The hum of the amplifiers creates an electrifying atmosphere as the arena explodes with applause, cheers, and chants of “Encore! Encore!” The final chord resonates while the band members energetically strut off stage, graciously thanking their fans for their support. Once the group was safely backstage and out of the view of the crowd, they grabbed towels and vigorously wiped the sweat from their faces, chests, and backs. But first, the lead guitarist, Chester, was compelled to reach for his infamous bottle of whiskey.
He downed a few swigs straight from the bottle, just to get the tremors to calm so he could hold the bottle steady and think straight. The other members noticed, but had long ago decided to avoid the confrontation. After all, until recently, Chester’s performances were never affected. Until recently. Continue reading
(Author’s note: IMPORTANT! These stories are posted in reverse chronological order. Older stories should be read first by scrolling further down on the home page.)
On a bright, hot, suburban summer day, a group of neighborhood kids were playing street hockey in the middle of the road at the end of a cul-de-sac. Just as one of the older kids wound up to unleash a slapshot, a squeal shattered the quiet neighborhood and a loud, speeding, orange Dodge Charger fish-tailed almost uncontrollably around the corner at the other end of the street, sending the kids running for cover.
The car slowed down a bit as it neared the group of kids, and the driver waved out of the side window and smiled proudly. The kids all grinned as their heart rates started returning to normal. Two of the children waved back, acknowledging their father on his way home from work.
As the driver slowed and rounded the U-turn at the end of the street, he caught a glimpse of glaring eyes coming from a window of the neighboring house. After checking his mirrors before backing into his driveway, he glanced back to the window but there was nobody there to return his stare. The instance was a little unsettling and gave the driver a cold chill down his spine, but he managed to shake it off without too much effort or afterthought. Continue reading
John and Nancy eagerly boarded the Boeing 757, their excitement overflowing. Less than 24 hours ago, the couple had vowed to spend the rest of their lives together…for better or for worse. The love-struck gleam in their eyes had been glued in place and there was no sign of it disappearing anytime soon. As they hopped and skipped down the aisle, John offered Nancy the window seat, to which she countered by graciously bowing and replied, “Thank you, Sidney.” She was referring to his name as it appeared on his passport, and now their marriage certificate, then playfully elbowed him in the ribs.
She had recently discovered his given birth name, and began teasing him about it and for hiding it from her for as long as he did. John was slightly sensitive regarding his first name, considering it to be too feminine, so he generally deferred to using his middle name.
As the plane left the gate at the Louisville International Airport and began to taxi around the tarmac, John looked over at Nancy with an uneasy look on his face. “It’s going to be a long flight…” he said dryly. “I bet this is how Buddy Holly must have felt.” Nancy knew that John didn’t handle roller coasters very well, and the feeling that a plane gives when taking off is very similar. She cast him a reassuring smile before reaching up and opening the air blower over John’s head, then placed her hand on his knee for comfort. They both got lost in the gleam of the shiny new set of rings on Nancy’s left ring finger. The diamond was a little understated due to John’s level of income, but he had made every possible effort to attain the ring that now adorned Nancy’s finger. The jet engines began to whine, and the couple braced themselves before the plane rocketed down the runway. The nose tipped upward as the plane lifted off, and John felt the g-forces press his stomach back towards his spine. Continue reading
Diane briskly walked out of the lecture hall after just finishing the final exam of her freshman year at Ball State University. Hitting the steps in front of the building in a light, skipping run, she tossed her backpack in the backseat of the waiting Mustang GT convertible as she approached. She slid into the passenger seat, greeted her boyfriend with a short sigh, and blurted, “Let’s get outta here!” Jack finished his exams the day prior and had his car loaded down and ready for their summer trip.
“How’d it go?” Jack asked, as he mashed the gas pedal and squealed off leaving a cloud of burnt rubber. He noticed an exaggerated eye roll come from his high school sweetheart, who he’d been dating since the summer between their sophomore and junior years of high school. “Well, at least it’s over,” he offered before anxiously changing the subject.