wormwood, pt. 6

I think I saw you in an ice cream parlor, drinking milkshakes cold and long, smiling and waving and looking so fine--don't think you knew you were in this song.

The evening took its time in passing. Rosalind spent most of it lying on the bed, sometimes staring and sometimes with her eyes closed, despite Nicole's efforts to actually get her to do something. But eventually the evening passed into nighttime, and Rosalind sat up abruptly. "What time is it?"

"I dunno. One-ish?"

Rosalind nodded and got up, looking around the room.

"Are you okay?"

"I'm going out." She slung her bag across her chest and checked to make sure her camera was in it. "I'll be back soon."

"Want me to come with you?"

"Nah, I'll be fine. Get some sleep." Rosalind smiled unconvincingly. "I just need to go for a walk or something."

Nicole frowned. "If that's what you want. Have fun, I guess."


It had started raining lightly since the afternoon, but Rosalind didn't mind. The streets were empty and she knew them enough that she didn't have to think about where she was going, or pay attention, in order to be able to find her way back. She was just starting to shiver when she found herself in front of a building she'd been to many times before. It wasn't exactly a surprise, but she hadn't exactly planned it, either.

It used to be a theatre. Then it went through a series of short-lived businesses, and was converted to a theatre once again, which housed a talented but chronically underfunded theatre company until it was shut down when the manager was caught embezzling. It was mostly locked off, and the outside was surprisingly free from graffiti, as the property's owner still hoped to sell it off, despite the rumors it was cursed or haunted or both.

The locks were easy enough to pick. The electricity had long been cut off, and there were no windows, so it was pitch black inside, and it tended to feel unnecessarily musty. A lot of the lighting equipment was gone or broken, and the seats were never in the best of shape to begin with--they had only gotten dusty and were frequently broken since the place shut down.

The old dressing rooms still carried a lot of remnants from the theatre company's days--the place shut down suddenly, and even with a few occasional explorers looking for a memento, most of the old props and pictures and scribblings on the walls were still there, forever capturing a moment that nobody who ever saw them again would remember or understand.

Rosalind took a few pictures of these, then made her way up to the catwalks. After getting a few shots of the stage and lighting equipment, she turned off her flashlight and sat down. It was perfectly dark and quiet and still. She sat quietly and emptied her mind and stared into the darkness for as long as she could stand it.

Or at least, that was the plan.

At exactly seven minutes past three o'clock in the morning on the Thursday five days before the end of the world--or, depending on your perspective, very late on Wednesday--the ground started shaking.

1 comment:

Semicolons said...

Have you ever picked a lock? The difficulty of picking a lock is generally determined by the number of tumblers. There are other variations, but the tumblers are mainly where the challenge is. I recommend you research lock picking a bit; there are amazingly informative videos on youtube. I just get sad when shows or stories are like "HE JIGGLED THE THING IN THE LOCK AND IT OPENED LOL." The TV show House M.D. actually has fairly accurate representations of lockpicking. Just a thought (assuming Rose picking locks will be used repeatedly in the story). Also the ability to quickly pick a 5 or so pin lock implies that the picker has picked many (perhaps hundreds) of said locks.

As far as actually literary criticism goes, i like this chapter. Not really anything glaring at me here.