My outfit is new. There’s no time for needed adjustments. I spy on the studio audience through the gap in the curtains. The host’s monologue is taking forever.
“You okay?” the stagehand hisses, covering his mic and staring.
I smile and nod, my outfit stiff and awkward. He creeps backward.
From the set, the expected announcement comes.
“-from Maine, please welcome Barry Albright!”
That’s not my name. It doesn’t matter. The show must go on.
Struggling with my costume, I stagger into the blinding lights.
The loud welcome becomes hushed gasps. They are truly in awe.
This is finally happening.
There is a chorus of “Help him!” and “Holy shit!”.
I cast about wildly to see who they’re talking about.
Stagehands charge from behind and clutch at me. So rude. I flail feebly, trying to yell, but only manage a whimper.
My composure slips and my outfit crumples to the floor.
I’m naked, exposed. I try to cover myself, the shrieks far away now. Without my outfit, sound is gone.
I glare down at my costume, disappointed. He lays there, unconcious, with blood streaming from every orifice. Cheap piece of garbage.
The studio cameras train on me, and I see myself on jumbo-sized screens. My pale glowing mist hovers over Barry, and my eyes burn an insolent violet.
The audience climbs over each other toward the exits, which slam shut.
The show must go on.
First, I need a fancy new outfit.
Maybe I should try them all on.