> Say 'How do I get out of here?'

Aliyah looks at you from the stage.

“How do I get out of here?”

Aliyah walks to the center of the stage, and looks out at the empty audience. “We have heard you as you must hear us. With your voice we know you are!”

There’s clapping from behind you. “Brilliant work. Absolutely brilliant.” says Alexi.

“How many times have we performed these lines for a silent audience, Aliyah? How many times have we had to reassure one another that one day you could say those words?” Alexi says.

Aliyah bows center stage, and walks off the way she came.

You walk up the stairs, careful not to trip on your gown, and follow her backstage. You follow her to the crossover, behind the stage and hidden completely from the audience. She turns to you.

More desperate, you ask “How do I get out of here?”

She takes your hands in hers and whispers quickly. “Don’t trust anyone. Not even me. I’m new here. I know I am. But if I’ve been here a day, I’ve been here a decade. The moments all blend into one another. This place, it changes you. It makes you feel like you belong. You develop a pattern. A loop. And once you’re in a loop there’s no way out.”

She points to a door marked ‘Fire Exit’. “Quietly. The director cannot know you’ve left.”

As you move your hands away from hers, and turn towards the door, her hands dart back out and grab you. “There are more of us. More like me. More like you. Stop the loops. Stop whatever creates them. Maybe then we can escape.” She lets go, and walks backwards away from you.

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