Tighten Up

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Last time on Soul To Body: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/youcantcountonme/

Jake waited for Mallory outside Starbucks. The warm air and light breeze felt familiar. He closed his eyes and let the memory wash over him.

“Jake, this moment is perfect.”

Camille threw her arms around his neck and brought him into her lips for a long, passionate kiss in the parking lot of the Atlanta airport. He bumped the back door of his green Jeep closed as their mouths engulfed each others. She pulled away and they exchanged wide smiles.

“Yeah, Camille, this weather’s amazing. I’ll take the tops off for our ride.”

She tossed her bouncy blonde hair and laughed. He peaked at the white g-string sneaking out of the back of her blue jean shorts as she reached for her backpack.

“No, Jake, I meant this moment in our lives. We’re free, loose and in love. We could go anywhere, do anythin’, be anyone we want. Isn’t is excitin’?”

Camille’s easy southern drawl made him melt.

He opened his eyes to the sound of Mallory dropping her keys on the sidewalk. They leaned down at the same time, bumping heads. Mallory fell back on her rear end. Her bag flew off her right arm. Its contents scattered over the concrete.

“Mallory, I’m sorry.”

Jake gathered makeup and a date book. He reached for what looked like a pill bottle. Mallory shouted.

“No, don’t!”

The togetherness she’d shown through before was replaced by a nervous negative energy. Her face tightened. Jake squinted at the medicine container as Mallory shoved in her bag. He saw at least two Xs in the name.

“It’s okay, Mallory. You don’t need to worry.”

She finished putting her handbag together. Mallory ran her shaky hands through her long red hair.

“I apologize Jake, I get flustered around you and I wanted to…..”

Mallory looked defeated. Jake knew he had the opportunity to walk away and go home to his daughter. Yet, he ignored instinct to make her feel better.

“I know what you wanted.”

He stepped toward her. Their faces were inches apart. Jake ran the backs of the fingers on his right hand through her hair and down the right side of her blushing face. Mallory closed her eyes and Jake kissed her thin lips. It was awkward as their mouths searched for each other. He squeezed her face and tried to fight the previous memory of so many years earlier in the airport parking lot. This one, outside Starbucks, would have to do, for now.

****blogger’s note****

After a two week break, this is a new story episode of Soul To Body. You can find the rest of the story, so far, here: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/soul-to-body/ This is also in response to Write On Edge’s Choice and Consequences prompt: http://writeonedge.com/2012/05/red-writing-hood-choice-and-consequences/ Obviously Jake makes a choice to follow through with Mallory.

Today’s song works great lyrically and thematically. Plus I just want to play The Black Keys. Here’s Tighten Up.

Through Glass

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Last time with Helene Troy: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/100-word-song-telling-stories/

Narrow lanes of red and purple scrapes stretched over the knuckles on each of her fists. Tiny specks of asphalt crumbled out of her cupped hands as she moved her thumbs over her palms. Helene picked up the bottle of beer and swigged from its settled brew. She sat it down and turned to face Sadie. Morning sunlight bounced off the glass patio door. She blinked and caught her reflection through the glass then looked away feeling shame.

“Leney, I think you hurt your hands when you fell out of the cab. You were screaming at the guy to take you to Ramona’s. We wouldn’t let you. You threw your phone at me and Dawn then rolled out of the cab. I think you punched the cab too.”

Helene’s eyes moved back to her patio door reflection. She was twenty-four but looked older. Out of nowhere, Mara appeared in the door’s threshold holding the two gray and white kittens.

“Helene, I didn’t know you were a crazy cat lady! What are their names?”

Mara’s interruption caused Helene to turn around in her chair and resume drinking. Sadie took one of the kittens and the two women stood around Helene’s chair admiring them. Helene finished the beer.

“Tegan and Sara. The one with white on her belly is Tegan. I got them from the Bodega on the corner. They’re seven or eight weeks old.”

Helene put the empty bottle on the table and stood. Her knees buckled as she tried to steady herself. She clenched her fists and breathed through pain and dizziness.

“I’m sorry. I’m just so fucking sorry. I don’t know why I lost it last night. I could say Ramona’s a bitch. I could say I was nervous. But I think…..”

She stopped as the words made her gasp and start to cry. Large tears fell from her sharp green eyes. Her head pounded from her hangover. Sadie handed one of the kittens to Mara and extended her arms. The two women hugged. Helene cried into Sadie’s left shoulder. Mara walked back inside with the kittens and closed the patio door. Sadie patted Helene’s long brown hair.

“Leney, other than whatever’s going on with you and Ramona Gallery, I think you made it out of last night alright. Jackson punched Case in front of a bunch of reporters right after you got seriously drunk. The Golden Apples fucked up a lot more than you did last night.”

Helene couldn’t stop crying. Through sobs and sniffs she caught her reflection again. She grit her teeth and swallowed, hard.

“Sade, I look like shit. Let me get in the shower, take care of Tegan and Sara, then we’ll go see the manager and get paid. You and Mara can help me buy a new cell phone.”

Sadie smiled and touched Helene’s left shoulder as she walked back inside the apartment. Helene opened and closed the patio door but refused to look through the glass.

****blogger’s note****

This is a new story episode of The Ballad of Helene Troy. You can find the rest of the story, so far, here: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/the-ballad-of-helene-troy/ This is also patterned to the Write On Edge prompt for  detail:   http://writeonedge.com/2012/05/red-writing-hood-advancing-the-plot/ 

Today’s song just fits the story. It’s a little lame but there’s a point here. The lyrics are perfect. Here’s Stone Sour’s Through Glass.

You Can’t Count On Me

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Last time on Soul To Body: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/just-what-i-needed/

His crossed arms answered her question before he spoke.

“Well, Violet doesn’t need to know you’re with me. I’ve never eaten here so, why don’t you order for us?

Mallory fidgeted with her hair, separating the blonde streaks from the auburn while smiling at the waitress who approached the table. He eyed the waitress’ right arm sleeve of tattoos

“We’ll have BLTs and sweet teas and I like your ink.”

The waitress smiled and mouthed thank you. He caught Mallory’s eyes shoot darts at the her then lighten when she looked at him.

“Mallory, I like tattoos. I have seven.”

She grinned and played with her hair again.

“Oh, I do too. I don’t have any but I like them. Tattoos are sexy, especially on men.”

The conversation was awkward. He watched her struggle to recover. She held her breath. He tried to save the moment because they hadn’t eaten, yet.

“I think you’d look great with some ink.”

Mallory exhaled and then gave a wide grin. She leaned forward, placing her elbows on the old, round metal table.

“I know this is really forward, and you’ll have to figure out someway to keep it from your daughter but my girlfriend at work has two tickets to the Counting Crows show.”

He squirmed in his chair and closed his eyes.

“Jake! Jake Hanna?”

He remembered the male voice calling his name in the Atlanta airport on the way home from the Mexican vacation where he met his late wife, Camille.

“Yeah, I’m Jake Hanna.”

He shuffled and looked at Camille, who put her hands on her curvy hips and raised her eyebrows.

“You’re famous Jake?”

He laughed and turned to the man.

“It’s me, Gary Boggs, from Smyth’s Olde Pub. I used to work there. I remember your band Boxer Ego. I heard you guys opened for Counting Crows then broke up. That sucks, man. What happened?”

Embarrassed he looked over his shoulder at Camille, who smirked, waiting for his explanation.

“Oh Gary, you know. Jimmy quit, Jody got married. Shoulda known we’ve never get far.”

Gary gave a blank look and shook his head. Camille began laughing. She walked over to Jake and whispered in his left ear.

“I don’t think your friend got the Bryan Adams song reference. Nice to know I fell in love with a musician in Mexico.”

He picked up his right hand and touched her face. They kissed by the baggage carousel.

“Jake, so, do you want to go to the concert?”

He opened his eyes and looked into Mallory’s anxious green eyes. His picked up his recently delivered sweet tea and swallowed a moderate amount.

“Yeah, I’ll go. You can count on me.”

This is a new episode of Soul To Body. You can find the rest of the story, so far, here: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/soul-to-body/ This is also my answer to the StudioThirtyPlus prompt “she held her breath” and Write On Edge’s prompt of 450 words emphasizing dialogue – http://writeonedge.com/2012/04/red-writing-hood-prompt-more-than-words/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheRedDressClub+%28the+red+dress+club%3A%29

Today’s song is a spin on the band mentioned, Counting Crows, and Jake Hanna’s ironic statement “you can count on me” to Mallory. He doesn’t mean that. Here’s You Can’t Count On Me:

 

Animal I’ve Become

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The symphonic crunch of guitars and drums bounced around the roof of the apartment building. An hour into band practice for Helene’s four woman group, Slipper Socks Medium, produced more perspiration than inspiration. Her gray Pittsburgh Pirates t-shirt was soaked with sweat from the August heat. She stopped strumming her electric guitar and turned to her band mates.

“Hey, let’s take a break. Sadie, you want to work on some lyrics and let the other two run make a booze and food run?”

Sadie placed her bass guitar on a metal stand and wiped strands of wet ginger hair from her mouth.

“Of course, Leney. But I have no cash, can you spot me a few bucks?”

Helene rolled her eyes, making no effort to hide her discontent with her own financial situation. She pulled her guitar strap over her head and glared at her rhythm guitar player and roommate, Darcy Bridges. Darcy knew the look well, so she sprang into action.

“I’ve got forty-three dollars. That’s should get us enough beer, maybe a small bottle of liquor for our lovely Leney, and some snacks.”

Darcy turned to the band’s drummer, Mara Vincent, who yelled.

“Darse, I can pitch in too. Don’t worry we’ll at least get through this day drunk.”

The two raven-haired players left the roof in mischievous giggles. Helene shook her head in disgust, walked over to the nearest wall and looked out into the sky. When she heard Darcy and Mara close the door to the stairs, she spoke.

“Sadie, you ever think there’s a better way to do this shit?”

She turned and watched Sadie approach in a cautious shuffle.

“What do you mean, Leney? You could never quit playing music, it’s your life.”

Helene pivoted and held her guitar in her sweat drenched right hand, unplugged, close to the roof’s eave.

“It’s been two and a half years since I moved to New York from Pittsburgh. I share an unlit apartment with a drug addict and several roaches. I had more money as a college student than I do as a musician. We can’t afford to cut our EP. No matter how cool you and I make our MySpace page or rock a club on a Friday night at 1am, we’re spinning our wheels. Sade, it just isn’t working.”

Tears formed from of her deep green eyes. She didn’t expect Sadie to have any answers or words of wisdom, she just wanted those words to be spoken. Sadie tried to comfort her. 

“Leney, you’re the core of this band. You’re our Robert Plant and Jimmy Page together. I’m broke too and this is our apartment roof we’re playing on, but I believe in you. Everyone we play with or around thinks you’re fucking amazing.”

Helene took the guitar away from the side of the roof and walked to Sadie. She threw her left arm around her and the two women embraced for several seconds. Helene forced a smile and tossed her long brown hair to let some sun shine on her tired face.

“Come on Sadie, let’s go write our own Stairway to Heaven.”

This is a new story episode of The Ballad of Helene Troy. You can find the rest of the story, so far, here: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/the-ballad-of-helene-troy/ Obviously this is part of the beginning that I’m reworking. I’m loaning it to Write On Edge’s “Core” prompt. http://writeonedge.com/2012/04/red-writing-hood-prompt/

Today’s song isn’t Stairway. I’m not neither that predictable nor cheesy. I heard this song a few days ago and it reminded me of where my head is in writing this book and where Helene’s is with the band at this early point. It came out in 2007, a year before this story takes place so Helene would have been listening to it. Here’s Three Days’ Grace With Animal I’ve Become.

Never Let You Go

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Last time on Soul To Body: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/100-word-song-of-lillies-and-remains/

He opened his eyes, releasing the memory of Camille and ending his long embrace with Violet. Violet ran upstairs and brought her homework down. For the first time in many months, he sat with his daughter on the same couch watching television while she did her school assignments. He flipped channels to a hockey game and slid into a more comfortable lounging position. Violet remarked.

“You should let the scruffy face grow. It makes you look more like a dad.”

He smiled and leaned over to kiss her forehead.

“Vi, I’m going to take a shower and get some stuff ready for work tomorrow. Should I wear a tie to my meeting, downtown?”

Tapping a number two pencil against her smooth chin, Violet answered.

“No. You look old in ties. Take out your off-white dress shirt but don’t iron it. That blue sports coat you wear all the time would match the shirt. Wear those nice jeans Gus and I bought you a few weeks ago. You’ll look younger and happier in that ensem. Your meeting people will pay attention to you more.”

He shook his head from side to side in agreement and grinned.

“What would I do without you and your Aunt?”

Without hesitation, Violet lowered her head to the textbook on her lap and shot back.

“Dress very poorly.”

An ache in his back made him cringe as he walked to the bathroom. Approaching his fortieth birthday, He noticed his body becoming more brittle. He felt his feet become cold as he reached the tiled floor. Turning on the shower, he caught his reflection in the fixtures and vanity slapped him. He grumbled to himself.

“I’ve aged five years in the past twelve months. “

He felt his cell phone in the left front pocket of his jeans as he pulled them off. Two text messages were in his inbox.

“Hey, it’s Mallory. I’m sorry if I came on strong. Hope you’re having a good night with Violet.”

“I’m working downtown, tomorrow. You mentioned you were too. I can have lunch at 12:30.”

He felt a wave of confidence wash over him. Now naked, he examined himself in the mirror. He saw good things and bad things. He saw needs and loneliness. With the phone still in his left hand, he smirked at his reflection and texted Mallory.

“I’ll meet you at Smyth’s Olde Pub at 12:30 if you don’t tell anyone, especially Facebook.”

She answered immediately.

“”I promise. Can’t wait to see you.”

He grimaced at the guilt pangs, ran his right hand over his face stubble and looked away.

“Mallory, you’re going to get four days of scruff and a female approved wardrobe. Hope you’re ready.”

He chuckled at his bravado and stepped into the warm shower.

****blogger’s note*****

This is a new story episode of Soul To Body a out Violet, her deceased mom Camille, and the man they love. You can find the rest of the story, so far, here: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/soul-to-body/ This is linked to the writing prompt “makeover” by Write On Edge: http://writeonedge.com/2012/04/red-writing-hood-makeover-2/

Music is great but it’s also weird. I woke up with Never Let You Go by Third Eye Blind playing in my head. I only like, maybe, three of their songs. But this was so muse-like that I scrapped my original post and reworked something for Vi and her dad. The lyrics are perfect for this entry, because Mallory, that girl is like a sunburn. Here’s Third Eye Blind, a excelent description on our grieving dad.

Take It Off

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Last time with Helene Troy: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/naked-eye/

Helene grit her teeth at the framed picture of Ramona Gallery hanging over the three men engrossed in conversation about the her future. She thought about Ramona being her same age, twenty-four, when she left her band, Kerouac Kids,  to sign with Matador Records.  A loud knock startled everyone in the room. Gina entered. The sound of The Golden Apples concert rolled through the room.

“So, can I get you guys anything?”

The men declined but Helene met Gina at the door. She took two cocktail napkins from Gina’s tray and mouthed the word “pen”. Gina removed a black bic from her bra and handed it to Helene. On one napkin, using the tray as a backboard, she wrote.

“Xander,

Congratulations, you’re a good kisser. Follow Gina upstairs if you want to do it again.

Helene”

She folded the white tissue, and repeated the exercise with another napkin.

“Ramona,

I’m here, but I’ll all business tonight. Answer your damn phone, next time.

Helene”

Gina smiled and took the two folded napkins. Helene reached around Gina’s bare stomach, closed the door, then leaned into her large gold hooped earring adorned right ear. Helene watched her Gina sigh, then bite her bottom lip.

“Put these notes where you put your pen. You can read them. Give the one addressed to the guy you saw me with earlier, immediately. If you see Ramona Gallery anywhere in this club, give the other one to her. Thanks, G. I owe you, major.”

Gina smiled.

“I’ll get your bottle too.”

Helene turned to face the men. The manager spoke.

“Helene, I agree with these guys and your conditions. You’re a solo artist, long-term. If you want Sadie Olivares and Ramona Gallery, you got them. These Matador guys have agreed to let Slipper Socks Medium exist til the end of September so you all can fulfill gigs I’ve booked. If Mara Vincent gives us a problem, we’ll find another drummer.”

Helene rolled her eyes and faked a smile. The manager and the other record company guy resumed talking. Kevin Phoenix approached her at the door. His face was serious.

“Helene, we go back a long way. I promise I’ll help you through the transition. I think you have a hell of a future.”

Helene felt no emotion. Her green eyes looked down at Kevin’s right hand. It was on her right hip. Helene smirked and read through Kevin Phoenix.

The metal door reverberated from another loud knock. Helene opened it and Xander stood, sheepish but smiling. The sound of the concert below, rushed over them.

“Hey, Helene! I got Gina’s note and….”

Before he could finish, Helene turned away from Kevin and pushed her full lips into Xander’s.

 ****blogger’s note****

This is a  new story episode of The Ballad of Helene Troy. You can find the story, so far, here: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/the-ballad-of-helene-troy/ This is in response to the “romance” prompt from Write On Edge: http://writeonedge.com/ – 450 words on livening up your story with romance or sex or both.

Today’s song is meant to be fun, naughty, loud, and rebellious. It’s from one of my favorite female rock guitarists, Allison Robertson and her band, The Donnas. Here’s Take It Off. Blast this.

She’s A Beauty

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I walked by and saw her cavorting with vampires. She’s compelled by their beauty, both male and female. I roll my eyes and walked into the other room. Her legs spreading out on the couch makes my face light up. Her painted pink toes are wiggling as she’s connected to the stories intensely. After I’ve walked away, I hear her sexy laugh. A dog, a cat, and a brightened kitchen greet me in yellow sunlight. Distracted by pets on one leg and another leg, I turned and saw bright lights flicker continously. Pretty witches populated the television. My wife’s tastes are scary.

Welcome to the first edition of Mad Libs with Write on Edge!All you need to do for now is make a list of 30 words, per the part of speech list below.

1) noun
2) noun
3) noun
4) noun
5) -ing verb
6) noun
7) -ing verb
8 ) body part (plural)
9) -ing verb
10) body part
11) adjective
12) noun
13) adjective
14) -ed verb
15) adverb
16) -ed verb
17) adjective
18) noun
19) noun
20) noun
21) adjective
22) -ed verb
23) noun
24) noun
25) -ed verb
26) adjective
27) verb
28) adverb
29) adjective
30) verb

This is an April Fool’s Day writing exercise from my friends at http://writeonedge.com/2012/04/mad-libs-with-write-on-edge/ . I got home from the gym and wrote the first thirty words that surrounded me as my wife watched her favorite vampire and witches television shows.

Today’s song is what I listened to on my way home. It applies to my wife. It was her birthday yesterday. She deserves her own writing excercise. Here’s The Tubes, She’s a Beauty.

 

What I’ve Done

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Last time with Helene Troy:  http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/ballofconfusion/

They found a side door leading into a stairwell. Helene placed her bottle of whiskey on a metal step as the door closed with a thud. The sound bounced off old black metal pipes. Helene noticed Xander’s deep, dark eyes never left her face.

“Helene you’re so talented. People in the crowd were in awe of you.”

Helene ignored the compliments. She wanted to forget it all.

“Xander, you texted me how good of a kisser you were. Prove it.”

He smiled and stepped to within a few inches of her glistening face. She could feel his nervous energy so she moved in. The kiss was slow. She liked his full lips and easy style. She pulled away and admired him.

“You’re good, Xander. Don’t stop.”

As their mouths moved over each other again, the door opened. It was Dawn. 

“I’m so sorry, Helene!”

Helene sighed and removed her hands from Xander’s hips. She picked up the bottle from the stairs and took a drink.

“The Golden Apples’ manager is desperate to talk to you. He said it was major so I told him I thought I knew where you might be. Hell, I’d take him in here too.”

Her flirty comment and awkward laugh made Xander smile. Helene wasn’t amused. She looked at Xander and mouthed “forgive me”. He shrugged his shoulders and said “Go.” She leaned in for another kiss then let go of his scruffy face and followed Dawn through a maze of hallways and club patrons. The Golden Apples were moments from taking the stage. Dawn pointed toward the manager, then took her place next to the stage to watch her boyfriend play guitar. Helene met the manager behind a stack of equipment bins.

“What?”

Her annoyed glare and subsequent swig of alcohol didn’t faze him. He pointed to a set of stairs and shouted over the crowd.

“Hand me the Jack Daniels and walk up there! Two reps from Matador Records are in an office anxious to speak to you! I’ll join the conversation after the Apples play a couple of songs!”

Helene froze. She thought about Sadie, Mara, and even Darcy. Nothing made sense.

“I can’t talk to them without the band!”

The manager shook his head in disapproval.

“They want you! Don’t be stupid, Helene!”

She thought about her conversation with Jackson in the bathroom, grit her teeth and spat back at him.

“You really are the devil!”

The manager took the bottle from her left hand and pointed to the stairs. Helene felt a war rage between her heart and her mind. Now, she had to face the casualties of that battle. She walked past the manager and felt her fear descrease each stair she ascended.

****blogger’s note****

This is a new story episode of The Ballad of Helene Troy. You can find the rest of the story so far, here: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/the-ballad-of-helene-troy/ It is in response to my friends at Write on Edge:

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-HoodThis week we asked you to write a fiction or creative non-fiction piece about a time someone crossed a line, legally or ethically. You could have explored vigilante justice or another sort of line crossing. We hope you enjoyed exploring the motivation of your character and possibly the consequences of his or her actions as you put your piece together. Cam wrote about justice at sea in The Fallen Woman. Remember, the word limit was 450 words, so link up and read as many links as you can.

Today’s song is perfect in emotion, time period, lyrics and feel for the story and Helene’s frame of mind. Here’s Linkin Park’s What I’ve Done:

Fight For Your Right

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I always knock before I walk into my sixteen-year-old daughter’s bedroom. Gender issues aside, I remember how my parents never allowed that courtesy, because, it was their roof and their rules, damn it. So, I got what I deserved when I entered a few days ago.

My sixteen-year-old daughter and I share a love of music, different types mind you, so we’re both usually wearing ear buds while singing or dancing to our favorite songs. Like her, I will play tunes on my computer, my iPod, or in the car and lose myself in the lyrics or guitar riffs. When the music is from my time as a teenager, memories will flood and I’ll become familiar with that time in my life I first heard the song or what was going on around me.

The door knob to my daughter’s room is always ice cold. I’m usually carrying towels or trash or cups so I dread the touch of the knob. When I see the door isn’t closed all the way I breathe easier. After I knocked twice, it occurred to me she had to be asleep or listening to her iPod. I ignored this realization and acted like a lame parent. I bumped open the door with a butt cheek and there she was, dancing and singing and enjoying whatever her ear buds were offering. Her look of surprise and disdain transported me.

Rainy days as a kid meant I had to stay inside. Sometimes friends came over, but since my house was almost a mile away from most of my pals, it meant I would be alone in my room. I don’t recall the edict, but I wasn’t allowed to lock my door. I don’t know if my parents thought I was taking the movie Scarface too seriously and running a cocaine ring out of my place or if they were jealous of my record and cassette collection but that was their mandate. When I was channeling my inner Diamond David Lee Roth or perfecting my air Jimmy Page, I’d go into my closet. Go ahead, make your jokes. Done?

The closet was tiny. My three daughters’ closets are of similar size to the one I performed in, so they don’t hang out in them. They just shove their junk in and go lock their velvet-roped bedroom doors. But my closet had to be a dancefloor, rock and roll stage, and an awards podium. My lame parents caught me, deep in fantasy, wonder and The Beastie Boys Licensed To Ill. My glares were dagger-filled.

I wanted to hug my daughter and tell her I was sorry. I knew how embarrassed and angry she felt to have me interrupt her Taylor Swift dance party. I cared about her stabby glower. It made me think long and hard about the kind of parent I really am versus the one I seem to not be. I’m lame and I need to yell over the knock. The immediate future of my oldest daughter’s life will be amazing for her imagination. Every teenager deserves their bedroom inner sanctum of fantasy, wonder and make-believe superstardom.

****blogger’s note****

This is a personal post designed for Write On Edge’s RememebeRED memoir:  

After I finished laughing, I started thinking. So often in our lives, defining moments occur when our past and our present or our future clash. For this week’s RemembeRED prompt, write a memoir post describing such a time and the results.

While writing, remember to bring us into the moment and let us experience it with you.

I’m going to be generous and give you 521 words.

Today’s song is what was playing in my bedroom, a lot, at age sixteen. My mom never took away my best prono mag but From’s The Beastie Boys’s 1986 debut album Licensed to Ill, here’s (You’ve Got To) Fight For Right (To Party)

The Hand That Feeds

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Last time with Helene: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/sick-girl/ & http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/dancing-barefoot/

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.

“What’s wrong?”

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.”

****blogger’s note****

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:

abandon all hope ye who enter here, boondock saints, Write on Edge, Dante's Inferno

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.