Sorry about the absence. I hope to be back by
September 15 October 6, with a full explanation. Or, at least, a decent excuse.
Lissa carried two folding chairs to the center of empty Binghamton Community Centre Auditorium. She opened one, sat down, and placed the other against Banny.
Banny was playing a TCG GameBaby©. Without looking, he leaned against the chair to sit down, and fell flat on his back.
Lissa laughed. "You okay?"
"Yeah. I was able to pause just in time." He stood up, set up his chair directly next to Lissa, sat down. "Why'd we even come to the theatre group tonight? Shouldn't we try to figure out what's going on with that white thing and the rings and all that weird stuff?"
"I don't care how weird things get. I am not letting that bitch Rosemary take over the group. She may be president, but I still have some say. And she will not take that from me." Lissa brought her hands together. "But nobody else is here right now. We can talk right now. Banny? Banny?"
"Uh, huh." Banny had gone back to his game.
The door opened. One woman held it open while a second woman entered the auditorium. This woman, Rosemary, was elegant, attractive, perhaps in her forties, tall and thin and blonde (not even a hint of gray). From her expensive-yet-subtle hairstyle, to her expensive-yet-subtle earrings and necklace, to her expensive-yet-subtle original Christian Dior dress (with matching purse), to her expensive-yet-gaudy oversized wristwatch, to her just-plain-expensive Canaan high-heels, she was the cynosure of all eyes in the room. Well, Banny was still playing his GameBaby© and the first woman was still standing by the door and staring at the ground, so Lissa's eyes were the only ones cynosuring on her, but you know what I mean.
The first woman probably also had clothes and hair, but who noticed?
Lissa felt uncomfortably aware of her own sneakers, brown skirt, and blue blouse with its expensive-yet-subtle mustard stain. She glanced at Banny in his old ripped-up sneaks, threadbare jeans, and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi t-shirt so old that Darth Vader was calling Luke to the Grey, Wrinkled side of the Force. Man, Banny couldn't meet the dress code at a soup kitchen. Not only would he never be one of the Ten Best-Dressed Men in the world, he wasn't even one of the Ten Best-Dressed Men in this auditorium!
The mousy woman set up a chair directly across from Banny and Lissa, and another at the "head" of the group, on Lissa's side. Rosemary sat down, naturally, at the head. She took a red folder, marked BINGHAMTON LITTLE THEATRE TROUPE, from the other woman and opened it. The other woman pulled a thermos out of her shopping bag, poured Rosemary a cup of coffee, then quickly sat down.
That's disgusting, thought Lissa. The way Rosemary has her trained. Like a pet dog. I can't get Banny to do stuff like that!
"Now," Rosmary said. "I have arrived, so we may begin. The first order of business is th-"
Lissa interrupted, "Where's the Johnstons?"
"They will no longer be...attending these meetings."
"Wow! So, who's left? Just us four? And, since the president only gets to vote in case of a tie, that means I rule! Whoo-hoo!"
"Silence! You can indulge in your petty delusions of grandeur later, on your own time. We need to select our next play. And since we wish to attract the proper crowd, to regain our numbers, I suggest something by Shakespeare. Hamlet or Othello, for instance..."
The mousy woman spoke for the first time. "I vote for Othello. Or Hamlet. Whichever one you really want. I vote for whatever Rosemary wants."
Lissa stared at Rosemary. "I want to do a play that's in English. Banny and I vote no. Right, Banny? We vote that instead of some crap by that Shakespeare loser we do Romeo and Juliet."
Banny didn't look up from his game. "Uh-huh."
"Two votes to one. Pres can't vote. I win. Yay, me! I vote I get to play Juliet, and you two girls have to be my ladies-in-waiting and serve me hand-and-foot. Right, Banny?"
Rosemary's arm s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d across, past Lissa, reaching Banny. Her hand expanded, so her fingers wrapped around his head several times and her palm covered his nose and mouth, smothering him. Rosemary's watch-strap broke, revealing a tattoo of a white triangle inside a black triangle, outlined and connected with red lines.
"Banny abstains," Rosemary said. "So that's one yes, one no, and I break the tie, among other things. Now let's vote on who gets to survive the next half hour."
Go to Chapter 1: The Worthy Ones
Go to Chapter 3: Things Take A Turn For The Weird
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