Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.
Salvation is playing a gig at a teenager's birthday party. It's obvious the parents have money since they hired their son's favorite band to play. See what's going on in this week's chapter of In Pieces. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what they've been up to! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!
In Pieces #30 (8.3)
“Hey, about time you showed up!” Keanu suddenly appeared in the gathering gloom. Ryan hadn’t noticed before how dark it was getting. “We’ve got most of the equipment set up already. Deacon’s taking care of the lights if you want to grab some of the last stuff. There’s a small stage set up out there.” He gestured toward the darkness of the yard. A stage? That was rather impressive for a private home. Obviously these people had money.
Abby spoke up before Ryan had a chance to say anything. “No problem. Aid and I are on it.” She tapped her brother lightly on the arm. He nodded, and they hurried off together, followed by Keanu.
“Should we help too?” Ryan asked. He wasn’t sure how much assistance he could give, since he was carrying both his laptop and his camera. He didn’t feel comfortable leaving them anywhere. Although they’d probably be safe, he wasn’t about to take that chance.
“No, they have it. Let’s go check out the stage area.” Ben hooked his arm through Ryan’s, but before they could put Ben’s plan into action, a tall silver-haired man emerged from the well-lit interior of the house and strode toward them. He was dressed in a charcoal suit, but the jacket was unbuttoned, giving it a less formal look. As he drew nearer, Ryan noticed his hair hung in a small tail at the nape of his neck.
“Good evening, gentlemen,” he greeted them in a soft Southern drawl. “Would one of you be Ben Coulter?”
“That would be me,” Ben replied. “Mr. Champlain?”
“Guilty as charged.” The man laughed, a pleasant almost melodic sound. Ryan found himself instinctively liking the newcomer. “Sterling Champlain.” He held out his hand and Ben shook it. “I should have recognized you from the way you’re dressed. Not to mention your picture is plastered all around my son’s bedroom.” Mr. Champlain turned inquisitive eyes to Ryan. “And who might this be?”
“This is Ryan Fremont, our author,” Ben explained.
Champlain held his hand out to Ryan, who took it as well. “You have an author? That’s something I didn’t expect. I met your two young men already, the ones who are setting up. Tell me, what does an author do for a music group?”
Ben replied, before Ryan could even frame an answer. “Ryan’s a very talented writer, we’re lucky to have him. He’s going with us on our first major tour so he can chronicle our exploits and get our name out there.”
“Very interesting idea. I’m sure it will be a fine book. Glad to meet you both.”
“You as well, sir,” Ryan said. He was grateful that the growing darkness hid his blush at Ben’s words of praise. “I understand this is your son’s birthday party, is that right?”
“It is indeed. Miles has been looking forward to this for quite some time. We gave him his choice of what he wanted to do and where he wanted to go and all he wanted was to have Salvation come here and play for him and his friends. He’ll be so thrilled to know you’re here, Ben. Apparently, you’re his favorite member of the band.”
Ryan felt a flash of annoyance at this information, but quickly quelled it. Naturally other people found Ben interesting. That was all part of what he did. No reason to be jealous of Ben’s admirers. He was the one who held Ben’s heart.
“I’m flattered,” Ben said. “Where is Miles? I’d love to meet him.”
“Inside, entertaining. A few of his best friends came early, the rest should be arriving shortly. I’ll tell him you’re here. I’m sure he’ll be right out.”
“He’s already on his way, dear. Good news travels fast. ” They’d been joined by a middle-aged woman with well-coifed blonde hair and a warm smile. She carried a silver tray on which sat dainty-looking glass cups filled with something colorful.
“Gentlemen, my wife. Ruby Champlain. Ruby, this is Ben and Ryan.”
“Interesting costumes your group has,” Ruby said. “I bet the Catholics aren’t very fond of them.”
Ben laughed. “I’ve never taken a survey, but I think they’d be less than impressed.”
“Would you like some of my hurricane punch, boys? It’s well known around these parts that I make the best punch in several counties.”
“Thank you, ma’am, sound delicious, but can we take a rain check for the moment?,” Ben said. “Right now, I’d like to look over the set-up and do a sound check, before we go on.”
“Of course, of course. I’ll tell the boys to keep it short.”
“Thank you, ma’am.” Ben bowed respectfully to the parents, so Ryan followed suit. When the Champlains turned back toward the house, they headed out into the yard, toward the stage.
to be continued
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