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She feels the end of the world stroke her throat with fingers like truth and death. She swallows. A tear crawls down her cheek.

Aldous opens her burning eyes. The auditorium is empty. She is, as always, alone.

Backstage there are stacks of dusty pine, newspaper, buckets of nails; the thing about the theater is you’re always building something. It’ll take time to lug it up through her little trapdoor, but time she’s got.

One final thing her father showed her: you can’t just leave the house. You have to give it something. You have to build the last room yourself.