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4 Stories Up – Chapter 22

February 15, 2016

4 Stories Up Short Stories4 Stories Up is a fictional, serial story that follows a talented, sexy female drummer as she seeks fame and fortune with a band. Tory is a woman making her her way in a male-dominated world of heavy metal. She is passionate in life and music and she plays for keeps. Her feisty nature often gets her in trouble but she fights on towards perfection in her love, her music and her life. – Find past chapters here.

—– —– —– —– —–

The next several days were difficult for the band as they waited for an answer from Thundering Mountains as to who would be opening for them.  Every day, the band would look at Phillip with high hopes and expectations and every day he would just shake his head in silence.  It was so frustrating knowing they were on the cusp of playing in an arena with Thundering Mountains and Still Fire!

Finally, almost a week after they had their recording session, Phillip came into the garage and announced, “So, I heard from Thundering Mountains.”  His expression gave nothing away.

“And?” Doug prompted.

“And, while they liked what they heard…”

Tory bit her bottom lip, anticipating bad news.  Her fists clenched and she held her breath.

“They want to hear more of us in person at the arena!  We’re in!”

“Shut the fuck up!” Doug yelled, jumping into the air.

The band hugged each other, all yelling at once.  They were just a mass of arms and legs and laughter.

Just then, Mandy walked in and looked in utter amazement at the group of celebrating together.  “Umm,” she interrupted, “what’s going on?”

Jake broke away from the group and was smiling from ear to ear.  “We got the gig,” he informed her quietly.

“Jake!  That’s awesome!” Mandy said quietly back to him with a smile.

“Oh, hi,” Tory said to Mandy as she realized suddenly that their group hug was one short.  “I didn’t hear you come in!”

“I see why!” Mandy laughed, her large hazel eyes glimmering.

“Mandy,” Phillip said, his smile now gone.  “What can I do for you?”

“I asked her over, dad,” Jake said, continuing to smile at her.

“It’s practice time, Jake.  We have a lot of work to do,” Phillip said coldly.

“I thought she could listen,” Jake said, frowning.  He knew his dad was not happy but he wasn’t sure why.  “She can help us out with our new songs, let us know if we’re on the right track.”

“I’m pretty sure that’s my job, Jake,” Phillip replied.

“I think it was a good idea, Jake,” Doug said as he glanced at Mandy and Phillip nervously.  “Umm, maybe just a little premature buddy?”

“Having her here will dampen my creative flow,” Chris said peevishly.

“Oh for the love of…” Tory shook her head and rolled her eyes.  “Mandy, it would be great to have your opinion.  Never mind these, these…men.  We just may not be ready for anyone else to hear what we have yet, that’s all.”

“Oh, sure,” Mandy said, her cheeks bright red.  “I didn’t mean to interrupt the, umm, creative flow…”

“Yah,” Doug agreed readily.  “You totally get what I’m saying, Tory.”

“Okay,” Mandy said quietly, still very uncomfortable.  “I’ll leave you guys to create.  I’ll see you later.”

Jake said nothing but kept his eyes to the floor as she left the garage, shutting the door quietly.

“I thought she’d never leave,” Chris sniffed.  “Okay, let’s start.”

“I don’t want to,” Jake said in a whisper.

“Don’t get pouty,” Phillip admonished his son.  “You should have asked before you invited her over.”

“Ok dad, sorry,” Jake muttered as he picked up his guitar and headed into the house.

“Jake,” Phillip called behind him.  He put his head in his hands and moaned as the door shut.

“Phillip,” Doug started.

“I know, I know,” Phillip acknowledged.  “I couldn’t have handled that worse if I tried.”

“What do you mean?” Chris asked, genuinely confused.  “You told her how it had to be.”

“I was angry that she kept my son out late and made me worry,” Phillip corrected him.

“Wait, you mean you didn’t kick her out for me?”

“You are truly amazing,” Tory said while shaking her head.  “You have no idea that there are other people with feelings that matter in this band, do you?”

Chris went back to writing lyrics in a huff.

“Guess I should go apologize,” Phillip sighed.  He headed towards the door leading into the house.

“Uhm, Phillip?” Doug interjected.


“Mandy went that way.”  Doug pointed to the door of the garage leading outside.

“I know.”

“I’m just saying.”

Phillip closed his eyes and prayed for patience with this new complication in his relationship with his son.  Sighing again, Phillip went to find Mandy and talk to her.

As he blinked in the warm sunshine, he saw a car in the driveway and Mandy was sitting in the driver’s seat with her head on the steering wheel.  He walked over and gently knocked on the window.  Despite the gentle tap, Mandy jumped and looked up nervously.  Her cheeks were wet from tears.  Phillip immediately felt ashamed at himself.

Mandy,” he said as she rolled the window down, “could we talk?”

“I, I guess,” she said as she rapidly wiped at her cheeks and cleared her throat.

“Look,” he said as she opened the door and gingerly got out of her car.  “You probably know that I’m Jake’s dad.”

“He told me,” she stated flatly.

“What he may not have told you is that he, well, he hasn’t had much of an interest in socializing much.”

“Because of his Asperger’s.  He told me that too.”

“Oh, he did.  Oh, well, it’s just…”

“He told me about his mother and how you are the most important person in his life.”

“He told you a lot.”

“We were together for quite a while.”

“Yah, well, I’m just very protective of him and I don’t want to see him get hurt.”

“You think I will hurt him.”

“I, I don’t know…”

Now Mandy started getting angry.  “No, you don’t know.  You don’t know me at all so how could you?”

The shame flooded over Phillip again.  “I deserve that.  No, I don’t know you.  That’s part of why I’m feeling so protective.  Jake is acting completely different lately and I think you’re part of the reason for that.  I’m not sure what to make of all of it.”

Mandy’s expression softened as she saw the struggle of a single dad who loved his son very much.  “Well, I would like to get to know you.”

Phillip smiled at her.  “Let’s start over,” he suggested.  “Would you like to stay for supper?  I’d love to hear more about how you got in the music industry.”

“I would love to,” she smiled back nervously.

—– —– —– —– —–

Get the latest on Tory and the band between chapters at their official Facebook page!

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

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