In The Stillness of the Evening ch. 8 - U2 Feedback

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Old 07-26-2012, 03:53 PM   #1
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In The Stillness of the Evening ch. 8

I haven't been posting around here lately because a) like many others during this time of no U2 news, I've gotten into other bands, b) I have other writing projects to work on, and c) I've had a very busy summer. But I still offer this up for criticism. I'm wondering if I should stop posting, because the characters are not being nice to me at all. It wouldn't be the first time I had to quit writing a story, so it's no big deal.

This is fiction, and I look forward to suggestions on improvement? I don't own U2 or mean them any harm by writing about them.

Things were alright. The Elevation Tour was breezing by, the family was happy and trouble-free, and no close friends were in any danger.
So what was Bono doing in Dublin on this fair summer day?
When U2 had arrived in Vienna, Bono had decided that he wanted to go back to Ireland for one final family checkup. Vienna was a two-day stop, and Bono wouldn’t have to worry about rushing between tour venues after his break. He only wanted to stay in Dublin for a short while- maybe it was to be a surprise for his children, or maybe Bono would pop in and see Bob and check up on how he was recovering. Maybe. All of Bono’s plans were up in the air, which wasn’t the best place to put them, but he had no use for them on the ground at the moment.
Mainly, though, Bono had a silent reason for going that he would not speak to anyone, not even Edge or Ali. He wanted to meet Kelly Laughter in broad daylight. He needed to know that she and Kels, the woman in the red dress from the bar, were the same people. Bono had only met her once. He knew he had to see her again to make her real to him. Never mind that it would be near impossible to track her down, and it made no sense to want to see her. He probably wouldn’t find Kelly anyway.
Bono also knew that it was not the brightest idea to go alone. Who knew what else Kels Laughter could do to him? Ah well, it was too late now. Bono had left the Elevation plane at the airport, along with its pilot.

Kelly was out jogging to the music on her portable CD player when she saw him.
To find a queen without a king
They say she plays guitar and cries… and sings.
Ride a white mare in the footsteps of doom
Try’na find a woman who’s never, never, never been born.
Her mind focused on anything but the song, Kelly managed to catch sight of him from a few feet away, across the street. She slowed her pace. His messy brown hair tangled around his neck, falling over his blue wraparound sunglasses. Who else could it be but Bono? Kelly took a deep breath. She hoped he wouldn’t spot her. After messing with a celebrity’s life, the point was to stay away from them afterwards. Out of sight, out of mind. That way no one could get hurt.
But her feet, slowed though they were, continued to trip down the sidewalk, and inevitably Bono turned his head and saw her. He put his hands in his pockets, and beneath the shades she saw his eyes pop as he recognized her, his mind breaking past the hazy, alcohol-addled memories of the night out to connect her face. As Kelly tried to speed up again, her body working against her will, the cars disappeared for a moment and Bono crossed the street. He tentatively called her name. “Kelly? Is that you?”
Kelly refused to answer. The least she could do was jog ahead of Bono and ignore him, making him look like he had gone senile and was mistaking her for another woman. She heard feet behind her- Bono was picking up the pace. “Kelly, I need to talk to you.” Did he not know that any one of the people on the streets could pull out a camera and take photos of this?
Suddenly fearing for her own reputation, Kelly stopped moving. To be a good journalist, she had to be incognito. She couldn’t attract the paparazzi, press of another feather. She couldn’t have the world wondering who she was and what she was doing with Bono. It went against all of Kelly’s rules to be in the spotlight, under inspection.
Meanwhile, Bono had caught up with Kelly. “Hello,” he greeted her. “Are you Kelly Laughter?” He said the name uncertainly, as if he still wasn’t sure that this was the right person.
Kelly pulled her earbuds from her ears. “Yes, that’s my name, Bono.”
He flinched. “Em, I want to talk to you.”
“To say what?” She stretched her leg behind her back, muscles sore from running. “Are you here to tell me you want to make love to me some more?”
“I wasn’t going to say that,” Bono stated calmly. “But that’s the interview I wanted to speak to you about. Mostly I can’t recall what happened that night. I’d appreciate it if you helped me on that front.”
Kelly shrugged quietly. “You got drunk and told me you loved me. Said you would take me home if Ali wasn’t there. Then you said a lot of stuff about women and sex and your bandmates.”
Bono fought the ridiculous urge to laugh. Now was not the time. He removed his shades. “Kelly, this is my opinion. What you did was unethical. You know I wouldn’t have said those things if I had been sober and you had introduced yourself to me. I’m not the type to give interviews when I don’t know what I’m saying… when I don’t know there’s a recorder hidden in your clothes.”
“That was the point,” Kelly said smoothly. “If you don’t know you’re being interviewed, you could say anything. And a little beer helps that along.”
“It was more than just ‘a little beer’,” Bono protested. “You gave me nearly enough drinks to kill me! I’m surprised I woke up the next morning.” He thought back to the look on Ali’s face when she had received him, heavily intoxicated, at the front door, Larry escorting. That was one memory that the drink couldn’t erase.
“All I’m saying is that it was very low of you to publish those half-arsed ramblings, and make it sound like something I would normally say.”
Kelly shrugged again. She moved her eyes downward, not meeting Bono’s gaze. He seemed satisfied, probably thinking that he’d gotten her into submission. But Kelly was not backing down yet.
She reached out and took Bono’s hand, stroking it gently. Her other hand flew up to the back of his neck. In a second, Kelly had become Kels, the night demon. “Who says you wouldn’t have said those things to me when you were sober?” she asked. Her tongue swiped at his ear. “I know you want me, Bo-no.” Bono felt teeth graze his earlobe. He shuddered and tried to push Kelly off. She tangled herself around him.
“Bloody hell, get off me!” Bono shouted, thrashing. Kelly cupped his face in her hands. She sighed.
“Paul.” She watched the effect his real name had on him. “You’re a damn fool.” Backing away, Kelly turned and popped her earbuds back in, jogging off. Bono turned.
A photographer was admiring his latest shot.

Of course, the next day it was all over. After playing Vienna, Bono was plagued by reporters who were clamoring to know the meaning of the paparazzi photos that had sprung up in Dublin. Everyone was questioning the identity of the woman. Bono declined from comment. He knew that it was making him look bad, but what else could he do? Kelly had planted the photo op. She knew it was false, and yet she wasn’t denying anything.
Alone in his hotel room, Bono tossed and turned, trying to sleep. He knew Kelly had tricked him for a second time in her life. He knew he would have to explain this to Ali, yet again.
But he also knew that in the bar, there had undeniably been lust. And he knew that he hadn’t cared what was going to happen, that he would have thrown his entire career away for the sake of a one-night-stand.
Now, however, he couldn’t care less about Kelly. The further she was from him, the better. Bono wished that he had never gone to the pub at all that night.

After seeing the Dublin paparazzi photos, Adam came to the sad conclusion that Kelly could not, in fact, be the one for him. She had to be mentally unstable, to hurt Bono twice in a row and play with Adam’s feelings that she knew were there. Mournfully, Adam tried to erase her phone number from his memory. He couldn’t love Kelly anymore. He would not think of her from now on. But at the next night in Vienna, Adam mentally dedicated With or Without You to her as he played the bass, its notes vibrating through his body in a twisted song of love.
“And you give yourself away… with or without you…”

On the plane out of Vienna, everyone was still. Edge gazed out of the window, thinking silent Edge-thoughts. Larry was snoring. Bono, with nothing to do, worried about Ali’s reaction to the press this time. And Adam himself was consumed by forbidden thoughts of Kelly. He sighed loudly, then checked to see that no one had heard him. Unfortunately, they had.
“What’s the matter, Adam?” Bono turned around in his seat to gaze at the bassist through protected eyes.
“Nothing,” Adam said hurriedly. “It’s nothing, Bono.”
“Okay.” Turning back around, Bono let out a deep sigh of his own.
“What’s the matter, Bono?”
“It’s nothing, Edge.”
“Oh, is it?” Adam said.
Bono rolled his eyes. “You have no room to talk.”
They were woken up shortly after touching down in Berlin, Germany.

Kelly awoke to find herself on the floor in the main room. She gasped and scrambled up, checking for empty bottles and disheveled clothing. Nothing was askew but one thing- her CD player. The plug had been yanked violently from the wall, and as it fell from the shelf it had crashed on top of Achtung Baby’s case, cracking the plastic. Kelly sighed and shook her head, kicking the object of hatred. She’d been plastered to the floor all last night, playing Achtung Baby over and over again and feeling the vibrations through the rug.
But now was time for business. Kelly leapt up the stairs and ran to the dresser, pulling out a conventional outfit. She couldn’t be late for work, or her boss would strangle her.
Everyone in the office had recognized Kelly in the paparazzi pictures, but no one had dared ask her about it- except for the goon that worked in the cubicle next to her, who had approached her while she was getting coffee and declared bluntly that if she liked Bono so much, she must love U2. Kelly had given him a withering stare and gone back to her workplace. She did not want to talk about it.
Getting caught on camera was not a thing that Kelly took pride in. She only meant to toy with Bono a little, get him to confess his feelings like his bandmate Adam had done, not to get those feelings published in a trashy magazine. Oh how Kelly hated the celebrity fanzines. They were not a high form of journalism in the least. They made their living by lying and exaggerating, which, granted, Kelly did often, but at least not all of her stories were fake. They were grounded in some truth.
Like, for example, her latest story about Adam. Kelly didn’t have much to go by. She knew that he was infatuated with her, and assumed he still felt that way, if the recent scandal involving Bono hadn’t put him off her. Kelly knew she had to spend more time with him. What had the U2 albums been for- her pleasure? She checked @U2.com to find out which city they were playing in next. Berlin, on Friday. Thursday would suit Kelly just fine for these purposes. She arranged a flight and bought tickets immediately.
Kelly’s most recent article, the one that she had been so nervous about submitting, had made it into publication. There was a grudging respect among her peers, but nobody congratulated her on a story well written. They were too afraid. Kelly preferred it that way. She strutted about the office, begging with her eyes for praise that no one would give her. And it tortured them. Kelly could see it in the eyes of everyone she passed that they were dying to tell her how great the article was. But they knew if they did, they would pay.
At home when the day’s work was done, Kelly reviewed her notes on Adam and the U2 show. She hadn’t witnessed it personally, but from her spot backstage, every sound was audible and crisp. Sitting down lazily and defying questions from the U2 crew, Kelly had realized that the band was very, very good live. She still didn’t like their music- or told herself that she didn’t- but she had to admit, from the sound of it they sure did put on a good show.
Achtung Baby’s case was smashed, but that only meant that it couldn’t come out of the player- for purely practical reasons, as Kelly didn’t want the CD to get dirty, she might need it later for Adam’s sake. She knew most of the songs by heart by now. Eating dinner, Kelly was tempted to put Achtung Baby in again. She fought the urge. She did not love music. She didn’t love anything.
As a child, Kelly’s mother had always praised her musical infatuation. She’d encouraged her guitar lessons to the point where it was almost stifling. Kelly began to fear that she would never get to do any work outside of the music world. So she shunned it, giving up her guitar and throwing out all her records. And she had become a journalist.
This U2 band brought back memories. It made Kelly ache to listen to Achtung Baby. She tried to repress everything but her unfeeling side when playing it, bricking her emotions behind a wall. Yet it all grew to be too much. In her mind, Kelly morphed into Kels and broke down in front of the music, screaming her own name. She felt like she was rediscovering something within her. And she knew it couldn’t last.
Forget yourself, Kelly told herself that night, preparing for sleep. Don’t think of Kels. Just try to seduce Adam. If all went according to plan and that pesky Bono didn’t interfere, Adam was hers and Kelly would have everything she needed.

This chapter was filler... could you tell?
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:01 PM   #2
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Filler or no, it was good.


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Old 08-04-2012, 07:23 AM   #3
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Yeah, I'm actually aborting this mission for the time being because I can't seem to get into the story.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:46 AM   #4
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If you aren't feeling it, then put on the backburner. Maybe after time it will make sense. Or you can take the idea and tweak it.
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