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Star-Crossed Night

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Jake's college's theatre always locked up for Halloween. The legend around the school was that years ago on Halloween, a prop incident caused the deaths of two people: an actress and her stagehand boyfriend, who rushed to try and save her. They say that each Halloween the ghosts relive the play that led to their deaths.

Jake turned to his girlfriend, Sophia and said, “I see the old coots closed up this shack again this year. Silly superstitions. Bah.”

Sophia shook her head. She wished Jake was a little less bold sometimes. “Jake, babe, I’m sure there’s a better reason than just-.”

Jake cut her off. “No, hun. They close it every year out of this crazy belief of the ghosts coming and performing. My brother went here years back, and he remembers them doing this every year.”

Sophia sighed. She knew what he was going to suggest they do. She had seen the look on Jake’s face before. It was a look of determination and excitement. This mean adventure and—more often than not—trouble.

“I know what we can do,” he said, grinning as he leaned against the door of the theatre. “There’s a window around back I left cracked and unlocked yesterday while I was snooping around. We can get in through there and prove there are no ghosts in there.”

Knowing she had little in the way of options, Sophia obliged. Around back, true to his word, there was a slightly open window. Below it was a stack of fairly sturdy-looking crates, piled conveniently right to the window’s edge.

Since it was getting dark and people were making plenty of noise around the area, no one took note of the two knocking over a crate or two as they climbed into the window and dropped down onto the floor in a changing room.

The entire theatre, usually bustling with noise of some sort, was eerily silent. The room they were in was clearly the women’s dressing room. There were wigs and dresses strewn about, as if the owners had left in somewhat of a hurry. The truth, however, was far less disturbing: housekeeping didn’t work weekends, and because Halloween fell on a Saturday, they had closed the theatre earlier in the day Friday.

“So, what do these stupid stories say about this place, Soph?” asked Jake as he fiddled with a few things in the room. “All I really know is that the ghostly performance is supposed to happen at sundown on Halloween.”

“The stage, then,” said Jake, grunting as he pulled the heavy dressing room door open. “Ladies first,” he said as he held the door open for Sophia.

As soon as they walked into the main part of the theatre, they both realized something was off. Though it was almost sundown outside, the weather was still on the warm side. However, in their current room, the air was cold and damp. “Hey, you two,” echoed a female voice from behind them. “You shouldn’t be in here. Don’t you know the stories they tell about this place?”

“And just who are you?” Jake asked mockingly, turning around to face his accuser.

“I’m Tish, and it seems you had the same idea as my friend, Blake. He’s a bit stubborn, so he decided to try for the back entrance.” She stopped for a moment and pointed to the stage. “Ah, there he is now,” she said as a man stepped onto the stage.

“How did you get in, then?” asked Sophia.

“They forgot to lock the front door,” Tish replied with a smile.

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“Hey, Tish, get up here,” Blake shouted. “The view is pretty nice from up here.”

Tish ran up the steps leading up the stage as Jake and Sophia made their way closer to the stage. Above them, a stage light could be heard swinging, as if loose.

“Hey,” shouted Sophia. “I wouldn’t be up there. That light looks unstable.” Concerned for them, she walked up the stage. As she did, the light snapped free of its rigging and plummeted towards Tish.

“Look out!” shouted Sophia as she pushed Tish out of the way. The light landed on Sophia, pinning her to the floor.

“SOPHIA!” Jake shouted, stunned by what had happened. He leaped onto the stage and tried to push the light off of her, but there was just enough power left in the light to send a fatal jolt of electricity through him.

As Sophia’s vision darkened, she heard Tish say coldly, “Thanks for taking our places here.”

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