All the World – Chapter Five

by TByrd

Chapter Five

It was weeks before Elizabeth was seen again, but she had done her job. The staff was on edge every morning when arriving and every evening when they left. It was determined that no one should be alone. There would always be at least two people locking up at night. But Elizabeth wasn’t interested in playing games.

The child watched from a distance in time, observed the comings and goings of these new residents. She watched them look over their shoulder as they carried on about their day. She knew she had shaken them up. And for Tess, she was always the first one out the door, leaving someone else to lock up. The encounter with Elizabeth had left her more skittish than most.

It was only when the staff had let their guard down that Elizabeth saw fit to return. With rehearsals beginning for their first show, it brought in a new audience. She started in small ways, tugging people sleeves, poking them in the side, or simply running across the stage giggling in a quiet moment.

The actors largely ignored these apparitions, unphased in the slightest by a ghost, often recalling that all theatres are haunted. They would recount their own tales of ghosts from their careers, mostly stage hands that had died in tragic ways or actresses that had fallen down the stairs. From janitors, to managers to everything in between, the stories went on.

And it only seemed to annoy the childish spirit as time went on. Tugging on sleeves became pushing, the giggles became wails and stomping sounds from the rigging above. These seemingly childish things now turning violent in nature, and still the staff and cast ignored them. They figured if they didn’t pay any attention it would simply go away.

Until one night when Elizabeth made it very clear that she wasn’t just going away. Mid-rehearsal the banging began again in all areas surrounding the theatre. Tess, annoyed with the constant interruptions finally yelled to the theatre, “Do you mind? We are working in here!”

The answer was loud and clear. The great mountain built at center stage began to buckle and finally collapsed in on itself raising a great cloud of dust. The actors stumbled from the stage and into the house, turning to look back on the destruction. As the dust settled a small form could be seen, a young girl standing just in front of what the mountain used to be.

“Why won’t you play with me?”

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