September 11 2012 – Final Girl

Final Girl

Horror movie music. Full orchestra. The quiet, rumbling, tension-building part. GIRL, 20s, stands extreme downstage centre, her face pinned by a searing spot in the otherwise-dim lighting. She is on the edge of panic, eyes wide, breathing ragged and rhythmic.

As the music and her terror mount, a frightening FIGURE forms at the back of the stage, in the shadows and strategic murky light. Whether the FIGURE has followed the GIRL here or was dreamed into being by her is not clear. But she is aware of its presence. It becomes aware of hers.

As it moves towards her mounting panic in the mounting music, we become aware that the FIGURE, while basically human, is distorted: no visible face, unsettlingly tall, limbs out of proportion with the body. The way it moves is a little hard to look at.

The FIGURE closes the dim distance and the GIRL’s terror mounts impossibly, agonizingly. As the FIGURE come up behind her and the orchestra screams for us. Low horns rumbling, Psycho-strings sawing away. She slams her eyes shut, paralyzed with fear, waiting for long terrible fingers to close around her neck.

But the FIGURE changes course at the last moment, stands beside her. Takes her hand. Her eyes open in surprise. The music starts to shift, resolve, become more pleasant. The lights start to brighten, soften. She looks questioningly at the towering figure standing beside her, shyly holding her hand. It playfully bumps shoulders with her. She has stopped panicking and is now just confused. The FIGURE produces a single flower from somewhere. Probably somewhere horrible. But it is a lovely flower. She dazedly accepts it. She looks the FIGURE in where she imagines its face would be. It gestures to the flower, “do you like it”. Involuntarily she breaks into a smile.

As the music pleasantly swells the FIGURE spins her and they do a cute little dance, although physiology is a bit of an issue in the whole experience. As the music plays its happy final chord they settle into that classic Hollywood musical pose: FIGURE behind, arms wrapped around the GIRL who leans blissfully into the embrace, eyes closed. The music has played out and they stay in this pose, in the silence, for a long while.


The GIRL’s eyes snap open again, full of fear, as the lights instantly return to previous extremity and the orchestra blares out an ankle-grabbing burst of music.

The FIGURE is still cuddling, oblivious.

GIRL’s eyes dart from side to side as music starts to swell.

Creative Commons License
This work by Ryan F. Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


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