I started writing this about a year ago. The story is based upon truth, names and a few other little details were disguised to protect the innocent. It’s not all sex and action, more about falling in love, and being in love. I tried to make the sex scenes sensual rather than blatant, so I don’t really care if it gets low ratings. However any feedback will be welcome.
Her thirty second birthday had been a blast, it lasted three days. She couldn’t remember the last twenty four hours of it, but she knew that she had had a good time, if hangover was anything to judge by. Then add she couldn’t find the underwear she had worn at the beginning of her party; in fact she woke up from her drunken stupor on the floor of her bedroom in an ill-fitting man’s shirt half buttoned and at least two sizes too small for her 34C breasts, one of which lay unrestrained and exposed, from the tight shirt, and someone else’s way too short skirt that had rucked up, exposing the bare fact she was without any underwear at all. She peeked in at her roommate; Shelly was passed out naked on her bed three naked guys were arranged artfully around her. Obviously she had enjoyed the party too.
She was thirty two! Well actually thirty two and two days. Arleen looked at herself in her full length bedroom mirror. She was tall at 5’10”.Her cornflower blue eyes were bloodshot and the lids puffy, the long lashes that shrouded them, normally making her eyes appear mysterious were matted and clumped. The eye shadow was smudged and her eyebrows had been plucked to thinnish arches above her enigmatic eyes. Her cheekbones were high and complimented her eyes. Her face was heart shaped, her nose was straight and slender with narrow nostrils, her mouth was wide, with sensual lips, her chin was sharp but slightly rounded, making her appear determined rather than darn right ornery, which she knew she could be.
She staggered to the bathroom and managed to stumble into the shower without tearing the shower curtain down. In her borrowed clothing she let the warm water cascade over her. She slipped out of the sodden clothes, turned up the hot water and stood as the almost scalding water stung her naked body, what was left of her make up ran down her cheeks in twin grayish rivulets she guessed she looked like a raccoon. She stood letting the water soothe her soul for at least fifteen minutes before, gingerly, she applied soap, shampoo and moisturizer and cleaned herself.
After drying herself with a big fluffy towel and brushing her teeth she walked to the kitchen still wrapped in her towel, the apartment was a mess, bottles everywhere, some quiet full but mostly empty, and overfilled ashtrays were strewn carelessly everywhere. Her answering machine had been destroyed by some maniac with a baseball bat and lay in two hundred unfixable parts in the center of her bed. Someone was thoughtful enough to drink all the coffee cream as well as the milk, when they raided the fridge, leaving it bare except for three empty beer bottles and half a bottle of Russian Vodka. Well with the way she felt it would be wise to drink her coffee black, she went about the complicated task of filling the coffee maker and switching it on.
Thank God the coffee maker still worked; scalding black coffee and the handful of Advil she took began to deaden the dull throb behind her eyes. Within an hour she was almost capable of rational human thought, and simple coordination like getting dressed and brushing her long dark hair.
It had been more than a birthday bash; her birthday had coincided with the end of the tour. She had spent the last year touring with singer-songwriter Harry Hamilton as one of his back up singers. They had toured every major city in North America, now he was headed to Europe, but, because of some complicated union rule he was not able to take his back up singers to Europe and would audition for European back up singers once he landed.
She was out of a job, her agent had mentioned some commercials where she might be able to get her an audition for, but there was nothing ‘concrete’ on the horizon for her. Being on the road had been hard, it drove the final coffin nail into her nearly four year relationship with Bradley, he had, she found out waited at least a week after she left to go on tour, to fuck her best friend. They were still together and blissfully happy, or so she had been told. She’d miss Angie! She sighed and sipped her third mug of the now overcooked stale black coffee.
She searched for her purse, and found it stuffed behind the sofa with her mail, and latest copy of Variety. Bills, credit card statements nothing of interest, no Hi Arleen your long lost Uncle has named you the only heir to his multi million dollar estate, please contact us at 555-1234 …. Blah, blah…..
She refilled her coffee mug with the dregs of the pot, and thumbed through Variety, noting who had shafted who, who was sleeping with whom, who was hot and who was not. When at the back she saw Ankara escort a square bordered advert:
COUNTRY SINGER NEEDED
The World Famous (one day)
A TALENTED COUNTRY MUSICAN
Contract will be discussed after audition
Send CD or DVD to……
It was a Canadian advert. Ah what the hell, she had nothing on the horizon, right? There was nothing to loose. She dug through her closet, finding a copy the blurb she had printed on her computer and a promo CD and she had cut a few years before, when she still had dreams she’d make it as a headliner, in Nashville. She sighed self pityingly, yet another steppingstone to mediocrity. Still singing back up and making jingles beat waiting tables or taking off your clothes for a living, right?
On her way to meet her agent, she popped the CD and blurb into the post and promptly forgot about it. The meeting with her agent led to a little work over the next few days singing jingles for under arm deodorant and dog food, which helped pay the rent and restocked their depleted refrigerator. There was also talk of some radio work.
A week later she had been asked by KLXJ to do some commercials. It turned out to be a bitch of a day, the radio station for which she was doing a jingle had a manic art director and he demanded that he sit in on the takes. He was short and obese; he had tried to rub up against her and it had taken all of her tact to keep him away without ruining her chances for more work at the radio station.
The traffic home was bumper to bumper her nine year old Nissan constantly threatened to overheat, typical of any bored nine year old she reckoned. She looked forward to getting home, sprawling out on the sofa and watching the CMT awards.
Shelly, her roommate was doing a short stint as a replacement in a musical, and she had the place to herself. She had kicked off her sneakers and just opened her second beer, and watched while Toby Keith took a jibe at Natalie Mains of The Dixie Chicks before telling everybody he was just a working stiff, like everybody else, and who cares if he owned two mansions, his own jet and about a dozen sports-cars, his success had not spoiled him or his family, and while they were thinking about buying a small Caribbean island, they still considered themselves white trash.
The phone interrupted the pontificating white trash, Arleen who normally would have let the answering machine pick up the call, but of course some demented idiot with a baseball bat had destroyed it, she hit mute on the remote and picked up the phone.” Hi Arleen Armstrong, speaking to you live from her sitting room!”
A female responded at the other end. “Um, hi Arleen this is Thelma Verren, from the Rosécliffs Tavern, my sister and I really liked your promo CD, would you be prepared to come up to Ontario Canada for a final audition? Well gladly meet your expenses.” She added. “If you like we can have a return airline ticket waiting for you at the airport.”
Arleen did not understand and stammered. “Huh? What CD, what audition, what are you talking about?” she said warily suspecting Shelly or one of her friends was pulling a prank.
“Is this Arleen Armstrong the country singer? You sent us a promo CD in answer to our advert in this month’s Variety.” The soft spoken woman on the other side of the phone continued.
Vague memories of posting off a CD and publicity blurb while hung over after her birthday party surfaced. “Oh yes.” She responded. “That’s right, yes,yes,yes, I’m Arleen Armstrong, sorry, I was watching Toby Keith being an asshole to Natalie Mains on TV it threw me for a sec, but yes of course I’ll like to come on up there, I’m free after next week, I can fly up either on the Friday night or Saturday morning, if that suites you?”
“Oh that’s so cool, let me see what I can arrange with the airline, can you hang on a sec?”
Arleen could hear Thelma Verren’s muffled voice even though she held her hand over the phone. “Mel, she says she can come the weekend after next, its two weeks before we open, its perfect, get hold of Air Canada see when you can get a ticket, she’s holding on.”
After a minute or two, Thelma spoke to her again. “Hi again. We can get you on the Friday night flight; it leaves Nashville at 6:00 PM you have to change planes in Rochester New York, and should arrive at Toronto 10:00 PM. My sister will drive down and meet you at the airport. When you get to Nashville airport, just give the Westjet counter your name and this code RC46732, they’ll have your ticket, transfers and stuff, is that ok?”
Arleen was all professional by that time.” That sounds perfect, I will contact my agent and see about a work permits and what documentation I’ll need in the mean time, I look forward to meeting both you and your sister the weekend after next, thank you both for giving me the opportunity.”
“We look forward to meeting you too, bye, now.” Thelma said Ankara escort bayan as she put down the phone.
Carefully Arleen wrote RC46732 on her calendar for the following Friday, and settled down to watch the awards show.
The two weeks went by fast enough, her Agent gave her information about working in Canada and gave her some forms and documents she’d need if she wanted to work in Canada for more than three months, as well as the necessary contact and fax numbers. By 6:30 on Friday her plane was rolling along the runway. Her guitars and amplifier being the bulk of her luggage was in the cargo hold. She was in time to catch the New York transfer, and enjoyed a glass of wine and a few elegantly prepared sandwiches that tasted like cardboard during the short flight from Rochester to Toronto.
She walked into the Terminal carrying her overnight bag of clothes, and was happy to see that her equipment had arrived safely with her in Toronto, and was already rattling around the baggage rotunda and had not flying out to some exotic destination like Freezeyerassoff in Iceland, Fuckenmuddy in Brazil or Yourawanka in Australia.
She picked up her instruments, mixer board and amp and wandered along to the exit with the hundred odd passengers, from her flight. A young woman stood to one side with a number of uniformed limo chauffeurs holding a sign “Arleen Armstrong”. Arleen estimated she was somewhere in twenties with curly dark hair. She was short, just over 5′ Arleen guessed. Her eyes were green, with a cute turned up nose, her lips wide and sexy, her boobs, beneath a thin silvery blouse were generous and proud, her designer jeans, showed her figure off extremely well. When Arleen drew nearer she noticed that her large eyes were green and flecked with gold and her skin unblemished and unadorned by any cosmetics.
“Hi there, I’m Arleen, are you Mel?” She asked.
“Hi Arleen, uh huh, yeah, I’m Melody Verren, welcome to Canada, eh. I hope you enjoyed your flight. Can I help you with your stuff, it looks heavy.”
Arleen unburdened herself of the amplifier and cased mixer board; the amp was designed to be pulled along on recessed wheels. Melody tugged it behind her as they made their way out towards the car park.
They stowed her guitars and other equipment in the back seat of Melody’s four wheel drive SUV and headed out of the airport and along the freeway, making small talk. “Have you been to Canada before?” Melody asked.
“Oh yeah we did Toronto as part of the tour, also, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver.” she rattled off.
“Well we’re a little off the beaten track, our club is about three hundred kilometers North of Toronto, in a little town called Birchacres. We grew up there my parents died last winter in a car crash, Thel and I have spent most of our time and money rebuilding it and bring the place up to code. It’ll take about four hours to get there, would you like to stop and get something to eat?” Melody continued.
“Oh no, it’s fine, I had something on the plane.” Arleen answered politely.
“Well then let’s get moving shall we?” Melody said, turning onto a wide highway and headed north. She pointed out various landmarks along the way, Arleen found her to be a lively and animated tour guide. Melody, she discovered, was not a garrulous type, and there were often times of silence, not stilted silence but easy contemplative times when it didn’t seem necessary to speak, she enjoyed Melody’s company. Although it would have appeared rude, she stared at Melody who was concentrating on driving quiet a bit during the trip.
It was close to 2:00 AM when the white SUV pulled up outside a motel and Melody handed her the keycard. “We’ve booked you in here for the weekend. Its room eleven. Sorry it’s not a Jacuzzi suite Try and catch some sleep, I’m really sorry it’s so late; Thel will call you around noon to set up the audition. Oh yes, I forgot you musicians don’t go to bed before three AM and don’t get up before noon anyway, eh?” She giggled prettily.
Melody helped her take her equipment into the motel room; it was medium sized with a large bed and colour TV with a bathroom leading off opposite the closets. It was neat and clean, and far better than some of the rooms she had used while on tour.
“Well get some sleep, Thel will set up the audition in the afternoon, see ya, eh?” Melody said while walking out the door. For some reason it was an awkward moment, almost as if there should have been more.
Arleen lay awake for a while, Melody seemed really nice, it was strange, she felt she had to get to know Melody better. She hoped her sister would be nice too, it would be good to get out of Nashville for a while, even this weekend, although it was also an audition seemed like a vacation. These thoughts soon lulled her to sleep.
She rolled out of bed around 10:00 she showered and dressed in black jeans and a tooled leather belt with an oversized oval western buckle and a simple white tee-shirt Escort Ankara and slid into a pair of fancy stitched high heeled black western boots that matched her belt; she used the room’s hairdryer to blow-dry her hair, before venturing out. It was a shock. The temperature was close to 100 degrees. The Birchacres Motel was just off a long straight tarred road. About one hundred yards to the right was a gas station and a Subway sandwich store and one hundred yards to the left a MacDonald’s, and nothing else to see for miles but farmer’s fields. This had to be a prank, ok a really expensive prank, Ashton Kushner better watch out. Damn! She’d fallen for it.
She ambled over to the MacDonald’s and ordered a burger and fries and a coffee. The young guy who took her order, who’s name was Dave according to his nametag seemed to be the only employee; rushed about and put her order in front of her on the standard brown plastic tray. She dug into her jeans and pulled out a $10.00.
Dave, Employee of the month, verified by his picture against the wall, shook his head. “No, no!” He said.” Thelma and Melody Verren were running her tab; it was all already paid for.”
“What would have happened if I went to the sub place at the gas bar? She asked Dave.
“Oh, they probably made arrangements there too, I saw Thelma or Melody, I’m not sure which, stop by there after she came here yesterday”. He said.
She sat down and ate her burger, and sipped her coffee wondering what the hell she had gotten herself into.
She finished her meal and wandered back to her room and cranked the air conditioner up higher, she took her acoustic Hohner guitar from its case and practiced a few chords while tuning the strings before moving into Gretchen Wilson’s raunchy ‘Redneck Woman’. She then took her Fender electric guitar, plugged in her amp, and launched into a heady version of Heart’s ‘Barracuda’. She continued practicing with her acoustic guitar doing the haunting ‘Don’t tell me the time’ made famous by Martha Davis, until the phone rang.
“Hi this is Thelma Verren, we have set aside all afternoon for you, so tell us what time you think you’ll be ready, and I’ll come and fetch you.” She said.
“Hi Thelma, thank you for the burger at MacDonald’s that was kind of you. I’m ready anytime.” She answered.
“Well ok then, I’m on my w…. Ow! Ow! Jesus stop hitting me bitch! I’m on the phone here.” Arleen heard a couple of muffled ‘thunks’ before Thelma continued. “Sorry about that. Melody is already on her way to fetch ya, see you soon, eh?”
Arleen unplugged her amp, and put her guitars back in their cases. She opened the drapes and sat on the bed looking at the road and farmland that surrounded her, there didn’t seem to be any town nearby.
The white SUV pulled up outside the motel room after about ten minutes, and Arleen grabbed her equipment and went out to meet it, as it Melody climbed out Her face flushed. She wore blue jeans and a pink t-shirt with Rosécliffs Tavern emblazoned across her ample chest in Burgundy letters. Their greeting was awkward and stilted, again as if both women realized that something was missing. Melody took the amp and mixer as before and stowed everything in the back. They both climbed in silence and drove out of the car park and onto the tar road and headed North again. This time Melody seemed reserved and there was not much conversation, it was almost as if they were strangers again.
The town was a few miles North of the motel, at a crossroad Arleen saw the sign, Birchacres 5> they turned off the main road and followed the sign. The Rosécliffs Tavern nestled beneath towering pinkish coloured rock cliffs of a tall mountain and on the other side of the road the land sloped down to a large blue lake and the town. The two story building was painted an identical colour to the cliffs. “We’re here.” Melody said unnecessarily.
With Melody’s help she carried her equipment into the bar. She looked around the bar room. The ground floor was a large windowless air conditioned square room with an oaken bar counter running the length of one side, in the center was a good sized wooden dance floor, and against the wall, opposite the bar counter was a small stage; the rest of the tavern had chairs and tables. All the lighting seemed to be recessed or hidden. A kitchen was situated opposite the ladies and gents rest rooms, altogether it was well set out and looked like all the furniture and equipment was new, and the walls smelled of new paint.
She was surprised to see Melody already standing behind the bar counter. She must have moved fast, she thought. “Hi you must be Arleen, I’m Thelma.” Melody said holding out her hand, and shaking hands. Arleen realized that they were twins. Their voices were practically identical, Thelma was the mirror image of her twin, but there were subtle differences, it was the eyes; Thelma’s eyes were pure green, without the golden flecks. She was slightly taller as well, Arleen saw, on closer inspection, Thelma’s breasts beneath the pink emblazoned Rosécliffs Tavern T-shirt were significantly smaller. Outwardly they appeared virtually identical.
“Hi Thelma, pleased to meet you, shall I set up on the stage?” She asked.