New story. Gerard doesn't know the difference between reality and parareality.
The crowds roar and the rhythm of our music melded with my own voice, sending my brain into a frenzied sense of adrenalin. The music swirled and encompassed me, the sounds dimming and the movement of the crowd being drawn into slow motion. My hair flipped around my eyes as I shook my head with the tempo, Frank and Mikey in my peripheral vision, mirroring my head bangs. I flipped my head up to watch the crowd; not bothering to sing the words- the crowd could sing the words themselves.
The crowd of sweating teenagers rose and fell as one body, their arms moving as one and pointing skyward, driving on our adrenalin fueled performance.
I opened my mouth and let out the last sustained note. The crowd cheered and chanted for more. But we had had enough.
I walked from the stage, sweat streaming down my forehead and wetting the creases of my jacket. The rest of the band followed me off. I looked back and saw Ray shaking his large hair out of his face, without much success. Bob was wiping his forehead with the back of his hand. Mikey was breathing hard, with his head tilted back in an attempt to allow more oxygen into his lungs…And last but not least, my Frank. He didn’t look tired; he looked ready to play another 4 shows successively. His black fringe was pushed behind his ear and Pansy was slung over his shoulder. He grinned at the crowd and I could hear them scream their approval. Well- he was pretty for a man.
As soon as we were off stage, everything was in normal speed again. Reality. No more seemingly slow-motioned crowds until tomorrow night.
Our crew milled around us, handing out towels and water bottles, taking instruments off some of us and ushering us towards the back exit.
Finally; Back in the calm of the tour bus. Bob closed the door behind us and we all sat down heavily on the couch and chairs gathered around the small dining room of the bus. We all let out a sigh in unison causing us all to glance around and smile wearily at each other. Frank, who still remained the only one with any energy left in his system, leapt straight back off his chair and started moving around in the kitchen noisily.
My pounding head didn’t agree with his clattering in the kitchen.
“Fraaannkkk. What are you doing?” I whined at him, leaning my cold water bottle on my temple.
“I’m making waffles!” He turned from the mixing bowl and grinned cheekily.
It took all the willpower of the 4 remaining band members not to wrestle Frank to the ground and take away the spoon that he was waving around and using to cause copious amounts of waffle mixture to splatter the walls and appliances.
Bob groaned at him.
“Just put the frozen ones in the toaster!” He grunted.
Frank frowned as if the suggestion was insulting and continued to stir like crazy.
I glanced around at the band members and raised an eyebrow in question. All three of them shook their heads, pre-empting my plea for them to stop him.
I sighed and heaved my bone-weary body to a standing position, shuffling over to Frank and leaning my sopping hair against his shoulder.
Frank stopped mixing and craned his neck to look down on me. I grinned from underneath all my sweaty hair.
“Hey, Frank...Why don’t we go to that shop down the road? You know… the one with the breakfast all day? I think they have waffles!” I put on my most convincing smile.
Frank sighed as if I were doing him a large inconvenience by stopping his demolition of the kitchen.
“Fine. But I’m asking for skittles in mine.” Frank skipped off without warning, putting me off balance and sending me toppling to the floor with a grunt of pain.
Frank insisted on driving, and I was only too happy to oblige. My eyes continually drooped and my head throbbed with every beat of my heart. All I could think about was when my next possible chances to sleep would be.
Throughout eating waffles, Frank chattered excitingly away at nothing. Me being his best friend, I thought it was common courtesy to look involved in what he was saying, but I could only manage a nod here and there at what I hoped were appropriate moments in the conversation.
I paid the bill and walked from the restaurant leaning on Frank’s shoulder- half asleep. As soon as we got to the car I slumped into the passenger sleep and fell asleep immediately, dreams clouding my eyes.
The crowds roar and the rhythm of their stamping melded with my inner voice to form a canopy of sound that surrounded and invaded me. I was on a wooden stage with my hands tied in front of me. The crowd stood lazily around, the ladies fluttering their embroidered fans to ward off the humidity, the men standing protectively behind them in their top hats and tails, and the children running towards the front of the swarm of people.
The houses around me were obviously old fashioned. The stone inlay on the road was uneven and smothered in filth. The smell told me that the majority of the filth was made up of the contents of chamber pots.
I looked around and for the first time noticed the hooded man standing behind me, holding onto a rope leash that connected four other bound men such as myself. I gave a start of recognition. The first man was Bob. I gasped at his condition. He was hunched over and crying softly into his tied hands; purple blotches decorating his exposed skin. The second man was Ray. I didn’t immediately recognize him because his hair had been shorn off. He was standing silently and letting tears dribble from his eyes. The third man was Mikey. I watched as he swayed on the spot and then collapsed. The hooded men gestured towards some men standing at the side of the stage that quickly came forwards and heaved Mikey to his feet. As the men cleared the stage, the fourth man came into view.
Unlike his usual ecstatic and energetic self, Frank had his eyes closed, large bruises encircling each eye- giving him a hallow and deathly look. He opened his eyes and looked at me with such a pained expression that it formed a lump in my throat. As my eyes connected with his, two fat tears leaked from his eyes. The lump in my throat grew bigger and I started to choke. The crowd noticed my discomfort and started laughing - The children pointing freely, the men holding their great bellies and the woman sniggering down their noses.
I couldn’t stop choking.
I fell onto all fours and started gagging. This just caused the crowd to laugh more. Their laughter growing louder and louder with every gag I made. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think. I could only hear the laughter; taunting me, tearing me further away from Bob, Ray and Mikey. Further away from my Frank…..
It’s my entire fault.
I woke up gagging and clutching onto some material. I didn’t want to open my eyes. I wouldn’t open my eyes. I could still feel the lump in my throat. I felt one huge gag escape my throat and spray the contents of my stomach all over the material I was clutching to.
“MY FRANK!” I cried out through my gurgling. My own voice echoed inside my head.
From far away I could hear a voice whispering my name.
“Gerard….Gerard open your eyes… GERARD!” The last call came out as a shout and I at last came to my senses.
I opened my eyes to find my own vomit smeared across my hands and the material that I now released from my grip. I looked up to see that the material belonged to Frank’s shirt and that I was half lying on his lap.
“WhereamI?” I slurred.
“You’re back in the tour bus. You’ve just been sick. Those waffles were a bad idea, I’m so sorry.” Frank had found a towel nearby and was getting to work cleaning up the vomit on my face and hands. I submitted to his cleaning only because I was too tired and scared to do it by myself. What happened?
Memories of the medieval crowd swam back through my head; the taunting, the laughing, the hooded man…the prisoners.
“THEY’VE GOT THEM! THEY’VE GOT MY FRANK! MIKEY! BOB! RAY!” I tried to get up from my position on the couch only to be restrained by Frank’s strong arm.
“Let me go! I have to find them! They’re going to be killed….” I must have struggled for a good 5 minutes before the stress of the situation drained the last of my energy.
As soon as I went still, Frank pulled me further onto his lap and started stroking my bedraggled hair.
“Gee, please calm down. You’ve had a nightmare. Look at me; I’m not going to be killed am I?”
I craned my neck to look up at him and indeed found that he was alive and well. He gave a sad smile down to me.
“…But the crowd, they were laughing…And you were crying.” I screwed up my eyes to try and get rid of the image of Frank crying.
Frank continued to stroke my hair in a comforting manner.
“ No Gerard. You were dreaming. It’s all alright now.”
I was still unconvinced. The crowd was too realistic for me to dismiss this as a nightmare.
“C’mon Gee. Lets get you cleaned up.”
A/N ....Not sure if I will continue this. It's based off a series of dreams I had. Yes? No?