Last time with Helene Troy:

The thickness of the air outside followed Helene inside the loft. As her fingers recoiled from blistering through the song, she felt the uneasiness of the room.

“You’re late, damn it!”

The manager’s voice boomed from several feet away. Helene didn’t answer. She gripped her guitar with trepidation and turned toward Sadie and Mara. They sat with their instruments slack-jawed but refusing eye contact with Helene.

“I’m sorry for being so late. I had some stuff come up but I’m here and definitely ready.”

Their tandem silence startled Helene. After a few seconds, Mara pushed herself away from her drum kit.

“Yeah, you were stealing Darcy’s apartment and fucking your rockstar girlfriend! How dare we be bothered by an hour long wait?”

Mara wasn’t usually sarcastic. She was a tell it like it is woman. Helene looked at Sadie and saw no quarter in Sadie’s hard stare. Helene felt like fighting.

“We were being evicted! You try living with a druggie that doesn’t pay the bills! And, who I fuck is none of your business!”

Helene stomped to her backpack and retrieved her notebook, still clutching the plugged-in electric guitar. She returned their scowls and placed her notes on a music stand.

“Now, are we going to rock out or gossip like little bitches? Your call, girls! But, Make it now, ’cause tonight’s a big deal!”

Helene looked up at the manager, standing a few feet away with his arms crossing, shaking his head in disgust. Helene smirked and mouthed “asshole” at him. She lowered her voice.

“I want to start tonight’s set with that wicked version of Slither, Sadie and I came up with. It’ll build tension, then we’ll explode on the crowd after a minute or so.”

Sadie stared at her sneakers and plucked the opening baseline. Mara rolled her eyes, sat back down behind her kit and played the low percussion rumble. Helene absorbed their pressure and strummed the growling guitar chords.

****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: This ia a touch over 300 words based on the prompt from Write On Edge:

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-HoodWe asked you to use a Gandhi quote to inspire you to throw a little conflict at your characters in the name of strong plot development.

It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.
Mahatma Gandhi

The word limit was 300. Please link up but only if you did the prompt. Remember to visit as many linkups as possible in the spirit of building a strong community.

There’s plenty of conflict here as Helene begins pushing her band away.

Today’s song comes from the story. I think this song really is all about conflict and tension building. Slash is great on guitar here. Play it loud. Velvet Revolver’s Slither: