“You are not the only one on this planet you know?” Tiina can hear the anger threading through the girl's voice like a whiplash.
His voice drops to a murmur in reply so she can’t hear the words. She watches in surprise then as they embrace. Oh! So that’s how this goes? A touch has her looking up in surprise, her eyes taking a second to adjust from peering at the scene being played out under the spotlight to the figure towering next to her, “you need to go get your own life, not watch on while others live out theirs’ ”
“I am a voyeur not a player” she replies, glad that her blush cannot possibly be seen under the cover of darkness.
“One has to suffer for one’s art…and for one’s heart,” says Neil his eyes fixed on the spectacle unfolding on stage.
As if sensing his glance the rockstar looks back at him, his eyes darting to Tina, pinning them with his stare. Can he see into my soul? Surely in that one look he has grasped everything about me, where I came from, my past… is he the oracle I should ask about my future?
In reply to her unspoken question he raises his head, shakes back his mane of long dirty brown hair, holds up both his arms as if asking the white light to swallow him up, bear him on their wings and above everything below, and screams, a primal, from the pits of his guts-through-his-heart-and out of his mouth-come and get me if you can scream. And the girls in the crowd scream right back, in unison, answering his mating call. He is their guru, they are his slaves. They will happily follow him to hell and back, a million times. And then the tidal wave of sound pours over her, under him next to her, through the one on stage, and into the audience, covering all in a sheen of bleached silence.
She watches it all unfold without hearing anymore. Not the music, nor the screaming from the crowd, or the bass pounding. It is as if there are people everywhere. They squeeze into each other, climbing over the shoulders of the ones in front to wave their hands in manic abandon, all jumping, dancing, crying.
The lights follow him in a complicated, sinuous move, caressing his body, making him glow, ethereal like the sun god. Then just when she thinks that it can’t get any louder, he points to the audience, and following his cue the spotlight shines on them—they are his sacrifice—and all of them, it must be every single living organism in the room even the lizard on the ceiling shriek in one voice.
Suddenly Tiina is screaming with them. Without realising it she is hanging onto the arm of the human male next to her, gripping him in excitement, jumping up and down, and mirroring the headshake that she has seen earlier. She is soaring with the crowd surfers then, and the world has stopped. All that matters is the music, distracting her from everything, detaching her from everyone in the galaxy, connected to the one on stage by an umblical chord, which pumps her full with adrenaline, she can't stop.
She does not know the song, but that does not matter.
Heart racing she is drenched. Is it her own sweat, or the perspiration from the crowd spraying around the room like a shower head—it matters not. As suddenly as it has begun it is over. She realises there is no more music.
The rockstar turns observer, smiling broadly, he watches the crowd senseless with the sound he has created, and slowly they quieten down, one by one watching their creator, till every last one is silent looking back at him. In the complete silence that follows he claps his hands once, twice, and the crowd takes it up on the third….Ishal… shal… Mishaal…
If you liked you may want to read Rockstar - the Origins