This was found on the chest of a Mr. Scott Burbank. It is particularly remarkable in that it was not inscribed into the flesh with any cutting instrument, but tattooed in black and red ink. There were still considerable difficulties in deciphering the script, since Mr. Burbank jumped from the thirteenth story of the Lacuna Enterprises office building, but we have managed to reconstruct it. Also of interest is a note (in Appendix 1) which Mr. Burbank had in his left breast pocket. The “Ghost Writer” generally burns the notes which lead up to the “Final Draft”, but fragments have been found and archived. The material we have discovered generally correlates with the tone of this letter. The letter was not retrieved until local law enforcement had arrived and booked it as evidence, and its contents were then leaked to the press. It has lent significant support to the “serial killer theory”, but we believe the truth remains concealed.
[The Actor stands up and faces the Woman in Red]
[Actor]: Where am I? I… what is this place?
[Woman in Red]: Well, [laughs] I suppose you could call it Backstage.
[Woman in Red]: The name doesn’t really matter. It is Another Place. We are outside the world as you know it.
[Actor]: [Looking at the Audience] And… who are they?
[Woman in Red]: They are… observers.
[Actor]: Hello? [Waves his hands] HELLO?
[Woman in Red]: [Smiling] They may react occasionally, but they won’t speak to you. Not now, anyway.
[Actor]: Alright, fine. I give up. Why can’t I see their faces? Why are they in shadow?
[Woman in Red]: Their faces don’t matter right now. It’s best to think of them as ghosts.
[Actor]: Ghosts… so… what does that make you?
[Woman in Red]: Not a ghost.
[Actor]: OK… well, um… ma’am… look… why did you bring me here?
[Woman in Red]: Because you need to learn something.
[Actor]: I… OK… What is it?
[Woman in Red]: Raise your right arm, [Actor]. [His arm raises as though pulled up by an invisible force].
[Actor]: What? What the… how the hell did you do that? Let me go!
[Woman in Red]: [Nods] Relax. [The arm relaxes and drops to [actor’s] side.]
[Actor]: [Furiously] How dare you… [he takes a step toward her].
[Woman in Red]: Stop. [He freezes].
What you think of as your life, [Actor], is like a play. You are playing a part while the curtains are open, and when they fall, you become yourself again. This part has been played before: every word you have said, every word I am saying, has already been spoken countless times, in endlessly subtle variations. And deep down, you know how it all goes. Even if you don’t know the details, you know the story. You see, the difference between you and I, [Actor], is simply that I am aware. I know that I know. I did not force you to freeze, but I knew you would. You are doing it to yourself, but that knowledge alone will not free you. Because you see [Actor] you are following the Will of your Secret Self, the one you have purposefully forgotten in order to live in the world behind that curtain. And now, it’s time to go back there [she walks around him, toward the curtain, then turns and beckons. He spins around and follows her, moving like a puppet] …but remember this. Remember me. This isn’t the last time we’ll meet. [The curtains open, revealing the frozen tableau of the wedding dance] Go. [She points, and [Actor] steps back through the Fourth Wall. He enters, then turns, looking through it and locking eyes with her. Then the dance and music start again, and he turns back to his wife as the curtains close].
I do it for the attention. At least I’m honest, right? It’s all for the fame, and infamy is still fame. Why does it have to be blood? Apart from the fact that pain is so pleasurable, it has to be blood because that’s the language we speak. People pay attention to blood. The shedding of blood decides the fates of nations, and it snaps the sheep from their trances and forces them to listen. If I didn’t carve my words into my flesh, if I didn’t scream them until my voice was hoarse and my throat as bloody as my skin, nobody would hear them. If I wrote these words in a book or a “blog” instead of next to my heart as I plunged to my death, they would be utterly lost in the overwhelming din of the world. Even as it is, this little whistle in the midst of the maelstrom will soon vanish, but at least, for a moment, I am heard.