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Smoke On Her Face; and hair in her eyes (Peyote Coyote)
Topic Started: Nov 11 2015, 04:22 AM (1,867 Views)
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((Cameron Herrig continued from The Black River))

Cameron had been gently strumming on her guitar when there was a knock on the door of the house. The band were already in her basement for a regular jam/practice session, whatever people liked to call what they did when they got together...besides a mess. It was a good mess though, a mess of ideas, some workable, some not. But having a tornado of ideas was better than no ideas.

That was when she heard a knock on the door. She thought she had heard something. "Alright guys I'll be back in a sec, got a surprise for you all." Heading up and out of the basement Cameron was glad that for once her parents were both out. They tended to kill the atmosphere whenever they were around, just with the uncomfortable silences and general awkwardness. They had stopped arguing as much at least; Cameron guessed she was glad of that.

Padding down the hallway in her bare feet Cameron felt a tingle of excitement. She was going to introduce Coleen to the rest of the band. After going to the other girl's show Cameron had fallen in love with her singing. It had an amazing sound to it that Cameron thought was unique. She was certain the others were going to be as enamored with it as she was. All Coleen had to do was sing like she did on stage and they'd have a fix to the biggest problem in the band.

Cameron opened the door the door with a grin. "Welcome to where I keep my madness," She cocked her head to one side. "Don't look so nervous, we don't eat people." She waved Coleen inside. "Come on, we're in the basement." Cameron grinned again. "It's where the magic happens."

Grabbing Coleen by the hand, Cameron practically dragged her down to the basement.
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Cameron nodded at Vanessa's question, a big grin plastered across her face. "Yep. Coleen, this is Peyote Coyote." She threw her free arm out in an expansive gesture of the three people in front of them. "There's Vanessa, our lead guitarist and current vocalist. Brady our drummer slash token guy and BB who is the bassist." She pointed to each of her friends in turn as she told Coleen their names, and then turned her finger towards herself. "And I'm the rhythm guitarist known as Cameron."

Honestly the reaction to Coleen wasn't earth-shattering. It was lacklustre, but Cameron couldn't blame the others. They hadn't actually heard Coleen sing. So they had no idea what she was capable of. That was why Cameron had to sell Coleen to them. If she didn't they'd never agree to let Coleen join the band and then the band would never be able to breakthrough to the next level. Peyote Coyote was a good band and somewhat well-known on the local scene but they were never the band people turned up to see. It was more like a pleasant surprise for the crowd whenever they were booked.

Granted they had a small section of regular fans that were really into their stuff, which was the part Cameron found the coolest. The core group of fans that showed up to see them. Not one of the bands they were supporting but to actually see Peyote Coyote. Cameron tried to go near them whenever she ended up near the front of the crowd but some nights it was easier than others.

"Basically we chill out here, or in the desert, and come up with ideas, jam or just listen to music." Cameron let go of Coleen's hand so the other girl had the freedom to move again. "It's awesome." She said, her pride seeping into her voice.
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Cameron mimed smoking a joint as Vanessa explained what they did in the desert. "Gives you a killer tan too." She muttered, moving over to one side and leaning against the stairs. So far things were going well; no one had immediately decided Coleen couldn't be there which was always great.

Then Vanessa asked what instrument Coleen played, and BB asked what music she liked. They were the standard questions people got asked. General music stuff. It was a good way of gauging people though, especially asking what they liked to listen to. It helped give you an idea of their personality. Obviously it didn't tell you everything about their personality but you could make some assumptions. Now that Cameron thought about it she didn't know what style of music Coleen actually liked either. It seemed like a pretty big thing to forget to ask...especially since she was asking Coleen to join her band. That was alright though, she could find out a long with the others. It would be a fun surprise.

"And what's your favorite dinosaur?" Cameron looked at the others and shrugged. "Just while we're asking questions."
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Things were going really well. That fact alone was something of a surprise to Cameron. It wasn't a secret that to be in a band you needed to have a big personality; you were going out on stage to perform after all. Surprisingly though everyone was taking to Coleen well, even the fact that she was a singer hadn't caused any drama. Cameron suppressed a grin, everything was going perfectly.

"Giving BB free reign to suggest music? That's a mistake." She shook her head in mock disappointment. "One day people will learn that's an awful idea." Without moving from where she was Cameron pointed to a stack of CD's that were located near BB. "Over there we've got some albums by Kylesa, Witch Mountain, The Sword, Baroness and Mastodon. It's just something I threw together after hearing you sing." She shrugged. "You can take them home to listen to, get an idea of the style we play. Also our demo tape is in there somewhere." Cameron scratched her chin idly as she thought. "I think there are also some videos on Facebook and YouTube as well."

Cameron shrugged and laughed. "I dunno, I didn't organise this well."
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Cameron allowed Vanessa to take her over to a different corner of her basement. Her best friends face changed when they were out of the way, she looked bemused. Vanessa whispered questions about why they needed a backup singer and why they needed Coleen specifically.

Ah...that was awkward.

Cameron scratched around her eye. "I was kinda thinking she could be lead. Her voice is amazing." She trailed off. "You can still do backup vocals and if this doesn't work out we can drop her. Give her a chance to prove herself though."

It didn't sound like an unfair deal, give Coleen a chance to show what she could do if it worked out awesome they had an amazing singer to go with their instrumental awesomeness. The hardest part was going to be selling it. Vanessa would understand eventually and it'd be cool. Then they could go on to conquer the local scene.

"We can provide the energy and she'll blow them away with pure singing talent. Which we kinda need."

Cameron paused for a second as the words played back through her head.

Oh.

Shit.
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Things were suddenly going badly. Trust her stupid mouth to cause an incident. Vanessa was shouting at her. Cameron hated shouting.

She raised her hands in a placating gesture.

"Woah, woah, calm down Vans." She hated herself for causing the situation. She hated the idea that Vans would hate her. She hated that there was a chance Peyote Coyote could end because of it. She was going to do everything in her power to make things right.

Cameron had always wanted Peyote Coyote to succeed. It was their band, between her and Vanessa they had been Peyote Coyote since the first day of high school. They had added BB and Brady later, and now Coleen but the very first instance had been when they'd first met. Ever since that day Cameron had known she had her friend and not one of those best friends some girls could have where it changed with the wind, she meant her one true best friend. Vanessa had been there for her recently when she needed it most.

It almost felt like she was betraying all that based on her reaction. It made her feel sick.

"Just give Coleen a chance, trust me she's a good singer. We can do some songs with her..." Cameron really didn't want an argument. "I just thought it would be good. You can focus more on your playing if Coleen is singing." She was running out of things to say. "I'm not trying to..." She rubbed her arm where the scars were.

Everything was going fucking wrong.
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Luckily Brady stepped in to bring Vanessa back from the bring of a shouting fit. It was a momentary reprieve but Cameron was thankful for it. She hadn't wanted to start a massive bit of drama but it seemed like that was the way things were going. As it turned out Vanessa managed to be the one to come up with the best solution to the problem...well the best solution as far as Cameron was concerned. The solution that would allow everyone to hear Coleen in action. Cameron knew Coleen could and would ace the song. It was a guarantee. The only issue would be if Coleen decided not to sing the song or in an even worse scenario, messed it up. There would be no coming back from that. Hell Cameron was fairly sure some people didn't know the verses at all, only the chorus and riff. But the chorus, Coleen could do major work on the chorus.

She scratched her arm as she thought over the scenario, eventually deciding that it was worth the risk.

"Yeah, that's a good idea." Cameron said. "She can have a drink and then sing it."

She waved off BB's question.

"Doesn't matter. It's recognizable enough. I can play the rhythm if you want Coleen. So that you have something to go off."

If Cameron could help things along she was going to take any opportunity that presented itself. She felt like she owed Coleen that based on how things were going.
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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.
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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.
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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."
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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.
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Eventually everyone left and Cameron was left by herself.

((Cameron Herrig continued elsewhere...))
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