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chapter 15

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Johnny Slipknot

Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 39
Location: The Burned City
chapter 15  Reply with quote  

Sitting in the back of the pickup, Trip could still hear the crush of the wind behind the music as they sped down the highway at 70 miles per hour. He pushed the headphones back slightly to let in a touch more background effect provided by the wind and road. It blended with Seth and Bull’s voices and made him wish they could have added it to the track back then. We always played better on the road, he thought and giggled.

When ‘Blind Faith’ came to a stop he turned up the volume-slide on the Walkman. The next song, ‘Fleeing to Danger’ would be cueing up and he needed it loud in his ears. It was probably his favorite song. He and Jay had written the music in a piece-of-shit motel after being forced to wait out a thunderstorm on the way to Chapel Hill. They had shared a bottle of Makers Mark and hammered it out while the skies boomed overhead. When they finally arrived at the gig, they were two hours late and soaked. Bull and Seth had been pissed until after the show, when they heard what had come out of the guy’s little detour. At three o’clock that morning Seth had written the lyrics and by dawn he and Bull had worked up a simple harmony for the chorus. At nine in the morning, they walked into the empty club on Spring Street and breathed life into their new baby.
Trip smiled as the memory played behind his eyes and the music played in his ear. When the chorus came, he joined in.

‘Shaking off the dreams of sadness,
Pulling away the thoughts that mask us,
The tide is high and so are we.
We’re dropping the weights and fleeing to danger
We’re dropping like flies and fleeing to danger.’

He jumped when he felt a little hand tugging his collar. Four year old Tyson Jr. pushed his head through the sliding door in the trucks back window. Trip took off the headphones.
“Daddy says are you too cold?” Aside from a missing front tooth, Tyson Jr.’s little black face was a mirror image of the man’s behind the wheel.
“No. I’m fine.” He called over the wind.
“Daddy says you making noise like you’re hurtin’.”
Trip smiled. There was a reason they hadn’t let him near a microphone back then.
“I was just singing.”
Tyson Jr.’s little brow furrowed and he pulled his head back in. After a minute, it popped back out.
“He say you knock on the window, you get too cold.”
“Tell him I said ‘Thank you’.”
Tyson Jr. kept looking at him, this strange white man sitting on a big suitcase, girl-length hair whipping around like a black bon-fire. Finally, he asked, “Why you singing?”
Trip thought about it. “’Cause I’m happy.”
“Why you happy?”
“I’m thinking about my friends. That makes me happy.”
The boy considered this and said, “I got a friend. His name is Toby.” This seemed to say it all, because Tyson Jr. popped back in and shut the porthole with a click.
Trip leaned back and replaced the headphones. As the scenery rushed by, he closed his eyes and imagined himself back on that empty stage in Chapel Hill. Red-eyed and hungry, they had laughed at and with, each other all morning. Bad jokes had given way to aching ribs and a horrible bout of the giggles. Several missed chords led to sharp insults and shouting. (Which degenerated into grade-school name calling, which led to fresh laughter.) But when it was all over, what remained was magic. Sleep-deprived and grinning, they slept the rest of the day. That night, at their show, ‘Fleeing to Danger’ killed. Trip remembered and smiled.
When the song ended, he rewound the tape and sang. ‘Fleeing to Danger’ was, without a doubt, his favorite song.



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