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Muttonchop Neil

Scalzi Story

Wherein I take a band name from Scalzi’s Next Band Name list, and spend no more than 20 minutes writing the story about it. Today’s random link gave me the band name Muttonchop Neil, and the thought, "Holy moly, why are they all so weird?"


He looked up again at the bright lights overhead, then back down to the stage. How many times had he stood like this? The town was different, the crowd was unknown, but the stage? The stage was the same as it ever was. Different colour, maybe. Different layout, maybe. Different size, yes, but always the same.

How many years had he done this? Too many to count.

How many lungs full of smoke had he inhaled over those years? Also too many to count.

How many songs had he sung? Too many.

Drinks had he drunk? Too many.

Nights forgotten in the mists of memory. Too too many.

And one never so.

He looked at the stage again, and looked down at his feet as he stepped on the first stair. Guitar in hand, fingers around the neck, thumb carressing gently, he walked up the next two steps to the stage, listening to tonight's small crowd, remembering the echos of that night.

She had been excited to go to the show, not because she cared about the performer, but because he did. She wanted to know about him, what moved him, what inspired him, why he kept playing every day.

She hated loud places, but braved that show, to understand him better. They had watched his idol on stage, the tickets expensive for the small venue's show, the intimate setting. They had watched him through the first set, waited anxiously for his return, and sat enraptured in the second set.

The music his idol, his god, his dream made sang to his heart. He had known for so long this is what he wanted to do forever, play music he had heard that night, music made from that man's voice, his fingers, his soul.

He had expected to do that forever with her. He shared that with her that night.

She was gone the next.

He walked to the middle of the stage, sat down on the stool and looked out at the crowd. A few jokes here, a short story to connect with them. A scan to see a couple leaning in towards each other. He wondered if the woman was there because she wanted to know more about his interests, his passion, his loves.

He didn't know, but he played to her anyway.

He played to the woman in the audience, and to the woman in his memory.

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