Helene walked into a long hallway lit with an eerie yellow hue. Several roadies slapped her on the back and shouted words of encouragement. As she strode toward the women’s bathroom, the club’s poor backstage lighting flickered. She blinked and a sad picture of her older sister, Phoebe, flashed through her mind. Phoebe’s gaunt face, tracked arms and lying eyes were haunting. Helene focused and saw Darcy look away then walk inside the bathroom. The silence that had come between them was thicker than ice. Helene muttered to herself.
“Pheebs and Darse are the same person now. I can’t talk to either one of them. Damned drugs.”
Helene heard a female shriek and felt a large hand on her left shoulder.
“Hey Jackson, did I made you proud?”
Before he could answer, the owner of the leather halter Helene was wearing, shouted.
“Oh my god, Helene! That was the greatest! You totally ruled that stage!”
Helene smiled at Dawn. Jackson leaned into her right ear.
“You killed it, gorgeous. Now, let things work out. You deserve success.”
Helene turned and forced another smile to both of them. They responded to her ambivalent expression, in unison.
She pointed at the door Darcy just entered.
“I really need to pee and I really need a drink. But I can’t go in there.”
Jackson perfected his posture. His large frame shadowed Helene and Dawn.
“Dawn, get her a bottle of Jack on The Golden Apples tab. Helene, the dude’s bathroom is hell. It’s an all who enters, abandons all hope deal, you know?”
Helene laughed at Jackson’s bungling of Dante’s quote and followed her big friend inside. Jackson announced “get out, lady with an emergency in here!”
She chuckled at Jackson calling her a lady and apologized to each of the three guys who adjusted their flies and left the bathroom with awkward glances. Jackson stood at the door like a prison guard and smirked at Helene. She took her position inside the stall.
“Okay, gorgeous, tell me why you’re so sour? I heard you told Mara to fuck off. That’s cool. She’s a pain in the ass. But you were awesome out there. Your vocals and guitar playing were the best I’ve ever heard. “
She rolled her eyes and sighed. Jackson was her friend. That warranted an explanation.
“Well, if my count is right, this is the ninth time you’ve heard me pee. That means you have to keep everything I say a secret.”
Jackson’s laugh echoed through the room.
“Helene, this is like a shrink’s office. If I tell anyone anything, I lose my license to ever hear you piss again.”
She flushed and kicked open the dingy, graffitied stall door. The noise bounced off of the pipes and walls like a gunshot.
“Jackson, I have to stay with Slipper Socks Medium til December because I signed a contract with your asshole manager. But, I’d rather go play Vegas with fucking Celine Dion than be with this band, right now.”
There’s a lot going on here. This is a new story episode of The Ballad of Helene Troy. You can find the rest of it, so far, here: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/the-ballad-of-helene-troy/ This is also my response to For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, kgwaite challenged me with “The silence that had come between them was thicker than ice.” and I challenged dailyshorts with “They loved each other with superfluous force.” I also took on the challenge from Write On Edge:
According to Dante, the gates of hell are inscribed “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” Let that inscription lead, but not necessarily define, your piece for Friday’s link-up. 500 words or less.
I had a hard time with today’s song because of editing. I went with something because of lyrical content and emotional feel. Here’s Nine Inch Nails’s The Hand That Feeds. You’ll agree if you listen to the words, loudly.