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Old 12-28-2010, 09:32 PM   #1
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wink An Cat Dubh 5

I own nothing. Nothing but the burnt eggs. Unfortunately.

Fiction apart from the general idea of someone, somewhere, who merited the title 'an cat dubh'...and Bono getting it all wrong

Edge is up next. Sorry he's not in this chapter. We get some singing, though!

(The song Cath sings is 'Let's Dance' by the Ramones. A little out of place? No! U2 was absolutely obsessed with the Ramones at some point or other...and I was listening to a satisfying mix of 70s punk music for writing this. Mmm.)

Remember Bono outside and frustrated, for the next chapter! It's somewhat integral.

In the meantime, in the flashback, Bono's a cross between this smexiness

and this

***

The darkness was warm and close…too warm. Cath, eyes closed, frowned, the sheets suddenly constricting around her. She flung her arms out wildly, confused, heart pounding, expecting that the footsteps she heard were of one of the men in her house. Bolting awake, Cath stifled a yell, before morning plated the edges of her eyelids, a calm morning as ever was seen in these parts of Ireland. Sunlight filtered in through an open, curtained window, and lit along the wall of the room she slept in and tinged the photographs and black-and-white band posters silver. Her eyes closed briefly as she remembered to breathe.

I’m far away.

There would be no-one knocking on her door telling her she had to leave her apartment, no-one stumbling into her room in the house she didn’t belong in, no-one she woke up beside, wondering in a moment of clarity what she had done with herself.

She looked down at herself—she still wore the white tanktop that had gone askew about her shoulders, her skirt was relatively free of wrinkles. Impulsively, feeling like she barely recognized the self she had been, she tore the dirty, bar-stained clothes away and stood shivering in the empty room, clutching a sheet around her shoulders like an afterthought. She crept boldly towards the silver-stained photographs: sure enough, a few were in familiar places, the faces also familiar, caught in the emotion of their music. Banners or posters behind the figures proclaiming in stark black and white ‘The Hype’ or most recently ‘U2’ identified them—unnecessarily, for Cath was briefly lost in one particular photograph. She reached thin fingers up and trailed them against the smooth, heavy surface as if across his skin. Frozen in an oddly vulnerable expression, forever kneeling at the edge of the stage, the boy reached down to someone blurred by motion, a dark shadow of a girl hidden by the chance second too late the camera had gone off.

The distance between the pub and her house was comforting as the sweater hiding her shoulders and arms. In the press of bodies, she withdrew into herself, not having to be alert. She realized she had wandered to the edge of the stage, which had seemed empty. It was a run-down place, the platform that served as a stage bare as floorboards and oddly to her liking. She nearly got a splinter as she bumped into the side, and whirled around, cursing, her shoulders suddenly growing tense. She made as if to slip into the shadows and lean against the window, safe in distance, but in looking up saw that the stage was not empty. Sitting near the back, by a microphone, a boy knelt, eyes lost in thought, closing briefly as he breathed in and out.

Just a man, she would have thought, and passed him by, but for the expression that came across her face and practically physically held her there, as the lights grew darker, the stage illuminated, other band members walking onto the stage. His eyes shone. He looked a little withdrawn, a little reflective, the thoughts strength in his musical, raw voice.

“I would like to dedicate this song to someone who is gone from my life,” he began. Cath’s throat caught. In the near silence, the low whisper of one of his bandmates was obvious, and the singer mastered his speech in ending it right there as the guitar note rippled and then tore across the room, holding Cath where she was. She did not know, but she had drawn close like one sun circling another to destruction.

“I will follow,” he whispered, and then began to sing, the music exposing all the dark, healing places inside of Cath and bringing hope out into the light. The drums became her heartbeat and the streetlight-punctured battleground of her running footsteps in the past, the more enigmatic, powerful guitar binding her to where she stood, forming the spark she saw in the boy’s eye that suddenly exploded between them. In an odd moment in the middle of the song where he was silent, the guitar speaking his song, his glance slid across her own. He looked torn between tears and joy. Time faltered as Cath unintentionally drew him in, his rising voice making love to her silence—


Cath still had the moment transfixed in her eyes, caught in the memory even as she whirled when the door opened, like a deer caught in headlights or a cat in the darkness. She blinked.

“Morning,” Ali said. “I should probably tear those down.”

“No, don’t!” Cath protested instantly, then shook her head at herself, her hand falling from the photograph.

“Could I borrow some clothes?”

Ali laughed. “Go ahead. You don’t really need to ask. Going back and getting yours probably isn’t your highest priority at the moment, anyway.”

The light changed in Cath’s eyes, making her look suddenly younger, more open than usual. She saw briefly the Ali who had taken care of Bono in the months after his mother had died, though that Cath was not aware of yet.

Cath felt she was shedding a skin, the water lightning around her, pounding away any thoughts of Paul that lingered from his expression as she sang.

Hey baby if you’re all alone, baby you’ll let me walk you home, let’s dance!

And she was different: Ali, in response to her name, slipped into the sometimes pronunciation of the Irish and asked, “Cat?”

“Sure,” Cath had responded.



In the gray-plated afternoon light, leaves fell like afterthoughts of flame, becoming ash after weeks on the ground. Bono huddled where he sat, wondering where his jacket had gone; he’d had to borrow one from Larry, and it was a little too small, the dark wool tight and constricting. He had been unable to write a single song lyric for the past three months since the unfortunate affair. Though Ali kept to herself—“you need to take care of yourself, Bono Vox. I’m not always going to be there to do it for you”—likely still offended by his actions, it was not her he thought of. Well, he did; thoughts of her were a friendly presence in the back of his mind, filling the still-healing emptiness punched through him with his mother’s death. He felt a greater connection with Ali than— But it was more friendly, close in a she stays at my house sometimes and we hold each other and nothing else way.

The other girl had stolen his voice. He spent it, singing to her in passion, with his body and his mouth, trying to connect to that other emptiness he had seen in her eyes. He was caught in the afterimages of her eyelashes brushing against her cheek as her eyes closed, the faint light on her body in the darkness, their hearts too close together, separated by skin and nothing else. Everytime he breathed out in something musical, it felt wrong; he could not focus the words to his life. Instead the memories danced into his awareness.

He and Ali had done nothing like that. He felt more at ease around her, to be honest, not like his soul would be ripped away. Both frightened him, and so he left both alone as best he could, for he considered himself a man, not frightened by anything.

The clouds floated in silver reflections across his eyes as he grew pensive, remembering a different shock of silver across his vision: the sudden heart-stopping thud of the knife against the wall, his father and brother’s shocked expressions.

Absently he spoke to relieve the tension.

Say goodnight…

She was gone…

She’s left forever, now she’s gone…

how can I face…


No, it wasn’t working. He banged a fist against his leg in frustration and was silent, looking for all the world like a lost child underneath the punk haircut.


Cath swayed to the static on the radio as she cracked eggs into a pan and promptly burned them, the stove giving no other option. She bit her lip to stop herself from cursing in reaction, mindful of the rest of the Stewarts nearby in the house. She swatted the needle-thin finger of flame that had crept to her black tanktop, the smell of burning things dying down a little. Running her fingers through damp hair, she sighed. She had been staying with Ali’s family for three months and still could not do a damn thing on her own. It was rather frustrating.

“This is impossible. I can’t cook for shite,” she complained when Ali came in the room. Ali tilted her head, noticing the faint network of healing cuts and bruises barely visible along Cath’s arms. The girl healed slowly. But after three months, she looked slightly more convincing as “one of my school mates,” as Ali had explained her to her parents, her spiky bangs no longer as defined, her makeup nearly gone but for eyeliner, her face unmarred by the cuts she had when Ali met her. Although Cath still held herself tensely at odd angles as if about to spring from a fight, and couldn’t stand most of Ali’s clothing, wearing as little as possible and consequentially spending very little of her time in public.

Cath glared at the pan she tried futilely to scrub, which Ali grabbed out of her hands and attacked with a sponge, corner of her mouth tilting up slightly.

“You cook like Paul,” she commented, forgetting herself.

Cath choked on air. “And how would you know this?” she asked, mostly out of curiosity, as she leaned against the sink.

Ali shook her head. “He’s not very good at taking care of himself, or he wasn’t.”

Cath had grown rather silent, glaring, though not at Ali, it seemed, and sighed. “I don’t want to know how many women he’s been with. I’ve been wondering, though…are you his ex or something?”

Ali winced. “Not really. I was…am…was…his girlfriend for a while, or so he’d like to think, but our relationship kind of hit a rough spot.”

Cath raised her eyebrows and chuckled. “I think I know what that rough spot is…” The smile fell from her face. “I’m surprised you’re not trying to kill me. How in hell did you let me stay at your house?”

“I was…a little angry,” Alison admitted. You seemed to be in a rough spot yourself, though, and I assumed he had something to do with it. I’m not feeling really forgiving towards him right now.”

Cath couldn’t imagine why…her expression grew serious as something crossed her eyes, however, some shadow of a memory. She nodded.

“I’m still friends with the rest of the band, though,” Ali said. “I was thinking Edge should come over?”

“Edge? Is that seriously his name?”

“Shut up. You’ll like him. And he can cook.”

“Good,” Cath replied in relief, looking at the blackened bits of egg in the sink and wrinkling her nose.

He was also the least likely to say anything about what was going on at Ali’s place, or tell Bono she was hanging out with any of the other band members—he might not take it terrifically, since she refused to see him.
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Old 12-28-2010, 11:30 PM   #2
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I look forward to the moment all three collide! I am really enjoying this and the pictures really helped me visualize Paul/Bono.
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Old 12-28-2010, 11:34 PM   #3
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Yep. It's going to be pretty great. Cath may or may not have a thing for Edge; she's kind of shy around him. Bono stumbles in, too...hmm..

I enjoy those pictures too ^^ they're distracting...I keep calling him Paul in this for some reason...probably because it's sort of a transition between the early years and them getting 'Boy' out, and he probably wasn't Bono all the time besides, Cath knows him as Paul.
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Old 12-28-2010, 11:56 PM   #4
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I kind of hope for another wild night for Cath and Paul....
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:07 AM   #5
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Good hope I can't reveal anything, but...You'll see.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:33 AM   #6
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“Edge? Is that seriously his name?”

“Shut up. You’ll like him.
And he can cook.”

Damn straight you're going to like the Edge!



This was a terrific chapter! Your writing just blows me away!
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:42 AM   #7
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She will indeed. Glad you liked that bit...it was fun.

Thank you ^^ I'm going more for dialogue and stuff again...but it helps the story...
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:51 AM   #8
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People have to talk. :-P
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:59 AM   #9
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Unless they're naked in a bathtub...
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Old 12-29-2010, 02:08 AM   #10
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good point.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:05 PM   #11
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Indeed there's very little talking... (hey, that makes me think of Electrical Storm...damn, my idea wasn't very original, was it? )

What fun scenes to write!
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:13 PM   #12
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*runs off to read next chapter!*
...Which, I guess, must mean I liked it...
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ali hewson, an cat dubh, baby bono, cath, early 80s, high school, late 70s, song trouble

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