The Reason I Sing: Part IV - U2 Feedback

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Old 03-08-2008, 06:31 AM   #1
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The Reason I Sing: Part IV

Part IV for your enjoyment. The next part will be up after the weekend.

Disclaimer: None of this is real, all fiction, made up on the spot, don't know the band, not making a brass farthing from this.

Street lamps, shop fronts and car headlights all do their best to change the contours of a city. Even to the most familiar observer, light bounces off walls, and down avenues bending, blurring and filling the space in a hundred different ways that day-light never offers. Colours are wrong, and with the increase of noise and the shift in movement of people, at night the city is a twisted version of its daytime self. Passing between these walls of strip-lighting, Red trips her way past familiar blasts of teeth-grating tourist music, out along the river to where the bridges light the water like creatures from the deep. A left turn here and a right turn there take her out of the city, away from the usual pubs and out a little further.

Six more steps and she enters a pub full of serious faced musicians who all seem engrossed in the unintelligible ballad the older lady at the bar is singing. The words tangle in gaelic sounds which any foreigner knows aren’t spelt anything like the music they produce. A more obvious Londoner would elicit a reaction upon her entry, but with her hair, her big boots and dark green dress well hidden under a heavy coat, Red blends in beautifully, only jarring perceptions when her accent hasn’t a trace of brogue. Pint of murphy’s in hand, Red blends in to a gaggle leant at the bar and over the rim of her glass the only place in the universe that matters to her falls under observation.

The music continues through the evening, streaming out of windows and leaching through the doors as patrons nip out for a sneaked smoke. The pub fills gradually as more and more musicians gather under the far window, singing and playing until courage gets the better of her, and the sense of duty which music instils almost overcomes her. Halfway through her second pint, Red leans over to a musician who she has been singing along with for most of her drink. A conversation ensues, inaudible to us, and the rest of the room, and as with so many attentions ours is turned away from the window for one very important moment.

Having walked the dogs and resigned himself to a fairly dull evening, Edge’s words still rattle in Bono’s otherwise determinedly focussed skull. Blow off some steam, yeah, that’s what I’ll do, go out, get some air, stretch the wings, occupy my mind and try and forget about, blow off some steam. Leaving the car, and trying to play as low key as possible he doesn’t walk the whole length of the street as he would were he looking for a bright and fleeting night. The thoughts he needs to stifle take on shapes which noise and glamour will not tackle and by instinct alone he follows his feet.

“Music, that must be the drug of choice for the evening, I believe. Follow the feet to the music” Bono resolves to himself, looking at his shoes. “These could lead me anywhere. Into some music, into some trouble and far away” as forced as it started out, the swagger begins to return to his steps. One after the other his legs propel him down the street, and before he is further aware of his situation he is stood too close to a shop doorway, and haloed in light. As is the way of these things, were it not for the screaming hormones of a group of girls on their hen-night this momentary pause in an otherwise uneventful walk would remain just that. However, despite the vast quantity of alcohol already ingested, one of the more keen-eyed girls in pink cowboy hats screams at an unfeasible volume “Bow-noh! Look girls, its Bownoh!”

Cornered, and unwilling to go into “Dales Kebabs” for cover, Bono turns down the nearest street and runs into the crowd of smokers at the front of a traditional music pub, although distinctly lacking in music since the entire room is re-arranging itself from peering down the ally to locate the high-pitched scream. Recomposed and about to start another set, the musicians seem too engrossed, and the other locals seem to know the drill well enough to allow Bono to be just another drinker. Just for this moment, Red’s attention is elsewhere caught up in checking verse numbers, and keys with the musicians.

It has been a long time, too long since she opened her mouth to really sing. Every time she has in the past, the room full of friendly faces, and memories have washed over her and sent her running from the stage. This time, however, there are no friends full of expectations, there is no stage, and no-one remembers how much she sounds like her mother. A lone note from the pipes player leads her in, and if she can only keep her cool she will have the attention of the whole room. An old melody, used, and reused, but new in her voice catches the ear of the bar staff first, as she sings straight to anyone at eyelevel. She lowers her eyes at the second line and catches the gaze of the resting drummer. As line by line the song of lost love unfolds she looks at everyone who dares watch her. She reaches the last verse and the final set of eyes in the room turn to meet hers. Not merely watching, not merely listening, but comparing this song, this sound, this voice to something. The one thing Bono would never make is a professional poker player, for, utterly transfixed as he is, his gaze is full of memory and recall, and is just a shade too penetrating. Someone remembers. Struggling with the last line, Red holds her voice together just long enough to hear the applause and compliments before she makes her way out on to the street for some needed air. Who knew? Who remembered? It couldn’t be.

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Old 03-08-2008, 07:33 AM   #2
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Wonderful! I'm looking forward to seeing these mysteries unravelled

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Old 03-08-2008, 03:35 PM   #3
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Great writing. I'm very curious to see what happens next
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Old 03-09-2008, 04:07 PM   #4
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Old 03-21-2008, 07:50 AM   #5
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I just caught up w/this. It's certainly unusual. We got some nice 'different' fics going on at the moment, methinks. Ok, now I'll go read the next part...

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