Clay, Gareth, Sciemi, Griffen, Tuesday, and Elinor are transported to Earth yet again (albeit in the current day) in the form of the famous actors/filmmakers Roy, Richard, Sylvia, Simon, Julia, and Oliva, respectively.
Richard has invited the group to an old, broken down Colorado hotel to stage an intervention on behalf of Sylvia, his former wife turned addict. Only under the guise of rehearsing the play “The King in Yellow” does Richard feel he can adequately show her the destructive nature of her behavior and persuade her to get the help she needs. The actors he has chosen are familiar with this goal and agreed to help him—though they did not realize the location of the plan would be so abysmal, cold, and somewhat dangerous due to the deterioration of the building.
As the group settles in while the tech crew rigs lighting and other equipment (include a series of elaborate illusions to confuse and terrify Sylvia), they come to Richard for last minute instructions and motivation. Soon after, an exodus is made to the “kitchen” in order to eat lunch.
Simon and Roy attempt to cook with what little is available while Sylvia locates a can of potted meat and attempts to use one of the stage lights to heat it up, resulting in a small fire. Roy intercepts the smoldering, grade-Z block of almost-food and quickly tosses it outside into the snow.
After lunch, the group converges on the dining hall to being practicing their lines. After a brief argument, Sylvia decides to start without a narrator. As she speaks her lines, people begin to question her. Richard starts the narration at the behest of Roy. Soon, Richard appears to lose himself in the part as his voice grows low and gravel-like.
Further into the reading, Sylvia and Oliva begin to feel strange. Richard has them switch parts and reread some of the first act which exacerbates the odd sensation. After Roy and Simon read their lines, Richard again switches some of the parts in different combinations so that the actors “better understand their respective parts by better understanding all of the parts.”
Each time lines are read, the individuals reading them are whispered to on an almost unconscious level by a strange, disembodied voice. It seems almost as if the voice emanates from Richard, but this cannot be the case as his lips do not move. Just as the actors have had enough of Richard’s demands, the lights in the room go dark.
Assuming it is all part of Richard’s plan, Roy capitalizes on the event to make a pass at Julia, who promptly rejects him. This angers Sylvia who storms out of the room. Defeated, Roy attempts to locate the fireplace in order to start a fire for light. After searching around the perimeter of the room for several minutes, he arrives at the conclusion that said fireplace is gone. However, something new has been added: torch sconces.
Roy confronts Richard and demands to know what is going on. Richard explains that the house is rigged with special effects (by the “best team around”) to assist in his intervention plans for Sylvia.
Eventually, the lights return and Roy makes his way to the restroom. As the others continue to go over their lines, a muffled scream comes from the cellar. The group investigates only to discover Sylvia crying on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. In the commotion, Roy perceives whispers coming from Richard and Simon. Thinking they wish her her harm, he takes her back to his room.
As each group member attempts to find their respective rooms, they are unable due to the architecture of the building changing around them to a medieval motif complete with stone and wooden archways. Oliva discovers a naked woman in her room and leaves.
The actors attempt to find Richard to ask him to clarify with what “illusions” he has rigged the hotel. After a handful of uncomfortable encounters between group members, Richard is found in his room, apparently dead. Seeing him in this state, Sylvia breaks down and attempts to commit suicide. It is at this time that Richard reveals he is not dead, only to be killed (for real) by a bullet from Sylvia’s gun.
Roy attempts to calm Sylvia with what he thinks is a sedative, but it turns out to be heroin she had stashed among her belongings and thus the large dosage kills her. The recently deceased Richard then appears to Roy informing him that he must kill everyone in the hotel to avoid prosecution for the crime.
When Roy finally refuses to carry out Richard’s suggestion, Richard begins to beckon the others to kill one another. During this time, the structure of the entire building (inside and out) begins to change to match scenes in the play the group rehearsed.
One by one, everyone begins to die in a manner befitting their assigned characters in the play—the finale being that of Oliva and Simon as they drag one another out of an upper story window only to be impaled on the fence spikes below.
Thus ends the session of Quicksilver Shadows for 2011-07-16.