A magnificent theatre.
Walls decorated lavishly, painted gold, shining, reflecting the soft orange glow of the chandeliers that hang from a ceiling. Between these, a dark painting of a hand sketching the foundations of some sort of animal's face.
Below, red velvet carpeted walkways leading the humans that swarm the place. They chatter amongst themselves in a hushed tone, whispers echoing off the magnificent walls and balconies.
Once they are seated, the show is ready to begin.
The lights die. As does the talking.
The sound of the curtain beginning to draw back breaks through the silence. Houselights turn on, lighting up an empty stage. Silhouette of the curtains come to a stop, slightly bouncing back and forth before settling.
Houselights cut off.
Spotlight cuts on, center stage. Sonic stands there, shielding his eyes.
He drops his hands, getting used to the brightness of it. Stares curiously off into the darkness before him. Steps forward, spotlight follows. A microphone is visible.
"Salutations," he says over the clapping hands of the many humans hiding in the darkness. "Thank you."
The applause thins out, and slowly diminishes.
"I'm so glad to finally have this opportunity," his words shaking, like his hand, which fumbles with plucking the microphone from the stand. "I rarely get a chance to speak like this. Always working, you know. Always performing for you guys. It can be rough, you know?"
More applause, however, it doesn't last as long.
"Forgive me," he states, wiping his forehead with the back of his gloved hand. "I didn't consider the possibility of newcomers here. You see, I do not have a lot of time."
Gesturing behind him, spotlights on opposite ends of the theatre shine on an hourglass upstage. Shining, golden sand rapidly dwindling from the top chamber, and piling up in the bottom.
"For those of you who may not know me," he continues, "allow me to introduce myself. My name is Maurice, but most of the folks here know me as Sonic."
He slightly struggles with not getting tangled up in the microphone wire as he makes his way to his left. Spotlight, as always, follows him to a stool. He grabs the glass of water preset there for him from the stool and leans against the stool, propping himself up with his elbow.
Leaning, so he can talk into the propped up mic.
"Sonic the hedgehog," he states absently, staring at the water rippling in the glass. Takes a drink and stands back up, straight.
"It's funny, I could have just as easily been a rabbit. Could have been nothing. But, no. I was born a hedgehog. A very fast one, at that. Loved to run. Did it all day. Back then, I served a different purpose. I was running towards something, you know? A goal. It felt like everything had a point. It was exciting to exist. Fun. I was a bit naive back then. Once I started running, I just kept running. It's all I knew how to do. Silly, isn't it? It was no longer about the destination. It was about the ride. The world passed me by, all in a blur, and I didn't even care. Or, I passed it by, rather. I suppose it doesn't matter. The point is, that I kept running, not worried about where I might end up. This was silly of me. Foolish, even. Before I knew it, I started having all these problems. It was new at first, but after awhile, I would just go through the same shit over and over again. Running from my problems, but not really getting anywhere. At this point, I don't even know why I still run. Don't want to sound whiny, or anything, but I've been runnin' a long time, now. My legs grow weary, friend. My feet, they ache. Heart is always beating too fast. Never getting anywhere."
Maurice walks back over to the stand and sets the microphone back in it's cradle. He shields his eyes and stares out at the silent darkness, hoping for some sort of response.
Nothing happens, so he folds his hands behind his back and continues.
"I guess I'm not really here to say anything. Suppose I'm really here to beg for your mercy, and ask for your forgiveness. The show has gone on far too long, and you all stand tall above me, telling me to run, keep running, run faster. I've been to the edge of the universe and back. Seen it all. Don't you guys see? There's nothing left for me here. This continuing hollow existence, it's wearing me out. It's torture. You guys are killing me, and yet you don't want me to die."
Lip quivering, his eyes watering up. He looks as if he's going to cry. Voice breaking, he goes on.
"Please, someone. Anyone. Everyone. Let the show end. Put a stop to it. You must help me, for I cannot save myself. End this. Please. I'm far too tired to go on like this. I'm begging you all; let me die with some dignity."
Waiting for a response, he gets nothing. Looking over his shoulder, he notices his time is almost up.
Every light in the theatre turns on at once. The place is empty, save for Maurice. Downstage, a bundle of roses placed, pedals wilting away. Tears form in the corners of his eyes, as he passes by the mic stand and approaches the dying gift.
Picking up the decaying flowers, he sniffles as he sits at the edge of the stage, cradling the bundle close to his face. Tear slides down his cheek, leaving a streak behind it, and falling from his chin to splash against the dead pedals below.
The strings linking every part of his body to the heavens suddenly become apparent, and he starts to sob. He knows it won't be long before he's running again. Running through the same old obstacle course over and over again.
Behind him, the final grains of sand bring the show to a close, and the lights go out.