A Chapter by sophie-emma

Jessie dragged on the last of her cigarette and dropped it carelessly onto the floor, grinding it in with the toe of her black boots. She exhaled the smoke into the cool evening air and watched as it curled up into the sky, she welcomed the heady rush of the nicotine and smiled, red lips curled back over her perfect white teeth. She watched the streams of colourful people lining up outside the grubby venue, tucked away down an unknown backstreet in London. The black paint was peeling around the front doors, posters of bands been and gone were plastered to the walls and the steps were stained with years’ worth of spilt drinks and chewing gum. She loved it here. Stepping back through the broken back door, the sound of heavy drums and screaming vocals echoed down the dingy corridor. The band was sound checking their final song minutes before the doors were opened, as always. Jessie jogged the final stretch of the corridor and ducked into the tiny dressing room. She grabbed her camera off the table and ditched the lens cap before slinging it round her neck as she heard the fans begin to pack the auditorium, cheering and chatting loudly. The corridor was filled with shouts and Jessie stuck her head out of the door, greeting her brother and his band mates with her cheeky smile. The boys grabbed the nearly full bottle of vodka and began taking large swigs and passing it round, Jessie declined and waved her camera at them. They laughed and continued until the bottle was empty; the familiar burning in their throats was almost soothing. A dirty looking bald headed man poked his head round the door holding a mobile phone to his ear, he jerked him thumb in the direction of the stage and mouthed ‘get the f**k out there’. Jessie stood from her perch on the arm of the sofa and ran her hand through her messy peroxide blonde hair. Camera in hand she snapped a photo of the boys engaged in a group hug, swaying slightly as they did so. She giggled and kicked Alex, her brother, in the bum, a signal for them to actually go.

“Let’s get f*****g messssssy!” Alex shouted before jumping out of the room and into the corridor, closely followed by his band. Jessie grinned and ran after them.

She pushed through the faded red doors at the side of the stage and past the regular bouncer, who rarely did anything to control the crowd. He was more there to look the part. The crowd were raring to go, shouting and pushing already, fighting for a place near the front. It was packed. She could smell the heavy aroma of sweat, cigarette smoke and alcohol she had strangely grown to almost enjoy. She clutched her camera to her chest and stepped in front of the barrier, avoiding the outstretched hands of the drunk and high teenagers, clamouring for Alex before he’d even taken to the stage. She turned her back and fished her ear plugs out of the pocket of her skinny jeans, which proved difficult seeing how skin tight they were. She pushed the smooth foam into her ears, muffling the craziness.  She spotted Alex and the band skulking in the shadows, waiting to explode onto the stage. She watched, reading their body language perfectly. She counted down in her head 3...2...1...Alex jumped out of the shadows, roaring the opening words of ‘Hiding from hate’, Ollie started beating the s**t out of the drum kit and the crowd erupted. Jessie could feel the vibrations through her chest, Alex sounded amazing. His heavy screaming vocals interrupted by melodically sung verses. The combination was perfect. She lifted her camera as he jumped around the stage, his black hair fanning out as he threw his head around. Elliot swung his guitar round and jumped up onto the monitor at the front of the stage, effortlessly throwing out the heavy riff that made the song. Jessie stood at his feet, her camera pointed upwards as he looked down at her, grinning. She gave him thumbs up and moved towards the other side of the stage. Zack was violently head banging; Jessie wondered how he didn’t smack his head against the heavy body of his Bass. She snapped endless amounts of photos of them all as they thrashed through their next song, a heavy version of N-Dubz with shouting vocals and a shredding guitar riff.

Jessie dodged yet another crowd surfer who was pulled over the barrier by the security guard, who had stepped in after a clearly out of it girl had clambered onto the stage and tried to make out with Alex.  Jessie found this hilarious, as she usually did and Alex grinned at her. He knew how irresistible he was. He caught her eye again and gestured behind her; she spun round and jumped up on the barrier. The pit was insane. Boys and girls were throwing themselves around and jumping on top of one another. There were ripped t-shirts, hair was plastered to faces with sweat, and some were even bleeding. Jessie loved it, and raising the camera to her eye she snapped several photos of the chaos. People were pushing her off the barrier, dying to get their last glimpses of Alex and the boys as they hurled themselves into the final song. Alex leaned forwards off the stage into the crowd, screaming the lyrics into the over eager faces of fans. They grabbed at his hair, tore at his t-shirt and some even reached downwards. He jumped backwards onto the stage waiting for the drop in the song that signified his last hollering chorus. The brief moment of silence. The crowd hushed, waiting. Ollie lifted his drum stick and brought it down onto the cymbal. The ding rang out momentarily before the ending of the song came crashing down. Alex and the crowd together shouted the final ‘F**k You!’ before he dropped the mic and the crowd went wild. Jessie caught Elliot’s eye and he gave her a cheeky wink, she motioned towards the doors and he nodded. She stepped into the dim corridor, glad to escape the madness that was carrying on inside. It was cooler out here, Jessie looked down at her sweat soaked t-shirt clinging to her slim frame. Dodging round a guy with a fierce Mohawk who had his hands all over a pretty pink haired girl, Jessie pushed open the dirty green door of the dressing room. She quickly stripped off the damp white t-shirt, and pulled a ripped up black one over her head. It was her favourite of the bands merch so far, with Bleeding Romance written in bright green across the front, surrounded by twisted roses. She turned round and caught sight of herself in the mirror. Her hair was tousled and dirty and her black eyeliner was smudged beneath her green eyes, but somehow managed to look better than when she had first put it on. She had an effortless beauty about her that got her out of many situations, and into a whole lot more.

Jessie picked up the silver cigarette packet from the desk and slipped one between her glossy red lips. She checked the vintage gold watch that never left her slim wrist, only 9:30? Chucking on her pale grey leather jacket she fished around in the pocket for a lighter. She dodged for a second time around Mohawk guy, this time furiously making out with a petite dark haired girl. Jessie shook her head and kicked the back door open. Over the years it had warped and now became jammed in the wonky frame, it’s dark red paintwork was cracked and peeling, yet the whole building had a curious beauty about it. Jessie stood outside, it was a cool evening but the sky was cloudless. She flicked open the Zippo lighter and rolled her thumb over the ridged metal wheel; the pale orange flame flickered into life. She stared at it for a moment, transfixed by the way it danced in the slight breeze, before lifting it to the tip of her cigarette and inhaling deeply. She welcomed the rush of smoke into her lungs. It was quiet now, the main crowds had dispersed and only a few stragglers remained. Jessie leaned casually against the bare brick wall, and watched two girls, clearly no older then 15, stagger round the corner of the venue towards the back door. Jessie smiled to herself; she had encountered many girls like this, the ones who thought they had a chance. The one’s who wanted so badly to be the ‘groupies’. She knew Alex revelled in the attention he got from girls, after all he was beautiful. His usually straightened black hair was perfectly messy. His piercing green eyes were just like Jessie’s, mischievous and charming and his cheeky smile made girls, and guys, fall at his feet. His left arm was a canvas, and he had a tiny diamond inked behind his right ear that was only visible when he was throwing his head around onstage.

Jessie could see why these girls were here, but knew they had no chance. She felt almost sorry for them as they stumbled in their heels. Their short skirts barely covering their modesty, and their Bleeding Romance t-shirts rolled up to show a cheeky glimpse of pale midriff. Although it was mid April, the weather wasn’t exactly fantastic, and there was a chill in the air. As the girls neared the back door, Jessie noticed tiny goose bumps covering their skinny arms which they had folded tightly against their chests. They were trying so hard to look grown up, but their black lined eyes were smudged and tired and their childish complexion was mottled with an orange foundation that made them look like a Barbie doll reject.  


© 2010 sophie-emma

Author's Note


My Review

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Aw thanks man! I'll keep all that in mind :D

Posted 11 Years Ago

This is a great "in the moment" piece. The narrative had a good sense of pace, observation and stream of thought. I have some trouble when trying to read a "block" of text. Sometimes it helps to break up the action, scenes, thought or emotions into paragraphs. I particularly like the writing from,"...She welcomed the rush of smoke into her lungs. " to the end. This is the best section of writing in the chapter for me. Keep the reader guided where the story is going, even if through nothing more than a character's impressions. Very well written, thanks for a good read.

Posted 11 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on August 29, 2010
Last Updated on August 29, 2010



United Kingdom

not your normal 17 year old. more..