3 Replies to “6.25.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. It was a hot night in June. A Saturday night and all the kids were high on summer and the sky was filled with stars, inside and out, and the air was thumping to the music played in Brattigan’s Ballroom. Guitars whined and drums thrashed and the kids crowded the dance floor, a single writhing creature. It was a hot night in June and no different at first from a hundred other Saturday nights.

    Then the music changed. It was Matt’s band, Matt Hoops, and he had a reputation. He hated everything. His dad mostly, and the teachers in school, and the cops that stood on street corners and tipped their hats and wished the townspeople a good morning and a good day. He hated everything and there was an energy in what he did and what he said and what he sang.

    Matt and his band took to the stage and the sound of their tuning up was a shrill scream that shook the walls and sent vibrations through the wooden floor of the hall so that it could be felt through the soles of the feet as well as heard.

    It was then, I think, looking back. It was then that things changed and afterwards the world would never be the same. Matt stood as tall as a tree on the raised stage and his arms wide as if he was embracing the whole waiting world and he counted to three. A single shocked note at first, a deep lingering growl from the base guitar. Then a frenetic fingering of Matt’s guitar and the noise lifted the roof and the music was in them, inside the kids, and they filled the dance floor again and it wasn’t like dancing then. It was like fighting, like fights at school and everyone joined in, the air all punched and kicked, and the girls were as bad as the boys, and a sort of chanting started up, a baying for the new and an angry snarl against the old.

    And the looks on their faces, on the faces of the kids, all spit and spite and animal. And Matt screaming into the mike and no one caring what he said and no one really listening, except the music was a pulse inside of them, driving them. And things were out of control then and the floor shifted and the mirrorball fell from the ceiling with hardly a sound and the hornet flicker of light bouncing off the fallen ball played across the kids, and the banshee wail of police sirens outside, and someone pulled out a knife, a glinting shard, a silver tooth, and a girl called Marian fell clutching her stomach and blood ran through her fingers and spilled onto the floor and no one noticed or no one cared for their was just the music and the frantic beating of drums and guitar, and Matt launched himself off the stage, confident that he would be caught, and the crowd devoured him and broke him.

    It was a hot Saturday night in June, the night they closed Brattigan’s Ballroom once and for all, and the night a girl called Marian spilled her guts and a boy called Matt was broken into pieces that would never be fixed and the world was different after that.

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