by Paul du Preez
Last week: Darren – even though he thinks of himself as a philosophical guy – had lost it: rapper du-rag had butted into his solo, was eyeing his sister, brown-nosing Pastor Arendse, and riding the adulation of the crowd – in the auditorium, and online. Darren has decided it’s time to show him how to play real music.
Darren presses his Fender Strat’s groin up against the mic-stand. It’s like laying a metal bar across the strings, Hawaiian style, and a high, de-tuned chord snarls out. Slowly, sensually, he pulls the guitar back, letting the stand glide along the open strings. The effect is not all he hoped for – more of a slither than an overdriven roar of descending wrath – but, as he arches back from the pelvis, letting the guitar come to him, it’s still great visually. Add to that, his aura has gone literally, ‘Deep Purple’, as stress ratchets his v-dress towards the ultra-viole(n)t.
Towards the un-radiance of ‘black’ light.
Like something from the other side.
It looks as if he’s making love to his gear, and the girls are jealous. They want him for themselves.
The electric worm in Darren’s mind is gone. He is icy calm, situational awareness expanded. He can almost feel what people are thinking. Both of Leandré hands are rigid on the table in front of her, and she’s saying something rude under her sanitary mask. He imagines Pastor Arendse’s lips compressed into a thin line – none of Arendse’s face is visible beneath stereoptic goggles and surgical mask, but the tilt of his shoulders shouts alarm.
And he senses du-rag coming up behind him.
Still bent over backwards, Darren pivots, swinging the guitar’s head into du-rag’s face. Solid maple. Six chrome-plaited steel tuning heads.
“Sorry bra. Didn’t see you.”
Du-rag reels back clutching his mouth. Whatever thoughts he had in his tiny head are no-longer there. Gone. Darren ignores him, gets on with his solo. Trusts someone in the back-line to contain du-rag. Calm him. Steer him off stage.
And blasts out a power-chord. Hits the whammy-bar and saws the sound up, down and round. Casually leans across with his right hand to adjust the skewed tuning (Du-rag’s zapping fault).
Pastor Arendse decides to pretend it was all choreographed: “Close one there boys,” he barks. “Careful now. And next up – let’s hear it for…DARREN SAMUELS!”
Darren straightens, cranks the volume to max and begins hammering on, pulling off, both hands interlocked in an intricate, shimmering dance above the fretboard. His concentration is total, commitment absolute. His body arches as he rises onto the balls of his feet. A sliver of tongue pokes between his lips. Leandré’s girlfriends watch open-mouthed, avid.
And, just when it seems things must stale, Darren moves it up a notch, hands reaching higher, caressing even more passionate sounds from his instrument: liquid notes spray like showers shaken from a rain-wet tree. And, at the climax, like the sun blasting through clouds, he hangs on a single note, high, sustained, a primal scream of triumph that goes on, and on, and up, and out.
Darren loops away from the mic, steps up against his looming speaker-stack and nurses feedback from the vibrating strings. Weaves back and forth with aching slowness, keeping the note going, full and throbbing. His back is to the audience, but it doesn’t matter: he’s got everyone’s attention now, and they all watch him. It looks as if he’s making love to his gear, and the girls are jealous. They want him for themselves.
But he’s not done yet.
Darren walks to the edge of the stage, faces the crowd, and intones a falling-third, “Hi-yo.” Waits two bars. Then sings it, again, this time playing it on his guitar at the same time: “Hi-yo.”
The crowd don’t get it.
Darren lifts his hands high above his head and begins clapping in time with the music.
Syblings masthead by Paul du Preez
Angel Wings by Sergei Tomakov on Pixabay https://pixabay.com/illustrations/angel-wings-fairy-isolated-4870050/
Twin Figures Beneath a Starry Sky https://pxhere.com/en/photo/977164
Intro Music (on Podcast)
Excerpt from Black, White and Blue by Paul du Preez
Disclaimer, Copyright and Permissions
Syblings the Syrial is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, events, and incidents are the product of Paul du Preez’ imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
All rights are reserved, including without limitation, the right to reproduce Syblings the Syrial and the original art or music associated with it, or any portion thereof in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of Paul du Preez. Copyrighted 2020 by Paul du Preez.
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