Flash Fiction: That One Time I Got Punched on Stage by CaraMarie Christy

Welcome to the Spot Writers. This month’s prompt: Think back on a memory when you were angry. REALLY angry. Now change the names of the people in the memory, the setting, everything familiar about it, and most importantly… the ending. Turn it into a memory that ends happily. Let all the writing wash your anger away.

That One Time I Got Punched on Stage

By CaraMarie Christy

It is basic knowledge that a troupe of actors should get along with one another. There is the occasional twitter of “who is sleeping with who” and “he misplaced my prop before a crucial scene,” and these might cause some tension behind the curtains. But “hatred”, when your fellow actor is the only comrade you have in your fight against any viewing audience, is never a term to take lightly. When an actor gets too much venom in their blood, it can destroy a show. Which undermines the actor creed: the show must go on.

So, when I found myself sprawled out on the ground, the audience gasping, I was quite confused. And my heart sunk as I realized that I was the target of all the evil that this tiny, brainless hack of an actress had. I was knee deep in her venom. And every thought hitting my head was that my “lifesaver” had been the one to send me spiraling into the water, crashing to the stage. My blood boiled, cheeks flushing red as I forced myself to push up to my knees. The audience was silent. My mother, in the fourth row, had her fist clamped over her mouth, her eyes wide.

My blocking had said step between the women, interrupting their discussion, to pour a glass of “poisonous” wine. One of these ladies had disagreed with what we had planned. Gabby, the red-haired freshman with an outrageous bob, whose ego had been inflated when she had been cast in a speaking role instead of a servant, was the culprit. Something in her tiny brain had snapped. I knew I was right to move, I could picture the notes about it in my head, scribbled into a corner of my script. At first, when I’d come forward, she had nudged me with an elbow, prodding me back a few steps. When her prods only got her a half-raised eyebrow, she began tugging at my vest, pulling me so that she could continue her improvised babble with her fellow lady. But I found she was running out of clever things to say and the scene wasn’t moving forward. So, playing the deceitful servant, I’d reached for her “wine.”

At last, crying to her companion about how dreadful the rain was, Gabby punched me in the chest, shoving me out of the scene entirely and knocking me clean off my feet. Her “poisoned” wine went flying through the air. It landed somewhere offstage, onto a stagehand judging by the whispered curses behind the curtains.

I was up on my knees and seething, staring at the drops of grape juice on my white serving shirt. With one finger, I pointed to an actor at random offstage, gesturing to them out of sheer madness and praying someone else could solve this girl’s mess. From the wings the Lord General appeared, a football playing junior who had wandered in to theatre. He was not supposed to come on stage for another act. But in his giant hand was my lost cup.

“Are you all right there, chap?” In three steps, he was hauling me up and putting the drink in my hand. Looking at the drink, my heart felt lighter. Here was a fellow actor. Here was a comrade throwing me a life preserver.

“Weary, my lord! But I thank you for catching my mistress’s drink.” I yelled, hiking up my boots, “Many a man has had much worse fall from such a woman.”

And the audience laughed. And from the look on Gabby’s face as she drank, I might as well have punched her back.


 

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Dorothy Colinco. http://www.dorothycolinco.com

CaraMarie Christy: https://calamariwriting.wordpress.com/