Sex On Fire


Last time with Helene Troy:

The Golden Apples played their final song. Helene couldn’t bear to listen. As the thunder of drums and guitar rumbled over the audience, she gulped from her bottle of Jack Daniels. Helene laced the fingers of her left hand inside Xander’s right then pulled him away from the stage. She showed him to a hallway, pushed him against a wall and bumped the heavy metal door closed with her rear end. Helene saw fear and confusion in Xander’s dark eyes.

“I don’t want to hear that fucking song ever again, Xander. I wrote it and they’re getting famous off it.”

She attempted another dramatic swig but lost her balance and dropped the whiskey on the floor. The loud clang of the glass bottle on the concrete floor changed the mood.

“That’s so wrong! That’s my bottle and it was half empty!”

Helene leaned down and picked it up, salvaging some. Xander touched her shoulder.

“Helene, it’s okay. They’ll have plenty at your party. Look, I’m going to go. You need to slow down a bit, I guess, and focus on business.”

She saw disappointment in his face. They could barely hear each other as music crescendoed. After being rejected by Ramona, Helene didn’t want to feel defeated, again.

“Yeah, you’re right. Will you call me tomorrow?”

Xander smiled and leaned in to kiss her. He placed his large hands on her waist. His fingertips dug into hips. He pressed his lips against hers. Helene’s heart raced and she lost control. She spun around to place her back against the wall. She bit her bottom lip and fumbled with the top button of his blue jeans. Xander pulled away. He shrugged his shoulders and touched his face with his hands.

“Helene, no. Not this way. I wish I’d drank as much as you did tonight but I wanted to remember you. I’m sorry. ”

Helene’s body language screamed and Xander tried to comfort her.

“What you did onstage tonight,  Helene, was amazing. People are going to be talking about that performance for a long time. Now, go make it mean something. I’ll call you.”

Helene shook her head in disbelief as Xander walked away.

She balled her fists and stared at the white in her knuckles. She picked up the bottle, swallowed more whiskey then walked to the backstage area. The Golden Apples ended their set. Helene hunted her bags. They were next to some guitar cases. She opened the larger bag and pulled out the designer dress Ramona gave her. She tossed back her long brown hair and drank the last drops in the Jack Daniels bottle.

“Fuck you Ramona. I’ll make you beg for me.”

This is a new story episode of The Ballad of Helene Troy. You can find the rest of the story, so far, here: Sorry for the two week break from story continuation. Let’s not let that happen again.

Today’s song is more mood than lyric referenced. It was released the same day this scene is taking place, September 2, 2008. Here’s Kings of Leon’s Sex On Fire.


26 thoughts on “Sex On Fire

  1. This scene is power packed with emotion. Lack of control has your character grasping for some kind of escape… sex… booze… music… she wants control of something and as a reader I can feel that clearly.

  2. Great job. She’s looking for SOMETHING to “take her away”… booze, sex w/ Xander, sex w/ Ramona, anything. She’s in a dangerous way tonight. Bet she ends up w/ someone she doesn’t really want and hurts more than one person in the process.

    Two little editorial things… I think you’re missing a word in this sentence: “I wish I’d drank as much as you did tonight but I wanted to you!” and in his next line, “amazing” is spelled incorrectly.

    I love Helene. She’s my favorite train wreck.

  3. starring at the whites of her knuckles…this is perfect, Lance. Great capture of character, and oh the mistakes…designer gown can’t fix drunk…can’t wait for the next installment…this teasing is terrible!

  4. This is great, Lance. You brought me there, like i was an eavesdropper hiding behind a speaker stack 🙂
    Helene definately denied the big bang in this one….
    like a diffused bomb
    Sex bomb was a perfect choice
    I was thinking of it before I scrolled down to the song!

  5. AND now, and COMPLETELY unrelated to the story, which was awesome, I bring you Madame Syntax:

    I WANT to like this song. I want to like it SO MUCH. It’s got musicality, a hot hot theme, and even if I don’t love them, I don’t loathe KOL. The singer’s voice is perfect for the tune.

    And that’s as far as I get because madame syntax wins the day.

    Bob Dylan can croon “Lay Lady, Lay” and all I think is “hum. Comma after ‘lady’ or not?” Clapton sings “Lay down Sally. Rest here in my arms. Don’t you think….” And I wonder if semi-colons separate the parts of a compound sentence or it’s three separate sentences. Or if maybe it’s a semi-colon compound followed by a different sentence in a question. And should it be spelled right, ‘don’t you’, or spelled phonetically, ‘donchew’. Kings of Leon go “Lay where you Lay” and Madame goes apeshit over the fucked up grammar.

    And I forgive grammar errors – that specific grammar error – all the TIME in music. But it’s one that I almost never handle well in conversational English. It hits me in this song, and I cannot get over it. And you can’t make it ‘lie where you lie’ without fucking up the sound of the verse. That intro needs an ‘ay’ sound.

    I don’t know how many people have tried to hold cogent conversations about this song with me. Hell, my Dad sent me a Youtube video of Sugarland covering it. And every time, I get to the exactly first word and go, “YOU lie down; you LAY something down.” So I turn it off.

      • Normally, I’m totally cool with grammar in songs. Poetic license applies. And in this one, “lay” is particularly appropriate, because the title is “Sex on Fire” and, well, we don’t call someone ‘a good lie’. And yet, Madame hears that (and I caught it on the radio again today and had to control the urge to shout rude things to the DJ) and it grinds. I’m afraid I overanalyze almost everything!

  6. Marian

    too many exclamation points! it is distracting! but i still love it!
    and i agree with jesterqueen! love you!

  7. Oh demon booze. Helene’s not a good drunk. Then again, who is? And that’s your point, so it’s all good. I continue to be impressed by Xander. I like that he managed to be “the good guy” in this scene, but you still made him believable and not necessarily just an archetype of a “gentleman.”

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