Lacuna: Document 7

A later scene from the untitled play by the anonymous “Ghost Writer”. This one was carved with a razor blade, primarily on the chest and legs of the late Mr. Jonathan Winters, found in his bathroom of his apartment, wearing nothing but a tuxedo jacket and a bow-tie. However, he was not found for over a week, since he lived alone and was unemployed. Thus, the text in the images is often quite difficult to decipher due to the decomposition of the surrounding tissue. However, a combined team consisting of a forensic specialist, a handwriting analyst, and an archaeologist (used to piecing together linguistic fragments) was able to reconstruct it. They were somewhat assisted by the fact that Mr. Winters had apparently shaved all the hair off his chest and legs, apparently to make a smoother surface for writing, and perhaps so that the writing would not be obscured.

[The Woman in Red is standing at the microphone. The curtains are closed.]

Woman in Red: Today is a very special day for [actor’s name]. It started just like any other day. [Actor] woke up on the right side of the bed, next to his beautiful wife [actress’ name]. His alarm woke her up for a moment, and she kissed him goodbye. He took a shower, brushed his teeth, put on his clothes, and went downstairs. He made himself a cup of coffee and a bagel, and sat in the kitchen checking e-mail on his laptop computer. He washed his dishes, put the laptop into his briefcase, and walked out the door. The drive to work was uneventful, except for the usual wreck that slowed down traffic. He didn’t see any dead bodies, but there were crimson streaks on the side of the road. He got there five minutes early and sat down in his cubicle. He then mostly entered numbers into spreadsheets, and occasionally conversed with coworkers, for the next eight hours, stopping only to make a cup of black tea and eat the peanut-butter and banana sandwich he had brought for lunch. After work he went home, and and then he and his wife had sex in both the “missionary” and “cowgirl” positions, for approximately twenty minutes. She did not experience orgasm through the intercourse, but she did when he performed cunnilingus on her. They then showered together, and he dressed in the tuxedo he had rented two days ago, and she in a blue dress he had bought for her as an anniversary present two years ago. They then left the house, at approximately seven in evening, and drove to the wedding of two of their mutual friends. The wedding was wonderful, a joyous occasion both for the happy couple and for [actor] and [actress]. But that isn’t why today is such a special day for [actor]. This is why.

[The Woman in Red turns and walks back down the thrust. As she walks, the curtains open, and behind them is a wedding party. Perhaps twenty people are onstage, dancing. A band plays off to stage left, the wedding couple is close to the band, and [actor] and [actress] are center-stage. The light is warm and diffuse. Then, the Woman in Red reaches the curtains, the threshold between the thrust and the stage. There is a beat, and she steps over it. [Actor] looks up at her, and she raises her right hand and snaps her fingers. The music stops. All the dancer’s freeze. Everything freezes, except [actor] and the Woman in Red. A spotlight shines on [actor], and she walks over to him and into it. There is a long silence.]¹

Woman in Red: Well? Aren’t you going to ask who I am?

[Actor]: …W…Well what I really want to know is where you came from. You… it… it looked like you just walked right out of the wall. And… well, part of me wants to know what you did to everyone else… but part of me really doesn’t want to know… you know?

Woman in Red: Well, I did walk through the wall. I can tell you how I did that. Better yet, I can show you.

[Actor]: Uh… I don’t know if…

Woman in Red: Oh, don’t be silly, [actor]. Today is your big day! Everyone is waiting to meet you! You don’t want to miss out on your chance to shine, do you?

[Actor]: I… how did you know my…

Woman in Red: Of course you don’t. Now come along.

[She takes him by the hand and leads him over to the invisible fourth wall.]

[Actor]: OK…

Woman in Red: Look.

[Actor]: I’m looking! It’s a wall.

Woman in Red: No. Don’t look at it. Look through it.

[Actor]: What?

Woman in Red: Did you know that things are mostly empty space? The atoms that are you, or that suit you’re wearing, or this wall… they’re not packed in tight, and they themselves are mostly nothing. You could slip right through them, see right through them, you just have to look at them in the right way. Now look!

[[Actor] stares silently for some seconds. He puts his hand out, touching the invisible surface of the wall. He puts out the other hand and feels along it, looking to the audience much like a mime doing the classic routine. He even raps on its nonexistent surface with his knuckles. Then he shakes his head.]

[Actor]: Sorry… but it still just looks like a wall to me.

[The Woman in Red sighs]

Woman in Red: Well, I suppose we’ll just have to sidestep that, then. Close your eyes.

[Actor]: Look, I…

Woman in Red: [In a commanding tone] Close your eyes [actor].

[[Actor] closes his eyes. Still holding his hand, she steps past the curtains, then turns back to him.]

Now take a step.

[Actor]: What? Come on, I’ll just stub my toe!

Woman in Red: Step forward [actor]!

[Actor]: No! Just leave me alone and fix my wife and my friends, you crazy…

[At this moment, the Woman in Red gives a short sigh, and pulls [actor] across the threshold. Startled, he opens his eyes. Then he opens them wider. He gasps, stumbles forward, and sits down heavily on the stage, just beyond the curtains. He stares at the audience in shock, mouth agape.]

The last line is carved in a partial ring around the left ankle. At this point, Mr. Winters apparently slit his own throat.

¹At this point the text transitions from the chest to the legs.

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A Magical Mystery Tour Guide View all posts by MysterMe

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