to go backstage. We didn't want to spoil the surprise."
"Surprise?" I inquire, not really sure what they're referring to, "You mean the flowers?"
"Well, that's part of it," Jayy says, "The other part is one of her favorite uncles got back from tour a little early and came to see the show."
"You mean Jeffrey's here?" I press, just as the bubblegum pink haired man comes into view. He smirks at me, putting his finger to his lips to silently shush me, then taking a seat behind Dahvie and Jayy.
Before he sits, he pulls on a long, brunette wig, sunglasses and a dark, faux fur coat. He smirks and I know exactly what he's up to. He smirks at me, then leans forward and says, "Alright, now you may speak."
"Ugh, Katie's gonna flip," I groan through a chuckle, shaking my head and bit, "Good thing you brought that disguise with you."
"Well, can't ruin the surprise prematurely, and we all know he stands out in a crowd," Jayy adds, then turns to Jeffrey and asks, "Did you get the thing?"
"Did I get the thing? Who do you think I am? Of course, I did," Jeffrey quips, producing a rainbow quartz crystal tiara from his bag and passing it up to us, "And I got the other one in here too, but Ashley's not allowed to see that one. At least not for another 14 months."
"Good. I owe you," Jayy replies, passing it back to him.
"No, you don't. As her favorite uncle, it's my job to spoil her rotten," Jeffrey states, taking the tiara and gently placing it back in his bag as the lights begin to slowly dim and the auditorium falls silent.
A white projector screen lowers over the curtains, playing the comic strip from the beginning of the movie. Once it's over, the screen is lifted, and five women dressed in black dresses and veils appear on the side sections of the stage. White smoke floods the stage and the curtains separate a bit. A blue light illuminates it as a pale man steps out.
He smirks at the crowd as he dramatically recites, "Out from the night - from the Mist - steps a figure. No one really knows his name for sure. He stands at 6 foot 6, Head and Shoulders. Pray he never comes knocking at your door. Saying that you once bought a heart or new corneas, but somehow never managed to square away your debts? He won't bother to write or to phone you, he'll just rip the still-beating heart from your chest!"
The women harmonize, singing, "Repo man! Repo man!"
"Now you could run, you could hide, you could try to, but he always has a way of finding you. He will come at your weakest hour, when no one is around who might rescue you," he states, then the women repeat their harmonized part again. Once they're done, he crouches down and looks out into the audience as he adds, " and none of us are free from this horror, for many years ago we all fell in debt. New body parts for needed to perfect our image and until our debts are clear we will live in fear of the."
He trails off, as the women sing, repeating their line a few more times. The man walks off stage, then as the curtains open completely, the women fall away, to the backstage area.
A finely decorated office appears, with one of the guys from the auditions sitting behind a desk. Little is said in this part, but it's obvious he's not a happy man, despite his power.
The curtain falls for a moment, then rises to reveal Katie, wearing a gas mask and my jacket, carrying a prop torch. She walks through a tunnel, then through a door, the set spinning with her in it, to reveal her opening a hidden doorway. Resting the torch in a holder behind the door, she then walks through and the doorway closes. She walks to the far end of the room, sitting on a step and carefully removing the mask. She dumps the contents of her bag, opening a sandwich and a book, but then a blue light catches her eye. She pauses for a second, then grabs the other book and hastily flips through it.
How could she possibly be worried about fucking up? She's a natural on stage. Her movements are identical to the lead girl in the movie.
She opens the next door, looking back at the photograph on the wall, then she begins to sing as she walks out of the moving scene and its dragged off the stage, so only the outside door is shown.
"This will be quick. It's in my sight. I'll capture it. Then run back inside, and be back home in time!" She sings in a shaky voice.
The lighting on the stage changes to reveal a graveyard, and once she'scaught the blue light, she hides behind a gravestone. The pale man who started the show appears to be kneeling beside a body as he takes over singing. Katie watches him in horror while a female voice on an intercom system talks about something called Zydrate.
"Industrialisation has crippled the globe. Nature failed as technology spread. And from this wake a market erected. An entire city built on top of the dead! And you can Finance your bones and your kidneys. For every Market a sub Market grows. But best you be punctual with making your payments. Lest it be you on the concrete below," he softly sings, acting as if he barely notices her, until now. He holds up a glowing, blue vial as he sings, "It's quick! It's clean! It's pure! It could change your life, rest assured. It's the 21st century cure!" He then stands up and looks to the sky as he solemnly sings, "And it's my job, steal and rob, GRAVES!"
A warning about graverobbers comes over the speaker system, as she freaks out and runs back to the door, which has closed now and she bangs on it, screaming, "No! No! It's locked!"
"This way, kid!" The guy hisses, slamming the corpse into one of the walls on the other side of the stage. It breaks and he falls through, while Katie cautiously follows him and you hear him hiss, "Jackpot!"
This part of the set moves out to reveal a large room, filled with bodies, and I hear Jayy snigger beside me. Well, this is L.A....You never know what you're going to get.
The pale guy sings again, while Katie argues about needing to get home, "So why care for these petty obsessions? Your designer heart still beats with common blood! And what if you could have genetic perfection? Would you change who you are, if you could? 'Cause it's quick! It's clean! And it's pure! It could change your life, rest assured."
He stands to face her, the glowing vial in hand again, as he shouts, "It's the 21st century cure!"
"This cannot be happening!" Katie sings, in terror.
"And it's my job, to steal and rob GRAVES! GRAVES!" The pale guy shouts like a lunatic, while a military guy in black gear pulls her from the hole and pushes her down on the ground. They point prop guns at her, as another guy comes into frame, pushing them away, while she falls over, pretending to faint and the stage goes dark.
During the break, I look around at the others, who are thoroughly enjoying the musical. The scenes go by smoothly and quickly. Katie staying on top of her lines, even when chaos erupts on stage, like during Zydrate Anatomy or At The Opera Tonight.
Suddenly the auditorium explodes into chaos. Lights flashing on, confetti falling from the ceiling on the audience, women in sexy outfits everywhere and techno, rock music blasting. Actors and actresses using the entire auditorium as their stage.
One of the guys that came out at the start of the show to sit in with the audience, stands and shouts, "GeneCo helped me upgrade my second class heredity!"
Next a woman with dreadlocks holds up a glass of amber liquid and calls out, "My liver was wrecked, but now I can drink whatever I want!"
A guy in a fat suit freaks out as he stands and shouts, "Before GeneCo my anatomy was completely repressed!"
Then the guy in the silver wig, on stage, shouts out, "State. Your. Needs!"
The girls they call Genturns start rubbing against each other in a rather sexy way, and from the corner of my eye as I look up towards the ceiling, I see everyone in our group smirking and snickering at me.
"Having issues, are we?" Jayy teases, nudging my arm.
"Shut up," I grumble, as the scene settles down and a woman in a black fur coat sings, "I needed a kidney transplant desperately. GeneCo showed this single mom sympathy. This makeover came at a small added fee. Now I look smashing on live TV!"
I about choke when she opens the coat to reveal a skin colored body suit and a pair of silk, black panties. Well then. No wonder there were age restrictions on this play.
After things settle down, Aiden comes out on the barely lit set and gets beamed by Katie with a shovel. They gaze at each other and she drops the shovel with a clang. Just like during their auditions, they flow really well together. So well, in fact, it makes me feel uncomfortable. At the end of the song she runs off the stage, then the projector screen falls while the curtains close behind it. It plays another part of the movie, then disappears.
From behind the curtain we hear a conversation. "You've exceeded all my plans," The business owner, Rottie, sings.
The murderous son sings out of key, "More then you could say for Amber."
"More then I could say for you or your just as worthless brother," Rottie retorts.
"I just want to get my cure," Katie sings.
"And I promise to deliver," Rottie replies, softer this time.
Aiden can be heard saying, "Don't you lay a hand on her."
"Hold your tongue before an elder!" Rottie snaps.
"Touch her and I swear I'll kill you," Aiden growls.
"Bring it on you cheap imposter!" Rottie encourages as the curtains open and the stage lights up. He turns to face the crowd and sings, "Even though I'm terminally ill...dying you idiots," he hisses the last bit.
The sons sing, "Please don't say you're dying, father!"
"So I planned my perfect 10!" He sings, holding out his arms.
"A tail befitting any opera!" They sing, continuing to circle him.
"An ending only I could spin!" Rottie sings.
Aiden glowers up at him, kneeling on the blood soaked ground and hisses, "Ending you would be my pleasure!"
Katie backs away further from him as she sings, "I no longer trust you, dad."
"You can never trust a monster!" The sons sing, circling her now.
Rottie points to Aiden as he shouts, "And there's more beneath his mask!"
The sons wrap their arms around Katie, pulling her forward, singing, "Did you know he killed your mother?"
"What?" She breathes, looking shocked, while Aiden weakly sings over the sons, "It's was just an accident! Shilo believe me!"
"And that's not his greatest fib!" Rottie sings, pointing at him again.
Katie looks around and sings, "Someone tell me what is going on! Someone tell me what is going on!"
Again, chaos erupts on the stage as everyone sings over each other, but it fades with her singing, "Tell me! Tell me! Tell me!"
Rottie places an arm around her shoulders, pulling her closer, as he sings, "May I introduce you to the man who made you sick! He's poisoned all your medicines."
Aiden breaks free from one of his captors, but gets blasted in the back with a stun baton. He groans in pain as he falls to the floor.
Katie suddenly looks sick and gasps out, "I can't breathe."
Rottie grabs her hands and says, "You've got to fight through it!"
"Someone please, please help my daughter," Aiden sings, looking out to the audience with tears in his eyes. Rottie and Katie exchange words in the background as she falls to the floor, and Aiden sings, "I've deceived the only one that matters. You need to know it's not your fault. It's me who failed you."
Rottie holds one of Katie's hands while he pulls a pill bottle from his pocket and calls out, "It's his medicine!"
Aiden sings, "It's my medicine!"
Katie looks at him in shock and weakly demands, "It's your medicine!?"
Aiden reaches out to her as he sings, "I'm the cause of all your sickness."
Aiden gets tazed again and grunts, just before Katie falls into the pool of blood, on the ground, pretending to faint as the lights go out. An audio track plays in the distance, a collage of voices filling the auditorium in the darkness.
When the lights come back on, Katie's slowly sits up and Aiden sits in a wheel chair. Rottie waits on the stage, next to Katie, and the sons are no where to be seen.
Once Katie's on her feet, she stumbles backwards, looking at Aiden in shock. Rottie places his arm around her shoulders, pulling her into his side as he sings, "Your mother once promised her love to me. Had she never fled, you'd be mine. Deny your father now, for the world to see!"
He pulls out a gun, passing it to her and demands, "Kill him!"
I jump when I hear the murderous son shout, "Kill him!" from the audience, and see him with a bag of popcorn, which I can't help but laugh at.
"No," Katie gasps, the gun in her hands.
"And I leave you GeneCo," Rottie sings.
"What?" The murderous son shouts, popcorn flying, as the masked son asks, "All of it?"
"Oh, yes!" Rottie says, and the masked son cries out, "Oh, no!"
"So witness it people!" Rottie sings, pulling a paper from his inner pocket, "All I have to do is sign the paper, all you have to do is pull the trigger."
"Shilo!" Aiden sings.
"You want to pay me to kill my father?" Katie demands as chaos ensues again, then everything stops and she pushes the gun back and then him as she sings, "I am not a murderer."
"But you share your dad's genetics, what if he passed this to you?" Rottie sings in retaliation.
"I don't have to share his choices," Katie replies in a desperate fashion.
"Didn't you say you were infected? Didn't you? Didn't you?!" Rottie demands.
There's a pause before Aiden sings, "I poisoned you, I'm worst than Rottie, imprisoned you. I could lose you. What have I done? Forgive me, Shilo, I drugged your blood. Oh, God, what have I done to you?"
Katie snatches the gun back and points it at Rottie, as she sings, "You used my mother's death to use my father! You used my father's death to use me too!"
"Your dad deserved whatever happened to him! He needed me, and so do you!" Rottie quips back.
"I remember!" Aiden sings, catching their attention, then adds, "Remember my mistakes, remember you can change, remember that I love you! I'm sorry that I failed you. Remember that it's up to you, to go and shape your life into, one that's worthy of remembering."
Rottie grabs the gun back and as the lights cut out, Katie screams, "No!" but it's cut off by a shot ringing out.
When the lights come back on, Rottie sneers something I can't quite make out, then falls to the ground and dies. Katie pulls Aiden from the chair, crying as he falls and he brushes away a tear.
"Dad, be still, there is nothing you need say, it can wait," Katie softly sings.
"Shi, your mother's calling me," he replies in the same soft tone.
"Sometimes I wanted to cry, when the people on TV were not quite the way we were. Somehow I guess I just knew, but I didn't know I loved you so much. Didn't know I loved you so much. I didn't know I loved you so much, but I do," She sings, and I gasp, realizing those are real tears and she's no seeing Aiden right now. She's seeing her dad.
"Sometimes I'd stay up all night wishing to God that I was the one who died. Sometimes there's not enough time. But I didn't know I loved you so much. Didn't know I loved you so much. I didn't know I loved you so much, but I do," he sings in return, making her tears fall faster.
"Didn't know I loved you so much," She sings, her voice cracking, breaking my heart.
"Didn't know I loved you so much," he sings back, then they sing it together and he adds, "Shilo, go."
"Dad, I will not leave you here, you will live," She argues in a singsong tone.
"But you've already saved me, dear. Now go and change the world for me!" He sings to her and together they sing, "We will always have each other in our time of need."
He sings her characters name as she sings, "Daddy, you're the world together me."
He pretends to die in her arms and she sobs harder, leaning against his chest. After a long moment, she looks up at the crowd and slowly sits.
Looking down at Aiden, she sings, "Years. It's been so many years. Resenting the years and my heredity. Oh, I have hated and loved you! I have hidden behind you! But I finally see."
She slowly stands, walking off the stage, into the aisleway and singing, "You I've mistaken for destiny, but the truth is my legacy is not up to my genes."
She walks down harmonizing with the music, then singing, "Free at last" over and over until she leaves the theater.
Turning back to the stage, we find the pale guy again, who sings, "Gothic opera. Blood saga. Sometimes I wonder how we ever got here. Old grudges. Scorned lovers. Sometimes I wonder why we all don't move on! 'Cause we all end up in a tiny pine box, a mighty small drop and a mighty dark plot and the mighty fine print hastens our trip to our epilogue."
Katie's voice can be heard asking, "Epilogue?"
The pale guy smirks and says, "The little girl fled and the King is dead and the Castle is left for the taking, but GeneCo might survive if it undergoes surgery, surgery."
He holds up a glowing, blue vial as a girl, playing a prostitute walks by and takes it, while he whispers the last two words over and over again, until the lights fade out completely. A moment passes before they come back on and the curtains open again. Everyone holds hands and bows to the audience, who again giving them a well deserved, standing ovation.
I catch Katie's eye as she beams at me. I mouth the words, "I'm proud of you! I love you!" to her. She blows me a kiss, then they walk backstage again as the auditorium clears out.
Katie comes running out on stage again, this time in my jacket, and jumps off into my waiting arms once everyone's left. I spin her around as I kiss every bit of skin I can.
"You did so good!" I tell her as I set her back on her feet again.
"Come now, Ashley. Don't hog her too much," Jeffrey chides playfully, still in his disguise.
Katie blinks at him for a moment, before her eyes light up and she squeals, "Jeff-y!"
I laugh as she bolts from my arms, into his and hugs him tightly. He returns her hug with one of his own, and when they pull away, he pulls the tiara out, placing it on her head.
If this is what the rest of our lives looks like, that's fine by me.
Hope you guys enjoy it. :)
Katie's tiara: https://goo.gl/images/CiwhcK