Tag Archives: luck

Springer Fiction: Roadie


Our last Musical Hanukkah Celebration piece is slipping in under the wire here. I’m including it as a Sunday Snippet, since it’s set in my fictional city of Riverview, but if you’re here as part of that, only Eric appears in any of my books. Eric’s worth knowing, however.

Springer didn’t have much hope, but he jammed his fists into the pockets in his jean jacket and tried not to hunch his shoulders. He’d never get noticed if he was staring down at the ground. Confidence, baby. Jason at work said it was all about making people think you were confident, even when you were about to piss yourself with fear and nerves. Given how many people were around, Springer decided he’d try anything to stand out from the crowd. After all, even the girls looked like him. Every single person hanging around had long hair and wore a jean jacket.

One more thing about keeping your head up, Springer noticed. You saw things. That didn’t mean he recognized the van that pulled into the small lot at the back of The Rocket Theater. After all, it looked like twenty others he’d seen since he’d been standing across the street. There was no reason to pay any special attention to it. But for some reason, he did.

“Hey, Springer!”

He looked around at the other people hovering on the corner with him. No one looked familiar.

Then he caught the movement from across the street. From someone standing in a shadow near the door to the backstage area.

He raised his head a bit higher. The person responded by changing the way he waved. It went from a wide arc for attracting attention and turned into an invitation.

Springer swallowed hard and jogged across the street, darting between cars, curious who had recognized him — and why. It wasn’t like he had a ticket this year. He could hear a few jealous comments from the pack behind him, but he didn’t care. He’d been picked — for something.

It was Eric Wallace who was waving madly at him. “I thought that was you. Ready for another great year?” the guitarist asked. The guitarist of ShapeShifter had noticed his pretend confidence.

Springer jammed his hands back in the pockets of his jean jacket and gave in to the need to bow his shoulders. “No ticket,” he mumbled.

Eric leaned closer and asked Springer to repeat himself. Springer couldn’t bring himself to be any louder.

“Oh, no problem. I need a PA tonight,” Eric said. “It’s not paid and I’ll run you all over the place, but you’ll get to see the show with the rest of our staff.”

Springer knew he looked like an idiot, the way his head jerked up. His mouth was probably hanging open, and his eyes were probably huge. Like he cared. The important thing was that he’d been deemed cool enough to help out.

Eric gave him a minute to get it together. “Ready?” he asked.

Springer nodded, wishing his tongue would do something other than pulse like a panting dog. At least it was inside his mouth, and at least he’d managed to seal his lips shut. There was hope.

Eric handed him a laminate. “Don’t lose this. Now, go find the production office. Inside somewhere, there’s supposed to be a box full of pictures of the band. Please bring them to the dressing room, along with a box of Sharpies.”

As he hung the laminate around his neck, Springer started walking toward the stage door.

“Hey, Springer!” Eric called.

Springer turned, but kept walking backwards until he splatted against the wall.

“Thanks. We need cool fans like you.”

The impact points from the wall immediately stopped hurting. Springer wasn’t even sure his feet were touching the ground as he fumbled for the door and disappeared inside, intent on finding the production office and earning a spot working for Eric. Suddenly, it wasn’t so hard to hold his head up and have confidence.

Remember, if you haven’t picked up my books, they are now 50% off at Smashwords — but only until January 1. And yep, at least 50% of the royalties from the sales will head off to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. If you’d like to make a direct donation to the Foundation, I’ll be entering you in a raffle to win some really cool books. C’mon. Help out tomorrow’s rockers. Or orchestra members. Or music fans…