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    Sam Wyer
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Anders - 1. Chapter 1

~~~
Any Other Day
~~~

Anders lay across his bed, head hanging over one side as he mindlessly stared at the television. Theoretically up and awake, but only just. It had been a long week in the studio and he had not got home until the early hours of the morning. Having exhausted all possibilities of terrible daytime television, he decided to actually get up and maybe even have breakfast. Pulling on some jeans and an old hoodie he looked out of the window to check on the van, promising himself that he would go and unload his gear from it right after he had coffee. He turned off the TV and put some music on, turning the volume up super-loud, closing his eyes, and enjoying the vibrations from the speakers blasting towards him.

He dozed again for a while longer, until the need for coffee was too strong to ignore. Finally, he headed out, leaving his bedroom door open without really thinking about it, he was most likely home alone. He made a large pot of coffee and sat at the kitchen table catching up on his emails and social media when his attention was interrupted by the red flashing light just in his eye-line on the kitchen counter. The doorbell.

Damn, how long has that been flashing for. Anders instinctively reached behind his ears and connected his implants, only to be immediately assaulted by the excessively loud music he’d left playing earlier.

“Bollocks” he said to himself, before running to open the door.

“Sorry!” He tried to yell over the music. The delivery guy was attempting to do the same, but it was pointless, as neither could hear the other.

“Hold on, sorry.” Anders left the guy standing at the door while he ran back to his room to stop the music, before trying the whole thing again.

“Hi” He said to the delivery guy, who was looking more than a little annoyed.

“These need signing for.” The man thrust some letters towards Anders who checked the name. They were for mostly his grandfather, so probably nothing at all interesting. But there was also a small parcel addressed to Anders himself.

“OK, sure. Thank you.”

Anders smiled politely, but the delivery guy just walked off without any further acknowledgement. Leaving the letters on the kitchen table, Anders returned to his room, unwrapping the parcel on the way. As he expected, it was a couple of CDs along with a hand-written note.

‘Anders - thought you might like these! First pressing, check out the back cover, you get a credit AND you’re in the photo. Thank you SO MUCH and the offer will always stand, we’ll sack Kenny any day if you want to tour!’

Anders turned over the CD case and smiled to himself, remember the band from a couple of months ago. They were definitely going to make it big, good for them. And they were right, there he was, credited on the back cover of both CDs along with the rest of the band, and about three quarters of him on the edge of the photo. Apart from the kudos, this meant he would also get royalties. He took a couple of photos with his phone and posted them to his social media accounts. Looking out of the window at the van again, he told himself that he’ll unload it later in the afternoon. There was no rush.

 

~~~
Maybe Someday
~~~

Tommy finished unpacking his suitcase, trying his best to find enough space in the cramped caravan bedroom so that his clothes wouldn’t get too creased. At least he had his own room this year and didn’t have to share with his little brother. He checked his mobile, relieved to find that there was a signal, knowing that he would be grateful for the potential distraction offered by the internet over the coming couple of months. He walked out into the narrow hallway which was also the kitchen, closing the flimsy door behind him and was met with the sight of his mother laying on the sofa with a bottle of wine already half empty. A scene that, if every other year of his life was anything to go by, would only deteriorate further over the course of the holiday, inevitably leaving him to look after himself and his brother. In fact, it was really no different to them all being at home, but at least here there was the beach and the sea.

“Mum?”

There was no obvious response, but Tommy knew to wait, sometimes she was just slow.

“Mum, we need to go and buy food.”

She turned to look at him, and then looked away again, grabbing the remote and flicking on the TV. Tommy sighed, knowing that this was already a conversation that was over.

“OK, I’m taking some money from your purse then, I’ll be back in a couple of hours.”

As Tommy turned to leave, he grabbed a hoodie from his room. It might be called Summer, but in the UK, that’s no guarantee of warmth.

“Take Tyler with you!” Her voice was as shrill as usual.

Great, now you can speak to me. Tommy picked up his Mum’s purse and opened it, taking all of the cash he could find. Not that food would cost that much, but if he kept it safe his Mum would not be able to drink it all away and they would have enough money to buy food throughout the whole holiday. He had his own money from working too, but didn’t see why he should be buying everything out of his own pocket if she could drink whatever she wanted. He checked that the small freezer in the kitchen corridor worked before walking in to Tyler's room, next door to his own.

“Come on Munchkin, we need to go shopping.”

“Don’t call me that! Mum!”

She didn’t respond to Tyler’s whining.

“Fine, whatever, but we still need to go shopping if you want to eat and I can’t carry everything on my own.” Tommy picked up a couple of shopping bags.

“Is Mum coming?”

“No.”

Tommy didn’t know if his brother was being sarcastic, or if he really didn’t understand what their life was like. Either way, they never talked about it, it would not make things any better. Closing the door behind them, the two brothers started walking out of the caravan site.

“At least we’re on holiday closer to town this year Tommy! You can nearly see the beach.” Tyler was seemingly positive about their situation at least.

“Yeah, I guess.”

Tommy struggled to find as many positives as Tyler seemed to be able to, but then, he had eleven more years' experience of this than him, and he knew that he would end up looking after the two of them, just like at home, so calling it a holiday seemed meaningless.

It was a twenty-minute walk to the supermarket, having to pass a much closer but also more expensive one on the way, as if to mock them. Despite their near constant bickering, the brothers got on well enough and were used to shopping together. Tommy still had to keep an eye on his brother’s choices though. They were not poor, but they didn’t have loads of money to waste either, so treats were limited.

 

~~~
Story Of My Life
~~~

The weather was slowly improving as the week progressed, and by Friday it was definitely warm. Anders, despite the numerous promises to himself had still not finished unloading the van, and had instead been using his old kit for his daily practice sessions. Not that he had any work planned, but it was an important part of his routine. Almost every day of the year included several hours of drumming, and then whatever other musical instrument he felt like at the time. One of the deciding factors in him moving in with his grandparents was their assurance of building him a studio space, which they came through with exactly as promised. So now, one end of the house is split between living and practice space for him, with his grand-parents living in the rest of the property, for the most part undisturbed.

Having made grilled cheese and chips and convincing himself that it was a healthy lunch, Anders was planning on a quiet afternoon outside, probably walking out to the nature reserve and reading, or just sitting and enjoying the space. He liked how it was so quiet, other than the wind and the birds, yet only a fifteen-minute walk away from home. Somehow it balanced the noise and chaos that comes with music. He packed some water, and a jacket and was trying to decide on a book when his mobile interrupted his thoughts.

“Hey Stevie, what’s up?”

Not that Anders was naturally suspicious, but Stevie usually wanted something.

“Anders! My man! How are you doing?”

“I’m good, yeah, enjoying a quiet week, you know. Or at least I was.”

“Sounds good to me, so listen, you know how you said you owed me a favour?”

“Why don’t I like the sound of this Stevie?” Anders gave up his book browsing and sat on the edge of his bed.

“So, there’s this band, they’re here for the season, and they suddenly need a drummer.”

“Who ‘suddenly’ needs a drummer? That's bollocks, what happened?”

“As far as I can tell he got pissed and broke his wrist.”

“Wow, OK. I don’t know if I know anyone who’s available but I can phone a few people and see. There might be a student…”

“Yeah, the thing is…” Anders knew that tone.

“What?”

“They kind of need a drummer, like right now. For tonight. So, I was wondering if you could…”

“For fuck sake Stevie, when I said a favour, I meant like buying you a couple of beers or something.”

“I know, I know. But I don’t know who else to ask.”

“OK, so who’s the band?”

“They’re called Jon Bovi.”

“Jon Bovi?” Anders asked, incredulously. Not that Stevie could see it, but he could probably hear Anders rolling his eyes.

“Yeah, they’re a tribute band, you know, for Bon Jovi?”

“No shit. What time’s the gig?”

“Supposed to be at eight, but we can push it back half an hour if it helps. And…”

“And?”

“And tomorrow night as well?”

Anders checked his watch. It was perfectly achievable; he just wasn’t sure he wanted to. But nicety won out.

“If I regret this, I’m going to kill you.”

“Thanks Anders, I fucking owe you for this!”

Anders started to grab a clean t-shirt and jeans as he carried on talking.

“Yeah, you do. Tell Brid I’ll be at the stage door in about forty-five minutes. “

“I will.”

“And if someone can message me the set list, that’ll be great.”

“OK, see you soon.”

“Bye man.”

Anders finished getting changed before heading through to the studio to pick up the few things he had managed to unload so far, and loading them back in to the van. The drive is only a couple of miles, and with Anders choosing the side roads over the more direct but always busy seafront route he was confident of making it on time. Before leaving he wrote a brief note for his grandparents, not that they ever expected him to be home by a certain time, but he liked to let them know where he was going to be.

 

~~~
Lie To Me
~~~

Brid dragged the last of the empty flight cases off the stage, pushing it in to a dark corner out of the way as she tidied up around the band. Being a technician, she was well used to being ignored, some performers we just arrogant asses, and this band did not seem to be any different. Satisfied that things were as tidy as they needed to be, for the time being at least, she walked over and sat opposite Nico, grabbing a bottle of water on the way.

“So, guess what - I overheard Stevie on the phone just now”. She said, smiling.

“So?”

“Yeah, sounds like your boyfriend is coming in to play with the band tonight.” She smiled as she teased Nico.

“Fuck off.” Nico looked away, trying his best not to be interested in this news. “Really though? Anders is coming in? For these guys?”

“That’s what I heard.”

“And he’s not my boyfriend, stop saying that.”

“Yeah, well, who’s fault is that. You just need to actually talk to him. Or I could?”

“What? Don’t you dare say anything!”

“I’d be doing it for me, not you. Seriously, how long do I have to watch you staring at him every time he’s here, and listen to you going on, and on, and on…”.

“I do not!”

“Sure Nico. What was his last gig?”

“Well that was actually like three weeks ago because then he’s been recording down in London with… Shut up.”

Nico grabbed the water from Brid’s hand, taking a couple of mouthfuls before throwing it back at her.

“I just don’t get it, you’re cute, if you like that sort of thing, just go talk to the guy. Honestly, last time we were out he was talking about… well I just think you should give it a go.”

“It’s alright for you, he likes you. He doesn’t even notice me.”

“Oh my god, I swear Nico, one day, I’m going to bash your head in.”

“You’ll never catch me. Anyway, if you’re right, we should put in some extra monitor speakers, and maybe get a video feed sorted too. You know… for Anders?’

Brid raised her eyebrows as she made a face at Nico, smiling all the time.

“Ooooh, for Anders.” Repeated Brid, imitating Nico’s accent.

“OK, you start on the cabling, I’ll go find some more monitors.”

Copyright © 2020 Sam Wyer; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

I’ve missed my favorite Lego minifig head!
;–)

This is an interesting concept. It’s unclear to me just how much hearing Anders has. He uses implants, but was he lipreading the delivery guy’s words or does he have limited hearing?

We know that Nico is interested in Anders, but how do Tommy and Tyler fit into the story? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I need to wait to read the following chapters.
;–)

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Interesting start to the story. Anders has implants, so we don't know how much hearing he has. We know Nico is interested in Anders. Where do Tommy and Tyler fit in? I want more already, so many questions to be answered.

  • Like 1
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29 minutes ago, droughtquake said:

I’ve missed my favorite Lego minifig head!
;–)

This is an interesting concept. It’s unclear to me just how much hearing Anders has. He uses implants, but was he lipreading the delivery guy’s words or does he have limited hearing?

We know that Nico is interested in Anders, but how do Tommy and Tyler fit into the story? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I need to wait to read the following chapters.
;–)

Your favourite?  Am I not the only one? 😁

And yes, clearly, just wait!  I'm aiming for weekly-ish updates.  This might be more 'ish' than 'weekly' but all will become clear, or increasingly less clear.

 

  • Like 2
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3 minutes ago, chris191070 said:

Interesting start to the story. Anders has implants, so we don't know how much hearing he has. We know Nico is interested in Anders. Where do Tommy and Tyler fit in? I want more already, so many questions to be answered.

I promise that at least some of those questions will be answered :)  Eventually.

  • Like 1
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At least they aren't an ABBA Tribute band called BABA. 🙂

All very mysterious, but I'll presume this isn't The Who's Tommy  -  until he starts playing the pinball machines on the pier 😁

  • Haha 4
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19 minutes ago, Ivor Slipper said:

At least they aren't an ABBA Tribute band called BABA. 🙂

All very mysterious, but I'll presume this isn't The Who's Tommy  -  until he starts playing the pinball machines on the pier 😁

No, it's definitely not Tommy 😂.

  • Haha 2
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Great to have you back, Sam.  I too have known the 'You on for a gig tonight?' kind of phone call.  :huh:  :rolleyes:

  • Like 2
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14 minutes ago, northie said:

Great to have you back, Sam.  I too have known the 'You on for a gig tonight?' kind of phone call.  :huh:  :rolleyes:

It's good to be back 😁  And yes, it's always 'fun' when people assume you have all the time in the world and the desire to help them 😂

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Tyler might just be the hero of this chapter.  Optimism despite Mum's booze, little money for treats, and a lacklustre holiday spot. 

 

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