721 words (2 minute read)

Pt. 6

“This goes out to my buddy Jimmy who got recruited last year. He’s stuck on a turbine out past Cambria and couldn’t make it tonight.” Genevieve, hair pulled up in a loose pony-tail, high-waisted black pants and a killer floral button-up, turns to her band and shouts, “It’s the end of the world!” She leans into her epiphone seven three three as she smashes the first chord, an E7. She can hear Cate’s rattling on the kit, maintaining the beat, and her blonde hair thrashing about. That girl’s got so much power.

Genevieve looks out into the crowd, her left eye pierces the blinding light. The big SLO Brewing Company sign sits above the brick walls, Misty, their sound gal, has her face buried in the knobs. She hears Rich’s solo end, the organ trailing off from the Boss echo, and whispers into the mic singing, “They’ve got my friends in a bind/they tell us to doubt/then tell us to figure out/if my aim was true/i’d aim for you/but it’s the end of world/so what else is new?” She ends on a yelp, feeling Christian’s bass throttle forward, the cheers swelling in front of her. She smiles.

“I tend to remember things in colors and light,” Genevieve sings, Christian and Marcus harmonizing behind her. Rich plays the organ softly, Cate’s got the swisher sticks brushing as “Wandering Mind,” fades out. She turns to Christian smiling, his big bushy beard impressive since he stopped shaving when they left on tour about a month ago. The crowd breaks out into a big applause, even a couple of woos permeate up to the stage as the lights above do a little flourish. She goes down low with the high-five to Marcus as he starts to tune his guitar, the sweat from his face dripping onto the cream fender.

Looking down at Big Red to do the same, Genevieve begins to twirl the B string peg when she feels a weird jolt from her hand. “That’s not cool.” She gazes up past the scaffolding and the brick trying to sense if one of those satellites is the culprit again.

“You all right Genny?” Christian places a hand on Genevieve’s shoulder looking concerned with his soft bambi eyes.

“I’m all right, I think,” chortles Genevieve before looking down at her guitar. Oh shit. All the strings on her guitar have snapped, dangling off like spaghetti. She can now sense the crowd murmuring louder, glasses clinking like gunshots.

“Genevieve is a wizard everyone!” Marcus breaks the tension, his voice muffled from grabbing the mic quickly.

Genevieve looks back at Cate whom just shrugs and bares her teeth, smiling in a knowing way.

“So hey guys,” Genevieve steps back to the mic. “Don’t know what happened to my guitar. She gets feisty sometimes-“

“You’re feisty!” Some anonymous drunk bro yells from the crowd.

Rolling her eyes, Genevieve takes off her guitar. She looks around the stage spotting Rich’s blue washburn mandolin hidden between the amp the organ. She stumbles for a second in her low wedges. Okay, maybe I shouldn’t have had that bottle of wine back at the motel.

May I? She motions at Rich to the mandolin. The crowd noise is growing even louder. He tosses it to her and her robot hands catch it perfectly. Even when I’m drunk…

Holding the mic away from her, Genevieve whispers to her mates. They all lean in close. “Let’s play the new one.” They all grin in unison gripping their instruments tighter.

“Back again friends,” sashays Genevieve as she brings her face to the mic, “I was going to play ‘Red Dirt Girl,’ my favorite Emmylou Harris song, but since Big Red decided to go all X-Files on me, I’m going to play this new one.”

Genevieve strums the mandolin once, feeling the beautiful A minor chord ripple out from the double strings. “This song’s called, ‘The Devil’s Hands Are Entitled Play Things.’ Oh, and fuck anyone who thinks they know you better than you, okay?” She kicks her heal hard on the stage four times and the entire band dives in with her following the choppy stomp of the mandolin. She howls into the crowd and the void howls right back.

Next Chapter: Pt. 5