Forget Me Not

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium
A short story in 500 words

Submitted: March 09, 2019

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Submitted: March 09, 2019

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John Boyd stepped out onto the stage and took a deep breath, he coughed as the damp musty air filled his lungs.

In the gloom, he looked out on an empty auditorium. Row upon row of dusty torn red velvet seats stared back at him. He watched as one by one each seat began to be filled with the ghosts of a past audience.

He placed the ‘Bag for Life’ on top of the trapdoor.

Fumbling in his pocket, he pulled out a crumbled sheet of paper. Gently, he unfolded the old theatre poster. It creaked with the sound of sticking tape that held it together. Years of folding and re-folding had weaken the paper fibres until now it was in danger of failing apart.

John gazed once more at the name of the actress, Elsa Richie, had it really been ten years!

Her real name was Joyce Hewitt, half English half Scottish. She took her stage name from her paternal grandmother who was thrilled at being immortalised by her granddaughter on the stage.

Thankfully Elsa was a single woman, John would not have been able to live with himself if Elsa had any dependants. Carefully, John folded away the old poster and placed in his pocket.

Looking around him, the years of neglect had taken its toll. Plaster was peeling due to the rain coming in from the cracked tiles on the roof. The giant chandelier hung limply from its chain, swinging like a condemned man from the gallows.

John turned once more to look at the accusing faces that sat in the seats opposite him. Every year he came to the theatre hoping that some past spectre would forgive him. But who was he kidding? He knew like everyone else that it was his fault that Elsa had died that night.

If only he had been doing his job properly, she would be alive. The theatre would still be alive.

His eyes returned to the bag he had brought with him. Bending down he reached inside to pull out a bunch of red roses. There had been one for every year of Elsa’s death and now there were ten!

Removing the bag from the trapdoor, John swept away the dry remains of the previous years nine red roses. With some ceremony, he placed the bunch of roses onto the trapdoor and started to weep.

Ten years ago, he was asked by the stage manager to fix the trapdoor. In his haste he hurried the job making it only partial secure for the performance. Elsa’s weight was too heavy, she fell through on the first night breaking her neck.

John wiped away his tears, he glanced back at the audience they were gone and looking down so were the roses!

John turned quickly around to see if anyone had sneaked in. He then suddenly felt a pair of clay-cold lips on his cheek. On the spot where he had placed the roses, now rested a bunch of Myosotis, Forget-me-Not!


© Copyright 2019 Markie Bee. All rights reserved.

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