7/11/2012

Night Bird Flying - Chapter 12: Little Wing




Despite the short notice, Johnny was able to get in contact with the band that afternoon and inform them of the venue with enough time for them to prepare.  Everyone was free to attend, with the exception of May, who had to accompany her mother on another trip out of town, and the practice for the next day was still scheduled as preparation for it.  Johnny had given Joey the Demo CD before class ended and he had been practicing the basslines furiously over the course of that evening.

The next afternoon, the band heard the basslines from Joey himself and found that he had performed them almost perfectly, of which the band was highly impressed and proceeded to congratulate him.  Their practice was nearly flawless but halfway through it, Johnny received a call from Paul, who randomly requested all of their shirt sizes.  They reluctantly provided him with the information and later speculated his reasoning behind it.

When they arrived at Shire Village, a residential neighborhood several miles from Garfield High, they rode into the local park, where people were already gathering around for the performances.  Shire Village was famous for having monthly concerts in their local park that featured acts from across the state and sometimes the country.  Only the best were allowed to play there, but because of the funds Paul was supplying for them and his personal connections, he was able to bump them up to the next level without much effort.  This was going to be the band's first real performance and it was going to be in front of a crowd of hundreds.  They had to make it count.

Chase drove the Retrovan through the park as he began to see the large outdoor amphitheater come into view, passing the hipster crowds that were walking to the area and would most likely be the ones to populate the audience.  There was a river that separated the stage from their side of the park, so Chase rounded a corner and took the route that led to the amphitheater.  He eventually pulled up behind it and they all began to exit the van.

They had all dressed accordingly for the gig, just as they had done for the Battle of the Bands.  Johnny was wearing a mahogany suede jacket with fitted blue jeans and a chain wallet hanging from his back pocket.  Chase's hair was wavy and Scene-like as usual, nearly obscuring his eyes with a Goth style and he wore a black leather jacket with black jeans to correspond with it.  Shelly was sporting a thin hooded jacket and had her hair spiked up with blue highlights like last time.  Joey wore a simple jean jacket with a brown scarf wrapped comfortably around his neck.  Apricot was the last to exit the vehicle, wearing her hair in a ponytail and her signature circular rimmed red-tinted glasses, along with a colorful sweater and jeans.

The five of them looked around carefully for any sign of Paul.  They started to walk up to the stage but a security guard approached them, cutting them off.

"This area is off-limits, guys," he said, flagging them away.

"It's okay, Marco," Paul interjected, appearing from atop the backstage.  "They're with me.  Come on up, guys.  You're the third and final set of the night.  You'll be performing seven selections for the crowd."

"Seven?" Shelly repeated with worry.  "We only know five songs."

"I know.  Which is why you'll play those songs and follow up with two covers."

"I don't think you heard her," Joey said, walking up to Paul urgently.  "We only know FIVE songs.  Period."

"When did you get back?" Paul said, pointing him out.  "You better not fuck up this performance for us, mate, or we're going to have a mess on our hands"-

"We don't know any covers," Johnny intruded before Paul could add more fuel to the fire.  "Not collectively as a band."

"Well you better get to learning them, mate, seven selections hold up the entire set.  The Show-runners want nothing less.  You got here early so that's good, your set doesn't start for a while.  The first two acts are going to be about thirty minutes with ten minute breaks in between so you have roughly two hours, give or take a few minutes.  Learn something and fast or this crowd's going to have a lot of bad stuff to say.  They can be brutal, trust me."

As Paul began to walk away, the band migrated to an area behind the stage where there were dormant equipment cases for them to sit on.

"Thanks for tellin' us earlier, Paul," Johnny murmured under his breath sarcastically.

"What the hell are we going to do?" Chase asked anxiously.  "We don't know any covers, do we?"

"Not together as a band," Johnny said, rubbing his chin.  "We'll have to go deeper into the park, set up, and practice somethin'.  I don't know what though."

"This sucks, man," Shelly declared, walking in circles.  "How're we supposed to do this?  No offense to you, Joey, but I don't think you can learn two complete covers in only a few hours.  Hell, I don't even know if I can do that."

"Actually, you guys do, but I don't have to," Joey said, a smirk forming on his face as he pulled an MP3 Player out of his pocket.  "I've already learned one.  One that I'm sure Johnny will want to perform."

"What?" Johnny asked, his ears perking curiously.

"I looked up that one hit song that Guardian Avenue had, according to Paul.  It's called 'Fortitude.'  I learned the Bassline last night."

"That's perfect," Johnny said, hopping up.  "Come on, let's go.  We don't have a lot of time."

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The band traveled to a secluded area in the park, hooking up Joey's MP3 to the Retrovan's stereo and playing it on the way there.  It was a very fluid tune; old school in its sound but far ahead of its time in flavor.  It was a feel-good song that was also intense, easily able to pass off as an action movie track.  It was Johnny's first time hearing it and the guitar solo made his fingers twitch with excitement.  When they reached an area in the park that was completely vacant of people, the band got out of the car and quickly set up their equipment in front of the van with its headlights providing the light they needed.  They used a small generator that Chase kept stored in the back to power their equipment.  When they were finished setting things up, they warmed up to get ready.

"This is some awesome scenery for a music video," Shelly said, as she strummed through all of her chords and tuned her Stratocaster.

"No doubt," Johnny responded, doing the same with the Night Bird.

"I noticed that there wasn't a keyboard part in that song," Apricot said, setting it up nevertheless.  "What am I supposed to do?"

"We'll add your part in, Ap.  It's a cover, so we have liberty to do what we want with it.  Just do what sounds right to you.  It'll work.  I'm thinkin' we should make our version a bit more modern anyway."

"What about the second cover?" Joey asked, plugging the chord from his bass to his amp.  "What are we going to do about that?"

Johnny was silent for a while, staring off into space.  The band waited for his response impatiently.

"Johnny," Chase called, but Johnny lifted his finger quickly to cut him off.  He was in the middle of an epiphany.

"I have an idea," Johnny said with a monotone voice, still being controlled by his thought.  "It's gonna be the boldest move we ever make but I don't think we have a chance if we try anythin' else.  If we do this, we'll either fuck up the last performance....or rock like we've never rocked before."

"So what's the idea?" Shelly asked anxiously.

"I'll tell you," Johnny muttered, turning to them, "right after we get on stage."

Everyone began to speak at once in confusion over the cryptic message Johnny was giving them.  He raised his hands to quiet them.

"Just trust me, all right?  It won't be natural any other way.  We need to spend all of our time workin' on 'Fortitude'.  Everythin' else will work itself out, I promise you."

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The band returned an hour and a half later to see the second band finishing their last song.  As they approached, they spotted the first band, an acid punk rock group, standing near a waiter who was holding a saucer covered with shot glasses of liquor.  The band was taking turns lighting the liquor on fire with a lighter and taking the shots, spitting flames all over the place and nearly in each other's faces.  Paul emerged from the stage as the second band finished.

"You guys have got your line up together, I hope?" he asked quickly.

"Yeah, we're totally ready," Johnny said with a confident nod.

"Excellent.  Now, I've got a surprise for you."  He led the band over by the equipment cases where they'd been sitting a while ago.  There were two boxes that were by the stage and Paul opened the first one, pulling out a stack of T-Shirts and handing them to the band individually.  "What do you think?"

Johnny opened the shirt up, revealing that it was tie-dyed with dark colors mixed together with a stylish decal of the number 70 on the front.  It would have been nice if it hadn't resembled a uniform.

"I think you must be out of your mind," Johnny said with a raised eyebrow, handing the shirt back to Paul.  "This isn't Devo."

"Johnny, I'm out of my mind because its always open, which is what you need to do, open your mind," he responded, jabbing at his own temple continuously.  "Now think about it.  Sure the shirts may seem a bit lame now, but when you get up on that stage and rock that fucking crowd, everyone is going to want one by the end of the night.  That's what the other box is for."

Johnny shrugged and turned back to the rest of the band.  "Hand up for yes, down for no."

Shelly, Apricot, and Joey raised their hands in favor of the shirts, while Chase kept his down.

"It's unanimous then.  Shirts on."

"Aw, damn it," Chase said, as they left the area to change.  The majority of them put the shirts on under their outer clothing, such as Johnny keeping his suede jacket on over it, still allowing the shirt to be visible.  When they were finished, Paul helped them load all of their equipment onto the stage.  Everything seemed to be ready after about five minutes, so they stood backstage conversing until it was time for the show to start.

"I am so nervous right now," Shelly said, jumping up and down to relieve the stress.  "I've got butterflies coming out of my ass."

"What are you nervous for?" Chase asked confusedly.  "We're going to rock that shit like we always do."

"I don't doubt that.  That still doesn't stop me from being nervous, I mean anything could go wrong.  And Johnny keeping the final cover a secret doesn't help any."

"It's not gonna be a cover," Johnny said sternly, looking into the crowd from the wall that separated them from the stage.

"What?" Everyone exclaimed in unison.

Joey was the closest to Johnny, who turned around and leaned to his side, whispering something into his ear.

Joey's eyes widened and he gasped as Johnny pulled back.  "Really, Johnny?  How do you expect me to-"

"Apricot, you can play any instrument on your keyboard, right?" Johnny asked quickly.

"Yeah sure, why?" she asked anxiously.

Johnny turned to Joey and smiled.  "Problem solved."

"Guys, you're on," Paul whispered from the other side of the stage.

"Moment of truth.”  The band, shaking with anxiety, followed Johnny behind the back curtain as the announcer began to introduce them.

"Now, it's my pleasure to introduce a group that a friend of mine is currently managing," the announcer said in a casual voice to the audience across the small river that separated them from the stage.  "He came to me and said 'these guys are the next big thing, they're going to be legendary.  And believe me, after listening to their Demo CD, I'm standing behind that 100%.  So without further nonsense, Shire Village welcomes to you the next big thing: CLASS OF '70!!"

Johnny took a deep breath and completely relaxed himself as he walked out on stage, his band following behind him.  Chase took his spot behind the drum set as the others plugged up their instruments.  Johnny could hear chuckles and jeers coming from the crowd as a response to their wardrobe and probably their diversity as well.  He walked to the microphone and looked out at them all.

"How's everybody doin' tonight?" Johnny asked with a level of shaking nerves that he'd never experienced before.  He cleared his throat and felt them slip away quickly.  He had to.  He remembered that the band's attitude reflected from his own, therefore he had to be completely confident.  It was difficult as the crowd was, as Paul warned, as brutal as humanly possible.  There were some deep cutting insults being thrown at them, some like "You look ridiculous", "Go back to the Ghetto", and "You'll snap the strings with those monkey fingers."  Not all were directed at Johnny.  They went full circle.  "You've got a she-male on rhythm", "The 70's are over, tell your keyboarder to get off the stage", "Is your drummer retarded?", "Get a tan, Bass!"  Johnny could do nothing more than smirk.  He'd been brought up to resist these insults.  It only made him feel better knowing what they were about to put down.

He turned back to the band.  "Truthful Lie," he muttered and started the song off with the most intense guitar solo he'd ever executed.  On cue, the entire band followed up with the rest of the music, fueling a fire in Johnny that kept him going for the rest of the performance.  He moved up to the mic while he strummed and began to sing, as the music grew a bit quieter.

"I think I'm in love, but truth be told
I don't think I give a damn
When everything I touch turns to gold
But then melts in my hand.

Don't you dare come near me
I'm a walking Catch-22
with nothing left to call my own but
the madness that lies in you

So put yourself together
And break down my whole line
Cause my fragility is what will cause you to unwind

You can scream as loud as you want
Till you're bluest in your face
But whatever moad you bleach your skin with can't always erase"

The song grew intense as everyone's instrument entered and Apricot carried the melody with a laser-like synthesizer that resembled the notes that Johnny had sung to the first verse.

"Keep your head above that acid water
Whatever you do, stay your lips from mine

Keep your head above that acid water
Just play your role and we will both be fine"

The song grew back to it's original softer side as the second verse started.

I'm amused that you thought sanctuary
Was just a one night stand away
And that everything you buried deep below
Would remain coffin bound at bay

But your parents said its never that easy
To keep my love from outside your door
So stay with me if you really want to
Till its not your choice anymore

Now put yourself together
And break down my whole line
Cause my fragility is what will cause you to unwind

You can get mad if you want to
Till you're reddest in your face
But whatever blood you paint your skin with won't ever erase"

"Keep your head above that acid water
Whatever you do, stay your lips from mine

Keep your head above that acid water
Just play your role and we will both be fine"

The music's intensity remained at high as Johnny began to enter an epic guitar solo.  He could hear the crowd reacting to it and he was sure it was positive, but he wasn't going to look up to check.  He was too deep into it now.  He needed to milk the moment for as long as he could so he began to throw in a few stage antics, throwing the guitar around his torso and playing the rest of the solo behind his back.  He had to show off.  It was required of him at this point.  When he finished, the music softened for the bridge of the song.

“Everyone's a target
Don't think that you're the first
I am the origin of heartbreakers since they've been on this Earth

“Its all about human nature
As beautiful as the real thing
But I have a heart so your own warning is what I will sing”

Johnny let the music ride and built up the pressure with a timid but noticeable riff.  Chase was leading the band on with a hip hop beat as Johnny strummed lightly, listening for the cue as the music grew more and more forceful.  The tension built heavily, ending off with a second of silence before the storm.  With a burst of sound and energy, the song sprang back into the chorus.

"Keep your head above that acid water
Whatever you do, stay your lips from mine

Keep your head above that acid water
Just play your role and we will both be fine"

The song was as intense as it was ever going to get as Chase began to double pedal into an even more heavy rhythm that Johnny was carrying along with another quick solo.  He was headbanging violently, his long locks flying back and forth over his head as he played.  He walked back to the mic and screamed the last lines of the song, "I have a heart so your own warning is what I will sing," until the last note, which Johnny carried into a distortion-filled outro.

In the aftermath of it, the crowd burst into an uproar of applause at which Johnny smiled.  That's what he liked to see.

After the performance of all of their songs, 'Fortitude' was what got the crowd the most.  He even coaxed them into singing the chorus a few minutes in as they remembered the historic hit.  Some could recall it immediately and some caught on after the first verse.  The band was performing flawlessly and professionally, as Johnny had expected, but he was mostly proud of Joey for practicing so hard and performing with the same prowess as the rest of them.  When they finished, Johnny looked back at Paul with a smile, who pointed at him proudly.  Hearing one of his own hits remastered and modernized and actually enjoying this new version was the reaction from Paul that Johnny considered to be one of their largest accomplishments so far.  However, as quickly as his smile came, Johnny's attitude turned serious immediately as he turned to the rest of the band.

"We're going to improvise the last song," Johnny explained to them, as the crowd began to quiet down.  "I know for a fact that we can do it, because we did it the first time we met up in the auditorium.  We'll go with a gospel structure.  It'll go 8-bar intro, 4-bar verse, 4-bar solo, 4-bar verse, 4-bar solo, 4-bar final verse, 16-bar chorus, then continue until I give you the signal to end it.  Once again, that's a 8-bar intro, 3 verses, two solos in between, and a 16-bar chorus continuing until the song ends.  Apricot, put on a Bass and make it look like Joey's doin' it.  Everyone else, follow Shelly's lead."

"Me?" Shelly asked in panic.  "Why do I have to start it?"

"Because you're rhythm guitar. You basically carry it, now start it off and make it nice.  Ap, you follow, and Chase, you enter when necessary.  I've got everythin’ else."

Shelly took a deep nervous breath and began to play an original rhythm on her guitar with a quick tempo.  Apricot entered after the first four bars and Chase followed up into a punk rock drum line.  Joey strummed lightly, pulling the chord from his amp and moving closer to Apricot to make his movements appear realistic as he followed her fingers.  Johnny approached the mic and started free-styling on the guitar and lyrics from the top of his head.

"You're always wrappin' chains around my heart
Chains made of thorns, leavin' your mark across my scars
Well, I'm here to tell you that I've got nothin' to lose
Love is a bomb and I'm lightin' up the fuse."

Johnny leaned back and entered an extensive solo for 4-bars before leaning back into the mic to continue.

"Every now and again, you come back lookin' for a fight
And I keep lookin' over my shoulder, wonderin' when you'll strike
Cause I've got somethin' that I'm itchin' to let you know
Get ready 'cause I'm about to deliver the heavy blow!"

Johnny leaned back for another solo as Chase changed up the beat and Shelly brought the rhythm up an octave, which Apricot was able to correspond with naturally.  Johnny leaned up and continued.

"Girl, I'm on the walk of life but you won't follow my steps
And yet, you say if I leave, you won't have nothin' left
You've got to be aware, take a look at all of the signs
This heavy blow is gonna blow your fuckin' mind!"

Johnny began to repeatedly sing the lyric "heavy blow" as the band and everyone in the audience joined in.  He had them in the palm of his hand.  As he sung, he corresponded with a guitar solo that mirrored the singing.  After 16 bars, he broke away and brought the Night Bird to his teeth, plucking several quick notes with it.  The crowd went wild and the band exchanged looks amongst each other in pleasant surprise.  Once again, he was milking the moment for all it was worth in order to flush out any reasons this crowd would have to not enjoy this performance.  He finally reached the last four bars and turned back to the band, giving them the signal that it was the last of it.  He led them into the outro which was a loud compilation of solos from each instrument until the final note was played.

Johnny stabbed his fists at the sky as the crowd went insane.  He kissed his index and middle finger and flashed a peace sign at the them as he spoke his farewells into the mic and walked off of the stage with the band behind him.  Paul walked on after him with a T-Shirt shooter, firing it into the crowd.  The announcer went to the microphone.

"Class of '70, everybody!" he shouted over the cheers and the sound of the T-Shirt gun shooting Class of '70 Merchandise into the audience across the river.

The band ran out of the backstage in jubilation as they were congratulated by the other band members and staff-workers for putting on such an insane show.  When the band regrouped by the van, Johnny got there attention.

"I swear to my guitar," Johnny said, with the hugest grin on his face.  "You guys are the absolute fuckin' best, there is no denyin' it."

They shook hands and hugged each other individually.  After a few minutes, there were already fans approaching them asking the band to sign their new Class of '70 T-Shirts.  They were all happy to oblige.  After a few minutes, Paul emerged from the stage to greet them.

"Get used to it guys," he said enthusiastically, watching the five of them bask in the glory that their immense talent was bringing them.  "This is what it's going to feel like every time."

"Hey," Shelly shouted to get everyone's attention.  "We have to celebrate.  Dinner at Red Robin's on me."

They cheered proudly and entered the Retrovan, chanting their band name out of the window of the van as Chase drove them out of the park.

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The concert performance was nothing less than spectacular for the band, everything that Johnny could have dreamed of.  He was in a fantastic mood for the remainder of the week and the band had volunteered to come together and work more on their new song, which Johnny had titled, "Heavy Blow."  Because Paul had gotten someone to recorded the performance from in front of the stage, he was able to let them review the improvised version and adapt it accordingly.  It was one of the greatest works any of them had ever heard from each other, particularly mirroring the creation of another popular song entitled “What'd I Say” by Ray Charles, which was also created during an improvised gig.  It was around this time that Paul unveiled the Class of '70 Official Website and Facebook Group, which had 600 users and 456 fans respectively on either page.  Their performance of "Heavy Blow" had garnered nearly a thousand views on Youtube.  Things were moving quicker than Johnny could have ever expected.

He sat at home that weekend recording the lyrics for 'Heavy Blow" into his notebook when he suddenly received a text on the phone by his table.  He picked it up and saw that it was from Apricot, who informed him that she had just purchased a new keyboard and she wanted him to see it.  He texted her back, saying that he'd be over in a few moments, and went down stairs to ask Uncle Chuck if he could borrow his car for once.  It took nearly half an hour of convincing, but Chuck finally allowed Johnny to take it on the condition that he brought it back before the evening.

Johnny drove the Honda to Apricot's house, parking outside by her mailbox.  The house was nearly 3-stories with beautiful architecture and a garden of stunning flowers surrounded by a white picket fence.  It looked as if it had been pulled straight from a nursery rhyme book, which was somewhat typical given Apricot's gentle nature.  Johnny exited the car and opened the fence gate, heading up the walkway to the door.  When he reached it, he rang the doorbell and waited but no one answered.  That's when he noticed that the door had been left slightly ajar and he began to worry that someone might have broken into the house.  He slowly slipped inside, looking around vigilantly.

"Apricot?" he called walking through the house, which was just as stylish as the outside with a beautiful batch of flowers in every room and matching flower designs on the furniture.  He walked into each room, but could not find any sign of a struggle or Apricot and her mother.  His search eventually led him upstairs where he turned a corner down a hallway and saw a ladder on the floor, pointing up towards an opening to an attic in the ceiling.  Johnny quickly made his way to it, climbing up into the attic which was completely cleared out with the exception of dust and cobwebs here and there.  There were two windows on either side of him, one of which was open.  She must be on the roof, he thought.

He walked to the window and climbed back outside, looking out onto the setting sun in the distance.  He looked up past the window and continued on the small walkway/balcony where he spotted Apricot by its edge in a light pink dress.  She had to have just gotten out here, Johnny thought, as he hadn't seen her on the roof when he examined the house from the yard.  She turned around to him with wide eyes and a dazed expression that sent chills down his spine.

"Oh hey Johnny," she said with a mesmerized voice.  "Nice of you to join me."

"Um, Apricot," Johnny said, growing more anxious by the second.  "What are you about to do?"

"I'm going to fly," she said passionately, spreading her arms out toward the heavens.

"Ap, hold on just a second there," Johnny said, cautiously edging toward her.  "Why are you tryin' to fly all of a sudden?"

"Because I can," she chuckled, turning back toward him.  "Can you not see my wings?"

"Can't say that I do," Johnny said, his heart pounding faster as he progressed.  He was closing in.  "But I think it'd be best if you save the flyin' for another time."

"There may not be a another time, Johnny," She replied, looking over her shoulder innocently.  "I have to do it now."

She began to step off of the roof with her arms stretched out.  "NO!" Johnny shouted, jumping after her.  He grabbed hold of her body by curling his arms under her open armpits.  He had no support.  His bottom half was the only thing making contact with the roof and he was slipping off fast.  Thinking quickly, he put his left arm around Apricot's torso and pushed himself up on the edge of the balcony with his right arm.  With as much strength as he could muster, he hoisted Apricot into the air and got her back on the roof.  She layed on top of him as he gasped for breath, resting on his back.  That was too close for comfort.  She could have hurt or possibly killed herself.  What the hell is wrong with her? he thought to himself.

Johnny quickly got up and carried her back into the attic all the way into her room where he laid her sback down on her bed.  She giggled restlessly, tossing and turning on the bed sheets in her tie-dyed room.

"All right," Johnny said, his hands on his hips with authority.  "Apricot, what the hell is goin' on with you?"

"Nothing," she whispered, turning toward him with a mischievous smile.

Johnny rolled his eyes.  "Where is your mom?"

"At work, I think," She muttered staring off into space.

He'd never seen Apricot like this before, so he had an idea of what was going on with her, given her past.  He looked around the room until his eyes met an object on her table.  He walked toward it and picked it up.  It was a small pink square slip of paper, about a centimeter in length and height with a design of a pink elephant on it.  Johnny's eyes widened as he realized what it was.

"Ap, are you on LSD?" he asked turning back to her quickly, only to find himself shielding his eyes.  She had taken off her dress and stood completely naked in front of him.  "God, Ap, what the hell is wrong with you?"

"It's Acid actually," she said with enthusiasm.

"It's the same thing, Ap.  Put some clothes on for God's sake."

"What's the matter, Johnny?  Do you not want to see me naked?  You can get naked if you want."

"What?" Johnny said, coming from out of his hand shield only to go right back behind it again.

"I've got more stuff in my dresser.  Check it out."

Johnny made his way to her clothing dresser which was right beside the table and opened up one of the drawers.  Sure enough, he spotted a variety of different drugs strewn amongst her clothes.  There were bags of weed, cocaine, heroin needles, and various other harmful substances scattered among each other.

"Were you plannin' on usin' all of these?" Johnny asked in shock.

"Planning?" Apricot repeated going into an hysterical laugh that caused her to collapse to the floor.  “Why would I keep them in my clothing drawer if I was 'planning'?

"Ap, you're a fuckin' junkie," Johnny said, beginning to lose his cool.  "I can't believe this, I knew there was a catch to havin' you in the band."

"Johnny," Apricot said, running and hopping onto him, causing him to turn and fall onto the bed.  "You should make love to me right now, Johnny.  May told me how good you are in bed, Johnny.  She told me that what you said in the van about the 'black guy' thing was true, Johnny.  I want to see for myself, Johnny."

"Ap, are you listenin' to yourself right now?" he asked, pushing her naked body off of him.  "You need serious help."

"Why won't you make love to me, Johnny?" Ap asked, grabbing onto his pant leg.

"Because you're high and my best friend is into you," Johnny said, trying to shake her off of him.  "Now let go of me."

It was at that moment that he suddenly noticed a pair of handcuffs on the nightstand on the other side of Apricot's bed.  He limped around it, dragging her along by his leg, and grabbed them, noticing a key lying beside it on the table.  He made a note of it, sliding the cuffs around one of her arms, dragging her back to the other side of the bed, and hooking the other half to the bedpost.

"Hey what did you do?" she exclaimed when she realized that she was stuck.

"It's for your own good, Ap," Johnny said, climbing over the bed, grabbing the key, and placing it on the bed just beyond her reach.  He went over to her dresser and opened it so that all of the drugs would be visible.  "When your mom finds you, she'll get you help.  You definitely need it.  You're out of the band until then."

"Johnny?" Apricot whined as Johnny made his way out of the room after his raid.  She continued to call his name until her whines turned into screams.  "Johnny!!  JOHNNY!!  GET THE FUCK BACK HERE, JOHNNY!!  MAKE LOVE TO ME, JOHNNY!!"

He headed out of the door in a hurry, surveying his surroundings as he walked to his car, driving away as quickly as he possibly could to avoid being seen.  Little did he know, there was a red BMW parked relatively close in perfect view of his exit.  Joey sat in the car, blinking his eyes excessively with a dead look on his face.  As Johnny drove off, Joey looked down at the pictures on his digital camera of Apricot's window where she was approaching Johnny completely naked.  Joey's jaw clinched as he stared at the photos absently and he then opened the window beside him, tossing the camera out onto the pavement.  He turned, reaching behind him into the backseat and grabbed the Pump-Action Shotgun, cocking it before getting out of the car.

Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix

Heavy Soul by The Black Keys - The song "Heavy Blow," heavily resembles this song by the Black Keys.

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