brian_campo: (Default)
[personal profile] brian_campo
Truth be told, he wanted to know what it looked like.

In the days since blood fell from the sky – in an event that was scandalously under-reported for the sake of tourism dollars – the tiny town of Searchlight had done its best to clean up and look respectable. The sidewalks and streets had been hosed down, the buildings power washed, the cars scrubbed. It was a monumental task but people pitched in because the blood was drying flies. It also stank to high heaven.

But the outskirts, the dirt lots, and even the cemetery remained rust-red. It was like driving through an alien terrain. Brian made the trip around sunset when there was enough light to illuminate the area but not so much that he sweltered in his car. Air conditioning wasn’t powerful enough to combat that much direct sunlight. The thick, iron-sweet scent came through his air vents. He resisted the urge to cover his nose; it wouldn’t be any better when he got out of the car.

Brian parked in a neglected lot near a motel no longer in use.

He got out and shoved his keys into his pants pocket. Blood had collected and congealed in potholes around his feet, and the scrub grass was stained too. Brian squatted and pinked some of the sand, pink as coral, between his fingers. A warm wind blew his hair into his eyes so he looked up. As the sun slipped behind the hills, it lit up the ridge like liquid fire and then it was gone.

Dark would be quick and complete. There was no such thing as dark in Las Vegas, no real night to speak of. He remembered the desert with its inky sky and stars from his teenage years in his dad’s RV, which he parked wherever was cheap. The desert made Brian feel okay. A lot less frantic.

He left his door ajar and sat on the front seat, feet sticking out while he lit up a smoke.


Apr. 29th, 2014 08:29 pm
brian_campo: (elvis)
[personal profile] brian_campo
I feel bad about last week, so I made you a mix tape. Forgive me?
Your friend,

Left at the Shop )
melodymagic: (Concern)
[personal profile] melodymagic
Melody had called Maddy the next morning, after meeting Theresa in the coffee shop, and asked her if she was working that day. She really wanted to try the potion, and it had a half life of thirty six hours before it started losing its potency. She'd been checking the colour and giving the bottle the shake it needed every so often to prevent the ingredients from separating.

When Maddy said she was working the late shift Melody was glad, and asked her to meet her for an early lunch, as Melody was working that afternoon and evening at a function in the Skylark. She hurried along the sidewalk, turning into the plaza and glancing up at the clock displayed in the centre of the outdoor dining area. She was a little late and she scanned the area, looking for Maddy. A series of small cafes and restaurants clustered around the area, making the most of the lunchtime trade from the businesses located all around.
brian_campo: (brush shoulders off)
[personal profile] brian_campo
Nimble fingers popped quarters into a payphone. The segmented cord creaked as Maddy propped the receiver against her cheek. She leaned as far into the stall as possible, plugging her open ear. The club was crowded and noisy; she could barely hear the dial tone or the voice on the other end, a distracted ‘hello?’

“Brian! It’s Maddy!” she shouted.

His eardrum vibrated under the sonic assault and he asked, “Yeah, where the fuck are you?”

“The Funhouse.” She touched a piece of chewed gum and recoiled, wiping her palm on her jeans.

Brian frowned. “Really? Why?” It didn’t seem like her kind of place; Maddy was into the kind of punk-rock dump where a girl could take off her top and nobody got arrested. “Is it dollar shots or something?”

“No, I’m meeting Melody. We just got off work. This is probably the only place on the planet where her vocal talents can be appreciated. Listen, I just saw Valerie. I thought you might wanna know. Didn't you say you tanked your phone message?” Maddy craned her neck and saw the blonde was still near the bar. The silence has stretched on too long, so she said, “Brian?”

Still Here )
brian_campo: (attitude)
[personal profile] brian_campo
The girl’s name was Susie. She had brown curls that snaked out from her head like Medusa and strange eyes, too light for brown, too murky for green. She was not quite human, not quite demon. Her left wrist bore tattoos inscribed to keep the demon’s nastiness at bay and, near those, scars from where she’d attempted to slice, burn, or chew them off at various stages of her life. Nothing worked. One day she’d gotten fed up and attempted to hack off her arm, but the tattoos simply migrated to her neck.

Go on, behead yourself, they dared.

Susie sat like a pretzel, legs and arms twisted, a violin resting on her lap. “What do you want me to play?”

“Whatever you want.” Brian rubbed the back of his neck.

“Anything?” This seemed a hopeful question. Her lips pursed with pleasure.

“Well, not the Devil Went Down to Georgia, but basically yeah.” He was still residually high on a mixture of marijuana laced with PCP and he was concerned that the Charlie Daniels Band didn’t make for happy thoughts.

The Right Notes, the Wrong Thoughts )

What?” Susie stood up, alone and out of place in a reconstructed drawing room.

“I’ll call you later.” He jumped off the stage, which might have been a bottomless pit, a dark chasm, the way his brain was misfiring. He started up the aisle. Outside, the sunshine shrank his pupils into black dots. He was sweating. In a hurry.

The door drifted closed.

Susie kicked her violin case.

valerie_vause: (Hoody)
[personal profile] valerie_vause
Bathrooms. They were starting to become a burden to the blonde. During the night she’d gone to have a shower after patrol, expecting the stalls and general area to be vacant. What she discovered was half a dozen girls inside a chalk drawn pentagram. Red candles lit and black robes pulled tight as they chanted in a language she actually knew. Latin might be dead, but it was by no means useless to those who searched for something more than they could grasp alone.

Apparently her intrusion had caused anger because they all turned as one to glare at the blonde, who in turn took in a slow deep breath and exhaled an aggravated, “The showers don’t belong to you all, you know.”

They rose to their feet with a snarl that seemed to echo off the tiles and Valerie scoffed. Granted not the best response but really, who did they think they were? The blonde tilted her head to the side to crack her neck and narrowed her green eyes. She was not in the mood lately. If they wanted to fight then so be it. Personally she could do with an outlet to her confusing and consuming emotions.

“Get. Out. We have reserved the area.” Stated one robed girl sporting a nose piercing with as much malice as she could muster while she found her feet and clutched a candle to her bosom.

Valerie merely quirked an eyebrow. “Seriously? All I want is a shower so could you maybe just… Keep your chatter to yourself while I scrub away the decay of today’s crapfest?”

From the growled response she’d said the wrong thing, because they all pulled a vicious looking blade from their robes. The blade itself impeccably sharp but it curved, wave like, and the blonde knew instinctively it was meant for some sort of ritual. Well, they could could kiss her ass, because she wasn’t about to become their most recent sacrifice.

Two lunged at her with barely restrained growls of anger and she acted instinctively. Grabbed the wrist of one girl and used her body as a shield to block the other. an echoing crack heard as she literally headbutted the second girl and pushed the first into one of the stalls with enough force that she dislodged the door.

Enemies three and four rushed her as the fifth took a leap with her blade raised high. Valerie gripped the two girls by the front of their robes and brought them together like a pair of symbols, the blade from the fifth wedged between them as she dislodged all three with a powerful roundhouse kick that sent them backwards.

Water began to pour from a ruined sink as the first two found their feet and resolve, then tackled her with as much skill as the guys on the football team. Really, she could admire the dedication as much as the force but she didn’t let either deter her actions. The blonde lashed out with her right fist, felt a ridiculous amount of satisfaction as the crunch signaled the nearest girls nose was broken before she grabbed the second and used her feet to propel her backwards and into the wall with such force that the plaster cracked and spider-webbed before her eyes.

“Is that all you’ve got?” Valerie couldn’t help the taunt as she sneered at the hooded figures. The look she sent their way all but dared them to rush her as one and she relished the attack. The first girl to reach her regretted it the instant she gripped her wrist and twisted. The sound of bones snapping echoed alongside her scream and the blonde let out a satisfied sigh, as the next girl stepped into her personal space. The girl raised the dagger, intent on impaling her, but the blonde’s reflexes were beyond her comprehension and the dagger was wrenched free and thrown towards the back wall where it impaled itself to the hilt. Startled, the girl tried to back away but Valerie snagged a fistful of her robe and swung her around like a shot-put. When she released the fabric the girl flew through the air and landed on one of the girls about to take a swing at her with a groan. Despite the carnage Valerie actually laughed, and back-flipped in order to kick the next fool that decided to try and take her down. The girl’s jaw snapped shut with a sickening crunch before she landed heavily onto the floor. The remaining robed figure hesitated before she fled with a whimper and Valerie smirked at herself in the shattered mirror that faced her. She whistled quietly as she stepped over the crumpled bodies that sprawled across the ground, bloodied and beaten, and took a much needed shower without any further complications.

When she headed back she took a minute to collect her mail, but it was only when she settled in her room that she opened the letter. Immediately her good mood faltered and she found herself frowning down at familiar handwriting. In truth, she hadn’t expected Brian to ever contact her again despite her foolish wishing, and know that he had she found herself devouring his words despite the ache they caused. So he was doing good, that was… Well, it was good, right? So why did that information feel like she’d just been gutted?

Nimble fingers traced the words Brian had scrawled across the paper and for a moment she convinced herself that everything was normal. Her heart wasn’t breaking all over again, she was an average girl, they were together, but as soon as she closed her eyes reality flooded her senses. Before she knew what she was doing she she’d picked up the phone, dialed the numbers she tried to convince herself weren’t memorised, and listened to the ringing die out so the machine could pick up. She skipped pleasantries and spoke from her soul without bothering to filter herself.

Voicemail For Brian. )
brian_campo: (attitude)
[personal profile] brian_campo

Hey. You’re probably asking yourself why there’s a letter in your box from me. Good question. If I had bigger balls, I’d just knock. There’s a good chance opening this thing up made your stomach twist into knots and even though I hope that’s not the case there’s nothing I can do if it is.

I know things ended up bad between us. I’ve replayed that day in my head a hundred times, trying to think of how it could’ve gone differently. What I could’ve said, or what you could’ve said, so it didn’t leave both of us feeling like shit. I don’t know how you are now. Part of me hopes you’re really good and another part of me, a part that I realize is a complete dick, wishes that sometimes, every once in a while, you have a hard time dealing with it, too, because I do and misery loves company.

Like I said, complete dick.

I just wanted you to know I miss talking to you. I’m doing good. No sign of you-know-who and things are pretty chill. I also wanted to say that if you ever need anything I’m here. There’s probably ten other people you’d call before me, but I need you to know that you could call me if you had to. I wouldn’t hang up the phone.

Until then, know that I’m alright. I should mention I’ve been practicing. Last week I made a sandwich without using my hands.

Hey, it’s progress, right?


P.S. If anybody tries to get you to listen to that new single called "Sara" by Starship, punch them in the kidney.
birthright_npc: (liquor bottles)
[personal profile] birthright_npc
The Dive, which was prone to a gritty atmosphere, had been transformed for New Year's festivities. A rotating disco ball hung above the crowd, as well as a web of streamers. Colorful lights lit the stage for its five-band line-up, which began with a local cover band and then transitioned to new wave, punk, synthpop, and glam rock acts, all staples of the year in music.

By 11:15 p.m., the crowd was slap-happy and drunk, thanks to happy hour prices on drinks and $1 Jell-o shots. The patio smelled like barbecuing meat and nacho cheese. Merchandise for the Dive and the bands moved quickly.

The world was halfway through the decade and antsy for the second half to begin.

The Fraying Nerves were wrapping up a five-song set and about to clear the stage for the Death Spirals, a band whose hairstyles were a fire hazard.

[Thread: Open to Anyone]
holiday_pirner: (21)
[personal profile] holiday_pirner
Holly pushed open the door of the record shop, and the music filling the space was like a warm welcome. She glanced briefly at a display of new releases before casting her eyes around Tracks. A few shoppers lingered here and there.

Her hands, clad in fingerless gloves, toyed with the strap of her bag as she walked toward the register. She was mostly wandering, finding distractions to fill her days which stretched long and empty most of the time.

She approached a black-clad figure, his back to Holly. "So, how long has it been? I remember champagne, a roof, and not much else." Her mouth twitched a little as she picked up a neon orange flyer.

"I think I spotted you at the Dive, but I wasn't about to fight that crowd."
valerie_vause: (Gaze Down)
[personal profile] valerie_vause
After leaving the bathroom to see that Madeleine had already gone Valerie let out a sigh and left too. It wasn’t until she’d walked three blocks that she realised her feet were instinctively taking her to Brian’s place. The conversation should have happened with him first, but the brunette had asked the questions and she hadn’t been prepared to lie. They were choices both of them had made. Though she wasn’t ashamed of how she felt she understood the importance of sharing it. Not doing so would feel like a lie in and of itself. Whatever Brian thought of her, she hoped it would never be as a liar.

It wasn’t until she reached to knock on his door that she realised her hands were shaking. Societies views were as much a cage to her free will as the Council was to her life. The idea would be more than frowned upon despite the radical changes that had occurred over the past decade and truth be told she was afraid. Afraid of the way he’d look at her like she’d turned into some sort of monster. Afraid that being honest would ruin everything. That she’d lose him before actually having him. Properly having him but then, she feared his intensity too. How could she live up to his expectations? She wasn’t perfect, she wished she was, sometimes, for him. Normal just wasn’t a word that would ever be used to describe her, in any sense of her life.

Valerie knocked on the door before the urge to contemplate how much money she had in the bank sent her fleeing to another country to escape the situation. She didn’t want to hurt him. She wanted more than anything to protect him, but she had to be honest. He deserved that.
birthright_npc: (Vegas)
[personal profile] birthright_npc
The grand ballroom of the Skylark Hotel was awash in shades of forest green and gold. The charity ball had been arranged to benefit a local children's hospital, and so a large percentage of the proceeds from the door tickets and bar would be donated to renovate the facility. A two-story Christmas tree towered over the buffet tables of festive finger foods and chocolate fountain, and people had placed unwrapped toys under the limbs to be delivered to the hospital the next day. Champagne flowed freely. There were two stages for the live jazz musicians that would play all night. Santa's scantily clad elves wandered about the room with trays of shrimp and caviar. A dance floor took up the center of the space underneath a gleaming chandelier and there were beautifully decorated round tables on the edges of the room.

The ticket price was manageable, and a few tickets had gone out free for radio promotions and the like.

Luckily for the undead, the decor did not include wall-to-wall mirrors, though there were a few on the high ceiling.

In various corners, Vegas performance artists entertained to ooohs and aaahs. For instance, there was a man eating a gleaming sword in the corner.

Thread: Open to Anyone
brian_campo: (Default)
[personal profile] brian_campo
Around the time of the holidays, it was common to come across musicians on the city sidewalks. They brought guitars, harmonicas, violins, any instrument small enough to be hauled outdoors and played for tourists, who tossed cash and coin into upturned hats or plush, upholstered cases. Tonight, a clever trio of flutists had stationed themselves near a hot chocolate street vendor, where people enjoying their drinks might be tempted to sit and listen for a while.

Brian sat on a low, concrete wall and listened. His butt was cold and numb. His hands warmed themselves on a Styrofoam cup. It was his work break, and he was claustrophobic enough to take this short walk from Tracks and listen. He knew one of the musicians, a girl named Kacy who was in the music program at UNLV.

He blew on his chapping hands and turned his head to watch the oncoming foot traffic. His coat was pulled up around his neck, but he hadn’t brought a hat and his ears were freezing. The steam from the hot chocolate made his nose threaten to run. He was thinking about getting another tattoo, and his mind drifted to that idea.

[Thread: Open to Anyone]
brian_campo: (dubious)
[personal profile] brian_campo
One at a time, Brian shook the nervous energy from his legs.

He stood on the end of a playground slide in one of the city’s public parks. It wasn’t like the places he spent his hours as a kid. There were low acacia and western hackberry trees instead of towering oaks, and the equipment was here was newer. No need to worry about updated tetanus shots. The park was empty except for a nanny caring for a set of twins dressed in too many layers. They bounced up and down on a teeter-totter.

Brian watched for a minute and then turned away. He didn’t want to look like a creep.

His shoes slipped a little as he walked up the incline and climbed over the bar. From up there, he had a view of the swings. Brian thought about his ultimate goal as a kid: to swing so high, he flipped over the bar. He had spent hours in relentless pursuit of it, kicking off the ground and pumping his skinny legs until one day, a chain broke. He wound up flat on his back in the dirt.

Seemed about right.

He flexed his fingers in the wrist splint. It was too tight.

brian_campo: (mountain)
[personal profile] brian_campo
‘Call Angie’

The ink had all but faded from Brian’s palm when he ducked into a phone booth on Desert Inn Road and fed it enough quarters to dial the east coast. Through the Plexiglas enclosure, the illuminated cross outside the Guardian Angel Cathedral looked grimy, even worse than usual. The churches in this part of the country were tacky, he thought. They had never inspired him to greatness; they sure as hell didn’t make him feel forgiven for whatever fucked up thing he’d done the night before. They were like tourist traps without the gift shop. He traced a tag someone had drawn in permanent marker, the shape triangular and open, an ‘A’ that mimicked the sanctuary, and pressed his boot into a flattened mound of gum on the sidewalk.

A girl’s voice picked up. ‘Hello?’

“Guess who?” he asked.

Angela turned eight years old today. There was a slumber party. It was unicorn themed. In the background, he heard laughter and a movie playing on the VCR, which sounded like the NeverEnding Story. It was almost eleven o’clock back home. That living room and its inhabitants felt about a million miles away. Brian stuck his fingers in his pocket and sorted through the rest of his change while his kid sister talked about chocolate cake with purple icing, a new set of rollerskates, and plans to hide Heather’s underpants in the freezer.
whistlersmum: (Default)
[personal profile] whistlersmum
'May the drive-in never die', Whistler thought to himself.

It was just past dusk, and The Blob was about to ooze itself across the outdoor screen. He'd hooked the speaker inside-out on the Impala's driver-side window, so the audio would project outward. He rested against the windshield, shoes off so as to not scuff the new paint on the hood. It'd cost him enough to get out of the impound and repaired. He wasn't about to cause any more damage.

A cooler full of beer sat on the roof of the car, an open can to his right. A jumbo bag of popcorn rested on his lap.

This took him back. The Globe in England; the Colliseum in Rome; watching Oedipus Rex in the original Greek. But nothing compared to a good old-fashioned drive-in theater.

And Steve McQueen. No one could touch him. Not even Olivier.

(Open to anyone.)

brian_campo: (sunlight)
[personal profile] brian_campo
The moment the final note of music faded from the sound system, Brian tugged his earphones off his head and dropped them carelessly on the synthesizer. For once, he was grateful that his band wasn’t popular enough for an encore. On many nights, he had gotten the short end of the stick when one of his band mates ditched after the show and left Brian to pack up their gear. Time to turn the tables. In fact, it was long overdue. “Mads...” He pulled a mic off its stand, swung it by the cord, and sent it sailing in an arc toward the brunette’s personal space.

She caught it. “Watch it!”

“Later, I’m out.”

‘Wait, what--?’

Too late, Brian thought. He shouldered past Seth like a shoplifter making a break for it and hit the ramp at a jog. Thump, thump, thump. He nudged through a throng of other musicians and regulars to creep up behind the petite blonde with the incredible body. He snaked his arms around her waist and raised her off the ground. “Hey, beautiful,” was muffled against her neck, and they were turning, turning, the room going ‘round and ‘round, the lights streaking purple and blue and neon orange. Brian’s shirt was drenched in sweat. He felt as rubbery and loose as a piece of stretched taffy.
brian_campo: (roof)
[personal profile] brian_campo
The Fraying Nerves had another twenty minutes or so until their set, so a couple of the band members hung out behind the stage, a little off to the side, where they could see the crowd. Maddy sat down on a guitar case and picked at her fingernail polish. Brian noted that the case wasn’t hers, but didn’t care enough to point it out and start an argument, because he was pretty sure the brunette had PMS. He flexed his fingers and sat over a low wall that separated the crowd from the staging area, swinging his feet.

[Thread: Open to anyone]



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