We often end up needing to research odd things. This time around it was Orpheum Theater in Omaha, Nebraska. It is a gorgeous Performing Arts Theater with a rich history and it’s been freshly remodeled, so of course, we wanted to wreck it. We’ve never been in Omaha, so we had to rely on Google to provide us with shots and that’s where we’ve ran into a problem.
Here are the two shots of the gorgeous Slosburg Hall. What color is that ceiling? There is really no way to tell since the light colors it and the photos have been manipulated.
So after realizing that we could find no definitive information on the color of the ceiling, Gordon called to Orpheum Theater. It went something like this.
Gordon: Hi, I am sorry to bother, but I have an odd question. What color is the ceiling in Slosburg Hall?
Laura: Hold on, I will check.
Gordon: Thank you.
A couple of minute later.
Laura: It’s a goldish yellow.
Gordon: Thank you so much. The reason I asked is because my wife and are are writers…
Laura: Are you Ilona Andrews?
Gordon: O_O “How…?”
Laura: We have caller ID. It said Ilona on it. OMG, you’re Ilona Andrews.
Then I talked to Laura for a little bit and thanked for being so generous with her time. Thanks to her generosity, here is a snippet.
The Orpheum Theater
Dedicated to Laura W.
We dashed across the room. Behind us the door shuddered – the undead trying to break through. My legs decided this would be an awesome time to tie themselves into a knot. A dark hole gaped in the wall in front of us. Redacted dove into it. The wererats followed her. I reached the hole and looked down. A shaft leading down at a sharp angle. Here goes nothing. I jumped in legs first and slid down on my ass rolling through complete darkness. My butt hit something wet. I smelled algae. My hands touched slime. I hurtled down through the tunnel. If there was a concrete floor waiting for me below, I’d make a lovely splat.
Light flared ahead. I planted my boots into the bottom of the tunnel, but the slick, algae-coated stone offered no resistance. If this was a movie, this would be the part where I was supposed to yank a knife out and dig it into the stone to slow myself down. Except I’d break my knife, hurt my arm, and still end up as a wet human pancake.
The tunnel ended. I went airborne for two terrified seconds and plunged down into warm water. Yay, survival. I kicked myself up to the surface and swam away from the hole in the ceiling.
A huge room spread before me. Above an ornate yellow ceiling, beautiful and gilded with gold, soared in elegant arches, as if someone had opened a portal in time and Renaissance glamor spilled out. The golden swirls glowed, bright enough to bathe the entire chamber in soothing light. An enormous dusty chandelier hung from the circular recess in the ceiling, like a collection of crystals suspended from the roof of a cave. Remnants of red curtains hung on both side of me. Beyond them the room widened, its bottom flooded with emerald-green water. Plants covered the water’s surface. Cream and ivory lotuses, the tips of their petals touched with pink, floated next to larger bright yellow lotus blossoms. Star-shaped lilies, some lavender, some scarlet, some with petals of light orange darkening to copper-red near the center, bloomed among wide leaves. Ten feet above the water a balcony, cushioned in greenery, dripped vermilion and moss-green vines.
What the hell?
Curran swam up next to me.
“Are you seeing this?” I asked.
“So I’m not hallucinating?”
“Think if we crawl on that balcony, those plants will eat us?”
“Not if I eat them first.”
Redacted climbed up the side wall and jumped onto the balcony, disappearing behind the greenery. Thomas and Robert followed.
“We’re in Orpheum Theater,” Ghastek said behind me.
“You’ve been here?” I asked.
“No, but I’ve seen the photographs. This is Slosburg Hall. The last thing I would’ve expected to find here.”
I swam through the water. It was so warm and I was so tired.
“Are you okay?” Curran asked.
“If I pass out face down in this water, will you fish me out?”
“Will you promise to call me Your Majesty?”
“Then I’ll have to think about it.”
Ghastek and a trio of vampire swam past us. This water would never end. The place was getting hazy. I’d ran myself dry. My body had nothing left.
My fingers touched the wall. I gripped the gouge in the wall, trying to pull myself up, then Curran put his hand under my foot and lifted me up, out of the water. I climbed the wall, grabbed Robert’s arm, and made it onto the ledge. The balcony rose in terraces, each terrace filled with soil. Here and there tops of red chairs poked through the moist ground. Flowers filled the terraces: roses, tulips, poppies, daisies, poppies, and odd, but strikingly beautiful blossoms that looked like a cluster of inverted tulips hanging in an umbrella arrangement from a single purplish stem. Breathtaking… A strange serenity washed over me.
“Safe here,” Redacted said. “Vampires do not come here.”
I sank to the ground, closed my eyes, and the world disappeared.