Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dead Girl's Dance, Part Two

I lean back as I admire the work that Amanda, my friend in the theater department who happens to do the tailoring for the costumes in all of the plays, has done on my Joker costume; Lurid purple with black pinstripes going down the legs, a pair of black suspenders and a green silk shirt with a purple jacket. Add to it my own shiny black shoes, and I have a great costume to wear to this Dead Girl’s Dance.

“Can’t believe you got invited, you lucky dog,” Amanda says to me as she folds the pants over the coat hanger. “My girlfriend was going to take me but I have to work on the costumes for that Moby Dick play that’s going to be opening up in a month.”
“Can’t afford to get away from the sewing table, eh?” I ask with a smile.
She shakes her head. “That lunatic Avery is claiming he wants full wardrobe by next Wednesday, and all I have are measurements and two assistants. I doubt I’ll be able to have everything for him by then.”
I frown; Avery is a senior here at school and is prone to running roughshod over the rest of us. He always directs the autumn plays, the ones where we have the largest attendance, by muscling in with the professors and placing himself as the logical choice. He’s not actually someone that works well with others sadly, and more than one young actress has run off the stage in tears because of his acidic remarks. To think that Amanda will be stuck with the prick is almost heart-wrenching… but the fact that I’m going to be going to a sorority party with a cute girl kind of makes it hard for me to feel sorry for her.
Ashley called me last night, telling me that she’d gotten the last piece of her outfit. She’d teased me and made me guess what article of clothing they were; it’d taken me three guesses before she’d broken down and told me that she’d picked up a set of red and black lace panties, bra and garter belt with thatched stockings. She’d asked if I had anything special for her to see in my outfit.
I’d been speechless.
Ashley had laughed and said she’d like to meet up Friday night so we could compare our costumes.
“Maybe we could even do a little roleplaying…” Ashley had said playfully, purring into the phone.
“Maybe…” I’d replied, trying to sound confident.
“See you then,” she’d said, hanging up the phone suddenly.
I’d replayed that conversation in my head over and over all day, trying to think of what Ashley was up to. She was obviously the artistic type, what with her multi-hued hair, but she didn’t come off as any kind of snob that most artists tend to be. I’d almost say she was playing with me just to see how I would react, not to entice me.
Amanda smiles. “I can see that look on your face, you’re finally getting some!”
I scratch my face, fighting the smile coming onto my face. “Maybe. There is a girl…”
“Yeah, of course there’s a girl. The whole party is about the girl asking the boy out. Yay feminism!” Amanda twirled her finger in the air as if celebrating.
I laugh, looking down at her. “Yeah, she was pretty forward about it. I didn’t really know how to act when she was asking me out.”
“Classic Nathan,” Amanda teases.
“Hey! What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Just that you’re clueless around women is all,” Amanda continued, moving to work on the hem of some pants. “That one freshman was hitting on you hardcore during the last play, puppy dog eyes, and everything and what’d you do? Nothing!”
“Hey, I thought she just wanted to know about soundboard work!” I say, defending myself.
“She still thinks you’re gay, you know that right?” Amanda said before breaking into a fit of giggles at my look of shock.
A clank of the racks fall in the deeper section of the costume room, something that has me looking up and over Amanda. I see a flash of red hair disappear between coat stands. Someone had been listening to us!
I move past Amanda, ignoring her cry of protest, and stalk into the forest of plays past. The bushy tail of red darts out of sight once more, knocking a box of wigs to the ground from an upper shelf in the process. I move through another line of racks, pushing some robes along the metal wire to make room for my lanky frame to step through. I get past the bulky box of spilled wigs just in time to see a redhead bobbing out of sight and around the corner into a long tunnel that runs underneath the theater.
“Gotcha,” I mutter as I start after her with renewed vigor, my long stride allowing me to move quickly around the many obstacles the drama department has to offer.
Rounding the corner, I blink at the low lighting of the carpeted walls and flooring. Besides a few students milling around chatting, I don’t see any sign of the redhead. Jogging briskly towards a group of students, I grab their attention immediately.
“Did a redheaded girl run by here?” I ask, looking at the two guys and a girl.
“No,” the girl says, looking over at one of the guys as if hoping for confirmation, “no, nobody has come running through here.”
“Yeah, nobodies been through here for a while dude,” one of the guys, a portly guy with a goatee says.
“Shit!” I grumble, rubbing my chin. I look back behind me, eyeing the alcove that rests behind the entryway where she and I had run from. The curtains that run from the floor to the ceiling are ruffled…
I move over to them, pushing in and patting the walls in search of a body. But I find none.

It’s as if she’s disappeared into thin air. 

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