Chapter ONE-Opening Night
Sparkling glitter, bright fabrics, the smell of white powders, the sweet taste of liquor, and the
glorious feeling of opening night had surrounded the young-teenage-girl as she glided her white
fingers across the set. The bright lights onstage filled Kindle's breath; as she breathed out, she
entered the dim, stuffy, back-stage. The glory of the theater excited her and she felt light headed
when she entered the dressing-room. Beautiful women acting in the play where undressing and
redressing in their bright, sparkly costumes, white powder was evenly dusted on their already
smooth faces, and black, dark eyeshadow darkened their blue and green eyes. It was like a
"HA HA! Hello little girl! Still in time to zip up the back of my corset! That's right, back there.
How do I look?" asked Gwen, turning around.
"You look terrible, your hips are too small!" laughed Sinsunny, fastening her hair tie onto the
light brown locks.
"HA! I didn't ask you! I asked the young one."
Kindle looked from behind the tall woman's dainty back, "Why, you look very lovely... like a
vision." She looked in the mirror at her own self much smaller than Gwen, who was easily seen
The tall women looked at each other and laughed at the girl. They all where nice to Kindle, on
opening nights, because there was the smell of promise in the air. All where hopeful that the show
would be a success, bringing in profit and wealth, fame and fortune. Everyone was expected to
have a good attitude on opening nights, the atmosphere was overpowering.
"Hey ladies!" peeped a middle aged man, seemingly drunk, laughing.
"You get out you PERVERSE little monkey!" Laughed Gwen, while all the other girls flirted and
giggled at the ugly man, pushing him out in the most unorganized, flirty fashion.
Pretty soon another man came in, who was rather handsome but who's face was that of a
clown, with a gigantic grin and big eyes with black outlining them naturally. His mannerisms
where short and fidgety yet at the same time whimsical and mystical. This man, was not actually
human. He was apart of a race known as the WhiteFace. Who where born with white faces that
would have to be painted in our world. This man, rather, Jester had the oddest expressions, as he
flirted back with the half naked girls.
Finally following him was a short man, of about twenty-five, with a kind, youthful face yet
distorted in the over head light. "Well, who's ready to break a leg for the queen?!" Nate asked.
"For that ugly woman?" asked Sinsunny, as she grazed her fingers over the clown.
"That 'ugly woman' is paying fifty talents to see us! With that much money, Helious could be a
goddess!" Gwen brushed her dress smooth and walked out of the small curtained dressing room.
"I don't know about that, Helious is the ugliest thing that has ever walked inside this theater"
said a woman flicking her blond curls.
"Well, Helious or Goddess, Queen Marina of Lutenfia, Daughter of Blinsita of Gilgintria,
Daughter of some one or rather in a certain place that nobody cares about, is very particular with
theater! And if we don't do this right, well, Austenhik will break all our legs" replied Nate, who
was by this time walking out of the room.
On that note, everyone went to their places, and Kindle was left alone. Kindle was supposed to
assemble the props, and double check that everything was in place. But instead she looked in the
mirror at herself. She pushed aside her tangled red hair and examined the imperfections on her
face. Kindle had imagined she was onstage, and the bright electric light shown upon her as she
acted the main role. The music started, and the play was about to begin. Quickly, Kindle
straitened up the dressing room and ran to the prop tables. When she ran into the darkness, and
felt her way quietly to the tables, she bumped into the clown.
"What are you doing?" he whispered, it was dark, but the faint green light shown on his angry
face. When he breathed on her she could smell the distinct smell of alcohol, "You stupid foolish
thing. How dare you disturb me. You are wasting my time you dumb little girl, running up and
down backstage, right when I'm about to go on." he looked upon her with his big green eyes
outlined by black. His curly blond hair that was just passed his jawbone swayed when he grabbed
her by her dress collar. The shrill thin voice whispered louder "tell me! why are you here!? Tell me
why?" The clown pushed her to the ground which made a strong thump when she hit the wooden
Tears streamed down Kindle's face, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry!"
He grabbed her shoulders and lifted her back up, "Look at the little push over, GIVE ME AN
ANSWER LITTLE GIRL!" As he laughed he widened his eyes and clasped her arms making Kindles
hands pulsate and burn.
"I was day dreaming." she finally said trying to brake away.
The clown only grinned and lifted his hand, was about to hit her, but stopped when Gwen's
hand touched his shoulder. "You missed your cue! Everyone is looking for you. They are trying
their hardest to do the scene without you! Austenhik is going to kill you." Gwen looked at him with
strained round eyes and a solemn face, "your too drunk for any good!"
"Nonsense, its her fault!" he placed his cold fingers on Kindles face, squeezing her chin out of
"Well either way you'd better get out there, they're doing terrible without you" Gwen pushed
the clown to the right wing and walked back to Kindle.
"What are you g-" Kindle started but was pulled into the dressing room where she met the
sober face of Gwendoline. All was quiet. Gwen's hand was firmly held onto Kindle's shoulders. She
looked away and tightened her lips under anguish. The music started up again. Gwen saw this as
"WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!" Gwendoline yelled, over the music, now so loud it was shaking
the room. Gwen smacked her hand across Kindle's cheek; casting her small fragile body on the
carpeted floor in the dressingroom "WHY ARE YOU CAUSING TROUBLE!"
Kindle didn't know how to react. She knew it wasn't altogether her fault, but if she didn't act
sorry for it, they would think she doesn't care about the play... and that was definitely not it. "I'm
not! I mean its not my fault! He was drunk!"
The music ended and Gwen knew she had to be onstage in a few moments. Gwen filled with
anger, her eyes filled with tears and her thick red lips started to tremble. She breathed in and
looked at Kindle "You know what your going to say to Austenhik? You will say you had a little
accident" her eyebrow rose as she came closer to Kindle, taking a knife from the counter top in
front of the mirror, "You tripped and fell on a prop in the dark, you know the one? The big
umbrella with the sharp point on the end?" Gwendoline lifted Kindles dress exposing Kindles hip
and brought the knife to it. The knife slowly and firmly ran across Kindle's side making a trail of
blood behind it. A sharp pain came over Kindle and the urge to pull away was over bearing.
Kindle's fine hair on her thigh stood up as she could feel the wetness running down her hip.
Kindles body grew cold as the blood dripped down her leg and onto the already crimson carpet.
She couldn't stop breathing heavily as the life fell out of her. Finally it stopped, but now a stinging
pain throbbed through the wound, and the blood wouldn't stop. "Now there is a good reason, to
make someone miss their cue. Do you know why Darby missed his cue?" she was referring to the
clown. "Because he was a gentleman in helping you clean up the mess of blood you made off the
prop." Gwen wiped the knife on a cloth and pressed the cloth onto the wound. After which she
walked briskly out of the dressing room, leaving Kindle alone and bleeding.
Kindle couldn't bear it. She found that the only person who could ever care about her didn't all
along. The blood filled the cloth. "why so deep? why did she cut so deep?" she thought to herself
as she became weaker and weaker. "Why so much pain, and unkindness" for the first time Kindle
was aware of her loneliness, of the bitter ruthlessness that takes place amongst the cast and
crew. Kindle fell to the floor and tried her hardest to press down on her wound. "Gwendoline" she
whispered out loud, thinking of how she used to think of her. "But they are actors" she thought
"actors, playing a part." All was quiet and Kindle was aware of the outside- onstage. There was
laughing, from the audience as Darby sword fought with the umbrella, and Kindle could hear the
actors singing loudly.
When the fight is off, in the heat of war,
Who could stop the fighting bore?
Of all the people here you see,
Who could this silly creature be?
"Killing people who kill killers!" yelled Darby as he fought the army of men single handily,
"Who could this killer, killing, be?"
"You'd think this killer would look like a killing killer killing killed killers"
"Yet the killer here is..." Darby stopped fighting and pointed to himself, but a big man
came on the stage. The fighting jester ran the other way and yelled "KILLING ME!!!"
The audience laughed, all went dark, and Kindle passed out.
Chapter TWO- Confusion
It was the end of the show, the lights dimmed, and the actors made their way to the sides of
backstage, ready for curtain call. Darby was in the back, waiting for a friendly applause; like
missing his cue wouldn't affect it at all.
"Darby!" a scruffy, burly man walked from the left passageway "What happened out there?
Austenhik will kill you when this show is over!"
"I am terribly sorry," Darby tried his hardest to be serious.
"You will be before this night is over... along with me and the rest of the crew. What where you
Darby remembered himself shaking the little girl backstage, "I was busy." He laughed
remembering the little girl's head bobbling in the dark.
"WHAT?" The man got angry, "'BUSY?' doing what?"
Darby didn't want to be blamed for being too drunk backstage. "I-"
"He was helping Kindle." Gwen interrupted after spotting Galin and Darby conversing.
"Who's Kindle and how is he more important then the show?" Galin felt puzzled as the tall
woman and the smiling clown looked at each other in question.
"She... is the prop girl and-"
"No time right now! We will talk about it after curtain call!" Galin pushed Gwen out onstage to a
small applaud sound, no one stood, no one shouted, the queen only stared and Gwen slowly
bowed to nothing. Darby followed doing somersaults to the edge of the stage, taking off his
feather cap, receiving but a small bit of clapping in return. Taking it all too well, he skipped to the
row of actors and they all bowed together.
"Darby." Gwen whispered to the Jester, "Kindle tripped and fell on your umbrella." They bowed
"And I helped her get to the dressing room and fixed my umber-"
"You helped her stop the blood." The actors pointed to the lights crew, curtain crew and
"And took her... where?"
"Woman's d-" They bowed once more.
"Dressing room" Darby smirked "I got this." And the lights went out.
All the actors went to the dressing room where they found only a small puddle of blood where
the little girl once cringed.
"What is that!" Sinsunny crinkled her nose and looked out of disgust.
"That is Kindles blood."
"Eww, where is she now?" Sinsunny looked around and everyone else gathered at the red
"Out of my way, OUT of my WAY!" Galin pushed his way to the blood. "Is this the reason for
the missed cue?"
Darby walked to the center of attraction "Yeah, but I thought I stopped the blood." He looked
Gwen and raised an eyebrow
Chapter THREE- Helious
Kindle woke to a big, crippled, ugly man, with wrists that curved outward, and a mouth that
tilted to the side. One of his ears where smaller and up higher than the other, and his eyes sunk
in from a long crooked nose. His hair was long but pulled back. He spoke to her as soon as she
awoke "I see you are awake- you are awake." he smiled showing three teeth on the right side
missing. "How are you?"
Kindle had never seen this man before. He looked like he should be in the circus freak display.
His voice was deep with barely any tone, babbling the same phrase over and over again. Kindle
backed away from the ugly creature and felt a sharp pain in her side, quickly laying back down.
"You had your accident- your accident- your accident"
"yes" she said, trying to ignore his face that looked terrifying.
"I know this couldn't be from any umbrella! I know this couldn't be from any umbrella! But lets
not tell anybody." he patted her leg with his long bony fingers. Then repeated himself as if he
forgot he said it in the first place.
Kindle decided to talk to him, it seemed to help stop the repeating. "Are you-"
"Helious. Helious the Hideous . It was my title. Hideous. It was my title. It was-"
"My name is Kindle"
"I know." The man reached for scissors and walked closer to Kindle "I know." he said in the
same tone as last.
Kindle, scared of the man, got off the bed that she was on. "What are you doing with those!"
She held her side, she saw it was stitched, it still hurt and started to bleed again.
"Now. Now. Now. Don't do that! Its bleeding. Don't do that! It's bleeding. Don't do that! Its
"Why do you have those scissors?" she asked.
"The stitches are not done" he motioned for her to come. "The stitches are not done" he
motioned just as he did before. He was about to repeat a third time, but Kindle slowly got back on
the bed, terrified.
"I just need to cut the end of the stitch." He said again. As the ugly man cut the end of the
stitch, a circus came to his mind. Out of his head came a great tent, and music started playing.
The lights dimmed and he remembered the glowing sides of the tent waving and swaying in the
wind. He felt dehydrated and sick as he remembered sweating in the midsummer humidity.
Everything was in bright colors and the smell of people festered within the tent.
"AND FEAST YOUR EYES ON HELIOUS! THE HIDEOUS!" Laughed the man known as the ring
master. "AND FEAST YOUR EYES ON HELIOUS! THE HIDEOUS!" Laughed the man. All turned eyes
to look at the circus freak, dressed in a horrendous array of comical clothing, blue and yellow,
green and purple. Laughing and screaming came upon him, as he recited his lines to please the
ring master. He recited them once more and the people kept laughing and screaming. Helious'
dream kept repeating, getting faster and faster in his mind.
"Terrible memories." He finally said, breaking away from the dream. "Terrible memories"
"Nothing." He looked quite plainly, "Your, finished. You don't have to stay anymore, although
moving may make it bleed. It may make it bleed. It may make it bleed. It may make it bleed."
Helious took a big breath and sat down but the same thoughts kept repeating more and more,
louder and louder.
Kindle looked with pity on him. She looked at his face that expressed the utter most
embarrassment and despair.
He looked away. Helious filled up with anger, wishing no one would take pity on him. That's
what they always did, at the circus, at least that's how the tickets sold. That's why he ran away,
seeking a new life alone. Helious thought to himself, "If only I didn't walk by the train station,
then nobody would have seen me, not Austenhik not anybody. If only I didn't walk by the train
station, then nobody would have seen me, not Austenhik not anybody. Austenhik had to take me,
to the theater, he brought me good things, what was I to do? I was hungry and tired. When he
brought me to the theater he made me stay! What was I to do? I was hungry and tired. When he
brought me to the theater he made me stay!" Helious felt his face burn as he remembered his
parts in the plays always a monster. Always a pitiful creature.
Helious lashed out, "There's that word again! Pity! Pity! Pity! PITY! PITY! PITY! PITY! PITY!"
Helious started hitting things, repeating the word over and over again. Then he took a chair from
the small table that made up his cold room, and started banging it across the bed. Smashing it on
the stone floor and against the wall. "Pity... Pity... Pity" He finally broke down; sitting on the floor
with his arms hugging his legs; rocking himself back and forth in a sort of rhythm. "Pity" he
whispered, every time he rocked back- matching it to the small song he created for himself, with
the metal on his back pocket hitting the floor sounding as a metronome.
Kindle came to him and gently put her hand on his shoulder. "Please, don't cry."
Helious couldn't control himself he took a piece of the broken chair and hit Kindle with it. "CRY?
IM NOT CRYING!" he yelled as he hit places beside her to scare her.
Kindle was hit on her right shin, she could feel it swelling and she felt as if she could not
move. Out of terror, she ran out the door, screaming as she went.
"IM NOT CRYING!" Helious said again, bringing his head out of the doorway. He could see the
back of Kindles head turn out of the hallway, down the stairs. And once again he was alone.
Chapter THREE- Austenhik
Kindle couldn't bear the pain she felt. Her newly stitched side was starting to ooze and her shin
was so sore she couldn't feel anything under the blow. Her leg gave in under her, and she fell
down the steps into a hallway where the casts rooms where. She let out a cry and held her side,
as blood was starting to drip out again.
A man of tall dark stature came out of the room. There was an odd air about him, not
particularly good, yet not altogether evil, his clothes where incredibly vibrant, wealthy and
expensive. He smelt of perfumes and sweet herbs, and his great collar of lace bunched from strait
under his chin. His eyes where pale gray, and they stared as did a sky of melancholy rain only
deeper and more distinct. His pale face was framed with great black hair and a thin neat
mustache. This man had not run to the girl in pain immediately, instead he slowly walked to the
end of the hallway, looking down at her with a frown on his solemn mouth.
"So. I see you have had a little accident." He smiled, and squinted the great gray middle aged
Kindle was in a state of whim and misery. Angered by the laze' fare aura about the man, the
small, sick, girl managed to sit up and choke out the word "Little?" She looked up to find Ausenhik
in a blurry dark world. The rich, powerful man she had only seen from far away and never actually
talked to was before her now. He was the man who decided her fate for her. He was the man who
was in charge of all the actors and crew, the one who planned the lives of those in the reach of his
long, narrow fingers. The whole time Kindle had been in the theater she had dreamed she could
be onstage as an actress, and the small chance she still had of being a shadow of the understudy
had floated away along with the home she once had.
"I see the little girl has a tongue belonging to that of someone of a high place. It is not your
right to destroy opening night and at the same time disregard the man who gives you a place to
sleep." he said these words slowly and collectedly as he bent down over the girl almost enjoying
the comical irony of the situation. The low proper voice continued to rattle itself amongst the
hollow hallways "Now, we must mend the wounds that where made on opening night." He
chuckled to himself and walked slowly away again, leaving the girl to a scene growing darker and
darker till all stage lights where out.
"Darby." the dark man called to the Jester who was now amongst the others surrounding the
child, "clean up your mess... finish the job you had started."
"Yes, Austenhik" replied Darby, hesitating to pick the ivory beauty up lest he 'kill' the hurt and
disturbed child. He had never paid much attention to her; she had been in the theater since she
was only ten. Darby had only looked upon her as a little girl. Yet the last time he gave her a good
look, was but four years ago. Amongst the dim light, the pale face, caused by the loss of blood,
looked of a woman's. She had not only looked more beautiful but also, because of the darkness in
her tired eyes, one of his race. Darby's Whitefaced thoughts had jumbled into a horrendous
Chapter FOUR- Directors notes
"Opening night was terrible. The queen was appalled. A whole five minuets had wasted away in
a perverse silence. All of you embarrassments ruined your lives and more importantly the play.
Your acting skills are as tasteless and tiresome as sailors eating hardtack during a stale wind at
sea. Tossing yourselves around drunk and intoxicated, making noises and thumps that can be
heard from the back-row. The audience is now uninterested. People are now saying that the luster
and freshness my theater had once had has fallen to disgrace and the idiosyncrasy of performing
chimpanzees!" Austenhik exclaimed out of disgust. He sighed and continued with a lower tone of
disappointment, "I feel as if you all betrayed me. It is an honor to act in my theater, yet you all
have brought my theater to shame." He paused and looked at all the cast, sitting helplessly in the
red maroon chairs that had once seated an excited audience. "Worthless," was all he said until he
had jumped off the stage and had come closer to the actors.
"I've been told by all of you, that this girl had fallen on the umbrella backstage. Well thought
out Gwen, my dear. You are as pathetic at lying as you are at acting... there is no difference when
it comes to the lot of you. Darby, you are quite the gentle-clown. How nice of you to help the little
girl with her clean-cut wound. That had to be a very sharp umbrella," again the clever man
paused, "I must know the truth. I must have all sides of the story and there is one of you, I have
not heard from yet." His piercing eyes looked upon Kindle.
"What they say is true." Kindle lied, afraid of the truth, "I was backstage, when I started
dreaming I was onstage, playing Darby's role. My imagination took over and I attempted to flip
over the umbrella I was holding; the stunt Darby does onstage. I fell and landed on the umbrella's
metal tip on the side. If your familiar with this prop you would see that the small metal edge is in
fact very sharp. That was the thump that was heard from the audience. Darby came from the left
in the narrow backstage hall, I was crying silently in the dark still holding his prop in my hand.
Since he needed the prop immediately he had to get me in the dressing room, give me a towel
and clean off the umbrella before it became stained, all before reaching onstage. Please sir, if I
hadn't been imagining in the first place, none of this would have happened."
All was quiet. No one said a word. Nobody has ever talked to Austenhik in that matter- with
dignity and obedience, humbly proving him wrong. All knew she was lying, and had no idea she
could lie so well. Austenhik looked down on the small redhead. "Hmmmm." His serious face was
strait and puzzled. Then, cast upon the regal face was a small smile, and amidst the gray eyes
was a sparkle, almost like the sun, peeking amongst the clouds afterwhich hid away again. "How
extraordinary... very well. I will retire to my chamber. As for the rest of you, rehearsal again,
starts six tomorrow morning, get some rest, or stay up contemplating the outcome of your
mistakes." said the man, and he briskly walked away into the dim hallway, leaving the actors to
Chapter FIVE- Darby
The clown known as Darby had internal contradictions racking through his mind. As a
WhiteFace, thoughts of comedy, stupidity, and happiness where in his nature. Words such as
"serious" and "earnest" where not in the WhiteFace vocabulary. They where all truly stupid in
actions and in speech. Yet they where expert performers, juggling and tossing themselves around
in perfect uniformity. Their silly conversations would have to be rehearsed by a human for a very
long time before they could be done as speedily and as perfectly. Darby was the only WhiteFace
in the cast. The typical theater always had at least one Clown. Unless of course there was a
WhiteFace theater, where ironically the Clowns would put on tan make up if they where playing a
human. All clown theaters only performed comedy.
The stress that Darby was going though was uncontrollable. Thoughts of the small girl
bleeding on the floor repeated itself in his head. The thought of him hurting her was unbearable.
Yet, at the same time, his whitefaced thoughts caused him to want to laugh, and make fun of the
girl. Darby was alone when he talked to the mirror.
"Well, here we are, another night in the theater." He sighed, "alone." Then he laughed, "what a
silly little girl, attempting to cover it all up just for her small homely place in the theater!" Then he
was serious "but it wasn't for her. She would have been alright if Austenhik knew the truth." the
joker looked at the liquor bottle on the rack. There was a moment of silence when the clown
contemplated the drink- and what too much does to him. The strait expression on his face turned
to a grin that stretched to the corners of his jaw "what a foolish way to try and defend the drink of
the gods!" He laughed "THE GODS!" He took up the bottle in his hand and gulped the rest of the
He sat back down in the seat, "OH The land of my home, home- home- homeland home- I'm
gone gone gone to the place I belong." He laughed once again, "Home! what is home? Not this
place, that's for sure." He wanted to again, think of his country, but he had so many times it tired
him. "She lied to save me from getting kicked out." The jester said aloud, now being very grave.
"Why would she do that?" He looked in the mirror once again, "What a beautiful creature, so small
and youthful. She is like porcelain." His thoughts became darker "OH if only I could take your
body into my arms! I cannot resist your fragile figure!" Darby thought of what it could be if he
where to take her as his own, if he could. "BUT YOU COULD NEVER LOVE ME!" he cried and threw
himself on the floor, "I am a whiteface; laughed at by all and respected by no one. I had hurt you.
I have hurt you. Don't let me hurt you, you beautiful nobody. I am nothing even more then you.
Oh how could you ever forgive me?" He held himself with his long arms that wrapped around to
his back. He was turned away from the doorway, that seemed to ominously stand there, aware
that Darby had feared its emptiness.
Chapter SIX- The Dream and the Reality
"KINDLE! YOU DID IT!" yelled Gwen as she brought her to her room. "We shall celebrate! TO
THE GIRL WHO SAVED US FROM Austenhik!" a few other actors came in the room, all praising
Kindle for lying.
"Have you ever tasted brew before?" laughed one woman, "you'll LOVE IT!"
"Not in the morning she won't"
"Oh but who thinks about the morning on a night like this!?"
Kindle was about to take a drink, as Sinsunny gave her a glass, but the party was interrupted.
"Astenhik wants to see Kindle!" yelled Nate, as he ran into the room. "He didn't seem too happy."
"He is never happy." replied Gwen, trying to be optimistic.
Everyone was quiet and amongst the silence Kindle went out of the room, filled with distress
and panic. "What is he to say? What is he to do? Will I ever see dear Gwen and all my friends
again? What will he do to me?"
"Are you scarred?" Asked Nate, his brown eyes staring into hers.
"What do you think?" laughed Kindle, thinking it a silly question.
"Well, you still have your sense of humor, and well, what people say about you-"
Kindle was curious; she thought that she was nothing. Invisible. "What do they say?" she asked
"Well, you know, how you are not afraid of Austenhik, how you have cut yourself to cover up
Darby's mistake, how you, yourself sewed it up afterward, and how you fought Helious when he
took you to his room." Nate said these words with amazement, almost as if he was praising the
"Not all of those are true." she said
Kindle didn't want to tell on Gwen, "I am afraid... that he will leave me out on the street."
"I would be among the Drake, and the sprites." Kindle thought of the creatures that roam the
streets. "Hungry, wretched and just as the lepers"
"That won't happen."
"How do you know?" At this point they both stopped at the cold wooden oak door to
Austenhik's chamber. "I'll be okay." Kindle looked behind her but Nate was already halfway down
the hallway. Kindle turned back and lifted her hand to knock.
"Come in" Austenhiks voice called from inside the room before Kindles knuckles had touched
Kindle hesitated but turned the icy doorknob that brought a chill down her spine. When the
door opened a warm air surrounded Kindle. Fumes of sweet flowers and honey filled the air and a
sound of quiet music gently played in the corner. The room was laced with velvet curtains and a
great silky bed. Kindle only imagined such a chamber to belong to that of a king, "Ah, come in,
stop standing there like a statue." Astenhik was on a gold and velvet chair, facing a great
"Sir, I did not mean to upset you I-" Kindle was interrupted by a great heap of laughter.
"You assume. Do not assume! Don't you see? All I want is what's best for my theater, what will
bring people to see the theaters greatness. I am not out to get anybody! I am not trying to hurt
anyone! I only benefit people. I know what is best for them more then they know themselves."
Austenhik got up and turned to Kindle. "I am the director. I am the sculptor, I am the composer! I
am the puppeteer! I- am- the gatekeeper! To a world that can only be entered in the midst of the
stage! A place that can only be viewed from afar, as the actors practice its magic. It is MAGIC!
And I am the magician." He slowly came closer to Kindle. "I have the ability to move the
audience, to control every thought and every emotion that runs through their spirit. I control what
they may think. I control what they will do. I have the power to brainwash them, to bend them
anyway I want. The actors are not my puppets, the audience is!"
Kindle tried to understand, but only thought him crazy, as if he thought himself to be a sort of
god. "I am sorry, why did you bring me here?"
"I brought you here because I believe you are the only thing that could bring this theater to
such a level! All this time I've been looking for the perfect actress and she was there! the homely
little girl who cleaned the dressing rooms."
Kindle could not register what he was saying, "Wait... what?"
"You heard what I said. WELCOME TO THE LIFE OF A STAR!" Austenhik walked to her and
shook her hand like he was closing a business deal. "You will star in the next production as the
lead!" Austehik smiled and looked into Kindles eyes.
"Thank you." Kindle tried not to smile, but it was over bearing and her eyes started to water
out of amazement.
"Ha, ha, you are so happy- I love seeing an actress happy." He showed her to the door. "You
will love the life of the theater, you shall be respected by all the woman and men in this theater
and more importantly the audience! People you don't know, and people you do but only because
their royalty will come great distances and pay great amounts to see you, the actress of the
century." he walked her out, and slowly closed the door- leaving her to the stone hallway.
The hallway was harsh, dirty and cold, quite different from the room Kindle was just in.
Comfortable and soft, warm and clean was the room that had such contrast to the long crooked
narrow hallway. Kindle did not wonder why the difference was there, she did not wonder why the
room stood away but so close to the hallway. She was too preoccupied with her own thoughts.
Kindle stood there. Her whole life had changed in less then five minuets. All was good. Kindle felt
uplifted, never had any kind of happiness such as this come into her life before. Kindle didn't
question why this had happened to her, she didn't question why Austenhik suddenly did what he
did; she just calmly smiled as she thought of her success.
"KINDLE!" Gwen caught glimpse of her outside of the chamber. "What happened?"
Kindle didn't know what to say. So she didn't reply, only continued staring into the darkness.
"Did he have ill spirit?"
"No." Kindle simply said quietly.
"Did he banish you from the theater?"
"What did he say?"
"I- I don't know how to explain it." Kindle said.
"Was he happy?"
Kindle tried to remember if the man was, or if he was crazy, or if he was anything at all. The
stage was all she could think of. He was nothing in her mind. There was nothing but her, and what
she is now. "I don't know."
"What did he do to you Kindle!" Gwen was frustrated. "Tell me!"
"Nothing. He did nothing!" Kindle replied. "I am tired and sick and hungry. I want to be alone!"
She said, annoyed by the nosy woman. Kindle became more patient "I am sorry. I am shocked
"Why?" asked Gwen.
"Because I am no longer part of the crew."
"What? What does that mean? you mean he kicked you out?"
"No. I am an actress." Kindle smiled and stared into nothing.
"What?" Gwen looked at Kindle, who was staring to look ill.
"I am an actress," Kindle walked slowly to her small bedroom, slowly laid in her bed and fell
Chapter SEVEN- Poker
Gwendoline watched Kindle walk to her small room. "Kindle? An actress?" Gwendoline
wondered how and why Austenhik would do such a thing. Why he would have a servant perform
in his theater. Not just any servant, but Kindle? The small absentminded little girl? Maybe he was
desperate for actors. But what was he thinking? If he wants his theater to rise up and become
successful why would he put small little ugly Kindle on-stage? The little girl is only a few years
past twelve. Sinsunny walked to Gwen, who was watching the passageway Kindle turned from
when she walked to her room.
"HA! you look funny when you think too hard!"
"Kindle just came from Austehik's chamber."
"Did he put her where she belongs? Out on the street?"
"No. She said he made her an actress." Gwen turned to Sinsunny, who leaned to one side
shifting all her weight on her right leg.
"The little whore." Sinsunny flicked her curls to one side.
"What do you mean?" Gwendoline rolled her eyes at the woman who thought bad about
"I mean the girl pleased the master to become an actress."
"Thats nonsense shes too young, and a lowly servant at that! If Austenhik wanted his way with
her he would have had it without bribing her."
"Fourteen isn't young, and the way she has been talking to him doesn't seem like she is so
'lowly' after all"
"Austenhik doesn't need her. I have seen him with very attractive women all the time. You are
"Why are you contradicting me? Is Kindle your child?"
Gwen didn't say a word, she had always wanted a child, and always mothered Kindle. Gwen
walked away from Sinsunny, into the dark hall. She turned a corner and walked down the stairs
where smoke, light and voices reached from the doorway. Gwen entered without saying a word.
In the room was the cast and some of the crew doing various activities. Darby, Nate and a few
other men where sitting at a table playing poker. Some where in the corner with guitars and
instruments playing music while others danced and sang. Many where sitting talking and laughing
the night away, just as usual.
"All for one! and all for ONE! you suckers don't know the first thing about poker!" Darby happily
scooped the pile of chips into his possession.
"Why do I even try?" asked Haythen, a young man in charge of the curtains during
productions. "You know, that time I actually thought you got a bad hand."
"Has Darby ever been defeated?"
"Once, but that was by another Whiteface! And I was Sober." Darby grinned out of self esteem.
"HA! you lie!" A woman walked by the table, "You have been beaten by Farehawk! He took all
seven silver talents. Tip! when Darby looses he looses bad."
"That was a bad day. And why do you keep helping them out? Will I ever get my turn?" Darby
shuffled the cards and took his hand.
"You want tips?" The woman tilted her head and smiled.
"No I'd rather have you stay the night." Darby gasped and quickly turned back to the table.
"That's what I thought." The woman then walked away.
"Well! get ready for another bad day Darby!" Nate picked up his hand and lit another
"Well! get ready to loose another 15 copper talents NATE!" Darby set down three chips.
Chapter EIGHT- The Drake
In the corner was a drake, who was apart of the set builders crew. His race was tall, strong and
serpent-like. His eyes where yellow and his skin was tough and dark. His tongue was long and
forked. He wore a cloak and was alone, smoking a long stone pipe. That was how Drakes usually
where, solitary and quiet. His race was looked down upon in the human world, even more then
the Whitefaces. So all he could do was watch and listen to the others and their games.
Gwendoline's mind swam. Could Sinsunny be right? It has happened before, but with Kindle?
No. It didn't seem right. Gwen could not let that happen. Gwen loved Kindle like a daughter. She
has secretly for the last five years, ever since Kindle was sold to the theater she has tried to keep
a close watch on her. "A lot has happened since then. So much. Too much." Gwen sat in the
corner where the Drake had been sitting. "Had she only been more careful, I wouldn't have done
it. Should I have done it? Did it actually save her?"
"Humans worry so much." The Drake hissed.
"Is it any of your business to talk to me?"
"Then keep your hissing tongue from twisting outside your mouth." Gwen looked away from the
"You are upset." There was no reply from Gwen. He continued, "You have no reason to be
"How would you know?"
"Nothing should make anyone so upset."
"What do you mean?"
"Whatever it is you are upset about, being upset will not help."
"Then what will?" Gwen looked upon the creature with annoyance and discontent.
"Well thought out action will help the best."
Gwen laughed now being entertained, "Like what?"
"Some problems are more complicated."
"Is it?" The drake hissed, "No. Nothing could be so complicated."
"Your mind is as shallow as a puddle."
"Maybe so, but that would make yours as a dry pothole. Our minds can not reach the level that
the wizards of my country do."
"You and your country will go to hell, along with your wizards, wise men and theologians."
Gwen hated the Drake. "My problem involves love, sacrifice and feelings."
"Ah- feelings. What kind of feelings" The drake was always interested in this subject.
"Regret shame and worry." Gwen watched as the lizard exhausted a sort of orange smoke that
came from the pipe.
"Regret. What a human word. Why would you regret something that was planned to happen
before you had ever reached this earth?"
"Fate you mean?" Gwen asked.
"Sort of... why are you ashamed?"
"I hurt someone, someone dear to me."
"What was you intention at the time?" The drakes tongue tasted the air and went back in its
"Anger took over, and I thought I could help. I-"
"Anger is good. What do you worry of?"
"I worry that someone will hurt my friend."
"The same friend you hurt? That is a double standard."
"How would you know? I hurt my friend because it was necessary. She needed it, she would
have been kicked out if I hadn't!" Gwen's face flushed red as her thoughts swelled into an abyss
"Why do you get so flustered at a simple comment?" The lizard man was cool and portrayed a
sort of elegance as he puffed another cloud of salmon color. "All is fine. You should not ever
regret what you do... you will be saved none the less." He grinned, got up and walked from the
room. Gwen watched as he left, thinking of all the things that have happened. "Should I be
Drakes are very talented in magic. They are advanced and accelerated in electric waves,
harnessing them into metal, glass, and rubber containers. Drakes are also good at carpentry
The next morning Kindle woke to a combination of pots, pans and voices in the party room.
She got up and walked to her closet where she found a new dress that was not familiar to her.
She grazed her fingers over the white soft linen, and examined the pretty porceline buttons
attacted to the small white cotton dress. Quickly she tried it on, and to her satisfaction, it fit
perfectly. Afterward, she left her closet to the sounds in the party room.
"Get the eggs on the stove! Quickly, the actors are just waking up!"
"No sweat, we do this every morning they find out what parts they get in the next play."
"LITTLE GIRL! clean these dishes, we want to use them for the pig! What the hell are you
wearing? Get those rediculous clothes off, we have work to do!" The fat woman with corse, curly
red hair swiftly smacked the girl on the cheek and sent her back to her room.
"I don't understand that girl." said a black haired, middle aged woman, who was cleaning a
chicken from its feathers.
"I know, she is said to have relations with Austenhik."
"Really? How awful, that explains the dress?"
"Its from hanging out with that Gwendoline actress."
"Why do you think? You think Gwen just got the position of an actress with those lousy acting
"Of course I always knew she had her way with the Austenhik."
"Hand me the basil."
"Here. Is she an actress now?"
"I don't know, I heard from
The country Laughalot was run by the WhiteFaces. It only cared of pleasure, laughter, and having a good time. They had
festivals and holidays all the time. They celebrated for everything. They where a race of Clowns.
So you see, when a WhiteFace is put in a very serious matter, the clown would become stressed. When WhiteFaces
are put under stress, they react strongly, unable to find the way of dealing with the matter. Such a thing is very dangerous
for a Clown. Two things could happen, one- they loose their sense of humor forever, or two, they become closed off-
laughing uncontrollably- never to be reasoned with again.