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Smoke On Her Face; and hair in her eyes (Peyote Coyote)
Topic Started: Nov 11 2015, 04:22 AM (1,725 Views)
Deamon
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Humans...
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Breathe.

Things could have been worse.

Vanessa could have quit on the spot and declared their friendship over, luckily that hadn't happened.

Coleen didn't seem to want her to help so Cameron stepped back and leaned on the wall next to Vanessa. There was a nervousness coursing through her body but it was tempered with excitement. Coleen could sing and she could sing well.

Cameron slowly raised a hand over her mouth to hide her chesire cat grin as Coleen asked how Vanessa wanted the song performed. The girl was ready, there was no denying she had something. Despite her conflict of emotions Cameron was aware of Vanessa's presence just next to her. She didn't want her best friend to see her smiling at the prospect of hearing her replacement sing for the second thing. It was the type of thing that would cause even more issues. She felt sorry for Vans, this was abrupt and had been poorly thought out. Cameron made a mental note to make it up to her.

As things were though Cameron just stayed where she was and waited.
Kimiko Kao - - - - - - - The Lagniappe
Travis "Trav" Lynch - - They Stumbled Into Faith and Thought
Cameron Herrig - Ω - Ω - Shock Me

V5
Unknowns
"They'll tell you failure is not an option. That is ridiculous. Failure is always an option. Failure is the most readily available option at all times. But it's a choice. You can choose to fail. You can choose to succeed."
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MK Kilmarnock
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Each step BB took down those stairs was like part of a countdown to this do-or-die moment of performance. Coleen had mentally prepared herself to play for a sold-out arena of four, with her instrument of choice still warming up and being tuned.

"Thanks," she said quietly to BB as she took the glass of water from her hand and sipped it, moving her phone to the side so she could still look at for those last few precious seconds of review. The chorus was easy and there was a big chunky solo making up the song so the lyrics were, generously put, light. Still not the easiest song to sing, especially somebody in her register; Coleen would have fared a little bit better with Heart or Evanescence or something that actually had a female vocalist but... whatever. Vanessa wanted Smoke on the Water? Vanessa was going to get her Smoke on the Water.

Coleen coughed, cleared her throat, took another sip of water and finally set the glass of water down on the coffee table. 'I'll fucking do it, darling!' she thought to herself. She took a breath and threw her hair back, hastily straightening it with the fingers on her left hand so it tucked neatly behind her ear and shoulder just like the other side did. She couldn't have her hair getting in the way of her voice. Besides, being thrown out of her comfort zone and onto the 'stage' was step 1 in getting her singing/acting chops a-flowin'.

'Nnnh nnnh nnnnnnh, nnnh nnh n-nh...' Coleen hummed lowly to herself, letting the beat build in her chest. She shut her eyes while doing so and avoided thinking about anybody's facial expressions. The stage is dark; the audience cannot be seen. They don't matter. The part where she looked silly was about to be over soon.

"We all came out to Montreux!" Coleen belted, her eyes opening on the cusp of that first note. Her phone was also her microphone, held just below her chin. She'd tilt it back every now and then to consult the next line. Good thing she looked these up first... she never was quite sure about the last word of that first line. "On the Lake Geneva Shoreline... to make records with a mobile... ... we didn't have much time! Frank Zappa and the Motheeeeeers-" Coleen let that one carry and wobble with a tiny bit of vibrato. Whoever Deep Purple's singer was probably didn't put that much power into that one, but some basic memory of the guy who covered the song for Guitar Hero seemed to remember it being there so, damn it, she was putting it there.

"... Were at the best place around," Coleen continued. "But some stupid with a flare gun, burned the place to the ground."

Here it comes.

"Smoooooooke on the waaaater - and fire in the sky!" Coleen was getting into it at this point and obviously didn't need the phone for this part, so she let her head swing. She wasn't much of a rocker, yet there were a few energetic portions of plays she had been in here and there and she had considered being Sandy for Grease, so it wasn't the strangest of concepts for her. A little alien, but if there was a part to play, she could most certainly play it. "Smooooooooke on the waaater..." Coleen sang into the imaginary chorus fill.
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Vanessa folded her arms as Coleen finished her warm-ups. She knew that Cams was side-eyeing her in between giving her new pet project all the happy go-for-it smiles, and BB wasn’t doing much to hide her anxious feelings either. The air really had grown as tense as it had been in a long time.

Again, that was obviously Coleen’s fault.

She did take Vanessa by surprise when she pushed her hair back, putting her messed up face on full display. Seeing the burn clearly for the first time like that put Vanessa at a loss for words. It looked painful, that was the only way she could think of it. If it was any other time, any other context, then Vanessa would actually feel sorry for her, at how getting something like that must've felt and what seeing it in the mirror everyday must've been like.

At that moment though, there was just too much bile clouding her thoughts to accept that she could even consider feeling an iota of sympathy for Coleen.

As Coleen sang on, Vanessa listened. And listened. And listened…

Shit, this was not the dive-bomb she was hoping for.

Her nails dug into her arms as her muscles tensed, the harmonious notes of Coleen’s performance filling the room and swarming around her head. Of course, Vanessa knew she could sing that good. She was a great singer, always had been, and always would be. As far as she cared, her singing was always pitch perfect.

So why did Coleen have to sound this good?

Vanessa wasn’t going to be able to kick her out, tell her to piss off and then ask Cams just what the hell she was thinking. Her opinon about her own signing aside, she still had enough musical experience to recognise actual vocal talent when she heard it. This wasn’t just some theatre geek trying to cash in on the band’s cred: Coleen actually knew what she was doing.

Fucking Bullshit.
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MurderWeasel
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Coleen was pretty good. BB had moved off to hug a wall, but she took up a spot a little away from the others. She wasn't trying to shun them or anything, and stayed close enough to still be friendly, but she wanted room to get a good perspective and to try to read the dynamics of the situation (and, being honest with herself, to not be first in the line of fire if it all went to pieces). She was holding her bass again, not because she was going to do anything with it but to make it look like she was doing more than just standing around and thus hopefully keep her out of the spotlight a bit.

That Coleen knew what she was doing did not, of course, make all the band's newfound problems immediately vanish. Whether or not Coleen was a good singer was almost unimportant for anything beyond a musical perspective. What was more important was how Vanessa and Cameron felt about the whole thing. As long as those two didn't melt down over it, everything would be fine. If they did? Well, either the band, Coleen, or both were gonna get burned by this whole affair. So BB watched them, trying to get a feel for their moods. She wasn't having the most luck judging, though.

Still, at the same time, she couldn't help but feel a little smug. Without any sort of backing music, Coleen's words were very easy to make out, so BB could take some pride in the fact that everyone else in the room was probably figuring out exactly why she'd declared the song a bad omen.
V7:
Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
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Deamon
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As expected Coleen was awesome.

Obviously Cameron already knew it, but now it was a known fact to everyone in the band. She had a sense of excitement about it, discovering a genuine talent like Coleen didn't happen every day and she was the one who found her.

That was half of what made the idea of Coleen joining the band the coolest thing to Cameron.

The other half was that her voice had a unique sound that Cameron personally found haunting. The ideas for lyrics were practically overflowing from her imagination, Coleen may have been her vocal muse...if that was a thing that existed.

Regardless Cameron didn't see any real way Coleen's entry to the band could be denied. The girl was a serious talent.

She just hoped the others saw it that way.
Kimiko Kao - - - - - - - The Lagniappe
Travis "Trav" Lynch - - They Stumbled Into Faith and Thought
Cameron Herrig - Ω - Ω - Shock Me

V5
Unknowns
"They'll tell you failure is not an option. That is ridiculous. Failure is always an option. Failure is the most readily available option at all times. But it's a choice. You can choose to fail. You can choose to succeed."
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MK Kilmarnock
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
The soulful riffs of the hook and bridge bounced around in Coleen's head, her hips and head rocking to a beat only she could hear. After a few seconds, her eyes shot open.

"So... yeah. Is that enough of the song?" Coleen asked, allowing herself to slip out of the zone and look about the room. She was being stared at, which was uncomfortable in its own right, enough so that she worked to reset her hair and cover the scarring. She kept her other eye dancing between BB, between Cameron, between Brady and... of course, Vanessa.

Cameron was easy to gauge the reaction of. She was clearly pleased and wasn't doing much to hide it. BB and Brady were tougher, but Coleen felt positively. There was still the issue of Vanessa, though. Coleen's cheeks felt a bit hot and, once her hair was completely back in place, she stooped to pick up her water and take another sip.

"I, uh," she stumbled to find the perfect way to begin. "I can sing whatever you really want me to. I mean... I've never written songs before but you guys have." She needed something... anything to get Vanessa's eyes off of her, or at least to erase that scowl. "S-So, uh, that's me, but what about you guys? You jam, right? I really want to see how that works!"
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Coleen was done, and so were any chances of getting rid of her.

Vanessa could’ve egged her to keep going, demanded that she finished what she start and not skip an opportunity to fuck up in front of everyone, but that was stupid and she knew it. The room was still reeling from that performance that had blown all of Vanessa’s expectations to shit, and trying to force the vibe to change by getting the music going again would solve fuck all.

Her nails were still digging into her arms, tensing tighter and tighter.

Coleen hadn’t even messed up on the words. She’d only needed to see the song once to know the whole thing, whilst it took her like four tries to even get through the first verse sometimes. Hell, even she couldn’t remember how Smoke on the Water was actually meant to go without reading the lyrics again first, but from sound alone Coleen seemed to have nailed it.

No, no way. She must’ve skipped a line or dropped some words or made some of that shit up. That was the only thing that made more sense.

But she knew that she wasn’t true, and her nails tensed tighter and tighter.

Everyone else in the room looked pretty damn impressed, too. Of course Cams was all smiles, Cams must’ve had the fucking hots for this girl or something with how much she loved Coleen more than Vanessa suddenly. BB was just doing that thing she always did, hanging back and acting all diplomatic, but all she was really doing was staying out of it. Didn’t matter, she knew that she liked Coleen too: BB always did have a thing for freaks. And she didn’t even need to look at Brady to guess that he was all smiles by then, too.

Everyone liked her more than her, and she was going to get shafted right there and then.

She was trembling, and her nails tensed tighter and tighter.

Blood was drawn.
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MurderWeasel
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Vanessa didn't look very happy. Everyone else did, and with good reason—Coleen had pretty much nailed the song—but Vanessa looked like she was shaking slightly. That meant the best thing to do would be to move this along, and quickly. Coleen had given them a great opening, too, by suggesting that they show her what one of their sessions usually looked like. It meant that Peyote Coyote could do something as a unit, something that would be theirs and that Coleen wouldn't be part of just yet. The integration could relax its pace a bit in a natural fashion. BB couldn't have schemed up something better herself.

"That was really nice. And jamming sounds great," she said, smiling really wide—too wide? Hopefully not too wide—and sort of nodding at the others. "I've even got a few new ones we can try. I can get us started, and you can see how we do things, Coleen."

She gave the strings of her bass a couple plucks, to just about no effect.

"Oops. Forgot I'm not plugged in. I'll get on that."

She was making that up, of course; she wasn't stupid or inattentive and knew darn well she wasn't gonna get any sound. In fact, it was the opposite; she paid enough attention and thought things through enough to make the occasional little intentional mistake for the proper effect. In this case, she just wanted to let the tension out of this room a bit.

"I'm actually only half-tuned, too," she said. "I got distracted earlier. Give me a hand tuning up and setting up the amps and all, Vanessa?"
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Deamon
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A jam sounded like a great idea, it would allow Coleen to see their process and it would help people relax; at least Cameron found it helped her relax. Chilling and playing music with friends was good for the soul. Speaking of souls, she glanced over at Vanessa. Her friend cut an angry figure, standing there glaring at Coleen. It was slightly unnerving.

"Getting a jam going would be awesome." Cameron said in response to BB's suggestion. As the bassist started to fiddle with her amp Cameron turned her attention back to Vanessa. Yeah, her best friend looked pretty furious with the world in general. Cameron felt a pang of guilt in her stomach, she knew it had to hurt bad to be moved from one position to another and in the short term Vans would probably hate her for a while, long term however she would eventually come around and see how good the band was with Coleen added to the mix. At least, that was what Cameron hoped.

Vans was shaking and that made Cameron worry though, it didn't look like she was taking things well. That was the point where Cameron noticed that Vans was actually gripping her arm so hard she'd drawn blood. Cameron turned and put her body between Vans and the others; trying to avoid making a scene.

"Hey," She whispered making sure to keep her voice down for once in her life. But then a new problem presented itself. What did she say? 'How're you doing' sounded stupid and any other variation on that would be just as bad. Cameron settled for the simplest thing.

"I'm sorry for how this happened."
Kimiko Kao - - - - - - - The Lagniappe
Travis "Trav" Lynch - - They Stumbled Into Faith and Thought
Cameron Herrig - Ω - Ω - Shock Me

V5
Unknowns
"They'll tell you failure is not an option. That is ridiculous. Failure is always an option. Failure is the most readily available option at all times. But it's a choice. You can choose to fail. You can choose to succeed."
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MK Kilmarnock
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Most of the band had taken to Coleen's suggestion like a duck to water. That was good, but Vans was tough to read. Granted, she was tough to read because Coleen was too afraid to look at her directly, but the hardest book to read was one you... uh, couldn't. Couldn't look at. The metaphor kinda fell apart, but there was nothing else to be done, except pray.

Now was the time to watch the band in action, the band that Coleen would hopefully be playing with in short time. It seemed like a fun thing to do and a good way to make friends, something her parents and counselor alike were always badgering her to do. And yet even here she seemingly had made an enemy in Vanessa. Ordinarily such a stressful situation would cause Coleen to back out, hanging her head in apology. Here, however, the damage had already been done and leaving would accomplish nothing. A certain dynamic of peace had already been interrupted; it was something she'd seen before with somebody leaving a leading role and an understudy taking over, but she hadn't been a direct participant in that event. Seeing things from this side of the coin... yeah, it was definitely tough.

Coleen parked her butt on the couch and timidly folded her hands in her lap, resisting the urge to chew on a few stray strands of hair as a nervous tic. She took her eyes off the musicians tuning and setting up their instruments to look at the gear they were using. She was sure they could prove her otherwise, but to her it looked like an expensive and complicated mess of boxes and wires, occasionally featuring a colorful guitar laden with stickers or the drum set that Brady certainly must have used. Even if it was plainly garage band material (or high school 'Battle of the Bands' fare at best), being here and seeing it in such a visceral sense made it appear so much more. Peyote Coyote could just as well be playing to the University of Phoenix Stadium's capacity crowd in Coleen's mind.

She was ready to hear them.
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“Oh, ok.”

She was staring wide-eyed at Cameron now, having completely ignored BB’s request. All the praise of Coleen’s singing had turned into angry white noise until the moment that her “best friend” stuck her face in front of hers and tried to apologise for the gaping stab wound nestled between her shoulder blades.

“As long as you’re SORRY.”

Her expression had turned as stormy as her voice: sharp, gritty, and barely stable in tone, like a badly tuned guitar with strings that had been left too loose. A red filter was starting to creep over her thoughts, and she was trembling more and more by the second.

She needed to get out before she did something she'd regret.

“Oh, hey, look at that! My phone’s ringing!” she practically screamed, pulling the dead silent device out of her pocket, pointedly holding it next to her ear. “Hello? Hi! Yeah! I’m just leaving now! Bye!”

“Welp, this has been fucking fantastic, Cams! Really! But I’ve gotta go!”

She made a move for her guitar and case, picking them up in unison. “Thanks so fucking much for this, Cams! Thanks for being so fucking considerate about this whole thing!”

“And thank you, Coleen, for gracing me with your fucking singing! Hope you like the gig, because I sure as hell fucking did!”

She was halfway up the stairs when she turned back one more time, looking Cameron dead in the eye.

“Just in case that wasn’t clear? FUCK YOU, CAMS.”

And then she was out the door.

((Vanessa Stone continued in Said and Done))
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Deamon
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Looking back maybe apologizing there and then hadn't been the best choice. Cameron probably could have waited until it was just her and Vanessa, that way at least everyone else would have been spared her best friends outburst. The issue with the whole thing wasn't that Vanessa was wrong, the way she had gone about things was. It would have been hypocritical for Cameron to bring up the handling of a situation though considering how she had gone about inviting Coleen into the group. That was a real pot calling the kettle black stuff.

As it so happened Vanessa flipped out and swore at her a lot before leaving her house. Cameron flinched with nearly every word Vanessa said, her friends voice growing louder and angrier with each sentence until eventually she launched a curse at Cameron before disappearing up the stairs and out the door.

Silence reigned for what felt like an eon after Vanessa's dramatic exit.

In actuality it was probably about three seconds.

Cameron wanted to run. Every instinct and fibre of her being was screaming at her to get out of the basement. Where could she run too though? Vanessa was gone.

Taking a couple of deep breaths Cameron looked around the room, gauging the atmosphere. It wasn't great. She slowly swallowed before speaking, trying her hardest not to let her voice tremble.

"I...I'll talk to her later." She wasn't exactly successful. "She'll get over it." The second part was more for her own personal benefit.

Her attention turned more to Coleen, whose first meeting with the rest of the band had become a complete disaster.

"We could still jam a bit as long as you still want to stay." She offered up a weak smile. There was no way it reached her eyes.
Kimiko Kao - - - - - - - The Lagniappe
Travis "Trav" Lynch - - They Stumbled Into Faith and Thought
Cameron Herrig - Ω - Ω - Shock Me

V5
Unknowns
"They'll tell you failure is not an option. That is ridiculous. Failure is always an option. Failure is the most readily available option at all times. But it's a choice. You can choose to fail. You can choose to succeed."
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Deamon
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Eventually everyone left and Cameron was left by herself.

((Cameron Herrig continued elsewhere...))
Kimiko Kao - - - - - - - The Lagniappe
Travis "Trav" Lynch - - They Stumbled Into Faith and Thought
Cameron Herrig - Ω - Ω - Shock Me

V5
Unknowns
"They'll tell you failure is not an option. That is ridiculous. Failure is always an option. Failure is the most readily available option at all times. But it's a choice. You can choose to fail. You can choose to succeed."
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