Lyrical Disgrace- chapter three

The last chapter of my preview. Enjoy and for the rest of the story please purchase from SmashwordsB&N, Amazon.com, and Kindle.  Thank you

Chapter Three

Dai entered the shabby shielded home but this time he was alone. The old man smiled as if expecting him and held out his hand in a welcoming gesture.

“I have the money and ashes.” Dai said holding up a small pouch.

“Good, very good.” The old man nodded. “Just hand it over and we can begin.”

He took the bag and walked over to the fierce candle figurine and tied the ends to the free outstretched hand of the waxy saint. He beckoned for the young boy to approach.

“Now the blood.”

Dai flinched as the man forcibly held his wrist and he caught sight of a gleam too fast to see, the pain was sharp and throbbing and trailed up his forearm and the red blood flowed deeply onto the figurine, coating the once pristine white robes crimson. The cloth robe was now drenched, forcing it to cling to the androgynous body of the wax figure.

“Do not worry. You will not die.” The old man simply stated before releasing him and walking away.

Immaculate hands and delicate fingers gripped the silk blue roll pillow pressing against his chest. He voice sighed before he buried his long face in the fabric contorting in pain. The man hovered above him, pressing on the palpable flesh beneath him, working his tools in rapid sessions, digging into the soft tissues–sweating as he applied the outline of his greatest work, focused as though he was placing his own soul into each and every line.

Dai breathed deep and moaned, his thoughts only belonging to one man, the one he found and loved and lost. Both the master and the conduit lost in their own world.

Tired and in pain Dai waved off Kei and Aya and watched them depart the school grounds. His back still stung from the outlining, a pain that would not leave any time soon yet comforted him when he thought of Shi experiencing the same. He also believed in the abilities of the old man. Shi had sought him because of his power and now he too truly believed in it. The atmosphere, the elation, and focus on the tasks at hand surrounded him, his tingled at the thought and he wanted nothing more than to return for the coloring. He had no clue what the man was putting on his body and he dared not look for personal fear of his wish not coming true.

He soon shook those thoughts away once Shouta confronted him.

“You looked a little uncomfortable today in gym.”

“Yeah. Yesterday I got the outlining of my tattoo done, took almost 12 hours. I applied the alcohol and fresh gauze as instructed but it still hurts.”

Shouta smiled. “You’ll get used to it. Although I think ya nuts for plopping down so much money…are ya sure—“

“Yes I am.” Dai cut him off knowing where the conversation was headed. “He’s the real deal, I feel it when he tattoos me. Shi is getting closer to me.”

“I’m just worried about you.”

“I know.” The teen patted him on the back to reassure him. “I’m feeling better and better, not worse. I really believe that everything happening right now is for the best.”

“Why are we just standing here? Should we be on our way home?” Shouta asked realizing Dai has made up his mind about the matter so there was no need to continue the conversation.

“Not me, I have a drama club meeting today so I have to stay. I really wanted to ask you about the money, are you taking it?”

“Nope.” The blond defiantly turned his nose. “I don’t need ya to baby me.”

“I know and it isn’t babying so take the money and move on.” Dai firmly stated shooting him a death glare if he so much as tried to continue the argument.

“Fine. But I will pay you back. Ya gotta at least let me do that.”

“Fine.”

The two nodded finally reaching an understanding and Dai headed off alone.

He entered the double doors of the auditorium ready for business. “Okay everyone! I have the script, and I tried to match it up with the sets we’re already designing so we don’t have to make any major alterations.”

“All right!” Cherie, the set designer cheered from the stage. She had been sewing and gluing the finer details of the trees and her fingers were hurting.

“Wow! You managed to get this done in one day?!” Shimada asked taken aback by how fast he had a script ready. But looking at the dark circles around his eyes and the fact that he didn’t even shown up for school all day he figured Dai must’ve been working for hours.

“Yeah, but it isn’t the full script, I’m still writing, but we do have the first few pages and a cast list so we can begin auditions.” Dai added waving the typed papers about. Shimada took the stack from him, reading off the title for everyone to hear.

“Blood Maiden’s Kiss?”

“Yep. It’s a musical. The lead role is a woman named Attia, The Blood Maiden. She‘s an evil princess who of course does a lot of wicked deeds for fun and because they live in a fairy tale world where if you don’t act out the role given to you at birth you will die and disappear.” Dai explained.

“So her role is to be evil.” Jim, the blond haired blue eyed Russian exchange student stressed.

“Right. One day Attia was singing under the blood fruit tree when she meets a Prince named Lucius, whose role is to be an ordinary farmer, a background character, never the hero. One day he strays from his boring farm life and comes across Attia singing. He falls in love with her although he is not supposed to. He joins Attia in song which melts her heart. Attia feels herself fading and runs away and Lucius returns to his ordinary farm life.”

“Wow.” Cherie smiled.

“He talks to his friends about the possibility of saving the blood maiden, they laugh at him, cause you see he will disappear if he leaves the farm for a long time but he believes Attia to be suffering because of her evil deeds.” Dai continued. “His mind is plagued by thoughts of her beautiful voice. She appears to him in his dreams. His friends tell him to leave it be…Lucius sets out from the farm to save the Blood Maiden, armed with the only weapon he has, a sickle.” The theatre group stops their meticulous background work, all eyes focused on the center of the stage where Dai stood. “During his travels he comes across a little boy, he saves him from the raging river and as thanks the father gives him the armor of a knight which was to belong to his son as he was supposed to grow up to become a Knight–but the boy had longed to sail the open seas instead. He continues forward, all the while Attia dances around him. He meets an old woman, whom he saves from a group of villagers accusing her of witchcraft, and as thanks she turns his sickle into a deadly viper he can use in battle, Although she was meant to die by the angry mob of villagers in her story….He continues forward and meets a young man he saves from bandits, and as thanks the man offers to stay by his side as a steward even though he is nothing but a bread maker…they continue on the road together until Lucius and Attia meet again and make love, she awakens a power inside of him and then taken away by her kinsmen. He becomes an evil being as he sets out on a series of trials to save her, they eventually reunite and kiss, then Attia vanishes, he feels himself fading, he looks to his steward who has faded as well, he decides to travel to the blood fruit tree to fade, and along the way he discovers that the old woman has faded, and even the man and his son.”

“Wow, I think I’m depressed.” Cherie added feeling the weight of the story.

“He finally reaches to the tree, sings his lament and vanishes.” Dai finished.

“That sounds awesome!” Jim exclaimed, eager to get started. Theatre was his forte.

“Thanks! I admit I don’t have the songs yet.”

“Good! It’s a start! I’ll make copies of what we do have and organize it into a play format.” Shimada offered.

“Sure.”

“Akio, you can start the audition flyers and advertisements.” Shimada ordered fired up.

“He’s very efficient.” Cherie smiled never getting a close view of the widely talked about student. Dai was rumored to be nothing more than a homosexual prostitute by the many students at school and was either ignored by everyone but his close friends and teachers. The fact that he barely came to school cemented the ideas in their minds even more. But the more she looked at him the more she understood why he was a prostitute, his lashes were long, his lips naturally pursed, and his gray eyes served to accentuate his exotic beauty, he was Asian but not quite, certainly of mixed blood, and his body was lean yet filled out into a nice build that was neither fragile nor strong. She found her face flushed hotly and focusing her attention back into the auditorium she lowered her eyes.

“You know if you need someone to write some songs, you can get Tsume of Parasitic Wasp to do it.” Akio suggested.

“Really?” Dai replied surprised.

“Yeah. I know them, they can use the publicity.”

“Cool.”

“Yeah.’ Akio tittered nervously and he wanted to slap himself for the silly grin on his face. Akio was a first year student but even he had heard many of the rumors surrounding Dai, seeing him in person was almost like meeting a celebrity but more importantly he understood why they whispered about him in the halls.

Akio subconsciously moved closer only stopping when Dai turned his head to face him again. “Uh, flyers….how do you want them?” ‘I suck!’

“Well it’s a Gothic type of play so shoot for something dark.” Dai chuckled lightly feeling the building tension. It occurred to him that the red head admired him and he began to remember a time when he too admired someone so freely only for those innocent dreams to splatter on the rocks. No sense in dwelling on such events.

Dai opened the door coming face to face with Parasitic Wasp and a skinny boy in glasses wailing away at the mic while the blast of the music hit him full force. Dai covered his ears at the screeching vocals and took a seat in one of the few scattered chairs against the wall.

They must spend a lot of time in here.’ He thought looking over the empty soda cans, chip wrappers, and other trash littering the long table by the window. Strewn iPods and unconnected headphones along with scattered music sheets with a rough drawing of strings and penciled dots outlining the specific notes to play.

None of the band members noticed him as he entered, each within their own world as they strung the strings and banged on the drums in a tune that sounded like a random clash of notes accompanying the wailing vocalist.

The last of the drums clashed against the guitar as the boy hollered the last remaining notes before catching his breath and thanking God it was over.

“Not bad.” Tsume smiled, taking his hands off the neck of his sleek black guitar to tuck a strand of hair behind his ear.

The skinny boy with the glasses too big for his face smiled. Elated that the song he’d work so hard on was finally gaining deserved recognition.

“Except for one problem.” Tsume calmly stated looking at the boy at the front mic.

“Um…what is it.” His gaze moved to the white dingy tiled floor before meeting the gaze of the tall imposing teen.

“Do you really expect us to play this shit!?”

The boy jumped at the harsh tone.

“Get the hell out of here!” He took off his strap and charged as if going to use his prized instrument to knock him senseless. The boy ran for his life as fast as he could out the sliding door.

Laughter rung through the air as the boys prepared to relax when Rei spotted the familiar face in the back room.

“Hey, ya made it.” He smirked crookedly and lit up the cigar hanging from the tip of his lip.

“Oh I’m not here to audition. I came because someone recommended Tsume to write some songs for our play.” Dai explained nervously.

“Nope. I have better things to do.” Tsume dismissed him with a wave of his hand.

“I see.” Dai nodded along defeated at his matter of fact tone of voice and proceeded to walk away.

“Wait…we’re done auditioning people anyway.” Rei called out jogging a bit to catch up.

“I’m not going to beg him.” Dai almost shot back until Rei’s gentle smile eased the tension.

He held out his right hand. “Let me see the script.”

Dai didn’t know what to expect, Akio recommended Tsume not Rei but then again there was a sense of gentleness and a look in his dark eyes that extended beyond the mundane. If there was anyone who could bring out the beauty he wanted to convey in the music it was him….if he was capable of doing such a thing. Besides, the thought of working with Tsume didn’t sit well with him, with his dismissive attitude and shallow demeanor.

“Uh, sure. Copies are being made right now so hopefully I will have one tomorrow.”

“Good. What’s it about?”

“A gothic play.” Dai stood in his presence unable to hold back his ideas,he spoke passionately about the Blood maiden and her farmhand lover.

“I can do it, if you want me to.”

“Are you sure?”

“I love the guy but Tsume’s songs have no heart and this calls for it.” Rei stood tall and confidently. He was skinny, so thin he could almost be mistaken for some heroin addict on the punk circuit, his pale slender wrist bent as his hand rested on his equally thin waist. But those who knew him knew that he was strong and capable of handling himself in most situations, yet he rarely had to as he was always the diplomat of the group the one willing to compromise, yeah the lone wolf rebel…to a point.

“If you really want to then sure.”

Her voice was like a winter wind chilling the bone, she held her soft hands high grasping at the fruit springing forth from the blood tree. She saw the handsome farmer approach and shielded her innocent eyes revealing the depth of passion and desire.

“That was awesome, Aya!” Kei’s clapping echoed in the near empty room.

Shouta whistled. “Good job.” He wasn’t exactly a virtuoso of the theatre but he knew what he saw was good.

“If Dai doesn’t give you the part then he’s crazy.” Kei helped Aya off the stage.

“Yeah, but we haven’t been getting along lately…” She explained embarrassed her fight with Dai had gone on so long. If she suddenly started talking to him again her actions could be seen as kissing up for the role. She missed him and hated herself for allowing their disagreement over Shi’s remains to go so far.

“I’m sure Dai wouldn’t look you over simply because you’re not getting along right now.” Kei assured her.

“I hope so.”

“So what brings you here.” Kei finally snatched his eyes away from Aya and on to his blond friend. He just knew Shouta was never the type to sit through a play.

“You. ..I’m moving into my own place. I need help.”

“Shouta you should audition for the lead male role.” Dai cut in appearing from behind the long red curtain hating the mildew scent emanating off the fabric.

“What?! No way I suck at plays.” Shouta backed away as if Dai could capture him and force him.

“Yeah I remember that play we did back in Elementary second year. You were supposed to be a tree, you got so nervous you farted on stage and none of the kids wanted to sit under you.” Kei felt the laughter building as he envisioned the dressed up blond on stage pouting.

“Shut up!”

“I think you fit the part of the farmer turned tragic hero.” Dai said looking him over. He had a certain level of innocence in his smile that contrasted with the honest determination in his eyes.

“Oh Shouta you should do it!” Aya clapped her hands together excited.

“Yeah, try out!” Kei added egging the other two on more than anything.

“Okay…fine but there’s no guarantee!”

Rei interrupted them when he entered the auditorium carrying a sheet of paper in his hands. “Hey Dai, here is the blood tree song.”

“Great!” Dai raked his eyes over the passages and was instantly transported to the world of his play he imagined the blood maiden lamenting-her dark beauty too much to bear.

“Oh my.”

“If you don’t like it, I can tweak it.”

“I love it!” The song was more than perfect, it summed up his vision perfectly and it was so beautiful and filled with soul. “Please perform it.”

Rei smiled enjoying the praise. He stepped on stage and cleared his voice the room hushed as he belted out the wilting tune captivating the attention of everyone. His voice faded to the sound of applause.

“Wow, who knew he had a voice like that.” Kei turned to Aya.

“Yeah, it’s amazing. He isn’t my favorite member but I can see why other girls like him.”

Dai approached–the last to finish clapping.

“I’ll write the others as I get the scripts. But I want payment.” Rei immediately turned to him.

Dai was taken aback by the demand. “I don’t have much…”

“In exchange for me writing the songs to your play, you have to write a song and audition for the band.” Rei cut him off to make it clear that he was not expecting money.

Dai sighed. ‘not this again.’ “What if I don’t make it?”

“Don’t worry, it’s just a formality. I’ve already decided that you’re in.” He winked causing Dai to smile when he did. “Just write a song, any song and come to our room and sing it.”

Dai thought it over for a brief moment before tossing caution to the wind. “Sure, why the hell not?”

Shouta couldn’t help picking out the two standing alone away from everyone unable to shake the odd energy emanating from them. One moment they were close to everyone and the next they retreated into a dialogue only they understood. Shouta didn’t know when they met but they spoke as if they had known one another forever–standing out above the others. Rei with his tall almost lanky frame that had a soft yet dangerous appeal and Dai with his long soft face, sharp eyes, and infectious smile.

He couldn’t help but to think they belonged on a completely different plane than him, just like Shi…

“Just who the hell does he think he is.” He said low and dangerously to himself.

“Jealous?” Kei whispered watching sea green eyes focus on the pair.

“Why would I?” He chuckled hoping to lighten the mood.

After school Dai tossed his back pack and slipped off his uniform and into something more inspiring, his form fitted leather pants and black tank top with his mother’s pendant shining brightly around his neck. After praying in front of the altar he kept intact he settled down with a pen and notebook.

I don’t even know what type of songs they sing, but then again I wouldn’t want to sing songs I wouldn’t normally like. I’ll just use this as a way to vent my feelings and release this tension I’m feeling about the tattoo.

He breathed deep and prepared his lyrics.

The next day…

“Oh great, so you managed to crank out a song? If it’s a remake of November Rain or Dope Show…or anything by Linkin’ Park don’t bother.” Tsume squeezed the bridge of his nose to stave off the headache. “If I get one more unoriginal piece of shit knock off song I’m gonna end up wrecking my fucking guitar.”

For the first time since he entered, Dai didn’t like the way his stomach churned as if to eliminate its contents but he did not give in. He stood tall and proceeded to the front of the room which seemed like the longest walk of his life.

“He doesn’t have the right look.” Tsume waved in dismal.

“Relax, he looks hot. We all have on our uniforms.” Rei defended not wanting Tsume’s rotten attitude to ruin what he felt was a good catch.

“Geez, you wanna bang him that bad?”Tsume whispered.

“Oh for fucks sake! Tell us the melody so we can get started.” Muraki brazenly cut in knowing that an argument between those two could last a second lifetime.

“Fine. How should we play this song of yours.” Tsume sighed strapping on his guitar.

Dai took a deep breath and prepared to instruct the threesome on how the song is played. He hummed the melody. “The song has a medium to fast tempo and a dark beat. The guitar is a bit slow in this. I honestly don’t know the right way to word it or the notes to write.” Dai admitted.

“It’s all right. Just sing some beginning notes and we will try to match it with the melody.” Rei informed preparing the bass.

“Drifting in a sea of despair. Drifting in a sea of doubt. Drifting in a sea of bodies within Hades’ maelstrom.”

He belted out the tune as good as he could and almost before he finished the band was playing the sound as if they could read exactly what was in his mind. Dai smiled when they stopped and Tsume made a few adjustments before signaling for Dai to begin.

Dai took a deep breath waiting for the members to start playing. The music came rich and dark, fast but not rushed and Dai stood at the microphone ready to sing. His voice was deep and rich like liquid satin.

”Drifting in a sea of despair.

Drifting in a sea of doubt.

Drifting in a sea of bodies within Hades’ maelstrom.

In the distance I see a ship that’s falling further down.

I can see a sliver of light but it’s not enough to take me hold.

 

If you can hear me calling, carry me

Across the murky waters.

Across the raging waves.

If you can hear me calling,

I am calling you to save me, save me, save me from those wings.

 

The water’s inside me.

Building up it’s all too strong.

Breathing deep but all I get is ashes and stone before I sleep.

Will you carry away, this body from the bleak heap.

If not then surely your brother will gladly come and take a hold.

 

If you can hear me calling, carry me

Across the murky waters.

Across the raging waves.

If you can hear me calling,

I am calling you to save me, save me, save me from those wings.

 

Non più giochi.

Prendi questa anima sporca

Non mi interessa

Io non appartengo a questo

Un accordo buio per la persona che amo

Sopra l’acqua o sotto le onde

Ciò che mi porterà lì?

Prendi la mia anima

Più pazienza e tempo

If you can hear me calling, carry me

Across the murky waters.

Across the raging waves.

If you can hear me calling,

I am calling you to save me, save me, save me from those wings.”

“Awesome.” Rei closed his eyes savoring the music they just played.

“Hmm.” Tsume unstrapped his guitar, placing it gently on its stand. “Not bad, but I still think we should focus on getting a girl to sing the lead.” He haughtily stated.

“But it would be cool if we were an all boy band and besides, chicks get jealous whenever a girl is hanging out with a bunch of guys.”

“And did you hear his voice? The song he wrote? It was fucking awesome.” Muraki joined in the praise.

“Damn right.” Rei smiled.

“The only flaw he has is stage presence, he needs to work the mic a bit but some practice can cure that…he’s good looking and has an interesting flair about him.” Muraki looked over the boy a little too much for his taste.

Dai looked away unable to stand the staring.

“Fine. Looks like we found our new lead singer.” Tsume smiled.

Dai couldn’t help but to feel proud that the song he’d work so hard on was accepted.

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