22 Dec My Final Interview – Creepypasta
“M r. Carlson, they want you on stage, sir.”
Roger Carlson looked up from his reflection in the mirror and turned to look at the young woman in his doorway.
“How do I look?” he asked her, smiling hugely as he fixed her with his regard.
She flushed a little, “You look great, Mr. Carlson. I was hoping I could get an autograph if it’s not too much to ask.”
The young woman looked flushed as she held out the paper. Roger grinned as he took it, scrolling his name across the front before handing it back. She took it, shyly, sliding a lock of her brown hair behind an ear. Another fan, of course, but Roger was used to them by now. He’d been signing autographs for the last ten years, but this is the first one that he felt like he’d earned. No more Raunchy Roger or audiences of drunken frat boys. He was done with that now, all that was behind him. Maybe now he could bask in the light of honest fans who weren’t just here for his juvenile humor.
Maybe now that he had some serious work, they would take him seriously.
“So, what did you think of the movie?”
“Oh, yeah, it was okay. I’ve been a fan for a while, though. I used to love your stand up.”
That took him back a little. The general consensus from female viewers had always been pretty negative. Raunchy Roger had been beloved by stoners and drunks, and his humor had followed suit pretty well. The character had been great back when he was doing stand up, and it had followed him through the last seven years as the studio he worked for pumped out one dumb movie after another. Raunchy Roger goes to College, Raunchy Roger Private Eye, Raunchy Roger, and the Booby Trap, and on and on and on. He wasn’t used to girls like this telling him how much they liked his work.
She looked like she wanted to say more, but at that moment, the band picked up, and she looked flustered.
“I think they’re playing you on. Knock ’em dead,” she said.
Roger gave her a wink and walked towards the stage.
The crowd erupted into applause as he came out, and Roger basked in the warm regard as he walked over the couch. His manager had been adamant about him doing the talk show circuits. Guy David was his first stop, and if he made a good impression here, he could keep making the rounds and pumping his new movie. This was no Raunchy Roger flick either, he had stared in a serious role for once, and he needed this movie to do well.
He desperately needed to move out from under the shadow of Raunchy Roger.
Guy came out to shake his hand, and as he sat, he heard a chorus a male voices yell, “Raunchy Roger!” from the back row.
He gave them a polite wave and turned his attention to Guy.
“Here on my couch tonight, we have a real legend in the world of comedy. Raunchy Roger himself, Roger Carlson everybody.”
The applause were twinged with some boo’s this time, but Roger felt it was the same level of appreciation as before.
“Thanks, Guy, it’s a pleasure to be here.”
“So you went from staring in a series of B list movies that appealed to college kids and habitual drunks to staring in a major box office smash. What’s that like, Roger?”
Guy’s teeth gleamed whitely in the overheads, and Roger felt almost blinded. Guy wore the same dark blue suit; his graying hair swooped back in one of those Johnny Carson imitations do’s, that he had worn since the first show. Guy was a relic, he had been on this show since the late seventies, and he showed no sign of going anywhere. Roger imagined that there was probably a girl or two in the wings getting ready to snipe his career, but maybe she would wait until he was done with this interview if he was lucky.
“It’s been an amazing ride, Guy. To go from doing something like Raunchy Roger to staring in a big Hollywood picture like Carters Promise. The crew I worked with was amazing, and it was an honor to work with the beautiful Margo Thames.”
A wolf whistle came up from the back, and the crowd laughed.
“Speaking of Ms. Thames, you two appeared to have some real chemistry on screen. Anything there with you two?”
The crowd made some Oooing noises, but Roger ignored them.
“That’s called acting, Guy. I can assure you that, while Ms. Thames is a lovely woman. There is nothing romantic going on between us.”
That had been by design. He had been lying in a bathtub in New Mexico last year, mostly filled with his own vomit, and looked up stuporously to see his agent, Claude, sitting on the toilet with a long-suffering look and puke drying on his shirt. Roger had been time traveling, which was what he called blackout drinking, and he had been hitting it hard the night before. He had come out of his stupor quick enough, though, when Claude told him that he’d been giving his CPR for the last ten minutes.
That was a wake-up call.
“You need to sort yourself out, Roger. I’m tired of hauling your ass out of the fire. I’m your agent, not your mother, and the next time you decide to self-destruct, don’t drag me down with you.”
Roger had cried, tears cutting lines through the grime and the puke, and Claude had put a hand on his shoulder.
“Let me help you, Roge. Let me help you get out of this loop.”
Claude had dropped him off at rehab that same day. After six months of puking and shaking and going to countless meetings, he felt like he might be getting better. Another six months, and he had been ready to leave and see if he could maintain this new, sober life of his. He had made a promise to himself in rehab, a promise that he would do better. Raunchy Roger was not the cause of his problems, but he was a symptom. Raunchy Roger liked to party. Raunchy Roger liked to sleep with anything with a pulse. Raunchy Roger liked to abuse prescription medication.
If he was going to get his life back together, he had to cleave from Raunchy Roger.
When Claude had come to him with the script for Carters Promise, he had made it clear that he couldn’t “Roger Up The Set”. Rogering Up Something was a word Claude had for ruining it, and Roger agreed. He had drank orange juice and water, kept up his workout routine, and put nothing stronger than aspirin in his body since coming out of rehab. A set would have access to things from his past. Working on a set again would be a real test of his metal.
In the eight months of shooting, he had been tempted, but he had not succumbed.
He was sitting here now a better man.
“This is quite a transition for you, isn’t it? From doing something like Raunchy Roger to a serious film like Carter Promise?”
Roger realized he had been wool-gathering and snapped out of it.
“It was quite a change, but a change for the better,” he said, smiling out at the crowd.
They didn’t clap this time, and that seemed a little off-putting.
“So, Glynmyre Studios hasn’t issued any statement on when their next Raunchy Roger movie will come out. Care to give us any insight?”
Roger furrowed his brow. Of course, this is why they wanted him here.
“As far as I know, the series is canceled. The last film will be the end of them.”
Several people in the audience made displeased noises, but somewhere back in the back, someone laughed. It was an odd sound amongst the discomfort, and Roger found himself looking for whoever had made it. He was used to people laughing at him, but it sounded so alien at that moment. It sounded not altogether real.
Guy seemed shocked, “After all this time? We’re talking about a series that’s been going on for nearly seven years.”
“Yes, well, now that I’ve moved on, I think we can finally put the character to rest.”
In the low rumbles from the crowd, he heard that laughter again. It was subtle, maybe one or two people, but it rankled him. He searched again for the source but couldn’t see anything. The house lights were always down when someone was on stage, and it made a murky soup out of the audience. The lights in his eyes didn’t help much either, and he found himself squinting against them.
“Well, out of respect for the recently deceased, maybe you can give us some classic Raunchy Roger lines,” Guy said, looking out at the audience who began to clap like good little sheep.
Roger felt like screaming. Claude had told him this interview was all about his new movie, not his past. He didn’t ever want to think back on those drunken days, those days when Roger had ruled his life, but it seemed to be all anyone ever wanted. The crowd was actually laughing now, cheering and egging him on, but that grating laughter still lingered amongst them. It was like an icepick against his temple, that mechanical laughter that skittered through the crowd too fast to be discovered.
They quieted when he didn’t laugh along with them or stand up to oblige.
“I don’t think so, Guy. I’m here to talk about Carter’s Promise, not to rehash old material.”
He tried to ignore that grating chuckle, but it was becoming harder and harder to keep his cool.
“Oh, come on. Just a few bits? What about the Priest and the Communion wine? I know that always makes me chuckle. How about it, folks?”
They applauded, but Roger barely heard them.
All he could hear were the snickers, the chuckles, those mean little titters from the lips of fools.
“Look, I appreciate how many of you are fans of Raunchy Roger, but that’s not me anymore. That’s a part of my life that I’m trying to put behind myself, and I just want to forget about it and move on to more important things.”
A chuckle rumbled up from the audience, not altogether the artificial laughter he’d been hearing, and Roger felt his temper flare.
“I told the studio I wasn’t going to do it anymore, okay. I’m a real actor now!” he shouted.
The back of the house bubbled with canned laughter, and Roger thought he saw people standing up in the back row. Were they…were they smiling? They moved up to the next row, blackness swirling in that tepid sea of shadows that threatened to take in the next row. The scowling faces in front of them also seemed to melty into smiles, their sudden laughter joining the rising den from the back of the house. They were laughing; they were laughing at him. Roger had been laughed at all his life, but this was the first time it had truly made him furious.
“I’m glad I did it. I KILLED RAUNCHY ROGER! He was made of the worst, the darkest parts of me, and I’m glad he’s dead!” Roger shouted at the crowd, rising up from the couch and stalking towards them.
He balled up his fists. They hadn’t come to hear about his new project; they had come to pick the meat off the carcass of his old works. They wanted to hear the joke about the lesbian sisters, the nun who moonlighted as a dominatrix, the menacing priest that he’d barely escaped in his youth, and all those Roger classics that had transcended his standup and made it onto the screen.
“Uh, Roger, maybe you should calm down a lit…”
“I’m not doing that shit anymore, you hear me?” Roger shouted into the crowd, “I’m done dancing for your amusement. Raunchy Roger was a misogynistic prick, a cancer that I had removed. I’m a better person now, I,”
The crowd erupted into a flurry of that canned laughter. They were really laughing at him now. They were mocking his suffering. They were mocking his journey. He had escaped a life that meant to kill him, and these assholes were mocking him? They didn’t have the slightest idea what it was like to live under the shadow of Raunchy Roger. They didn’t have any clue what it felt like to step out from underneath that weight.
“I’m a real actor!” he screamed at them, “Not some clown that struts about to make you laugh at his antics. I moved on, maybe you should move on too? I…I…” but the closer he got to the crowd, the more he noticed them change.
The blackness tore through them like a disease, and what had begun in the back was now rioting through the middle and working its way stageside. The crowd, buried in that hazy blackness, grinned at him with too wide smiles and too-white teeth. They leered at him, jumping seats and coming forward in a horror movie shuffle of propelled bodies.
Roger backed away a step, almost tripping on the rug that stretched over the stage. He could hear that canned laughter rippling through the whole studio, and one of the band members began to chortle even as Roger backed away. The chortler fell over suddenly, his drum set falling with him, and he convulsed as the laughter was ripped from him and became that same mirthless screet that ran through the crowd. Guy began to giggle from behind his desk; the laughter bubbling up painfully as Roger turned to run. The tide of laughter oozed behind him, and he ran for the exit door as fast as he could. He bumped into the pretty receptionist who had wished him luck, already doubled over as her skin began to mottle and run, and Roger felt fear move his feet as he charged for the stage door.
He hit it like a fullback but bounced off as the doors refused to open. He slammed into them again and again, but they wouldn’t budge. He turned, running down the hall for the side door, but the laughing was already coming up that way towards him. He was trapped, he had nowhere to go, they would get him and…
He saw the broom closet and dived inside.
He sat amongst the mops and cleaning implements, his back against the wall, and a mop stuck up under the door handle to keep it shut. Outside, he could hear things moving, hear their laughter as they got closer and closer. He drug out his phone and tried 911. He could get some help; someone would surely come to help him. The number rang and rang, and after the twelfth ring, Roger hung up. He called the police, called the fire department, and finally called his manager, Claude.
Claude picked up in the third ring.
“Roger? What’s wrong? You’re supposed to be on stage.”
“Claude, somethings going on at the studio. People are trying to attack me! I need help I need…”
He trailed off; what did he need?
“You? Who would be trying to attack you?” Claude asked, his voice almost condescending, “Your Raunchy Roger,” he said, laughing a little as he said it, “everyone loves you. Why would anyone care enough to hurt…someone….like…you…” He broke into laughs between every word, his laughter cutting and jagged as it seemed to tear his throat apart with its intensity. He howled like a beast on the other end of the phone, and Roger could imagine him gasping his life away as he laughed on and on.
His laughter sounded like the lunatic chorus you hear from an asylum’s windows.]
It sounded like the laughter, Roger imagined, you’d hear in hell.
The voice that came back on the phone was very different. It was liquid, oily, but still recognizable. It was a voice he knew as well as his own. How many times had he cultivated it on stage? How many nights had he talked to himself in just that voice?
Roger found himself talking to Raunchy Roger himself, and the realization made him shudder.
“Why would anyone care if you live or die, you stupid hack? They all want me, Raunchy Roger. No one gives a shit about whatever little movie you managed to spew out. You might as well come out and embrace it, bucko. I’m not going anywhere.”
His voice was backlit, overpowered, drowned out by the laughter that suddenly bubbled up from the phone, and Roger sat against the wall as the laughter on the phone matched the laughter approaching his door.
He suddenly snorted and covered his face with his hand.
He couldn’t help it.
Something about this situation was suddenly…just so damn…funny.