Jim had travelled far; both in distance and spiritually, to reach this his destination. Stepping through the curtain, he sensed the vast cavernous darkness beyond.
Carefully, he made his way forward until he reached the tiny red lights that marked the edge.
He had finally arrived.
Now, was his moment.
Destiny shushed the world and stood watching from the wings with a critical eye.
“To be,” Jim squeaked before stopping. ‘Pathetic,’ he added silently. ‘That was pathetic. Why don’t you grow a pair?’
‘They need to hear you clearly, all the way up in the cheap seats, you numb nuts,’ he berated.
Remembering all that he had learned, he tried again.
Taking a deep breath, Jim straightened up and boldly declared, “To be … Or not to be … That … is the question!”
His tiny chest swelled with pride. He’d done it. He continued with more confidence now. “Whether it be nobler…”
“Jeez H. Christ!” barked a voice from the darkness. “I’m “trying to sleep here! I’m not starting auditions until two this afternoon.”
Jim flinched and peered out into the gloom. He could see no one.
“Umm, sorry,” he replied. “I thought I was alone.”
“So did I,” grumbled the hidden voice.
“I’ll err… I’ll leave you in peace then.” said Jim, turning to leave the stage.
His moment had gone, vanished like a puff of smoke. It was time to put his dream aside and head back to the farm. He could tell his grandchildren all about his adventures on winter’s evenings, if he made it home, that it. He’d nearly been stood on a few times during his journey. It wasn’t easy being a grasshopper in the big city.
He’d almost reached the curtain when the hidden voice spoke again. “Hey kid!”
“You did good, kid, real good. Come back this afternoon, and maybe I can find you a part.”
Jim beamed, and once again his chest swelled with pride. “Thank you, sir, I will, sir. I promise.”
“What’s ya name, kid?”
“Jim, sir. Jim Grasshopper.”
The hidden voice was silent for a moment while it considered this information. “Nah! That’ll never do! You need something with a bit more pahzazz to it. No one is gonna remember a kid named Jim Grasshopper, Jeez! What’re you like?!”
“Oh!” replied Jim, crestfallen. He’d always liked his name, but he could see what the man in the darkness meant. Jim Grasshopper wouldn’t be something that would catch the eye in bright lights.
“How’s about Jimminy … Jimminy Cricket?” suggested the voice.
“Jimminy Cricket,” repeated the grasshopper, liking the way it rolled off the tongue. “I like it!”
“Great, see ya at two then, and don’t be late. Now bugger off. I need to sleep off this hangover.”