Arthur walks outside and sends a text message to Kara,”Hey, I’ve been studying my brains out. Would you like to go with me to see a play or something? I need to relax, let’s have some fun.”
Kara sends a response text: “If you know a theater that we can get tickets to on short notice, sure. I could use a distraction.”
Arthur replies,”We can go to the French Quarter. There is a lot of lovely music in that area, Jazz and such that I’m sure we could enjoy.”
“Alright,” she texts back, “send me an address and I’ll find a cab.”
Arthur texts her an address and begins to head there himself.
Kara makes a note of the address, then grabs her coat and purse. She heads out of her apartment building and hails a cab to the French Quarter.
Arthur meets her as she gets out of the cab in front of the French Opera House.”They have a wonderful showing of William Tell.” Arthur is dressed fairly theatrically himself and his long hair is flowing loose currently. His clothers are white with golden embroidery in celtic knots all along them.”My father purchased our tickets for us. I would like to show you the Opera house before the show starts. It is quite beautiful!”
“Your father’s able to get last-minute tickets to this place?” Kara asks, raising an eyebrow in incredulity. She glances up at the building itself. “I wasn’t exactly picturing a place this nice when you suggested a distraction from work.”
Arthur hands her a ticket and holds out his arm for her so that he can escort her inside in a gentlemanly fashion.”As the Dean of Students at the University my Father naturally has connections throughout the city.”
“Alright,” Kara says a little apprehensively. She takes his arm after a moment’s pause. “Just don’t blame me for underdressing.”
Arthur smiles and begins to walk her inside. He waves his arm at the various pieces of Architecture.”The design is quite exquisite I will admit. Undoubtedly my mother would love this place. It is like a beacon of Wonder within the ennui that fills this city. I hope to have similar designs within my own theater some day.” He slowly walks around the room with her,”You see this wonderful art here?” And he shows her various paintings. There are many other guests throughout the Opera House all in the style of clothing of the 1850’s.
“Er, yeah.” Kara stares up at the pieces, looking vaguely uncomfortable. “It all looks pretty nice, I suppose. Sorry. I was never really an art person.” She spares a glance around at the other guests, immediately noticing the disparity between their attire and hers.
Arthur grabs her arm again,”The show is about to start, let’s go get our seats!” He walks with her inside and they sit down. The Opera House is gigantic with four stories worth of seats lining the walls and a large area for seating on the floor. He brings her up to an upper level. The entire opera house seems filled to the brim with people as they take their seats and the opera begins.
Kara takes her seat next to Arthur, leaning back in the chair as the lights begin to dim. “I didn’t know monster hunters merited their own plays.” Kara notes with a slight grin. “But then, I suppose even hitman have their own musical.”
Some of the guests next to Arthur discuss how wonderful the new theater is and how great it is that they are opening it with William Tell. Arthur sits down and watches the opening with sheer glee as the beginning overture plays.
Kara settles herself in, and attempts to relax as the show begins. She tries to enjoy herself, but finds there’s too much time for her mind to wander. For Kara, where there’s room fir her mind to wander (but not to work), it swiftly turns to worry.
Arthur claps as the curtains close,”It is now the interlude. What say we walk around a bit more before the play begins again?”
“W-what?” Kara snaps around, startling a little. “Sorry. Yes. Walking around sounds like a good idea.”
Arthur picks her up and walks her around again. The other patrons seem to act as if they do not even notice their presence.”So what do you think so far of the Opera? Exciting isn’t it?! You know I’m not even sure how my father got us tickets to this place. It’s so packed too! It’s wonderful seeing people appreciating the arts again! It’s almost like we have gone back in time don’t you think?”
“I suppose it kind of is.” Kara says, looking around at the dress of the other patrons. “I don’t know how I feel about the opera, though. My grandmother’s stories of William Tell painted a much different picture of him.”
Arthur seems to ponder this,”I always thought it painted him as sort of a Hero. To have to shoot an apple off the head of his own son at the order of a tyrant. He resisted the cruel oppression of a cruel king, even at danger of his own life… You know the first play this opera house opened with was a production of William Tell? It was in 1859 and had a huge audience, I imagine it was much like this one.”
“I guess.” Kara shrugs, looking around again before turning back to Arthur. “My grandmother’s stories had more lycanthropes in them, though. And the tyrant was a vampire. And there may have been a few succubi.”
Arthur begins laughing,”That sounds like quite the rendition! Come, the second half of the play is about to begin. I shall endeavor to explain its moving parts this time.” He leads her back to their seats and the play begins. For a moment it almost seems as if the color washes out of the room for her and everything turns into shades of grey and the flicker of flames. It then turns back to normal. Arthur whispers to her,”The peasants are rallying to overthrow the cruel king who had sentenced Tell to his death after commanding him to shoot the apple off his own soon…see now Tell awaits with his crossbow to shoot the evil king Gessler…”
Kara does her best to pay attention as they sit back down and Arthur attempts to keep her aware of the plot’s particular turns. She only spaces out for a few anxious thoughts or trains of curious hypothesizing.
When she spaces out the color once again fades from the building and the light of it almost seems to flicker as if there is a fire burning somewhere, then Arthur attempts to grab her attention back to bring her into the play.”This is the last part of the play, where Tell helps John flee… clap and applaud now.” He stands and claps vigorously as the play concludes.
Kara claps along, but in a half-hearted, distracted manner. Something seems off about this play to her. Something seems off about the whole place.
The curtains fall and Arthur stands up to leave with her and begins walking out of the theater with her. Arthur says,”That was a wonderful play indeed! Wonderful indeed! I hope you enjoyed yourself as well Kara, it was a splendid performance.”
“Perform…what?” Kara blinks a few times, a look of confusion on her face. After a moment, her expression snaps back into focus. “No, Arthur,” Kara shakes her head, trying to clear a fogginess from it. “Something’s not right here.”
Arthur continues to walk towards the door,”Of course, the play is over. It is time to go home. Would you like me to call you a cab?” The theater house seems to dissappear and be replaced by ashen rubble for a moment, however Arthurs seems not to notice as he walks through it. The theater then reappears but seems faded.
“Arthur, can’t you feel it?” Kara asks, confused how he can be unaware of the strange phenomenon. “There’s a magic in the air. Something’s awry in this place.”
Arthur pauses for a moment,”Well perhaps we should talk about it outside then?”
Kara stares, somewhat incredulously at him for a moment before regaining herself. “Fine. But if you knew about this beforehand, I’m going to be extremely cross.”
As they step outside it becomes immediately dark save the light of the streetlights. Arthur looks at her in the darkness,”Do you still have your ticket?”
“What does that have to do with anything?” Kara asks exasperatedly as she reaches into her pocket. She pulls it out and holds it in the cold night air between them. “There. Happy? Now can we talk about that place?”
Arthur pulls out a flashlight and shines it on their tickets. They are two very old looking pieces of paper. Upon them it says “French Opera House, Guillame Tell, 1859.” Arthur has a look of suprise on his face.”So that’s how my father got these tickets… It appears he made them somehow…” As he speaks a cab parks next to them.
Kara stares at the tickets, then back up at Arthur, looking extremely cross. “So you’re telling my your father worked some kind of, what? Illusion? Temporal dowsing? For theater tickets?”
Arthur nods,”Something like that probably. Pretty amazing trick honestly.
“Yeah,” Kara mutters darkly, “that’s one word for it.”
The cab driver yells out,”Do you kids want a ride?” Arthur looks at her,”Our chariot awaits.”
Kara doesn’t look at all mollified, but slips into the cab nonetheless. She gives the man her address, then buckles in.
Arthur also gets in and gives his address and the cab driver pulls away. As it gets ready to leave Kara can see a figure outside of her window. A woman with ghostly white hair which trails and drags behind her and clad in tattered white robes with a white tattered shroud upon her head and turns and stares at her for a moment with eyes large like saucers, and tears streaming down her face. It dissappears within a moment and the cab starts moving.
Kara pulls a small, unlabeled pill bottle out of a pocket on the inside of her jacket, opens it up, and downs one of the small tablets inside. She then replaces the bottle and pulls out a small metal flask. Over the course of the drive, its contents are downed with generally increasing haste.
Arthur looks over to her as she seems to be medicating with pills and alcohol.”I didn’t know you had any drinks. Are you going to have an after party?”
“I’ve started carrying a flask recently.” Kara says, a bit tersely. “The pills annul the negative side effects of alcohol consumption.”
Arthur looks at her,”Where do I get these pills? What a brilliant idea! I can get drunk without a hangover? Amazing!” The cab then pulls over outside Kara’s home to drop her off.”I hope you had a wonderful night, such a wonderful treat we saw tonight!”
“I make them myself.” Kara says with a shrug. “Just something I picked up during grad school.” She doesn’t elaborate any further on the topic. When the cab stops outside her apartment, she steps out, then turns back as Arthur bids her farewell. “Wonderful. Right.” She sighs. “Goodnight, Arthur.”
Arthur says Good Night and the cab leaves.