Summit Theater Intermission: Don't Panic


Jordan was certainly not panicking. The first forty-five minutes or so of a live reading of the radio play adaption of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy had been FANTASTIC!

She was buzzing with excitement as she entered the lobby. Jordan always wanted to do this radio play on her podcast but couldn't nail down the rights for it and long gone was the time where she just did whatever she wanted on her podcast. She made sure to do things by the book as much as possible!

It was still amazing to get a chance to see it performed live. Filled her with inspiration. Jordan even decided to get a drink at the bar to celebrate. She ordered a glass of wine because it was easy and classy then looked at someone nearby, feeling braver than usual.

"That first half was so good, don't you think?" Then she gave a semi-apologetic smile and flashed her ID at the bartender before accepting her glass of wine. She didn't even like wine that much. But she was at the theatre!
Oh Mainumbí, how did you get here! Simple, someone else brought her here.

And then he left because she told him to with because he was being annoying and talking during the show and she was TRYING TO LISTEN.

And now it was some break in the show for some reason. She mingled, and was accosted by a lady for her opinion, but Mainumbí liked that kind of thing, so.

"Yes!" she answered in practically a chirp. "I don't know what is going on at all."
The woman she approached seemed to be enjoying the show as well, and nothing seemed to fill Jordan’s heart with warmth faster than mutual excitement over the same piece of media or entertainment. Especially when it came to a live radio show.

Jordan wasn’t all that surprised to learn that the stranger didn’t know what was going on. The show could be a bit convoluted for someone who wasn’t familiar with the text. Aliens, androids, the destruction of Earth and something called Deep Thought. But, Jordan wasn’t there to teach someone how to enjoy the show, so she wouldn’t. “At least you are enjoying it though,” She replied a bit more shyly now that she had committed to talking to a stranger. She took a tentative sip of her wine, decided she didn’t much care for it but would continue to drink it because she paid for it and didn’t want it to go to waste!! “I’ve always wanted to do this show but the rights are a bit hard to come by.”
She smiled, agreeing with a raise of her brows. She watched the young lady in a pretty dress drink wine, and found herself fairly interested.

"Rights? Why do you need those?" she asked. Maybe she meant "lights." Unclear!
Rights weren't exactly something everyone would just know about, Jordan! Not wanting to be exclusionary, she'd explain!

"Well, I have this podcast, and, um, sometimes I like to do other people's work but I need to pay for the rights for it first before I can use it. Legal reasons and stuff. Not that my podcast makes very much money. Or any. Really. Uh." Now she was just rambling!
Mainumbí understood roughly ten percent of this. She followed along with nods as if she understood more.

"Money is very hard," she offered a vague platitude sympathetically. "But is it fun? Rights and Podasts and things like that?"

Typo. Intentional.
Whether it was because it was too loud in the lobby or Jordan was just feeling a little nervous, she missed the mispronunciation. Was it fun? She supposed so! It was the one creative outlet she'd had over the last four and a half years. She wasn't really good at much else, to be honest but that sounded sad so she wouldn't say that.

"Yeah! I mean, I like it. I get to do silly voices and work on my editing skills."
Well, she did know enough to know what a "Silly Voice" was! Mainumbí was immediately delighted, and she clapped her hands.

"I love silly voices! Do one for me."

If she would! And if she didn't want to, then why bring it up!
Do one for her. Well. That was not something Jordan was prepared to do but she also didn’t want to be rude? Her smile faltered slightly in her nervousness, and she peered around them, not wanting to draw more attention to them than absolutely necessary.

“Oh, uh, um. Okay. Yeah. I can do that.” Jordan took a breath in, then cleared her throat. Took a sip of wine, then choked a little on it. Big mistake, clearly. When she finally felt ready, she set her wine glass down at the bar and hunched her back, imagining one of her more elderly male characters she’d done in a couple of her episodes, figuring it would be the most impressive?? Maybe? His voice was always a more challenging one to pull off but she was determined to give it her best. This particular old man was a retired professor of mythology. She pretended to push up a pair of glasses, and her mouth formed a thin line with the barest hint of a smile.

“Hello there!” She greeted in character. “It’s an absolute pleasure to meet you. My name is Dr. Greenhorn, former professor of mythology at Haaarrrrvard,” Jordan said proudly, the voice holding up despite the fact that she hadn’t warmed up at all. “And student of this marvellous thing we call life. How do you do?” She waited a beat to see if the stranger might introduce herself.
Of course, Mainumbí had no idea what the reference was. She wasn't very well versed in anything, and she was used to this. But her face was lit up with utter delight, too powerfully overwhelmed by good talent.

"Wonderful, wonderful!" she clapped. "You should act!"
Oh good. Jordan could drop the act. She straightened up and picked up her glass of wine again, feeling her cheeks flush at the compliment. She wasn’t really accustomed to getting compliments on her work unless it was from her zayde or her mom. Acting over a microphone in a pre-recorded show was much easier for her to manage than acting on stage. She was not interested in live theatre in that way. Even doing her elderly man voice took a lot of mental coaxing and self-reassurance.

“Thank you, um, but I’ll leave the acting to the professionals,” She smiled and curled a loose strand of hair behind her ear. “I don’t really like to act in front of people all that much, let alone a crowd of them.”
But wasn't she a professional! Mainumbí didn't know. English was a confusing language at best.

She did wonder about the crowd bit, though. Hmm. Seeking eye contact, she wondered if she might be able to make this work.

"We can find a quiet place. Come with me," she decided, and there was satisfaction in success. She moved to lead her away, certainly wanting for a drink. But also entertainment!
Jordan nodded, compelled to follow the stranger despite not knowing her very well. She’d proven a captive audience so far — not that Jordan was here to search for an audience! She didn’t really know why they were looking for a quiet place. Was it to chat more or was the stranger expecting more voices? Oh goodness. Jordan didn’t know quite what to make of it but followed nonetheless, wondering what other voices she had in her arsenal she could use. Some required more practice and warm-up than others.

As they walked, Jordan took a tentative sip of wine until they found this aforementioned quiet place. She was a little proud of herself for stepping outside her usual social boundaries and meeting new people in the process! “I, um, don’t think I caught your… well, I’m Jordan, by the way.”
"Lady," she decided, it being the last thing someone had called her recently and she thought it sounded very cute. Lady!

They made it to a stairwell, and Mainumbí led them down to the darker, tucked away bottom of it. It was here that she settled, leaning against the covered wall."Jordan. What's that mean?"
Lady was an interesting name. Though Jordan could only think of the Lady and the Tramp but didn't think it would be polite to admit that aloud so she wouldn't.

Lady was really leading them to a quiet place though. A stairwell no less, and while Jordan followed her, she was a bit weirded out. As the stranger settled in, Jordan peered around awkwardly before replying, "Oh. Um. I think it means to flow down, like uh, a river or something." She had looked it up once on Google but that was ages ago now. She crossed her arms over her midsection, digging her nails slightly into her elbows as she pondered the curious person before her.

"So, um, why are we all the way down here?"
Oh, this was a very nice name. Jordan. Maybe Mainumbí would steal it some time.

"So you can do more voices!" she exclaimed, wondering if she could get lucky twice. Another look was all she needed to try. "You said you didn't want a crowd."

So it was for more voices. Okay. She could do that. Right?

"Oh yeah. Okay. Um." Jordan hesitated and thought of the different characters in her roster. She thought of one of her more spooky episodes since Halloween was last month and decided to go with her Mafalda witch voice.

"Hello kiddies! Hee hee hee hee!" She shrieked in her best impersonation of a cartoon stereotypical witch, like something out of Tales From the Crypt. "It's time for a most spoOOoktacular story! Beware children, for this tale is not for the faint of heart!" She trailed off there and looked at Lady, though not quite meeting her gaze.
No eye contact, but the voice was very amusing! She laughed, feeling her thirst parch her throat. "Tell me the tale then, Miss Riverflow!"

Delightful, delightful, delightful.
Lady wanted her to continue, so she would quickly clear her throat, set her glass of wine down on the stairs and continue her ramblings as Mafalda.

"This is a twisted tale, a grim and bleak story about a man who..." She hesitated slightly as she tried to come up with something on the spot. She looked down at her feet for a moment as she thought about it. When Jordan had an idea, she looked back up and grinned devilishly. An unusual sight for the normally reserved person she was. "Didn't take the advice of a good friend!" Still wasn't looking Lady in the eye. Instead, she focused on a spot on her forehead, too nervous to give her full eye contact.
Lady tried to adjust in place, sit up a bit taller. Come on, eye contact >:[

But even in this, she was enthralled in the story too, and blinked at her storyteller.

"Ohhh NO! What was his friend's advice! What happened!" Tell HER. Mainumbí missed storytime way too much.
"Welllll, hee hee hee hee!" Another witch-like cackle. Jordan was getting into it now, the story coming a little easier to her mind as she created it on the spot for her one-person audience. Her position was hunched slightly, her hands up in front of her, as she rubbed her palms together. "You see his friend, um, Bart!" Jordan decided on the name and instantly hated it but it was too late. "Well Bart always told him to be wary of going down to the pier at night by himself!"

Still no eye contact though. Sorry :(
This was getting better and better, to the point where she was quickly forgetting that she could use a meal. Bart sounded like the kind of sound a dog made! Mainumbí barted in her head thoughtfully.

"Oh no! What was at the peer!" she asked, eyes wide and unblinking.
What was at the pier, Jordan????

"Legend has it there was a powerful sea creature who lurked in the murky depths of the waters surrounding the pier!"

This time she made eye contact with Lady as if to emphasize the plot point in her story.
It was too bad Lady was wayyy too taken with the story to have the quickness to act on that eye contact when it finally came. She gasped. Who needed blood when there was talk of sea monsters! She had seen the sea only very rarely in her landlocked life.

"Oh no! What does it look like?"
Oh! Hmmm...

"It was large and scaly, with a snake-like tail! And it was eight feet — no nine feet tall! Hee hee hee hee!"

Still maintaining eye contact.
Oh, it hit her a second late that she was making eye contact now! Mainumbí gasped, and full-force went: "Emeʼẽ chéve ruguy!"

This before she rose to her feet, all but bouncing to the other lady in excitement.

success, "give me your blood"

Lady said something in a language she didn't recognize, and Jordan was hit with the overwhelming urge to donate some blood to her. Did she need it for medical purposes? She seemed very excited about it though, and Jordan couldn't help but feel a little excited too?

"Oh, um, okay!" She giggled, saying it a little brightly, though there was a hint of concern in her tone. More for the person in front of her than herself. "How?!"
She was so happy! And so was Mainumbí. But there was, as always, the matter of her height.

"I'm very short. But if you sit on these," she gestured to the stairs, "and then turn your head, I can reach you better!"

So hungry, so hungry. There was no tell that this was going to be a very regretful meal!
This all seemed completely reasonable to Jordan, and she did as she was told and took a seat next to her glass of wine, eyes wide with her excitement. What was happening?! This was all very strange but Jordan was happy to help the kind stranger whose attention had, moments beforehand, been so rapt by her storytelling.

"Okay, do you, um, have the right, uh, equipment or whatever?" Jordan paused for a moment then asked a very important question. "You won't get any on my dress, right?" It was new and sort of expensive, and she just liked it a lot.
"No mess at all, believe me," she promised, the sort of promise that one really really meant at the time of making it. But also somewhat impatient.

She rested her hands on her shoulders and sunk her eternal teeth into the woman's neck. And that was when everything tasted... wrong.

It hit first like how she expected it to taste, all in her head. But it was as she drank that first sip down that her tongue began to reject it. Oh. Oh now, this was very, very bad. She'd never had blood taste this bad.

She gagged without wanting to, but some effect of her promise kept her from spilling it, even as it tasted purely awful. She felt a tension grow in her, angered. How dare it go so... so awful, after such good luck. Her head swam, a churning whirl.

Her nails started to lengthen, daggers threatening at her hands and jaws at the unfairness of it all, and yet she kept on drinking. Like if she took more, it would all feel better.

It would not feel better.
The woman, uh, leaned in and bit her neck? Which was very strange. It was then that her excitement began to wane, not because it hurt, she couldn't really feel the bite anymore? It waned because she was suddenly feeling quite nervous about their closeness. She didn't know this woman well enough for her to be... well, whatever it was that she was doing?!

She heard the gag, however, and suddenly she was concerned again. "Are you okay?" Jordan asked, though she was starting to feel a little tired. She could feel herself beginning to lean towards the banister next to her, away from Lady. She put one hand down on the stair beneath her and accidentally knocked the glass of wine off, where it shattered on the floor in front of them, its contents flowing across the cement.
It should have been good. Should have been very good. And yet it was not, no matter how much Mainumbí tried to pile on. It shuddered her, seizing her body and mind. She stared into the girl's pretty hair, losing herself in the strands. Wide-eyed, scared.

It was, while seemingly backwards, for the best that the glass shattered. It forced her to yank away, half-formed overlengthened dagger fangs visible as she did. Unfortunately, this did leave a mess. Mainumbí staggered back against the nearest wall, falling into a balled up crouch, the high she hadn't even expected anything but pleasant.

She began to cry as she did, chest trembling with hyperventilation that didn't occur. She stared openly tearing up at the woman Jordan, lost in the flow of a paralyzing sort of terror.

And yet, it was all to the effect of causing her claws and fangs to recede. Because she needed to hide from the fear.
As Lady pulled away from her, Jordan slumped against the banister, missing the moment where the vampire's fangs were visible. She didn't even notice the blood that trailed down her neck onto her pretty dress. It took a lot of effort to keep her eyes open as Jordan sort of just wanted to go to sleep right then and there? But she forced herself to straighten at the sound of the cries and hyperventilating happening near her.

"Woooah!" Jordan breathed as she turned to face the woman cowering in the corner, concern clear on her face. What was going on?! "Lady? It's, um, it's okay." She moved tentatively towards the woman who seemed absolutely terrified of her, wanting to reach out and rub her back, if she had consent to do so. If not, she would just let her hand drop back to her side. "It's okay." Jordan said again in a soothing voice, though her head was absolutely spinning from giving Lady her blood.
"Don't-" she shuddered, inching away. "Do not- I will- I will stay here."

Yes. Stay here. Alone.

"Go- I'm- will go back."

False promises, but anything that would get her space to simply stare into the abyss alone.
No one had ever been afraid of Jordan before. To her knowledge? She frowned softly and didn't touch the woman.

"Can I call someone you know to come get you?" Jordan asked. She didn't want to stick around if Lady didn't want her to but she also didn't want to leave her alone in this state. It sort of broke her heart a little, and as confused as she was about what went wrong, Jordan wanted to be as supportive as she could possibly be.
Shaking her head no, and then she... continued to shake her head no, finding it kept her awake. But it was more than that. She needed to be outside, in air, without the mustiness down here. Don't let her die in here.

Mainumbí launched herself up, intending to free herself of this regretful place, best she could.

At the very least, it did seem that intermission was drawing to an end.
As Lady stood up, Jordan sat back a little to give her space before placing a hand on the railing and pulling herself to her feet. She staggered a little and didn't really know what to do or say to make things better. It made her feel a little sad. Regretful. She couldn't even summon a silly voice to try and cheer the other woman up. She was useless in this situation. Absolutely useless, so she'd let her go without her, hovering on the stair just above the landing.
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