"Grandmama! I'm so glad you're here! I have something absolutely amazing to tell you,I've been waiting for your visit for ages! Oh you'll love,oh,yes, would you care to sit down?"Maddie said patting a seat, "Sorry about that! Well, now let me tell you, I'M IN A PLAY!! And I want you to come, it's on September 25th! It starts at five, and ends at 7:30 or so, it is a magnificent play! And loud too,so it will be easy for you to hear everything! OH oh,a play can you believe it? I'm finally acting!" During the first few sentences,a thirteen year old Maddie Heldard had tried to contain her excitement but by the time she was finished she had jumped off her chair,dark brown curls flying out behind her, her deep green eyes sparkling. Maddie's Grandma had acted when she was young,and loved to talk about it as much as Maddie did,which was somewhat of a relief to Maddie's family,because you see,even though they were happy for Maddie,they were quite weary of the subject.
"Oh, deary,do tell me all about it! I long to hear a "old" story,mine have been told so many times. I'm sure you must know them inside and out!" Maddie loved her Grandmama's voice,it was lively and happy, and yet it somehow sounded soft.
"Well, there are lovely dresses! All different colors!! Some puff out, and some do not! Ohh and the music! Now I won't tell you the plot, I want it to be a surprise,oh,and guess what? I am one of the leads!!!!! Oh, and the director told me I'm her loudest actor!!!! Oh and I-"
"Honey,Allie is on the phone,now don't talk for long,tell her Grandmama is here to watch the play!" As Maddie went to get the Phone from her Mother,Grandmama called out.
"One of the leads, eh? Well congratulations!" Though she was hard of hearing, she could always hear Maddie, Maddie was naturally loud.
"Mom I gather that Maddie has been giving you an earful about the play, eh?" Maddies mom said laughingly.
"Oh ha, well yes louisa, but it is pleasant to-" A gasp was heard from the kitchen where Maddie was talking with Allie. Louisa turned around to look through the open door, and then turned back to her Mom.
"Allie is probably telling her about something that happened in one of their books." Grandmama's jolly laugh sounded through the room.
"Oh, I see, Is maddie a good reader then? I wa-" 'MOM, MOM! Guess what!? Oh it is horrible. May Addie spend the night during the actual play, she wouldn't ask except that her mom broke her leg,and her father can't afford another ticket, because he already bought one back for the final showing and I-" "Oh of course she may! That is just horrible! Poor Mrs. Chaplorra!You just go and tell Allie not to worry! and when you're finished let me talk to her Mum,okay?"
"Oh thank you Mum! You're the best!!" So Maddie hurried to tell Allie.
About a week had passed since the Heldards had said Allie could sleep over, and now Allie was there, and it was the day before the first dress rehearsal.The girls were upstairs in Maddie's room talking in excited tones about the following day's dress rehearsal.
"Oh, I forgot to tell you!" Cried Allie, her blue eyes sparkling, " I was talking on the phone with Elise Caterina last night! She said that all the wings for the fairies that she has been putting the finishing touches on are finished! And that she has heard from the other girls, who have been working on the rest of the wings, are also finished! I can't wait to see you in your gorgeous golden wings! "
" Ohh I'm so wonderfully happy!" Maddie Awenserd Allie, " And I can't wait to see you in your perfect purple wings!" Maddie smiled, showing her dimples, her face glowing with excitement.
Allie had just opened her mouth to ask Maddie if she would help her practise some of her more difficult lines, when someone knocked on the door.
" Come in " Maddie said. In came Maddie's Grandmother,and beside her, Maddie's Twin brother Joseph, who had green eyes and dimples like Maddie's, and his short hair was curly and dark brown like hers. But despite these similarities people rarely thought they were twins, because he was 3 inches taller.
Hello dears! I thought I'd come in and have a chat with you girls, if you don't mind." Said Grandmama Madeline.
"I was just helping Granny, but now I'd best get to work."
"Oh yes, I was meaning to ask you Joe,have you been able to get the lights working?" Asked Maddie. Joseph was in charge of the lights for the play. A sigh escaped Joe's mouth, and he answered his sister in a gloomy voice. "No, but I'm getting Dad to help me, I think that together we should get them fixed up, I just can't figure out what the problem is." Another sigh.
"Well, I'm sure it'll all be all right! I just know nothing's going to go wrong tomorrow! Allie said matter a factly. Laughter filled the room. " Joseph dear, thank you very much for helping me up the stairs but I thought you'd said you needed to get back to work, why don't you go find your father and get to it!" "Alright Granny, I'll do just that, well, see ya later guys!" and with that, Joe Smilingly turned around and gently closed the door behind him.
"Oh good, we can talk now! Grandmama, meet Allie, I would have introduced you when she first got here, but you were sleeping, so I decided to wait till later!" And so the girls spent a happy evening with Grandmama Madeline talking endlessly about he play with the beautiful fairies and the misunderstood girl named Carlotta.
Maddie stood in line with Allie, waiting to get her wings. She was remembering everything that had happened since last night, after the girls had talked with Grandmama Madeleine for a good half hour about the play. And when Joe came back to help Grandmama back downstairs to the guest room where she was sleeping, he had jokingly said, "well, good luck to you guys tomorrow"! Joseph cared nothing for the acting superstition that saying 'Good luck' to an actor before a performance is actually bad luck. Maddie, on the other hand, believed in many of the superstitions about acting, and thus, was horrified. On top of that, she and Allie had went to the store with Mrs. Heldard, met some friends of the family, and the Mother wished the girls good luck at performance. Maddie had made sure she had no blue in her costumes, she had slept with the script under her pillow, and she had tried to tell everyone involved in the play to 'under no circumstances say Macbeth before a show' and had likewise asked her family not to wish her good luck, but rather, 'break a leg'. But despite all these precautions, Maddie's fellow actors were still ruining it, by saying 'Macbeth' just for fun.By now, Madie and Allie were in the front of the line and Elise Catrina was handing them their wings. then Elise said, "Is everything alright, Maddie, you look a little worried. is it nerves?" "oh, it's just that people keep wishing me good luck and saying Macbeth and stuff, I'm so worried that because of this, everything is going to go wrong" So Maddie told Allie and Elise all her fears, and they attempted to make her feel better, though i cannot say it worked that much.
Maddie breathed deeply, she was so nervous even breathing made her stomach hurt: 'This is it,' she thought, 'this is the first showing. What if I fail?'
"No, no Maddie Heldard, that is not the way to think." She murmured to herself as she climbed the steps to the stage, they seemed steeper than ever.
Finally, she was on the stage. 'Something is wrong!' A voice in her head yelled at her, 'why aren't the lights on, what's wrong, please, please don't let them be broken."
Something touched her shoulder, she nearly screamed from the shock. After all, it was practically pitch black.
"Sorry, didn't mean to frighten you" Whispered Joe. "The lights aren't working, I told Michael to check them before the show, but would he? Of course not!" Maddie could tell her brother was having a hard time keeping his voice low.
"Ohh, Joe what are we gonna do?"
"Well, first Off I've got to go tell everyone else on stage." Maddie had almost forgotten that it wasn't just her and Joe one the stage.
"Though, I suppose they've already guessed that," Continued Joe, "and than I've got to get back down there and try to help fix it. We already have the whole team trying to figure it out though. Well, I'll be off." And Joe walked down the rest of the stage telling the other actors.
Ten minutes later, after the directors had informed the audience about their technical issues, the light turned on. "Oh, thank goodness, thank goodness! Maybe just maybe, we won't have any more problems!'
Maddie soon realized, this wasn't going to be an easy night.
Even though they were barely into the play, many accidents had already befallen the actors.
Two girls ripped their wings, one of the microphones was busted.Someone had burnt off part of their hair, and another girl was so nervous she started crying.And if all this wasn't bad, the curtains had decided to stop working for almost two minutes.
"Oh, this is just horrid! Allie, I'm going to die from nervousness!"
"Well, it's not too bad, at least nothing really really terrible happened! No one's forgotten their lines or have had stage fright! And no one's tripped and broken all their bones!" Allie pointed out.
"Well, you're right there is that." sighed Maddie.
"Maddie, Allie on stage now!! You're late!"
"Oh no! Hurry!" Barely able to stop themselves from running right on to the stage, they walked up the steps, and the scene began.
As soon as it was time for Maddie to talk, it happened to her. She caught her first case of stage fright. Everyone on stage with her tried to act as if Maddie's long silence had been planned. It seemed an eternity that Maddie just stood there as if carved from stone. 'What am I doing, look at all these people, I can't do it, everything's already gone wrong, I am going to mess up, I know I will. What do I do. What do I do. What are my lines?' Maddie had to work hard at not simply running off stage.' What are my lines, what are my lines' she thought desperately. Someone nudged her and whispered her lines to her. That just made things worse. Lucky Elise decided to take action, or else Maddie might really have run off stage.
"I know this is hard for you," said Elise, doing improvisation. "But you must act soon, or else the queen could change her mind, I was barely able to convince her before, I know I can't do it again! Please, please say something soon!" And in a flash the horror of having everyone look at her vanished. She was exactly where she wanted to be, acting on stage, her grandmother and her parents both watching. She would not, would not disappoint them.
"My decision," Said Maddie,( And everyone on stage had to suppress their sighs of relieve. "My Decision, is yes, I will become one of you. I can barely keep from shouting with joy! Oh! Being on orphan doesn't seem so bad any more! OH! Yes! Again yes, and a hundred more times YES!"
And so they carried on with the rest of the play, and nothing else bad happened.Finally it was all over. There was only one more show to put on.
"Oh Maddie! I was so frightened! Oh ever did you continue to talk? I would never ever have been able to do it!" Allie exclaimed.
"I don't really know, just, as soon as Elsie started speaking, I just wasn't afraid anymore. Maybe God helped me! Yes, that must be it! He helped me do it, he made me think of everyone i didn't want to let down."
"Well anyway, your stage fright seemed to make the scene more excited, The audience were waiting with baited breath! Aren't you excited for tomorrow? O r just nervous?"
"I don't really know how i feel, actually I feel tired! Let's go find my mom and go home and get some sleep!" Maddie yawned, it didn't hurt to breath anymore.