Helene sat atop the jagged edges of a concrete block she’d found to hold open the rock club’s large steel back door. She ignored the discomfort of her makeshift chair by following her thumb as it felt the callouses on her left hand. Ramona’s voice interrupted her trance. Helene fell back against the door, causing the block to move. Ramona rushed and caught the door before it closed.
“Leney, you okay? You’ve got ten minutes til you take the stage.”
Now standing, Helene summoned her usual steely nerve to respond.
“Yeah, I was just thinking of how weird it is playing solo. I know Sadie’s still with me and the rest of tonight’s lineup are friends, but my name’s next to the lights. Was it a bitch when you left the Kerouac Kids and dealt with the sign saying Ramona Fucking Gallery?”
Ramona pulled long strands of red hair behind her ears and pushed up her silk shirt sleeves. She adjusted the position of the concrete block to ensure the door stayed open and motioned for Helene to sit down.
“Well, Leney, I checked the bathroom before I came out here. Girls in there said you haven’t been by, throwing up, so you’re better than I was, back then.”
Helene smiled and pushed wavy brown tresses from her face. Her hands shook as Ramona knelt down to her eye level.
“Yeah, being without The Kids and doing my own thing was hard at first. But, honey, you’re already Helene Fucking Troy. The neon’s just announcing that. Hit the stage and give those music loving drunk sluts the best they’ve ever had.”
Helene rolled her eyes and leaned forward. The concrete block moved again.
“Damn ‘Mona, you’re not going to make me play Eye of the Tiger are you?”
Ramona stood, slapped her hands on her thighs then pointed toward the club’s interior.
“The internet’s right about you, Leney. You’re a smokin’ hot mess. Get in there! Go give them the best of you.”
This is an excerpt from my novel, The Ballad of Helene Troy, due out very soon. I made this available today becaue it fits two different prompts – “without the kids” from Studio Thirty Plus http://studio30plus.com/ and “bitch” from Trifecta Writing http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/
I’ll be making an announcement in about a week to ten days regarding the release of the book.
Here’s Foo Fighters Best Of You.