07:00; Sometimes, alarm clock sounds depress me. Then I recall; ignored alarms desensitize all people to all alarms, & an early-morning four-minute warning for nuclear death will be unattended by all but me.
07:30; Peril of not indulging in alcohol last night – I retain the memory of clubbing an attempted superhero killer to unconsciousness. Clubbing was cathartic, yes, but the calumny still stands; a hero’s hero I am.
08:00; Console myself with facts; whispered in his ear for a headshot, but idiot aimed at TDLS’s back. Bouncing off a bulletproof bustier beneath her trivial tuxedo, at best bruising her rather than bleeding her.
08:30; With all the voices in his head, my invisible one in his ear was ignored. Hasn’t he seen the Shade shot at before? Such wishful thinkers. The amateur who forgot about me – career killer of public figures!
09:00; She’s worse – no instant illusions, because bullets would pass through holograms, & into the audience. What if he had armour-piercing rounds? He didn’t – I checked, before – but she is so very heroic.
09:30; Just when I think Shade might make a very practical, perfect, paranoid partner in evil – disappointing. Then makes me help save the day – glad I was invisible for that. Invisible to all but the Light Shade.
10:00; The similarity of our mental rigs allowed her invulnerability to my invisibility – had she kept her hat on during the heat of her opera passion, she’d have spied me and my camera; quite probably killed me.
10:30; But, last night, she saw me aside the gunslinger, invisible to all else, cane in classic cudgelling hold. And she smiled. Depressing, that trust, given that I was telling him to shoot her right between the eyes.
11:00; Eager to test telepathy, recorded thoughts thought throughout the bout, hoping some secret would be divulged, in extremity. Listening to it complete after the PP defeat, heard the gunman’s insane litany.
11:30; In the crowd he was distinctively loud; He cheering, not fearing of PPs. Discovered psychically, found him physically with ease. Would convince him of a deadly shot, could convince him of didly squat.
12:00; Cudgelled him not to stop the brute, but to halt his failure-whim, himself to shoot. A posthumous Darwin Award & a beloved self-made martyr. Alive his natural nerd antisocial awkwardness will show.
12:30; Silence. Knowing Pete Pequod is in town, I had wondered if he had bribed sufficient officials to start his recreational urban bombing campaign again. Apparently not. Not yet anyway. Sarko will oblige.
13:00; Particular frustration; the concept that Shade knew I was trying tell the gunman to remove her head, or destroy her brain. And knew I was unable to sway him. And knows that I know that she knew.
13:30; So much saving recently – for personal profit, but still. I am staying in today, in the hope that I can avoid saving anyone, for a few hours. Open is helping, by ‘rewarding’ me for saving her personal hero.
14:00; On reading reporting of the fashion show, find my heroics are mentioned: nowhere. Excellent! Even better, myself and my compatriots were referred to in the event’s society pages as the scum of Paris!
14:30; Live up to my title by stealing a hearing aid from one old man and vocal chord vocoder from another. Also, their bagels. All essential to science. The zimmerframe theft? Because I broke their legs, silly.
15:00; Wire the ear piece into the realtime mindreader radio in my hat &, vocoder concealed behind my bowtie, incorporate it into the instant thoughtcasting projector. Receiving & deceiving live, to stay alive.
15:30; Should be able to receive & return swifter than a sadomasochist with ADHD. Able to read, influence & be invisible to any mind; second cousin to Claude Rains & Harvey the Rabbit. Except to Shade.
16:00; As mentioned, I stole the thought collector-projector’s design from not from under The Deadly Light Shade nose, but rather where she was keeping it under her hat. Probably a preprototype back in …
16:10; … Brightwave’s day, the apparatus allows the wearer, when worn by a manipulator of light, to immediately conceive of complex coruscation and candescence without any prep, or forethought before …
16:20; … having those conceptions read by mind machine then projected as light lifeforms. Thats how Shade created doubles to duel with The Monochrone, all acting individually & in complexity, in an instant.
16:30; In my ‘wrong’ hands, a BORE-based manipulator of thought rather than light, I am a Svengali to outdo Shade, plundering people’s personal pecadilloes, projecting passions, phobias & paranoias like …
16:40; … a pre-pubescent pervert raiding & degrading his elder sister’s drawer of under drawers! All kindly courtesy of The Deadly Light Shade!! Who believes I thought I was saving her life, while, in fact, …
16:50; … I was abusing her grandfather’s invention, in an attempt to kill her!!! True, she isn’t dead, but her hat is probably kevlar composite & the half-mask perhaps of some sort of a monofilament material …
17:00; … A headshot might have missed, struck something super solid. This dread application of her apparatus though – thats a crime I will commit everyday of my life remaining! Not a long life if she finds out.
17:10; Acquired the design on a brief mechanic & medicine consult, under Doctor Languedoc. French swamp scientist, sought power by primordial soup. Fungus army, amphibian vampires, that type of thing.
17:20; Spoke with an affected Austrian accent – Stockholm syndrome under the Occupation. With world-renowned Bavarian biologist Wrothauser, alongside Munich machinist Meinschaft on a resume, my …
17:30; … Teuton-taught services were retained. Afterall, it isn’t what you know, or who you know, but what you know about who you know. Knew Languedoc was a deluded lover of Germany, had money.
17:40; A Ratman referral, I pioneered a neural net that would allow sharks to thought fire laser-beam headsets. He paid up with grant cash, I left his otherwise-doomed venture before the inevitable ‘meal’ in …
17:50; … his much rehearsed speech: ‘Note the shark’s laser arrays, Miss Shade. As an animal lover, I believe every animal deserves a warm meal. Why don’t you stay … for lunch?’ A chump, was later chum.
18:00; Told him lasers were inadvisable against the Lady of Light. I pressed him to smear his three-piece suit with the secretions of the Red Sea Moses sole, a known shark repellent. But Shade … baited him.
18:10; Early operation of hers, Shade cracked Castle Languedoc back in her youth, perhaps while on the occasion of a holiday with her Parisian grandparents. She was overpowered by peons and penalised.
18:20; Locked up in my lab (built in a bog, Castle Languedoc V rested on the remains of Castles I-IV; thus the dungeon flooded often), Shade was not to be shot, but to disposed of later by laser shark moat.
18:30; To confront Shade’s alter ego would cause Languedoc to confront his faux-German fantasy; he would not remove her mask, for fear of losing his own. I, myself, discovered a conveniently-famous face.
18:40; Beneath half-mask, & hologram, teen singing sensation Toussaint ‘Saint’ Bright, understudy in the opera to Madame L’Ouverture; that was a prize. The device that hid that face, even as she slept; a gift.
18:50; Memorized the design and collected my cash & references before The Deadly Light Shade deflected a laser beam into a load-bearing buttress, causing balcony-casual Languedoc to ‘drop in for lunch’.
19:00; After that, any attempts to pry a mask from Shade’s unconscious, unconsenting face faced an explosion of dark particles, adhering to the very substance of their eyeballs, turning them temporarily blind.
19:30; I have since pursued psychic supers, strong enough to offset the effort of taking, and stupid enough not to see my unshielded mind’s approach. Under glass and electrically galvanised, I have them now!
20:00; With this apparatus I these powers wed together – what I, Man, has joined, may no God dare to break! In an unholy matrimony of mind reading & writing; mine shall be Svengali’s chapeau, ho, ho, ho!
21:00; Celebrating my cerebral soup coup, and comemorate Open’s cracking of cartesian ciphers of Elohim calculus, we attend Claude Claustrophile’s ‘Thundergrave’, tickets couriered courtesy of the author.
21:10; Front row. Claude spoils us. I had no idea he would tender such affections upon my person. I had not an iotum of such an idea because Claude wants to tender many things onto me – all of them sharp.
21:20; Friends and peers; yes. Yes, we can, convivially eye-contact over glasses of sherry. But, ascertained from his oaths of revenge, when last we parted, he still expects I at least pay for my theatre tickets.
21:30; Lucifer knows I absconded with enough of his money, in an entirely legal and entirely unfair fashion, daft to wager with a Daftwager as he was. As the curtain rises, check underneath seat for trapdoors.
21:35; ‘The Thundergrave’ opens with Claustrophile, his self-penned Lead role of playwright scrivener. Has a Girlfriend, Bestfriend, and curiously concerned Mother. All Is Well. Sigh; I do so despise ‘fiction’.
21:40; Ah, intrigue! Girlfriend & Bestfriend, involved in extracurricular activity of extrarelational relations – making out as Lead watches in from the wings. Claustrophile’s cuckold is cultivated as a craven fury.
21:45; Attempts to attack & confront Bestfriend & Girlfriend respectively end in odd. Pulls Bestfriend off of Girlfriend the first time, only to find it wasn’t Girlfriend at all. We are surprised as the Lead at this …
21:50; … the actresses of Girlfriend & Not-Girlfriend used the scenery to stage a subtle & striking substitution, simultaneous surprise for audience & actor alike. Claude’s confused character departs stage left.
21:55; In a daze of deliquency, the Lead liquors himself up, and drops by Girlfriend’s place. Outside he overhears an undertone of male in the chatter of female inside. He recognises Bestfriend, enters silent …
22:00; … and roars of revenge – to a room empty of all but Girlfriend, on the phone. Manic, he wrests the receiver from her grip and growls down the line – only to find his Mother’s voice at the other end. Oh.
22:05; Lead runs from friends girl and best alike, from Mother. Returns to his place, to find Girlfriend & Bestfriend, naked and undeniable, in the midst of the sexual act. With a knife, Claude’s Lead advances.
22:10; The stage darkens as red stabs and splashes of light are woven by the stage hands. When the main lights are relit, we see Claude stand over two bodies too broken to live. And see Claude’s mistake …
22:15; … these aren’t Girlfriend & Bestfriend. This isn’t his apartment. In a magnificent, 30 second, exchange in the dark, all actors and props have been exchanged for alternates – except Claude and his knife.
22:20; Lead staggers backward, into Girlfriend and Bestfriend. Laughing, mocking, kissing, the two comment caustically upon the murder of the strangers. A nice bit of corpse comedy there. Claude slashes …
22:25; … nothing. Sirens sound. He runs for Mother. He confesses his confused carving, and his cadaver creating. Mother, with growing horror, asks one simple question; ‘Who are Girlfriend and Bestfriend’?
22:30; Feel Claustrophile is overdoing the running trope, but if there is a thematic payoff, I’ll accept it. Feel the ‘knife’ imagery isn’t over yet. Very powerful stuff. Oh, and the Lead has broken down into tears.
22:35; Girlfriend & Bestfriend appear, confirming their imaginary imagery. When he asks why, they tell him he was lonely after his mother was hit by a train. The audience, as one body, pans left to Mother …
22:40; Who, in a marvelous feat of misdirection and light dimming, has disappeared. Clever Claustrophile, with whom stage directions are armour and armament as much as art. Check for the trapdoor, again.
22:45; Slowly the sound of an approaching train builds. Quickly, the hallucinations lay out Lead’s need for comfort combating his compulsion to punish himself amid survivor’s guilt. As the need receded and …
22:50; … the guilt grew due to his false happiness, his hallucinations have been compelled to reveal to him the truth. A moment of hope – dashed. They simply intend to free themselves and punish Lead more.
22:55; They’ll play games with him, ever escalating, making him see that which shall make him unhappy. His final protection, Mother, banished by revelation, means that he is their object now forever and ever.
23:00; Lead scrambles for a gun, perforates his punishers; they are unaffected. He swivels the gun to his own head, threatening to kill himself, that they will die with him. Jeering, they tell him to do it, free them.
23:05; In profile, facing them, gun held to the lobe opposite the audience, he declares defiance, then turns from them to the audience – Claustrophile having disappeared the pistol with swift magician’s tricks …
23:10; … to reveal a hand cocked like an imaginary gun. A gale of laughter roars, uncontrolled, from the audience, even in their horror, as the train noise blisters into a whistle and Lead pulls the ‘trigger’ and …
23:15; … still the spectres exist. Stage defined in 3 spotlights. Standing over Lead, they comment, ‘waste not, want not’. A step, their spotlights extinguish, Lead’s flares he awakes – with B & G Friends smiles.
23:20; Act 2: Sitting, opposing at table, spotlight swings between G & B friends, illuminating only one at any one time, mimicing an unsteady bare bulb overhead. G & B friends are no longer played by their …
23:25; … original actors, now both played by quick-change Claustrophile, with eerie ear & eye, for tone & expression. Scene outlines intentions for their new body, foreshadows some tensions between them.
23:30; Act 3: Bestfriend & Girlfriend have a sweet romance, oddly played given that only one of them can be in control of the body at any one time. We get the impression the honeymoon maybe over now …
23:35; … confirmed by the next scenes. Bestfriend takes a dominant control for a time when Girlfriend is ‘tired’, and begins romancing many other women, who can give him what Gfriend cannot; physicality …
23:40; … while Girlfriend, when taking her turn, is attracted to the writer who is completing Lead’s playscript, ‘The Thundergrave’, for Lead’s theatre company. She watches him recite, a Lead-written verse …
23:45; … ‘What heavenly fire wrath/ Can walk an earthly path/ Without loss of the might/ To see wrong from right?/ The fiery justice secret, that the gods gave/ Living in an earthly world, dig’s thunder’s grave./
23:50; Girlfriend pursues this one man, as Bestfriend pursues his countless conquests. When she finally reveals her love, and her transvestite nature to the writer, the audience holds its breath … he accepts her!
23:55; Bestfriend, learning of this romance, pretends to be Girlfriend, then strangles Writer. She resurfaces, finding her lover, true love, dead, and she takes up the knife. Stage dark, splashes of red light again.
00:00; Appropriate of midnight, the lights go up, and Bestfriend awakens, no Girlfriend in his mind, free to philander, murder and plunder, as he wishes, now. And … she has castrated him with the steak knife.
00:05; Crying, Bestfriend takes a gun barrel into his mouth. Head bent between his legs, a groan of ‘She finally got her period, and this is what she did to me!’ he presses the handgun to his head, now a gun …
00:10; … composed only of his hand. The train whistle synchronises with the ‘shot’ and Bestfriend falls backwards. Only to sit up straight with Lead’s, with Writer’s expression on his face! Looking stage left …
00:15; … we see that the Writer-actor’s strangled body has disappeared. As if it never existed. Lead stands up, bows, and walks off of stage, composing the lines that will finish the earlier speech in his play …
00:20; … ‘Living, an earthly world, dig’s thunder’s grave./ So, mortal, to defy the wrath of conscience/ Do not attempt the simple rebel’s defiance/ Rather to tame the arbitration of your mind/ It is the world’s …
00:25; … temptations you use to bind/ When punished by god, devil, or yourself/ Straight denial is dangerous to your health/ Allow the angels to plunder, make fall even the brave/ Tear their simple views …
00:30; … asunder, dig thunder’s grave./’ Cackling madly, Lead-Writer walks off of the stage, aware of his castration but uncaring, aware of his feminine clothing but uncaring, free from even himself, in the end.