Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Superstar-Chapter 46

Chapter 46: Confessions

“You won’t believe the good news, Ma. A man named Russell Tilbert offered to become our manager. For free. We’re gonna pay him, of course, but It’s just awesome that he even offered to do that.”
Terry sat on the grass in front of his mother’s grave. The sun hung brightly in a cloudless sky, as if God and Belinda were smiling on the band’s good fortune.
“The bad news, because there’s always some bad news somewhere, is we lost the contest. Wanda decided to be vindictive and not show up, so Dom had to fill in.” Terry broke into a smile and said,” She did a great job, though. I wish you could’ve seen her, Ma.”
Terry’s face fell. “I didn’t teach her, though. I mean, Dom already knew how to play, but she wanted me to show her how to get better. I didn’t do it. I also didn’t help her learn Avant Groove’s material. If Lisa hadn’t we would’ve been completely screwed.
“I know, I know, It looked like I was trying to control her, but I wasn’t. Really. Okay, maybe a little.”
He sighed. “I just want to be her everything, Ma. I know, I sound like the Bee Gees but, I really do want to be everything to Dom. I don’t want anybody else to do for her. Okay, okay, Ma. I was trying to control her. I just don’t wanna lose her, Ma. I don’t wanna lose her.”
Terry hung his head and sighed again. Something had taken root in his heart, a feeling he couldn’t explain. To all appearances, everything was going well, looking up in fact, but for some reason, Terry felt uneasy.

As he left the cemetery, Terry buried the feeling, chalking it up to nervousness about Russell and whether or not he would hold up his end of things. Maybe.

(c)2015 Courtney & W.L. Sherrod

As always, Like me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter and check out the Kindle Store for my first novel, Facets: Stories of the Mundane and the Weird!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Excerpt from Facets: Slipping Into Darkness

Here is another sample from my debut novel, Facets: Stories of the Mundane and the Weird, called Slipping Into Darkness. In it, we meet Alistaire Johannson who may be someplace he really doesn't want to be...

Thanks for reading... Follow me on Twitter and Like me on Facebook! Check out previous chapters of Superstar and samples of my first novel, Facets: Stories of the Mundane and the Weird, here on the blog.                                                    Facets is available on the Kindle Market!

I woke up in darkness.
            I didn’t know where I was or how I got here exactly. All I knew was that my chest burned and I was cold; as cold as the grave.
            “Welcome,” A voice silky with confidence purred.
            “Who are you? Where am I?”
            “You’ll remember who I am, in time,” The voice said. I could almost hear him smiling. “As for where you are...“
            He snapped his fingers. Thousands of candles lit up and revealed what looked like the inside of a cathedral. There were broken pews everywhere and the walls had frescoes of people being tortured by demonic creatures on them. In the blood-red light, they seemed to move. I heard dim, faraway screams through the windows, which had a large creature with huge wings depicted in stained glass. There were horrible gargoyles on the walls and all the crosses were either broken or turned upside down. A stench that smelled of rotten eggs and sulfur filled every breath I took and made me gag.
            “—I think it’s quite obvious by now.”
            A man, smartly dressed in an expensive dark suit, shiny black loafers and a male model’s looks stepped into the light. It happened slowly, but my mind unfogged and I knew exactly who I was speaking to.
            “Very good,” he smiled. “I was afraid the sudden transition to the underworld would render you mindless.”
            “How did you get me here?” I snarled and brought a lightning spell to mind.
            “Oh, I wasn’t looking for you, Mr. Johannsen,” Azmordel said. “I wanted your little friend Rachelle.”
An explosion of memory went off in my head. Rachelle, Rhiannon and I were following a lead about a house that might’ve been haunted. Turns out, there was a Soul Catcher there and it seemed to be focused on Rae. The last thing I remembered was pushing Rae and Rhiannon out…
“I didn’t make it.”

To read the rest, and buy a copy of  Facets in the Kindle store. click here. Follow me on Twitter and Like me on Facebook.

(c)2015 W.L. Sherrod

Quote Me On This-Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Superstar-Chapter 45

Chapter 45: Get Gone

When Wanda arrived at the Warehouse the next day, all of her equipment sat by the door, neatly packed.
“Whassup?” she asked. The flat, emotionless look on everyone’s faces should’ve given her a clue. “Why is my stuff packed up?”
“You’re fired.” Terry stated. “You didn’t show up at the gig, so you don’t get paid and since you left us high and dry, you violated the agreement we came to a few months ago.”
Wanda’s composure cracked and fell apart like glass. For a moment, she looked truly hurt and heartbroken that she’d gotten fired. It didn’t last long. She glared at everyone, grabbed her keyboards and said, “Fuck all you hateful muthafuckas.”
“Whateva, bitch.” Rob snapped. “Just get the fuck out.”

And she did.

(c)2015 Courtney & W.L.Sherrod

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Superstar-Chapter 44

Chapter 44: Sunshine and the Rain

“There is one bright spot outta all this,” Eric said.
Great. Now Mister Sunshine is about to philosophize, Terry thought to himself. Out loud he asked what that was.
“Dominique did a great job tonight,” He smiled and raised his glass. “Personally, I didn’t think you’d pull it off.”
“Thanks for all that support, Groove,” Dom snarked.
“But I’m very glad to say you proved me wrong. You go, girl.” Everyone saluted Dom with their glasses and the miasma of disappointment lifted a little as camaraderie and warmth flowed between them.
Carla, their usual waitress, came to the table and asked if they won. She received hard, anger laced stares in response.
“I’m gonna go with ‘No’ with on that.”
“Pretty much.” Eric said.
“Well, what happened? And where’s Wanda?”
 “She decided not to show,” Eric began, frustration bleeding through his normally calm demeanor. “Dom did a great job replacing her, but we got passed over for the win.”
“Did Mikki…?”
“Yeah,” Terry said flatly.
“That is some bogus bullshit,” Rob growled. “I know somebody got paid for that.”
There were murmurs of agreement from everyone.
            “Well, I’m sorry all that went down,” Carla said. “Can I get y’all anything?”
            “A recording contract,” Eric said, smiling.
            “A phat recording contract.” Terry added.
            “A seventy city world tour,” Lisa said.
            “A forty-eight track recording studio downtown,” Larry piped in.
            “Hell, a limo with a full mini-bar and three naked freaks ready to bone.” Rob chimed in. Everybody laughed out loud for five full minutes.
Carla turned towards Dom and said, “What about you, Miss Dominique?”
“A demo would be nice.” She said.
“I might be able to help out with that.”
Everybody looked up at who had spoken.
He was light-skinned, with a small, neatly cut afro and full beard peppered with minute traces of gray and a kind face with youthful brown eyes. The gentleman rose from his seat and walked over to Avant Groove’s table. He possessed a wide, solid build, but his cobalt blue suit fit him easily. He didn’t invade the band’s space, but stood a respectful distance from them and said, “My name is Russell Tilbert. In my opinion, you guys were robbed tonight.”
“Glad somebody besides us thinks so.” Eric said as he got up and shook Tilbert’s hand. He introduced him to everyone.
“Well, I’m pleased to meet all of you.” Tilbert said as he pulled a chair from another table and sat down. Carla asked if anyone wanted anything. The orders were quickly taken and she left Avant Groove with their mysterious new friend.
“First off---,” He began. “---I’m not an A & R rep from a label or a producer. I manage groups for a living.” He mentioned a few of them and Avant Groove were familiar with a couple of them who, surprisingly, were in the Big Time.
“I love good music and this band does that very easily as far as I can see.”
“Yeah, but what’s your point?” Terry asked. Everyone looked at him askance. He normally wasn’t so rude.
Tilbert smiled and said, “I’d like to be your manager.”
“We already handle that stuff ourselves.” Eric said, the warmth in his voice trickling away.
“And I’m sure you do a good job,” Tilbert added. “But, can you focus a significant amount of time to that?”
“Obviously not,” Terry snarked.
“That’s right. You can’t. But, if you let me, I can do that for you exclusively. I can book gigs, shop demos, prepare press kits and make contacts, all for you.” Tilbert stated matter-of-factly. “You could devote more time to what you do best: making music.”
Eric, honestly, liked what he heard. It would help them out and free up a lot more time for rehearsals and plain old songwriting if they had a manager. He still had questions, though, like: “What about lawyers?”
“I know a few and they’re well versed in copyright and entertainment law.”
“I know a lot of club owners and anyone I don’t know, I can get to them. Look, I know what I’m doing and I’m ready to do this for you for free.”
Everyone was silent and not quite sure they heard Tilbert correctly.
“I’m sorry. It sounded like you said you’d manage us for free,” Terry said cautiously.
“I did.”
“Because you guys blew all those other bands away,” Tilbert began. “Avant Groove should’ve walked off with the recording contract tonight. Quite simply, I like your music and your professionalism and I want to do whatever I can to help you guys achieve your dreams.”
Avant Groove looked at each other, still in shock at what Tilbert offered them.
“Well, what do y’all think?” Eric asked them. Everyone agreed that Mr. Tilbert was for real and quickly voted him in as their manager.
“Thank you.” Russell said with an acres wide smile. “I won’t let you down. I promise.”
“Hope you don’t.” Rob said. Everyone else ignored him and thanked Russell for his time and Eric told him where and what time they rehearsed. After Russell said his goodbyes, Avant Groove let out a loud whoop.
“What happened?” Carla asked as she walked up to the table.
“We just got a manger,” Eric almost shouted.
“This is gonna be the shit. I can feel it.” Terry added.
“Oh, yeah,” Lisa piped in.
“I hate to rain on our parade…” Larry began.
“Then, don’t.”
“But, what are we gonna do about Wanda?” Terry, Eric and Lisa looked at each other. Terry grinned an evil grin and ran a finger across his throat.
“Oh.” Larry said.
“Now that we got that out of the way…” Carla said. She turned and motioned to one of her co-workers, who brought over a tray of food.
“I told Mr. Jacobs about what happened and he had the kitchen fix this up for y’all on the house.” She smiled. “He said you guys are his favorite band, no matter what the judges said.”
“Tell him we said thanks.” Terry said before biting into his cheeseburger. Everybody tucked in and soon all conversation came to a halt. Terry turned and looked at Dominique, who was taking a bite of her turkey melt. She noticed him looking and asked him what was wrong.
“Nothing.” He said and wiped a dribble of ketchup off her chin. “Just looking at you.”
“Well, since you’re looking all down my mouth, how about kissing me there.”
“Gladly.” Terry said. Their lips met and they quickly forgot anyone else was around.
“Aww, c’mon. I don’t wanna see that shit.” Rob began. “Y’all need to get a room or somethin’.”
“You just mad ‘cuz you ain’t gettin’ none.” Lisa pointed out.
“Oh, here we go…” Rob and Lisa got into one of their usual arguments, which Eric refereed, Larry sat back and watched and Dom and Terry were lost in the dance of their tounges and lips, completely oblivious to everyone and everything around them.

(c)2015 Courtney & W.L. Sherrod

Follow me on Twitter, Like Me on Facebook and check out the Kindle Store for my first novel, Facets: Stories of the Mundane and the Weird!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Superstar-Chapter 43

Chapter 43: Oops! (Oh My)

“And the first place winners, who will record an album on Musicmax Records is…the Armada!”
The members of Avant Groove were in shock when they heard they’d earned second place. Upon hearing the previous announcement, shock quickly turned to anger.
“How the fuck do they rate?” Rob bellowed. “We burned up there, man.”
“Mikki must’ve paid somebody for that shit,” Lisa groused.
There were other expressions of disbelief and Dominique took note of all of them. She stood a little apart from everyone, reveling in her own private victory. The high she felt was tainted by their loss, but the confidence she gained, the strength she felt was something that could never be taken away from her. She looked at Terry and saw the anger and disappointment scrawled on his face. She wanted to go to him and comfort him, but Dom was afraid he’d push her away.
Avant Groove quickly gathered their equipment and prepared to leave. They just wanted to get out of Dodge before Mikki could even think about gloating and lick their wounds at the Golden Spoon.
“Eric. Terry. Y’all ain’t leavin’ are ya?” Mikki said, enjoying his former group twisting in the wind.
“Yeah, we are,” Terry spat. He was barely holding on to his temper and he knew if Mikki got started, there would be fireworks.
“But aren’t you gonna congratulate us on our victory?” Mikki said. All of the Armada stood there before them, the joy and excitement of their victory glowing on their faces, especially Mikki’s. Terry just wanted to break them into bloody caricatures, barely recognizable as human faces.
“Congratulations, Mikki.” Eric said as he led Avant Groove towards the exit. “You won. Leave us alone.”
“Aww, y’all ain’t mad are ya?” Freddie, the Armada’s bass player taunted.
“Yeah, just take yo whippin’ like a man, bitch.” T.J. the drummer added. Malik and Philip, the 2nd guitarist and the keyboard player stood back a little and kept silent. They respected Avant Groove and didn’t really like the way their bandmates were acting.

“Fuck that.” Rob bellowed and started to go back and beat Mikki and his crew down. As one, Avant Groove grabbed him and herded him out as taunts and jeers from the Armada followed them out.

(c)2015 Courtney & W.L. Sherrod