Above the Scenes

By Hannah Christensen

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Some people are content to be the power behind the scenes. I am the power above the scenes.

I work the sound and light box. Without me, the audience would be stuck in the dark, stumbling to find the exit. Without me, the hero would blend into the chorus. Without me, no one could hear a word.

Then one night, a bat invaded my domain.

The sneaky little mammal lurked near the ceiling, waiting to bombard innocent bystanders and steal the show. I knew it had to go.

I had to be subtle. I decided to chase it out with lights. I chose a small, red spotlight. I was hoping that it work on the same principle as a laser beam with a cat. Failing that, it could still startle the vermin into an exit.

The bat fluttered slightly, but did not relinquish its perch. Instead, a few audience members began to crane their heads to see what was happening. I switched the light off.

“Maybe we should call the custodian,” Riley said.

Call the custodian to stop the show and set up a ladder in the middle of the auditorium during the climax of Act 1? Never. If the little monster was impervious to light, it was time to pull out sound.

The beauty of this plan was that bats hear sounds too high for human ears. No one else would even hear. I plugged in an extra microphone to the sound board and cranked up the frequency. I aimed it at the villain and slammed on the volume.

“Um…” said Riley.

I ignored him. My strategy was working. I could see the beast start to fly.

Unfortunately, it did not head for the exit.

“Quick, we need to catch it!”

“Um…” said Riley again. He is not always a helpful assistant.

“Put the microphone on a stand and find a net,” I ordered. I slid open the window and leaned out. “Here, quick!”

Riley handed me a microphone on a stick. I waved it at the bat from a side, trying to chase it toward us. The brainless creature simply flew in circles, closer and closer to the stage. This was unacceptable. I leaned out a little farther.

“Janice!”

I don’t think I would have actually slipped if Riley hadn’t grabbed for me. As it was, for a few moments we were both dangling out, hooked precariously to the sound board. I almost dropped the microphone.

Riley got his feet first and dragged me in, trailing over dozens of switches. I seethed thinking of all the adjustments we would need to make in the dark to reattain perfection. I pushed him away from me. I must have pushed him too hard.

“MOO.”

The cow sound echoed loud and clear. Right after the villain denounced the heroine. Not acceptable.

“Got it!”

Riley flung his jacket in the air, and bundled it up into a fluttering bundle.

I closed the window.

“Who knew bats liked cows?”

I rolled my eyes at him, but did not comment. Occasionally even powers above the scenes can use assistants.

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More Stories by Hannah Christensen

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