Friday, September 16, 2016

Free Fic: Head Musician Duties

Mackie checked the envelope he’d written out notes upon. He probably should use regular pieces of paper, but he’d grown up frugal and old habits were hard to break. Old envelopes, the backs of receipts, and junk mail were all turned into useful places to jots notes and make lists.

He still had quite a bit to get done before the concert that evening, but he was definitely on schedule. Nothing out of the ordinary needed solving. He glanced left and then right. His bandmates were all taking care of their own business. His roadies had everything in hand. The band manager was nowhere to be seen, but most likely she was off doing something paperwork related.

“Mack, I swear, this is the last time we’re coming here, right?” Jesse said as he tightened things on his drum set. “I just called to have pizza delivered and they said we were outside their delivery zone. This place is the absolute boonies. Why do you keep requesting we come here?”

“Pizza, Jesse? Seriously? You’re supposed to be eating better than that. Kidney stones, remember?” Mike said. He played bass, and was one of Mackie’s oldest friends.

“That happened only once and it was because I was dehydrated.”

“Because you ate fried chicken for a week and you wouldn’t know a vegetable if it bit you on the ass.” Mike rolled his eyes. He lugged a box around and started taking items out one by one, most of them wires of one sort or another.

“Don’t change the subject,” Jesse said. “Why are we in this forsaken pit again?”

“I like it here,” Mackie said. “And I fully intend to come back here. If you don’t like it, you have choices.”

Mike’s eyebrows shot up, but he didn’t said anything.

Jesse sighed dramatically. “Whatever. Where you go, I go. It’s not like there are a lot of headlining drummers. I’m not stupid.”

“I don’t do drugs, drink to excess, or shortchange you in the profits,” Mackie said. “So if I want to come here and play once or twice a year, then we’re going to.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Mike said. “We get it. You have a soft spot for the venue. We all have our peculiarities.”

Jesse scoffed. “And Mackie’s the most peculiar of them all!” He lifted a cymbal that hadn’t been secured in place yet and hit it with his finger. It made a twangy jangle of a noise. “Should I get that tuned?” Jesse asked, teasing them. “Anyone got a tuner? Pitch pipe? Can I get a middle C?”

Mike shook his head and walked off stage. “I need a beer,” he said.

Mackie nodded. He wanted one too. Jesse usually caused that reaction. He was so used to Jesse’s flippant nature that most of it rolled off, but sometimes there was no putting up with the ridiculousness that came out of Jesse’s mouth. In which case, a beer and some quiet time were the best options.

“Joking! I’m joking!” Jesse said. “I love this venue. It’s so small and intimate. And such a moneymaker.” He snorted. “For the owner. Maybe not for us.”

“I’m going to check on the list of songs for this evening, make sure everyone has the right copy,” Mackie said. “Be back in a couple minutes.” He needed at least half an hour to ratchet down the frustration level he felt with Jesse. Jesse wasn’t always this way. Nights when they performed seemed to ramp him to excess. But even knowing that, Mackie wanted some quiet away time. Frustration and annoyance were best headed off early.

“Sure thing,” Jesse said. His attention drifted back to his work and his motor-mouth stopped.

Mackie took a few seconds to check his envelope again and adjusted a few things on stage. A feeling came over him of being watched and he looked up. Conrad was in the small, elevated alcove that overlooked the stage. Mackie felt his mouth grow dry and his stomach clench. A warmth spread across his cheeks and he couldn’t help but let the predatory, hungry smile touch his lips.

The entire reason he always returned to this venue had everything to do with Conrad, and the glorious after concert opportunities.

Conrad smiled back and then retreated into the shadows of the alcove. That would come later. First, the concert.

Mackie left the stage, refocusing on his tasks at hand.

No comments:

Post a Comment