the battle of wits between a rockstar and the devil who made him a star, he must chose to live his life, never being what he always wanted or to chose this last concert as his final moment of glory before the devil reclaims his sole
A crowd screamed, thousand’s of hysterical female voices echoed form a large auditorium and down through an empty corridor.
He had heard this before, so much so over his life that now the screams and chants for his name just washed over his numbed sense’s.
Once, long ago he lived off it, need it.
His ego and energy would thrive off the chants and screams of his name.
Now, it could never hope to fill the arid emptiness of his sole.
His reflection in the mirror stared at him as he sat in his dressing room, the lights where very low and a candle, next to his various hair brushes and make up pots, highlighted the shadows on his face.
“My god I’m looking old” he sighed
His reflected self, agreed and stared back.
Despite the fact he was only 39, the years of drink, drugs and women had taken their toll.
Each line told of hard nights, off his face and on his back.
There was many of them, to many to recall with his broken memories and battered brain, all self inflicted of course.
He didn’t mind, he could console himself with the fact that he had lived more in the past fifteen years than any other mortal could live in two lifetimes, this thought always brought wry smile to his disheveled expression.
There was a knock at his door, the handle turned and it opened slightly, the nervous voice of his assistant came through the small crack.
“err sir…..your on fifteen sir, the crowed are going wild, its bedlam out there” the voice paused, “ Fucking mental” it said with all the conviction of a man who very seldom swore.
“OK frank, just give me ten” , “Everything in place?”
“Of course, hey we have been planning this comeback for two years”, “ if we not ready now, sir, we never will be”
“Just don’t fuck this up frank!”
The conversation passed without him ever moving his eyes away from the mirror, he didn’t even blink.
The door closed, he could here franks heavy footsteps running back down the corridor, then a muffled voice, Frank’s, probably telling the stage manager that he’s nearly ready.
Reaching down he sorted through the various tubs of makeup, laid out in front, he found a black eyeliner pen.
His other hand reached out for the candle and brought so it was just below his face and he began to apply his trade mark.
He drew an outline of a lightning bolt across his right cheek, from his eye down toward his top lip.
With eyes, never blinking, just emptily starring at his reflection in the mirror.
He placed the black pencil down and found a red one and began to color the bolt in a rich dark red.
Another knock came from his door.
“What now Frank” he thought “for fuck sake, I said ten minutes, incompetent fuckwit”.
Another Knock came, this time a little louder.
“Frank, what the fuck!” he cried out
Putting down the red pen, he turned for the first time towards the door, despite the room being dark, with the pale florescent on the roof and the candle light, he could see the door was open.
“Hey mother fu….Frank, you there man………….”
There was no reply, just the sound of the over excited crowd calling and chanting his name, with the door open now he could hear it more clear.
The strange thing with crowd noise was that, there were no words you could decipher, no individual voice’s stand out. Just a load roaring sound, made up of a thousand words and voices all coming together to form a wave of euphoria.
“For fucks sake close the door, man, can’t you see I’m trying to prepare myself……………..i don’t need this shit FRANK” he paused.
Looking through the open door, he could see the pale white florescent lights in the corridor, flicking across the blue tiles which adorned the walls.
There was no movement.
He knew frank was incompetent but he also knew he wouldn’t knock or open the door unless he had something to say, no matter how trivial it was.
“Frank…………….” His voice sounded unsure.
He got up from his chair, cautiously moving toward the doorway.
“Frank………heyyyy, you there you fat fuck?”
There was still no reply.
Reaching the doorway, he looked through in to the corridor leading up to the stage, it was empty.
Just the flickering fluorescents on the wall, making his shadow bounce and flicker down the corridor.
“Frank stop fucking about, man” his voice lost in the roar of the crowd.
He could see down the corridor, about 25 meters, just before it turned right, leading to the stage, a shadow…………… reflected by the spot light’s coming from the stage.
“hey……Frank that you man”
There was no reply, the shadow just stood there, motionless,
HEYYYYY, you taking the piss mate……….go tell frank I need him here now …..OK!” he called down the corridor to the shadow.
The shadow, stood for a few seconds more, before turning around and walking towards the stage entrance.
The rock star watched it disappear, before reentering his makeup room and closing the door, shaking his head, he headed back over to his table, sat down and continued to apply his makeup.
Once again, his reflection began to stare back at his well worn face as he finished coloring the lightning strike on his cheek , his thought’s once more trailing away.
In the corner of the mirror, behind him was a faint reddish spot of light, it hadn’t been there before, he was sure, he would have noticed?. It was small, but grew in brightness and then back to a pale red, “ what the hell” he thought to himself putting down his red makeup pencil for the second time.
He could smell smoke, cigarette smoke. Somebody was smoking , and that somebody was behind him, in his room.
Turning slowly , he could see a shadow, sat in an old leather arm chair placed at the back of the room, he could see the red pin point of light.
The figure just sat the in the darkness, watching him.
“HELLOOOO, Phil!” it said, taking another drag on the ciggie.
“ woooooo, what the fuck, who the fuck are you?, what are you doing in my dressing room, mores the point how the fuck did you get in here” Phil shouted, jumping up from his chair and running over to the door, he opened it and yelled down the corridor “ SECURITY, SECURITY………………..FANK…..GET THE SECU…urrr i…..!! “ what the…”! he stopped, something wasn’t right, something was different, it took him a second or two to realize, the crowd, it had stopped. There was no longer all the commotion, the noise, the call’s of his name……………..there was nothing……….only silence met his calls.
He stood for several seconds, confused, bewildered……………
A voice from inside broke his distraction.
“Phil, come inside and sit down, we have some things to discuss” it was the first time Phil actually heard the stranger’s voice, he had heard it before but now he actually had listened to it. It wasn’t quite right, too deep and too strong, it seemed to echo but at the same time was very quiet, but it filled his ears.
“Come back inside, my friend” it said.
“The….the crowd….why?..What happened to the crowd??” lost in confusion, he went back inside and sat slowly back in to his makeup chair “ th……the crowd” “I ….i …….why cant I hear them?.”
“don’t worry about the crowd, Phil, they are still there?” said the shadow calmly, Phil couldn’t see the man sat in the corner but he could hear the smile in the strangers voice.
Composing himself and gaining back some train of thought, Phil began to pull himself together.
“How? Did you get in here?!’
“Through the door of course, Phil that’s a stupid question?”
“yehh….hahaha…..funny guy!”, “ why, who and what the fuck do you want, ive just called for security they will be here any second now?”Why, why because I can, who……….well we will get to that, I don’t want anything Phil, just to talk” the voice paused for a heartbeat “ and the security, Phil……………….there not coming!” the voice let out a little laugh.