His lungs rasped inside the tiny room. He sat with his reflection, by candlelight and wrote her:
"Could I create myself anew, I'd not fail in pleasing you."
The pen - wilting in his shovel like hand - gave way and snapped and stained his thoughts across the page.
He swung through the mirror and watched himself shatter.
The door opened: "Merrick! You're up!"
Agonisingly he rose to the stage, his head suffocating his skeleton. The spotlight seeped beneath the curtain and terror struck his heart.
The curtain vanished to the sound of his silence and gasp of the crowd.