“Check the hook by the fridge, I think I put the keys up there. The car is in the garage. The VW.”
She got the keys he indicated and went out to the garage. He heard the garage open and the car start up as he hobbled to the door of the house. She stuck her head in, waiting for him. He could hear the car idling in the driveway.
“You want me to drive, then?” Her voice dropping at the end of her sentence, like so many British people did.
He grinned a little, gritting his teeth as he walked to the door. “Please. I would rather not drive standard right now, if I can help it.”
“Do you have house keys?”
“Yeah, on the car key ring.”
“Right, you lock the door, and I’ll get the car open for you.”
He locked the door, pulling it shut with a click. She opened the car door for him, helping him sit in the front seat. It was a tight fit, the car Dino was loaning them was a bright yellow VW. Dino’s favorite color was yellow.
“I love these cars,” she said brightly. “One of the only models I can pull the seat up close enough. Everything else is made for tall people!” She looked disgusted, then glanced over at him. “Not that tall’s a bad thing.”
“Has its advantages. I don’t need a step stool to brush my teeth.”
“Tall people are God’s ladders for short folks,” she remarked happily. Giggling, she put the car in gear and pulled blithely into traffic. She was almost as terrifying a driver as Dino. “Where are we going, by the way?” She sat at an intersection, the light was green and cars honked behind her. “Hold your bloody water!” She made a rude gesture out the window.
“Right and then the third left! Will you go already?”
She took off just as the light turned yellow, causing another chorus of horns and yells behind her.
“Made yourself unpopular just then.”
“Who cares? I won’t see the buggers again, anyway.”
They made the left turn on what felt like two wheels, charged down the narrow street and pulled up in front of the theater. Its faded red paint made it look more like a barn than anything else.
“Ewg, I do hope they intend to paint it!”
He nodded, chuckling. “First thing on the docket Monday morning. I don’t like the red, but Dino wants it to look like it did back in the day. This is all sort of a nostalgia thing.”
“Gotcha,” she added, pulling into a parking space near the door. “Kind of spooky looking, in’it?” Her accent was more pronounced. She leaned over the steering wheel, gazing up at the building.
“Heard the stories?”
“Yeah. First thing I told Dino, after I agreed to come, was to have the wiring checked. Some of it was the original wire! He had it all yanked out and redone.”
“I saw the new spec sheet on the patch panel and dimmer board. He got top of the line stuff. Sound system is great, too.”
They got out and Deacon hobbled over to the steps and jumped up on one foot. He grimaced, struggling to get to the porch three steps up.
“Try putting your weight on it. You’re just gonna make ’em both hurt at that rate. Good one first like you’re going up to heaven. Bad one coming down like you’re going to hell,” she quipped, hardly looking at him.
He gingerly put his foot down, testing his weight. She held his elbow to steady him, giving him a little shove to get him to the top. He nodded his thanks, grateful for the extra support.
“Not too bad, provided I don’t smack it again.”
“Too right! We’re clearing a stage, Deacon. You need shin guards.” She unlocked the door, pushing it open. “The lighting office, is it marked?” She held the door for him as he hobbled through.
“Yes, next door to the TD’s office.” He nodded in the general direction.
She went down the hallway from the vestibule and found her office. Unlocking the door, she peeped in, found the light switch and flipped it on. Dim, blue fluorescent light spilled into the hallway.
“Ewg, Deacon, have you seen this place?”
He limped to her side. The office was painted in garish primary colors, including the ceiling, filing cabinets and floor.
“Hrm, needs work,” he commented tersely, mentally adding it to his list.
“You just provide me paint. I’ll do it myself.”
“You’ll want to seal that paint, the colors look like Tempera. It will probably bleed. Not a matter to worry about today.”
“Naw, it’s bloody awful, but it can wait.” She smiled in an almost friendly fashion. “Where were those set designs?”
He pointed to the closet. She got the plans and he directed her to the designs and renderings, leaving her happily ensconced in her office.
Deacon walked into the stage area, standing in the middle of he arena, surrounded by ranks of rusting chairs on all four sides. This was going to take some doing. He started a list in order of destruction. About half an hour later, the volunteers began to arrive. Dino drove up, grinning happily, impeccably attired in his grubbies, which consisted of neatly pressed Oxford, creased blue jeans and immaculate boots, that looked as if they had never been worn. He even had a crisply pressed bandanna around his neck.
©2021 Dellani Oakes