Friday, September 30, 2016

Animatronic Afterlife: Chapter 1 (2006)

"Thank you all for coming! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Please watch your step! Thank you! Thank you!"

The skeletal animatronic hands lowered down to the controls, pressing buttons and levers as the futuristic score played over the speakers. The nine screens around the theater had darkened once again.

As the last guest left the theater for the evening, a cast member pushed a button, causing the show host's hands to stop moving. The lights dimmed slightly, creating a false twilight in the room. She exited the room, opening a wall panel in the exit hallway and pushing a button, causing the automatic doors to close.

The hum of the time machine continued until after the park closed.

An evening cast member entered the entrance queue, making his way past the bubbling tubes and into a service door near the theater. He climbed a flight of steps to the main control room, situated behind the back curve of the theater. Flicking nine switches, he shut down each of the nine projectors. He pushed a sliding dial down, lowering the lights in the theater to pitch blackness. Through a hole where the projector was pointing into the theater, the cast member could see the skeletal animatronic's face, locked into a smile, his headset microphone extended above his fiber optic hair, illuminated by the dull red numbers of the year 2006. A dial was turned until it clicked into the off position, causing the hum of the time machine and the quiet music to become quieter and eventually cease. The cast member took a key out of a drawer in the control room and inserted it into a switch. He glanced once more at the darkened theater, the red pall of death dimly cast inside the circular chamber. He turned the key counterclockwise into the off position. There was a hum of machinery settling behind the animatronic's control panel. The animatronic host leaned forward slightly as the red digits of the year 2006 slowly became dimmer and dimmer until finally winking out.

"Good night, Timekeeper," the cast member said sadly. "Looks like your time has come."

To be continued...

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