A Reinvention Story, Part II

My first live TV gig

It has been ten weeks since I first sang in front of the mortals. Eight weeks since my band, the Hyacinths, started practicing. Six weeks since I sat down with top producer, Cooper Andrews, at Quest Records. All the big labels have sent people down to see me, but I wasn’t sure I want to tie down with one label. I got a call from Quest Records and it just felt right. My sister Artemis is the goddess of the hunt, and a hunt is also called a quest. So it just fit. Oh, shut up, it does make sense. Anyway, four weeks since we hit the road and traveled the world. And three hours before our big TV gig. 

We were just at the tail end of Whole Lotta Love when I saw a vision of a familiar face. My guitar swung to my back as I let it go. I stepped past the lights and saw long dark brown hair with just a hint of pink. My mind instantly went back. 

“Hey, what’s going on Apollo?” yelled Bennie. I put up a finger and followed my vision. My heart was racing, It had to be. I placed a hand on her shoulder and spun her around. A pair of beautiful violet eyes stared back at me, 

“Urania?!” I said with all the excitement I could. Before she could answer, I pulled her into a tight hug. My eyebrows furrowed when she pulled away from my embrace. 

“Ura…what? My name is Caitlyn.” I looked at her again, clearly she was jesting with me. But alas, she wasn’t. The vision I saw was gone, and Caitlyn was all that was left in its wake. I put a hand out and shamefully said, 

“I am so sorry. I thought you were…never mind.” I turned back towards the band and sighed. What is wrong with me? I shook my head.

“Sorry, guys, I thought I saw someone.” We finished up practice and hung out in the dressing room until it was time. I couldn’t get the vision of Urania out of my mind. We had a, well I guess you can call it a thing, but that was a long time ago. Why would my mind play tricks with me now? Maybe it wasn’t my mind, maybe my heart spoke. It has been quite a long time since my heart has spoken to me. I shook off the feeling and looked around the room. Everyone was in ready mode.

“They’re ready for you,” a voice said through the door.

I stood up, drank down the last of my drink and said, “Let’s go kick some ass.” I looked into the mirror and smiled. I had on a golden leotard, a silver and gold scarf, and of course my gold crown. “Damn, you look good.” I said in the mirror.

We left the room, me moving to the left, and the rest of the band to the right. I like to make grand entrances, so I climbed under the stage and readied for the jump. I could hear the crowd screaming, and it felt so good. Think about the best sex you’ve ever had, times it by 1000, then double it, and you would know a quarter of what I feel when the crowd screams my name.

The announcer began, “Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for…”

He paused for effect, “Apollo and the Hyacinths!”

The roar of the crowd doubled, it was almost like a wave crashing into me. I will never tire of this feeling. I crouched down, just before the rig through me up into the air. I was six feet off the ground as a bright light shone behind me. I hit the ground in a superhero pose, one knee and one hand hitting the ground in succession. I looked at the crowd and smiled. The cheering felt like the west winds blowing over my face. Mickey hit the drums in a wild solo. I slowly strolled the five feet to the mic stand.

As I passed Jupiter, the lead guitarist, she hammered down on her strings. I winked at Bennie, my bassist, and he walked his fingers up and down the strings. I put one hand on the mic stand and felt another surge from the crowd.

I hummed into the mic as my band free jammed. “Mmmmmmm, hello world.” I looked around the room, smiling at all the beautiful faces. “My name is Apollo.” Pause for another look. “Mmmmm and these crazy kids are the Hyacinths.” I turned myself to my band, keeping the mic near my lips, “What do ya say, boys, should we play a little?”

The crowd screamed, it’s the loudest yet. I turned back towards them, “Now that’s what I like to hear.” The lights clicked off and the music stopped. The crowd went silent in anticipation of what song was coming. 

I could feel the crowd practically drooling over our tease. We had a ten song set tonight, including one encore, which is just over half of a usual set. We started out with Bighouse Rock by the hip shaking king. An old rock and roll favorite, with blues and just a pinch of wiggle. My hips were very Elvisy throughout the song. 

Second up was another classic, Hades Went Down to Georgia, but instead of the fiddle, my guitarist and I dueled, me as Johnny, of course. 

Next up is one of my all time favorite songs, Effortless Man. There are so many covers of it, and each of them are great. 

Following Effortless Man, we played the song that always makes me think of my sister, Artemis, or as I call her Didy, Naughty Silver Circle in the Sky Rising. She is the goddess of the moon, and a bad ass, so it really fits.

After Didy’s song, we played one Below Constraint, from one of my favorite people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, Mr. F’n Mercury. I met him long before I started my musical career. Remind me to tell you some time about the night I met him. 

Following Below Constraint, we went a little modern with things. It started with Portable Audio System Hearts. This song is a beautiful mixture of singing and rapping. A true favorite of mine. 

Next up is Contaminated. We play the version featuring Kendrick Lamar, because his rap is nuts! If that doesn’t get your blood pumping, nothing will. 

Next up is another favorite Move Along, Willful Son. A true Rock and Roll classic.

Final song we played was a fun one. I like to show my range of singing, I can hit any note, so we chose Upscale Funk. I mean this song embodies who I am…too hot. I have included a link to the songs for your listening pleasure.

The lights clicked out as Upscale Funk ended. We exited the stage as the crowd went bonkers. We waited a few moments and a chant began, 

“Rhapsody! Rhapsody! Rhapsody!”

A bright gold light, from behind the stage popped on and the crowd doubled their efforts.

“Rhapsody!”

You know how it feels to be on their side, but if you’ve never experienced it from my side, let me tell you, it’s pretty amazing. It’s like the feeling of ecstasy for singers, but I’m the god of music, so for me, it’s an orgy feeling. Anything from lust, to passion, to love, and it’s glorious. I closed my eyes and just took it in. We ran back on stage and set ourselves up, 

“How can we leave when the crowd wants more?!” Every concert we save Free Spirit Diatribe for the encore. Take that, copywriters. It was the song that started it all, and now it ends it.

I looked at all the smiling faces and it happened again. I saw Urania, or at least an image of her. It was gone just as fast as it came this time, but it was long enough for my heart to ache. I shook my head and cleared those feelings.

I gave the crowd a smile and snapped my fingers, a golden piano appeared on stage. “Take that, Elton John!” I yelled into the mic. I sat down and started the song, “Momma…” I swear I could never get sick of this song, or the reaction it gets. Sticks hit the gong to end the song and we took our bows.

Once back in our room, I reached into my pocket and drank a long sip off my flask. It’s a mixture of ambrosia and whiskey. It’s pretty good, it’s not Dion good, but it does its job. 

“Cheers, boys,” I started.

Jupiter smiled as she lifted her glass. “And girl.” 

“And girl,” I amended. “Our first live gig. Here’s to many more.” I leaned back on the couch and smiled. I love the afterglow a good concert brings. My smile was practically ear to ear as the door opened and the groupies came in. Star, my first groupie, came in with a crop top that read Hyacinths, and some leather pants that fit her…um, very nicely.

She jumped onto the couch next to me. “That was an amazing set, baby. They loved you!” She leaned in and kissed me, hard.

As we kissed, I could only think of one thing, or should I say, one person. Her long wavy hair, with streaks of pink stripes randomly placed. Star’s dark brown eyes turned to Urania’s violet eyes. Those purple pools that looked like the night sky.

I pulled away from Urania, but she was Star again. I put my head in my hands and thought, what the hell is wrong with me? Why do I keep seeing her and feeling her? Are the fates showing me my future? Did Eros shoot me with his love arrows again? Star wrapped herself on me, but I was in no mood for that,

“Hey, what gives, Apollo? You ok?”

No, I wasn’t. I wasn’t feeling myself. “I’m sorry, Star, I’m just not feeling right.” I picked her up off me and set her down on the couch. She pouted so hard, it rivaled most children. By the time I stood up, the room’s attention was on me. I looked around at all the concerned faces, 

“I’m just going to go for a walk.”

That was all it took to get them to stop looking at me. I left the studio and walked down the streets of L.A. I hit Venice Beach and walked the sand, wondering if Uncle Poseidon was anywhere near here. I sat in the warm sand and just looked out into the Pacific Ocean. The air off the water was cool as it lightly blew into my face. The sky was so clear that the stars were shining off the water, giving me a beautiful view. I laid back, crossing my hands under my head, taking in the beauty of the stars. Urania would love this view. I shook my head, wow, I can’t kick her from my mind.

I closed my eyes and in the darkness, I saw a light, like a street light on a dark street. There was something in that circular light. I stepped into it and picked up a stone, about the size of my hand. There looked to be pools of gold and silver swirling around each other. I stared at the stone, what the hell could it mean? The pools swirled faster and faster, dizzying my view. It was entrancing.

A woman’s scream brought me crashing back to real life. I jumped to my feet and found said screamer. There was a group of teens walking on the beach, three girls and two boys, each in sweatshirts and shorts. I think they were going to have a party or something.

Anyway, the girl who screamed was in a black Hyacinths sweatshirt. She rushed over to me and pawed at me. “Oh my god, it’s him.” Her blue eyes were filling up with tears.

I smiled at her. “Hello, mortal.” I wiped away her tear, and kissed her cheek, “It is a pleasure to meet a fan.” I gave her friends a wave and headed to my hotel.

Thankfully, the walk back didn’t bring any more visions. I took the elevator all the way up to my penthouse, pushed my card into the lock and opened the door. It was late and the party was over. I headed to the bedroom, but stopped in the door frame when I saw Star lying on top of the covers. She was face down in just a pair of golden silk panties.

Normally, I wouldn’t have thought twice about climbing into bed with her and enjoying the rest of the night, but my visions have me at a loss. Why would I, after all these years, start seeing visions of a former fling? What did the stone have to do with it? Was there even a link between them? I sighed at the thought and moved to the couch. I don’t know what to do with these resurfaced feelings. Is it time to go home?

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Apollo (Chris Smolinski)
Chris Smolinski is working on being a published author. He is married with three kids, two of whom have autism. He is a stay-at-home father, so he has lots of time for writing, and yet, does not always get the time to a ton done. He loves American football (Fly Eagles Fly) and has multiple championships in fantasy football. He loves to read and listen to audiobooks. His favorite book is Nightlord by Garon Whited and his favorite narrator is Sean Runnette. He is ecstatic that Apollo chose him to be his scribe.
Apollo (Chris Smolinski)

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