Leaning against the door to the roof, with a guitar case in each hand, Helene Troy growled as her cell phone slipped from her sweaty cheek and crashed into several pieces on the steps below. Living on twenty-three dollars for the next six days, she cursed the thought of the phone being ruined.
“Damn it. Not right now.”
She sat the cases on the concrete floor and leaned over to observe her latest disaster. The door opened, bumping her left hip and sending her sprawled over several steps. The tinny, girlish voice of her friend and band mate, Sadie Olivares, echoed over Helene.
“Leney! Are you okay? I’m so sorry!”
Helene didn’t bother getting up. She stretched her arms over two steps and tried to put the small black phone together. She answered Sadie with an acrid tongue.
“Oh, I’m just great Sade. Darcy had our apartment phone shut off to save money to pay the power company. Of course, that money went to her loser druggie boyfriend. So you sending me ass over elbows was just what I needed.”
Helene picked up the phone components and pushed herself up into a sitting position on the top step. She sighed and choked back tears. She wondered how to deal with an irresponsible roommate and almost no money. Sadie squeezed in next to her and tried to hug Helene.
“I have duct tape at my apartment. We’ll get your phone working and you can eat pizza at my place tonight. I paid the power bill, this time. Do you forgive me?”
Sadie’s thin lips stretched into a warm, cautious smile. She pulled strands of straight ginger hair from her mouth. Helene softened her hard green-eyed glare and faked a smile. She stood and shoved the cell phone remnants into her little black backpack. She picked up the guitar cases as Sadie opened the door. With a blistering New York City August sun shining down, the women readied to chase their rock and roll dreams.
God willing and the creeks don’t rise, metaphorically, you’re reading the first 333 words of the beginning of The Ballad of Helene Troy. I’m putting the finishing touches on about five thousand words that will open the novel and get you used to Helene and Slipper Socks Medium before Ramona comes along to help Helene to stardom. This is also, by coincidence, an answer to trifecta Writing’s word of the week, “OBSERVE”. http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/
Today’s song is what I’d planned for months to use at the very beginning. It’s sarcastic and certainly appropriate to Helene’s state of mind. Here’s Sleater Kinney’s You’re No Rock and Roll Fun