Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Theatre De Pénombre, part 3

Rowland stood, stunned, in the dimly lit wagon. He was unsure of what to do next and looked around nervously. Puppy meowed loudly, apparently bored. He was sitting on top of a large chest. Rowland walked over and opened, curious as to its contents. It contained piles of unorganized costumes and clothes, and it was over six feet long. More than large enough to contain Rowland.

"Perfect," he muttered. He climbed into the chest and buried himself in the soft costumes. He grabbed Puppy and pulled him in as well. He shut the lid of the chest and waited silently for Rebecca to return. He shut his eyes and fell asleep to the sound of Puppy's purring.

The wagon jerked forward and jerked Rowland awake. Startled, he smacked his head on the lid of the chest. He could hear Rebecca's voice outside. Lifting the lid slightly, he peered out of the chest. Rebecca was talking to the tall man who Rowland had seen performing as Saturninis.

"You did well tonight, Rebecca. I suspect you'll be good enough to play larger parts soon," he told her.

"Thank you Grandmaster."

"I'll let you change out of your costume. Have a good night." The man Rebecca called Grandmaster opened the door to the wagon and jumped out of the slowly moving vehicle and headed for the members of the caravan behind them. Rebecca closed the door and turned back inside. She began removing her costume and turned toward the chest that hid Rowland. Rowland ducked back inside and shut the lid. Seconds later, the top squeaked open and Puppy meowed loudly and leaped out at Rebecca, who caught him in surprise.

"Oh, hello there. You're Rowland's cat aren't you?" she talked to Puppy as she stroked his fur. "How did you get in th..."

Rebecca trailed off and set Puppy down.

"Rowland. Get out of there. Now."

Sighing in defeat, Rowland lifted the lid and climbed clumsily out of the chest, a pink dress slung over his shoulder. He grinned nervously at Rebecca.

"Are you insane?!" she barked at him.

"What's the big deal, Becc? I want to come with you. It's not like I'm going to sabotage your productions or something. I'll help out."

"You don't understand. You can't be with us. They'll kill you."

"I'm sure they'll be happy to have a helping hand."

"No, Rowland, they will actually murder you."

"Why? Why do you think it's that big of a deal?"

"Rowland, there are a lot of things you don't understand here. You need to leave as soon as you can."

"If I don't understand, why don't you just explain?"

"It isn't that simple. You'll leave when we get to the next town. No more questions."

"Becc, I--"

"Shut up, Rowland. Just... shut up."

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