Moira’s footsteps echoed across the empty stage of the deserted theatre. Gone were the red carpet and golden canopy at the front doors – replaced with plywood, yellow tape and ‘no trespassing’ signs.
She didn’t let that bother her, since she found her way in through a broken window in the alleyway. It was a better place to be instead of school.
Standing at the top of the rolling rickety steps, Moira’s small hand wrapped around a red, leather bound book. On the inside of the cover was an apple core sketched in ink, words written in the margins.
Moira used the tempo of the rain against the metal corrugated roof as she read the poem aloud.
‘You hold in your hands a mystery in words,
Cutting through space and time as easily as a sword.
For this collection of stories, with many games afoot,
Is simply a seed for your imagination to take root.
While many snowflakes fall,
Creating a ground of white
Listen to the Muse’s call
As your woven words take flight.’
Moira tucked the book inside her coat pocket before exploring the many costumes that had remained. From the wool houndstooth deerstalker and matching cloak, to an outfit perfect for Robin Hood or William Tell, the child wondered which world would be best to wander through, if only for a little while.
In another cupboard, Moira found two-piece suits, leather helmets and goggles, reminding her of Amelia Earhart. Beside that were a collection of floral dresses, cloches, fedoras and sunhats. Moira tried all of them, a new character emerging under each one as she looked up at the giant glitter-covered cardboard stars hanging from the ceiling.
In the many drawers found in the dressing rooms, she found loose papers from scripts old and new. Some pages she kept others she left where they were. Moira did the same with the photographs.
She found a Victor-Victrola phonograph buried by posters, maps and banners. Rotating the handle, Moira listened to the melody on the disc. Each note sparkled like a star in her mind; the new notes a new possibility. Maybe if she had lived a hundred years ago, she wouldn’t be so bored now.
Moira knew it was a silly thought, like many of her thoughts that got her into trouble. If the whole world was a stage, something her uncle once said; then she wanted the fastest route to get backstage, out of the spotlight, away from the microphones.
After an afternoon of adventure and anonymity, Moira smiled contently, aware that she would probably return here tomorrow, when time and her sketching kits were on her side. It wouldn’t be difficult to find alternative routes here from home, wouldn’t be hard to fix the window to keep the rain from coming in. Even with the power turned off, Moira knew how to keep herself from being in the dark.
For now, she would play the games and bend the rules without breaking them.
A Snippet by T. Tommia Wright, Featured Author Published with Permission