"Cut, cut, cut," the director yelled and Sable Raven stopped singing with a scowl.
All the other actors on stage let out groans as the director started his fifth rant of the night.
Sable looked down at her feet, seething with annoyance. True, the cast, including her, weren't experts but they needed advice not complaints which was all the Black Theater's new director was good at.
They were running out of time too, they would perform Sweeney Todd on Halloween which was only a few days away.
Sable looked up at the giant round clock that hung beyond the auditorium seats.
She let out a breath of relief, nine o clock, practice was over.
"What does that guy expect," Rupert demanded as he and Sable left the theater.
"I mean does he think we'll naturally do everything right when we don't even know WHAT we did wrong?"
Sable shook her head with a shrug, "I'm more worried about disappointing the audience. Hope most people will go trick or treating."
"Doubt it," Rupert replied, "People travel from other towns to see the famous Black Theater."
Sable reached a hand into her bag and pulled out some flyers, "And it doesn't help we have to post these everywhere asking people to come."
Rupert let out a heavy sigh, "Well if I'm gonna put up with our oh so perfect director I'll need my beauty sleep. I suggest you do the same, you look tired."
"I'll go home after I've posted a few of these. Good night Rupert."
Sable proceeded to post the flyers on lampposts and walls, but stopped when she past a shop window, her reflection staring back at her. Her chin-length hair was as black as night and was always messy no matter how many times a brush went through it. Her wide round brown eyes starred as she looked at the dark circle under her eyes.
Rupert was right she did look tired but she was so stressed over the play. They couldn't screw it up and ruin the theater's reputation, the place was like a second home and her family had worked there all their lives.
She sighed sadly, "What we need is a miracle."
As soon as those words left her mouth a strong wind flowed through the street, surprised Sable covered her eyes but then the wind knocked the flyers out of her hand, sending them flying.
She watched in dismay as they fluttered up the hill to the old funeral parlor everyone called the Undertaker's Shop.
Sable gulped, no one liked going anywhere near the old place but the director would chew her a new one if she didn't go fetch it.
So with a heavy heart she adjusted her bag and marched her way up the hill.
Carmori stared down at his love's pale face, thinking of how beautiful she was. He spoke words full of pain and love and then drank from the vial in his hand, then fell down dead.
Carmori held back a smile as he heard muffled sobs from the audience and could feel their eyes on him, transfixed. This performance of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was down right smashing.
He felt his Juliet lean over him, her acting tears falling on his face. Carmori was just glad to be near here, she was his true love both on and off stage and then he heard her gasp as she too died and felt her warm body on top of him and then he waited, Waited for the last words to be said, waited for everyone to give a big bow as the audience cheered, waited to leave the theater with his Juliet.
But suddenly his eyes shot open as a banging noise hit his ears. The world was black and he let out a groan. He was back in his coffin, that dream now just like everything else, a memory.
He could sense that banging was a knocking of the parlor door and now he could sense a breather opening the front door a crack.
Carmori's lips curled into a mischievous grin. If the world wouldn't let him sleep he would at least have some fun.
Sable peered through the crack of the open door and shuddered, the room was empty expect for a dozen coffins just lying there.
Did no one care to bury them?
Then Sable shook her head in annoyance, of course they never buried these coffins because there was no bodies inside them.
But there was a flyer, the last one had slipped under the door and landed beside one of the oblong boxes.
She crept forward, still having an uneasy feeling despite herself. And then as she bent over to pick up the piece of paper a hand actually shot THROUGH the coffin, grabbing her wrist. Sable's breath stopped, not just from sheer shock of the scene but the fact the hand was cold as ice.
And then the coffin lid was pushed open and a young man with glowing blue eyes leered out.
That was all Sable could tell before he suddenly screamed in bloody murder, making her cry out as well and ripped her hand away, dashing for the exit and forgetting about the flyer.
She had run too far away to hear the screaming turn into laughter.
Carmori fell back into the coffin with a hand on his stomach that girl's eyes nearly fell out of her head.
"Serves her right for disturbing a Thespian Spook," he said to the air as he lifted himself out of the wooden case. He looked at the still open door to the city below. He wondered if he should start his haunting now or wait until Halloween night; he always went down to scare the breathers but today he found himself not looking forward to the hobby. But it wasn't like he could do anything else.
Then something caught his eye, he looked down to see a slip of paper, it must have been what that girl had come for.
He picked it up and read the print; it said that the Black Theater would perform Sweeney Todd on Halloween night.
Carmori's eyes narrowed in thought, "Hmmmm."
Sable's droopy eyes popped open as her alarm clock buzzed, welcoming a new day.
She stood up with a groan, after last night's weird event she hadn't been able to sleep and now she had to go to the Black Theater and perform the morning rituals (making the crew coffee, checking the theater's mail, etc.)
So she put on today's clothes and made her way outside. The air was crisp and cool as she walked over to the Black Theater looking up at it despite her worries and fears, she couldn't help but smile, she really did love this place and that's why she would do anything to keep it open.
Inside she shed her coat and scarf and walked up to sit on the stage, looking though the mail she got outside. A few funds from wealthy fans of the theater, unfortunately not enough if their play was a bust.
She let out a sigh of sadness.
"So this is the famous Black Theater, I'd thought it be bigger."
Sable whipped her head around when she heard the voice behind her. A young man possibly around her age stood in the middle of the stage, looking around the auditorium with a spectacle eye. He wore a grayish blue vest a black shirt under it along with dark pants. His most noticeable feature was a bird-like mask covered a majority of his face.
But she remembered that feather like brown hair and glowing blue eyes. It was that person from the coffin.
"Ghost," she shrieked, standing up and throwing the mail at him, "Phantom!"
The stranger, surprised, dodged the flying papers, "Hold on wait don't"-
His words were cut off as she threw her bag into his face, he watched it fall off his head onto the floor with a plop, "Alright now that that's"-
But Sable wasn't finished, she lifted her head with a grunt ready to kick him, but he saw it coming, letting his figure go ghostly, allowing her foot to slid right through his stomach.
Sable made a choking/gasping sound and fell down, her foot yanked out of the stranger's stomach.
"Okay is your temper tantrum over NOW," he demanded like the whole foot through body thing didn't happen.
"W-Who are you," she stammered, staring.
The stranger smiled, "Allow me to introduce myself my name is Carmori 'Graybyrd' Cardwell."
Sable's jaw drop, "THE Carmori Cardwell?"
He cocked his head, "Oh so you've heard of me?"
"Carmori was one of the most famous thespians in the world. But you couldn't possibly be him because he died"- Sable looked him up and down, "You really ARE a ghost!"
"I'm warning you if you throw one thing at me you'll regret it," he said right away.
"Fine but, what are you doing here," she demanded, still staring.
He pulled out the Black Theater flyer she had been posting last night, the one she didn't get.
"So you're performing Sweeney Todd," he asked in open curiosity.
"That's the plan," she said with a shrug.
"Well I'd love to see how the Black Theater puts on a show, I've never been here."
"Really," she said generally surprised, "But it's one of the best known theaters in the world!"
Carmori chuckled, "Obviously not or they would've have me be in an act."
Sable cocked an eyebrow, she guess all his fame had got to his head even in the afterlife.
"But now that I'm here," he continued, "I wanna check it out. Are you one of the actors?"
"Yes I am as well as my parents and grandparents," she said with a proud lift of her head.
But he only nodded with vague interest at her family past. "Who are you?"
"Mrs. Lovett," she replied.
"Ah one of the main characters and one of the most important," he remarked before sliding over to the director's chair that sat on the stage, he made him self comfortable before looking back at her, "Show me."
Sable felt slightly nervous in the ghost's critical gaze but started to sing "Worst Pies in London."
"Stop," he said almost right away.
She groaned, waiting for the complaints.
"You don't have the emotion right," he said walking over to her side, "Mrs. Lovett may have dark secrets but she is one of the most sprightly characters and you too have to be sprightly, both actions and words."
Carmori made a pose like he was rolling out invisible pies, "Follow my lead."
Sable did as she was instructed and with his orders got her voice to be that bouncy way Mrs. Lovett sang. And when Carmori was content with it he played out Sweeney in this scene so Sable could move and sing.
"You're really good at directing," she said, a plan forming in her head.
"No, I'm REALLY good at acting," he said simply, "I just know how to explain how you act."
"Think you could explain how to act to the rest of the cast," she asked shyly.
"If their anything like you, yes, quite easy, but I'd have to want to do it. And my love is acting not directing."
She looked up in thought, "Well, the man playing Sweeney might be willing to give up his role, he mostly did this out of loyalty to the theater, he's suppose to retire soon after all
A thin smile crept across Carmori's lips, "That DOES sound promising."