Starbound 20

The atmosphere was warm and friendly around the barbecue on a large patio at Richard Silver’s country home. Delicious hamburgers and spicy sausages were cooked to perfection by Rachel Horowitz with some help from Sylvia Volkov. There was a choice of normal hamburger and hotdog buns, rye bread or pita to cater to every preference.

Quiet, comfortable chatting was going on among the guests in lawn chairs and around the umbrella table. The sun was still high although turning a warm orange colour as it slowly floated toward the western horizon. The air was rich with the fragrance of fresh mown hay from Richard’s hundred acre pasture. Bernie Cohen was unusually relaxed compared to his usual histrionics as manager and agent for The Bitches. Richard Silver was slightly suspicious about his calm demeanor.

Sylvia chatted with Richard while Rachel barbecued. Bernie was discussing the next tour, the first with the new lead singer, whoever that would be. Bernie had a suspiciously sly look as he spoke these last words. Even Sylvia, watching over Richard’s shoulder, could see that some kind of confrontation was waiting in the wings to burst out. After everyone was sated, full of meat, wine and beer, Richard suggested they all stroll over to the studio and get down to business.

“Without Sateen out front,” Richard said, “we’re going to need a special sound to keep our audience and attract more of them.”

“I wouldn’t worry about that,” Bernie said. Richard stopped what he was doing and looked hard at Bernie. Even though Bernie was his boss, Richard didn’t take any crap from anybody.

“What’s up your sleeve, Bernie?” said Richard.

“I just think it’s gonna be easier than you think to replace Sateen,” said Bernie.

“It sounds like you have someone in mind,” Rachel said.

“I have, I have,” said Bernie happily. He bit off the end of a fresh cigar, spit it out and popped the cigar into his mouth.

“When are we going to audition her?” Sylvia said.

“When the time is right,” Bernie said.

“Well the time is right at this moment, for this audition,” said Richard.

Sylvia left the control room and went into the studio on the other side of the glass. She shed her clothes so that she was in a skin-tight black sequined teddy when Richard started the music. Sylvia began her spellbinding movements that oozed sensuality and vulnerability. She had become the second most important member of The Bitches except for Sateen, just because of her magical and original dance style.

“I know she can dance, Dick,” said Bernie. “We need a vocalist now.”

Sylvia slowed her movements to an undulating walk, approached a microphone and began to sing.

Some of us have everything we need,
Some of us have more than we need,
Some of us have not enough to eat,
Some of us have no hope no more.

Everybody knows the right answer,
Some don’t want to hear the question,
Everybody wants all lives to be good,
Except for the people who want it all.

The song went on and the sound that engulfed the control room was as magical as Sylvia’s dancing. Richard’s manipulations and enhancements of Sylvia’s voice gave her a most desirable sound.

“That’s just what I expected,” Bernie said. “What kind of manager would I be if I didn’t know what you kids were doing out here during the break? I’ve been getting feedback from my spies and I knew you struck gold with Sylvia and already have the promotions in preparation.” He turned to Sylvia, “And you, my little Golden Goose are being presented as Sylvie Voltaire, okay?”

“Just like that,” said Rachel. ”Sylvia’s the lead artist in The Bitches! That’s so cool.”

They sat around the control room and passed several joints around. Richard had taken them out of a compartment on the underside of the control panel. Before long all of them were feeling happy and acting silly. Everyone decided to spend the night at Richard’s house. There were plenty of bedrooms.

Rachel spent the night with Bernie, teaching him some delightful tricks that were new to him. The black backup girls enjoyed their own threesome and Sylvia spent the night making love with Richard. All was well with the world.

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