Chapter 16Mature

Not too far away…

The Rolovo was alive tonight. As far clubs could go in the kingdom of Willinston this venue certainly could carry its weight in entertainment and desire. The kingdom never really came off as civilized. Prostitution was legal here. Intake of narcotics wasn’t outlawed at all. Anything a person desired to be could be done.

“Hurry up! You’re on in two!” exclaimed a nervous club manager.

“Yeah, yeah, hold your horses pal,” an entertainer responded with.

The singer had been here almost five months. Yet she didn’t feel comfortable here. This environment certainly gave her the creeps. The club was decorated like a zombie film with life sized plastic figurines. Fake cob web was splattered in every corner. Plastic knives were glued onto the floor throughout the club. Chalk linings that looked like a crime scene where a body should have been was on display as well.

“Alright, you can do this. Just gotta quit being a pussy and get out there. Come on, shit, remember what you’re doing this for,” the woman said to herself while staring in a mirror.

She was highly desired as a vocalist. This woman was loved so much to the point where her name, “Maria” was chanted over and over again by an anxious crowd. As she continued to visually interrogate her reflection in the mirror her mind wandered. For the first time in a year she questioned herself. The allure to this life was great. There was no reason to return to what she was doing before. Especially since all that was expected of her was the same thing expected from an attack dog.

A man dressed in an outrageously loud colored suit jacket and pants combination came out from behind a pair of curtains. He stood upon the stage with a levitating microphone in the shape of a triangle. He lifted his hands and pointed towards the top of the stage. That action cued the multi-colored independent lights to come alive and allow the artificially intelligent controls to take over.

A blue spotlight followed by a green then red and even purple with a hint of yellow to match the man’s attire all lit up the stage. All of the lights went dead except for red. He wanted red. His skin color was red after all. Even the horns on his head and the tail coming from a hole in the rear of his pants were red.

“Ladies, gentlemen, assholes, shitbags and all those full of sexy I bring to you a wonder so great that you can’t put in a number. Fuck the eighth wonder of the world. Fuck the marvelous. I’m here to tell you that I have the greatest voice mankind has ever known! And man does she have the assets of a queen made of dick hardening material! Give it up for the one, the only, the one that’ll make you horny and the last thing you’ll see before you die of internal bliss; Maria!”

High heels tapped across the red lighted stage. There she was standing in the spotlight with the men cheering and the women holding their applause, harboring hatred of the woman or generally disinterested. The hype man certainly made her seem like she was the best thing since sliced bread. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Her hand graced the floating microphone. She took a deep breath. The words were recited often. That song was sung not on memory but from a sense of instinct. The band played their music. Their instruments didn’t overshadow the singer’s voice.

“Love me…or you hate me. Whatever it shall be…be true to what you see. Don’t play your fiddle called life.”

The woman’s figure began shaking from side to side. Plain white lights came on to reveal her attire. She didn’t wear anything in truth. However, thanks to the technology of Willinston, she did have on clothing just not actual threads. Instead, the lights above concealed an advanced projector. This device had the ability to produce a thick light that could cover a person’s body and make it appear like clothing was being worn. As the projector’s show got more and more complicated with the tricks of instant wardrobe changing her voice got louder. At one point she only had hologram projected stars covering her breasts. With that same animation came a hologram woman hugging her by the waist to hide her lower regions. Both the light coverings disappeared to only be replaced by the images of chains covering the same body parts.

“Touch me where I don’t want to be touched. Because baby you know I lie about your clutch. Take me where I don’t wanna travel. Mystery places makes my clothes unravel.”

Maria always hoped her voice was what drew men to her. Alas, most only wanted her for the sex appeal. Her eyes wanted to water when she saw her fans grabbing themselves in ways she didn’t want to witness. Men held up plastic cards that looked like hand sized microchips. Those were just the currency used in Willinston and many other kingdoms. She was being treated like a stripper.

Her holograms were rapidly changing over and over again. Flocks of birds flew around here. Shooting stars bombarded her body. Even a tiger came onto the stage and pranced around Maria. The projector did its job to perfection. Maria, on the other hand, was starting to have another break down.

“Take it off baby!”

“Yeah! Take it all off!”

“Wooo! Look at that sweet piece right there!”

By now, she had stopped singing. The holograms stopped. Her voice was the initiation key of the projector which would depict random imagery based on the intensity of Maria’s voice. She ran off the stage with those sparkling high heels. A wave of booing erupted from the audience. Maria was referred to by every title from whore to a singing sperm deposit box.

“Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit. I’m okay. I’m okay. I know I’m okay. I have to be okay. Oh shit. Oh shit.” Maria was having a break down. She kicked off the heels and walked around talking to herself. Whenever she felt troubled she would aimlessly walk in circles. While her feet moved she also began chewing her fingernails.

The stage manager and owner of the club walked into the room. He grabbed Maria by the shoulders and held her still. “The hell? No, what the fucking hell, should I ask, do you think you were doing out there? Hmm? Hmm? Answer me that. No, I’m serious. Don’t just walk around and start doing that crazy circle shit that you do. You answer my question woman!”

Had this been any other situation or place this man would’ve been ripped to pieces by that woman already. The only saving grace he had at this point was the fact that Maria wanted to be a singer. She just didn’t ask for the sexual image that came along with performing. Unfortunately, she was just a victim of the times. Sexual imagery was the only way a musical career could be launched nowadays.

“Leave me alone Juce. I’m going home. I-I just need some time to myself. I’ll call you,” she said.

As she packed her things the demon resembling club owner took a seat. He pulled out a large microchip and tapped it on his knee. “You screwed up another show and I’m still paying you. Lucky for you the boss likes you. Otherwise, I wouldn’t give you a dime,” the demon said with a frown on his face.

“I love you too,” said Maria. “Yeah, yeah, just take it and get outta here kiddo. Come back tomorrow,” Juce dismissed her with. She grabbed the microchip. Juce didn’t let go of it. “But come back here with a better attitude. We need you around here. You pay the bills,” he pointed out. “Alright, alright. Can I go shower now or do you want to join me or something?” she asked. “Really?!” he exclaimed in question. Maria frowned. She took her chip and moved towards the back door. “No, not in a million years,” she said before leaving out.

Juce’s finger began to vibrate. It was the diamond ring on his right middle finger. He pressed the diamond charm in the middle of the finger. Out of that diamond came a hologram of a head. This figure’s head had a Mohawk on top of it with piercing riddled throughout his face. He had four small pupils all shoved into one eye to form of circular four point star.

“Uh, duh, hey boss! How did I get so lucky to talk to you so soon?” Juce asked.

The blue hologram didn’t speak. Instead, the projection showed the man picking his teeth with a toothpick. The pick was then pointed out towards Juce.

“I heard about the fuck up tonight. I’ll be there in two days. If it isn’t fixed by then you know what’ll happen. If you can’t control the broad I’ll be forced to do your job,” said the projection. The head began to cough a little bit. It was a fake cough. “Might I remind you that if I do your job for you then, certainly, you being alive is almost pointless. Wouldn’t you say?” asked the projection.

Juce began to sweat. The person who owned the rights to Maria’s voice wasn’t a nice person. In Willinston a person didn’t have to have a record contract. Anyone can own another person’s voice if someone was willing to sell their voice. Every time said voice was used the owner had every right to charge money for anyone listening to the voice. That applied even with just a conversation. Music was the only business this was applied to. Willinston had motivational speakers, news anchors and other professions where the voice was the prime piece of real estate.

“B-b-b-boss come on man. You know me, right? Big J J? It’s Juce baby! C-c-come on. There’s no reason to come down here. Everything’s under control. She’s just a little shaky here and there,” Juce explained. Cigarettes were still popular even in the future for some people. Juce proved this by pulling out a cancer stick. He lifted a finger towards the business end of the cigarette. His finger caught on fire. Juce shook his finger until the fire went out. Smoke lifted into the air and into the vents when he pulled from the stick.

“Shaky? Hmm. That’s your excuse? Well, I tell you what. You don’t get me the results I want and I’ll shake the very foundation of that shit hole you call a club. She’s my property. She’s my dog. And any obedient dog will listen to its master. Get her to do what I want or you can find a permanent residence in your nearest grave heap,” this rather upset head spout out.

“Y-y-yeah. Whatever you say man. I’ll get it done,” said Juce. By now, the topside of his shirt was soaked in sweat.

“Good. Now, how’s the family?” asked the head.

Juce didn’t understand how someone could threaten another person’s life and then ask about that individual’s family. It was just too contradicting. “They’re fine. Little Hampton is growing up fast. You know how that goes,” Juce said. “That’s good. Anyways, I’m off to go see someone. They say someone from Apalia is supposed to be looking for me,” the head revealed.

“Apalia? Why there? Ohhhhh! Wait! You were some kinda cop there, right? I forgot that you told me that!” the demon exclaimed.

“Yes, but you don’t need details. Just worry about Maria. I don’t want to have to have this conversation again. If I do, you’re dead. Simple as that,” the projection threatened.

Juce shook his head. “Gotcha boss. I’ll go over to her place tonight and give her the ultimatum.” The projection went dead. The demon sat in his chair shaking his head. He either had to be tough on the girl or both him and Maria would end up dead.

The End

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