James Arthur @J_AWritesThe scandal threaten to end them. When Ken caught Barbie with Jem it seemed the group was doomed. How could a top selling, multiplatinum, award winning band go on like this? The answer was to rebuild and redesigned. Gone would be Ken's dreamy looks but weak vocals. Gone would be Stretch's dance moves but lack of personality. The new group would be legendary. Barbie and Jem would lead the vocals. Their new found love defining a new wave of loyalty, love and lyrics. Ken had always tried to dampen Barbie's appeal. Trying to play off the fan loyalty for her as a joke, something that wasn't true. The band was his idea, the spotlight his and therefore the fans were his too. But now it will be Barbie's band. Barbie's group and therefore Barbie's fans. With Jem and Barbie in place the rest of the lineup had to be strong. Joining them would be Joe. The rugged, mysterious, muscular Joe. Moms would swoon him. Dads would honor him He would even double as band security. With the tension of love between the two leads and Joes rugged looks the band was still lacking a fun, charismatic element. Enter P. Head. The fun-loving, rhyme spitting chameleon added that spark of surprise. Constantly changing faces, hats, styles P.Head will give propel the fun Ken sucked out. Wrapping up this group of music misfits is the wild card: Shortcake. Would her little sister meets adoring diva uniqueness hurt or help the band? Shortcake has fought back from her personal demons for the right to be back on the stage. In front of the lights. Will it be magic?So there you have it. Barbie, Jem, Joe, P. Head and Shortcake. TOY BAND.
By J. Richardson twitter.com/jrichson2013Drugs, sex and rock and roll. Well minus the sex, and huh, drugs that is. But everything else was a go! As in go for it! And Vonard was going for it He was born to be a rock and roller, having beat the drums since he was a little kid. His dad was once part of a pop rock band back in the old days. Way before he was born. Waaay before he’d even met his wife, who became his mother. Times were different then. Music sorta corny, Vonard thought. But he liked to listen to his dad talk about how much fun being in that band was. He told him all about Woodstock in ’69. He left out the parts about the drugs and sex, of course. Vonard learned about them anyway. Well, he figured that at least made him almost rock and roll royalty. Didn’t it? So he set out to put his own boy band together. All he needed were some boy banders. He rounded up a few friends from the neighborhood and got cracking! They had some old instruments, drums, which belonged to his dad. A slightly bent horn, a sax, he figured and a busted guitar. They were gonna rock! Ok, let’s roll, he hollered. And that first cord struck so hard it nearly deafened him. And unfortunately his next door neighbor too... Blam! Bam! It made an awful sound, he had to admit. The lady complained again and again. She threatened to call the police on them if the noise didn’t stop. Imagine? Noise. The guys were kinda tired, Vonard a bit distressed. His parents very relieved. Not defeated, he said to himself, maybe he’d have to wait to make a real band. In the meantime he just kept on practicing and practicing.
“I should’ve brought a sweatshirt,” I said. Goose pimples clung to every inch of my sun-deprived skin.My five-year-old crinkled her freckly nose. “It’s summer.” Amber eyes giggled as she took another sip of her strawberry banana smoothie, light on the whipped cream.“Restaurants like to keep their customers happy, a.k.a. Freezing.” I grabbed a napkin and wiped her chin.“Why’re we here again?”My chuckle lacked humor. One hand scratched through my chestnut hair. “Well, I was supposed to have a job interview.” I looked to the door for the fifteenth time. No sign of the recruiter.“Is that why Grammy was gonna watch me?”“Yes, sweetheart. But it didn’t work out so you’re here.” I pressed my lips together.“Wish daddy was here so you didn’t have to work.”Sigh. “I do too, hon. But he left, so now I have to work outside the home.”“Hey,” her eyes behind me. “That’s that really old Boy Band you like, from when you were born.”A handsome man about my age wore a Beatles shirt. “Oh right.” I cleared my throat. “They were a few years before my time.”The man smiled. My belly clenched. When had a man last smiled at me?“Hey mister,” my daughter yelled. “Were you born when those guys were around? My mom says she wasn’t but I’m don’t believe her.”My eyes squeezed tight.A deep chuckle rumbled. “Nope, not quite. But fantastic music.” I opened my eyes. He stood beside me, one lip curled up. “My name’s Eric.”I opened my mouth.“She’s Monica. She’s single,” my daughter cut-in.I groaned. He laughed. “I’d love to talk Beatles, if you’re free.”Deep inside me a teenage girl squealed. Maybe Boy Bands weren’t so bad, after all.Laura L. Zimmerman @lauralzimm
Morning broke hot and bad. The typical southwest Texas tradition of blistering summer heat was promised by the burning orange orb rising fast. Above it only sky, below, dusty desert tumble weeds quaking, waiting to break loose and begin their jagged journey to no where in the late afternoon. Valentine, Texas, population 147, boasted exactly one significant distinction, its name. Punctuated by the existence of a United States Post Office, Valentine became a veritable hub of the Texas desert every February 14th. Folks from as far away as Chicago and as near as Marfa converged on this little wide spot in the road to celebrate Valentine’s Day which included a band and all the Lone Star beer one could drink.Agnes was 15 in 1954 and itching to get out of Valentine any way, any how. The swelling crowds in town gave rise to hope of a life beyond the sepia-toned existence she daily endured.“Momma, how many do you think are out there?” Her mother looked out the window from the dishwater, “ A thousand?”A thousand. That was a hard number for Agnes to get her mind around. A thousand.“Listen Agnes. Stay away from all those strangers. Nothin’ good can come to a 15 year old girl from a mess like that. All that drinkin’ and loud music. You stay away, you understand?”“Yes, momma.” She rolled her eyes and headed straight for her bedroom.How was she ever going to escape her dead-end life in Valentine? Sighing, she opened her closet door and reached for her Mr. Potato Head box. “Folks! Give a warm welcome to an exciting Band, The Young Tators!Mary Tucker @mrytckr
Misspelled my twitter handle.Boy BandMike picked up the glass salt shaker and studied the diamond pattern engraved in its sides. “Ready to order yet, sir?” asked a waitress. “No, just another glass of water, please,” he said without looking up. “Waiting for some people.” She soon returned with a metal pitcher with water droplets forming on the outside, filled his glass, and went to the next table. “Mike? Is that you?” a man’s voice called out. Mike nearly dropped the salt shaker, then gripped it tighter for a moment before standing up. “Cruise,” he said with a smile. Cruise walked over with open arms and the two embraced and laughed and after a few hard pats on the back sat down. “You look great, Cruise,” said Mike eyeing Cruise’s suit. “Thanks! Real estate, man.” Cruise shrugged. “It paid off big time.” Before Mike could respond he was cut off by a booming voice that shouted over the din of the restaurant. “Yo! Yo! Yo! Is that my boys? Cruise and Mike?” They both stood up, barely in time to be nearly knocked down by the man rushing at them. All three laughed and hugged and laughed some more and punched each other and sat down. “Man, it’s good to see you Dillon!” said Mike. “It’s great to see you, man!” Dillon punched Mike again. “Both of you! It’s been way too long.” Cruise shifted slightly in his seat. His big smile got a little smaller. Mike’s smile got bigger. “It has been too long. Guys. I think it’s time.” Now Dillon’s grin shrank. “Mike…” he said. “The people want this,” Mike said. Cruise stood up. “It was good to see you again, fellas.” Dillon shook his head and left. Mike sat still. He looked at his reflection in the window. Gray hair. Wrinkles. Tears.Anthony Briggs @abriggsjr
“This one’s going to be trouble,” said the Vat-Tech. She pointed with the clipboard at the tall, male form suspended by cables in the cloudy liquid.“Trouble’s good, right?” The Stylist asked. "He's got great hair."“A bit of trouble’s good. Enough to stir up the press junkets. This one though…” She sighed heavily. She handed the clipboard to the Stylist.“What am I looking at here? You know I don't read PCR. DNA profiling is your gig." "This marker," the Tech points to a short bar on the PCR analysis. "Drug addiction."The Stylist clicked her tongue against the top of her mouth. The Tech points to another blurry blob."And this one. Well...let's just say we'll need to watch him around the fan girls." She arched an eyebrow at her colleague to emphasize her point."A bit of eyeliner would really bring out the depth of his eyes," the Stylist said. "Oh. It's worse." The Tech's eyes went wide."Worse? What's worse than drugs and an overactive libido?" "These two markers. They are the genes for depression and violence. He'll be a suicidal maniac! Destroying hotel rooms and wrecking sports cars!""Dear god! This is awful!" The Stylist flipped up a cover on the vat's control panel. Her hand wavered directly over a big red button. "We should flush him, shouldn't we?""No." The Tech calmly took the hand of the Stylist and drew it away from the button closing the panel."But, he'll be a monster.""No." A satisfied smile formed on her face. "He'll be a legend.@codexier_erik
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