Here We Go_Christine McGrew_Pen & Ink illustration by Mark Holden
I had a blast participating in a truly unique venture orchestrated by Ruth Long and musician Big Earl Matthews, where writers and indie musicians collaborated on a promotion for the launch of their new album “My Friends and I”.
The brilliant album highlights thirteen various artists and their musical talents, capturing the essence of the eclectic music scene in Modesto, CA.
Each of these songs inspired music-driven tales that were compiled in an ebook companion. Art inspiring art–artists supporting artists! The road to success is different for all of us, but with a little help from my friends and I, it’s a trip worth taking!
My tale for Christine McGrew’s beautiful song, “Here We Go“.
The music house in Modesto is overflowing with excitement, buzzing through the crowd like a live charge. Tendrils of bitter smoke lick at my nose and sharp fingers of tequila tickle the back of my throat.
Ryan Russell makes his way offstage, echoes of “It’s Your Time” still hovering in the air. My friends and I went into this together—a collaborative concert celebrating our new album.
“Christine, you’re up! Knock ‘em dead!” Ruth cheered.
Here we go
The glaring lights obscure everything beyond this raised island. My voice clears–finger’s poised to pull the notes from eager strings.
Time to give life a show
I let the music carry me, over the crowd and out the door, until it flows, like a river, down the streets of downtown.
It’s a moment made of magic, where anything and everything is possible. I have never felt more alive!
My guitar sighs, its final breath caressing the crowd. The stillness is broken with applause, a reaction that feeds my spirit. I weave through the deafening maze, their words of praise widening a grin that has no room to grow.
“That is, quite possibly, the best show I’ve seen you do!” Bethany beams, pulling me into a hug. She hands me a drink and lifts her glass. “To our smashing success, rave reviews and fabulous fans!”
At the dark end of the bar, where history and love are planted in the grain, I catch a glimpse of my most recent romantic disappointment. I take the back stairs two at a time, suddenly desperate for some fresh air. I burst into the balcony and pull the night into my lungs, greedy for the relief it brings. I pierce the stars with wishes that have more to do with leaving than loving.
“Still prefer stargazing, I see. Old habits never die.”
I spin around, goose bumps racing across my skin. A figure steps out of the shadows. The moonlight reveals startling blue eyes, boyish features under barley locks, sun-kissed skin on a lean, muscular frame. He tilts his head and pulls his lips in a lopsided grin that steals the breath from my lungs.
He is, quite possibly, the hottest guy I’ve ever laid eyes on.
“I didn’t mean to startle you,” he offers, edging closer to me. “I was listening to your music. It’s beautiful…magical even.”
I back against the railing, my senses on full alert, though I’ve no idea why. “I’ve never been called magical before. Stubborn. Willful. Never magical.” I reply.
“The music whispers your secrets, to anyone listening close enough.” He stops just inches away, pinning me with his intensity. “Perhaps, you have more secrets than you realize.”
There is something intriguing about him, a trace of wind chimes in his voice, the smell of rain on his skin.
“You’re acting awfully cozy for a stranger,” I manage to respond, backing away to reclaim my personal space.
“I’m no stranger, darling. We’ve met before. Not in this lifetime, mind you…the one before.” He brushes a loose curl from my face, a gesture alarming in its familiarity, even as it sends ripples of excitement skittering through my core. “It’s taken me a long time to find you.”
I pull away from his reach, visibly shaken.
He closes the gap between heartbeats. “It’s me, Peter.” he says, his brow wrinkled with worry, his eyes clouded with hurt. “You don’t remember, do you?”
I try to place him. Maybe I met him at Cole’s party last weekend, when I consumed way beyond the recommended daily allowance of whiskey.
“I’m sorry, err, Peter, I—“
“She said this would happen. Too much time has passed. She gave me something to help you–to help you remember.” He pulls out a dainty leather pouch and dumps its shimmering contents into his palm.
“That’s glitter.” I announce, annoyed. Glitter is an irritating substance that’s nearly impossible to remove from curly hair. “You’re going to jog my memory with glitter?”
Why does the hot guy have to be a crazy drunk?
“I don’t know what glitter is. This is pixie dust–it will help unlock your memories.” He raises his hand towards his face, anticipation lurking behind bright eyes.
Here we go.
Not drunk. Delusional.
“You’re lost Wendy, let me show you the way,” He pleads.
“My name’s not Wendy. Now, put the glitter back in its little bag and walk your crazy a—“
The crazy hot guy blows his handful of glitter right in my face.
Before the string of expletives could escape, a barrage of images overwhelm my senses…the movement of the scene made me feel in a dream.
I see a bird’s eye view of an island. The surrounding sea dotted with massive ships. I smell flowers, their sweet scent carried on the briny breeze. I feel raindrops, icy shards melting on burning skin. I hear the roaring trumpets of a dozen boys as they charge down the beach.
The images scroll faster.
I see pirates wielding swords, Indians shooting arrows, mermaids diving and faeries darting. And then there’s Peter…he’s holding my hand and were flying.
Panic claws its way up my throat. I fall to my knees.
Oh. My. God. I’m hallucinating!
“Don’t fight it, Wendy. Go with it. These are your memories.”
“What did you give me?” I demanded. The threat of nausea second only to my searing headache.
I feel his cool hands gently cup my face. “Look at me. Look into my eyes and tell me you don’t remember who I am…who you are.”
I am swimming in pools of brilliant blue. I feel the barest breath of a kiss on my lips. He tastes of the sea and the sky, of sweet honey and sweeter secrets.
I stare deep into his fathomless eyes and see…me.
Not the girl I was precious minutes ago, but the girl from centuries past.
© 2013 Samantha Redstreake Geary
The “My Friends And I” album is now available at these locations:
Cover Art by Micah Van Zandt
The ebook companion for “My Friends and I” now available at these locations:
For a list of the participating writers, visit Ruth Long over at BULLISH INK!
Support indie creatives across all disciplines by purchasing the CD, reading the stories and leaving your feedback for the musicians and writers! Our heartfelt thanks to all those involved and the listeners and readers that travel with us on the road to success:)