Shackled to an Ungrapeful Audience

This week, we had the challenge of a brooding man lounging in chains, and we were supposed to place the setting of our stories in a theater.

As always, I tried for out-of-the-box thinking before writing the stories. I don’t know if I succeeded, but I enjoyed trying. I’ll post both my stories, the first riddled with emotion and depth, the second one of my first attempts at a humorous piece.

Comfort Zone = Blown Apart. Enjoy!



Cass’ reflection moved with her, mirroring her hands as they slid her stockings up her legs, the fishnet a linked weave of barriers that formed a prison of her flesh.

Sadie would cry again tonight when Mam had to work.

Cass dabbed her eye make-up, forcing the pain back into the depths of a person she once knew but no longer remembered. It was a vacuum, a bottomless hole, and everything she did disappeared into its swirling blackness.

Except Sadie. Pudgy fingers would pat Cass’ weary face, spotlight stained and riddled with mens’ touch. Sticky lips would kiss Mam’s cheek that lay buried beneath the blush of rouge and powder.

Cass draped the feathers across her neck, adjusted the cheap crusted jewels in her hair, surveyed herself in the mirror.

In another life, she would be a shop girl, a lady’s maid, a seamstress, or a housekeeper. Fate laughed behind its cruel hand and bound her in shackles to this life instead.

Cass took a deep breath and stepped from behind the curtain into the dizzying lights of the burlesque and the approving roars of a multitude of leering men. Sadie was waiting, but pain chained her to the theater.

And now that I’ve just shredded your heart to pieces, here’s another one to (hopefully) cheer you up:

Ungrapeful Audience

“What’s he doing?”

“What do you mean what’s he’s doing?”

“He’s just lounging there like some god straight from Olympus. Who does he think he is? Thor?”

“I think he forgot his lines.”

“No one’s saying anything. This is awkward.”

“Maybe if I go up there and feed him grapes…”

“Do it. He might be hungry.”


“I don’t understand this show.”

“You don’t understand two hours of a man lying on a stage saying nothing?”

“It seems like he should at least talk to a skull or drink poison or something.”

“You’ve watched too much television.”


“Go feed the guy grapes. Honestly, it would probably cheer him up.”


“Well, that was a wasted evening.”

“At least we got a close-up look at the strong arm of the law.”

“Yeah, I’ll be sore tomorrow.”

“We went out in a blaze of glory, though.”

“That’s us. We should make this a thing.”

“A thing?”

“Yeah. You know, visit all the plays, force-feed the actors on the stage, get escorted off by security.”

“The brute who handcuffed you looked hungry. You should have given him the grapes.”

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