Lizzy was finally living her dream. She was young, a main character on a primetime television show and people were starting to recognize her when she was running around town. She was finally making her own money and supporting herself doing what she always dreamed of doing. Lately she had been contemplating getting her own place, she was tired of her parents supporting her “out of work actor” lifestyle. Though they never said anything and were always encouraging, she just felt it was time to be on her own.

Lizzy’s mother had become very protective the last few years and wanted to know where she was all the time. Sometimes she would even walk in on her unannounced. But despite being barged in on frequently Lizzy forgave her Mom all the times she was overprotective, she had almost died a few years earlier from a bad car accident. She was in the hospital for several weeks and the doctors were not sure she would even make it. Lizzy did not remember the accident or the few months afterward. The doctors said she would eventually get her memory back but as of yet, nothing.

Lizzy was on her way to the studio, she had a late call today and regrettably would be the last actor out of the studio. It ended up being a long busy day; she was pretty worn out when she finally wrapped her last scene for the night. The soundstage really gave her the creeps late at night. The rumor around the studio lot was that a cast member haunted the stage that was killed during the filming of the 1925 film. There were reports of people seeing a dark figure walking about the stage, but none of the current cast or crew had experienced any of this or at least admitted to anything. Maybe this was a story the studio managers came up with to make the studio seem more exciting.

Some nights when Lizzy stayed late she would hear strange noises and whispering in the dark when no one was there. Other times lights would suddenly come on as she was walking through the stage, then they would suddenly go out as she approached them. She always chalked it up to some of the crew playing tricks on her and cleverly hiding, but no one ever admitted to it.  A few times she could swear someone was calling her name in the dark, that’s when she really got freaked out and would practically run out of the soundstage.

Lizzy had asked other crew and cast if they had experienced anything weird late at night. She always got the same answer, “No”. Some of the guys on the crew started teasing her, all in good fun but she wondered if anyone of them knew something and were not telling her.

Most nights she was off early enough but lately she was getting more scenes written for her, her new character twist was going over well with the viewers. The writers had her turn to witchcraft to get even with a boyfriend who had cheated on her. She guessed her going “Carrie Underwood” on his car in an earlier episode wasn’t enough.

The director called cut and announced that was a rap.  All across the stage you could hear sighs of relief from everyone. Lizzy gathered up her things and headed to wardrobe to change. By the time she walked out of wardrobe after changing the stage was empty and most of the lights were out. She started walking toward the exit but she stopped. She was too tired tonight and did not want to take the chance of anyone playing pranks like before. She knew she would go running from the stage screaming bloody murder tonight if that were to happen. She rummaged in her purse for her pepper spray, just in case. She quietly laughed to herself thinking of peppering someone who jumped out at her. Would serve them right for playing tricks on her.

A few lights were left on above the sets but she had to walk along the outside walls behind the sets and the lights did little to light up the area. It was shorter to walk through the sets to the exit door but there was more stuff to trip over, not to mention that it was a labyrinth that way. It was a straighter shot and less to worry about along the outside wall around the sets, just darker than the rest of the soundstage. Lizzy was not looking forward to the walk.

Lizzy could scarcely make out enough light to see where she was going. Despite the frantic butterflies in her stomach she marched on. She wanted to get out as soon as possible and go home. Thankfully her car was parked near the stage, a perk for being one of the cast members on the show.

Her ears were buzzing from the adrenaline running through her. She wanted to run to the exit door but she knew there were all kinds of electrical wires snaking across the floor and lights up against the walls all along the way. It was hard enough to navigate during the day so she knew it was going to be slow going in the dark.

Lizzy tried to concentrate on not tripping over anything; she kept her hand just barely touching the outside wall as she made deliberate steps to make sure she made it over any wires. When she brought her foot down she did it gently in case she stepped on something. She wondered if this were how blind people had to deal with getting around. She would have to remember this and use it sometime in her acting.  She thought this was kind of a funny moment to be thinking of using an action for a potential acting role. She laughed to herself realizing you pick up the oddest things when you least expect it. “This is good” she thought, she was keeping her mind on other things and not completely freaking out, “One foot in front of the other,” she told herself.

She was moving along better than she thought she would be, she hadn’t tripped, there was no whispering, the lights weren’t going on and off and nothing else strange had happened. It was just Lizzy, the darkness and the obstacles in the dark.

She could see the glow from the exit door light getting brighter as she reached one of the corners of the soundstage. The exit door was just past the next corner. The light from the exit door made things a little easier going and thankfully there were less wires and lights to get caught up in along this wall.  After tonight she was going to talk to one of the shows producers and make sure someone stayed to make sure everyone got out late at night. This was just too nerve-racking to go through again.

With the improved visibility Lizzy started walking a bit faster and took her hand from the wall. She was almost to the next corner and just past that was the exit door. She started to breath a sigh of relief. A bit past half way down the corridor she could see the light from the exit door just past the corner.  Her heartbeat started to return to normal.

A few more feet and she looked up again, at that moment a black shape moved out of the corner in front of her and passed in front of the light as it moved away from her past the exit door. Everything about Lizzy stopped, she couldn’t take a breath and her heart slammed to a halt in her chest. She was not sure what she saw. It was hard to really see anything in the dark especially when she was trying to walk without tripping over something.

Lizzy stood there for several seconds listening to the sound of her own breathing once it started again; it was the only thing she could hear. She started to feel the effects of the adrenaline that was set off. She had to make sure to steady her breathing to keep from hyperventilating.

After a few moments she began to question if she really saw anything. What if there really was a ghost, she could then add to the rumors of the stage being haunted.

Lizzy forced herself to call out to anyone that might be there, no one answered. Lizzy’s legs were weakening with fear and there was shuffling in the direction the shadow had disappeared. If there was anyone there they were not answering her. Lizzy called out again thinking maybe whoever it was had earphones plugged into their ears. Still was no answer.

Lizzy’s fear was starting to get the best of her. Her body was telling her to follow her buckling knees into a curled ball and wait if out. She thought if she made herself really small it would all go away. Then the whispering started. Suddenly there was a loud crash behind her somewhere, like a light fell over. This set Lizzy into action and she took off running for the for exit door.

All be damned, she was going to get the hell out of the sound stage. Lizzy kept stumbling over wires and fell a few times trying to get out of the sound stage as quickly as possible. She was close to hysterics and was doing everything she could to hold back the tears and screams.

Finally she was only a few feet from the door, she put her hand out to push it open as she kept moving. Suddenly someone called her name and they were right next to her. It was too dark to really see anyone. She leaped sideways away from the voice in a panic and right into the wall next to her.

As well as the wall, Lizzy had flown into a standing light and knocked it into the wall. The light was bouncing back as Lizzy tripped over the cord trying to get her balance again and fell to the floor. Lizzy looked at the shadowed figure that had called her name. It was now standing over her holding something. Lizzy raised her hand holding the pepper spray she carried in her jacket pocket, ready to use it on the shadowed figure but she was too late.

As everything went black Lizzy heard her name whispered in the dark.

Lizzy woke up that morning in the hospital. She was not sure where she was at first, just that everything was really bright and she had an enormous headache. She tried to sit up to get a better look at her surroundings but laid back down immediately as the room began spinning and stars appeared in her vision.

Lizzy covered her eyes when she heard someone walk in the room, her pounding head kept her from looking to see whom it was. Someone touched her shoulder and whispered her name. Immediately Lizzy reacted and tried to jump out of the bed, the headache and room spinning stopped her from succeeding. She lay in a whimpering ball on her bed covering her eyes and trying to hold her head and will the pounding to stop. The hand shook her gently and this time the whispered voice she heard was familiar. She stopped whimpering and calmed down, when she rolled over she slowly opened her eyes; it was her mother who had been whispering her name.

Lizzy started crying realizing that it was her mother, she was safe, and she was out of the stage. She did not remember what had happened after she was hit on the head but she was now glad she was somewhere else with her mother. She cried for a few more minutes and her mother just let her get it out while holding Lizzy.

Later when Lizzy had calmed down and stopped crying her mother told Lizzy that one of the crew guys found her early this morning near the door, it looked as if she had tripped on one of the cables attached to a light.  As the cord wrapped around her ankle she pulled the light on top of her head, thus giving herself a nasty concussion. The crewmember called security right away and they called the ambulance. The doctors were not sure the extent of the concussion due to her being unconscious. They had checked for bleeding on the brain but all the tests came out okay.

As Lizzy’s mother finished recounting the tale to her a doctor walked in. The doctor asked Lizzy a few questions, checked her pulse, eyes and asked if she remembered last night. Lizzy was not sure what she remembered and told that to the doctor.  A few moments ago she would have sworn she was being stalked in the soundstage, and someone whispering her name.  She did remember the cord and falling to the floor but she was beginning to wonder if she just imagined the whispering and the shuffling. But then she remembered the shadow standing over her holding something in their hand.  Lizzy decided not to say anything to the doctor.

As soon as the doctor left Lizzy told her mother what really happened and that she had been hearing whispers for some time now on the stage late at night and all the other crazy stuff that had been happening. Lizzy’s mother just looked at her, her face had gone pale and it looked like she was about to cry. Lizzy became concerned for her mother. Maybe she was panicking her. Lizzy asked “Mom, what is it?”

“Lizzy, you cannot do this to me again” her mother said.

What was her mother saying, she just told her she was possibly assaulted and all her mother had to say was not to do this to her again. She wanted to scream at her, but the pain in her head became overwhelming and she blacked out again. When she woke up her mother was gone and it was dark outside. She had a feeling she would stay longer than one night if she kept blacking out. She was tired. She drifted off to sleep this time. In the twilight of her sleep she began to wonder if she really did hit herself with the light. But that story just did not feel right. As Lizzy slept she dreamed of dark shapes whispering her name.


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