10:00, the alarm is ringing. With a quick slam of the snooze button, it's back to sleep for another nine minutes. After getting out of bed and in and out of the shower, it's time for practice.
Keys: check. Guitar: check. Amp: check.
Rick lazily drags himself into the driver's seat after putting his gear in the back of the van. He turns the key in the ignition and drives out of the driveway, and to Harry's house, where Sandra and Robby already are.
Wide awake now, he drives down the road, wary of the blue 02 Mustang of his mother's. Nothing has been predictable lately, and sleeping has been hard. Rick shrugs his thoughts off and pulls into Harry's driveway, as he has done many times before.
Harry's parents are always working, or away for the weekend, which gives them the freedom to practice at his house almost anytime.
Getting out of the van, Rick grabs his gear and heads inside, down the cellar, like several other practices. It starts out like normal, playing through the songs, and taking a break halfway into it for food.
As usual Rick heads into the kitchen, accompanied by Robby now, and Harry heads off to his room to change, while Sandra wanders through the house.
After eating, Rick heads through the house to find Harry and Sandra, to continue practice.
Sandra! Harry! he shouts out, too tired and lazy to actually attempt to find them. You ready to continue practice?
Ten minutes, no response.
Rick heads to Harry's room and knocks quickly before walking in. There's no one there, nothing but the usual tidiness of the room.
He heads out of the room and starts to walk down the hallway. He begins to call out for them. Sandra! Harry! Where are you? He heads upstairs, but sees no sign of them anywhere. Thinking to himself, he wonders if maybe they are already down in the cellar.
He continues to check the second floor, and walks by the closed door of Harry's parents room. He only has to hear one sound, one moan, to know what's going on behind closed doors. He begins to mutter under his breath.
Rick storms down the stairs, and out of the house. He goes down into the cellar, smashing nearly everything in sight.
Anger pulses through him, and a need for retaliation and vengeance comes to the forefront. Adrenaline begins to rage. Time feels slower, everything feels lighter. Faster, stronger, heightened senses, acting on pure instinct, like an animal.
Impulsively acting, he grabs the bass that Harry had left on the stand next to his amp. He slams it through the speaker hole, and continues to smash it over the top of the amp. He throws the two pieces of the bass in random directions, and picks up Sandra's guitar, intent on doing the same thing, but gets no chance to. Robby walks in.
Dude! What the f--k are you doing, man? He says grabbing the guitar out of his hands, stunned for a second.
She's a f--king whore! Rick yells back at him, angrier than ever.
In a moment of compassion, Robby hands him back the guitar, and starts to pack up his drums. Nearly four years of dating the same girl, only to discover her cheating on him for who knows how long with his best friend, smashing guitars and amps is nowhere near what they deserve. But then again, four years hurts less than five.
Rick smashes the guitar over the 100 watt Crate, and then throws the amp at the wall as hard as he can. It smashes into pieces of metal plastic and wood, but remains mostly intact. Out of anger and frustration, he picks up the body of her guitar, and slams it into the speaker of the amp.
He grabs the microphone stands, and smashes the microphones into pieces on the floors, snaps the stands under his foot, and throws the pieces on the ground. He takes the Speakers down from the stands and carries them out of the cellar.
Robby grabs his drums and follows Rick to his van. Rick unlocks it, and they put their stuff in the back.
Rick climbs into the driver's seat and Robby comes over to the window. Hey Rick, do you really think you should be driving right now? Here, hand me the keys, and I'll drive.
Rick glares at him angrily, but then eases up, and gives him the keys. He climbs out and gets into the passenger seat, and Robby starts up the car and drives towards Rick's house.
Forehead wrinkled with thought and anger, Rick turns to the window. f--k. That's just great! What the hell is SHE doing here?!? He shouts out loud as Robby pulls into the driveway of Rick's house.
Rick gets out of the van, and walks over to the blue Mustang calmly. f--k! He screams at the top of his lungs. Consumed by four years of bottled anger, smashing open all at once, flooding him. He swings his arm, and his fist goes through the window in a flurry of shards and warm, red spatter.
The house door opens, and a woman runs out, screaming. What the f--k are you doing?!? Or for that matter, what the f--k are you thinking?!?
Rick turns to the face that has been haunting him at night for four years. Still filled with adrenaline and anger, and still acting on impulse, he makes a split-second decision. Her face would look better with a broken nose and blood and bruises all over it. He quickly throws a punch at her, doing the damage he expects and desires, and soaking his other fist with her dark red blood.
His unexpected punch knocks her down. Rick's father has seen the whole thing and is outside now. Rick hadn't even noticed him coming out. He picks her up off the ground and stands her up.
He starts screaming every name in the book he can think of at her. Most of them incomprehensible. He doesn't stop until his father screams at him.
Rick! What the hell? Have you completely lost it?
His eloquent, and completely expected reply is simply, She's a f--king bitch.
Two seconds later, he blacks out.
Waking up with face against the ground, Robby is there to help him up. Your father told me to tell you that when you're ready, you can come back into the house and hear what they have to say. He lights up a cigarette, his first one all day, and starts to smoke. Oh, and they're expecting an apology. He says quickly as he backs away.
He Expects Me To Apologize To That Whore That Ruined My Life?!?!?
Robby simply takes a step back, and holds up his arms, as if to say, Don't look at me, I've got nothing to do with it.'
f--k it. I need a place to stay, you think I can crash at your place until this blows over, Robby? Rick says, unexpectedly.
In no position to say no, Robby tells him he can, and climbs back in the driver's seat.
Robby's house is outside of town, and the car ride gives Rick time to cool off. Robby glances over, and notices that the adrenaline rush has ended, and starts to speak. Can I ask you a question? He says as he starts to smoke another cigarette. Is Red Knife dead, man?
Rick takes a few minutes to think. In a tone of voice that rings with vengeance as it resonates, he replies. No. It's not. I'm going to rebuild Red Knife. Bigger. Better. Heavier. He pauses. You still want to be on drums then Robby?
f--k yeah! He says, eager to see what Rick has in store.
He waits a few minutes, and as he turns down the long road to his house, he starts to talk again.
Hey Rick, don't bad things happen in three's, man?
Yeah, I've heard that. But f--k it, whatever happens, it can't be any worse than today has been going already.
It's exactly noon as they pull into the driveway of Robby's house. The plain white house, with it's three stories, and acres of woods around it, have the feel of safety to Rick. He and Robby get the stuff out of Rick's van, and bring it down to the basement, which is entirely Robby's bedroom.
So who are you thinking of getting to be in Red Knife? Robby asks as he sets his drums up in their normal position towards the back of the room.
Rick sets the speakers and his amp down on the shag carpet, and plugs the amp in. I don't know. I don't really know much of anyone.
How about Ben?
Who's Ben? Rick asks as he takes his guitar out of the case.
He played rhythm guitar in Frozen With Fear with me.
Got his phone number? Let's get him over here.