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09.30.01 11:00 p.m.

There is a continuing, mandatory need for heresy in its most profound sense; for freedom to choose and follow truth wherever it leads.

 -William Edelen  

This Entry Features: Zombies. Hags. Santas.

Morbidity En Masse
Last night, Emily and I began out month long stint at The Haunted Mansion. It is a yearly custom with me, this being my fifth year there. There is so much mythology and importance of this little plywood shack. It was where Jen and my relationship began. It is where Kate and my relationship ended. And now I have introduced Emily to the mix because the Mansion demands blood... I mean, because she will thoroughly enjoy the experience.
I will, of course, exposition and explain about the Mansion's history in detail soon. However, it doesn't do well as a storyteller to reveal everything all at once, now does it? Suspense and the like.
I asked to be placed in the same scene as Emily, as being parted is significantly less fun. Plus, I had the food and drink. In the beginning, she and I were in scenes next to one another and so, like Pyramus and Thisbe, we talked over the wall. I was playing a creepy zombie and she was something like an insane crone. She combed her very curly hair out into a straw-like mess (which, gods help me, I thought was attractive) and chanted in a high-pitched voice, "Dead man, dead man." The girl is a natural.
However, owing to immature and untalented younger actors, I was told to work at another scene. Then I was transferred outside to stand next to the ticket taker. Then I was placed back with the bad actor. Then I was pulled out of that scene and informed that the Ice Guard had sprained his ankle slightly. As such, I was being placed in the role for a few groups until the actor recovered or a permanent replacement could be conjured up. My job, essentially, was to stand still in an elaborate costume holding a blunted metal sword and come to life and attack when the group was halfway in. Which does sound cool, superficially, but one must take into account that I had no need of speech and creativity, the very things that make me an asset to the mansion.
Twenty groups in, the original actor came in, laughed at me, stated he sweated his ass of in the costume, grabbed his soda and left to go back to hanging out with his friends on the FrighTrail. If there were not a group in the room before mine, I was going to show him that the sword still hurt. I have no tolerance for actors who fake to get out of their roles. If you do not want a part, do not accept it when the mansion opens. Or better yet, don't bloody volunteer at the mansion if you are going to be an utter arse about staying in your part. And people wonder why the mansion is going down hill.
I should also mention that, as of Saturday night, the plot I have seen is pathetic. The groups have to acquire a plastic necklace, a $.25 bookmark, and a song in order to defeat the Ice Queen. That alone sounds like the b-plot to a Wonderful World of Disney "classic." However, there isn't even an ending. The Ice Queen just says, "Oh, I am offended! Leave my chambers!" and the group finds themselves outside the house. I would be pissed if I had dropped $18 on that.
Please do note, the actors do not, ever, receive so much as a dime of that money. As such, we are volunteers. Thus, anyone in the groups annoying us is truly a prick by virtue that they are harassing volunteers. That is like heckling a Salvation Army Santa.
So Emily and I were separated, unable to get to one another, for a good three hours because so inconsiderable, untalented dizzard wanted to drool (no, literally, they drool thinking that this will scare people. I wish it were otherwise) with his likely pubescent cronies on the trail. I wish him a truly sprained ankle for the what I endured.
Emily initially felt that the Mansion was in no way worth acting in. However, this morning after food, sleep, and cuddling, her opinion is that it could be excellent were she and I to work as a team. Higher-ups at the mansion noted her talent and suggested that she play the role of witch inside the mansion. So, we should be good next week.
Soon in Xenology: Xen actually getting lunch with Kate. The history of the Haunted Mansion.

last watched: Buffy
reading: Lasher: Lives of the Mayfair Witches, Anne Rice
listening: Stabbing Westward's Wither Blister Burn & Peel
wanting: to receive adequate recompense for my efforts.
interesting thought: A handful of words can make one three inches tall.
moment of zen: the lilt the voice undertakes when a mystery begins.
someday I must: learn more.

Thomm Quackenbush is an author and teacher in the Hudson Valley. Double Dragon publishes four novels in his Night's Dream series (We Shadows, Danse Macabre, and Artificial Gods, and Flies to Wanton Boys). He has sold jewelry in Victorian England, confused children as a mad scientist, filed away more books than anyone has ever read, and tried to inspire the learning disabled and gifted. He is capable of crossing one eye, raising one eyebrow, and once accidentally groped a ghost. When not writing, he can be found biking, hiking the Adirondacks, grazing on snacks at art openings, and keeping a straight face when listening to people tell him they are in touch with 164 species of interstellar beings. He likes when you comment.

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