Degrees of Horror

The Show Must Go On (to be cont'd)

Episode 6

Cast: Billy, Markus

My name is Billy, and I’m part of a dying breed of hard-nose hard-core journalists. I’m a truth-seeker. A whistle blower. A news hound. I work for a prestigious academic publication, the East Texas University Raven’s Gazette. I’ve got my own column. It’s not a page-one column, but that’s only because my editors are afraid to write the hard truth — to share with the world the truth that the government wants to hide from them. They may choose to bury their head in the sand, but you can find the truth on my blog. Conspiracies, psychic experiments, alien infiltrators… it’s all true. It’s happening and people need to be made aware.

And thanks, mom, for the “like”. It’s good to know I have avid readers out there.

Today’s truth finds me in the home of Markus Cannon. You may have read about him in some of my earlier publications. Rumors abound around him,. ever since he and his band assaulted Scott Wylkes at Missy’s pre-Midterm party. Rumor also has it that he was involved in the fire that nearly burned down the roost during Freshmen orientation, but details about that incident have been sketchy and inconsistent. Under the guise of offering tutoring for Markus, I’m here to find out the truth.

He doesn’t tell me much, but what he doesn’t say speaks volumes. I know I’m on the right track. Things happen around this guy. Strange things. My kind of strange.

At some point, the conversation turns to Missy Jordon, as many conversations around campus often do. Missy is apparently Markus’s “tutor”. I had hoped there was more of a story there, but apparently not. After our tutoring session, Markus decides to go find Missy and so of course I’m going to tag along. Maybe there’s a story here after all.

Missy isn’t tutoring Markus today because of she’s at rehearsal. It’s December, and the drama club is setting up for their big performance. They do this every year, and it’s always a big event. The school makes a big deal about it and it draws in a lot of townsfolk. It’s important for the school’s reputation and its place in the community. I’ve heard they brought in some big-shot actor to help direct the performance, although I don’t think I’ve seen this guy in any recent movies. His biggest role was a supporting cast member on Scream 6.

While the performance is going on, the rooms where Markus’ band practices is really inconvinient for practice. It’s an old building and the walls aren’t sound proof, so with rehearsls going on right next door, they aren’t allows to make noise. Mark us is eager to find out when they can use their music lab again, and so he decides to ask Missy. Missy isn’t in the drama club, but apparently she recently signed up to join the play.

In the dense night-time fog, we can see a group of students leaving the theater. They seem to be angry about something, but I can’t make out their conversation. I want to follow them but Markus is going directly to the theater, and I’m sure there’s a much more interesting story following him. I still hope to get more details on that fire incident — I know there’s something more he’s not telling me.

We make our way inside and come under the attention or an irate director, Conner Myles. He is seriously stressed out and starts yelling at us the moment we enter. He tell us to get out unless we’re here to replace the quitters that just left. Thinking quick, I sign us both up. Before Markus even knows what’s happened, we’re both have roles in “The Midnight Marjorie”. Well, I’m on stage crew anyway, but Markus has the roles of The Lion Tamer and Gentleman Caller #3.

Finding Missie, I get some more details on the performance while Markus tries to get a group together to work out their lines. There’s clearly some kind of story here, as becomes more and more evident with everything Missy says. The problems plaguing this performance are so bad, that apparently the Dean of Fine Arts has instructed many professors to offer extra credit to students working to put on the play. It is only because of this extra incentive that they have been able to attract replacements for the actors and staff that have quit.

Missy’s been given the lead role of the play, “the Witch”, Enchantress of Night, but she’s only signed up yesterday. Most of the crew and staff have only signed up within the last couple of days — everyone originally cast from the drama club have quit. Missie and some of the other actors report rumors of strange events and bizarre accidents, but they are mostly too new to verify the accounts.

I need evidence. The next day I do some research on the building and the play, learning that strange accidents are nothing new. The building itself is so worn and such a potential hazard that very few productions are actually performed on the main stage — most of the building is largely unused. There are smaller production stages accessible from the outside that are frequently used instead, such as the “music lab” that Markus’ band uses for practice.

A disastrous play. A stressed-out director. Bribed students trying to put together a major production in only three days. Yeah, I’ve got a story here. The paper’s going to love it. It’s the kind of thing they think of as “news”, but it’s not revelation. It’s not “truth is out there” major eye-opening stuff that I can put on my blog. On the other hand, if I can find the source of these mysterious accidents… assuming there is a common source… of course there’s a common source. Coincidences don’t just happen. Someone makes them happen. Or something? Aliens, maybe? They could be interesting.




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