You have no choice.
“Fine, I’ll do it.” You turn around before you can change your mind and make your way to the tunnel exit. The unfiltered air smells even stronger now, almost sharp.
Before taking your first step out on to uncovered ground, you glance back, wondering if you’ll ever make it back to safety.
Mark is leaning against the wall, looking smug. “Don’t forget to bring me a souvenir.”
You smile in acknowledgement. Of course he wants a souvenir; he’ll probably tell everyone he went along with you to the theatre just so he can boast about how brave he is. “I’ll meet you back here?”
He looks at you, then nods once, slowly. “Sure.”
Yeah, right. He’s going to disappear the moment you turn your back. But there’s nothing you can do about that.
You inhale deeply, and take your first step on to outside soil. Mark’s eyes are burning a hole into the back of your head, so you force yourself to take a second step, then a third, and before you know it you’re out in the open.
The sky is a black, endless space above your head, empty save for a large white globe; the moon, you realise. It looks close enough to almost touch, and for a second you worry that it’ll fall down on your head.
The thought makes you feel dizzy, so you look down. The ground is a little crumbly beneath your feet, and the theatre, just ahead, looks dark and silent. You feel a twinge of hope. Maybe no one has arrived yet. The show only begins tomorrow, after all.
You slip around the side of the theatre, until you reach a set of double doors, made of wood. You test the handle. The door swings open a couple centimetres.
This is your last chance to turn back.
What do you do?