Flash Fiction Friday: Action!

Verity didn’t like the new role. It was dirty, smelly, and uncomfortable. The director was giving her weird directions too; you can’t go to the bathroom yet, Verity, we need to finish this scene. Your arm is dislocated for a good reason, Verity. That blood running in your eye will look amazing, Verity! Your fame is guaranteed! Nothing is threatening to fall on your head!

Verity waited for the next direction. All she had to do was wait. It was a really easy role. Sit very still, not moving against any of the rubble, not looking in that direction, not worrying about the bathroom. She had to be afraid, but cool. She was the Scared Girl Holding it Together. Easy. Only big stars could be really afraid. The sound guys in the back were doing a good job too. Pillars groaning, shouts far away, and big machinery moving. They must be testing out the foleys.

The bathroom thing was a problem. She would have to go soon. And he’d been silent for a while, staring at the ceiling, taking a nap. Well, she would just sneak out.
She crawled forwards, past the sleeping man, looking for the way to the bathroom. There had been a light— She heard a grinding of stone, as a pillar slammed down behind her, bringing up a cloud of dust. She sneezed, the sounds carrying around her small stage but not echoing. Looking around, she saw the pillar had fallen right behind her, and anyway the bathroom thing was okay now. She would just have to check in with wardrobing.

But where was her co-actor, Lawrence? He had been next to her, waiting, but he was gone now. She couldn’t let him fade away. Lawrence Olivier would be famous. She looked around, moving rubble and stones with her aching hands. There was his shoe. She yanked on it, but he was hiding behind a pillar. She yanked harder and he came free. Well, no, not Lawrence. A dummy leg popped out, one of the ones with fake blood that spurts and stains to look real. She looked at Lawrence’s shoe at the bottom and sighed. He must have gone to the bathroom after all and missed his scene.

Verity could hear shouts closer now. The director was probably angry about Lawrence. She saw the light again, larger. She moved towards it and remembered something important. Sometimes you had to make the role your own instead of waiting for directions. Verity decided to become the Girl Who Rescues Herself and moved up.

It took time, and the stagehands were amazed when she crawled through the gap holding Lawrence’s shoe. Everything was very bright, it felt like she had been acting for days. Someone gave her a blanket and took the dummy leg from her. The producer came forwards, crying. She must have been really good.

Then it was on to her next role after that. Interviews over, she was ready for the Mental Ward Patient.


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