(We open backstage at the theater. People are rushing around. Gabe has a clipboard and is looking it over. He's the only one in a suit. Everyone else is in costume or good clothes.)

Butch: (He wears a simple green and brown peasant costume and carries a mandolin and a small bag) Hey, Gabe. Have you seen Chuck? I wanted to go over some lines with him before curtain.

Gabe: *shakes his head* No, I haven't seen him in over an hour.

Sach: (He wears the robe and crown we saw him in earlier, plus gold-trimmed blue velvet doublets, hose, and shirt) Why did guys in this era wear tights? I feel like a sissy.

Butch: At least mine are looser.

Gabe: They all wore tights in this era. Pants were not a major piece of wardrobe.

Sach: I'm a little scared, and not just 'cause of the bad taste in clothes. Chuckie's been a little weird lately.

Butch: Even I'm noticing it now. He's really into this.

Gabe: A little TOO into this. I've noticed it as well.

Sally: (She arrives in the white gown she wore on Halloween with a gold circlet) Hi, fellas. I guess no one's seen the writer. He's barely spoken to Rachel all week, and she's awfully upset.

Gabe: He's barely spoken to her? I've at least seen him every day...

Sally: (Nods) He's always here. She's not happy at all.

Marsha: (She joins them, wearing a pink and magenta peasant gown with a striped, ruffled apron over her skirt) This is gonna be fun!

Sally: I'm not so sure. Where's Slip?

Gabe: I saw him muttering to Louie a little while ago.

Sach: Ain't there somethin' we can do 'bout Chuckie?

Butch: I don't think so. We'll just have to keep an eye on him during the show.

Sally: (Nods) Come on. We're just about to begin. We'd better take our places.

Gabe: Less than five minutes, everyone.

Sach: Yipes! I don't wanna miss my cue!

Butch: I have a little while. I'm going to find Chuck.

*We switch over to Rachel in the women's dressing room. She's putting the finishing touches on her make-up in the mirror of the bureau. She's dressed in a floor-length black, satin gown, with a black lace sheath. He hair is pulled up in a twist.*

Zelda: *Steps inside the dressing room* Hello, my dear.

Rachel: (Narrows her eyes) What are you doing here? I don't remember you being in this show.

Zelda: I wasn't until now.

Rachel: Chuck didn't give you a part.

Zelda: Perhaps not...so I'm taking one.

Rachel: (Steps back) You'll do no such thing.

Zelda: Oh, I think I will. *locks the door, then advances on Rachel*

Rachel: You try anything, and you're gonna have a fat lip. (She holds up her fist)

Zelda: I'm far from worried. You don't seem to understand what I'm really capable of.

Rachel: Yes, I do. It's outlawed in sixteen states.

Zelda: Not that, dearie. At least, not right now. I prefer men.

Rachel: I know what you've done to Chuck. You won't be doing it again.

Zelda: *Smirks* Mmm. We shall see. *advances further on her*

Rachel: Stay away! (She lets out a yell) Sally! Chuck!

Zelda: Oh no, you don't! *opens one hand in Rachel's face; a black cloud drifts from her previously closed fist; the cloud surrounds Rachel's head*

Rachel: I...ohh.... (The cloud surrounds them both. When it subsides, Rachel wears her suit, and she now wears the silk gown. Rachel swoons in her arms, her eyes half-closed.)

Zelda: *Chuckles* I always have a new trick up my sleeve.

Rachel: What...why....

*Zelda just chuckles more.*

*We switch to... outside, behind the theater. We see a dark figure with a flowing black cloak pacing at the back door. In the cool night, we see breath raise up from the figure.*

*The figure pauses to check their watch...*

Chuck: *Looks up upon realizing the time* It's starting! *turns to go back inside*

Sheila: (She steps outside) Hello, dear boy.

Chuck: *Pauses* Sheila.

Sheila: Enjoying the night? I knew you were a creature of the night.

Chuck: What are you doing here?

Sheila: Oh, I'm a creature of the night myself. I thought I'd join you.

Chuck: I'm not looking for company. I need to get back inside...

Sheila: I'll go with you. Zelda and I are going to be in the show.

Chuck: You...what?

*Chuck takes a step back, yet he doesn't appear scared.*

Sheila: We're going to be in the show. After all, my child of darkness, you did write about a sorceress.

Chuck: *Takes another step back* But, I...It wasn't...

Sheila: You still have some darkness left in you. Why do you think you wrote about a sorceress? Or made yourself a villain, at least at first. Oh yes, I managed to get a script from a friend of mine who knows the owner of this theater.

Chuck: *Takes another step back* But...

Sheila: (She finally gets him against the wall) Oh yes. We're going to be in this play...and you're going to do it our way.

Chuck: *Gulps* Please, no...

Sheila: Oh, yes. (She takes his head in her hand, and we see the same black cloud surround his head...but this time, it's only his head)

*When the black cloud dissipates, we see a gleam in Chuck's eyes that was there before. He smirks.*

Sheila: (She now wears a dark red silk gown that's a bit tighter and more revealing than Zelda's) Hello, my child of darkness. Welcome back.

Chuck: Thank you, Milady.

Sheila: You wrote quite an interesting play.

Chuck: I thought it would please you.

Sheila: It pleases me a great deal. We'll get quite a few victims from this play.

Chuck: *Nods* Thank you, milady.

Sheila: No, my dear boy. Thank you. (Takes his arm) Let's go. We don't want to miss our cue. >:)

Chuck: Letís go.

(They stroll into the theater as we fade out.)