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Old 01-03-2009, 09:33 PM   #1
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The Howling Wind - Chapter 1 (4/01/09)

Here we go...

Usual disclaimer - nothing could be less serious or more thoroughly made-up. Don't know/own the band or anyone, no offence intended, any opinions/errors are my own.



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18 May, 1987 – Dublin, Ireland

The Edge watched his fist moving in horrified slow motion. At the last possible second, he opened his hand and tried to pull away, but the glancing slap still landed on his wife's face. There was absolute silence as the echoes fell away.
He didn't even see Aislinn's returning slap coming, and his head snapped around at the impact. The rage bloomed red again, but the sound of Arran's cry from the next room stopped him cold.

"Get out," Aislinn hissed, and turned to soothe their daughter.

Caught between shock and anger, Edge could only comply. He stalked from the house, the whole argument chasing itself around in circles in his head as he strode down the dark streets, away from his house. His home, although it hadn't felt like it since he'd been back.

He couldn't even remember how it had begun, or why he'd lost his temper so completely. He knew he had a temper, and he tried, very hard, to keep it under control. He had succeeded so well that a lot of people would have been surprised to learn he had ever raised his voice, let alone hit anyone.

He'd hit quite a number of people in his life, however, even Bono. But never a woman, and never his wife. Never that. Until now.

Even the hands of love...
Edge shook the words away. Maybe playing that song every night was doing something do him.

And he was STILL angry. Even after striking his own wife, he wanted to hit someone, something, anything. He kicked at a rubbish bin and watched it fall, dented, and roll against a wall. Now his foot hurt too. The fury boiled up again.

"What the fuck is wrong with me??"

Sparse clouds drifted across a moon that was somewhere between full and half. It and they were unmoved by his shout. He didn't feel any better.

Two nights before, U2 had just completed a lightning six-week run around the USA, the opening leg of the Joshua Tree tour. The record was leaping up the charts, the arenas had been packed by enthusiastic fans. It had been dizzying, exhilarating, as much as it had been hard work. Now Edge had found himself suddenly dumped back into domestic life in Dublin, back into a home that was not as harmonious as he might have liked. No haven from touring stresses there.

Something had changed about Dublin, too, since they'd been away. Edge couldn't put his finger on it, but the air had felt different, or the ground, or something. He didn't feel like he'd come home, to a place where he belonged. It felt more as though he'd just left such a place.

At least there hadn't been any wolves in his dreams last night. He'd been too tired after the flight to dream of anything.

While Bono's fascination with America had blossomed during the tour, extending all the way from music to politics to footwear, the connection Edge had felt with the country took on another form. The dreams had begun almost as soon as he'd set foot in America, but soon even his waking thoughts began to dwell obsessively on wolves. During a day off in San Diego, he'd declined an invitation to go boot shopping with Bono, and visited a book store instead. He'd bought several wolf books, and was soon driving the rest of the band to distraction with wolf-related trivia.

That wasn't the band's only source of frustration with him, either.

This night's rage had not come completely out of the blue. On and off over the last six weeks, in between the dreams and the wolf books, his variable attention span, and his disturbingly conflicted feelings about being away from home, Edge had been more and more prone to flying off the handle, falling into black moods, and snapping at everyone; including his wife, over the telephone. Larry had expressed the opinion that Edge had been suffering from some sort of recurring virus, since he was invariably exhausted from interrupted sleep as well. Edge had resisted all efforts to have him see a doctor, though. He hadn't felt sick. Just... odd.

And as if all that tension wasn't enough, there was Timothy.
At least he couldn't have followed Edge back here. The foul-smelling homeless man had followed the band from New Mexico (or Texas, he claimed) all the way around North America. Edge had no idea how he'd managed it, and he'd disappeared now and then, but he'd always come back, watching. After making a mystifying remark to him in the midst of a crowd of queueing fans, Timothy had kept his distance, only coming close enough to speak on one other occasion. But those words had been just as cryptic, if not downright alarming. About Edge's dreams, which he couldn't have known about, and the moon, and his fits of temper.

It didn't make any sense. Nothing was making much sense, these days.

America felt like it was a world away, now. And that was nearly true, geographically speaking. But it was another world in other ways, too. Edge wondered what could have changed about Dublin in the last six weeks to leave him feeling so uncomfortable in his home town, so alienated. Or what could have changed about him...

Less than a week ago, in that other world, he'd taken the opportunity to join a group of tourists and venture into the wolves' own wilderness. The others in the band hadn't been interested, happy enough to take a breather after three shows in a row. The tour guide had warned the group that it was unlikely they would actually see any wild wolves, but he pointed out the sites of recent kills, and the odd paw print in soft ground. Then, as dusk fell and a full moon rose in the east, he'd taken them to a vantage point over the forest, and they had heard the wolves howling.
Edge had been instantly captivated, every hair standing on end.
"No one really knows why they howl," the guide had said. "They're not howling at the moon, although it sure is looking beautiful tonight." Dutiful chuckles from the other tourists. "They might be gathering a dispersed pack, or it could be a territorial display, warning other packs that they are there, and how numerous and strong they are. Or maybe they just like the sound of their own voices." More chuckling. Edge had barely listened to the guide's words... he felt sure the howls were communicating something. Lost in the wolves' music, he'd had to bite his lip to keep from joining in. And the shock of realising that hadn't stopped him from wanting to.


Edge had completely lost track of time, walking Dublin's dark streets. He wasn't wearing a watch, and all the moon told him was that it was late. His head was full of the memory of those howls again, and he turned for home, thinking of his studio in the basement.
It wasn't until he was at the front door that he remembered the fight, and striking Aislinn. He stopped. Should he stay away? A jumble of emotions rose up, and chief among them was shame. He had to apologise, as useless as that might be. Aislinn probably wouldn't want to talk to him until the morning at least.
Edge went around to the back door, and straight down to the studio. There was a couch in there, he would sleep on that.
He lay on the couch for a long time, but no sleep came. He tried to think of what he could say to his wife, but there were no words. And his mind kept wandering, back to the song of the wolves howling. His fingers itched to pick up a guitar, but he tried to tell himself that it was more important to find the right words for Aislinn.

---

Edge barely heard the pounding on the door over the sounds he was making. He'd tried to evoke the sometimes discordant but oddly compelling harmonies of wolf song with delay, sustain and overdubs, and while he obviously hadn't been completely successful, the result was still eerily spine-chilling.

"What in God's name is that noise?" Aislinn had finally entered the room and managed to wrench Edge's attention from his music. The mark of his hand was still visible on her left cheek. He put down the guitar, turned off the tape, and faced his wife.

"I'm sorry," he said. "I don't expect you to forgive me, because I can't forgive myself. I don't know what came over me," he added, with complete honesty.

Aislinn just stared at him, an unreadable expression on her face.


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Old 01-03-2009, 10:59 PM   #2
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you posted it!!!!

I love how I can see this in my head like a movie. You have this way of not over describing something so you can fill in the blanks for yourself.

I also love how you've made Edge. He's not just "Edge from U2". He's Edge the husband as well, if you know what I mean.
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:32 PM   #3
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This actually made me want to howl!

I agree with Diane, the whole fill in the blanks thing is great, because I know you'll reveal more and more as each chapter passes, yet we won't know it all until the story is over. Just like last time!

You can definately count me in as a member of the fanclub!
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:32 AM   #4
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This is truly quite cool. I'm not even sure I know what's to come anymore...
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:03 AM   #5
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Thanks guys Next chapter going up in a minute...
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:00 PM   #6
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i like it.
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:42 PM   #7
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I found this fic referenced in the comments of an old LJ fic and had to go find it. Wow, what a fun fic! I read like ten chapters in a sitting last night. Really unusual and well written too. Hope maybe somebody else enjoys it too in this last long desert before the album announcement!
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:43 PM   #8
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There's a part 2 when you get to the end of this.

PM either Ali or myself and one of us will send it to you.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:13 PM   #9
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Glad you liked it!
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:11 AM   #10
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Your a creative writer. Keep it up.
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