Chapter 5 – January 10E

The sudden realization sent a shock through The Bird’s body, causing her to rise quickly from her chair, almost bumping into Hamlet as she gained her feet. She saw her mother’s eyes and mouth draw back in horror, but the actor playing Hamlet made no sign that he recognized the sudden appearance of the frail teenaged girl.

Hamlet grabbed a mirror from a dresser next to the bed, then rushed to her mother. “Come, come, and sit you down, you shall not budge.”

“What wilt thou do?” Her mother had resumed playing her role of Gertrude, despite the odd appearance of her daughter in the scene, despite still being dressed as Save-Anna. She recoiled at the site of the rapier in the actor’s hand. “Thou wilt not murder me? Help, ho!”

“What, ho! Help!” The Bird recognized the muffled sound of the actor playing Polonius, his body outlined in the curtain behind which he was hiding. Hamlet turned in the direction of that voice, his eyes filled with hatred. “How now? A rat! Dead for — ”

The door to the bedroom opened, slammed loudly into the interior wall closest to the bed. Everyone in the room — The Bird, her mother (dressed as Save-Anna, playing Gertrude), Hamlet, even the outline of Polonius in the curtain — turned toward the doorway, where a figure all in shadow stood.

The Bird instantly recognized the shape of that person, and only the knowledge that she was somehow impossibly already in the scene made her accept the fact that Double-J was now rushing into the room, a rapier in his arm and thrusting forward, his eyes wild with excitement.

Double-J pushed Hamlet aside with his left hand — “Get the HELL  out of my way!” — and with a delighted roar, drove his rapier into the outlined form of Polonius.

“That’s for spying on your kids, asshole!” The curtain fell from the wall, revealing Polonius, his face twisted in pained horror. Double-J drew his arm back, the blade of his rapier drenched in blood, and not the hyperbolic red theater blood that The Bird remembered, but something that looked like the blood from a wound, or her period, brown as much as red. It dripped from Double-J’s blade, as if the rapier were drooling from hunger, and quickly spread from the wound in Polonius’ belly.

Double-J thrust the weapon forward again, the blade stabbing through Polonius’ chest and crunching into the stone wall behind. The blade withdrew, blood gushing from the wound like vomit, then struck again, and again, each blow driving back its agonized victim, the back of his head making a bloody imprint in the stone.

Another thrust, and upon this withdrawal the perforated body of Polonius fell forward, twisting in flight so the old man was staring face up. His eyes fluttered open — “O, I am slain” — then shut, the lively tension of his body imploding.

Double-J sneered down at him. “No shit.”

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