The Epic of Sidewinder
Author's note: I got the idea for Tabasco from a character I made on Guitar Hero, and the story just evolved... Show full author's note »
The drummer, a young man of about sixteen who was large and bald, began the tribal-like drum intro to the Disturbed song “Down With the Sickness.” The rest of the four-person band joined in when they were supposed to, the singer coming in last. The next evening, the bassist, a young black man of seventeen, played the opening bass line to “Feel Good, Inc.” Next evening, the singer began the practice session with the chorus of “Bawitdaba.” Finally, on the fourth night, the guitarist, a young woman also of seventeen, started the song “Barracuda.” Later, as the band finished playing their original song “Epic Phail,” she went into a slow solo, but it fit perfectly with the song. As she let the music play itself, she memorized where her fingers were hitting so she could do it again. Finally, she strummed the final chord and let it fade.
The rest of the band applauded, and she gave them a little bow.
“Thank you, thank you, you’re far too kind!” she declared as the band continued to clap.
Michael, the bassist shouted, “Damn, girl, where’d you learn to play like that?”
The drummer, Cliff, started to chant, “Tabasco! Tabasco! Tabasco!”
Michael and the singer, Zac, joined in, all three shouting, “Tabasco! Tabasco!”
“Aw, shut up you morons!” Tabasco groaned, shaking her head, but she was smiling. Her watch beeped, and Tabasco declared, “Sorry guys, but I gotta go!” She gently placed her Gibson Flying V in its case, picked it up, and left.
Tabasco strutted down the street in all her God-given glory. She stood about five-foot-six with a kind face and medium-length brown hair. She always wore her glasses and a cowgirl hat. And it was constantly a mission to show off her body a little bit. This night, she wore a tight tank-top that showed off a bit of her chest, but left just enough to the imagination. What was showing was a tattoo of a dark purple heart with stitches on it and some barbed wire around it just above the neckline of the tank-top. Her skinny jeans showed off her wide hips, which were swinging slightly since Tabasco knew the kids paid other kids to film her walking, so she gave them their moneys worth.
Tabasco pulled open the door to her house and walked in, declaring, “Ma! I’m home!”
“Dinner in five, Suzette!” her Ma replied from the kitchen. Her Ma was the only person Tabasco let call her by her given name. If anyone else called her Suzette, she’d have to ask the music shop how to get blood off of a guitar.
Since she had time, Tabasco went into the small living room, got her guitar back out, sat on the couch, and practiced the new “Epic Phail” solo, and fixed the rest of the song to fit it. Just after she finished the solo a third time, her Ma called, “Dinner!”
Before Tabasco could even move, two blurs sped past her to the table. Tabasco rolled her eyes at her twin siblings, Ryan and Alexandra. Tabasco called them Salt and Pepper, respectively, since Ryan was rather pale with their fathers blond hair and Alex had a lot of freckles with their Ma’s brown hair. Tabasco set the guitar down and walked into the dining room.
On the table was a small stack of fast-food burgers with a bowl of green beans, an attempt to be healthy and really only there to give their ma the illusion the she had put some effort into the dinner.
Tabasco sat at the foot of the small table, grabbed two burgers, and spooned some green beans onto her plate. As she ate, the twins told their Ma all about their day at school. After they finished, their Ma asked, “Suzette, how was your school day?”
Tabasco shrugged, then finished chewing that mouthful of food. “Not too bad. Got a B on my math test,” Tabasco replied.
“Good job! Anything else interesting happen?”
“Well, Jason wants me to call him tonight.”
The twins made gagging noises since true romance still grossed them out, but their Ma, who was more up to date on matters, asked, “Are you going to?”
Tabasco snorted. “Why would I call that dumbass?”
Their Ma choked on a bit of green bean and coughed it out into a napkin. “Suzette, I will not have you swearing in front of your ten year old siblings!” she scolded.
“She does it all the time, Ma!” Salt declared, smiling.
“Yeah, she always says damn and ass and-” Pepper added.
“STOP!” their Ma shouted. The twins quieted immediately. She took a deep breath, then added, “I don’t want anyone here saying any of those bad words, okay?”
“Yes, Ma…” the three children chorused.
They went on eating and lightly chatting about various things, and finally, dinner was over. To prevent a repeat of that, Tabasco grabbed her guitar and went upstairs to her room, mentally deciding to stop swearing…at least at home. Their Ma had enough problems to deal with working two jobs. They weren’t in debt or anything, but their Ma wanted to make sure they had some extra cash, especially since Salt would be starting Little League this year, and Pepper was to start piano lessons in a month, right where Tabasco had begun her musical journey eight years ago. How she had hated the piano. But she had taught Pepper a few of the songs she knew, and Pepper had memorized them in seconds. The funniest part (to Tabasco) was that the last member of their family who had had any musical talent had fought in the Civil War (she still could not remember where she had heard that).
Upon reaching her room, Tabasco turned on her CD player and sat down to play along with it. One of the solos was giving her trouble, so instead of getting frustrated, Tabasco hung the guitar on its wall-hanger and picked her ESP Phoenix-II Bass up off of its stand. She switched CDs and played bass along with that one. Three CDs later, Tabasco put the bass back, took her hat and glasses off, then went to bed.