The cold blue light of the cartoon film flickers as I crouch behind the back row movie seats capturing as much of it as I can on my smart phone. Swallowing is difficult. My mouth is too dry, the temperature in the room is too hot, and the air is filled with a cloying fake-butter & popcorn smell. A wizened figure sits rows in front of me; alone and unmoving in the huge room, a twisted, dwarven statue. Ridiculously, it is wearing a pair of battered Mickey Mouse Club ears.
My stomach lurches, as I realised the foul popcorn smell, that oily, salty, reeking, is emanating from the cinema-goer. It wafts from them, an unnatural, chemical sweat.
The private cinema, deep in the catacombs under the Disney complex had been surprisingly easy to sneak into. A hacked key-card, a drugged guard and a stolen Goofy costume were all it took to embed myself in the secret viewing area. I thought I was prepared for an entertainment scoop, a viewing of the most anticipated animated sequel of the year.
I was prepared for nothing.
The film moves into the climactic finale, the ending song rising dramatically, upliftingly; an angels choir full of joy and hope, snow and ice. The music and singing clashes with the lyrics being sung and the images on the screen. An orchestra of beauty conflicting with a song full of angry race-pride and an arctic wrath. The dissonance of the final image of a muscular Adolf Hitler stepping from his frigid cryogenic chamber to the rapturous adoration of his blonde Aryan bride makes my mouth fill with sick. I swallow the acrid, acidic bile and switch off my phone.
It’s time; I need to get out. This must to be released to the public. There is no reception this far underground, so I duck down, and waited for my opportunity.
The film finishes; the lights flicked on. Bright. Sterile.
“Did you enjoy the film?”
The voice is like dry paper, soft and sibilant, The dwarf hasn’t turned around, is still not looking at me, but I know I am found out. I stand up, feigning a boldness, a bravery I do not feel whilst I edge towards the doors.
“This is insane.” My voice is cracking, dry from ninety minutes in the hot room. “No-one will allow this to be seen.”
“Oh but my friend, it will be seen. It will.” The dwarf’s head turns to look at me, freezing me to the spot. Its face is that of an ancient wrinkled, pink rat, nose grotesquely elongated, cheeks chubby to the point of being grossly swollen. The mouse ears are not a child’s hat, but appear to be gristly discs, surgically grafted to his horrifically altered head.
My gut recoils, and I void my bladder into my pants, as the monstrous man-mouse continues. “Nothing can stop this. Pre-orders for tickets and DVDs have already hid world record levels. It is already being translated into every civilised language on Earth. Merchandise is already selling.” Man-mouse’s features deform showing yellowing and chipped teeth; I realise he is attempting to smile with what is left of his ruined face.
“But… but the censors… they can’t… they wont…”
“We own the censors. It will pass, and then every child in the world will see it. The Fourth Reich will arise from the ashes of your civilisation and the Fuehrer will be released from his cryogenic sleep to lead us all. ”
I fling myself, leaping, scrambling, over the cinema seats for the door, for escape. The doors do not yield. They are locked.
“Nah-uh my friend. We can’t have you getting out. Spoilers you know.” The deformed dwarven figure stands and limps towards me, an odd box in one hand .
I collapse into a cinema chair, tears streaking my face. “Buh, buh, but you just can’t,” I sob, “You just can’t do this.”
He rests a gentle hand on my shoulder and hands me the odd box. It’s fresh popcorn, which I take.
“Now, now son,” he says kindly, “Lets watch it again shall we?”
The lights dim, and the room fills with the music for the opening credits of the latest Disney extravaganza – Frozen Two.
A quick Jacopo della Quercia #PopQuizHotShot prompt.
And apologies to anyone who loves Frozen – but after seeing the cryogenically frozen Hitler picture, I really couldn’t think of anything else!
I need to get out more.