Disbelief. Final

The last, non-canon, Disbelief installment.

Ultimate Guitar

I'm bored, the young one whispered. The whine came through as he continued. We've been doing this for three hours; I want to do something interesting. Come on, we do this every day.

It's important to be as capable as possible, responded the calm one. Going over the Disbelief repertoire yet again had been his idea, as ever, but Ed had conceded quickly to this genius conception. Whenever we're required to perform we want to both look, sound and seem not only cognitive, but also, by comparison, incomparable.

There was a moment of silence before the young one continued, You use too many big words, he whined. You should say stuff easier. Can't we do something else? Do we have any sweets left? How about jam? I like jam if there's no Haribo.

You're going to rot our teeth, the calm one told him. You have to take responsibility for all of us when you start eating all of your treats and sweets. You can't shake off the blame when we are the ones brushing the teeth.

But I really like sweets.

Ed brought his improvised Thrillseeking solo to a close with one last bend to his highest B note. He had been playing for a long time, and the young one could certainly do with some attention now. The young one missed his friends, so Ed was beginning to feel the same trying to burst out of him. Moreover, he could feel the calm one trying to instil in him the responsibility of perfection. Nevertheless, Ed was in charge here, so three hours of work was enough for now.

It was silent when he stopped. The curtains were closed, blocking out the little light that came from the dull street lamp outside. Due to this, the room itself was pitch black. He couldn't see anything that he owned, or where his fingers were on the fretboard, but that was alright. He could feel the room around him. He could tell where his bed was, and even the exact fret that each of his fingers had chosen to position themselves on. The wood led his actions, taking him smoothly and consistently forwards into something that Paul, Jace and Adam would certainly enjoy. Then again, they typically enjoyed everything that he came out with.

Where do you think they are? asked the young one. Ed knew instinctively who was being referred to. Do you think they miss me?

Us you mean, corrected the calm one, and I'm sure that they do. They always seem very glad to see us.

Like we complete their pathetic paths, added the loud one. There were a few moments of quiet while fear shot through the young one, causing Ed's hand to shake ever so slightly, but he maintained control.

Well the band does have four members, the calm one countered quite smoothly. We can likely find them in one of many different places. Where do you think that it would be best to start?

The words of the calm one spread a feeling of safety, forcing the induction of fear from the loud one to retreat. It was because of this that the young one felt more than confident enough to speak. Roadkill, he suggested in something of a sing song voice, Indy's, Fuse, Mountford Hall?

All fine drinking establishments in their own way, but we do have to consider current circumstances, the calm one instructed. Ed could feel the young one taking in the lesson as it was given to him. Paul is in something of a less welcome regard by the rest of them. I'm aware that we can see his perspective, but we can also see theirs. Paul did make a mistake, we just need to make the point of making sure that everybody comes back together happily.

We should rip his spine out through his throat for lying to us, offered the loud one. Insidious tendrils of anger began to creep through his mind, seizing Ed's body in the name of the loud one. I despise liars, he continued. Their depleted sense of honour is adequate to earn them removal.

You can not make that distinction my brother, as much as you may wish to, replied the calm one, like a parent addressing a wayward child. This led to a rush of white hot fury running through Ed, but he kept his face as still as possible so that the change would not be betrayed. Thankfully, it passed quickly. We have to consider that Jace and Adam have their own differences as well, so it could easily be difficult to find any of them. Which would be the most obvious one to trace?

Well, Paul has his room, but Adam's boring and spends a lot of time at home when he's not with us, explained the young one, as though reading off a list of Adam relative facts. Jace is wherever they have alcomahol, but that's a lot of places. We should go and see Ally; she gives us caramel when she sees us so we like her.

Ah, yes, Miss Steadman, began the loud one with something of a maniacal laugh underneath his words. You're right in that; we like her very much. She is a delicious creature. If only you weren't such a despicable waste of breath little Finn, you might actually stand a chance of getting a taste of such a creature. You should let me out. I would have her in moments and ruin her forever. I promise nothing though; they like it to hurt. I might even hide the scars from that frail little waste of a body that you insist on carrying me around in.

Leave it be brother, you are not helping anybody, the calm one said over him, effectively silencing what Ed knew would result in a torrent of abuse. You're still sitting in darkness with a guitar on your knee Edgar. It likely is a very good idea to wander out and socialise a little. The little one could benefit from some attention and I shall find some way to occupy myself. Also, Mr Taylor could definitely use a little affection from somebody, so it is our responsibility to make sure that he is not being too unkind to himself.

Can we sing him a really nice song? asked the young one hopefully.

Edgar doesn't talk if you recall, replied the calm one. The disappointment that came as a result was the same every single time. For some reason, the youngest of his three internal friends had a lot of trouble holding on to that fact.

Ed put his Stratocaster back onto the stand without looking for it. Everything in this room has a particular layout, order and symmetry, like the most beautiful of music. There was almost a rhythm to the room, and Ed was a single note to flow through it all. He didn't have to see anything; he could simply feel everything from his guitar to his desk and back to his bed by the window and the shut curtains. He buttoned up his shirt smoothly as he made a little circuit dance around the room and then followed that up by making for the door.

He'll be at the Halls, right? Right? inquired the young one eagerly, showing off his natural enthusiasm for being correct. The calm one sent him a wave of affection and acceptance in response, which brought the young one into a brief burst of song. He was always one to enjoy even the smallest of victories.

Ed left home behind him and wandered out towards the main streets. It was almost strange that nobody knew where he lived considering how close he was to the town centre. Perhaps it was always that he would be the last one of the group to leave, or would vanish without a trace in his own way and time. Often, the ones in his head called for it and he had to disappear before he lost control, but most of the time he maintained himself with relative ease. The loud one didn't often care what happened around him, and the calm one generally kept him in line.

Abruptly, Ed missed a step, twisted his ankle and tripped all at once, bringing him crashing down to the pavement with a bang. In addition to the pain, he was hit by a feeling of immense satisfaction, but it was fairly obvious that that didn't actually come from him. The laughter resonating around his head confirmed it. The loud one did not like being thought of as in line'. This came as no real surprise. Ignoring the burning undercurrent coming from his ankle, Ed dragged himself back to his feet and continued to press onwards. Thankfully, nobody seemed to have noticed, though he wasn't on any streets of importance, so that was no surprise.

Both the calm one and the loud one were thankfully quiet while he was walking. The young one was not, but he talked, laughed and sang quite happily most of the time. Ed had long since learned to phase out the noise, though he had always had trouble with the overly infectious smile. That just would not go away. He found himself marching to the rhythm that the young one's song was setting. It was loud, boisterous and merry, which was just what Ed was happy to have running through him as he turned onto Smithdown Road and both heard and smelt the rush of vehicles running down it.

The sudden external noise halted the rhythm a little, but only because Ed couldn't hear the young one's outburst of pleasure. He soldiered on proudly, and, within moments, his inner child had lifted the volume to compensate. Ed could feel the annoyance of the loud one mounting, but he could also feel that the calm one was keeping a close eye after the earlier accident'. It always seemed odd to him that something from inside his own head could make him feel so safe, but such was always the case.

Yep, that's all I'm leaving you with.

It's been a blast and an honour to write for all of you. You've all forced me to improve over the fifty weeks I've been doing this; UG's first weekly fiction column. I've had people telling me I was writing it wrong from the beginning, I've had to face a deadline change purely because the management wanted another writer in my spot and god knows how much people have told me that I can't write for shit, but it hasn't stopped me, and here we are for it.

Thanks for sticking with it. I want everybody to leave a rating and a comment just this one time for me, because this is it. There will be no follow up from Disbelief. Should it be published, it will be available for purchase. If not, then you might see it again, but it will be at a price. I've put too much of my life into it.

In the meantime you can follow any of my other works that are currently available on UG. Life and Times; the UG story comes out every other Thursday. That one's a little different. Or you could check my blogs, where I'm posting updates for Battleships (yesterday's apocalypse) and An Aspiring Love (love for all the wrong reasons is still love). I'm planning to be back with some non-fiction in a couple of weeks. Practical Composition it will be called, and it will be an examination of making music rather than the usual factual lessons. Once that's done, which will be after Christmas some time, I'll be starting another, somewhat shorter, fiction series called Lute'. It's more comfortably in my own genre.

Please do rate and comment on this, the final piece of Disbelief on UG, as though it was the entire thing. What were your favourite bits? What were your least favourite bits? What characters did you hate and what situations didn't you believe? What do you think is really going on with Ed? What do you think is really going on with Cooper? Does Paul get the girl? Should Jace get laid? You can help me by letting me know what's on your mind.

This last piece was non-canon, which means that it will not be appearing in the novel. This bit's just for you.

Thank you, as ever, for reading.

All work copyright Tom Colohue. All rights reserved.

75 comments sorted by best / new / date

    wow amazing. ive followed this story from the start and im sad to see it finish on UG. Saying that, publish this and i will deffinatly be getting my hands on a copy! im hooked now, need to know the ending! and finally we find out whats going on in Ed's head, its making sense anyway well done and thank you Colohue, its been a good 50 weeks and i have loved coming home from school every week to read this, one of the best bits of my week
    I've really enjoyed this story, it was descriptive so I had the whole thing playing out in my head as I read it. Would love to see more of Jace when the book is released. Thanks for all the chapters up to here!
    Wow. EXCELLENT final (UG) piece. I really enjoyed that and it really explained well. This is the best installment in the series I've followed Disbelief religiously since the first piece came out. Man, you weren't the best writer in the world then! But, you really have progressed with time, and are a very compotent writer now. I enjoy your style, your characters and your plot. I will buy the novel WHEN-not if, it most certainly will be!-it is published. Your description of the gigs, while they were actually being performed, really stood out to me. They were amazingly described, very well done. Capturing a musicians mind wasn't hard for you either! I liked the twists and turns in the plot and Ed was definitely the most compelling part of the story. Thanks Colohue, great story. Keep us updated on the publishing and all that. Good work man, good work. 10/10 for this piece.
    Mailbox Guitar
    Excellent writing, Colohue. Looking forward to finding this on a store shelf one day. Also looking forward to Lute. It sounds... intriguing.
    An amazing and compeling story, with one hell of a cliffhanger, and non-canon to boot. I've been reading this story RELIGIOUSLY since it came out, whether it was during my lunchbreak or rediculously late at night, and I must say I've enjoyed every bit of it. From the earliest gig in the first episode, to the fight with sean, to the twists and conflicts with Fire Brand, I've loved it all, as I'm sure many others have. I can't say I can guess what's going on, but I can assure you that if you get published, then I will certainly buy your book. You've come a long way from the beginning, and you're only getting better. Godo luck, Colohue.
    Do keep us posted on how publishing goes, i feel i have to know the end. i knew from earlier that ed was a bit messed up but i didn't expect total schizophrenia. i've loved the story thus far and look forward to reading the final work. thanks very much and good luck, i hope all goes well with the publishers, and if by some freak even it doesn't, please please please, give us our ending.
    Sad to see it go, but this was the most well written chapter (even though it's non-canon) so far. The whole inner conflict - outer calm is exactly what I think Ed's demeanor is represented by. Your writing has improved significantly over the course of the series, you should be happy with what you have created. Thanks for sharing.
    this story will be missed emensly u are a great writer (from what ive seen from ur works) good luck with publishing and il definately buy a copy if i can
    Wow, I figured Ed was schizophranic. Very, very well written last piece, and it made Ed all the more endearing to us all. The series was very well written, which is what kept me coming back week by week. However, I feel like there were quite a few wasted chapters that didn't do anything to progress the story in any way, shape, or form, most notably about 10 of the sections before the Fuse gig when everything went to crap. There was far too much mulling around with Cooper drama and the like, which made it very dry and boring to read. I was about to give up on it until the Fuse gig came along. That kept me hooked through the end. If I were to give some advice, it would be to work on making sure there are no wasted sections to your story. Always write something with a purpose of moving the story forward. Even if you're only setting the stage for something major, make sure SOMETHING happens that is of at least some importance to the progression of the story.
    thanks alot for everything tom, love your writing, just hope you continue and best wishes for the future, with this, and other works. loved this and gutiargasm BTW. at first, i admit i was a LITTLE cheesed, but after reading through some comments, i think it really was a great ending FOR NOW at least.. gave me goosebumps goodluck man, ill be looking out for your stuff, and could you make an announcement on UG or something if it does get published? thanks again!
    Been reading from the first one, think this is the first time I've left a comment (don't usually log in to my account these days). First of all, I've enjoyed the series immensely. Probably the best I've read on here, and like many other previous comments I'd be glad to buy the book if/when it gets published. If it doesn't, I really hope you open it up independently in e-book format or something, as I'd really hate to not find out just what happens with Ally! Make sure you get a nice big story on UG frontpage if you do get published though, so noone misses it The thing that has impressed me most is the obvious way in which you have grown and matured as a writer through the series, it's been really great to see the exponential increase in the quality, the breadth of the storyline, and the depth of all the characters. I feel like I know them all - Jace especially reminds me of the drummer in my band! Thanks for the enjoyment of reading the columns to date, can't wait for the book Alex
    I've been reading this since the first one and I've loved it all the way through. I always loved Ed and found him fascinating and this was an exceptional piece. If you get this published I want a copy!
    Sorry to see the story end,it was a high point of the day to see a new edition when I logged on.
    You really let a lot of yourself show, to me it seemed like every character was a different side of the same personality and mindset. Very good and all that though, to have commitment and to have such a volume of work that is not crap and all. The weekly chapters definitely improved your writing (not saying you were bad, it will improve anyone's writing if they stick with it).
    explains so much... and this one was written do well... but i still wish you'd given us a proper ending. oh well, good luck with everything, really hope i get to see the book one day!
    its like the rock and roll version of the giver. the epic ending that has so many questions to be answered. lol. great job colohue. the schizo thing makes since now. keep us updated on the publishing progress and all that. i really enjoyed this series.
    This was an awesome story. I'm a little sad that I won't get to see what happens for a while, but when it gets published I'm totally buying it.
    its been a really good read but i do have a couple of criticisms which you probably wont even get to read but if you do itd be nice to hear what you think of them: the problem isnt the fact that youre choosing to publish the book- i think its worth publishing and all the best of luck to you for pursuing writing, i hope it all goes well for you. the problem is this- imagine there was a series being broadcast on TV, lets take eastenders. people have invested months, even years of their life waiting for the next instalment and hoping for resolution to the ongoing storylines. now imagine if suddenly one day they said 'next weeks episode will be the last one we release on television and after that youll have to pay'. sure, people would probably have bought it originally if itd always been marketed as a paid thing, but maybe some people wouldnt have as they didnt have the money or whatever. in fact what had happened was the entire viewerbase was duped (sorry for the harsh word, dont take that as a cheap shot or anything) into believing what they were getting was free but then told right at the end theyd have to pay to see what happened. i dunno, thats just my opinion anyway.
    Before this installment, i believed that Ed was a sort of God symbol in this work. He's mysterious, not completely understood, doesn't speak in words, purely amazing, shows up when he's needed and was portrayed as positive throughout the book. The highlight of my own theory was the guitar battle versus Ash, Ash representing Satan and Adam representing mankind (he has the right name for it!). Adam being rhythm, they both work through him, but he gave "God" his favor and they defeated "Satan". But I do suppose that schizophrenia answers a few questions as well ^_^ So I would be more than willing to jump through hoops to obtain this novel, even if its only released in Europe, and i live in California. I have stacks of books i've never read, and stacks of books i've half read. Only a small amount of books outside school i've finished and i can promise you i will read this cover to cover when it's finally released. The other columns are news to me and i will certainly start reading those very soon
    Bloody brilliant, sir! I can not wait to see the finished work, and I will buy, guaranteed.
    this is great man. definitely let us know where to find it when it is on the market
    Wonderful write! I have read and loved every new piece of this story, looked forward to it every week! I would, however, strongly advise a pretty strong revision of order and composition of it all for publishing (I am sure you know this though if you are going to the effort!) because as of now, the weekly installment feel runs strongly in it, and for an actual book, that can really harm the readability. But this sapling will mature into a fine tree of a novel, I am confident.
    nooooo :'( oh well. awesome as always! please keep us updated on when you get it published, I know you will! Thank you so much and good luck in everything!
    Great story, it started off humble and really developed into something that we, as musicians, can all relate to. Near the end things sort of piled up and piled up, and it was sort of difficult to remember which problems were whose, but that could also have been due to the weekly gap. Great writing and it's going to make a great book. Here's hoping I might someday own a copy of Disbelief!
    great series. but to be honest, i think the ending was shit. there was so much left unanswered for. fair enough its like "what happened?! its up to your own minds to interpret the rest of the story to find out what happened!" and what not. but, i hated it. feels like you finished one arc in the story, started a new chapter then quit halfway through it. good series though, thanks for the story every week hay congratulations on it
    Absolutely amazing, i cannot actually describe how much I enjoyed reading this ... For the past 50 weeks i've logged on to my computer and the first thing i've checked for is a new installment of Disbelief! I agree with 1Zearo1 ... i think you should touch up the bits with the guy paul meets at firebrand studios (Scott i think his name is?), but other than that I think it was damn near perfect! Best of luck with getting it published and i hope you continue to write / publish other books in the future!
    Thanks Colohue for the amazing ride, enjoyed it thoroughly. You write simply, but your stories catch on. I started reading late, which meant I played catch on your chapters till aroun 39. In my opinion those first chapters were better than the rest that I read, but that might because the sequence was broken. Advice: Turn town the live perfomances. Though they were good initially, you need to have something else besides as the description of the performance. The last one you wrote however was awesome, I liked the focus on Adam, as he seems to be the weaker link in the group, and its a story within the story whatching Adam "survive within the band". I think that working shaun back into the story isn't a good idea, by the time you've mentioned him most of us have probably forgotten who he is. You also need to fix up bits with the guy who Paul meets at Firebrand studios (whose name escapes me). Hope you know that your story made me join UG, to tell you this. Good luck, and don't give up - publishers are just money making barstads, and its frigging imposible to get published if you aren't allready a selling writer. (you don't have to include this part when you submit the coments)
    I can say with complete honesty, that -though I have fallen out of reading this series (from chapter 30 or so)- this chapter was amazing. It was refreshing (to say the least) to find out about Ed's condition, especially after the introduction of such a mysterious character. To discover it through such an insightful and artistic way! You, Mr Colohue, have grown as a writer, that much is evident through the subtle differences in Part 1 and Part 50. Thank you for contributing to UG, because with your continued diligence you've help build it into a bigger and better community. One of music lovers and lovers of literature. Rock on good sir.
    Mr. HaYsEeD
    I liked it! I liked the whole series. I hope all goes well with the novel. This was definitely something I looked forward to every week. I don't think Paul gets the girl though. And I really really liked Ed.
    Very, very well written sir. Almost incomparable (by comparison) to the beginning of the series, and man, does this answer a couple questions. Not half as many as are left though... is he traumatized because of the fire thing, or what? Also, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? Get published man, for our sake. You certainly have the talent for it, and it's a great story. Keep us updated, and good luck!
    it was a very interesting way to end it, and it left me kinda disappointed but mostly because Ed is such an immense character, and i want his entire back story. writing wise it was very strong, and it's fun to look at this your last, and the first disbelief chapter and see how much your writing has changed. overall a very good closure
    Very nice piece. Now I do know what Ed's problem is(Schizophrenia)! Good luck for you and your (future) work!
    Daaaaamn, think it's great. And especially this part, but I still prefer life and times series more not sure why.
    I wish everyone with Schizophrenia could control it so well!! It would be so awesome if Schizos could suffer from only one of many symptoms and lead an otherwise normal life. I'm not a fan of your writing. I think it comes out as very robotic; like there's no emotion behind the words. Whether you have emotionally invested in this story or not... well, that doesn't matter. Because I honestly can't feel it. And your discriptions of the live shows were pretty bland, you seem to describe the composition of the music more than the emotion that is behind it. That being said, many people on this site seem to respond well to your writing, and you may well have a career in this. I wish you the best of luck, Tom. Cheers.
    If you make the whole story a nowel, i promise you that i'll read it, I was too late to start with this, and i didn't want to rush through 13-14 chapters hehe. All in all, good luck with your future projects man!
    Thanks for everything, Tom. Once again, I wish you the best of luck, even though I know you won't need it. I'm looking forward to your inevitable publication.
    Awesome story. Buying this for sure. 5 stars or 10/10. favorite charcter was Ed because i can relate to him. and Yes, Paul should get the be with ally, But i comes with a price. oh and make sure you post the release date when you get published and where to get it =) Thanks For Everything in the last 50 weeks
    amazing the whole story has been a joy to read, the character dynamics and plot have been fantastic and will be sorely missed untill disbelief resurfaces
    thanks for introducing Disbelief to us. I definitely read this if this gets published.