Ten Minute Story

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
I wrote this for English Class one day...The assignment was to write a story that takes up only ten minutes. This is what I came up with. I'm not so good when it comes to titling my own stuff, so if you have any sort of ideas, I'd gladly appreciate it.

Submitted: July 10, 2008

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Submitted: July 10, 2008

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“All right, all right! Come on you guys, we don’t have time for this!” She strutted across the dim stage to a few girls, giggling hysterically at something held between them. “What’s going on—“ though they fanned off all too quickly in different directions. Erin rolled her eyes, just thankful they were in costume. Though she did wonder just what they were made of to be able to enjoy themselves like that in a place like this.

“Excuse me, Erin?” a tiny voice inquired. She turned to face the rat-like man cowering a few feet behind her.

“Yeah, I know, less than ten minutes till show time. I’m doing the best I can. You of all people should know how hard it is to get these performances perfected in such a short amount of time, I mean, how long have you been here? Going on fifty years, right?”

He shrunk even more at her words, though after a moment pulled himself back up. “Fifty-four, actually. But it’s so hard to count and…” he glanced over his shoulder at the subtle squeak of floorboards.

“You know, Melvin, out of all of us, I’d think you would have been the first one to be eaten.” He glared at her in disgust and backed away into the shadows.

Without warning a shrill scream erupted from somewhere off in the dressing rooms. Erin’s first thought was that the little man had finally lost it, and she took a step toward where she had last seen him. But with the sound still ringing in her ears she realized it had come from the opposite side of the stage, the female dressing rooms.

She sprinted, expecting the worst, wondering why They had decided to come back here instead of in their comfortable seats. Perhaps it was one who had lost its mind…if it even had one to lose.

She swung into the girl’s dressing room and was almost hit with a bony chocolate finger pointed insistently at the wall. “It’s a-a-a spider!” the half-dressed young woman whispered, eyes enormous. Erin stared at her indifferently for a moment, took a deep, calming breath, and slammed a hand down on the poor creature.

“Happy?” she said through gritted teeth.

The woman shook her head, continuing to point. “But there’s a web…and more will come…and they’ll…”

“They’ll what. Suck out your juices? No, they only do that to flies, remember?” she wiped the gooey palm on her pants and walked away.

“But the web!”

“Take it down, then! Yes, with the mummified bugs and all! And stop screaming!”

Suddenly Marvin was before her again, like a fly to a horse. “Swat it away, and it’ll always come back,” Erin muttered under her breath, pushing past him.

“Erin, they’re getting impatient…”

She looked down at her watch, purely out of habit. Of course it didn’t work. Not here. “Yeah but there must still be time left…” She ran out into the hallway behind the stage, where a menacing titanium iron clock stared down at her. “Yeah, we’re not supposed to start till 7, on the dot, and it’s still 6:56. We’ve got a few minutes…and we’re wasting it out here! What are you trying to do? We can’t be late, you know that!”

They ran back to the stage, shoes slipping on slick floor. She was counting down, and there were only three-and-a-half-minutes left till show time. “Come on everyone, let’s go! We can’t be l—“

“Erin! Erinnn!”

“WHAT?”

Tall, dark, rippling muscles, he was the perfect epitome of a romance novel hero. “Bad time?” Evan asked mockingly. Erin glared at him in pure viciousness. All the humor and good looks in the world couldn’t shove her to cut him any slack.

“Well, you see, Julie’s sick. She’s in the last stall of the girl’s bathroom puking her brains—“

“Really? The girl’s bathroom? And the last stall, too? Then tell me, what were you doing in the girl’s bathroom? Or even close to it, for that matter? You’re not allowed on that side of the theater.”

“Well…umm”

“Erin, we have to go on…” Melvin’s squeak pleaded. She glanced at him and walked past the two men to center stage.”

“Never mind, Evan, we’ll deal with you later. EVERYONE TAKE YOUR PLACES! NOW!”

She was on the edge of the curtain. The dead silence on the other side struck some nerve in her, producing the first true shivers of the night. Its coldness swept over her and for a moment she was stunned in the darkness of a stage ready to produce a play. But there was Melvin behind her, pushing her out toward the spotlight.

She took a breath. She squeezed her fists.

“Go,” the little man whispered.

She walked out into the light, heels clicking and echoing unnaturally on the full auditorium. She turned to face the audience, though forced herself to keep her eyes off the bodies.

“I watched it. I was there, I saw what happened, and I can assure you, it was no fairy tale. He struck her once, and she wept, she wept like the world was falling down…”

Decaying corpses stared at her with lifeless eyes. They didn’t move, so long as she was up there performing for them. They couldn’t move, they didn’t dare; the fire was much to close. She stared back with the same sort of concentration, thankful that her soul had been just pure enough to be able to perform and not have to actually watch these plays, night after night. She pushed back a miniscule smile. Staying in character was essential. But really, how could she not smile? Even in Hell, she had somehow gotten the long end of the stick. That’s right, my dear Lucifer, I still win, even in your own home.

She was, after all, an actor.


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