Stranded World and Autumn, though I don’t know just when. Stranded has a landing page – here (or on LJ)
The little town had one of those old-style movie theaters with one viewing room, the sort that showed whatever blockbuster they could get 3 months late and stayed alive mainly because the nearest real theatre was over an hour away.
Autumn could accept that; a lot of small towns had business that stayed open that way. The weird part was – well, the weird part began with the movie on the marquis, which was an unpopular horror movie from three summers back. That everyone in the town – and that was the second weird part – seemed to be going to see, at the 3 o’clock showing. The whole town.
Autumn waited until the 5 p.m. showing, paid the bored ticket-taker, and settled in to her seat. She was the only one in the theatre, as the creepy, badly-edited film worked its way around to the first murder, and the second… and then she wasn’t. A presence settled down into a seat next to her, and the film began to change.
A girl in the theatre. A teenager, alone, hanging out in the movies because there was air conditioning there, and it was 90 degrees out and rising.
A wanderer coming through. No-one hears her scream. No-one notices that she doesn’t leave at the end of the awful movie. No-one notices she’s missing for days, and by then…
Autumn reached for the apparition’s hand. “This isn’t the way,” she told the girl. “Where…?”
Behind the theatre was an old hardware store, with a basement no one went into anymore. In the back of the basement, in a barrel full of rusting nails…
“I’ll tell them,” she murmured. “I’ll make sure they notice.”
Slowly, the movie flickered, broke, and went black. Slowly, the apparition faded away. Autumn patted where the girl’s shoulder had been, and headed out to make an anonymous phone call.
Had the town noticed, she wondered? Had they known what they were doing? Or had the girl been calling out for help, drawing them all in, without anyone knowing what was going on?
While she dialed from the town’s old-style phone booth, Autumn drew a small glyph into the crook of her arm. Remembrance. She would take the girl with her – Amy, the fading missing poster told her – she would take Amy with her in her memories, and leave her story to be told by those who loved her – with a little nudge to get them going.
“Hello? I think there’s a body in the basement of the old hardware store.”
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They’ve been showing the same movie for three years? And no-one thought that was odd?
The local cinema here has one day a week on which they show some old (and usually obscure) movie, so I assumed they just dug that one out for a while recently, rather than showing it for 3 years.
That would be less noticeably odd.
I’d thought it was the same movie every Saturday for 3 years, but it could be either.
This is a strangely beautiful story and very haunting.
Thanks very much! I made this suggestion because the situation happened to me once; the movie was “Urban Legend: The Final Cut” and I forget exactly why I was so desperate to see a movie that day. Anyhow, about halfway through the movie I became aware that there was something in the theater with me, moving around. Turned out to be mice looking for dropped popcorn, but for a few minutes there, the movie was much scarier.
Maan. I have never gone to a movie alone… and the ones I’ve gone to with just one other person in the theatre generally sucked pretty bad. But those old theatres are often really creepy.
Wow, that is haunting. And now I don’t want to watch horror movies. I’m going to have to tell the Angel about that. He likes them… Also, Autumn rocks.
I don’t like horror movies anyway!!