Chapter 5 – January 8B

A third, fourth actor walked onto the stage, The Bird instantly recognizing the third as Mitch Saunders, who had played a role in a Moliere production her mother had been in that summer.

Welcome, Horatio.

Has this thing appeared again tonight?

I have seen nothing.

“What are they talking about?” Annie directed a harsh, quite shhhh at Butch, as Rune urged him to just keep watching.

A dramatic piano cord sounded over the loudspeakers, as another actor, dressed in armor with head uncovered, walked on from stage right. The Bird had never seen this actor before.

Look where it comes again!

In the same figure like the King that’s dead!

“So that’s Hamlet?”

“No, that’s the king.”

“Oh! So he’s a ghost?”

“Yes, Butch.”

“So how come he doesn’t look like a ghost?”

A pained groan, which not even The Bird could avoid, rippled through the members of the Bark Bay High School fencing team.  Mr. Jacobs leaned forward, tapped Butch on the shoulder. “Perhaps you should just watch for a while.”

Mitch/Horatio rushed at the unfamiliar actor playing the Ghost. Stay, illusion; if thou hast any sound or use of voice, speak to me. The sound of a rooster’s crowing blared over the speakers; the Ghost turned, left the stage, followed by the other actors after a brief exchange of dialog.

The stage lights dimmed for a scene change. Mr. Jacobs leaned forward, whispered in Butch’s ear. “You get all that?” Butch nodded, The Bird seeing in his eyes the same confusion he exhibited most times during fencing practice. Mr. Jacobs leaned back, and Annie leaned over towards him, The Bird making out the words in her rushed whisper.

“This is going to be a long night, isn’t it?”

Mr. Jacobs tilted his head back, opened his mouth for a silent laugh.


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