New Vindicators - Interlude

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New Vindicators - Interlude

Post by Arkrite » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:35 pm

Juke Box Hero

He hadn’t noticed how ragged his breathing had become. It had snuck up on him. One minute everything was fine the next his heart was racing a million miles an hour, and he was starting to sweat.

He closed his eyes and leaned up against the wall. Deep breath. Hold. Release. Repeat.

No big deal, he’d done this before. Nothing to worry about.

Deep breath. Hold. Release. Repeat.

“You ready?” A gruff voice asked him.

“Yeah, I’m ready,” he nodded.

“You know you don’t have to-”

“It’s fine,” The teen opened his eyes and grinned at the older man, “I’m good to go.”

The older man just sighed and shook his head.

“Well? Go on, then,” He grumbled, shaking his head and walking away.

Deep breath. Hold. Release. Repeat.

With one final breath he stepped forward.

The lights were blinding, he couldn’t see further than five feet. It was probably better that way. Without pausing he walked up to the microphone.

“Hello,” He said with no preamble, “I’m Lex Murphy.”

He reached out with his mind and activated the MP3 Player connected to the speakers, and as the drums started his fingers started to dance across the guitar in his arms. He started with a quick song, energetic, full of power.
It was a song he’d written as a rebellion against the people who’d tried to crush them. They wouldn’t be killed, they wouldn’t lay down and die. They’d fight.

He wanted to catch their attention.

As the song wound down he turned off the MP3 Player again.

“This is where I’d normally introduce the band,” He said then grinned sheepishly, “Except that I don’t have one. The band today is being played by recording. But just so you don’t think that this is just me doing air guitar, I’m doing this next one acoustic.”

He switched guitars, tuned it as he looked into the darkness off the stage, “This one is dedicated to a friend of mine. I never thought I’d miss the rain.”

And then he started playing a slow sad song. This one had been for Gaspar. For the friends he’d lost. The feeling of having one’s heart torn out, then trying to stagger through life feeling hollow and broken.

He came to an end then set his guitar aside.

“Okay, how was that? Little down? We’ll let’s bring this back up,” Lex said with a grin as he picked up his guitar and quickly tuned it.

He started playing an upbeat song about a silly little man who made people sing, dancing around the stage as he sang.

The next one was an instrumental song played on his acoustic guitar with the only accompaniment being the drumming and tapping of his own fingers and palms against the guitar as he played, giving the illusion that there might be a drummer hidden somewhere out of sight.

The next songs seem to come faster and faster with only a little pause between where Lex would smile, joke to the audience, comment on the local area with some positive comments, then immediately dive back into the music.

Finally, as he was winding down he approached the microphone, “This isn’t one of mine, but, well, it feels a little like home sometimes.”

Sha, la, la, la, la, la, la
Uh huh
I was down at the Donaustadt
Staring at this yellow-haired girl
Mr Droll strikes up a conversation
With a pink-skinned flamenco dancer
You know, she dances while her father plays guitar
She's suddenly beautiful
We all want something beautiful
Man, I wish I was beautiful
So come dance the silence down through the morning
Sha la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Uh huh
Cut up, Nic-ol-eh!
Show me some of that Spanish dancin'
Pass me a bottle, Mr Droll
Believe in me
Help me believe in anything
'Cause I want to be someone who believes
Mr Droll and me
Tell each other fairy tales
And we stare at the beautiful women
She's looking at you
Ah, no, no, she's looking at me
Smilin' in the bright lights
Coming through in stereo
When everybody loves you
You can never be lonely
Well, I'm gonna paint my picture
Paint myself in blue and red and black and gray
All of the beautiful colors are very, very meaningful
Yeah, well, you know red is my favorite color
I felt so symbolic yesterday
If I knew Picasso
I would buy myself a red guitar and play
Mr Droll and me
Look into the future
Yeah, we stare at the beautiful women
She's looking at you
I don't think so
She's looking at me
Standing in the spotlight
I bought myself a red guitar
When everybody loves me
I will never be lonely
I will never be lonely
Said I'm never gonna be
I wanna be a lion
Yeah, everybody wants to pass as cats
We all wanna be big, big stars
Yeah, but we got different reasons for that
Believe in me
'Cause I don't believe in anything
And I wanna be someone to believe, to believe, to believe
Mr Droll and me
Stumbling through the Barrio
Yeah, we stare at the beautiful women
She's perfect for you
Man, there's got to be somebody for me
I wanna be David Grohl
Mr Droll wishes he was someone just a little more funky
When everybody loves you
Oh! Son, that's just about as funky as you can be
Mr Droll and me
Starin' at the video
When I look at the television, I wanna see me
Staring right back at me
We all wanna be big stars
But we don't know why, and we don't know how
But when everybody loves me
I'm wanna be just about as happy as I can be
Mr Droll and me
We're gonna be big stars

“Let me just say thank you to all of your for coming out today,” Lex said as he took a quick drink of water, “You guys have been great! Have a nice night all!”

The lights cut out and for the first time since he’d gotten up there he could see the audience in the tiny bar.

There was a handful of people scattered across the tables, two or three clapped with enthusiasm, another couple clapped to be polite, the rest didn’t even seem to notice.

Lex shrugged the guitar off and set it on it’s stand. There was no band coming on after him so he could afford to leave it for now.

He made his way to the back with a small table with five people sitting at it, all of whom were smiling and clapping. His Dad was clapping the hardest, drawing some looks of embarrassment from Doug and Nicole, and annoyance from at least one of the bar patrons. Steven barely looked up from his phone, giving him the briefest of nods before going right back into his phone. It happened so fast that even the speedster himself couldn’t have been sure it happened.

Normally it would have been kind of a dick move, but for Steven? It was a big gesture.

The last person at the table got up and walked towards him smiling.

“Hey Kirstie,” he said smiling, “What did you think of- Ow!”

Lex yelped as Kirstie slugged him in the shoulder.

“Doug and Nicole their name in the song, but I’m just that yellow haired girl?” She scoffed, with a faux offended expression before giving him a hug, “You were great.”

Lex hugged her back, “Thanks.”

He sat down with his friends for a few minutes before the bartender politely asked them to leave. It was hard to be upset, none of the teens was legally allowed in the bar after all, and he’d been nice enough to let them watch the set.

“Why did you do it?” Kirstie asked as they carried his gear back to the car.

“Hey, everybody has to start somewhere,” Lex said with a shrug, “Here is as good as anywhere, I guess.”

“No, I mean,” She shook her head, “The guy who owns the place told us that he told you that you didn’t have to play. There wasn’t even five people besides us when you started.”

Lex just smiled, “Yeah, well… Welcome to the crap part of being a musician. If nobody knows who you are, nobody’s going to show up. So you have to play what you can to get your name out there.”

“Besides, whether they know it or not, those five people just got the best show of their lives,”
Lex said confidently, “Some day they’re going to brag to their friends about the time they saw Lex Murphy in some tiny bar.”

Kirstie just laughed as she put his guitar into the back of a car, “Oh? You really think so?”

“Yeah! Someday?” Lex said, glancing up at the night sky, “Gonna be a big star.”

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