Happy To Hold On: The Ending Track
Written by IXIchiodoIXI.Part 3 of 4
Landon thought to himself, S--t, I wish I lifted weights.
The case is heavier than it looks. The case protects, shields and conceals its contents. Contents that only see the light of day when the moment is right, a moment when freedom presents itself in the form of a song. A song written and composed by the innards of Landon.
The local scene in the Big City knows Landon by a couple of marks. His song writing is simple but flows ingeniously along with meaningful lyrics relating to everyone personally and intimately. Landon also has a knack for remaining reclusive in a scene that demands spotlight attention and glorification. Lastly, are the rumors of his girlfriend.
Local folklore maintain that Landon and his girlfriend, who may as well be known as his wife, are inseparable. The rare instance a fan is able to spot Landon around town he is always viewed with her within an arms length. She is beautiful, and that is an understatement. This woman of Landon's is as reclusive as Landon. Her hair shines in the Cities bright lit sun, it hangs just beneath her shoulders and is a light brown shade. She is slightly shorter than Landon but walks with a powerful poise and carries herself seemingly with a lot of power.
She is Landon's other half. Together they make the Big Cities second most intriguing site. The first most, Landon's concerts.
Come on seriously fellas. How hard is it to load this s--t in the trailer? You put the cab in first, all the way in the back then put the head on top like you would at a show. You idiots are acting like this is the first time you have loaded equipment! Landon yells at the hired cronies.
Just as Landon finishes yelling at the hired men one of them drops the cabinet on some of the speaker and guitar cables.
You know what, Just get the hell out of here, have the cash you didn't even come close to earning and go call a taxi. Next I would love it if you could take that taxi to the closest fast food restaurant and apply for a job. shouldn't be a problem since they feast on fools like you. Landon hands the two men their money and starts loading the trailer by himself.
Jack, Landon's drummer comes downstairs into the cluttered garage to see what the ruckus is about. Christ Landon this is the second time you have blown apart today. Are you okay for the show?
Landon replies, i'm fine in a relative way Jack just help me out please and thank you.
Jack takes a look around the garage. It doubles as their practice space and is unfitting for the high status the two are held in the City. The drum set remains half loaded and sitting carefully in a pile in the corner among common garage tools. The dimly lit room houses no Jeep, matter of fact it doesn't even house the truck that will be their mode of transportation to the show. Instead of a vehicle, is a rig as simple as it gets. An ancient Marshall head atop a 4X12 cabinet unbranded. The speakers don't even have a name. Two guitars and three stands are next to the set up. A Gibson Hummingbird as old as the Marshall and a Fender Telecaster that has been to hell and back, a couple times.
Help me get your cab would ya Landon? Jack shouts across the garage at Landon who is safely placing his guitar case in the front of the vehicle.
Yeah be right there
Together they load the trailer of the essential equipment, one set of drums, several drum sticks, amplifier, cabinet, cable and one guitar.
As Landon is walking back into the small run down house Jack grabs his shoulder, hey man, we don't have to do this. Yeah our music is important but you need to make positive you are okay. You look like s--t and you honestly don't seem like yourself buddy,
Landon's reply, lets go get some food
Landon and Jack head to a local bar named Red Sunset. The local bar is exactly that, just a bar for the no-names, the veiled faces and the drunks to drink and share stories of what once treasures they possessed.
The bar basked in its former glory of a red stretched canvas above the entrance sporting the name Red Sunset in bold black letters The colors were faded from the bright sun so that it was more of a dark orange color than an actual red.
As Landon and Jack entered the run down bar, the smell of stale beer mixed with the scent and fumes of cigarettes infiltrated their noses.Guitar riffs of Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin pounded the ears of the two musicians adding to the environment of the bar. The bar is littered with pool tables, dart boards and stools lined up against the bar. Lined up in tandem with the each stool was a washed up old musician to go along with it. Remembering times of the past when they, could have made it, or, were so close to having that record deal.
So why do you like coming here anyway Landon, we've been coming here for the past 6 years where there are bars way more happening, easier to see and just plain smells better, Jack asks.
Ya know Jack, I like this place. For more reasons than one. First off, they play music I like, and that I am inspired and learn from. Secondly it fits the scene, look at this place. It just screams Jim Morrison and bands like The Who, it is who this place is. And lastly, I like it here, I like the energy and nobody knows about this place, Landon replies.
Well I suppose it works Landon, but you gotta tell me, whats itching you. Your not right, I can tell.
Landon hesitates for a moment then replies, I..I'm just excited to play this gig. The crowd is going to love what he have for them. I finished the lyrics and this masterpiece is just waiting to be erupted from my fingers.
Whatever you say, I know you well enough to know something isn't right. But if you aren't willing to share it, fine, whatever. Where the hell is your girl anyway?
Yeah she couldn't make it for whatever ya know, she'll be at the show. Lets grab a drink
A few drinks are drained. Two men preparing for a show, a show that will change the minds of all who attend, and all who will hear by those who attend. From ear to ear like a contagious virus, the show to be played will be one of remembrance.
Driving from the bar to the concert venue the mood was somber. Jack kept fighting to keep the itch of knowing the scene wasn't right. Something in the atmosphere was askew in the and Jack couldn't shake the feeling it centered around Landon and what was about to happen at the show.
As Landon drove the van through the winding and crowded streets of the Big City, Jack recalled memories of past times. When days of shows didn't seem so stressful or occupied by a cloudy day. They past the local news station on their left and the venue was in sight. Jack decided to place the thoughts of the mysterious acting Landon and the way the pre-show ritual played out today. It was time to play music. It was time to deliver a message to the people.
The unpacking started as Landon pulled into the back of the venue. Fans crowded the front of the building eager to gain entrance as the Jack and Landon seemingly unnoticed grabbed each piece of gear and placed it back stage.
Jack took his seat on at his set of drums and began to warm up with the curtain still down. As Landon walked by he asked, Landon, how the hell can you play like you do with no warm up? I mean you just go guns blazin' from the git go.
Landon's reply was unlike anything Jack has heard from him, it added to the mystery of today. A plant grows because it feeds off of everything around it. I like plants
Jack was left dumbfounded as Landon walked to his amp carrying the case of the fabled guitar.
Landon remained crouched over his guitar case unclasping each latch. The curtain lifted but the lights remained low. The crowd started their cheering. They soon drew quite as they saw Landon pick up the beautiful majesty of a guitar. It resembled the body of a Gibson SG and had a battered gray coat. It reflected no light, and it shone no sparkle. But if you ever saw this guitar in person you would know why it cast a spell of silence upon the crowd. This guitar was everything Landon's girlfriend represented, it was a beautiful work of art, not exactly the most prefect looking guitar but it held your gaze. The way Landon held the guitar was the same he would hold her, close and always near his body but never to tight, afraid to hurt her. The guitar had fresh strings for every show and never out of tune.
The real beauty came from the inside. The sound. But the only sounds to come from anything in the venue that night in the Big City were of screams.
Landon walked to the microphone, holding the cord and the guitar, still unconnected. Addressing the crowd he says, tonight Jack and I will be playing for you a new set. Worked up throughout the last month. I am the only one who knows what the lyrics are, and when they grace your ears I hope they move you as much as they move me. This set is about who I love. For someone I would do anything for without a second thought. Who I would do it again if I didn't get it write the first time. Who shows the world the true me, and who is my music. Fans who I adore, this set is for the woman I love. The woman who I got into a fight with this morning, and who has now left. I won't see her again, but I won't stop looking for her. this will be the last show for me until I find her again.
Landon plugged his guitar in with the cable.
Electrons raced from the from the power lines. They ran through with increased voltage to power the lights to max capacity.
Neurons raced through Landon's nerves to slide the pick down the strings, one chord strummed. It sent a sound wave to the pickups that sent electrons down the guitar cable, through the board of the guitar amplifier and speakers. What erupted from them was the most eerie sound emitted from a speaker. A bright light split from the amplifier and surrounded Landon. As Landon is struck by a bolt of powerful electricity he glances to the side of the stage.
His eyes stare into hers. Hers are full of pain and sorrow. His are full of tears and pain.
All ears hear screams of horror as their mouths scream terror.
All eyes see a toppled Landon and a dropped guitar.
Sirens fade into the sound of chaos breaking into the beats of feet running and trampling away from the venue to cross the street.
Landon's last masterpiece created by those who he played for.