Ah, the Monster Play, one of three most exciting events of the school year, pulling up close behind Monster Prom and the Monster Sportball championships. Yep, sportball. On account of most athletes being dumb as rocks, the school couldn't find a single sport simple enough for them to understand… and instead opted to mash EVERY sport into one, where all and no rules apply at the same time! Yay, sports!
But now wasn’t the time for commoner meathead pastimes like that. It was time for a more refined, more dignified pursuit. Theatre. Even if most of the school’s “talent” was required to participate in the play for a grade. Hey, art is suffering right?
“Right.” Liam sighs into his stage-manager headset. You still aren’t sure if he became stage manager because he actually enjoyed it, or just so he could boss people around.
“Black light Polly! Black! Everyone uses white light, do you want this show to be subversive or not?” Definitely bossy, you think to yourself. Polly groans, switching out the gels over the lights.
“I don’t know that word, but if you mean filled with ectoplasm and jizz-stains…” She trails off, but as the black light switches on you quickly see what she was talking about. You can’t really tell the difference between ghost juice and nut juice, and even if you could you’re not sure which is worse. Either way, Liam looks repulsed.
“Good lord- scrap it! Scrap the whole thing.”
Polly mumbles an ‘I told you so’ while switching the gels back to blue. You focus your attention back on Liam, who actually looks stressed. A full 180 from his usual apathetic attitude. He must notice your staring, and quickly makes his way over to you.
"Oh finally, you're the assistant stage manager, aren't you?" He asks. You don't think so, but nobody else seems to be helping Liam. And you do feel a little bad that he's dealing with everyone's shenanigans all alone.
"Uh-" you start.
"Excellent, take this." Liam says, shoving a headset into your hands. You haphazardly put it on, as the stick skinny vampire starts listing off tasks. "Now, I put Vera in charge of ticket sales, no worries there, Miranda should be alright in costumes, Scott's been chasing his own tail for forty five minutes and doesn't seem bored yet-"
You look over your shoulder to see Scott barking wildly, seemingly unaware that his tail is y'know… attached to him.
"-But I'm worried about Damien. He's supposed to be finding us set pieces, and I can smell the smoke from here. Would you please go tell him off for me?"
Telling off Damien? Well jeez, if that wasn't a Herculean task, what was? It'd probably end in you crying, not Damien. But Liam looked desperate. And maybe helping him out now would earn you some affection later, which is a totally normal and healthy thought and we don't need to talk about it.
"Alright, sure. What could go wrong?" Ha! Yeah, what could go wrong? Probably nothing at all now that you've said it out loud. But Liam looks extremely grateful and it earns you +2 helpfulness. Which is ironically completely useless here because you don't have any stats.
Moments later, you're heading down to the prop shop in the basement, which you didn't even know existed until now. You realize Liam was totally right- the smokey smell is almost nauseating- but like… in a sexy way.
As you reach the prop shop, you see Damien sitting on the floor, holding his hands out in front of a fire that's definitely made out of irreplaceable set pieces. Fantastic. But you don't even have time to give a disapproving look before Damien looks up with… dear god is that sadness?
"Oh, it's you." He says halfheartedly, chucking a rubber chicken into the fire. It makes a horrific squeaking sound before melting into nothingness. "I'm just expressing my feelings through fire y'know, the usual."
Yeah, that is pretty normal for Damien, but his heart doesn't seem to be in it. You sit down next to him and watch as the fire is fueled by the dwindling theater budget. You decide to speak up, in the hopes of saving whatever pieces are left.
"Y'know I think we need all that on-fire stuff for the play actually." You say. Damien snorts.
"Whatever, I didn't want to do the stupid play anyways. All I'm doing is rolling these backgrounds around in the dark...in front of a whole audience of other students." It's almost unnoticeable, but you see him gulp. Hold the phone, is this what you think it is?
"Damien, do you have stage fright?" You ask. Immediately Damien grabs you by the shirt collar.
"I'm not afraid of stages!" As he yanks on your shirt (which is both terrifying and kind of turns you on), you put your hands up defensively.
"No I mean, are you afraid of being onstage in front of everyone?" Damien starts to sputter words of denial, but his grip softens on your collar. Holy balls, this is blowing your mind. You weren't even sure Damien had ever felt fear. But it was also blowing your mind because you didn't really understand how he even had stage fright. I mean, at most the audience would see an inky silhouette moving a big clunky set piece.
"I don't know if I can do it man, people I don't entirely loathe will see me." Is he talking about friends? He holds his chin in his hands. "What would you do?" He asks
Oh boy, a choice! Well, between these two extremely valid options anyways.
1. Have you considered… beating up the stage? Then it would be scared of you!
2. We could try making out for reasons that are tooootally related to you overcoming your fear.
But choice is an illusion! And this is a fanfic with no real way to pick either of these! That being said, the powers that be have already chosen option one for you. But don't worry, you'll get that demon dick someday.
"Beating up the stage?" Damien says, considering it. After a moment, he looks up at you, a devious grin spread over his face. "Why didn't I think of that! Let's kick that stages metaphorical ass!"
You're not sure that Liam will be pleased, but at least you got Damien out of that slump. The demon prince drags you up the stairs - away from the smoldering prop fire that will not be plot relevant in any way- and the two of you spend some quality time attacking the stage with hammers, nail guns, and of course your bare fucking fists.
As you're busy beating the stage senseless, Liam materializes in front of you. Huh, he must've been flapping around in bat form.
"I see you found Damien, now where are those set pieces he was supposed to have?" He asks, looking around. Oh shit! In helping Damien overcome his stage fright you totally forgot to actually get the important theater stuff.
"Oh, those are actually kind of… on fire for now." You say, anxiously knotting your fingers together. Liam proceeds to freak the fuck out.
"On fire?!" He groans. "Everything?!"
You nod solemnly. Yeah, he's not happy. But come to think of it, you don't know if Liam has ever been happy. He pulls out a notebook and starts frantically scribbling things down. Is he sweating? Can vampires sweat?
"You said set everything on fire right?" Polly chimes in, holding a lighter up to the gels, ready for them to go up in flames at any moment. Liam gasps.
"No, no I absolutely did not!"
You see Polly pocket her lighter, and you're momentarily hopeful that she won't take this opportunity to contribute to the chaos.
"Cool, cause I was thinking- burning stuff is actually a pretty overrated way to destroy something when I could just eat it!" Now that sounds more like Polly. Liam tries to stop her but it's too late; she's already swallowed the gel sheet whole. And Liam seems ready to cry. Looks like it might be time for a pep talk. You put a hand on Liam's shoulder and pat him reassuringly. He pulls a paper bag out of his back pocket and just holds it in front of his mouth.
You're about to ask what he's doing when he explains:
"It's a breathing exercise, for stress. But as an undead immortal being I don't actually need to breathe." Ah, so he's just pretending to do a breathing exercise. That makes more sense. He clutches your hand with more strength than you expected from his stick-skinny self. "Please, I'm begging you to help make one thing go right today. Can you check up on Vera?"
Sure, you think. Out of all the students, Vera is definitely the most calculated. You don't know how she could mess anything up.
You're heading for the box office when you notice a bunch of students are wiggling around on the floor, wrapped up in snakes. Spooky High has always been welcoming to pets and other deadly animals, but you don't remember ever seeing so many in one place. Maybe it's bring a wild snake to school day and you weren't informed, how embarrassing would that be?! But as you get closer to the ticket sales, you realize these snakes definitely belong to Vera, who is shoving tickets in people's faces while her minions tie them up with snakes.
"I thought Liam might send you, but as you can clearly see, I've got things under control." Vera says, waving you off.
"Oh- yeah I'm just wondering… what the snakes have to do with ticket sales?" You mumble, fixated on a student who looks near to passing out.
"Everything!" Vera snaps. "Sales were awful, so I figured we'd be making more bank if I offered a reward along with the tickets."
"And the reward is…."
"Being let out of the grasp of a venomous snake, duh." Vera says, rolling her eyes. The snakes in her hair also roll their eyes.
"But shouldn't the play be selling on its own merits? Do we really need to threaten bodily harm for people to want to go see theater?" Vera starts to laugh.
"Nobody wants to go see theater. Do I need to explain the snakes all over again?"
"Uhhhh…" while you're trying to think of one good reason someone would go see a play, you hear Liam's voice through your headset.
"Curtains in ten!" Your heart feels like it's about to burst out of your chest.
Curtains in ten?! By the look of things, you won't even be ready for curtains in a whole twenty four hours! But a call is a call, and you're backstage in just seconds, panting heavily, sweaty, and almost completely devoid of any hope you once held for this performance. Much of the same can be said for Liam who is face down on the floor. Somehow everything that could go wrong, has indeed gone wrong.
“My un-life is over, I’ll never be taken seriously as a stage manager!” He whines, looking more woefull than you’ve ever seen him. And that’s saying something. Jeez, this is hard to watch. You’ve gotta do something. Even if everyone is preoccupied doing everything wrong, there’s gotta be some way to fix it. You see Scott, who seems to have finally given up chasing his tail, sitting next to Liam, trying to cheer him up.
“Bro don’t be so sad! There’s all sorts of stuff to be happy about like uh…” But Scott probably isn’t the best person to give this talk. He trails off, his face going totally blank as he zones out. He almost looks dead-er than Liam, almost like an inanimate object- holy BALLS that’s it!
“Scott! Can you stand perfectly still and pretend to be a tree?” You shout, as he snaps out of it and nods ecstatically.
“I’m great at pretending to be things!” He says, standing with his arms straight up, he barks. “I’M A TREE! YOU CAN TELL BECAUSE I’M SAYING IT SUPER LOUD!”
You’re sure it’s not exactly what Liam had in mind, but it’s a pretty creative solution.
“How about a building?”
“That too!” Scott brings his arms down only to strike exactly the same pose again, this time yelling “I’M A BUILDING! YOU CAN TELL BECAUSE-”
“Perfect, good boy Scott!” You shout before running up to the catwalk and grabbing Polly.
“Polly, there’s no time to explain, but you need to pull your shirt up!”
“Don’t have to ask me twice.” She says, rolling up the bottom of her tank top to confirm your suspicions. Her ghosty torso is totally see-through enough for the light to go right through it! And since she ate the light gels, it should work perfectly. You tell her to float in front of the lights, and sure enough your genius plan totally works.
Alright, what else, what else? You peek your head out of the curtains to check for an audience. Sure enough, there’s an entire auditorium full of snake-bite victims. They look dazed and slightly delirious, which you can probably use to your advantage in all honesty. Good thinking, Vera.
You run over to Liam and pull him up by his dorky suspenders.
“Liam look! We fixed it! The show can go on!”
“It- It can?”
“It can! But not without you. So what are you gonna do about it?”
“I’m gonna… I’m gonna stage manage!”
“You’re gonna what!” you yell.
“I’M GONNA STAGE MANAGE!” Liam says, throwing a triumphant fist in the air. Immediately he gets to work, His newfound confidence seems to inspire everyone, and they all fall right into place under his instruction. It’s beautiful, you’ve never seen such perfect teamwork from your friends. In the last precious moments before the show, you’ve all somehow pulled it together. Liam calls the light cues, Polly gives a thumbs up and positions herself in front of the lights. The audience is waiting with baited breath (which may partially be due to the snake venom), and as the curtains slowly draw…
Huh. Scott is the only one onstage? He starts yelling, swinging his arms around to indicate that he’s changing into different set pieces.
“-AND NOW I’M A CAR! AND NOW I’M THE MOON!”
Holy shit, you all spent so much time worrying about the stage crew, you completely forgot that there were no actors. Or even a script. You’ve just got an audience of hostages watching a werewolf do avant garde performance art. Everyone’s looking at each other, slowly putting together what’s happened. Everyone except Damien, who come to think of it, you haven’t seen since the stage punching. Until he rockets out from behind the curtain carrying a box of fireworks under his arm.
“Stop the show!” He shouts, even though there’s really no show to stop. He rips open the fireworks and dumps them all out in the middle of the stage. His eyes are practically glowing with amusement as he dumps a flask simply marked BOMB JUICE all over the fireworks. Once they’re drenched, he proceeds to chug the rest of the bottle drag Scott offstage with him.
“Let there be LIGHT!” Damien yells, and you watch as all the still-burning props you left unattended in the basement finally catch up to you. The stage erupts in what is quite possibly the most bitchin’ fireworks show that’s ever been viewed by human eyes. Or snake eyes, vampire eyes- the most bitchin’ fireworks seen by any eyes. The curtains are completely engulfed in flames, sparks fly in every direction, firecrackers are going off one after another after another, startling Scott. Flashes of color explode in the faces of already confused and disoriented audience members, fatally wounding a few of them.
By the time it’s all over, the entire auditorium is a smoldering, unbreathable death trap. Everyone is evacuated, and the entire stage crew is sent to principal Giant Spiders office to think about what they’ve done, including you.
You all wait in the office, looking at your shoes ashamed of yourselves. Well, all of you except Damien and Polly, who still seem pretty stoked and have been continuously high fiving for twenty minutes straight. You glance over at Liam, who looks exhausted, and sigh.
“I’m sorry the show went wrong… I really tried to help.” You say. Liam looks over at you and smiles softly.
“Meh. Things going as planned is so cliche.” He says. You smile back. “The timing of that fire was perfect. I mean, even a second later and we might’ve all died horrifically!” He starts laughing. Haha, yeah! That would’ve been totally excruciating! But the two of you giggle together for a minute or two, until he quiets down and rubs at the back of his neck.
“It might be fun to do it again sometime. Y’know, once they rebuild the auditorium.” He says with a shy smile. You just might take him up on that.