fledgling days

Outside it’s springtime.  Fresh bright blades of grass poke up through cracks in the pavement as if they’d caused them, beating up at the underside of the road all winter to finally escape in small straggling bursts – the way the kids get out of Hattin at about this time every year.  There’s some kind of bird on a half-fallen wire, doing something it probably thinks is singing.  It’s really fucking cheerful.

So it can just all fuck off and die, because inside it’s Wren Has A Hangover time.  The really good kind of hangover, the kind you get when you weren’t just amazingly drunk last night, you were also overextending yourself menting (the crowd was HUGE) and on top of that you’d lost one of your earplugs halfway through the set.  Three completely separate headaches piling on top of one another like a fucking headache orgy, thrusting their skanky rot-riddled headache-pricks through your tender little brainmeats.  Fuck this, fuck it all, fuck the sunlight, fuck the lack of a curtain on this fucking window, and fuck that fucking bird.

He rolls over and ends up half on top of another body.  Turns out it’s the drummer.  Fuck that guy too.  Actually, Wren’s jeans are still on so they probably didn’t do that literally – which is good, because he doesn’t actually like the guy.  Doesn’t have much of a personality and insists on playing some car part he scavved somewhere as part of his kit, in every single song, just to show off that he has it or some shit.  It sounds like somebody trying to buttfuck a robot and missing, in Wren’s opinion.  One of these days he’s going to get pissed off and lean on the guy to quit playing it, and fuck that’s going to cause so much drama.

Christ.  Maybe coffee would happen, and then there’d be something worth not hating in the world.


He rolls in the opposite direction until he finds the edge of the mattress and then the floor.  Presses the heels of his hands into his eye sockets until he sees sparks.  Hands up, fingers through his hair, deep breath.  He’s vertical and awake and SOMEONE WANTS TO MAKE A FRESH POT OF COFFEE RIGHT NOW.  The rest of the guys are either awake already or slept in a different room.  Did they pack the gear up last night?  What the hell even time is it?

It takes him two tries to find the doorway instead of the wall next to it.

“Morning, asshole.  I got your coffee on.”  Kells.  The lead guitarist – ‘Killer Kells’ if you read the strap on her instrument.  She’s a morning person and he hates her.  How can you be a fucking morning person when you’re in a band that finishes shows up at, like, dawn?  It’s unfair is what it is.  On the other hand she wanted to make a fresh pot of coffee right now and she never gets mad past lip-service when he does shit like that, so he loves her.  Would probably kill a man for her.  Especially if she had a cup of coffee in her hands when she asked him to do it.

There’s people milling around the kitchen and the other room, but he doesn’t know them and they’re smart enough not to talk to him when he’s obviously undead.  He loves them all too.  That coffee smells amazing.  He sits down on the floor, back against a cabinet, and closes his eyes again.  The other people walk over his outstretched legs like it’s nothing.  It’s a wayhouse, so it pretty much is nothing.  He and the rest of the Fledglings paid their stay last night with the show, so he has just as much of a right to this piece of floor as anybody else in the place.  Same with the coffee.

Which Kells, sweet fucking blessed angel that she is, has just put into his hands.  “You want sugar you do it yourself,” she tells him.  “You’re lucky I made it in the first place.  Asshole.”

“I love you,” he tells her.  Silence for proper appreciation of the coffee, even though it’s way too fucking hot and he’s going to regret taking such a big sip of it right away in, like – oh, there we go, regret right now.  “How’d we do last night?”

“Ran out of stickers, and the quicker that guy gets us the next batch of vinyl the better off we’re gonna be.”

“So not bad?”

“Not fuckin’ bad.”

“We got a place lined up for tomorrow yet?”

“Tiny and The Rat are out talking to some guys.  Joey still asleep?  You sure he’s still breathing?”

“God, could he not be?  I shoulda put a pillow on his head before I got up. I wonder how hard it’d be to get Tiny to drop that fucking ting-ting next time we’re unloading.”

“You do it and there’ll be drama.”

“God, don’t I fucking know it.”  He still regrets that first sip of coffee.  He regrets it more with each additional sip.  Fucking hot coffee.  Fucking band drama.  Fucking ting-tings.

“There’s a jenny staying here tonight.”

“Yeah?  And?  One of us gotta suck some dick so we can keep our equipment charged or you just telling me as the daily news?”

“Yeah, well, he said he likes redheads.”

He glares at her over the top of his mug.

“You’re flipping me off with your mind.”



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