Roberto had no idea what he’d gotten himself into after the casting crew told him to strip down. The audition was for a sidekick role on a pilot of a cross-over sci-fi detective series between Sherlock Holmes meeting inter-galactic crime syndicate. He felt a slight chill in his briefs after the cameras started rolling.
“Recite these lines” commanded a female producer as she pointed to a page on the script.
“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” Roberto uttered in his best Watson imitation.
“Again” ordered the producer, “this time with rage.”
“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush!” Roberto yelled, channeling Taxi driver.
“Again! With sorrow and disgust!” dictated the producer.
Several hours after the audition, an exhausted Roberto stumbled back to his flat. Upon entering, he found a DVD and letter by his TV. The video showed Roberto starring in a live-action trailer of the upcoming pilot with lines and scenes that he neither spoke nor shot in. The backside of the letter revealed a contract, signing away all rights to his façade. Dotted lines hovered below a signature, undoubtedly his. Beneath that was a simple order…
Entry to this week’s 3LineTales! Image courtesy of Sonya.
One step forwards, two steps back. Do a one-eighty, trip on a crack.
The dead-ends frown, they forbid en mass. Rocks and hard places, litter the past.
But what to do? No way around. Lest fire he thought. Will fly like sound!
“The plebs. Why do they leave? Don’t they know all roads lead back to Rome?”
“Their shepherd understands this but he must delay, lest slaughter and slavery reach his people.”
“So exodus he proffers but revolution he disguises. Marching in circles to cull the weak, breeding the strong to fight the stronger.“
“Would the empire be so blind? Wolves can smell their sheep a hundred leagues away.”
“The empire let them go for they no longer desire food but a challenge.”
“And the shepherd?”
“A sheep-wolf or a wolf-sheep. Makes no difference.”
Entry to this week’s 3LineTales! Image courtesy of Moritz Schmidt.
The blind saw the light: Eyes-see-stars. Five filled bars.
The deaf heard the quiet: Heart-beat-pound. Skip no sound.
The mute spoke the word: Lips-shush-babel. Spell then scrabble.
Ovid jolted from his sleep. Red-eyed and still shaking, the shock of the car-wreck still reverberated in his dreams. Harsh words thrown and hot tempers flashed. A slap to the face carried the screeching pitch of tires unhinged that had turned the world grey. Rubbing his eyes a bit to peek out the window, he saw her again. Grey flurries fell, no longer caught by a shattered windshield of broken dreams. She was gone but now she’s there hidden behind an intact dashboard and a pair of unused wipers. Guilt imprisons us all he laments and shuts the curtains for the fourth time today.
Agapao awoke to the sight of fluttering wings. Dusk settled upon the land as the distant night crept across the blood-soaked fields, covering the horrors of war like a traumatic dream. The last two armies had annihilated each other. The few survivors claimed victory not over each other but against fate for mountains of corpses surrounded them, singing the tune to the world’s end.
Agapao looked overhead. An eclipse of moths encircled the now blackened meadow beneath the crimson skies. Some would land on a body and depart with a spirit in tow. These moths would fly towards the fading light so that the departed may find new places to inhabit. Others would land and bury themselves into a carrion, stapling the body to the soul. Those unfortunate individuals became the walking dead, forever to roam the Earth under another’s will. Turning to the moth that twitched on his chest, Agapao pulled out his knife and cleaved it in two. Fate had no business playing with the still living.
The stars beam on a twilight passage.
Our eyes transfix as your figure enters.
With red dress in tow and footsteps echo,
You approach, pipes quivering silently below.
“What will play tonight? Daughter of Pan Sybarite!”
“Grace us with your voice, for sounds of old are lost”
“And memories of those times tossed.”
“The Great Pan is dead. Can you help us lament?”
You close her eyes and part your lips,
And let your voice and instrument mix.
An elegy you sang. A requiem some say,
As distant skies rumbled, rain and tears tumbled.
The old Gods bid farewell. The young belle dispelled.
The stage rests empty.