Monday, October 20, 2014

Superstar-Chapter 29

Greetings and Salutations! Welcome to another installment of Superstar with your gracious blogger and host, Me! Anyhew, I hope you're enjoying the story so far. (I've seen the pageviews ...I know you guys are reading...) Don't forget to like my W.L. Sherrod author page on Facebook and Follow me (@wlsherrod) on Twitter. On to the story!

Chapter 29: Mrs. Robinson

A month had passed since Dom and Terry had their moment at Community Park. Since then, they’d grown closer than even they thought was possible. The way they worked together at rehearsal and during shows was a wonder to behold. Terry couldn’t remember being so happy before with any of the women he’d previously dated.
Dom, for her part, was happy as well. Every guy she’d gone out with normally did something to show her that he was a dog and had to be swiftly dropped. Terry was the first one that treated her right and gave her no reason to doubt his sincerity. This would be a totally wonderful thing for her if her ambition wasn’t gnawing at the back of her brain.
Dom could play piano and sing, she’d done it at rehearsal one day, but she never really tried to do anything with it. She was too scared that compared to everyone else in Avant Groove, her stuff would sound simplistic. Lately, an undercurrent of frustration started to make itself known inside of her. She tried to ignore it, but every time she watched everyone coaxing sweet sounds out of their instruments; she silently fumed, because she wanted to do the same thing, hence the trip to Service Merchandise where she bought a Yamaha keyboard.   
For three weeks straight, Dom practiced for an hour everyday after rehearsal and before and after her shifts at work. Eventually, she started writing what she heard in her mind. It was simple, but there was a stark beauty in what she wrote and she was encouraged by the results. Dom finally, put some of her muses down on tape and debated whether she wanted to share them with Terry or not.

One day, after rehearsal was over and Terry was driving Dom back home, she asked him a question…
“Could you listen to a tape of music I made the other day?”
“Sure. What is it?” Terry asked.
“Just some stuff I was noodling around with on my keyboard. I think it sounds okay, but I’d like an outside opinion.”
“Yeah, I can do that,” Terry answered. “Mind you, I’m biased when it comes to you.”
“Well, I need an honest opinion about it, baby, as honest as you can be.”
“Okay,” Terry said and looked at her. “You’re really serious, aren’t you?”
“Yes, I am.”
They pulled up in front of Dom’s house and she felt ice forming around her heart as fear started to squeeze in on her.
Terry noticed the change and wondered what kind of woman Ava Lasalle was to have her daughter seize up inside whenever she came home. Dom led them inside and announced their presence.
A tall, light brown skinned woman with broad shoulders a small waist, shapely hips and a full bosom sauntered into the room. Terry could see Dominique in her eyes and the shape of her nose. A look of profound anger was etched onto her face, but it softened into a smile when she focused on Terry.
“’Bout time you got home,” She spat a Dom as she absorbed Terry with her eyes. “Who’s this?”
“This is my…boyfriend, Terry,” Dom responded. “Terry, this is my mother, Ava.”
“Hi,” Ava purred. She reached out a hand to Terry, which he took and said hello. He noticed her handhold lingered when he took his hand back.
“Nice to meet you,” Terry said. He noticed Ava was looking at him like she was hungry and he was a very succulent looking steak.
“The pleasure’s all mine.” Ava said.
“So, Dom about the tape…” Terry began.”
“Oh, yeah. Lemme get that.” Dom didn’t want to leave the room because she was sure that the moment she was out of sight, Ava was going to put the moves on Terry. She did it with every other guy Dom had brought home so why not Terry?
Because Terry was the first guy to put her first and really listen to what she said. He didn’t just want Dom’s body, he wanted her heart.
Dom hated that her mother was such a hoe, but she’d learned early on that Ava was gonna do what Ava wanted to do.

As she took a look back at Ava moving closer to Terry, who actually looked uncomfortable to Dom’s eye, she knew how Ava was when she wanted something: She was gonna get it, no matter what it took.

(c)2014 Courtney & W.L. Sherrod

Monday, October 13, 2014

Superstar-Chapter 28

Howdy, Everyone! I'm back with another chapter of Superstar! Hope you're enjoying it so far. My first book, Facets: Stories of the Mundane and the Weird is available on Amazon in Kindle and physical versions and you can Like me on Facebook and Follow me on Twitter. Thanks again and here we...go!

Chapter 28: Take Me Home

            “Excuse me, miss?”
            “Yes?” Dom answered. “May I help you?”
            “Where can I find this color lipstick?”
            Dom swallowed a biting comment. It was hard because the woman asking was in the cosmetics section and the lipsticks were directly behind her. Dom pointed them out to her.
            “Oh, thank you. I must’ve overlooked them.”
            “Yeah,” Dom muttered as the woman turned around. She breathed a silent prayer of thanks that she was getting off soon.
           Concentration came hard for Dom today because Terry was swimming freely in her mind. Visions of him playing the guitar, smiling with those perfect dimples of his and kissing her passionately derailed any thoughts of doing anything constructive at work.
She came back to earth and saw a tall sista with almond brown skin and piercing brown eyes and standing in front of her. This was Tundria, her supervisor and behind Tundria stood the lipstick woman. Neither of them looked happy.
“Are you gonna ring this woman up?” Tundria asked, a hint of warning in her voice.
“Yes, I am. I’m sorry, ma’am,” Dom said, putting on her best smile. “I got distracted.” The lipstick woman sucked her teeth, paid for the ugly red colored lipstick and walked away. Dom was about to close the register and rearrange the perfume, when she noticed Tundria was still standing there.
“Whassup, boss?”
“I should be askin’ you,” Tundria said. “What’s the deal, Dom? You’ve been spacin’ out a lot lately.”
“I ain’t spacin’,” Dom countered. Tundria raised a manicured eyebrow and leveled a ‘nigga, please’ look at Dom.
“I’m not. Really.”
“Who is he?”
“Who said it was about a dude?” Dom asked and concentrated on something very interesting by her feet. Tundria wasn’t convinced.
Dom sighed. “Okay, I was thinkin’ about my boyfriend, Terry.”
“Finally, the truth.”
Dom ignored the comment. “He has these dimples and grey eyes that just look right through you. And he looks so sexy when he’s playing a guitar.”
Tundria looked past Dom, whose back was towards the front door, and said, “Is he about five nine and light skinned?”
“Yeah. How did you know?”
“He just came in the door.” Dom turned and saw Terry walking towards her.
“Girl, you go wit’cha bad self,” Tundria whispered. “Now I know why your mind was elsewhere.”
“Hey, Dom,” Terry said.
“Hey. Terry, this is my supervisor, Tundria. Tundria, this is Terry, the guy I was telling you about.”
“Hope it was nice things she told you,” Terry quipped as he extended a hand, which Tundria shook firmly. “Nice to meet you.”
“The pleasure’s all mine.”
“So what’s up?” Dom asked him.
“Nothing big. Just came to see if you need a ride home.”
“In about an hour, yeah.”
“Dom, go ahead and clock out. I’ll count your drawer down.”
“Yes,” Tundria insisted. “If you don’t get moving in about three seconds…”
Dom was off to the back room to get her jacket and purse. While she was back there, she took a moment to slide on lipstick and brush her hair. When she came back out, Terry was waiting for her by the front door.
“Ready?” he asked.
“Absolutely.” Dom answered as they walked to Terry’s car.
“So, you and your boss were talkin’ about me, huh?”
“Yeah, but it was good stuff.” She grinned at him as they pulled off. “I ain’t got nothing bad to say about you.”
“I hope not. I haven’t done anything yet.”
“You expect to?” Dom asked with a raised eyebrow.
He grinned with a wicked twinkle in his eyes. “You in a hurry to go home?”
“No. What’s up?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” he said as he got on I-57 south, heading towards Matteson.
“Where are we going?” Dom asked.
“You’ll see.” Terry pulled out a cassette tape and put it into the tape deck. “I wanted to play a song for you. Tell me what you think of it when it’s done.” Dom nodded and listened as the song started.
The groove was tight and the music that surrounded it was warm and hypnotic. Dom closed her eyes, smiled and reached for Terry’s hand. She wrapped it in hers and put it in her lap as she sat back and enjoyed the music.
After a while, the car came to a stop.
Dom opened her eyes and asked, “Where are we?”
“Country Club Hills.” Terry answered. “This is Community Park.”
They got out of the car and looked around. The park was situated near the I-80/90 expressway and stretched from Cicero Avenue on one end to 183rd St, roughly three or four miles, and had a miniature golf course, a baseball field, a roofed picnic area and a walking trail that encircled the entire park.
“This is nice.” Dom said. “How did you find this place?”
“By accident. I was going to Lincoln Mall and made a wrong turn. After that, I started coming out here just to relax and think.” Terry smiled. “It’s quiet even with the expressway a short distance away.”
“Yeah it is.”
“C’mon. Let’s take a walk.”
They walked along the trail, towards the picnic area. Terry took Dom’s hand as they walked.
“Is it safe out here?” she asked.
“Sure,” Terry replied. “It’s a wide open space so we’ll see anybody coming towards us and the police tend usually drive past pretty regularly.” They got to the picnic area and sat down on a table. “What did you think of the song?”
“Dom smiled. “It was beautiful. The guitars and keyboards…it was absolutely beautiful.”
“Well, since I wrote it for you, I can assume I did my job.”
“That was for me?” Dom enveloped Terry in a hug, gave him a kiss and said, “Thank you, baby.”
“You’re welcome.”
“How long did it take you to write that?”
“About a week.” He replied. “Remember when I about broke my neck recording some guitar in rehearsal last week?”
“Yeah,” Dom grinned. “Thought you’d lost your mind.”
“Nope. The Muse finally hit me and I didn’t want to lose it.”
“I see.”
Terry looked at her. “I call it ‘Angel’.”
Dom smiled. “So, I’m your angel, am I?”
“Yes, ma’am.”
“Well…” Dom said as she moved closer to him. “…Can your angel have a kiss?”
Terry answered her by pressing his lips against hers. It started small, but soon grew into a passionate dance of tongues and lips. He reached out to Dom and drew her closer, trying to meld the two of them into one.
Terry removed Dom’s shirt and caressed her breasts and suckled her nipples through her bra. In a deft movement, her removed it and made her sigh and moan.
Dom’s hands were just as busy. She worked a hand under his shirt, rubbing and pinching his nipples and teasing the whole, hard length of him through his jeans. She felt herself smile when Terry’s breath caught in his throat.
“Do you have any jimmies?” Dom whispered in his ear.
He was about to say yes, but he remembered he forgot to put a condom in his wallet. “Dammit. No.”
Dom sighed a harsh breath. “How you gonna get me started if you can’t finish?”
Dom was about to get up when she felt Terry push her back.
“What are you…?”
He grinned and asked, “Do you trust me?”
“I ain’t doin’ no rhythm method…”
“And I’m not asking you to.” Terry slipped Dom’s pants down to her knees along with her panties. The night air was cool against her nether regions and she was about to jump off the table when she felt Terry put his jacket underneath her and press his lips against the lips between her thighs.
“Oh my God!” she gasped. Terry began to lick, kiss and suck Dom along a river of sensation that traveled from her center to every nerve ending in her body. Her sighs and moans grew louder as Terry sent her to the edge and brought her screaming over it.
Dom opened her eyes and slowly came back down to earth. She felt movement beside her and smiled as Terry lay next to her and cradled her still shivering form to him. She sought his lips and tasted herself as they kissed.
“You like?” he asked.
“Mmm, yes.”
Terry looked towards the road. His eyes widened as he said, “Whoops. Better get decent. I see cops.”
“Oh, damn.” Dom spat as she pulled her pants back up. The police car parked next to Terry’s car and shined a spotlight on them.
“The park is closed.” The officer said. His voice was amplified and rendered metallic by the bull horn. “You folks are gonna have to leave.”
“Okay, we’re leaving now!” Terry said as he led Dom back to his car. They got in and drove away. They started laughing soon after that.
“Oh my God, I don’t believe we just did that.” Dom yelled.
Terry grinned like a Cheshire cat. “Well, I do. You’re very sweet by the way.”
“Shut up.”
“No, really.”
“Shut up. Not another word.” Dom did take his hand and put it in her lap though. She watched him as he drove and felt her stomach grow warm and a tingling sensation further down. She rested a hand on Terry’s thigh and started trailing her hand up and down the length of it. She grinned as she got the desired reaction and heard Terry’s breathing deepen.
“What’re you up to?” Terry asked.
“You’ll see.” Dom said with a wicked grin of her own. “Don’t crash the car.”
She teased, tortured and pleased him with her hands and finally brought him to a spurting finish with her mouth. He did manage to not wreck the car.
“Oh, my God.” Terry breathed. He pulled up to Dom’s house and slumped back in the seat.
“I’m guessing you liked that.” Dom smiled.
“Good.” She said and kissed him. “Come on, walk me to my door. We do have to get up in the morning.”
“I know, I know.” Terry groused. He grabbed the tape out of the deck and put it in an empty case. Terry opened the door for her and walked Dom to her door. He pressed the tape into her hand.
“Oh,no. I don’t wanna take your only copy.”
“The original’s at home, Dom, and besides, it’s your song. You should have a copy of it.” She smiled and put the tape in her pocket.
“See you tomorrow?” she asked.
“You bet.” Terry said. His gaze lingered on Dom for a few moments, absorbing the way the light fell on her face and how, even in the half-light, her eyes sparkled.
“What’s up?” she asked.
Terry’s brow knit in thought for a moment; then he said, “I’m usually really tight-lipped about how I feel. My music says it best most of the time. I wasn’t gonna say anything, ‘cuz I’m afraid of flubbing the words, but, Dom, I think about you all the time. When I see you I feel so happy, my heart just wants to burst outta my chest and fly around the room.
“I’m not some rich guy. I’m a struggling musician who’s a paycheck away from poverty, but I’ll treat you well and cherish you like no one else ever could.”
Dom stared at him, completely dumbfounded.
“Uh…now would be a good time to say something.” Terry offered nervously. In answer, Dom enveloped him in a hug and kissed him deeply. Terry breathed a sigh of relief when their lips finally parted.
“I feel the same way. I miss you when you’re gone and can’t wait to see you again. I’m in this, Terry. You’re not alone. I’m in this.”
“Good to know.”
“Good. Now, let me get in the house before we get started up all over again.”
“All right.”
 Dom kissed him on the cheek and let herself in. “See you in a little while?”

They kissed quickly and Terry got into his car and drove way. Dom watched him go and went straight to bed. As she lay there, she popped her song into her Walkman and let Terry’s musical vision of her lull her to sleep. 

(c)2014 Courtney & W.L. Sherrod

Monday, October 6, 2014

Superstar-Chapter 27

Hey, Everybody! Hope this first Monday in October finds you all doing well! Here's a new chapter. Hope y'all enjoy it and pass along the word to your friends if you do. Don't forget you can Like my W.L. Sherrod author page on FB and Follow me on Twitter! (@wlsherrod is the handle). On to the story...

Chapter 27: Music of My Mind

            Terry nodded to himself as he looked at the recording studio he’d made of his closet: There was a four track recorder with a DAT containing the song he’d been working on, his Ibanez guitar, an amp, a mic and a set of headphones plugged into the recorder. Everything was ready.
            “Let’s do this.” Terry said to himself. He picked up his guitar, put on the headphones and hit record.
            The song he was working on was inspired by Dominique. Usually, especially lately, songs came to Terry fairly quickly and required little work to get the sound he heard in his head. Not so much, this one. Terry wanted to express in music just how Dom made him feel, the wonder and admiration he felt every time he saw her. That meant a little mental elbow grease, especially since he was having a hard time pinning this one down.
            The breakthrough came the day before when he watched her walk towards him during a break in rehearsal. At that moment, he started to hear the song in his head, very clearly. Terry jumped up, grabbed the tape recorder he always carried with him, set it down next to his amp and started to play. This display earned Terry a strange look from Dom. Everyone else just shrugged their shoulders and kept on talking.
            It took Terry about five or six hours to lay down the bass, drums and keyboard parts. At last, he was finally ready to do the guitar parts. The song started and Terry closed his eyes, letting the music become a part of him. After a few measures, Terry opened his eyes, looked at the picture of Dominique that was taped to the wall and let his fingers fly.
            Terry loved classic Be-Bop jazz artists like Charlie Parker and Sonny Rollins, because they never wrote their sax solos. Whatever their mood was when they played was how they played. Terry had come to emulate that particular trait when he recorded or played a show, just let the moment and mood dictate what he played. It sounded very Zen-like, but the results were incredible.
            Dominique was uppermost in his mind and the fire he felt when he thought of her flowed through his body, ignited his hands and gave birth to a fiery solo. When he was done, he turned off the recorder, rewound it and listened to his song.

            The smile on his face could be measured in miles. He’d managed to capture how he saw Dom in his heart and he was very proud of the results. Now he just had to let his muse hear the song she inspired. And he knew just how to do it.

(c)2014 Courtney & W.L. Sherrod

Saturday, October 4, 2014

My Faves-Buffy The Vampire Slayer

“If the Apocalypse comes, Beep me.”-Buffy Summers

Let me say that I completely and unreservedly love Joss Whedon.
Okay, after God, my wife and my children, but I still love Joss.
Ever since Buffy The Vampire Slayer debuted on the WB in 1997, I’ve been hooked. The dialogue (ridiculously witty), the twists (you don’t see coming), the bad guys (Glory, The Master, The Initiative, Darla, The First and The Gentlemen), and the dysfunctional family that is the Scoobies kept me coming back and keep me watching reruns.
BVS evolved from a not so successful movie with Kristy Swanson in the title role.(And notice how this is a reverse of how Serenity came to be a successful movie from a failed TV show...IJS)  The humor that was turned up to camp in the film, was toned down on the show and combined with plenty of action, danger, teenage angst and romance. 
Sarah Michelle Gellar, whose claim to fame at the time was a memorable turn as Kendall Lang on All My Children, embodied Buffy Summers, a California Gurl, who got caught up in some vampire-y hi-jinx that destroyed a gym in L.A., had transferred to Sunnydale High to make a new start.The whole first season was about Buffy coming to terms with being the Slayer, the one girl in all the world chosen to stand against the vamps, beasts and horrors that would emerge from the Hellmouth Sunnydale was built on top of. Along with that, the show had a brilliant under running theme: High school as Hell. Everyone could relate to that. Imagine how much worse it is when you live on a Hellmouth. 
In a way, Buffy and her friends were like any other high school club, except this one saved the world a lot and was sponsored by a librarian who wielded medieval weaponry. The monsters were the reason there was slayage, but the drama between Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles, Angel and everyone else who came and went was the reason to tune in every week. 
Question: How many times have girls given themselves to a guy to only see him turn bad and dog them? That happened to Buffy in Season 2. Lose a parent and deal with the resultant surrealism and grief? She dealt with that in Season 5. Had a friend you liked and tried to help and got stabbed in the back by them? See Season 3. I was going to mention saving your fellow classmates from being eaten by your Mayor at your Graduation ceremony or being brought back to life by your best friend who happens to be a powerful witch, but that was uniquely Buffy. Not matter how weird it got, you could relate to how the Scoobies dealt with everything, cuz you'd do the same thing in their shoes or run quickly away to preserve your sanity.
BVS is also famous for being one of the first TV shows to have gay or lesbian characters as a regular part of the cast. When Tara was introduced in Season 4 we saw how she and Willow fell in love and became a couple. The best thing about it was that everything happened naturally and organically and the subject was treated with wit, intelligence and humor. I may not subscribe to the LGBT lifestyle, but I do like how BVS showed that they, like anyone else, are people too.
Strip away all the supernatural, Slayer, vampire stuff and Buffy still stands up because the show focused on the characters and made them feel like real people with problems we all could relate to. That is the magic of Joss Whedon and Buffy in a nutshell: he creates people you care deeply, if not obsessively, about, crafts top notch stories with smart twists and genuine jeopardy, sprinkles it liberally with sparkling dialogue and drama and never dumbs himself down or talks down to his audience.
And to think all this came from Joss feeling sorry for the blonde haired girl who usually met an untimely demise in horror flicks.

The Movie version with Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry

The core BVS cast
L-R: Nicholas Brendon, Chrisma Carpenter, Anthony Head,
David Boreanaz, Sarah Michelle Geller, Seth Green and Alyson Hannigan

The Cabal within the Clique: Buffy, Xander and Willow

Buffy and Giles

Buffy and the Scoobies along with Angel, Spike (James Marsters) and Drusilla (Julliet Landau)


Willow and Tara: Getting Wiccky with it

Willow and Buffy at UC Sunnydale

The Heart of the Show: Angel and Buffy

Willow and Oz

Eliza Dushku as Faith

L-R: 1st row Buffy, Willow, Xander, Cordelia and Angel
2nd row Anya (Emma Caulfield), Tara (Amber Benson), Faith and Giles
3rd row Oz, Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg), Joyce (Kristine Sutherland), Spike and Drusilla

The BVS cast with the man who made it all possible: Joss Whedon

The covers for all seven seasons of BVS

Additionally, BVS continues in comic books produced by Dark Horse Comics. You can pick up Seasons 8 and 9, overseen by Joss and featuring writers from the show, like Jane Espenson and Drew Z. Greenberg and artists like Geroges Jeanty, Karl Moline and Andy Owens.