Shadows in the Spotlight: A short story


A short story by Destiny Bryant

“Okay, okay,” I tell myself, “stay calm. Breathe. Just breathe .”

This acting thing is stressing me out. I don’t handle stress well. I had always thought

anything beyond the simple life is doomed in my stay. What little resilience I have fades with

time so anything I have to do that is most unpleasant must be done as soon as possible. I don’t

have time to waste. I don’t remember anything when I step onto that stage. I have no comfort

zone. There’s nothing comfortable about being chased by something and they get you no

matter what you do. You can’t hide or delay it. All you can do is prepare for your inevitable capture.

When you are captured, you don’t remember anything but what you lost: time. No black screen

or even a transition. Just lost time. Lost time is wasted time. I don’t know the right thing to do or

even how to pretend to do it. Time is short. I must learn fast. Grow fast. Be fast. Acting makes

me uncomfortable and being uncomfortable is the fastest way to learn. So I do it. More I know,

the better my chances are at defending myself and minimizing the effects. I have no choice. I

am damned to this cycle in ignorance of the cause. I am called on stage now because I am the

best physical representation of what the director needs to bring his character to life. I am to be

speak the tongues and walk the same world the character does. I am to become the character.

Perhaps then I will no longer be a target and time will be mine.

Time’s running out. I must establish some type of defense before I lose mor—

He tells me that dialect is the bridge to characterization. Therefore, a louder, more intense

tone will bring my character to live. I reiterate the scene as before. He remains unamused.

“Fluctuate with a purpose and speak louder !” he says.

Loud noises and threatening tones bring attention. Brings eyes. Drags Destiny out into

the open. Destiny is unable to blend in with the spotlight like this. Drawing attention to Destiny

goes against preservation. He wants Destiny to be a character on stage but I cannot be



Little does he know that Destiny is a character, an elaborate one at that. His character exists

only in this one theater. This one spot. And kicks the bucket when the production time is up.

Destiny thrives in every theater. It is more than just scripted lines and stage directions. It has

evolved beyond that. Destiny is an elaborate system that specializes in receiving. Taking in

information and observations in order to predict an outcome that will be most successful in its

predetermined purpose: to protect.

Destiny knows not what to protect itself from. To know is to fail. Thus, all possibilities

must be considered at a distance.

But he does not know this. He wants Destiny to be no more and allow itself extinguished

in favor of this one dimensional,

limited being. Why Destiny is sought after to meet her death

Destiny does not know. He thinks he knows best but Destiny knows around it.

The character tries to hide from Destiny away only to jump into the shadows and stab

Destiny in the back. When Destiny thinks it is hidden, the character swoops down and delivers

a deathlike blow to Destiny, sending it back to the unknownst world by which it came from.

Destiny is not dead. The character knows this. Destiny is unaware of its deed, the

consequence & the enemies that shun Destiny’s ignorance of them both. Destiny will go

again and be struck down again. The character knows this and strikes harder, deadlier, and

faster each time in hopes that Destiny’ll just stay dead. It feeds off of Destiny’s vulnerability to

the dangerous world on each occasion in celebratory feast. Yet Destiny must survive, it is the

cycle. Destiny is reborn. Destiny sees now anew. I see now. The character tries to blend and

hide from me. I see through its lies and I’m coming for it, hungry. To succeed in the blending is

to successfully blend into this theatrical environment. I see now. By fighting my character, I am

exposing myself to the danger of this world. I must see this through. I must put this threat to an


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