After my last post in December, I followed Shannon out of our apartment. I followed her as best as I could but she was always much more athletic than I am and there were inevitable periods where I lost her. Only guesswork allowed me to reach the theatre mere minutes after she did.
When I arrived, I entered quietly as I could hear the clear and distinct voices of Shannon and Royal arguing. I followed the sound to the backstage area and found the two of them standing among racks of costumes. Shannon was shouting at Royal and brandishing the knife; she was ranting at him, asking him how stupid did he think we were, did he really expect none of us to look into the play and find out what it was really for, how did he think he was going to get away with it-
Royal grabbed her by the throat without warning and started choking her. It took me a second to react and when I did, I threw myself against Royal, knocking him sideways into a pillar. Shannon and I fell to the floor on opposite sides of Royal, her knife clattered across the ground until it was right next to my hand. Suddenly, I felt a rage inside. I grabbed the knife and swung it at Royal, who turned with practised speed and grabbed my wrist. He twisted it and wrenched the knife from my grasp, then proceeded to pound me brutally with his fists. With a particularly hard finishing punch to the stomach, he left me lying on the ground, unable to move and unable to block out the sight and sound as he went over to Shannon, who was still trying to recover from being strangled and started repeatedly stabbing her in the chest.
Apparently, I wasn't the only one who heard her screams because seconds later, the drug dealer came in and asked Royal what the fuck was going on. Royal responded by getting up, walking over to him, grabbing him heavily by the throat, dragging him over to a costume rack, pulling a mask off a costume and shoving it on his head. He pulled him over to a pile of ropes and wrapped a number of them around his neck. Royal then disappeared. The drug dealer tried to struggle his way out of the ropes, but he only succeeded in making them tighter. Moments later, they pulled taut and he was dragged up into the air. At that point, unconsciousness was looming but I stayed awake long to see the last part of Royal's coup de grace. After returning from the rafters, he crouched down over me and displayed the bloody knife he had used to kill Shannon just minutes before. With a grin he muttered four words;
"Let the show begin."
Then, he walked over to where the pile of ropes had been and stabbed himself in the back, just below the ribcage, barely missing some important organs. With little more than a light grunt at the effort, he pulled the knife out, called 911 and then threw himself down on the ground, laughing as he did it. Finally, darkness started to cloud my vision, but not before I saw it. Royal's master, the White King. It appeared from the shadows, looming above us all. If it had a face it would have smiled. But it didn't and that's why the last thing I saw before blackness overtook was the pale, sickly white of the monster's face.