A typical Saturday morning: the clocks rapidly nearing seven thirty.
A typical apartment complex located in upstate New York: not the most scenic of places, but thats what the park was for.
A typical female rockers room: shared by two strummers in a rock band.
A lazy, typical morning? A cell phones clock hit seven thirty
Blast off! Its party time! And we dont live in a fascist nation! Blast off! Its party time! And where-
A hand reached from one of the two beds towards the phone, located on a small nearby dresser, and slid the phone open; stopping it from finishing its track and repeating. From the bed, a young woman in her early twenties rose and stretched; blinking sleep from brown eyes. Seven thirty comes too soon
She ran a hand through her short brown hair and slipped out of bed: she wore loose purple pajamas. Grace, times wasting.
From the second bed, the other female, in her late teens in dark green pajamas with long light brown hair, rolled and faced the wall. Wake me later
Fine, be that way. The other female set one of the backup alarms on her phone, fixed the volume, slid it closed, and tossed it onto Graces bed. Being a still sleeper, Grace did not notice the phone landing inches from her ear. Grabbing clothing and a hairbrush, the female went for the door. Im hitting the showers.
Chuckling at her roommates reply, the female left their room.
The apartment was sizeable; two rooms, a living room, laundry room, and kitchen smashed together, two bathrooms, and a hall connected all five rooms together. The second shower was already going off as the female dumped her clothing and brush into the first bathroom and jogged for the living room.
The laundry area, with a makeshift but workable washer and dryer, was on the far side; the small kitchenette, complete with a place to cook food, eat said food, and wash dishes, a table and chairs, fridge and freezer, and a couple of folded up trays, was located on the other side. The door leading to the rest of the building was on the north-most wall, and the living room proper was set in the middle of the room, bearing a computer desk, computer, large TV, couch, a couple love seats, and a complete stereo sound system. Pictures lined what wasnt covered by mirrors, pots, or pans: a group of four posing under the words "Explosive Underbelly!", a group of three posing under the words "Explosive Underbelly", a group of four posing about the words "Explosive Underbelly", and several individual and partner shots.
The female raised an eyebrow as she spied the male youth, also in his early twenties, staring at the computer screen. His hair was spiked and a mess, with deep purple dyed tips, and he had a pair of pajamas that matched the color of the females. Al? Wait
you mean Sharkys taking a shower? Its the end of the world!
Very funny, Joc, the male youth, Al, turned to face the female, Joc. I think Graces bitter remarks finally got through his thick skull.
You know what they say about all bark and no bite, Joc said, shrugging her shoulders and grabbing a pair of bright yellow towels. You havent been up all night, have you? I could swear you went to bed before the rest of us.
Six. Was Als reply. Got a text from Lloyd to get on as soon as possible; was waiting and everything. Apparently Im being blamed for something stupid yet again.
Hes just paranoid, Joc insisted. You know how he gets.
Thankfully your twin isnt like him
Al frowned. Is that what this is all about?
When do I stop looking for bands and actually go our touring with you and John? Im rotting away here!
looks like hes finally getting bored.
Not surprised; he snaps eventually, Joc commented. Although John, Doug, Kristy, and Andres are still touring themselves, which is why Im with you guys in the first place. Give him the link to that singers convention in Trenton that I saw; maybe getting to sing with Osbourne again will shut him up for a few weeks.
Im on it.
Oh, and tell him to stop worrying about me! I know were engaged and all, but really! Im fine on my own!
Oh, and our wedding songs going to be Journeys Anyway You Want It. With that, Joc left the room.
The bemused Al gave a chuckle. Lifes never boring with her around. Shell be giving Lloyd hell. He smirked. These next fifty years are going to be so awesome.
With that, he turned back to his chat with his fellow singer.
The cell phone alarm went off again: Blast off! Its party time! And we don't live in a fascist nation! Blast off! Its party time! And where the fu-
Graces screaming interrupted it: Im going to MURDER her!
Al shook his head, laughing. Life can never be boring with bassist Joc Michaels around.
Several screaming arguments and showers later, Joc, Al, Grace, and Sharky all gathered in the living room; the thirty year old drummer Sharky clad in black boxers, his long black hair and facial hair still dripping; the guitarist Grace wearing her green camouflage jacket, shirt, and shorts; the singer Al decked in a white collared shirt underneath a dark purple jacket and tie, white and purple bell bottoms, and gloves and boots matching his jacket; Joc in a purple shirt, pants, socks, fingerless driving gloves, and a blue-purple jacket and hat.
So, why did we have to wake up so early? Grace asked, still trying to rub sleep out of her eyes. Its Saturday. More importantly, its an every other Saturday.
Just because we arent going out as a band doesnt mean we should sit in all day, Joc insisted.
We can catch up on our sleep though! Grace insisted.
The clubs are still looking for solo players, Sharky interrupted. Other places are having competitions. Besides, dont we have an every other Saturday that lets us sleep in and another that gets us moving about?
Next week its business as usual today, and then the Saturday after that we can rest, Al summarized. Then its business as usual, and a day of practice. Thats what I remember agreeing to.
Hitting the karaoke bars? Sharky asked as Grace wandered over to the computer. Theres a place by the Heebie Jeebies thats hoping youll stop by.
Ill need to see what else is open.
I know Im hitting that bass convention, Joc said, rising to her feet and stretching. Just need extensions, mask, earrings, skates, and Im good to go.
Why dont you just, you know, grow your hair longer? Grace asked, flipping her own long hair.
Joc shook her head. Not me. Anyway, Lloyd and John would never recognize me. Any idea where my extensions are, anyone?
Jewelry box above washer, Sharky replied. I put it there so I could clean the place a bit.
So adamant about seeing this place spotless, yet he takes a shower once every month, Al commented, following Joc to the box and a pair of purple masquerade masks hanging on nearby hooks. Meanwhile Grace is the complete opposite.
I just finished cleaning up our room, the bassist commented, tossing Al his mask and taking her own. Its going to be a wreck again though. In no time.
What about you two? Grace asked. Youre not the best with hygiene yourself, Joc!
The other female shrugged. Eh, there are other things to worry about.
The singer copied the band leader. The rooms usually a disaster. Sharky doesnt mind cleaning up though.
The drummer nodded. Helps pass the time.
So, everyones going to be heading out? Joc reached for two pairs of purple peacock earrings and purple jeweled winged rings. Als are here
I dont see Graces or Sharkys accessories though
Lost in our room, Grace said absentmindedly. Ill find them before I go out.
I have a box in our room, Sharky added.
just need the skates, and Ill be good to go! Shall we meet at the usual place for dinner?
Who managed to worm money from Marcus this time? The female guitarist asked. Im broke.
Sharky shook his head. Im broke too.
I still have some money left over from before, Al commented. Ill pay. Five oclock it is? Ill see everyone then! Setting the earrings in place, he flashed his traditional smile, gave a quick wave, and left the apartment.
Sharky wandered back to the males room, talking about finding clothing and getting ready for the day. Grace turned back to the computer as Joc finished lacing up a pair of purple skates. Theres an instant message alert from John here.
Really? The leader skated to her roommate. What does he have to say?
Hey sis! The crew and I are heading home; Australia rocked! Times Square in a month!!! If youre not busy hope to see you there! Have fun and stay safe, bro. Australia, eh? The guitarist looked up. I didnt know John traveled that far.
He and Andres actually grabbed their gear, hopped into my bros beat up Blazer, and roadtripped the ride from here to St. Louis. Took em two days or so, but they had a good time. I couldnt do that; Im too used to the private jet!
Grace smiled. Yeah; now we can reach Europe! We need to get ourselves some roadies soon, right?
Tour London and get fans to earn yourself those roadies, Joc said. Then we need a Sound Guy, a Global Promoter, and work our way to China for the Rolling Stones Rock Immortal Challenge.
You and John already conquered that, didnt you? Grace asked. You should just use your connections in the band.
Yeah, his Explosive Underbelly did the challenge; Lloyd wasnt able to join us for that. And so the Michaels twins were the first twins to become rock immortals, or so The Zine claims. I think there are other twins out there, however.
Michaels is a pretty popular name. We probably wouldnt have half our fans if you and John werent as well known as you are now.
Joc shook her head. I dont get it; there are other, better bands out there. But Ill take whatever popularity I have with no complaints. And I have to say the four of us are getting a good name even without my bros support.
So, when do we hit the skies for Europe?
The leader frowned in concentration. Hmmm
John drilled into me how important it is to go visit the other clubs and arenas and gain fans, so I think well stay here and tour the US for the next couple of weeks. If Marcus can grant us a gas card, we'll take after my bro and roadtrip to the west coast and back. After our Saturday of sleeping in and relaxing, well head out for Dublin.
That sounds like a plan.
Girls were trying their best not to swoon as Al wormed his way through the busy New York streets. Pardon me! Coming through please!
Youre Al Makar, arent you? Hearing someone say his name made the singer stop and turn; hidden in an alleyway was a small female in a cloak hiding her body and all but her mouth. The mouth made a grin; a front tooth was missing. You are. Of Explosive Underbelly!? Formed by Joc Michaels?
do you need something from me? The singer glanced around him; everyone was continuing on their normal way.
The laughter from the cloaked female indicated she was still a young girl. Oh, they cant see me. And they cant see you as long as you talk to me. Why dont we step somewhere private, however, so those who have the ears and can use the words against you dont hear?
Another glance confirmed the girls words, and although he felt uneasy stepping into a deserted alleyway, her words of those who could use the words against him unnerved him even more. With a small nod, he followed her into the darkness.
A dog barked, and there was the rattling of chains, but the two didnt pass anyone. After minutes of walked through the slim pathways between the various buildings, the girl stopped and faced Al again. We are safe from eavesdroppers here.
Who would eavesdrop on us?
The other side, the girl said, shaking her head. They who are responsible for all the bad things going on.
you mean those stories The Zines been talking about? The musicians passing out on stage, vanishing, or both?
The girl nodded. Plenty has been going on, and the law can do nothing against it.
the police hates us
Al crossed his arms, thinking about how many times he had been picked up by the cops. Every time they arrested me, I wasnt even doing anything. Its just because Im a rock singer.
Fate chooses those who suffer the bad happenings, but only those chosen by fate can stop the madness that is soon to descend on us, the girl said. These happenings are only the beginning
Al stared at the girl; eyes shocked. W-wha
The girl bowed her head. It will get worse
much worse. If they have their way, everything and everyone will be ruined
rock and roll will be destroyed
no one will ever own their own minds again
The girl shook her head. You and your band are touched by fate
but if you act accordingly, you will be among the chosen sixteen to stop the madness and the ones who plan on unleashing it on us all
You and your friends must act accordingly
the world may not have enough time to wait for the next group of sixteen
you must act accordingly
The girl bowed, turned, and ran off.
H-hey! Wait! Al chased after the girl, but she was always two steps ahead of him.
By the time he exited the alleyways, he was right outside the karaoke bar Sharky had recommended; the girl had disappeared. People were waving to him as he scanned the surroundings
the girl long out of sight.
who was that? And what did she mean? He reached for his cell phone, and stared at it.
do I? After a final minute of thought, he replaced the small object and made his way into the bar; thoughts of fate and the band swirling around in his head.
How little idea he had
that from that day forward, the word typical would vanish from his and his bands daily life