INT. A DARKENED THEATRE
The room is empty and silent. The moon throws the smallest arc of light across the stage, which is so small and pitiful that it hardly seems like it could hold an entire play (it must be a community theatre). The camera lingers on the motionless stage long enough to make the watchers uncomfortable — surely something should be happening—?
And there! Our heroine, QUINCY, emerges, curly blonde hair done up in an extravagant updo in a flowing red dress that’s just a little too tight. She totters across the stage in black heels, her face scrunched up in an emotion that could possibly be interpreted as anger or maybe joy.
(in a terrible Southern accent)
Why, I simply cannot believe this atrocious act of atrocity! What a shame, what a tragedy, what a fire is lit in my heart! I’m burning with rage when I think of it!
She collapses on the stage, grasping at her heart with bright red nails embezzled with diamonds.
To think! To think that he cheated on me! Me, Sandra Margaret Debra Jones, the most beautiful woman on this planet! It just fills me with fury!
(through a megaphone)
Quincy, could you stick to the script?
The lights suddenly turn on, and we are treated to the sight of many disgruntled CREW members. Dozens of cameras are focused on the stage, where they are evidently filming some sort of dramatic film. QUINCY looks highly affronted.
(suddenly in a jarring American accent)
I am taking creative liberties!
Could you maybe not? Stick to what’s written, Quincy, or—
Or what?! I’m the star of this show! The Sunshine On Sandra wouldn’t exist without me, without Sandra!
The CREW simply stares at her, evidently used to QUINCY’S little tantrums. She stares back. There is no reaction, so she gathers up her extravagant skirt and lets out a loud shriek.
I’ll be back when you guys respect me for the artiste that I am!
She storms off, nearly tripping as she attempts to step over the wires that clutter the side of the stage. Finally, a random crew member takes pity on her and helps her through.
The rest of the CREW and the DIRECTOR is silent for a few moments. Then, the DIRECTOR sighs.
Alright, that’s a five minute break! Refuel then regroup. Jamie, give Quincy her apology flowers.
The CREW mumbles their assent, wandering off into little groups. A few members start back up a card game. QUINCY’S tantrums are obviously not a one time thing.
No one notices one crew member slip away…
INT. A BRIGHTLY LIT DRESSING ROOM
All the lights are on as QUINCY furiously dabs more powder on her face. She definitely does not need to put anymore on, but she continues.
(sniffing to herself)
What idiots. They don’t know how much they need me! Without me, they would all be homeless little gnomes! They should thank the Lord that I came along to save them!
She glances at her phone, where a timer has been set for 5 minutes. It lets off a small ding, signaling it is done. She looks up expectantly. No one is there.
(in obvious confusion)
I’m in here! My dressing room! Who’s going to come and get me? Where are my apology chocolates?
She uncertainly gets up, wobbling a little in her heels. It’s silent except for her breathing. She sighs in frustration.
Jamie! I want my chocolates now! Or I’m quitting! I’m never coming back! Yeah, good luck shooting The Sunshine On Sandra without Sandra!
She looks desperately outside.
Okay, I won’t quit, just come here right now!
No one comes. She starts to walk angrily towards the stage, feeling her way through the dark hallway.
I’M COMING! OH MY GOD, YOU DON’T RESPECT ME AS A COLLEAGUE OR AN ACTOR OR EVEN AS A FRIEND! I DEDICATE MY ENTIRE LIFE TO THIS SHOW AND YOU LITTLE—
She stops short. The stage is once again dark and silent.
Hello? Are we done for the day? ‘Cause I need to watch the Bachelor finale, and it airs in two hours so that would actually be great.
A single spotlight falls on her. She blinks in confusion. Another spotlight falls right next to her, lighting up an extremely bloody body, its severed head sitting two bloody feet away. QUINCY stares at it for one second, two seconds—
Oh, we’re reshooting the scene. Oh, I see. I wouldn’t have chosen to have his body in this scene, but I’ve decided to respect your decisions, as long as you respect mine. Alright?
No one answers. She takes the silence as assent.
Okay, from the top!
She scurries off to the side of the stage to make her dramatic entrance once again, but before she can reach it, her foot hits something firm and she falls on her face.
She picks herself up hesitantly. The spotlight follows her.
No, keep the light centerstage tilL I come on!
The light focuses on the object that she had just tripped over. It is another dead body, one of a male crew member, his eyes wide open and staring right at QUINCY.
I really need to read the script once in a while… line!?
No one answers.
Honestly, this is ridiculous! Never once in my life have I seen such inept workers! You should be ashamed of yourself!
She kicks the body, frowning when it doesn’t wake up.
Alright, fine, I’ll keep acting! But just because you don’t reply doesn’t mean I won’t remember this tomorrow!
She exits and takes a deep breath. Then, she once again puts on her angry/happy face and storms onto stage in all of her voluptuous glory.
(in her Southern accent)
How dare he cheat on me! How dare he lie with another woman! Doesn’t a man know that when he takes the vow of marriage, he is entering the most holy pact that the Lord has ever made!? And yet he forsake it all to be with that ugly woman, Barbara!
She strides downstage, where she dramatically falls.
Okay, next shot!
She arranges her skirt around herself and smooths it out, then nods up to the darkness.
Why, oh why? I loved you, Ronnie, I really did. With all my heart, with my large heart, and now? Now I may never—and I mean never—trust a man again. How can I, when you have hurt me so?
The spotlight wavers on her for a second. Then a voice calls down.
Alright, nice job, Quince! I’m coming down to shoot the couple scene.
What couple scene?
The loud thud of boots can be heard coming down towards the stage. We wait for ten excruciatingly long seconds, until our hero comes into the spotlight.
(wrinkling her nose in disgust)
We can see why she says that as soon as the camera turns onto the man. He is dressed in typical male protagonist clothing; black pants, a white turtleneck and a black blazer, but he is drenched in blood, so much blood that it is comical. On his face is carefully smeared stripes of blood, like a warrior’s patch.
So did you already film the murder of the mistress? Or are we filming that later?
Quincy. It’s so nice to finally meet you.
Yeah, alright. Can we please do this scene? God, you’re not some newbie, right? You have experience?
Oh, I have a lot of experience in my field, don’t worry.
Good to know, now let’s start!
She swoons dramatically into the newcomer’s arms. He helps her up, staring piercingly at her. The blood from her hands smears onto her porcelain arm, and QUINCY is noticeably annoyed, but she forges on with the scene.
You cheating, lying scoundrel of a man! How can you show up here being the terrible husband that you are!? Your actions have not only wounded my heart, but they have wounded my soul! See how I bleed!
(grasping her arm tightly)
My love, there is nothing I will not do for you. I would die for you, I would maim for you, I would kill for you. And I have done so. I have killed my mistress, the one who causes you to grieve so! I have murdered the cameraman, who cannot capture your true essence. I slit the neck of the director, who troubles you so and does not respect you as the artist that I know you are. I have killed and killed just for you, my love. For you, I would do anything.
QUINCY tries to hide her frown. This is not in the script; this man is truly an inexperienced actor, but QUINCY, being the true artist that she is, knows the show must go on.
All for me? Mi amore! All for me, you say! Have you truly killed your mistress?
The MAN sweeps his arm dramatically to show the sprawled body of the young actress.
How lovely! Would you really do anything for me, lover?
Anything, my love. See, how I have killed the woman you despised the most, the one who was younger and prettier than you, Miss DeAnna Davis!
QUINCY groans in frustration.
(under her breath)
That’s her real name. You have to use her stage name, idiot. That’s why we’re actors. God, I can’t believe they paired me up with such a novice.
She grabs his hand and pulls him in close, till their noses are touching. She flutters her eyelashes excessively.
What else did you do for me, love?
(turns towards the empty audience)
Feast upon the sight of justice on those who have wronged you in the past.
He reaches into his pocket and all the lights in the theatre come on. QUINCY gasps.
Propped up grotesquely on the red theatre seats are dozens of dead bodies upon dead bodies, all oozing blood. Some of their eyes are still open, so they appear to be watching the scene in front of them.
QUINCY shakes her head in shock. She had no idea that they had the budget to spend on such real, intricate props.
All of it for you, Quincy. Because I love you.
They gaze into each other’s eyes for a moment, transfixed. QUINCY silently compliments herself on the skill of her acting. There would really be no saving this film without her. The MAN takes out a large, bloody steak knife from his pocket, and positions it behind her back.
You truly would do anything for me?
He used the wrong name again—but really, what can QUINCY do but go on with the scene? She takes her fake knife out of her dress pocket (making sure to cheat out towards the cameras, of course) and points it at the MAN’S chest.
(in a soft murmur)
She stabs the knife as hard as she can into the MAN’S chest. He shrieks in pain, and QUINCY is in awe of his talent. He almost made it sound real! His own knife clatters out of his hand as he sinks to the floor, clawing at the prop. Somehow, fresh blood is staining the floor. They’d never really rehearsed the scene, but the power of movie magic was already coming through.
She sinks down to her knees, desperately trying to remember her last line.
Quincy, how could you?
QUINCY panics a little, because she really doesn’t know how this scene is supposed to end. She quickly decides on the one tactic directors will never say no to, and leans forward to kiss the MAN’S lips. He thrashes a little more on the ground until he goes limp.
QUINCY holds her position for a second longer, then sighs. She can hear the faint blaring of police sirens, but she doesn’t particularly care, because the scene is over and it is—