A Chapter by Smackey

If the people could ask Rodney only one question, they'd probably ask how his rock star voice could be so different from his normal voice.

“Well,” he told them, “the crowd just gets you goin', you know?  Guess it's kinda a nervous tic.  Good one though.”

Truth was, Rodney'd take a minute just before his shows and go out back to the car “for a smoke”.  Forgot his cigarettes in the glove compartment, he'd say.  Gotta ease back and relax.  Shut the door and burn out the fright.  That's what he called it.

But when he shut the door, and broke off the sounds of the parkway, and the car lights dimmed, Rodney screamed his head raw until he couldn't speak but heave out his words.  He screamed until his throat was tied to a knot, and screamed on top of that as if to pull it from both ends, stringing it up to burst.  His face was red hot - burning to melting to what he was to be.  And he clenched the seat until his wrists were so pierced by the shrieks that he could no longer hold himself in place.  He lit the air in screams until he felt so sick he could scream out blood.

And that's when he puckered a cigarette in his lips and lit up.  The first drag was always the one to fill up every part of himself he screamed out, and his exhales sunk muffled below the sounds of deaf, like beating wings in his ears that kept him sure he hadn't screamed his heart out just yet.

By losing his normal voice, he found that raspy stage voice.  Seemed like a flawless idea, long as he didn't pop a vein.  But after each time, his casual voice hardened, more resistant to his screaming ritual.  And it was inevitable that, one day, Rodney wouldn't be able achieve his coarse rock star voice.

And on that day, his screams were those of panic.  He yelled in the car until five minutes past show time - until he was so deafened he couldn't even tell what his voice was.  He could feel it, though; richly flowing from that pulsing ache in the pit of his throat, unlike the sandpaper-feel he wanted.  His throat throbbed until it felt suffocating, and he couldn't breathe anymore; and he couldn't scream anymore; and he couldn't ever sing with that rock star voice again.

On stage, he trembled before the microphone stand - kept his head down, as if looking beyond the audience.  As his words were to come, the wingbeats in his ears grew heavy and slowed down, along with the drums, the guitar, bass, cheers, calls, lights, fists sways bobs steps eyes drinks waves screams

The night.

It all came to a halt before Rodney, because if he couldn't lose his voice, he'd have to at least find it, and he needed time.  And when he finally let it out, it wasn't the voice from his flushed, hot head.  Or the voice from his throat that always echoed in pain.  It all came straight from his heart.  And from the second he sang out his first melody, that night that once ceased to move would never stop again.

© 2010 Smackey

Author's Note

I just wish the ending wasn't so ideally happy.
Rodney took the stage from me and went his own way. That dick.

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Added on April 9, 2010
Last Updated on June 16, 2010
Tags: screamer, scream, sing, rock, show, pajamas



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