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Stages | Episode Four

Stages | Episode Four

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Stages | Episode Four

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Jan 25, 2014


On tour, in a foreign country, away from everyone she knows, Sophie was expecting to live the life of her dreams, but reality crashes in — not just for her, but for those she loves.

When she comes back to Sydney, she has some tough decisions to make. Who needs to stay in her life, and who needs to go? What should she do about the things she can’t control?

And will she ever find the man of her dreams?

Jan 25, 2014

Sobre el autor

Katie Paul, although born in China, grew up in the states of Ohio and Texas. She attended Abilene Christian University as a painting major and has been recognized in several student competitions. Katie recently began work in children's book illustration where her choice of medium is primarily watercolor, acrylic, and pen. Her favorite subjects to paint are scenery and landscape. Katie can be contacted at katiepaul47@yahoo.com.

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Stages | Episode Four - Katie Paul


a Sophie Walker Novella

Episode Four

Copyright © 2014 by Katie Paul

Cover copyright © 2014 by Katie Paul


All rights reserved

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, businesses, events or locales is purely coincidental.

Reproduction in whole or part of this publication without express written consent is strictly prohibited.

The author greatly appreciates you taking the time to read her work.

Please consider leaving a review wherever you bought the book, or telling your friends about the Stages series, to help spread the word.

Published by GRETEL PARK PUBLISHING at Smashwords.



Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Want more Sophie Walker?

About the Author


Lissa sat downstage right, her black hair reflecting the cold blue shards of light which cut through the soft smoke.

‘Harold Harvey, twenty, Townsville; Gary Telford, nineteen, Mobray; Stanley Cove, twenty-one, Cowra,’ she said, intoning the names of fallen soldiers. As she reached the second to last name on the list, Sophie called LXQ 122 and watched the lights fade to black. For a full minute there was silence on stage and in the auditorium, before the audience erupted into applause. Once the sound took hold in the theatre, Lissa slipped off stage.

‘LXQ 123 — GO,’ said Sophie, and the stage flashed into full bright light. She waved on the actors and they took a bow. On the third bow, Sophie sent Kim Chen on to the stage. The audience stood to their feet.

‘LXQ 124 — GO,’ she said, as the applause started to fade. The stage returned to black and the company made their exit.

‘LXQ 125 & House Lights — GO,’ she said. The stage transformed into a myriad of soft colours and smudged shadows. As the lights in the auditorium came up, a hum of voices arose from the seats. Sophie checked the clock on the stage management desk and wrote down the finishing time.

Kim Chen grinned and put his hand on Sophie’s back. He wore a delicate, hand-embroidered white shirt and black pants. ‘That was fantastic,’ he said. ‘Well, done.’

‘No problem,’ she said. She gathered up her pencils and stopwatch, and scooped them into her pencil case. ‘I was a bit late with LXQ 36 because Gojo skipped a line. I don’t think it was too obvious.’

‘I didn’t notice,’ said Kim Chen, ‘so no one else would have.’ Kim Chen turned as James walked down the wings. The two men wrapped their arms around each other in a hug.

‘Congratulations,’ said James, pulling out of the embrace. ‘The show was magnificent.’

‘Thanks to you guys,’ said Kim Chen. He winked. ‘Whatever you two were doing in Singapore, seems to have worked. You’re the best team ever.’

Sophie smiled weakly. The ringing desk phone saved her from having to respond.

‘We’re clear,’ said the Front of House Manager, at the other end of the phone.

‘Thank you,’ said Sophie. ‘How many did we have in tonight?’

‘A full house — 625.’

Sophie put the handset back on the cradle and wrote the number on her notepad.

‘The auditorium is clear, let’s go to workers,’ she said, over her headset. ‘Thank you everyone for a great show. Crew call is at six tomorrow. See you then.’

She took off her headset and gathered up her prompt copy, notebook and pencil case.

‘I’m off to write the show report,’ she said. ‘I’ll see you later.’

She could hear James and Kim Chen laughing as she made her way to the production office. Some of the crew had already cracked open a beer.

‘Want one?’ asked Franco, an eighteen-year-old stage-hand, with coffee coloured skin and a tattoo of a scorpion on his neck.

‘No thanks,’ said Sophie. ‘Beer’s not my thing. But once I’m through with this report, you can open that bottle of champagne in the fridge for me.’

‘Yes ma’am,’ said Franco. ‘I’m at your service.’ He laughed and the rest of the men joined in.

James walked in just as the laughter died down. ‘Are they giving you a hard time?’ he asked Sophie. He sat down on the broken down sofa and took the beer Franco offered him.

She flipped open her laptop and watched the screen blink into life. ‘Just the opposite,’ she said. She looked up from the computer. ‘They’re making sure I’m taken care of.’

James’ eyes locked on hers for a moment, then he smiled at the whole room. ‘Exactly what I would expect,’ he said. ‘A Southern gentleman always puts the needs of a lady before his own.’

‘Especially one as beautiful as our Sophie,’ said Franco. The men cheered in agreement.

‘Enough,’ she said, the colour flooding to her face. ‘Leave me alone so I can get this done. Then I’m all yours.’

‘I hope so,’ said James, just loud enough for Sophie to hear. She ignored his comment and started transferring the data from her notebook into the performance report template on her screen. A window popped up in her task bar telling her a new email had come through from her Internet dating account. Since the weekend, she had linked her private email into her work address.

From: williamc218@yahoo.com

To: simplysophie@mail.com

Subject: Please tell me I’m not too late…

Hey Pen Pal,

Work has been crazy and today is the first chance I’ve had to sit down and compose a reply to your email. I’m sorry it took so long.

I’m pinning my hopes on the fact that you’re currently offshore, and taking a break from going on dates. Please tell me I’m right — I will kick myself if my tardiness in writing back to you has made me miss out.

So you say you’re anything BUT easy going and down to earth, I like the sound of that. It also helps that you’re gorgeous, although I’m sure I’m meant to look beyond such superficial things.

So go on, spill the beans … about the whole Internet dating thing. What made you join and how are you finding it? I’m new myself so I’m still uncertain how it all works. Any advice would be gratefully received.

Grasshopper x

Sophie smiled as she clicked the close button on the message.

‘I haven’t seen you smile like that for a while,’ said James, gazing at her from the other side of the room. ‘Good news?’

‘Just an opening night message’ she said.

He stood up and dropped his empty bottle in the rubbish bin. He pulled his black t-shirt over his head, revealing the smooth chest Sophie knew so intimately. He put on a steel-grey shirt, fastened the buttons and rolled back his cuffs. ‘I’m off to rub shoulders with the posh people,’ he said. ‘Who’s coming?’

Glenn, the lighting operator, smoothed his hands over his dirty blond hair. ‘We don’t usually get invited to opening night parties. We lower the tone.’

‘Well, you’re invited to ours,’ said James. He pointed to the packet of chips in Glenn’s hand. ‘The food’s a hell of lot better and the grog’s expensive. You’d be crazy to miss it. Come on guys, let’s go.’

‘What about Sophie’s champagne?’ asked Franco.

‘Don’t worry,’ she said. ‘I’ll get one at the party. Off you go.’

As the six men filed out

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