☦Fifthism manifests through Constellation Starfish.☦
Rosa walked up the sun-baked asphalt driveway to the front door. The little pink bungalow was not much more than peeling paint, chipped nautilus and Neptune statues reigning over the fire ants in Brook’s patchwork grass-dirt lawn. Rosa couldn’t remember it ever looking any different. She hit the doorbell and the faint ding-dong could be heard on the other side. After some time, no sound of footsteps, no shuffling. She itched her head and paced the threshold.
Under the rug, huh?
She blinked, took a deep breath, and looked down. The novelty doormat instructed her to COME BACK WITH A WARRANT.
She bent down, peeled back the doormat and reached for the key. Brook kept it there in case of emergencies (but usually forgetfulness). Rosa sprung up and creaked the door open only to meet Brook's scrutinizing gaze, head atilt.
“Breaking and entering isn’t your style, flower girl,” Brook said, more than lightly punching wide-eyed Rosa in the arm.
“Hey quit it! Let me in, it’s hot!”
Brook wiped her nose with the back of her hand. “Okay, but take off your shoes.”
“I don’t have any shoes.”
Brook rolled her eyes and shook her head, motioning for her to come inside. “What’s up? Doesn’t anyone ever use the phone?”
Brook glanced at the tambourine sticking out of her backpack. “Where are the guys? Who ever heard of a two girl drum and tambourine outfit?”
“Actually,” started Rosa, “there’s a really cool group in Sea—”
“Okay stop. Come inside.”
“I have a surprise for you,” said Brook as she rummaged through a carboard box.
“Really? What is it?” Rosa said, edging in to get a better look.
“Actually it’s not for you, it’s for the fans. T Shirts. Got them printed shit cheap. You like the starfish on the front?”
“I love it! Oh umm, but I think you’ll have to end up giving me one eventually,” Rosa said, pressing her fingers together. “I don’t think we’ll sell a lot of them. Are you sure we have fans?”
Brook snorted. “Of course we have fans! Don’t you check the Myspace page?” Brook walked over to her still open laptop. “Look there. 146 fans, and better yet, check them out. Most of them have songs playing on their pages, our songs.”
“Wow,” Rosa said, clicking on a random bald headed old man’s avatar. “And all sorts of fans too.” She clicked on another page, a plain looking middle-aged woman. “Hmm, a lot of them seem to like ‘You and Me’. I’m surprised Old Chilly isn’t more popular…” she said softly, a pursed smile aimed at Brook.
Brook rolled her eyes. “Who knows. People like cheesy-ass love songs. All I know is the shirts will sell. The CD's too. The fans we do have are crazy about us.”
Rosa clicked on another page, a teenager a few years younger than her. “Wow, this guy has a lot of pictures of me… What does that word mean?”
Brook snapped the laptop down and cleared her throat. “Nothing. Like I said, they really like us.”
“Hmm,” said Rosa. “Do you have water? I’ve been really thirsty lately.”
“No, I have a fuckload of Mountain Dew though,” Brook said, sitting on the floor to adjust something on her drum kit, which looked a lot more expensive than her house.
“No, I just want water.”
“Why, are you on a diet? You’re already thin as a rake.”
“Nooo… I don’t know. I just really drink a lot of water lately. Maybe it’s hot?”
“Now that you mention it, I could use a glass myself. There’s a working sink in the bathroom if you’re thirsty.” Brook got up and walked toward the bathroom.
Rosa squinted at Brook as she put her head between the basin and the faucet and let it rip. “A working sink in the bathroom? Really? You don’t have a functioning kitchen sink?”
“Wow,” Brook said, gasping, “Calm down, fancy pants. We can stop by the gas station if you want real water.”
Clyde showed up a little while later on his motorcycle and knocked on their door.
“I’m here!” he shouted, adjusting glasses.
Brook opened the door quickly. “Where’s Morgan?”
“Him and Umiko are coming in the van. They’re a bit late though. Apparently they got stopped at the mall by a few girls…” Clyde flipped open his phone and recited a text message. “Umiko, Four Fifty Eight AM; Quote, Will you take us to outer space with you. End quote. Hyphen, her name is Lola, L.O.L.”.
Brook turned her head to Rosa. “Told you they’re crazy.”
“Yeah,” Clyde repeated, hoisting his guitar over the girls and through the doorway. “It seems we have a bit of a cult following.”
“4:58? They should be here by now.”
Just as she said this, a heavily rusted Volkswagen tilted into the driveway, puttering up the hill, half of Umiko’s very a large frame sticking out of the driver’s side window.
“Miss Rosy!” he said, holding a water bottle out. “Fancy water!”
“What does he do again?” Brook muttered.
“I think he’s our dealer but I forget,” answered Clyde absently.
Umiko and Morgan stepped out. Umiko had a 10 gallon water cooler — which probably wasn’t full of fancy water — and Morgan was holding a notebook.
“Well, looks like everyone’s all here. Let’s get this started.”
“What’s cooler than cool?” sang Morgan.
“Cold!” chimed Rosa.
“What deader than dead?” rang Umiko.
“Probably worse.” said Clyde, plainly.
“I just wanna stay in bed!” barked Brook.
Or you could do this instead
Make your way out to the sea
Stay a while there with me
And meet the voices in your head
I’ve traveled oh so far
From the hills to the ocean
And we are set in motion
By a near but distant star
Can’t you see you’re a part of me?
We could be happy as can be
Makes no difference how it seems
To them or they or old timestreams
I just wanted you to know
That if palm trees sway and white water rolls
We’ll melt together and form a shoal
Far from this old freak show
“Me and you we’ve come so far, before the dark there were other stars—”
“Break,” Morgan said, coughing, interrupting Umiko.
“Hey, you know the words Umiko? This is a new song! You’ve never heard us do this one,” said Rosa.
“I…” Umiko said, looking at them all hesitantly. They were right, he had never heard this song before.
“Sorry…” said Umiko, looking down to the floor. “I looked.” The giant scratched the back of his head.
Morgan laughed. “It’s alright! I leave it right there anyway. It’s no secret,” he said, looking at his notebook. “Now where were we?”
Me and you we’ve come so far
Before the dark, on another star
Way out past Neptune and Mars
And things that live behind those bars
There’s no need to go back to
Everything can be brand new
We’ll paint the sky a different hue
Pink or purple, technicolor
/And make old blue seem like squalor
Because the sun is now a big sand dollar
Or we can all go to sleep
And meet our mother in the deep
And all our brothers too
“I wouldn’t mind something new. So if you want me that’s where I’ll be, underwater, turning slowly. Dark and sound and lowly. I’d love to meet you there too, underneath that ocean blue.”
“I’ve never heard that before, who’s that?” Justine asked, lighting a cigarette.
“Haha, I like to make things up,” said Lola. “Want to go to that concert later? I hear John P and the Eruptions are going to be playing after that one band, I forget the name.”
“Oh. Yeah, sure.”