The Show Must Go On

First scribbled in my last notebook on October 7, 2012

The Show Must Go On

Everyone loves a good show, the lights, the make-up, the pretty girls singing songs, the actors that can produce a smile or a laugh or a
tear with the mere twitch of an eyebrow, the carefully pitched tone of a line.

The show must go on. So few ask why.

Partly it is the sheer energy that goes into it, the months of rehearsals, the bitter arguments over the precise stance of an actor delivering his monologue, the momentum. The performers think the show must go
on because of the paying audience, people who have worked long hours, denied themselves luxuries for this one evening of entertainment. The audience thinks the show must go on because of the hours of hard work the performers have invested, the energy and the time. They see it as a mark of respect, thanking those people for their time with rapturous applause.  The truth is the build-up of those things – the energy it all creates.

The show must go on, for They need to be fed.

They live in the darkness, under the floors, scuttling in the echoes of long dead applause. They feed off of the build-up, the effort, the sweat and sprained ankles. They feed off of the rapture of the audience, the nerves of the dancers, the stage fright and exhilaration of the actors. They feed on the fear of a bad show, the hope for a good one.

They have been there for centuries, quietly growing in numbers, biding their time. They are the reason the audience leaves the theatre exhausted, the reason the performers crash the moment the last curtain call has passed.

They are the reason you rarely see an elderly performer, why those in the business become hollowed out, empty. Those that have spent so long being another person, and have lost who they are underneath the costumes. They
have been quietly feeding away, stealing souls.

They have scuttled in the darkness too long; cramped and crowded. They have grown strong now, living off people’s dreams.

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Author: Victoria Pearson

Victoria Pearson lives behind a keyboard somewhere in rural Bedfordshire, with her husband, her four children and her dog. She writes very strange stories.

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