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.


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