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Three Mile Drove, Chapter One (standard:horror, 1380 words) [1/29] show all parts
Author: Brian CrossUpdated: Jun 11 2008Views/Reads: 2561/1357Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
following on from the prologue, this is a story about a washed-up rock musician who inherits a smallholding in the English fens and soon finds himself regretting taking up the place. Chapter one of a completed work.
 



CHAPTER ONE 

Darren Goldwater leapt into his Cherokee Jeep and headed for home, the
last guitar chords of “Sultans of Swing” still ringing in his head. It 
was as if he had a private stereo system installed in the backwaters of 
his mind, blasting out music that he couldn't switch off, and it seemed 
to be getting louder by the gig. 

He wondered why his band never played their own music anymore, then
cursed himself for raising a question to which he already knew the 
answer. 

Nobody wanted to hear it anymore. 

The heady days of “Refugee” were long gone, if they could ever have been
called heady that was. A few moderate hits in the mid eighties, 
struggling to impress amidst the lower regions of the charts and that 
was about it. By the time the decade had ended they had all but slid 
into obscurity, redeemed only by their re-workings of old classics, 
dependent on instrumental virtuosos such as “Hotel California” and 
“Sultans of Swing”. 

But it was a competitive field, and along with the increasing number of
bands doing the same thing, age was beginning to extend its withered 
fingers like worn frets on a fingerboard. It was a gruelling six nights 
a week, bottle of vodka a day string of gigs that sent them up and down 
the country like chickens in a run. 

Internal squabbles hadn't helped either. The five member band had
suffered more downs than ups of late, degenerating into petty disputes 
and casting clouds which threatened its very existence. 

And to cap it all, he wasn't immune on that score. His turbulent, long
running affair with Goldie Dixon was probably the most disruptive 
influence of all, though now it was drawing to its inevitable 
conclusion. Perhaps that wasn't an apt description, because hurtling 
into a brick wall at six miles an hour seemed more apt. 

Goldwater glanced in his mirror and slid the Cherokee out of the slip
road and onto the motorway, heading home to Leicester. Shaking his mind 
free of the final chords of “Sultans of Swing” he found himself 
considering his ten year roller-coaster relationship with the group's 
vocalist. 

She was vehement, vindictive, violent, a living three-pronged “V” sign
in fact, though her outrageous antics had been a turn on in their 
earlier years. Their love making might have taken place within the 
volcano that seemed to encompass her, and the explosion of life and 
vigour, of power and hate that surged within her had seemed to suck him 
in like a speck of dust in a vacuum. He could put up with her 
turbulence in those days, seeming to draw on the very strength that was 
her life force. 

But a decade of self abuse had taken toll of her, extracting piece by
piece that which attracted him to her. Goldie's body, once strong and 
shapely was now thin and puny, she seemed to have lost a couple of 
inches in height and her stature was pathetic. Her spine now seemed to 
curve in an arc and the voice he'd once so admired had lost all it's 
raunchiness. 

Her explosions of temper were now little more than pathetic, childish
tantrums and there was no longer any force behind the blows when she 
lashed out. He could meet them with derisive laughter which just about 
summed up their shambles of an affair. In fact the whole sorry group 
was in a shambles. He felt with complete certainty that the death knell 
was about to sound. 

Thirty minutes ago he'd left her cursing him after a performance that
had been every inch a flop. She'd picked on him of course, his guitar 
work had been sloppy, off key and downright lousy. 

It hadn't been of course, at least not in his book, even if he couldn't
be sure of a disgruntled band's backing on that, because he knew if 
nobody else did, that Goldie's voice had been weak and slurred, and as 
thin as her stature had become. In trying to strain it she'd wondered 


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