Last time with Helene Troy:

Helene stared into the cracked mirror above a dirty sink in the rock club bathroom. She held her calloused hands under a weak trickle of cold water. A dramatic toss of long brown hair preceded her rant to her friend, Jackson.

“Sadie’s great. She plays four instruments and has an amazing ear for chord changes. She’s okay with lyrics. But the girl can’t make a decision. I’m like her mom. She leans on me for everything.”

Helene turned off the water and shook her hands dry while looking into Jackson’s scruffy face.

“Mara’s become worthless. She hasn’t written for this band in six months. She smokes pot with Darcy or whoever she’s banging, then has the balls to question me for being late or working outside the band? I want to play with a good drummer but not one that’s a hypocrite and a backstabber.”

Jackson chuckled. Helene stood close to him.

“I just don’t relate to anything we do. It’s loud, riot-grrl shit that no one cares about, anymore. We’re good, but we’re never going to be great because Sadie has no guts and Mara has no heart. Also, I hate our manager. He’s the damn devil. And not the cool kind in Slayer songs.”

Jackson unfolded his muscular arms and responded.

“Helene, you just described my band and a million others. In five minutes, I’m going to play songs I hate. Your ex, my lead singer, makes me violently angry on a daily basis because he’s a self-absorbed baby. But it’s the game, and we have to play it we want to do it for a living. Otherwise, we play bars on the weekends and get a real fucking job.”

Helene walked into Jackson’s black-shirted chest. A knock bounced off the wooden door. Jackson embraced Helene and whispered through her wet brown mane.

“You have to believe in your talent and let that give you a clean conscience. Your booze is outside this door. Drink it as good as you played tonight.”

****blogger’s note****

This is another new episode of The Ballad of Helene Troy. You can find the rest of the story, so far, here: This 33 word piece is prompted by Trifecta Writing Challenge’s “Clean” –    clean (adjective)
1: free from dirt or pollution
2: unadulterated, pure
3 a : free from moral corruption or sinister connections of any kind <a candidate with a clean record>

Today’s song comes from a New York band that Slipper Socks Medium or The Golden Apples would’ve run across in 2008, The Bravery. The lyrics fit, and I like mood it sets. Here’s “Believe” -