Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Studio Time

(This story was the result of our last homework assignment. The brief was simple, write a story based on the word "help". After thinking about a lifeboat in a storm and a mountaineer on the side of a glacier, I decided on a different tack. That word reminds me of a song ;-) )

"Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! Help! You know I need someone..."

"No, no, no, that's not right!"

Talia threw her arms up in the air and tore the headphones from her head, throwing them to the floor, locks of her straw-blond tangle of hair flicking up.

"What the hell's wrong now, Eric?", she yelled at the booth, her words bouncing around the studio, syllables coated with her northern accent. Daggers flew from her piercing, emerald blue eyes and a harsh pout formed on her cherry-red lips. She glowered at the reflection of herself in the mirrored sound booth window.

His voice came over the intercom again, calmer this time.

"Look, I'm sorry, it's just that this was the fifth time we've tried this and you're still not getting it", his disembodied voice said. Talia turned her back on the window and parked her hands on her hips, glaring at the backing singers and session players, daring them to agree with Eric. Wisely, no one made a sound. She turned back and stalked up to the window, pushing her face close to the glass.

"And what exactly do you think I'm not getting?", she said, her voice raised, hands waving in the air. "I can sing a damn song, you know."

The door clicked and swung open and Eric walked in, arms raised defensively. Talia moved towards him and he backed up quickly, banging into the door and gasping at the sudden pain. A hand rose to grip his shoulder, but found no further pain there. He shook his mop of dark, brown hair and straightened up. He ran a hand over his soul patch and raised the hand to emphasis his point.

"I'm not saying you can't, Talia, it's just that when you sing the Beatles, people expect a little... something... extra? You know, something to show them that you're worthy... to... sing... it."

His words slowed as Talia's eyes darkened and the daggers turned to very sharp, very pointy swords. She stepped towards him, each fall of her boot accentuating her words.

“What. Do. You. Mean. Worthy?”

Her face was right up to his; he could smell the cigarette smoke on her breath and a trace of an ineffective breath mint. Eric gulped and looked past her, but everyone else in the studio had suddenly found the little holes all over the sound-proofing to be the most fascinating things they had ever seen.

“I won that show, I beat them all, they chose ME, so don't you dare suggest for a moment that I'm not ALLOWED to sing this damn song”, she said, jabbing a finger as she spoke, poking him in the shoulder, a sharp stabbing pain from her crimson fingernail accompanying each jab.

Eric held up his hands in surrender, his shoulder throbbing.

“Look, I'm just trying to warn you. People love the Beatles, people love Lennon, you need to be able to show you're respecting their legacy”, he said. Talia shook her head.

“The Beatles? Lennon? Legacy? I don't know what you're going on about, Eric, this is a McFly song, don't you know anything?”, she retorted, prompting stifled laughs from several places around the studio. She swung round, glowering at the singers and musicians.

“What's so damn funny?”, she demanded, fixing each of them with her venom-filled stare. No-one took the bait. She turned back to Eric, who had his hand over his mouth and was trying desperately not to laugh.

“WHAT??”, she yelled, her words rattling the window. Eric grinned at her.

“Nothing, nothing, we're just seeing things clearly now, that's all. Yes, very clearly. I'm sorry I said anything. I'm sorry. Please forgive me.”

Talia nodded at him, her anger fading.

“That's better. I guess I won't need to have you fired now”, she said. Eric drew the back of his hand over his forehead, faking a relieved look.

“Oh, thank you, Talia, most appreciated. Now, shall we get back to recording this... McFly... song?”

Talia smiled at him and skipped back to the microphone, bending to pick up her headphones. Eric watched, then flashed a grin at the backing singers, nodding at the pretty brunette on the end of the line-up. She looked quickly at Talia and returned the nod. He turned and stepped through the door, closing it behind him and double checking to make sure it was closed properly. He sat down next to the sound engineer at the mixing panel and leaned over to checked that the intercom was off, then rocked back in his chair and laughed until his sides hurt.

The sound engineer shook his head.

“Another one who'll be forgotten this time next year, hey?”, he said. Eric sat forward and grinned at him.

“No doubt there, Sam. Anyway, let's get this thing wrapped up, shall we? Just cut out her microphone and pick up on that girl on the right, she'll be doing the vocals.”

He rested his chin on folded hands and watched the girl preparing.

“Like she does every time.”

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