Springer Fiction: The Day After


Before we launch into the fiction, I want to point you guys to my bud Bunnygirl. Yeah, click on her name. She’s going to hold a flash fiction carnival and you KNOW you want to be part of it.

And now, the end of the Springer Saga. Sort of.

Springer stretched out in the hammock in the back yard, chewing on a piece of grass and fingering his pipe, wondering if he wanted a smoke. Who needed to smoke when they’d been on stage with the best band on the planet? The day was cloudy, and it seemed that every single cloud he saw reminded him of something from the night before.

That cloud over Springer’s head was his guitar. He’d changed the strings before the show. He’d polished the body, checked the pickups, made sure the knobs and dials were all working. It was a guess how to tune it, since ShapeShifter played in a bunch of different keys, but the roadies backstage had given everyone’s guitars a super quick tuning when they’d been assigned their songs.

Even though he hadn’t been able to pick out the sound of his specific guitar over the other two lottery winners on stage with him, not to mention Eric and that Walter dude everyone but him seemed to dig, he’d been there, onstage with ShapeShifter. The only time he’d been able to hear himself was when he’d hit that wrong note, but no one else seemed to notice. They probably figured it was that bass player who must’ve picked up a bass after he’d won the lottery for a spot onstage with the band.

That big, fluffy, high one was how he felt. He’d never been on stage before and being up there, with the lights shining down on his head until it felt like his hair would catch on fire and looking out at the crowd who was screaming, yelling, and singing along… He understood a lot more now, that was for sure. He understood why guys in bands put up with so much shit and what they meant when they said it was in their blood.

Problem was, Springer wasn’t sure it was in his blood. He’d watched Eric’s fingers and realized how much better the guy was. That the parts Springer was playing were dumbed down and basic. You had to be good to get as big as ShapeShifter. Better than Springer had realized. It was that simple.

That wispy cloud, the one that was hard to see, that was how he’d felt after the song ended, when the roadies or whoever they were came and herded him and the other two off the stage. There weren’t even handshakes to say thanks; the band kept playing and the next two were already coming out for their chance to jam. The roadies had helped him unplug, had given him his commemorative picks, and showed him to the safe place for storing his guitar so he could go back around front and watch the rest of the show. It had run smooth and all, but was it all it’d been supposed to be?

He didn’t want to say no. But saying yes wasn’t right, either.

That didn’t mean he wasn’t saving up for next year already. Maybe it’d be different. Maybe Eric would remember him. Maybe he’d find a better job and be able to afford some guitar lessons. There had to be a way.

Maybe there was the stage in his blood after all.

Yep, it’s Sunday night and Monday, so take a ride on Rhian’s Poetry Train! The only rules are that there are no rules, so come take part in the fun.



  1. Amy Ruttan

    December 16, 2007 9:22 pm

    LOL!! I hope there is life on the stage in his blood. 😉

  2. paisley

    December 16, 2007 9:23 pm

    for the longest time,, i thought all of this was real,…. that is how well it is written…

  3. Susan Helene Gottfried

    December 16, 2007 9:27 pm

    Thanks, Paisley! That’s high praise and I’m always touched to hear it.

  4. Wylie Kinson

    December 16, 2007 10:28 pm

    ‘commemorative picks’BR/It’s these details that make your storytelling so damn real, and addictive!BR/BR/I should have consulted you on my latest hero, Gabriel Law, in Law of Averages (he’s a rockstar). I really should have. I’m sorry I didn’t. BR/Oh well – you’ll get a good laugh at my ineptitude when/if you read the book! 😉

  5. Megan

    December 16, 2007 10:42 pm

    Glad to see the night from Springer’s point of view and with cool cloud metaphors! =) I like how he’s gained a good mix of appreciation for how hard and how awesome it is to be on stage.

  6. Sylvia Dickey Smith

    December 16, 2007 11:01 pm

    Great story! Caught my attention!!BR/BR/Sylvia Dickey Smith

  7. Rhian

    December 16, 2007 11:22 pm

    i love this one Susan.BR/and this:BR/”was it all it’d been supposed to be?He didn’t want to say no. But saying yes wasn’t right, either.”BR/yeah – i understand that.

  8. Susan Helene Gottfried

    December 16, 2007 11:51 pm

    I love that line, too, Rhi. It sums up a lot of what’s going on in my own head right now.

  9. bunnygirl

    December 17, 2007 12:24 am

    I like the down-to-earth, wistful quality of this. It’s emotionally true to life.BR/BR/Suggest to Springer that he spend some time cozying up to You Tube. There are guitar lessons there and then for practice, you can jam with videos of your favorite bands.BR/BR/Not as good as the real thing in either case, but better than nothing!

  10. Robin

    December 17, 2007 3:29 am

    Very introspective kid. I hope he figures out what he’s looking for.

  11. Lisa Andel

    December 17, 2007 12:09 pm

    Paisley, even I have to ask now and then if something is real or not in Susan’s world.

  12. Susan Helene Gottfried

    December 17, 2007 12:12 pm

    You guys should come hang out in my head sometime!

  13. Missy

    December 17, 2007 1:00 pm

    Ah, Susan. I felt really sad while reading this, but am happy that Springer has optimism. With a bit of hard work he can be as good or better than Eric. BR/BR/Maybe he should inadvertently end up in a band where he learns lessons as he improves his skills.

  14. karen!

    December 17, 2007 1:27 pm

    Happy to hear more from Springer.

  15. FRIGGA

    December 17, 2007 2:01 pm

    That’s cool, I hope Springer gets better with his guitar!!BR/BR/Happy Monday 😀

  16. gautami tripathy

    December 17, 2007 2:24 pm

    This is very interesting. I was totally immeresed in it!BR/BR/A HREF=”http://firmlyrooted.blogspot.com/2007/12/better-judgement-read-write-poemmonday.html” REL=”nofollow”better judgement/A

  17. Jill

    December 17, 2007 6:18 pm

    Is there clouds in paradise for Springer??BR/Are you gonna make him learn everything the hard way?

  18. Christine d'Abo

    December 17, 2007 8:22 pm

    You are such a fantastic writer, Susan. This is just another example. 🙂

  19. Christine d'Abo

    December 17, 2007 8:22 pm

    You are such a fantastic writer, Susan. This is just another example. 🙂

  20. Christine d'Abo

    December 17, 2007 8:22 pm

    You are such a fantastic writer, Susan. This is just another example. 🙂

  21. Shesawriter

    December 17, 2007 8:23 pm

    You have a great voice. It’s engaging and personable. 🙂

  22. julia

    December 17, 2007 8:54 pm

    ‘He’d watched Eric’s fingers and realized how much better the guy was.’BR/I love that realization for Springer. It should make the year ahead burn with ambition for him.

  23. Eaton Bennett

    April 20, 2008 9:21 pm

    Man, I can relate to his feeling of not being up to the Shape Shifter’s standard. Again like being there with these guys, so believable

  24. Evey Brown

    April 28, 2008 4:44 am

    Interesting to see the character’s feelings of being ‘just another lottery winner’. Being herded off stage and then given a commemorative pick only makes the insult worse. Then realizing that other winners were much better players than he was must have made the sting even worse. BR/Even rock stars have a job to do, and are required to ‘work’ even if it all seems glamorous.

  25. West of Mars » Blog Archive » Musical Hanukkah Flashback #6

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