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Sawyer, You're Going out a Youngster; Open
Topic Started: Feb 15 2017, 06:08 PM (720 Views)
Cicada Nights
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me_irl
[ *  *  * ]
"That's true," Paris nodded. "The only problem is that if they have to keep it going for too long past the expected end time the audience might really shrink." He shook his head, "that wouldn't be fun for the people who happened to sign up for later slots."

He shrugged.

"Well it's whatever. I'll sing shorter if I have to, so thanks for the advice!" He smiled with a gracious nod. Sophie's demeanor sort of reminded Paris of that one girl he sometimes texted when he was bored who really liked it when he put spaces between the letters of his words, for some reason he didn't know. They were both reliable. Cool girls, and that sort of thing.

"I really appreciate it. Do you think you'll be able to stay the whole time?"
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Laurels
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Sophie nodded as Paris explained why staying late might not be a good thing. That would be upsetting for the people later on the playlist, but maybe there would be a dedicated crowd.

"I'd stay until the end," Sophie said. "I mean, if these people are gonna show me the respect I deserve when I perform, it's only fair I show them the same courtesy. Besides, I don't have anything to get up for tomorrow morning."

Sophie was going to continue to speak when a the manager of the coffee shop took to the stage.

"Attention, we're now going to start the open mic night," he said.

He looked at the sign up sheet in his hands.

"First up, please welcome to the stage...Sophie McDowell."

Sophie perked up.

"Oh, that's me," she said to Paris.

Sophie reached down and picked up her guitar case.

"Wish me luck."
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"Bible study, for me." Paris said that in a sort of response thing when Sophie mentioned not having something to get up for the next morning. Then suddenly the manager had announced open mic had begun. And then Sophie looked happy, probably because she was going up there first. Paris nodded to himself.

"Good luck, Mister Armstrong. You're gonna do a great job."

She was gone for a bit, doing her thing whatever that happened to be. While time passed he glanced at a phone that came from his pocket, then up at her at the right time to catch her eye so she didn't see him not watching her.

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Espi
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((Nate Chauncey continued from Unstoppable Force, Immovable Object))

The open mic night at the coffee shop was another reason to visit. She came here sporadically, but lately it felt like she'd been here a lot. It was a nice time for Nate to demonstrate her guitar playing and lyrical prowess and get some feedback.

Well, most of the feedback was less than positive, but Nate felt it helped nonetheless. Besides, she enjoyed herself, even if it was rarely a spectacular performance.

There were occasionally classmates here, and as Nate watched one of them step up to the stage, she noted another boy standing near the table Nate was seated at. He seemingly hadn't noticed her yet, but Nate didn't doubt he'd be friendly if he did.

She continued editing her lyrics in on the scrap of paper she'd written them on. It was decent prose, she thought, but then again, other people didn't seem especially fond of her style. Too bad.
TV2: Died, Didn't Do


SC2: Attempt Number Deux
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Sophie smiled at Paris and his "Mr. Armstrong" comment. She'd have to be sure to call him "Ms. Fitzgerald" when it was her turn. He'd probably find it funny, and it might become a funny inside joke between the two of them. That thought boosted her spirits as she made her way to the stage.

Sophie set her case down and pulled out her guitar. She approached the microphone as she slipped the guitar over her shoulder.

"Thank you, thank you," she said into the mic. "I'm so happy to be here tonight."

Sophie pulled the nearby stool up and planted herself on it. She crossed her legs and cleared her throat. She began to pluck the first few chords of the song.

"I hope you're all ready to have a sweet dream with me tonight," she said, continuing to play the first few bars of the song. "Here's something from Big Mama Cass."

She smiled at the crowd, giving a short wink to Paris. Then, she began to sing.

Stars shining bright above you.
Night breezes seem to whisper "I love you."
Birds singing in the Sycamore Tree:
"Dream a little dream of me."

Say "Nighty-night" and kiss me.
Just hold me tight and tell me you'll miss me.
While I'm alone and blue as can be,
dream a little dream of me.
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Paris winked back, with a smirk and a thumbs up. Then he silently hummed the first few lines with a bit of a delay as she began to sing. She sung 'of me' and Paris sung 'little dream'. Polyphony, that was the term for it. Then Paris slowed down more and his singing tapered off.

Sophie sounded nice, Paris mused. Then his eyes began to wander away from the stage as she meandered through her verses. While he searched the room he noticed a familiar face of some sort. Her name was Nate, if he recalled. An odd sort of girl who was quiet and difficult to talk to, almost. He liked her though, because it was also easy to talk to her in a sense. It might have been months since they'd last spoken.

He was a bit curious about her now that he thought about it.

He stood up from the table, and carried his guitar case with him. He walked close to Nate, close enough to be standing right over her. But he didn't look at her, or say anything. He went back to watching Sophie instead.
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Espi
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The boy approached, but Nate was surprised by his silence. He simply stood above her, watching the performance. It honestly seemed a little odd to Nate, to just walk up to someone and say nothing. At least Nate kept her quietude to herself.

Still, he wasn't hurting her feelings or anything. No harm, no foul. She didn't intend to strike up a chat with him, of course, but there were myriad explanations for his behavior with perfectly innocuous motives. For all Nate knew, he just needed a better view of the girl on stage.

The current performer was probably quite good, but Nate was only partly paying attention, instead furiously scribbling thick lines and deft letters onto the scrap of paper that she was trying to write the rest of her song on.

The pen suddenly slipped from her fingers as Nate turned to look up at the girl on stage. Nate frowned, and bent over to pick it up. However, this caused the paper to slip off the table and gently glide under the adjacent table, where what appeared to be a couple were seated watching the performance.

Darn.
TV2: Died, Didn't Do


SC2: Attempt Number Deux
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Stars fading but I linger on dear
Still craving your kiss
I'm longing to linger till dawn dear
Just saying this

Sweet dreams, till sunbeams find you
Gotta keep dreaming leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
You gotta make me a promise, promise to me
You'll dream, dream a little of me


Sophie strummed the last chord of the song, then paused. The audience was clapping for her performance, which made her crack a smile. She knew the Sweet Bay crowd was generally friendly during its open mic nights, but she was still relieved to know they liked her performance.

"Thank you, thank you," she said into the mic.

She began to strum the first few notes of her next song.

"Why don't we keep this going with another Mamas and Papas classic. This is California Dreaming."

Sophie played a few more notes, then began to sing.

All the leaves are brown
And the sky is grey
I've been for a walk
On a winter's day
I'd be safe and warm
If I was in L.A.
California dreamin'
On such a winter's day
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Paris stood there and the both of them were silent. Silent was the exact thing both of them had been the last time they'd met, but that time Paris had initially been speaking until he had stopped. Nate had been equally quiet from start to finish. Paris then realized that it all made sense. It was the way Nate was, and that was cool.

Paris almost forgot Sophie until he heard the familiar tune of the final chorus. So he waited for her to be done and then he clapped as much as anyone else in the bar did. He didn't clap longer, and he also promptly missed on Sophie saying something or another and then playing and singing more. That was because Nate had dropped her paper in the process of dropping her pen.

He went to the next table to pick it up without another word. No one said anything, and then he was face to face with the man of the couple sitting there. He didn't actually need to bend down to pick up the paper, he just needed to try a few times. Make the motion, and then the dude would also make the motion, and then there would be embarrassed smiles. Eventually after all of that was over with the other person would actually get the thing. Paris was always sure to nod gratefully after that part.

He returned the paper to Nate while some nice soothing sound of some vocals diffused into the background. But he still didn't feel the need to say anything, and he wondered if she'd feel the same. He was pretty sure she wouldn't, probably not even a thanks.
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Espi
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Just as Nate was about to resign herself to getting up and scrounging for the paper, the boy she'd noticed before moved and, with the aid of another guy, grabbed it before she stood. Nate was surprised; it wasn't that it was improbable, but she hadn't expected him to help her out like that when he didn't even know her.

How odd.

When he returned the paper, Nate took it back and looked it over, inspecting it for smears from water on the floor or crumpling. Luckily, it seemed mostly intact. She looked up at the boy, and gave a small smile.

"Thanks." She said, a bit quietly given the music in the background, but hopefully still audible.
TV2: Died, Didn't Do


SC2: Attempt Number Deux
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Stopped into a church
I passed along the way
Well, I got down on my knees
And I pretend to pray
You know the preacher like the cold
He knows I'm gonna stay

California dreamin'
On such a winter's day


Sophie continued to strum along. She never thought about how morose the song was until now. Granted, it's about thinking of better times in a dark period, but she never really thought about it that much. It just made her think of how nice California would be.

But she was getting to the end of California Dreamin', so she needed to kill it.

All the leaves are brown
And the sky is grey
I've been for a walk
On a winter's day
If I didn't tell her
I could leave today

California dreamin'
On such a winter's day
On such a winter's day
On such a winter's day


Sophie played the last few notes and waited as the audience cheered. She hopped off the stool and bowed to the crowd a few times, flashing a big smile. She then stepped off the stage as the emcee began to introduce the next performer.

She walked over to where Paris was. There was another girl there that Sophie was sure she saw in school.

"How was that?"
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Oh she'd said some thanks after all. Paris thought that was pretty cool and interesting, and then a second later he thought of something else. He thought of her expression being pretty nice and easy on the eyes.

"You have a nice smile."

Then he thought of something else, that Sophie was continuing to strum. C sharp minor, Paris was positive so that's definitely what Sophie was playing. She was doing a really good job, so Paris allowed himself to be compelled to follow along the song the way he knew how. The harmonized vocal dubs that echoed the main parts were what he chose to sing quietly to himself. He held the words 'California Dreamin' as many times as Sophie repeated 'On such a winter's day', up until the last one where he harmonized with her.

The he clapped with the rest of the crowd, powerfully raising his arms over his head and pumping them. Huzzah. Paris kept on clapping ferociously, getting a little quieter and quieter, until Sophie was next to them and then he stopped.

"It was awesome, Sophie."

He then remembered that he already knew that he hadn't actually signed up for any slots. He'd already performed a few days ago and he remembered nobody from school had been around. Today he'd wanted to hear Sophie and he didn't really want to hear the rest of the people.

"Oh, but I realize I promised my Ma I'd meet her in a bit. I think I should bounce, Mister Armstrong." Paris then remembered something interesting. "What did you think of Sophie's performance, Nate? Have you two already met?" Paris insistently gestured for Sophie to look Nate's way, and also gestured at an empty chair right by Nate. "Have fun with the rest of the performance, you two!"

And he kept his guitar case right by his side as he scooted away and out of there. He didn't know where he was going next, but he'd probably meet some more friends or something like that.

((Paris Ardennes continued in The Trees and the Bramble))
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Espi
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He complimented her. That was unexpected, as well. With her rat's nest of dark hair and bony features, she never really thought of herself as 'attractive'. She supposed this was a fairly innocuous comment; he was simply saying something nice about her for its own sake.

Still. Maybe he had a point.

And just like that the performance was over. Nate hastily clapped for the singer, only to see the girl approaching the table. Sophie, the guy said. She had done a good job, though Nate hadn't heard very much given the circumstances down on the floor.

"You're good." Nate said simply, with a slight complimentary uplift she thought was appropriate. The young man had gone off somewhere, something about his mother. Nate looked at the empty chair, and then back to Sophie. Not judgingly, simply curious. Did the other girl want to sit with her?

Then they called her name. She was next, apparently. Nate stood up, gathered her things and nodded politely at Sophie before making her way to the microphone.

Standing in front of it, Nate looked out into the crowd. "Hi. I'm Nate. I wrote this song, so enjoy I guess." She probably sounded a little robotic, but hopefully that would be absolved during the performance.

So she performed.

---

And it was awful.

The applause was polite and friendly, but judging from the expressions, most of the crowd didn't seem to have enjoyed the performance. It was a twofold trouble; Nate's guitar playing was, politely, unrefined. She missed a lot of notes and kept playing off-key, making it sound like a jumble of random noises.

Perhaps it was also the lyrics; the references to 'Finnegan's Wake' were perhaps a bit too obscure for the average attendee. Especially given that the majority of the novel was incomprehensible babble without access to a truckload of languages and other resources.

All in all, in the words of one commenter, 'Well, she has a lovely voice, but she probably should take some guitar lessons.' Nate heard this comment, whispered though it was, and shrugged. It was true, frankly. She didn't like to deceive herself; she was learning, on her own, and eventually she'd do quite well.

Oh, well. A typical performance, really.

((Nate Chauncey continued in Splatter Job))
TV2: Died, Didn't Do


SC2: Attempt Number Deux
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"Oh, uh, bye!" Sophie said to Paris as he left.

She was surprised he was going to leave without performing. Sophie wondered how he could forget he scheduled a meeting with his mother and planned to perform at an open mic. She figured it probably happens to everyone, but probably only in the most bizarre circumstances. She was prepared to let it go and talk to Nate.

However, it was Nate's turn, so she was heading up. Sophie smiled, eager to hear what Nate brought to the coffee shop that night.

It didn't go that well. Nate tried to play original songs, but messed up a lot. Sophie didn't know what else to do but smile and hope that Nate could power through it. It didn't look like she could. She still applauded when Nate finished.

Sophie took another sip of tea. Perhaps Nate could look back at this and laugh someday. Either way, there was more music to listen to, so Sophie wouldn't dwell on it, and she hoped Nate wouldn't either.

((Sophie McDowell continued elsewhere))
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