Oh Boy! Exposition Time!

Posted: June 13, 2012 in Allosaurus, sci fi
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

F.R.A.N., for those of you who were wondering what she looks like. Also, it’s been a while since there was a picture with one of these posts.

Continued from “Step 1” , the previous post. Read that one first, if you haven’t already. In which case, shame on you, my friend. Shame.

The practice space was a little storage unit by the bay. Not close enough to see the water; just close enough to smell the seaweed and dead fish whenever there was a red tide. Cheryl’s twin brother Calvin had been the one to suggest the place after his landlord threatened to have him evicted for the noise. The fancy drum kit, for gigs and recording, stayed at his apartment. The old beat-up one he’d had since he was a kid, he kept here. It sat on a rug that was so dirty, no one was sure what color it had originally been. Eyes closed and transfixed, Calvin battered away in his best Tony Williams impersonation. So lost in the moment was he, that Cheryl almost didn’t have the heart to throw that scrunched-up piece of newspaper at him. 

Almost. 

Gah!” Calvin jumped, waving the drumsticks around like imaginary nun-chucks. Then, he fell over backwards while vainly attempting to regain both composure and balance. “Ow! Dammit!” 

When you get up, you wanna help me with the amp?” Cheryl snorted. The amp didn’t really weigh that much; it was just awkward to unload. The bass, though: Cheryl didn’t entrust that to just about anyone. It was ancient, it was hand carved spruce, and it was German. She called it Brunhilda. She laid it on its side. 

How’s Frannie?” Calvin asked as they wheeled the amp in. 

Oh, you know. Still the same.” Cheryl had decided to keep Fran’s night-time activities to herself. The less people that know about all that crazy business, the better. Plausible deniability, she thought. 

Still hasn’t touched her trumpet?” 

Nope. Almost had to beg her not to sell it.” Cheryl plugged her bass in, then picked it up. As she talked, she bowed the strings and reached up to tune them. “I told her that there’s no way her embouchure would get back to normal if she doesn’t play, but …” 

She just folded her arms and pouted?” Calvin asked. 

Huh.” Cheryl nodded. “It’s as if you were there.” 

Right,” Calvin replied. “Which is why I say -” 

Hold it. You’re gonna tell me you found another melody player? Again?” 

Calvin sighed, scowling up at the ceiling for whatever those little helper beings are that everyone seems to look for when they become exasperated. As usual, they didn’t show up, so Calvin forged ahead without them. “Listen. I feel for your girl. I really do. That crap that happened to her really sucked, and it shouldn’t have happened to her, or anybody else, but it did. And it still does. Hell, if you see the news these days, there’s all kindsa people getting beat up and robbed and what not by all these crazy weirdos in Luchadore masks and commando chicks with billy clubs and cattle prods.” Cheryl opened her mouth to begin to protest, but Calvin stopped her with a raised hand. “Scary world. But it’s been, what? Almost two years, now? When’s Frannie gonna start living again?” 

Has it ever happened to you?” Cheryl demanded. “No; of course not. It’s not something you’ve got to worry about. It’s not even something on your radar, really.” Now it was her turn to look up for assistance. Still nothing. She fixed her brother with a pleading stare. “She just needs some time, okay? She just needs to … to work some things out. Cut her some slack, huh?” 

Calvin stared back for a moment. He shrugged. “Whatever.”

Cheryl continued to tune up. Calvin adjusted his snare. Neither spoke for a while.

“Anyway.” Calvin broke the silence. “Dude should be here any minute. And, no, he’s not gonna be a replacement for anybody. We could use some chords.” Cheryl eyed him with suspicion.  “You said so yourself. So, he’s a guitar player named Otis.” 

‘Otis’? Who names a kid ‘Otis’ these days? You find him at the Old Itinerant Bluesman’s Retirement Home?” 

Yeah, as a matter of fact, I did. It’s right next to the ‘Bald-headed Lesbian Bass-Player’s Retirement Villa’ I’m having you shipped off to when you get enfeebled,” smirked Calvin. 

Cheryl allowed herself a tiny smile. “Okay, funnyman. Let’s just warm up till he gets here, okay?”

*     *     *

Fran paused the remote on the Weather Station. All weather, all the time, she mused. A smiling man who looked as though he might as well have been constructed in a lab out of plastic reeled off arcana about fronts and pressure cells.

“… All in all, it looks like it might add up to a doozy of a storm season this year,” Smiler concluded.

Huh, Fran thought. Figures.

words  © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.

Allosaurus continues next time in Vox Pop, Vox Vulgaris

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Comments
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