Backstage Passes Lead to Adventure

You’ve been given the opportunity to see any band (dead or alive) at a live concert in your hometown. At the end of the show, you bump into an old high school friend who is working security and offers you (and the friend you brought to the concert) backstage passes. What happens next is an adventure you’ll never forget.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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116 thoughts on “Backstage Passes Lead to Adventure

  1. JRSimmang

    Grunge is Back

    I don’t know how they did it. I didn’t care. I was going to see Nirvana.
    Sure, it was kind of creepy that Kurt Cobain was playing the lead. I mean, he’d been dead for almost 20 years already. Modern science, right?
    Tickets went for about 2 grand. But, lucky for me, I knew someone heading up the shindig. My two VIP passes arrived in the mail a week before the show.
    From: A Friend.
    Thanks, Tommy. We’re even now.
    I decided to take Dana Wendy. She had this fiery red hair and emerald green eyes. She was my luck o’ the Irish. Well, at least I wanted her to be. She prattled on and on when she found out I got tickets. I guess the whole Revived Cobain wasn’t a big deal to her.
    Friday night came all too quickly. Dana and I spent almost every moment together. I felt like I was in high school again. We held hands, tickled one another, kissed under bleachers (okay, that was a little high school), and stayed up until late talking on the phone.
    I picked her up in my 1993 Chevy Beretta GTZ 2-Door Coupe and before we knew it, we were cruising at a steady 55 mph (the fastest I could go without the Shakes) and in front of the doors to the venue.
    “Matt!” My security guard buddy hustled up to me. “And you must be Dana.” He stooped low and took her hand. “Enchanté, mademoiselle.”
    I didn’t want to tell him how silly he looked, 240 pounds, six foot seven, shaved head, bowing to a woman two heads shorter and 140 pounds lighter.
    “And it’s a pleasure to meet you as well.”
    He blushed slightly. “Oh, um, right this way.”
    Rob ushered us to our private booth. “These are the best seats in the house.
    I don’t have to say the show was amazing. It was as if Cobain had never died. They played all the classics. Nirvana was incredible.
    Then, we got to go backstage. Rob peeked his head in through the curtain before the final song and whispered, “Hey, Matt! Take these and follow me.”
    He led us through a series of backstage passageways, telling us of a small history of the theatre and sharing why the theatre was build the way it was. After a right, then a left, then a long corridor, we made it backstage. Nirvana was just starting “The Man Who Sold the World.” Dana grabbed my hand and leaned her head onto my shoulder. Then, she looked up at me, and I looked down to her, she moved in close, I moved in closer, then she brushed her cheek against mine as she whispered in my ear, “I’m going to kill him, again.”
    It took a moment to settle. Then, I backed away slowly.
    “I can tell by the look on your face, you’re a little puzzled.” She took a deep breath. “Here’s the deal, I’m a member of the militant faction Deathstop.”
    “Deathstop? Isn’t that a heavy metal band?”
    “No, silly. It’s a militia intent on keeping the dead dead. That,” and she pointed to Cobain, “is a zombie who was supposed to have stayed in the ground.”
    “What?”
    “Ugh, we don’t have time for this.” She opened her jacket to pull out a Mossberg pump action 12 cal.
    “Impressive.”
    “Play your cards right, soldier, and I’ll let you hold it.”
    She pumped her rifle Schwarzenegger style, hefted it to her shoulder, leveled the barrel, and I couldn’t help but stop her from pulling the trigger. “Wait! That’s Cobain. You’re going to kill grunge!”
    “Grunge died a long time ago.”
    It was in that moment I realized she was right. I moved my hand, she winked at me, and let the rifle discharge all over Cobain’s head… again.
    That’s about when she grabbed me by my collar, kissed me tight, told me keep up, and we ran. We ran fast.
    Overhead, a chopper whirred.
    “Damn. Someone must have tipped them off.” She whispered into her sleeve. “We go this way.” She tugged on my elbow.
    “Where are we going?” I shouted in between breaths.
    “To the safe house. They’re about to release their army.”
    “What do you mean?”
    “Cobain was bait.”
    I heard it first. I heard the gasping and moaning. I heard the word I thought was only an invention of a hyperchildish mind in Hollywood: BRAINS.
    “Buckle up, baby. Shit just got real.”

  2. blanderson

    “Backstage passes?” I grumbled, mostly to myself. Part of me wanted to just drop them in the trashcan and make my way to the exits with other hundred or so who made it out to this show. But I may as well do it. What’s the harm, right?

    Come to think of it, I don’t think I even remembered the security dude. His booming, overly excited, “Brandon? Brandon Kruse?!” must have meant he knew me. He obviously knew my name and seemed to be able to rattle off a few details about our rollicking time at OSH. But for the life of me I had no recollection of that guy. Is that more on me or him? I couldn’t remember the guy, but he was the one so utterly forgettable.

    So, here I am. Going backstage. Does backstage even apply to an amphitheater? Behind the curtain is a better descriptor. It’s sad in a way to see these old bands, hanging on, playing county fairs and aging so rapidly. Not aging in a rock n roll way, but aging in a sad way. Aging in a “my life sure has sucked” sort of way.

    I made my way “backstage” with my apathetic friend Joel. He didn’t want to see the show at all. I bribed him with gas money and pre-concert drinks at Hornbuckle’s, the old stomping grounds, which I recollected was a fantastic place to grab a drink. My memory failed me about Hornbuckle’s, too.

    Why is it that we’re so nostalgic for things past? The bar was lame. The concert was a bust. I drove a hundred miles, spending a rare kid-free night with a bored friend. The worst thing is that now I have to meet one of my boyhood heroes, which is sure to be a sad affair, before driving another 100 miles home.

    We walked through the curtain-ish thing—honestly, I’m not sure what that “door” was—and met up with another security guard. His name was Duke or Dean, or some other middle-America part-time security guard name. Let’s call him Duke. Duke led us to a “room” of pipe and drape that was likely erected just a couple hours before the concert. He told us to stay put. He was going to check if the band was ready for visitors.

    A minute later, he reappeared looking conciliatory.

    “Sorry, gentlemen,” he said, waving his hands in an amalgamation of no/stop. “No visitors tonight.”

    I have no idea why, but I was really bummed out during the ride home, and shared my tale of woe with my friends. I realized we are nostalgic for things past not because they were so great, but because they are part of our story. If Hornbuckle’s was a great place to get a drink because it was my place to get a drink, that’s good enough.

  3. rob akers

    A Captain Bill Rimes Story

    The two men made their way upstream the river of drunks towards the entrance of the Big Sandy Civic Center in Huntington West Virginia. Moving at an agonizingly slow rate, they finally entered the empty arena where the smoke hung like a transparent ceiling. Moving towards the backstage area, both men realized that if they were selected for a random drug test in the next week they would produce a positive result which
    would effectively end their careers.

    Pausing 10 feet from the mountain sized guard, Bill grabbed Rick’s shoulder. “Are you sure you want to do this?”

    “Hell Yes, Boss!” Pointing backstage. “Bobby owes you 250 dollars and we are collecting tonight.”

    Bill’s rubbed his hair as he spoke. “I can’t believe of all the things I have done, that I am going to jail in my hometown.”

    “Boss, there ain’t no way that we are going to jail tonight. The city of Huntington loves you. You are a real live American war hero. After the flyby you did over the Marshall football game, the Mayor, Chief of Police and even the Governor himself all know you. Half of the police owe you for something. And you think they will take the word of a Detroit rapper over you? If anything bad happens then you lie, I’ll swear to it and Bobby will have to prove us wrong! I got some backstage passes from a buddy, here put it on.” Armed with the passes they went to the guard.

    Rick spoke to the guard as they sized each other up. “We are here to see Bobby, he owes my friend some money.”

    The guard smirked while looking at their black backstage passes with the pink USA covering the Kid Rock Logo. “What did your friend do to earn the money?”

    Before he could answer, Bill saw a familiar face walking down the hallway. “Rick there is one of the guys!”
    Rick and Bill yelled loud enough to get the small man’s attention. Irritated but compliant, he made his way to the locals.

    “We know you!” Rick spoke first.

    The man looked at the passes and suddenly became uncomfortable with the flow of the conversation. “I don’t know who you are, good bye.”

    Bill spoke before he could turn. “Iraq Summer 2003, we picked you up in Baghdad and took you to Al Udied in Qatar. You were with Bobby on the USO tour.”

    His eyes flashed as he remembered the flight but not these two men. “Okay?”

    “Bobby bet me 250 dollars that I couldn’t make you guys puke within 5 minutes after take-off. He never paid and tonight we collect.”

    “He told us we got shot at and were lucky to be alive.”

    “He wanted you to vomit.”

    The manager escorted Rick and Bill to Bobby’s dressing room. A minute later Kid Rock opened the door letting out a yell as he instantly recognized the two men and laughed at their passes that signaled they possessed an Unusual Sexual Ability.

    1. Icabu

      Great story, Rob. Our squad got a ‘rolly coaster’ ride from a C-130 reserve pilot when base-hopping during Shield. Sure enough, most puked. I love roller coasters and had a blast. Didn’t realize a C-130 was capable of some of those maneuvers! Laughed at the ‘USA’ reference on the passes!

  4. zankokutenchi05

    Ann and I walked through a dim hall and stopped ahead of another perpendicular hallway. Tom, a friend who’d given us backstage passes, had told us to wait in the guest room on the far right.
    “It should be down this way,” I said. Just as I turned the corner I felt Ann’s hand grab my arm and jerk it back.
    “What the hell Ann, let’s hurry.”
    “I have a better idea,” she said and then grinned big. I frowned, confused. She pointed to a room on the left side with her free hand labeled: L’Arc~En~Ciel.
    I felt butterflies in my stomach. We’d admired this Japanese band since high school. We’d gushed over the alluring frontman, Hyde; quirky guitarist, Tetsu; tall bassist, Ken; and my personal favorite: the stoic but precise drummer, Yukihiro. This was the chance of a lifetime.
    “No,” I said, and then yanked my arm free. It was a brilliant idea, I thought, but we’d probably get more than a slap on the wrist by security, Tom could lose his job, and the bandmates would think us crazy. Embodying the delusional fan archetype was not something I wanted to check off my bucket list today.
    I started walking down the hallway towards the guest room. I made it 10 steps before I realized no footfall echoed my own. I turned around. Ann was grasping the doorknob to the band’s room.
    “Ann! Stop it,” I said.
    “Oh live a little,” she spat, and began to turn the knob.
    “Ann!”
    “What are you doing here?” a voice said from behind me. I turned: security. My fight or flight instinct kicked in and I took off towards Ann.
    “Hurry up, come on,” Ann said. For the first time that night, I did what she said in earnest.
    As I approached Ann on the other side, she turned the doorknob and my momentum thrust us through the door and onto the floor.
    My body hurt, but I looked up. There they were, all four band members dressed in their concert gear. All four faces were turned to us, perplexed.
    We’re in for it, I thought. The security officer caught up and bent down to restrain us.
    “Yoroshiku onegaishimasu,” Ann said and then smiled. The officer forced her up.
    I knew the phrase meant something similar to ‘nice to meet you.’
    “I think we get to skip that part at this point Ann,” I said as I was yanked to my feet.
    I glanced up for one last look at the bandmates prior to what I knew would be a less than amiable escort out. They all wore stern looks, except one. The stoic Yukihiro smiled at our spectacle. He tossed a pair of drumsticks at our feet and said something in Japanese followed by a thumbs up sign.
    “I wish I knew what he’d said”, I told Ann as we walked to the car later, souvenirs in hand.
    “They’re in town again next year,” she said. This time we both grinned.

  5. glenda smith

    Shelli and I had not met each other yet, but as soon as I called and booked reservations at the Coliseum I could not wait to call her and tell her it was for two.
    “Yep! There are handicapped reservations at the concert!” I unleashed the news to her squeals of excitement. “We are going to see Disturbed!”
    I knew it was going to be difficult to travel a state away to get her, then come back to my state and make it in time for the show. But her parents would not cooperate so I knew I’d have to carry the whole burden.
    “I’ll get down there and get a room two days before the show. Don’t worry, everything will work out.” I knew I’d need to rest for several hours after each trip so it was putting me in a bind for time. But at least we would get a chance to spend one full night together.
    Shelli was a very sexy young woman. She had issues as far as being nearly quadriplegic due to loss of muscles from Friedreich’s Ataxia, but her sexual drive was very much an ability. She had drawn me in from the start, “If you care you’ll stick around and see how things turn out!”
    And I had. I was a bit disturbed being so attracted to a woman, but she reassured me, “I’ve been approached by both sexes.” So I decided to see where this strange affair would lead.
    Shelli seemed to be preoccupied with the night we would be spending together in a motel after the concert, “Are you going to carry me across the thresh hold?” she asked demurely.
    “Nah,” I answered blatantly. I hated the way she always presumed I was ready, willing, and eager to be with her. Even though I was. I decided to give her something to consider.
    “When we get to the motel, I’ll roll your wheelchair just inside the room and have it facing the open doorway. Then I’ll carry you from the truck to the open doorway.” I stopped to see if Shelli was listening.
    “Yes?” she said, “And then what will you do, Romeo?” She always called me that.
    “Then, I will CHUNK you across the thresh hold!… Juliet,” I waited for her reprimand. She could never “get” the joke.
    “I love you, Romeo. Let’s not go to the concert.” And that was that. I’ll always believe it was her way of avoiding all the trouble it was going to put me through. But that was my Juliet.~

    1. annefreemanimages

      An interesting tale about an interesting relationship. I was sometimes not sure if the narrator was a man or a woman. I also didn’t understand why her parents were included in the story – I expected there to be a confrontational scene with the parents, but that didn’t materialize. You may want to pare down anything that isn’t really necessary to get your story across, which seems to be the narrator’s ambivelance about her relationship with this woman.

      ~Anne

      1. Glenda Smith-Ketchuck

        Thanks Anne, I did get carried away with the idea then lost track of the number of words- and the time. Too much info and too little space to cram it. I’ll save it for the book, Affairs of the Heart, I’m considering after inspiration from another author, Ann Patterson- (she liked my samples). I decided to leave the gender of the author up to the reader of this particular sample. Thanks again for your review!

    2. Glenda Smith-Ketchuck

      I wrote this and many pieces to entertain my long distance friend, Shelli aka Michelle Hartley. She and I met in 2010 on MySpace and met once when I travelled to her home in S.C. to confirm she existed. Michelle was diagnosed at 2 years old with Friedreichs ataxia and was bound to a wheelchair when at 18 years old she had to have surgery to her spine to relieve the pain FA was inflicting on her muscles as it slowly turned them to stone. I was not able to be with her at the end even though I’d promised to. It was just too hard to watch as the illness shut down her vital organs ultimately resulting in her death. However, for the last few years of her life we soared to every height and every star. I am a married housewife with sons and many grandchildren. My husband and I and my youngest son did bring Michelle to our home as she had wished for so long but the FA was impossible for us.

      1. Glenda Smith-Ketchuck

        As for Michelle’s parents: They were against our relationship from the start. After learning their adopted was slowly dying from the age of two, they wanted to shelter her completely. But Michelle wanted desperately to live before she died. She and I talked via internet about anything and everything. I told her about the Lord and salvation and I do believe she is with God in Heaven. I also believe it was the only way I could help ease her dread of dying. We had to create fantasy about everything she wanted but was never able to do. There is not enough room to share the beauty we experienced together while we explored cyberspace together in an attempt to save her life through stem cell regeneration. We almost made it to Mexico since it was not possible in the States, but was warned of Americans being murdered on sight. Michelle didn’t care but I have a family to consider so I had to decline. Michelle was inconsolable after that and after she stayed with us for 3 days I saw there was no way I could take care of her. Her parents refused to help us get her established here so that was that. When we met she could do most things for herself except walk. At the end she could do nothing for herself. She could not feed nor bathe herself nor go to the bathroom by herself. I did not mind doing it, but her body mass quadrupled in weight and I have had spinal injuries myself. Regretfully we had to take her back to her parents. Michelle was 42 years old when we talked the final time on the computer. FA had done so much damage I could not understand her since the tongue is a muscle. Michelle was terribly distraught and her parents, older than my husband and me, had to put her in a nursing home. They never followed up to tell me anything about Michelle. But I did find her final post on one of our shared writing sites. In spite she locked most of them. What a shame she did not realize she was depriving the world. Most folks did not understand her frustration. http://www.writing.com/main/portfolio/view/alanamortensen

  6. kennydude55

    Where are we going? Kathy asked
    ‘’it’s a surprise ‘’ I whispered leaning close . She looked a bit puzzled but used to me by now she just shrugged ,I grabbed her hand and squeezed feeling her warmth steal through my hand and right up to my heart .
    By the time we were a few meters from the stadium she knew already what the surprise was . She squealed like a giddy school girl ,grabbing my arm and excited at us going to see our favorite band . We got to the gate and I presented our tickets .Once inside Kathy tugged at my shirt .
    ‘’Let’s go to the ladies ‘’ she yelled a mischievous look in her eyes .
    I grinned now that’s more like it .On the way I bumped into a woman wearing a jacket with security printed on it .
    ‘’hey watch where ……….. Timmy ?
    ‘’ Mai… wow you‘ re security… I haven’t seen you since high school and I……can see you’ re still the same.. a Goth ‘’
    ‘’yeah those martial arts skills came in handy ‘’ she laughed
    After introductions and small talk Mai said
    ‘’ Say would you guys like to come back stage for a bit ‘’
    I couldn’t believe my ears ‘’yeah ‘’ we both chorused laughing . She gave us passes and took us back stage nodding to the other security guys as we walked by .We stopped in front of a door and she pointed at the sign on it .Bjorn Alvaeus.
    ‘’ See whose door this is? She turned the door knob and we went in.
    ‘’ yeah ‘’ I said still not believing that we were actually getting the opportunity to meet one of them.
    I could see the dressing table and on it was a big doll of a female member of the band .I didn’t need anyone to tell me who it was. It was ….
    I felt a touch at the base of my head and all of a sudden my entire body became paralyzed, I was eased to the floor and laid on my back .From the corner of my eye I could see the same had been done to Kathy.
    Mai stood over me, so did a reedy thin man with angular features.
    She put a cigarette in her mouth and without her lighting it, the end began to burn .
    She took a drag and blew out smoke
    ‘’you always were a sucker for ABBA ‘’
    ‘’ Who’s he ? he asked her
    ‘’some guy in high school I almost married ‘’
    ‘’lucky for him he didn’t he would have been your first mannequin the one who gave you enlightenment’’
    ‘’ yeah ‘’ she
    ‘’what do you want me do to do with them?
    ‘’Tie them up and put them with the others in the back , I think I have enough for the exhibition in Norway now ……and take that stupid sign off the door ‘’

    1. annefreemanimages

      Very interesting twist at the end! I enjoyed that.

      My only suggestion is that some of the sentences were confusing without the benefit of commas and such.

      In the beginning: “She looked a bit puzzled but used to me by now she just shrugged ,I grabbed her hand and squeezed feeling her warmth steal through my hand and right up to my heart .” I had to read that a few times to figure out what was going on. Suggested edits:

      “She looked a bit puzzled, but she was use to me by now. She just shrugged. I grabbed her hand and squeezed, felling her wamth steal through my hand and right up to my heart.”

      That is a nice sequence of sentences that flow well and suggest a lot about their relationship. If the reader has to stop and reread, they loose the fluidity of the writing.

      ~Anne

  7. annefreemanimages

    “The Meeting”
    A Rett Bonneville Story
    By Anne M. Freeman®

    The Doobie Brothers had just finished the a cappella intro to “Jesus Is Just Alright.” The band slammed into the opening chords as I stood in a shadowed corner backstage, watching them perform when it happened.

    I looked back to call over my friend, Kevin, and his girlfriend, Amy, to come stand with me when I saw a man point a gun to Amy’s back. I sprung forward, my boot connecting with his right shoulder just as he fired. Amy collapsed, and the gun flew. His head twisted back towards me with wide-eyed surprise as he careened off balance from the blow. I grabbed his gun arm, pulled it back, wrapped my right arm around his shoulder and the other round his wrist, and slammed him to the floor. The attacker was immobilized.

    Kevin walked in with sodas and I screamed at him to check Amy. He dropped the cups and ran to her. He shouted into his walky-talky, tears running down his face, blood on his hands. I leaned towards the attacker’s ear.

    “You shot the wrong one, ass-hole. She’s just the girlfriend of the security guy!” I yelled over the music.

    “You’re hurting me!” He squeaked.

    “Yeah? Good.” I pushed his arm to its limit and he squealed.

    “Well, we finally meet,” I yelled. “You better hope she’s not dead, Kane. Because then you’ll be going to jail for nothing. You’re just going to jail for shooting some poor kid, not killing a big star. I’m disappointed to have a loser for a stalker, Kane!”

    Kane tried to move, and then collapsed.

    “Guess you’ll want a memento from our meeting. Here’s something to remember my by, Kane!” I pushed and twisted hard on his arm until the joints started popping. He screamed. I felt some of my rage dissipate.

    “No one hears you, Kane! The cops are coming for you now. But if I ever see you again – or hear that you’re around, I will hunt you down and kill you myself. You understand, Kane?”

    He was crying and moaning.

    Security filled the room. Kevin waved when the paramedics ran in with a gurney. They picked up Amy and ran out, Kevin following behind.

    I threw Kane’s dislocated arm to the floor and he howled, immobilized with pain. By then, the cops arrived, and another set of EMTs came up with a gurney for Kane. I walked out of the building with another cop to give my statement.

    “What happened here, tonight?” the officer asked.

    “The guy on the gurney shot Amy in the back. I kicked him in the back and grabbed his arm. He fell forward and tried to twist away, and it must have pulled his shoulder and elbow out of joint. You’ll find the gun. His right hand will test for gunshot residue, officer.”

    He stared at me.

    “CSI,” I said. We walked out of the building just as the Doobies finished their song.

    My long stalker nightmare was finally finished.

    ###

      1. annefreemanimages

        Amy didn’t die, Icabu. I just couldn’t fit it naturally into 500 words. I will, however, add it to the longer version that I’ll post onto my blog later. I like to let the story “rest” for a few weeks before going back to it again. Thanks for your coments, Icabu.

        ~Anne

    1. ScottP

      At the beginning I couldn’t figure out whether bad guy got kicked in the front or the back of the shoulder. Aside from that I liked that the main character didn’t kill the stalker but still made him suffer.

        1. rob akers

          Anne,

          I have been away for 5 weeks and I have missed my weekly Rett fix. I have to agree with ScottP that the fight scene was a little confusing but overall it was good. What I love that you do is that you are able to keep Rett consistant and she is perfect. He is so strong, high energy, strong personality with high morals and an ability to be tender and tough at the same time. Great Character and you do a great job of bringing her out!

          1. annefreemanimages

            thanks, Rob. Great to hear from you. I appreciate the comments. I did screw up a bit on the fight scene, but it was my first shot at one. I had to watch a clip of a self defence video over and over! I was a little worried about how it would come across to you fight scene experts, but I sucked it up and went for it. Welcome back!

            ~Anne

  8. jren

    “Mom. . .Dad. . .I am going to check things out in the basement. OK? Mom, did you hear me?” Jack yelled.
    “Stay out of trouble. I mean it, Jack.” Mom yelled back.
    “Awe come on Mom, you know me.” Jack said.
    “Yeah, that’s the problem.” She muttered back.
    Dad was unloading the boxes from the truck as Mom unpacked and organized. That’s what Mom does.
    Jack. . .well he was always finding new ways to get into trouble. What else would he do at thirteen?
    The basement was not the usual musty smelling basement. Of course there was a furnace and some storage of junk in a corner. Jack started moving the junk as he called it. . .I don’t know. Maybe he was looking for buried treasure or something.
    Jack spotted a box against the wall. He tried to move it but it was attached. He pulled and pulled but to no avail. He found a hammer and started pounding away at it until finally it started coming apart.
    “Jack, what are you doing?” Mom yells.
    “Nothing Mom.” Jack yells back.
    There is a hole where the box used to be. Jack ran upstairs to get a flashlight. “Jack, what are you up to?” Dad asked.
    “Just looking around, Dad, That’s all.” Jack told him. He ran back downstairs with the flashlight.
    Jack crawled with the flashlight through the hole in the wall. The hole wasn’t very big but inside there was a big room. It was so dark, even with the flashlight. He felt around the wall until he touched a metal plate of some kind.
    A bright light filled the room. Jack was in awe of the beautifully colored walls of jewels. There was one odd shaped smooth stone on the floor. Jack stepped on it and a wall of colorful light surrounded him. As he looked around, he realized, he wasn’t in the basement anymore.
    Jack called out “Mom. . .Dad.” There was no answer.
    “Where am I?” Jack said out loud. “Now what am I going to do?”
    “You found the secret passage, young man.” A voice said.
    Jack was scared as he asked, “Who. . .who are you, where am I and what secret passage?”
    “My name is Gordon and this is my dog, Max. And who might you be and how did you come to find us here?” The man said.
    “I am Jack and I crawled through a hole in the wall in our new house. . .well, here I am.” Jack told him. “No one will believe this. Now, how do I get back home?”
    “Well, I think you just do it in reverse. Stand on the same spot and you should be transported back to your home. You could come here whenever you like just by crawling through the hole again.” Gordon told Jack.
    As Jack was engulfed by the light again, he remembered feeling like Dorothy in the Land of Oz. He found himself back in the strange room in the basement. He closed off the hole again until he wanted to go on another adventure to Oz.

    1. annefreemanimages

      Jren – a fun story. My only suggestion takes place early in the story. “Jack started moving the junk as he called it. . .I don’t know. Maybe he was looking for buried treasure or something.” The “I don’t know. Maybe he was looking for buried treasure of something” part. It introduced a new character to the story – the narrator. But, that narrator doesn’t exist in the rest of the story. You may want to eliminate those sentances.

      ~Anne

  9. DMelde

    Rachel sat in her chair after the concert. She missed her mom Marion. They went to Lorie Line’s Christmas concert every year. When Tim invited audience members up on stage to dance, Marion was always the first one out of her seat. Tall and gangly Rachel would join her mom on stage, moving slowly and self consciously at first, then she’d catch her mother’s energy, and abandon herself to the music. Together they sang ‘O Holy Night’, and rang bells during the ‘Carol of the Bells’.
    It was getting late. Almost everyone was gone when Rachel rose from her seat. In the back she saw an old friend.
    “Hi Jeff.”
    “Hi Rachel. I’m sorry to hear about your mom.”
    “Thanks Jeff. We used to come to these concerts together. It’s bittersweet without her.”
    “I lost my mom a while back too. I’d love to chat awhile, but I’m working, so I can’t really stay. I gotta go secure the East doors. We should hang out some time and catch up.”
    “I’d like that. Give me a call, okay?”
    “Okay. Hey, if you’re not in a rush, here’s a backstage pass for you. Mostly roadies in back, but maybe there’s some food left if you’re hungry.”
    “Thanks Jeff. You take care.”
    “You too. I’ll be calling.”
    Backstage, Rachel walked around and watched as costumes were packed away and sets were broken down. She stopped at the dressing room door. ‘Lorie Line’, the sign said. One of the road crew gestured to her, as if to say, “Go on and knock.”
    Rachel knocked. She heard a female voice inside say, “Come in.”
    With a tremble Rachel opened the door and went inside. “This is so unlike me.” she thought.
    “Hi…Mrs. Line? I’m a big fan of yours. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your concert tonight. You’re really great.”
    Her husband Tim got up from his chair, but Lorie waved him away.
    “Is your name Rachel?”
    Rachel’s jaw dropped. “Yes, but how did you know?”
    “And your mother’s name is Marion?”
    Rachel’s eyes started misting as she nodded yes.
    “Come over and sit down. I didn’t see you, or your mother, on stage tonight.”
    “My mom passed about a year ago. She loved your concerts.”
    “I remember her,” Lorie said, “tell me about her.”
    Rachel talked about her mom while Lorie took off her makeup. She told Lorie about the family’s farm and their life together. Her voice finally fell quiet. Talking had made her feel better.
    At the end, Lorie said, “That’s a beautiful story. Do you have a picture of you and your mom? I thought we could exchange photos?” Tim picked up a photo, but Lorie said, “No Tim, the family one.”
    “Here, this is me, and Tim, and our children. I’m going to add your picture to my Linebackers collage. I always have it with me on the road.”
    Rachel smiled and nodded, “Way to go mom, you’re going on tour.”

      1. Jaybo

        Amen to Icabu!
        No frills, Just a background love story that makes me glad these stories can still be printed in America.What’s so enticing is the want to finish out of respect for the silent unspoken missing of Mom. Hope there’s more to come.
        jaybo

    1. annefreemanimages

      DMelde – I agree with the other comments. It was a sweetly told story. I enjoyed their interactions and Mrs. Line asked her to talk about her mother. My only comment is that last line confused me for a moment – I thought Rachel was talking to her mom, and that maybe her mom with Mrs. Line. Then I realized she was talking to her mother in heaven. One possible fix – if you feel it needs fixing – would be to have Rachel whisper to her mom. Then it would be more apparent that she was speaking to her mother’s spirit. However, other people may not have had the same trouble as me, so you can ignore this comment althogether, too! Nice job.

      ~Anne

      1. DMelde

        Good feedback Anne. I agree with you. Changing the last sentence to read… Rachel smiled and whispered to her mom… would have been a lot better. Thanks for reading it.

  10. Jaybo

    ‘I’m tellin’ you, man, I got to know the dude whose father help build Madison Square Gardens. We’ll have better than front row! We’ll have back stage passes and maybe a spot at the band caterin’ event. It’ll be awesome; totally awesome!”

    “Man, who do you know that I don’t? I mean, we have done everything together since high school and I didn’t realize you made such cool and far out connections. Come on. Tell me who the man is so I can hook up myself.”

    “Aw, man, the hook-up’s a priest, dude. I went to confession to him. Told him about Ireane and me, you know, …“THE GIRL”…. and I told him I wanted to do somethin’ with my life beside dream about her an’ all. We got to talkin’ and he told me stuff about dreams and hopes and other stuff you’d have no interest in. He also told me about his father who did the Gardens and it was just somethin’ he said about if I ever wanted to get in, he’d let me know how to get the best seats. Said he knew all the secret passages ‘cause his dad used to take him all over the place when priest was a kid. Father “G” said to drop his name, they all know him there still, He’s somewhat a celebrity in New York, even though he’s a monk.”

    “Dude. This is so way out there! And you say you can get in without paying?”

    “No! I said I know how to get to some prime seating. I’m not gonna abuse this one; ’specially if things with Ireane work out. Let’s go. Wait! Look at the Tron!”

    “ “Mr. Johnny F., Please come to the Arena stage front with a security detail.” ”

    “Dude! What did you do? Set off an alarm! The Band is coming onstage and the Jumbo Tron says you are to go to the stage front! Holy sheep gate! Man. They know you are here! The band… The Band, Man. There’s Robert and Lee and Walter. They want you up front an’ center. The PA system….”

    “ “As a group, we want to thank you all for coming out this evening. But we have something special for someone who does not realize just how important some people are in their lives. Is Mr. F. in place? Good. Mr. F., We don’t know how you are able to pull this off, but you must have some pretty good connections. The Garden asked us to accommodate a slight change in our usual program and after we found out what it is, the band decided, all -right. Is the young bride here? Ok.” ”

    “As Time goes on… I realize….Just what you mean to me…..”

    “Johnny, is it really you doing this? I mean you are going to go thru with it?”

    “Ireane! What are you doin’ here? Doin what? We came to see ‘Chicago’. You know my friend. Wait! Father ‘G’, Wwwwwhat are doin’ here?”

    1. Icabu

      Had a little trouble following the ending – but I think Father G is planning to make Ireane & Johnny an honest couple.

      ‘Holy sheep gate’ – loved that!

      1. Jaybo

        Icabu,
        That’s why you all have your training wheels removed and I am the newbie. Thanks for comment.In keeping with Beatles motif…It’s getting better all the time,
        jaybo

    2. ScottP

      As another newbie (This is my 2nd prompt I’ve participated in), I am impressed that you created a story out of nothing but dialogue. It did get a bit squishy at the end though.

      1. Jaybo

        ScottP,
        yea, squishy is what can happen sometime in love relationships that get it going. I am afraid, against the grain of all my friends who had black lights and Maiden, Purple and Ozzy posters, that I was into Dan Fogelberg, K. Carpenter, Bread and all the soft sounds that one can only hear at night anymore. Still, to my credit, I once asked a girl up to my room to see my etchings, AND I really had etchings.
        Thanks for the hope. Best to you too.

    3. annefreemanimages

      That was fun. The transition from their discussions to being in the Gardens was a bit abrupt, which may be why some of us had trouble making the transition. We need to know that they entered the Gardens and Irene was with them. Despite that, I really liked the story and picked up with what was happening. What a great ending!

      ~Anne

  11. ScottP

    Anthony and Steven stood there in awe. The hot, dry, summer Colorado air was still electric with excitement. The girls were still packed at the front of the amphitheater, screaming for an encore that would never come. Their screams bounced off the monolithic red rock formations on either side of the amphitheater that gave Red Rocks Park it’s name.

    “I can’t believe we just saw the fucking Beatles, man!”, Steven shouted.

    “I know!”, Anthony shouted back, “Did they even play ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’? Those chicks are still going ape! I could barely hear the songs!”

    “Yeah, man! That was outta sight!”, Steven yelled, “Let’s beat feet! These chicks are giving me a headache!”

    Anthony’s ears were still ringing. As they made their way down the wide, stone stairs leading toward the stage, he did everything he could to savor the moment. The stage looked so empty now, but for a brief 30 minutes it was the center of rock and roll. Anthony almost knocked Steven over when Steven stopped at the bottom of the stairs.

    “Tommy? I never figured you for a pig! What are you doing here?” Anthony was shocked that Steven would talk to a cop like that.

    “Hey Stevie! Yeah, it was either this or joining the Army and after seeing what’s going on in Vietnam lately, I think I made the right choice. Speaking of which, how’s your brother?”, Tommy replied.

    “He’s doing alright. We’re pretty sure he’s getting shipped out next month though.”, Steven’s concern for his older brother was reflected in his voice. He turned to Anthony, “Tommy, this is my little cousin from back east. Anthony, this is my brother’s best friend from high school.”

    “Right on. Nice to meet ya. Hey, you guys wanna come backstage?” Tommy said. Anthony’s eyes widened and he couldn’t bring himself to speak as Tommy ushered them past the large rock that frame the back of the stage.

    Backstage turned out to be more like understage. Tommy led them down stone steps into what seemed like a cave. When they reached the bottom of the stairs they were met with the professional chaos of a rock show.

    “This is backstage?”, Anthony asked skeptically.

    “You bet your sweet ass it is.” replied a familiar voice with a British accent.

    Anthony turned and found himself face to face with John Lennon himself. His dark mop top hair was disheveled, his white button up shirt wasn’t buttoned all the way and his tie was no where to be found. The polished celebrity musician Anthony saw singing onstage now looked more like just some guy from England holding a guitar.

    “That’s a Rickenbacker 325.”, Anthony blurted out. He loved guitars.

    Lennon chuckled, “You know somethin’ about guitars, do you? These things don’t stay tuned by magic, you know. Wanna come help me out?”

    Lennon may not have thought those guitars weren’t tuned by magic, but to Anthony that night was nothing but magic. It was a night he would never forget.

    1. ScottP

      In my haste to edit my story to fit within the 500 word limit I left Anthony’s age out of the story. I am curious to find out what age you give him when you read my story. Thanks!

      1. Amy

        You really captured the era. I remember reading about those 30 minute concerts. Can you imagine folks being satisfied with such a short concert today? I can’t!

        1. ScottP

          Thanks! I was stunned when I heard that the Beatles concert at Red Rocks was only 30 minutes! It takes 3 times that long to drive from Denver, find parking and find your assigned seat on the bleachers. A 30 minute concert with no encores now would create riots.

  12. Davies

    “Wolfgang Puck?”

    “No – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. You have heard of him, right?”

    Stacey’s ponytailed head began bobbling slightly and I could tell she was still stuck on the famous chef and his mouth-watering pizza’s because she began to lick her lips.

    I tried another venue. “He wore flamboyant outfits, a powdered wig when he was in public, and lace collared shirts.”

    “So he’s a transvestite?”

    “No, Stacey. That was the fashion back then.” I could tell that my story about meeting one of the most famous composers in the world was not registering with her, so I began at the beginning.

    I told her how my back spasm caused me to visit my doctor who, in her typical holistic nature, handed me a sample of an exciting new drug that had not yet been FDA approved.

    “Not only did the drug work and the spasm was gone, but something really incredible happened.”

    I went on to explain that I had this amazing experience after I laid down to give the medication a chance to work. How the ceiling above my head opened up and I was transported through a mist and placed inside my high school gym from 20 years ago.

    Hanging above the bleachers were giant oil paintings containing what looked like portraits of aristocracy, and magnificent crystal chandeliers were swinging from the rafters. In the middle of the room was the most beautiful polished piano, surrounded on all sides by red velvet rope, and there, at its bench, sat the maestro.

    “That’s basil and garlic and goes really well with pasta, right?” Stacey started licking her lips again.

    “Ah, no, actually…” I saw her brow furrow and a look of utter puzzlement cross her face. “Well. Ok, sure. There was a bowl of pesto on the piano bench. And next to it was Mozart. And he was playing Piano Concerto No 23, and it was so glorious. And at the end I walked toward the rope and saw Rufus, my friend from sophomore year, standing there. He handed me two passes, each containing an image of a giant musical note. I turned around and realized the second pass was for my father, who was the reason I fell in love with classical music, and who had passed away last year.

    “My father and I took the passes and walked up behind Mozart while he was still sitting at the piano. We were so close that I could actually smell the perfumed powder in his wig. I looked next to me and my father was crying and I could tell he was happy. I grabbed his hand and he looked at me and smiled. When I let go of his hand I realized he had placed a daisy in my hand.”

    “Hmm…well that sounds like a pretty neat dream.” Stacey got up and left, undoubtedly to eat.

    “Yeah.” I smiled as I fingered the daisy in my pocket.

      1. Amy

        Very enjoyable. I liked the classical take on the prompt. The only thing I would change is that I would leave the drug hallucination reference for the end, make it a surprise! Good job!

  13. Amy

    The last strains of the classic IMAGINE resounded against the nearby buildings and echoed in my mind. I closed my eyes and savored the final note. This rooftop concert was rumored to be the last the band would play-ever. It was bittersweet.

    Feeling a hand clasp my shoulder, I opened my eyes to behold the face of my old friend from the Academy, Reggie. He hadn’t changed a bit. I saw he still favored the funky glasses and flamboyant clothes. Musicians…

    “Hi there Duck!” he said, flashing a brilliant white smile. “How’d you like to meet the band?”

    I looked at my date, Dee. I could tell by her star-struck expression that was an affirmative.

    “That would be awesome,” I told Reggie. I grabbed Dee’s hand and followed Reggie to a door concealed behind wandering ivy.

    Smoke smelling of cannabis wafted up the steep stairs forming a fog into which we descended.

    “Help! I need somebody. Help!” I heard someone say, but they didn’t sound too distressed.

    “We’re on our way!” I called back.

    Laughter greeted my reply and then they stood in front of us. The Fab Four.

    “Come on in, Duck,” I heard one say, I think it was Paul. He extended his hand as I ducked under the low portal.

    His hand clasped mine. “Who’s your friend?” He looked Dee up and down, giving an appreciative whistle.

    I introduced Dee and pulled her front and center. She was blushing.

    “Welcome-both of you!” Ringo called out.

    The remainder of the foursome were stumbling to their feet.

    “We’ve got a ticket to ride!” George exclaimed.

    Dee looked at me, puzzled. Ride? Ride where? I wondered. I answered her inquiring look with a shrug.

    We followed Reggie and the Fab Four to an elevator cleverly concealed in the opposite wall. John got there first and pushed the button.

    We boarded and stood tightly pressed together. The journey took longer than I expected. We descended. And descended. And descended some more.

    The doors opened at last onto what I assumed was the basement. As I followed the others out, I realized how wrong I was. We were inside of a yellow submarine. It was decorated in shades of yellow and gold, really quite surreal. Dee and I walked around, amazed by the complex equipment. The periscope was my favorite. I looked through it as the submarine made its way through winding tunnels and out into the Thames.

    When I turned around, Paul, John, Ringo and George were seated on a yellow leather sectional-sofa. George began to play his guitar. The four sang SHE LOVES YOU to Dee, making her blush once again.
    Delighted, I had to pinch myself to make sure this was really happening…

    The clock radio was blaring SHE LOVES YOU when I woke, my right thumb and forefinger holding viselike onto my left arm.

    1. ScottP

      Ha! We both picked The Beatles, but went completely different directions. I went with reality and historical accuracy and you went with a surreal dream world. Very fitting since The Beatles seemed to occupy reality and the surreal equally. Nicely done!

  14. Imaginalchemy

    “You lost the tickets??” Peter gaped at me in disbelief. “Only the most epic battle of the bands of all time, Cherubim vs. Seraphim, and you lost the tickets??”
    I shrugged sheepishly. “I’ve been kind of distracted lately.”
    Peter threw up his hands. “I should’ve hung onto them. I’m more organized than you…that’s why I’m the Gatekeeper, after all.”
    I looked up at Heaven’s magnificent golden amphitheater. Already the cacophonous throng of every angel in the realm was at its maximum level of excitement and anticipation. “Don’t suppose you have a secret ‘key’ that’ll get us in?”
    “Har har. Can’t you ask your Dad to, you know, pull some strings? ‘Ask and ye shall receive,’ ?”
    I shook my head. “ ‘Thou shall not tempt Him,’ remember? Besides, there’s a reason it was one ticket only per Heavenly resident. No spares that could fall into the wrong hands…”
    Just then, Peter gripped my arm, staring across the way at one of the security angels by the entrance of the amphitheater. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
    One of the security angels was our old pal Jude, who I assume was still working off his 10,000,000 hours of community service with this job. He saw us, and he lifted an eyebrow as he walked over.
    “What’s the problem, guys?” Jude smirked, obviously seeing our distress. “Waiting for us ‘lowly ones’ to take our seats first before you stroll up towards your VIP box or something?”
    “Jude, be cool,” Peter said. “We never did you wrong, if you recall. No need to get all hostile.”
    “Oh, look who’s being all ‘holier than thou,’ hypocrite. Do you hear that? Sounds like a rooster crowing three times—“
    “Enough!” I stepped between them. “Don’t worry about us, Jude. We aren’t going in. We were just leaving.”
    Jude draped his arms around Peter and me into a buddy hug. “Hey, relax. Just teasin’ you guys. How about a couple of the best seats in the house…as in, backstage, right where the bands will be hanging out?”
    Peter instantly shrugged off Jude’s arm. “No way! What you did to J. and me, and the rest of us…not cool, bro. Not cool. I know you’re just cruisin’ to get us in trouble.”
    Jude gasped in mock offense. “Pete, you wound me. Don’t you think I learned anything after all this time? What’d you say, J.? You know I’m not pullin’ your chain, right?”
    Yeah, I knew he would get us backstage if we asked. But Jude had grown a little bitter over time, and if the opportunity to humiliate us came up, I knew he would jump at the chance. Then again…Ultimate Battle of the Bands…Cherubim vs. Seraphim. It was a big ordeal, a once in a thousand millennia thing.
    “Okay, Jude,” I said. “Let’s have a night to remember.”
    And it certainly was, as it was that decision that somehow led to me agreeing to a Heaven vs. Hell Idol Competition between me and the oldest son of my Dad’s spurned rival…

  15. cindishipley

    The Who?

    My ears blasted deaf, ringing echoes from giant black boxes of music. The haze like rays of moonshine with flecks of dust out spotted and wavy grey streams of pungent smelling smoke. The hair slapping and bodies encased like cocoons by other bodies. Hearts breaking through chest cavities, and my ears blocked still, as the crowd dissipated. Some hands on the small of our backs pushing us towards the left back side of the stage. Eric stood there, his camera ready; he pressed large laminated cardboard tickets into our sweaty palms.
    THE WHO. The who? We stepped in for the culture, not for the band.
    Crowded rooms strangely calm in comparison to the frenetic concert. My ears still ringing, I knew who the rock stars were because they were larger than everyone else….not in size, but in personality.
    We tried to prove we were older than we were by taking the magic piece of rice paper under our tongues.
    I saw colors everywhere and I was sure everyone thought I was cool. I decided the place needed a good cleaning, and heavily argued this point with one of the stars, until I looked at the grainy pinewood walls and saw so many pictures I could trace. I drew all night and everyone said “far out man”, although I am not sure they were talking to me.

    1. Imaginalchemy

      This is very poetic prose, it captures the mood and experimentalism of this era of music. So much is going on in such a brief story, I can feel the disorientation of the narrator, how it affects every one of the senses. This is crafted remarkably well!

  16. Dr.Cliff

    This is all very Real ~ I cannot and would not make up any of it … I don’t have to; and I’ve been waiting a few years and decades to write of it.

    It’s Milwaukee Wisconsin in the early to mid-1960s. My young friend and neighbor Bobby Tarnow, who is very cool for his or any age, says to me, “Guess who’s in town for a concert?”

    We talk about this awhile, and figure its going to be crazy-packed down-town … but since we often seem to be v-e-r-y lucky ,, “Let’s just go anyway!!” We head downtown on a motor-scooter and are therefore able to park within five or six blocks of the Milwaukee County auditorium~stadium.

    Downtown Milwaukee is more packed than it has ever been ~ probably more so than it ever will be again.
    Immediately, as we start to walk toward the stadium, we hear a series of uncanny eerily l-o-u-d R-O-A-R-S emanating from out the top of the stadium.

    Great crowds are lining all the streets anywhere near and all around the Stadium! The Police are only letting a few people cross at a time at intersctions when the lights change. “Well Cliff, how will we ever see this group, how do we see these fellows at all?!!”

    Not to be disheartened, Bobby and I maintain our optimism; and as we are prone to do, we devise our P-l-a-n. No matter, how unlikely .. let’s do this:

    We’ll pick a corners at an intersection, which we did, and we’ll unobtrusively cross back-and-forth if we can, and we do just that.

    About the third time, we were stopped in the middle–forced to stay on the island between the corner and the Stadium. Everything stops, and no crossings.

    One half-a-block away–unexpectedly–a large white garage-type door opens . “Hymm, what’s that..?”
    Suddenly 50 young men and women in light uniforms run out the door, seem to be Police recruits or something. They race to both sides of the street as they lock arms to keep back crowds.

    The roar of the Stadium intermingles with the roar of the crowds outside all around us. And fifteen or twenty Police motorcycles roar out from that large Stadium door..and they go all around us. Bobby and I are still on that little island in the middle of it all, as one line of motorcycles go in front and another line goes in back of us.

    In their midst is one very-long-very-black limousine with five young men in the back seats, one in the jump seat by the window even closer to us – the limo starts to speed up right in front of us as he and they drive by, motorcycle trumpets still blaring all around.

    Time slows down, it seems to become ever so quiet, just for a moment.
    John Lennon waves very slowly and he smiles.

    I smile back.

  17. Dr.Cliff

    This is all Real ~ I cannot and would not make up any of it … I don’t have to; and I’ve been waiting a few years and decades to write of it.

    It’s Milwaukee Wisconsin in the early to mid-1960s. My young friend and neighbor Bobby Tarnow, who is very cool for his or any age, says to me, “Guess who’s in town for a concert?”

    We talk about this awhile, and figure its going to be crazy-packed down-town … but since we often seem to be v-e-r-y lucky ,, “Let’s just go anyway!!” We head downtown on a motor-scooter and are therefore able to park wiyhin five or six blocks of the Milwaukee County Stadium.

    Immediately, as we start to walk toward the stadium, we hear a series of uncanny eerily loud R-O-A-R-S emanating from out the top of the stadium. Downtown Milwaukee is more packed than it has ever been ~ probably more so than it ever will be again.

    Great crowds are lining all the streets anywhere near and all around the Stadium! The Police are only letting a few people cross at a time at intersctions when the lights change. “Well Cliff, how will we ever see this group, how do we see these fellows at all?!!”

    Not to be disheartened, Bobby and I maintain our optimism; and as we are prone to do, we devise a P-l-a-n.
    No matter how unlikely, let’s do this:

    We’ll pick a corners at an intersection, which we did, and we’ll unobtrusively cross back-and-forth if we can, and we did just that.

    About the third time, we were stopped in the middle and forced to stay on the island between the corner and the Stadium.

    Unexpectedly a large garage door opens one half-a-block away. “Hymm, what’s that..?”
    Suddenly 50 young men and women in light uniforms run out the door, seemed to be Police recruits or something. They run to both sides of the street and lock arms to keep back the crowds.

    The roar of the Stadium intermingles with the roar of the crowds outside all around us. Fifteen or twenty Police motorcycles roar out from that large Stadium door..and they go all around us. Bobby and I are still on that little island in the middle of it all as one line of motorcycles go in front and another line goes in back of us.

    In their midst is one very-long-very-black limousine with five young men seated in the back seats, one in the jump seat by the window even closer to us – it starts to speed up right in front of us as he and they drive by, motorcycle trumpets still blaring.

    Time slows down, it seems to become ever so quiet, just for a moment.
    John Lennon waves very slowly and he smiles.

    I smile back.

    1. rob akers

      Icabu,
      It is 2 Minutes to Midnight and I must Run to the Hills. My Seventh Son of a Seventh Son is lost in a Sea of Madness rambiling about The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Icabu, Hallow Be Thy Name and please call me, My Number is of the Beast. Dont let your Wrathchild spend his Wasted Years dreading the Ides of March. Remember Tomorrow as I get ready for my Flight of Icarus and I will always look for the Aces High!

      Part of the soundtrack of my life!

      Great Story and poor Nicko. He lost his gig. Maybe he can run around with Eddie and wave the Union Jack.

      1. Icabu

        Rob – welcome back! You win the prize for most Maiden songs in a comment!
        Definitely the soundtrack of my life!
        And poor Nicko has nothing to worry about – hung up the sticks and throne ages ago.

  18. Icabu

    “Hand over the flask, ma’am.”

    I turned at the vaguely familiar voice as I shuffled and bumped through the security line for the Iron Maiden concert. “Will? What the hell are you doing here?”

    “Working security like I have for the past three years.” He smiled. “Can’t say I’m surprised to see you here.”

    “Haven’t missed a Maiden concert in …” I had to do the mental math and didn’t want to admit to the result. “Uh, thirty years.”

    “Damn, you’re old,” Will chuckled.

    “You graduated high school with me, so same to ya, fella.”

    Frowning, Will held out his hand. Reluctantly, I fished out my flask and slapped in his hand.

    “Come with me,” Will said, very officially.

    With a questioning look to my friend, we followed Will.

    Will opened my flask and instead of pouring it out like I expected, he took a big swallow and passed it back to me. I followed suit and passed it to my friend. After a few rounds and a lot of reminiscing, Will reached into his back pocket and handed two backstage passes to us. I’m pretty sure I drooled.

    The concert was, of course, amazing. Age hadn’t diminished the band’s talent. My ears rung tinnily and sweat soaked my clothes as we made our way backstage. The anticipation was worse than Christmas morning at age nine.

    The band members mingled amongst the fans, with the largest group around Bruce, the lead singer. I’d always had a crush on him but found myself drawn to the drummer, Nicko. Remembering our teenage ‘garage’ band era, I stood in front of the warm up kit at the back of the room.

    “You play?”

    I jumped a little, recognizing the thick British accent. Nicko McBrain was talking to me!

    “Uh, yeah,” I stammered. “A lifetime ago.”

    He pulled a pair of sticks from somewhere and held them out to me. “Give it a go.”

    I gaped at him.

    “Go on. Let’s see what you’ve got.”

    Maybe it was the booze or the buzz from the clouds of smoke floating throughout the audience earlier, but I took the sticks and mounted the throne. My mind went blank briefly, then, slowly, I channeled my energetic youth. After rounding a few fills and cymbal crashes, I drove into the intros of a couple of my favorite early Maiden songs. To my amazement, and complete joy, Steve Harris grabbed his bass and thumped along with the driving beat of ‘The Trooper’. Adrian Smith joined us with his guitar and, unable to miss the spotlight, Bruce sang.

    Although far from perfect musically, I will forever remember that evening as just that – perfect.

    1. DRoberts

      Icabu,

      What a great story. Well-written. The ending ties up the beginning and middle of your story beautifully; it makes sense and is believable.

    1. rob akers

      Dean,
      Im my youth I was a member of the Kiss Army and I always thought that Gene Simmons was the man. That was until I watched his reality show and Im not so sure anymore. If people watched me on a reality show they might not find me as cool either. Nice take on the prompt!

  19. Dean Kutzler

    THE DEVIL WEARS GROUPIES

    “Zander! Dude—that concert rocked!” Bret said, fighting the crowd for the exit. “Bro, what was it? Like—in grade school when they were the shiz-nit?”

    “No man! More like kiddygarten. Remember? We used to rock their stuff on vinyl,” he said squeezing through sweaty bodies. “You’d think they’d be geezers by now, but I gotta say—they ain’t aged a day man.”

    “It’s all that makeup. Hey dude—wasn’t there a rumor back-in-the-day about KISS being Satanists or some crap?” he said brushing sweat off his forehead with the sleeve of his hoodie.

    “Whoa man! Yeah—I remember that. I was soooo pissed cuz momz made me sell all their records—totally forgot! Turns out though, it was just their name. The initials spell out ‘Knight’s in Satan’s Service.’ That’s why it’s in caps. Momz wasn’t havin’ it. She said, ‘Weirdo Satanists in makeup had no place in our home.’ That was before I found her dildo. She couldn’t get to the store fast enough to shut me up.” The exit was just ahead.

    “Good times Zane, good times,” he said shaking his head. “Yo—ain’t that the bully Mark? At the door?” The exit sign cast a red glow on his head. “Mark, buddy! How the hell’s it hangin’? You doin’ security?” Bret said a little nervous. Mark used to pick on him in gym.

    “Hey ladies! Ain’t seen you turds since—since, what? Highschool? How’s da nutsack douche? You ever get those Spidey-Man jimmies outta your crack?” he bellowed with laughter. “I’m head security for the band.” He banged his chest like Tarzan.

    “You always were an over achiever man.” Zander smirked.

    “Gimme-five,” he said grabbing Bret’s hand, slipping two passes in it as he shook it. Glancing at the next security exit he said, “Guys, sssh! Since KISS is playing here in our hometown—they gave me a couple a backstage passes. No one’s spose to know, ya know? Tell anybody and I’ll bust yer lip.” He clapped Bret so hard on the back he swallowed his gum

    Mark ushered them to the stage entrance. Before they got a chance to thank him, he was halfway back across the hall. “Yo man, he’s still a freak,” Zander laughed, “but how cool are we man? KISS ROCKS!”

    Bret looked around the empty hall and said, “Dude? How’d it clear out so fast?”

    “Who cares? Let’s go meet ‘em!”

    They walked an eternity down a dark hallway that ended up at a door that said ‘KISS’. “Dude, don’t you find this the least bit creepy?”

    “Yeah man, but it’s KISS. They’re all about drama. Why you think they wear that makeup?” Zander said knocking on the door. “Besides, just think of the story we’ll—“ Before he finished, the door opened a crack and a long tongue slithered itself around his wrist, pulling him with such force, his right shoe was left where he stood.

    “What the fu—“ Was all he said before his fate followed suit.

  20. jren

    “WOW! I just can’t believe it. Janie, how did you manage to get tickets to see Sugarland? They have been sold out for weeks.” Mary inquired.

    “It pays to be in the right place at the right time.” Janie responded. “Mel got the tickets and at the last minute he was told he had to go out of town on business. He just gave them to me and look. . .Orchestra seats.”

    “What luck?” Mary commented

    Mary and Jane arranged to meet at the front gate an hour before show time. Their excitement overflowed at the prospect of seeing their favorite group up close and personal.
    During show time, they laughed and clapped until their hands stung. Those two hours went by so quickly. The crowd was milling around. . .it was hard to get through the lobby. . .the people were shoulder to shoulder and heel to toe. Nobody was moving.
    Someone tapped Mary on the shoulder. As she turned around, there was Girard, a former neighbor of hers; he was in security at this theatre. “Follow me to an easier way around all of this.” He said. “Janie, come on.” Mary said.
    They went through a side door with a sign that stated “AUTHOURISED PERSONEL ONLY”. It lead backstage. Girard handed them each a pass in case anyone stopped them. He said “I have to get back to work. Hang out here for a bit. . .I won’t be too long.”
    Jane went one way while Mary went in search of the stars dressing rooms. Mary was opening doors. . .looking inside. As she opened one door, a hand came behind her and pushed her inside. She fell to the floor. The door was closed behind her.
    It was so dark; she couldn’t see her hand in front of her face. Mary called out “Who’s there? What’s happening?” Her heart was racing as her imagination took hold. “Janie, where are you?” She managed to get to her feet. The eyes were starting to adjust to the darkness and she could see the outline of someone in the room with her. “What do you want from me?” she yelled, hoping Janie would hear her and come to help.
    She could tell the outline was that of a man as a chill ran down her back. Mary heard him whisper softly, you are so beautiful as he touched her arm gently. She backed away until she couldn’t go any further. He was against her with his hand over her mouth. He raised her top with the free hand as he fumbled with her front bra clasp. She knew it was fight or flight. Her knee came up and she nailed him in his jewels. It freed her to run to the door and flea.
    Janie was right outside the door. “Having fun?” she smirked. Mary couldn’t believe that Janie knew what was happening to her and did nothing.
    “Don’t be mad, Mary. I remember you told me once you had a fantasy of being raped by a stranger. I was trying to help that come true for you.” Janie said as she ducked a flying shoe.

      1. jren

        I got to the end of my word count and had to end it. So, it just needed to be a little shocker. I would also have thrown more than a shoe, a punch comes to mind.
        Thanks for the feed back.

    1. annefreemanimages

      Hi jren. The story was flowing along and then that ending. I read your comment below. I just wasn’t able to connect to a friend setting up a stranger rape. Maybe if there had been some foreshadowing between the two that something was weird, something. But, that’s just my reaction. Otherwise, nicely done.

      ~Anne

  21. lcoto

    Who would have thought I’d ever see James Duncan again. We hung out our senior year, along with several other classmates. He recognized me right away.
    “Hey Crystal long time no see?” I looked at him for a moment before recognition set in.
    “Is that you James?” I said, grabbing Tanya’s arm, pulling her forward.
    “Yeah. You two haven’t changed a bit,” he said, as he fumbled with his security badge. “You enjoy the concert?”
    “We did. They were awesome. You working?” I said, making small talk.
    “Yeah, I work security on weekends for these gigs. Hey, you want to go backstage? With a grin he pulled out two passes and swung them in a slow circle.
    “Your kidding, right? Yeah, we’d love to meet the bad.”
    He handed me the passes, holding tight as I pulled them from his grip. He smiled and opened the door. “Have fun.” he said, as we bolted through.
    Down a musty hallway led to a half open door with voices buzzing into incoherent chatter. Managing to push our way through the crowded room of mostly scantily clothed teenagers, I saw him, Jonny, the leader of the band. One look and I melted. He saw me and motioned to come his way. Again I grabbed Tanya, who zoned in on the drummer.
    “Girls, your just what I’m looking for?”
    “What?”
    “We need a couple of backup dancers for our gig in Vegas tonight. Can you dance?”
    “Sure, but what did you say about Vegas?” The cacophony of sounds played against his words.
    “Come with me. The plane leaves shortly. We gotta be there by ten.”
    I looked at Tanya and shrugged. “What else to we got going?” and off we ran out the back door, along with the members of the band. After shoving into the limo, we headed for the small airport only fifteen minutes away, the benefits of a small town.
    Introductions were made and Jonny explained that they were playing at a private birthday party for a celebrity’s daughter at the Caesars Palace. The band wanted some dancers to get the party moving. Of course it all seemed like a dream.
    On the stage, Tanya and I danced like maniacs to every song, causing the party to move about the dance floor. In the audience, I could pick out several actresses and actors. I wished the night would never end. I snapped several pictures with my Iphone that I couldn’t wait to post to my facebook page. No one would ever believe it if I didn’t. Not even me.

  22. Kae Lee

    Sasha and I listened to Incubus sing the last line of “Warning” and as the band exited the stage, we made our way towards the exit.

    “Is that Jill Gardner?” I asked Sasha as I noticed a familiar looking red head wearing a jacket with SECURITY written in red across the back.

    “It sure as hell looks like her,” she said squinting at the girl. Jill!” She screamed at the top of her lungs while she waved like a drowning victim until the girl noticed us.

    “Hi guys. Did you enjoy the show?” Jill asked as people shoved past us.

    “It was great. Wish I could have won those back stage passes that the radio station was giving away though. I’ve been dying to meet Brandon!” I told her while secretly hoping she would offer to take me back there and introduce me to the band.

    She chuckled, handed back stage passes to each of us and without saying anything more, she turned and walked away.

    “Is she serious?” I asked Sasha. I was not about to wait around and find out. I immediately headed to the doors leading to the back. The moment we stepped into the dim lit hallway, a man appeared out of the shadows and startled us.

    “Tickets please,” he said in a deep raspy voice. We showed him our tickets and waited for him to wave us through. Unfortunately, the metal wiring in my bra instantly sent the metal detector screaming so I was detained till I was considered “safe”. Sasha didn’t bother to wait for me but instead practically ran down the hall.

    After ten agonizing minutes of being searched and missing my Victoria Secret bra that the bouncer insisted I leave behind, I followed the corridor till I seen the door with BAND written in bold black letters. My heart was pounding in my chest as I rehearsed what I was going to say to Brandon once we finally got to meet. About to knock, I then noticed the door slightly ajar.

    I peeked inside and was unable to move; unable to speak as I watched Sasha dance naked across the room. It was seductive and at that very moment, I envied her carefreeness.

    She danced her way to a bed that sat in the center of the room, surrounded by red candles and collapsed onto it in smiling up at the ceiling. I watched as my crush came into view and stood before the bed. On the verge of busting in and asking her “what the fuck she thought she was doing,” I quickly changed my mind and suppressed a scream as I watched what happened next.

    His tanned skin looked flawless in the candle light but suddenly leathery looking wings broke through the skin and flexed around him. His legs were no longer those of a man but instead looked more like that of a horse, hooves included. He resembled a demon. Every inch of him down to the horns that grew out his head. Everything inside me was screaming to go in and save my friend but once he climbed on top of her, she wrapped her legs around his waist and only moans of pleasure could be heard.

    I didn’t wait around for my turn but instead ran for the exit. My thoughts were spinning out of control. This was not at all what I had bargained for. I made up my mind that very moment. Starting now, I would only be listening to country music.

  23. slayerdan

    “ Anal Fistula!!” I screamed in Steves face, “ ANAL GODDAMN FISTULA!!”, I repeated, 10 times louder with my both my hands in the air. The most malevolent death metal band the U.S. had ever spawned was coming to the civic center, and through my uncle in security at the center, I had my teenage hands on two tickets in and two passes backstage.
    BACKSTAGE! My mind was moving like a missile into space. The wide eyed shock on Steves face told me I may have more than startled him as I slipped into mania, searching for a moment to catch my own thoughts and slowdown. Why? The band that usurped all others was coming. I was going backstage, with or without shellshocked Steve. Various smiles came and left as I imagined what we would see when we got there. Groupie sex? Animal sacrifice? Drugs? Groupie sex? That one seemed to come around in a regular rotation.
    “ So are you in or out, “ I asked Steve, his eyes letting me know he was finally starting to understand the ramifications of what was being offered.
    “ Im in. But isn’t the show in like 2 hours? Shouldn’t we get going if we are gonna go?,” he asked. He was right. To take advantage of the backstage passes—basically the keys to Hell—we needed to go, and now. A quick change into appropriate concert apparel-ripped jeans, black t shirt, and my pair of oft worn Chucks-I was ready. This being Steves normal attire, he needed but check his lighter level and cigarette supply and we were out the door.
    A short bus ride seemed like a jaunt across the world, my heart already pacing as if we were downfront, stage side already, the sickly sweet smell of weed in the air, sweaty people jockeying for position, and the aural assault from the juggernauts of death metal, Anal Fistula. Songs such as “ Knife to the Scrotum” and “ Raped by Monkeys” already pounding through my head. And a chance to maybe meet the creators of these classics!
    The line moved quickly and we were in. Just as I had pictured—the smell of weed and sweat battling for sensory mastery of those present—the sound of guitars being tuned. Waving our backstage passes like they gave us some sort of galactic worth and dominance, we got past the sneering security guard and entered the hallowed realm. The mythic place known as backstage.
    In teen angst and awe we maneuvered the hallways. Seeing a door marked “BAND” somewhat ajar, I took a breath and poked my head slowly through the opening. There they were!! The entire band!! I thought every fiber of me would rip apart at once, some cosmic explosion of monstrous proprotions. There sat “ Blackie” Burns, lead singer. There he sat—READING COSMOPOLITAN!! Not the Satanic Bible. Not 101 Ways to Bang Groupies. Cosmopolitan. And there too was the rest of the band. Napping. Drinking vitamin water. Doing yoga. Watching Andy Griffith reruns. My heart was in my stomach, and my stomach on the floor. What did I just witness?
    “Well, what was in there?”, Steve pawed at me, clamoring for a story that I could not tell. I looked at him, a weakness now in my knees. “ Evil,” was all I could reply,” simple, primordial evil. Lets go get a spot and wait for the show”. Dejected, I, along with oblivious Steve,walked back through the door, into the crowd for my last Anal Fistula show.

      1. slayerdan

        Thanks…..not my fave really, I feel I strayed at a couple of spots and tried to stay close to the word limit as i could, which brought the ending kind of suddenly….but based on a true story from this 400+ concert whore….:)

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