Felice’s head rests heavily on my lap, sleeping soundly on the journey to Regario, while I can’t stop thinking of how to end a play.
—‘they’re not themselves, the Beast has them fully in thrall now. We must free them, stop the curse, before our family tears us apart’—
I had heard tales from old playwright patrons about the stories that wrote themselves; flashes of inspiration so powerful that all had to be postponed– eating, sleeping, life itself– while they wrote their masterpiece and ensured it made it to the stage.
—‘We need to buy ourselves more time, the Mask is almost done. We will have to delay them, until it is finished’—
I had dismissed it as fanciful whimsy on their part. How could I believe that one could write a play but have no control over it, or the direction that the story goes. Or how it ends. How can you write a play but not know the ending?
But now, lines of this play are endlessly repeating in my head, haunting, taunting, playing out over and over in the same way– no matter how I try to alter it. The characters are sometimes different, some of the Personas rotate in and out of the narrative. But always, the main characters are going to have their clash. There would be a fight, and it will either end happily, with a broken curse, or the Apprentice will have made things worse in her exuberance. But how did it end? The one thing I need to know, that I must know…
—‘It’s time to let them go. You’ve caused your damage. I won’t let you hurt them anymore.’
‘Who said I was going to hurt them? But, you…’—
No. Stop. Think of something else. This is going to drive you insane, Vitória. But it’s futile; there is no stopping this endless cycle in my head.
I know how I want to end this drama, but I know I can not control it. Since I was cast in this role, I will have to see it through till the last line, however the narrative ends.
—she flinches, gasps for breath in shock and pain, as the finished mask slips through her fingers, as the Beast runs its claws through her chest.—
How does this play end?