Encore

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

“You don’t have anything to hide, do you?”
Everything.
I have everything to hide.
Everything to hide, and everything to lose.

“I’m sure you look splendid.” 

“Really?”

Odette pursed her maroon-painted lips and stared at herself in the mirror, not quite satisfied with what she saw. Her ivory-white dress didn’t quite fit as well as she would have hoped, while dark circles hung below her eyes like shadows that her concealer couldn’t even begin to hide. 

Esmé sighed, her stiletto heel tapping impatiently against the tiled floor. “We’ve less than an hour, darling. I don’t care what they say about being ‘fashionably late,’ for—”

“Without punctuality, we are no better than animals,” Odette finished, a smirk playing on her mouth. “I you, Es.” 

Esmé smiled, her expression matching Odette’s almost perfectly. “As do I.” 

They could have gone on for hours. Days, even. 

But time was ticking. 

Esmé glanced at her watch—a thing not so much crafted for fashion, but rather functionality. With its slightly scuffed-up brass frame and worn-down leather strap, Odette was quick to assume it was some sort of family heirloom. “We really should get going.” 

Odette couldn’t help but notice her own olive-toned face grow a few shades paler.

The concert they were about to attend seemed delightful enough; Dernière’s string orchestra was one of the nation’s finest. What could possibly be so unsettling about that? 

Nevertheless, Odette had her suspicions. She speculated that was strange, something was odd about it. 

Especially that invite…

An eyebrow twitched. 

Don’t think about it, don’t think about it. They couldn’t possibly know—

Esmé flung open the powder-room door and nudged Odette on the elbow lightly. “You pride yourself upon being an actress, but I can see right through you right now. What’s the matter?”

“I don’t—” Odette lingered in the doorway, her knees weakening ever so slightly.

Nobody said anything for a little while. Just a heavy, awkward, silence. 

Finally, Odette spoke up again, if only to say one thing. 

“...nevermind.” 

 


Horrible. Atrocious. Disgusting. 

The files were there. The evidence was there, plain as day. Nothing——could convince them otherwise. 

It was all wrong. The world was so wrong, filled with the worst kinds of people.

People that deserved worse than death. People that deserved to be tossed into a pit of flames, burned to ashes and dust and nothing more. 

Unfortunately, that was just unrealistic. 

Still, they intended on delivering the worst fate they could to this twisted, person. 

May you rot in the deepest pits of hell, after I’m done with you. 

May you burn. BURN! 

They grinned madly and continued to write, the pen flying across the parchment. 

Justice will win. It always does. Beautiful, beautiful, JUSTICE!

You won’t escape. You won’t get away. Not after what you’ve done. 

“It’s time,” they said to themself. “Time to face the music.” 

 


Merely an obstacleIt will be over, all over for her. 

Soon. 

They were very difficult to obtain. The people over at the black market never were the most accommodating of folks. 

Oh, well. It was a risk I was willing to take. 

She clenched her hand. The tablets pressed into her palm, which was hot and already slick with nervous sweat. 

She fought the urge to yawn. She couldn’t sleep at all that week. Her mind was keeping her up, keeping her absolutely exhausted throughout the day. 

It’s worth it.

She slowly, slowly made her way to the countertop. Sitting on top of it was a half-empty glass of water, which was practically beckoning for her to come closer. 

And she did. 

One-by-one, the tablets went into the glass. They dissolved a little slower than she would have liked, but it was fine. 

Finally, the water was clear again. 

But not pure. It would never be pure, not after what she had just done. 

She caught snippets of a conversation from about five meters away. 

“This will be a magnificent opportunity.” 

“Yes...”

“I’d also go so far as to say the audience would love to see you reprise your role once more.” 

Her lips twisted into a scowl as burning envy course through her veins. 

Reprise?

No. No. It should be mine. No one else’s. 

Especially not hers. 

It’s better to just remove her from the equation. 

No—remove her from this world altogether. 

So she watched. She watched as the other woman—brown hair, electric green eyes, supposedly too talented for words to describe—grabbed the glass, mumbling something about being ‘ridiculously parched,’ and took a long gulp. 

...

“—dette. Odette. We’re here.” 

“Sorry, where’s ‘here’ again?” Odette asked, her memory a bit foggy. 

“The performance hall,” Esmé answered promptly. “Or, 4890 Street, if you’d like me to be more precise.” 

Condamner… 

Odette felt a chill rush through her body. 

French…

She toyed with the word inside of her mind, feeling a sense of uneasiness settle in her stomach, similar to the one she’d gotten upon reading her invitation. 

“Well, what are we waiting for?” Odette smiled, putting up a cheerful frontan act— that she had spent so long perfecting. 

It’s what actresses do best, after all. 

The two young women entered the ornate performance hall, wading through crowds of people dressed to the nines in tuxedos and evening gowns. Odette was glad she didn’t lose Esmé in the large throng, though she could probably spot her friend from a mile away with her platinum blonde—almost white—hair and deep blue dress. 

They took their seats, the house lights dimmed, and the show was about to start. 

The conductor stood up and took the mic. He began to give a stiff, generic speech about the supposed ‘profound meaning’ behind music. Odette muffled her yawn with her fist, hoping nobody heard. 

She could almost fall asleep, right then and there in that plush velvet seat…

Suddenly, something caught her eye: another pair of eyes. They were bright green; almost glowing in the darkness. 

The color felt… familiar… eerily so…

The conductor finally made his last remarks.“And, without further ado, it is our pleasure to present to you Suite BergamasqueClair de Lune.” 

The musicians began to play. 

It was a soothing melody; not quite a lullaby, but not quite a march either. The technique and execution were impeccable, yet Odette found herself distracted. 

Someone was staring. Someone was watching. 

Waiting. 

And the feeling was a terrible one. 

 


It was over. 

The performance was over; done. 

Odette wanted nothing more than to get up from her seat and leave. 

But she couldn’t. 

specifically not to. It told her to stay and wait. Then, when the clock struck eleven—eleven exactly—she was to go backstage. 

Anyone in their right mind would’ve found something wrong with that offer. Odette did, too, but that odd skepticism in her head had transformed itself into some form of curiosity. 

I just need to be careful. 

“I have some business to take care of,” she said. 

Esmé raised an eyebrow. “I’ll be waiting outside. Don’t get yourself killed.” 

seemed genuine enough. “Right, right.” 

It was peculiar, though. The rest of the audience and orchestra had already filed out, save for a single pianist who loitered onstage. 

It could be some sort of joke. 

Or… a plot for my demise?

She rejected the idea with a small chuckle. 

Of course, not. I’m an actress, everyone loves me. 

Who doesn’t?

Odette scanned the rows upon rows of empty seats. 

No one. 

She picked up the watch that Esmé had accidentally (and thankfully) dropped on her way out. 

11:00 PM. 

Odette sucked in a breath before descending down the aisle. The lights were still dimmed—she would have benefited greatly from a flashlight or torch of some sort. 

Eventually, she reached a door marked with a silver plate that read ‘DO NOT ENTER UNLESS GIVEN PERMISSION’ with what was probably the same thing in Braille right underneath. 

She extended a manicured, slightly shaking hand to the doorknob and twisted it. 

The door came open.

Apart from a few stacks of chairs, instrument cases, (and a bottle of wine, strangely enough), there was nothing. 

No one. 

Odette breathed a sigh of relief. 

It’s fine. All fine. 

But when she felt a tap on her shoulder, her heart all but skipped a beat. 

Odette turned around slowly. 

“Hello.”

“H-hello…”
It was a woman. An older woman—probably in her early 50s—with caramel-colored hair that was graying at the roots and—

Her eyes. 

Green. Radioactive green. 

That color had been haunting her ever since… that day. 

But never—not even for a moment—did Odette think she would see it ever again. 

“I must say, you’re very good at following instructions,” the woman remarked. 

“I…” Odette shifted her weight from one side to the other, then back again. “You’re not a serial killer, are you?” 

The woman threw her head back and laughed. When the laughter subsided, she spoke again. “I don’t know, my dear. I feel like I should be asking you that.” 

Her blood turned into ice. 

She knows. SHE KNOWS. SHE MUST KNOW!

But HOW?! 

How could she know? 

Nobody was looking, I was so careful…

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Odette finally said. 

Come on, come on. This is an act, just make it convincing—

“Do you?” The woman entered the room then shut the door in a swift motion. “Do you?”

Odette felt her breath get caught in her throat. Her heartbeat was so loud, she could barely hear her own thoughts. 

Her fight-or-flight reaction was triggered. 

But the door was locked. 

Fight, it is. 

what you’re trying to imply,” Odette insisted as boldly as she could manage.

“You don’t have anything to hide, do you?” 

Everything.

I have everything to hide. 

Odette thought about her wildly successful acting career. 

Everything to hide, and everything to lose. 

“No.” 

“Really?”

The room grew quiet. Odette prayed that nobody could hear her pounding, anxious heart. 

“Celeste Waverly. Did you know her?”

Odette noticed the woman’s clever use of past-tense. “Of course I did. She had the female lead in ” 

Wouldhavewould have had the female lead. But she didn’t.” She looked straight into Odette’s eyes—it was like she was staring right into her soul. “April 12th. She died right after they told her the news; she was poisoned.

Odette pressed both of her lips in a firm line, feigning sadness. “I know. It was very upsetting to hear.” 

The woman shook her head, chuckling to herself. “Oh, no. I’m sure you didn’t even to hear about it to know about it.” 

“...and what are you insinuating here?”

exactly what,” the woman snapped, eyes narrowed into slits. “.”

Odette took a shaky step back. “What do you mean?! Who even are—”

“Oops! I didn’t get to introduce myself, did I?” The woman cleared her throat and extended her right hand in a mock-polite greeting. “Madison Waverly. A pleasure to meet you.” 

...Waverly?

Odette’s eyes widened in realization. 

No. 

Oh, no. 

Odette Adair,” Madison said, venom lacing her words. “You are greedy, remorseful, and conviving. The worst kind of person.” 

Deny, deny, deny. 

“I’m not—”

“Yes. Yes, you are.” 

Madison grabbed the bottle of wine and were those Cyanide pills? 

“And now, it’s time I deliver your karma.” 

Poison. She’s going to poison me. 

No. NO. NO!

Odette ran to the door and jiggled the doorknob desperately. 

It was locked. 

Madison grabbed her by the hair with her left hand and her across the floor and up a set of stairs, with the wine and pills in her right. “Justice,” she muttered to herself. “

Odette thrashed and kicked and screamed. There was no way she was about to let this happen—no way. 

, a quiet voice in her head told her. She’s right. I am a killer. 

A murderer. 

Guilty. GUILTY.GUILTY! 

They reached the top of the stairs. Madison shoved Odette onto the ground, letting her fall face-first onto the ground. 

Pain seared through her nose. 

It burned. 

This is it. THIS IS IT! 

Odette tried to push herself off the ground and make a run for it. 

But she couldn’t. 

She just… couldn’t. 

Her entire body was so sore, so weak… the exit was so far, and probably locked...

Madison popped the cork off the bottle and opened the jar of pills, pouring the entire thing in. 

Finally, the bubbles settled. 

Odette pushed her face up, just enough to see the stretch of empty seats spread out below. 

I’m on the stage. 

Oh, the irony. 

“Piano Sonata No. 2. Chopin,” Madison demanded.

Odette’s eyes lit up with a spark of hope upon remembering the pianist’s existence. “SIR! Please, he—”

“Don’t bother. I own him,” Madison said. She gestured widely to the performance hall. “I own everything here, too.” 

She knew the whole time. 

She organized this entire thing, she orchestrated it all—

Just to get her revenge. 

As requested of him, the pianist began to play Chopin’s Funeral March. It was dreary and slow, as one would expect from a piece with such a title. 

“Do you hear that?” Madison asked, her childish wonder more than just a little off-putting. “That’s the last song you will ever hear. Your funeral march.” 

Odette felt a burst of determination rush through her veins. 

I can’t let this happen. 

I can’t die. I won’t die. 

I’ll find a way out. I’ll get out of here and run. 

Far, far, away. 

Odette pushed herself up, only to be kicked to the ground once again. 

“This,” Madison came closer. “This is your condemnation. You don’t deserve a trial. You know well what you did. You knew full well what you were going to do. And,” Her expression was sullen, drenched with grief. “.” 

Guilty, guilty, guilty. 

“So, Odette Adair. How do you plead?”

GUILTY. GUILTY. GUILTY.

YOU’RE GUILTY. YOU’RE GUILTY!

“FINE!” Odette screamed, her throat burning at the action. “I DID IT! I KILLED HER, OKAY?!” she admitted. “YOU DON’T UNDERSTANDING! I NEEDED THAT ROLE, I—”

Madison said nothing for a while. Then, after a few moments, she shoved the bottle of wine into Odette’s face. “” 

NO! I’M NOT GOING TO—”

“You get what you give,” Madison stated simply. “And you gave my daughter the curse of death.” 

“I—”

justice. Don’t you see?” 

Odette didn’t respond or move. 

Madison got down on her knees and forced Odette’s mouth open, tilted the bottle and poured its contents into her mouth. 

Odette gagged and choked and coughed, forcing the red liquid out the best she could.

But it wasn’t enough. 

never be enough for Madison Waverly. 

Odette had made a mistake. 

Her punishment?

Death. 

It’ll be all over. 

All over. 

For me. 

Suddenly, Madison pulled Odette up from the ground, dislocating her shoulder joint. 

“You’re an actress, right?” Madison wondered, her loud voice cracking hysterically. “GO ON! This is your last chance!” She gestured maniacally to the audience that wasn’t there. “IT’S THE GRAND FINALE!”

Odette felt sick. So, so, sick. 

Right before she hit the floor, she heard one last word from Madison. It was barely even a whisper. 

Encore.” 

 


Submitted: February 12, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Commander Cryptic. All rights reserved.

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