Monday, August 25, 2014

Abadona - Then and Now

The act below was first performed in October of 2009, for the Beautiful Freaks Burlesque Sideshow. It's been reworked and revamped many times since, and remains one of my very favorite acts to perform. :)

Abadona shivers in the cool of the judging chamber, unwarmed by the lone spotlight above. The ordeal to reach this place has been torturous, and though stoically motionless, she is weary beyond the telling. Engulfed in the fathomless shadows surrounding the stage, a buzzing voice, a sound that is not properly a voice at all, breaks her anxious reverie with a single word.

JUDGE: "Commennnzzz!"

She rises to obey, tracing with her finger tip a curious sigil upon the air... cold, stale air, that now begins to swell with a tide of strange music. Giving one last, silent prayer to Queen Hecate for strength, Abadona begins her dance. She cannot see those who watch her now, but she feels their presence, and her indigo flesh crawls as eyes — and other, less-familiar sensory organs — press upon her from the darkness beyond this tiny pool of light.

This ritual dictates the performance of a most ancient dance. Millennia have passed since its creation, and in all those years, none have dared to alter the sacred steps. By diverging from those prescribed motions, Abadona now dares much.

She has no rationale to explain her blasphemous actions. Merely the intuition, grown to an obsession... that true power, lies not in the repetition of dead formalities, but in grasping for the living and elusive Truth! The dance she now performs is her own, and knowing that these may well be her final moments, she flings herself into motion with redoubled passion.

Dark streaks now smear across the stone with each step of her bare feet, but the air she draws with each ragged breath is not so stale as it was, and the chill has abated. Her strength should be exhausted... but enduring the discomfort, Abadona has discovered a well of inner resolve. The dance is nearly finished, and she does not intend to falter.

Somewhere, unseen in the blackness, an agitated chittering erupts, but is suppressed when a command rings out.

JUDGE: "zzSSilenzzz!!"

The harshness of the word is an almost physical blow, but the chittering stops abruptly, and Abadona feels a victorious thrill. She has broken the thrall of a spell older than memory — let the Elders do with her what they may. Eyes gleaming defiance, she resumes the ready stance.

JUDGE: "Yourrr performanzz hazz nnot dizzapointed uzzz..."

Shocked by these words of unexpected approbation, Abadona's heartbeat pounds in her ears. The buzzing continues, like a maddening itch within her skull.

JUDGE: "Yourrr zzzspirit izz zzstrong... bbbut yyouu rrrequire temperrringg..."

Her skin crackles with an electric charge — she has time only to wonder at the scent of vanilla now saturating the air, before she is struck senseless.

Recovering, she rises slowly to find herself in an unfamiliar place, wearing an unfamiliar visage. Her mind is filled with alien words, implanted knowledge—even a new name!—to ensure that her presence here will raise no alarms.

Clearly though, the Elders have sent her to this place for a purpose, and she will master this new challenge, just as she did the last. The gleam returns to her eye, and "Else Barnard" sets off in search of her new "dormitory"...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Always remember...

... that there is a real human being on the other side of the glass.

Remember also, that there is one on your own side as well.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I don't exist...

...when you don't see me.

Monday, April 12, 2010

One Hundred and Sixty Minutes of Sleep Last Night

Despite what I wrote last year... I do worry about mortality. I fear that SL will someday cease to be, and that when it does, 'Else Barnard' -- and her twin, 'EAR Oh' -- will just... stop.

Leaving behind only 'me'.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It recently occurred to me...

... that the difference between a prayer, and a curse, is largely one of perspective.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Raised in Captivity

In general, children are not permitted to leave parental custody. Exceptions to this are few, and almost always involve reassignment of custodial responsibility, e.g., teachers at school, or other children's parents on a play date.

Parallels could possibly then be drawn between childhood, and a term of imprisonment. Neither state is voluntary, and involves a curtailment of freedoms to varying extent, with greater privilege given to those who cooperate the most. Care in some form is given by the captor(s), but the quality of care varies widely, from earnest attempts at education and support, to blatantly abusive neglect and mistreatment.

So when a child grows up holding the same insupportably antisocial views as their parents, or rationalizes their own obvious ill-treatment, or makes excuses for their parent's questionable decisions; in short, when a child molds himself or herself to emulate the parent as closely as possible, with all behavioral tendencies intact... are we seeing a variation of the Stockholm Syndrome?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Realization #2 for May 6, 2009

'The Boy Who Cried Wolf', is a well-known fable, in which a young shepherd grows so bored with the tedium of his work, that he repeatedly pranks the residents of his village with false alarms. In the end, there are dire consequences, as the populace refuses to respond to the boy's final - and this time legitimate - distress call.

I was taught this story as a child, and that the moral was, that untrustworthy behavior leads to unforeseen repercussions. I never questioned this outright, but it always struck me as odd that the villagers would be included in this comeuppance, via the loss of their sheep. The boy usually fared much worse of course, but what had the villagers done to incur a karmic debt?

Today, the answer finally came to me, and it's simple: the villagers had failed to act upon a known risk. They had clear evidence that the shepherd could not handle the trust placed upon him, but they chose to accept the easier path - of believing his promises never to repeat the trick - rather than go to the trouble of finding a more reliable replacement.

It would have been a major loss to the village; sheep can be replaced, but we assume that the boy must have been loved and missed by someone, troublesome though he might have been. A high price to pay for adherence to the status quo.