Ghost at the Opera

Today’s eight randomly generated words: bar, rehearsal, region, binder, essay, chandelier, fight, and holly.

Priscilla was practicing her ballet assignment in the rehearsal room, and had her right leg up on the bar to stretch when she heard yelling in the hallway. Whatever is going on now, she thought. As the principal ballerina for the opera company’s corps de ballet, she felt a responsibility to look out for the other dancers. Many of them were young and from different regions in the country and they were away from home for the first time. Jealousies and disagreements were normal, even tears and fights over having someone else dance the part you really wanted. All that was part of being in the corps de ballet. But lately the entire opera company was uptight and tense. Accidents were happening. They had even had a couple fatal ones lately, including the music director who was hanged when he got tangled in a rope and a sandbag fell. These things were not normal and Priscilla was worried. People were saying that the opera house was haunted by a ghost and that the ghost was writing threatening and demanding letters to the opera theatre’s owner.  There was a binder in all the dancers’s contracts prohibiting them from leaving during the opera season without major penalties, but really, was it worth putting your life in jeopardy? Priscilla essayed to keep everyone calm, but had no assurances that her efforts were actually working. And then what about the two old ladies who showed up wearing black pointy hats with sprigs of holly in them. Were they really witches? And why were they so determined to get into Box Eight for tonight’s opening performance? Didn’t they know that box was never sold on opening night? It had something to do with the ghost and a chandelier. Priscilla just wasn’t sure about any of it, but she knew whatever else happened, she had to keep her dancers safe. She couldn’t wait to get tonight’s performance over and done with. Why ever did she run away from home? Well, too late to worry now. The ruckus in the hallway seemed to have sorted itself so Priscilla went back to the bar and her practice. She’d be sure to wear her lucky shoes tonight, though, just in case.

This story owes heavy nods to Terry Prachett’s Maskerade (which in turn is a fantastic parody of The Phantom of the Opera), which I happen to be reading at the moment. I highly recommend it!


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