Before long, 11:30pm rolled around. Ivy was sitting in a dirty chair in the office of the Bottom Feeder. Other performers and waitresses were rushing around, in and out of the office. The dungeon was packed. The blistering volume of the band on stage was like industrial attention glue. Ivy couldn’t keep her eyes off of them. An ass kicking bass guitar matched heavy gritty explosions with the bass drum kicks. Two electric guitars raced through perfect melodic riffs. There was an electronic keyboard adding character to every beat. The vocals weren’t very strong but the music was bait!
Between the mayhem in the crowd and the metal on the stage Ivy thought the walls would crumble. She had never been more excited in her entire life!
Ivy was startled at the touch of a hand on her shoulder. Spinning around, she saw the big man, Hef, standing there.
“I’m glad you’re a little early.” He yelled over the crowd. “So?” he said gesturing towards the crowd. “Think you’ll survive?”
A smile crept over Ivy’s face. “I’ll be fine.” she hollered back.
“Good.” he said. “Cuz you’re on now. The people are a little crazy tonight. The secondary guitarist split his fingers.” He said pointing to the band on stage. “He’s just barely holding out. We can’t afford 10 minutes of silence. These people want entertainment. So let’s see what you got, lady. Get out there.” he instructed.
Just as Ivy was turning to do as he said, she heard him add, “God be with you.” Ivy put on her holier than thou front and headed for the stage.
The band on stage saw her coming with her guitar in hand. The lead vocalist who was also a guitarist was looking straight at her as he played. His dark hair came down in spikes over his deep black hypnotic eyes. He had plenty of piercings. His ears were half covered with thick silver hoops, much like her own. His lip was pierced twice, just above the chin and his eyebrows sported several bars and hoops. As Ivy got closer she could see heavily colored tattoos creeping up the sides of his neck. Ivy had always loved the way that looked on a man. His eyes stayed fixed on hers till she was at the steps leading up to the stage. Then he glanced over her head to see Hef giving him the okay to take their leave. The singer looked back at Ivy and nodded. He signaled the message to the rest of the band who, in turn, began rolling to a heavy finish.
The drummer’s purple dread locks flailed wildly as he punched his last kick. He had a look that made Ivy feel like that saying about all drummers being a little disturbed might be right. He had those wild ice blue eyes like Flea from the Red Hot Chile Peppers. He was muscular but thin. It was an observation that was all too obvious because he wasn’t wearing a shirt. And of course, both nipples were pierced and he had several tattoos on his chest and arms.
The bassist was short and stocky. His hair was admirable. It was lush, smooth, poker straight and shinny. His impressive black hair fell all the way down to his guitar. There was so much of it hanging in his face Ivy couldn’t really make out the details. He was wearing a Woodstock T-shirt, baggy cargo jeans, and combat boots.
The secondary guitarist was a very large man. Probably about 6 ft. tall, 220 lb. Nice build. His hair was dirty blonde and didn’t appear to have ever met a brush. His chin and cheeks had that dusted look that implied that there just wasn’t enough time for him to shave this week. He had a tortured kind of look on his face. It must have been those bloody fingers of his, still racing over razor blade strings.
The guy on the keyboard was a small, skinny little strap of a boy. He didn’t seem to be quite as old as the others. He might have been 18 or 19. Back in high school, Ivy would have considered him to be a geek. The fact that he was playing with a metal band put that title out of the picture in her mind. Maybe that’s why he did it. To stay in the safe house so as not to get beat up.
The front man closed the gig by taking the microphone, “All right everyone, you’ve got five minutes to piss and refill you glasses. Thank you and have a good night!” As he finished his sentence he took another long look at Ivy before turning and talking with his band mates.
Ivy thought the amount of interest he had in her was a little odd. Ivy wasn’t sure if maybe he was sizing her up professionally, or what. Or maybe it had something to do with the fact that she was a woman, alone, ready to perform by herself in front of all these animals.
The crowd seemed to sway and separate as the band began to exit the stage right in front of Ivy. They all eyed her questionably, slowly, and blatantly as they came down the steps. The last one was the front man. He stopped at the bottom of the steps in front of her looking her up and down with his guitar in his hand. He captured Ivy’s attention.
“Are you here performing alone?” he asked in a husky but tired voice. Ivy smiled slightly and nodded, keeping her eyes contentedly focused on his.
“I’ve never seen anyone ballsy enough to come into a place like this with nothing but a guitar and their own guts. Never mind a woman.” he said with what sounded like condescending concern in his voice.Ivy smiled menacingly and replied, “There’s a first time for everything.”
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