“Look,” said Alyse. “I told you that, if you were able to cut it as an electrician, I’d add you as a supernumerary. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.” She held out a scoop light minus its shroud, a mess of electrical tape and dripped solder. “Does this look like cutting it to you?”

Sonja let out a choked cry that bounded back and forth across the loading dock alley. “Is that all I am to you?” she said. “A lampie? Even after last night?”

“If I was your boss, I’d fire you,” said Alyse airily. “I can’t let my personal feelings get in the way or I’m just as bad as Barnard and Cecily.”

“Does that mean humping and dumping like them too?” said Sonja.

“Hey,” Alyse growled. “That’s a low blow. Not cool.”

“This was my chance to finally respect myself a little bit by being out there, even if it was only as Tree #4. Don’t you see that, dammit?” Sonja continued. “What’s one little electric lie in the face of all that, especially if it led to last night?”

“I’m sorry,” Alyse said. “If it’s a choice between that and seeing one of my fellow actors electrocuted, that’s no choice at all.” She dropped the light at Sonja’s feet where it landed with a sad clang. “You can drop your badge off at the box office. I’ll put your stuff up there for you.”

“I hate you!” Sonja cried as Alyse trotted up the steps to the loading dock and disappeared through the stage door. “You ruined everything! I wish you were dead!”

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