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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 »
Author's note: I got the idea for Tabasco from a character I made on Guitar Hero, and the story just evolved from that. Also, her little lesbian run with Diane, she wanted to do that. Tabasco "told" me what to write.  « Hide author's note
Chapters:   « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 8 Next »

First Verse

First Verse
The next morning, Tabasco woke up at nine o’ clock, when she always woke up for work on a Saturday. But that was just part of the ruse. She even put on the “uniform” for the music shop she worked for on over her usual clothes. She left, locked the door behind her, climbed into the old truck she had gotten last year, and drove over to Zac’s house, where Cliff was waiting in an old Volkswagen van. She parked her truck, got out, and got into the van. As the van drove out of the cul-de-sac, Tabasco shed the uniform shirt (revealing another red tank-top), then looked at Zac and Michael.
“What’re you guys doing here?” she asked.
Michael replied first, saying, “If you’re gonna play piano for the band, we need to make sure you get a good one.”
Tabasco threw an empty Coke bottle at him and looked at Zac. “How ‘bout you?” she asked, another Coke bottle already in hand.
Zac held up his hands up in mock surrender. He said, “Hey, Salt and Pepper may as well be my siblings too, so I thought I’d tag along and maybe help you pay.”
“Aw, how sweet,” Tabasco crooned, then threw the bottle at him. “Except I already paid for Pepper’s and Salt’s is cheap!”
Tabasco started to throw all the other trash and paraphernalia at Zac until Cliff shouted, “Hello, guy who got his license a week ago trying to drive here!”
“Sorry!” Tabasco said, then chucked one final bottle at Zac. After a few minutes of driving, Cliff pulled into a parking space in front of Note-Worthy Music Shop. The four teens clambered out of the van and strolled into the music shop.
As Zac pushed the door open, a few little bells dinged, and from a corner of the store came the words, “I’ll be with you in a minute!”
“Take your time, Lily!” Michael shouted back.
“Oh great, it’s you guys,” Lily groaned, strolling out from behind a sheet-music display. She was the same height as Tabasco and had a similar build, but she wore baggier clothes. She was pale with black hair mixed with purple stripes that barely reached her shoulders. She was almost twenty, but remained good friends with Tabasco and her band, Sidewinder. She was also a fan, and owned one of the six Sidewinder demo CDs in existence.
“So, how can I help you?” Lily asked.
“I’m here to pick up Pepper’s present,” Tabasco replied.
Lily sighed. “Can you give me a hand, you picked the heaviest damn keyboard in the entire store.”
Tabasco rolled her eyes. “Fine…”
A few minutes later, Lily and Tabasco managed to get the keyboard into the van, with little to no help from the guys.
As they climbed back into the van, Lily said, “Tell them I said happy birthday!”
“You got it!” Tabasco shouted out of a window. The van started to back up, when all of a sudden it jerked to a stop, accompanied by the sound of metal and plastic cracking. The teens climbed out and went around back to find the passenger side of the rear bumper connected to the front bumper of a red truck.
While Cliff was Muttering, “Dammit,” over and over again, the other three went to talk to the other driver. The door of the truck opened and an older man, late forties or early fifties, stepped out. He smiled at the teens, then moved to survey the damage.
“Ah, it ain’t that bad,” he mumbled, smiling a little. He turned back to the teens and smiled. “Y’all alright?”
“Yeah,” the teens replied, nodding.
“What about him?” he asked, pointing at Cliff.
“Doubt it, since this is his van,” Tabasco added.
The man nodded, then walked over to Cliff and began to talk to him in hushed tones. Zac whispered to the other two, “Think he’ll press charges or anything?”
“God, I hope not, Dave’ll kill Cliff…” Tabasco observed, referring to Cliff’s dad.
“Yeah, and then he’ll kill us for having him drive when he’s only been doing it a week,” Michael added. Zac and Tabasco nodded slowly. Dave wasn’t a bad guy, but he did have a crazy guy’s temper.
Just then the man walked back over to them with Cliff, both smiling.
“Well, since this here young man just got his license, I’ll let y’all go with a warnin’,” he said to them in mock seriousness. “Just be careful from now on, alright?”
“Yessir!” the teens replied, smiling and nodding.
“On one condition,” he added, holding up a finger. “My kids love y’all’s music, and I was hopin’ I might get a few autographs off o’ ya.”
Thusly, the band signed a piece of paper the man happened to have with him, and it looked very much like this:

They returned the paper, shook the man’s hand, and everybody left.

The van pulled into a parking spot at a local fast-food restaurant and the teens strolled in. They walked up to the counter and ordered some lunch, then sat down to eat it. As they ate, the group discussed what to get Salt since Tabasco’s original plan had failed. Many ideas had been dismissed when Tabasco sighed.
“I have one last idea, but it’s a little outside of my intended budget…” she muttered. She told the others the idea, and they agreed that it was a perfect idea, and that it could be fairly expensive. After a moment of silence, Cliff declared, “I’d be happy to chip in a little.”
“Yeah, me too,” Michael added.
“Aw, thanks guys,” Tabasco replied, smiling. The three teens turned to look at Zac. He rolled his eyes and said, “Fine, fine, I’ll help you pay…”
Tabasco made a face at Zac and said, “Who says I want your dirty money?” Then she smiled again and added, “C’mon, party’s in an hour, so we’d better head out now.”
Suddenly, Cliff made a face like he had just been kicked in the shin. He muttered, “Well, we’d better do it fast…”
“Why?” Michael asked.
Cliff pointed at the door. “‘Cause Jason just walked in.”
Zac looked towards the door and saw a tall, well-built teen walk in with a few friends and his arm wrapped around a girl’s shoulders. Zac frowned. “Yeah, that’s Jason…” he also muttered.
Tabasco groaned and hung her head, hoping Jason wouldn’t recognize her. But with someone whose appearance may as well have been trademarked, she was spotted right away.
Jason walked up to the table and said, “Hey Tabasco.”
“Hey,” she replied simply, avoiding his gaze.
“You didn’t call me last night, I just wanted to talk.”
Tabasco snorted. “Who’d want to call your dumbass self?” she snapped, enough venom in her tone to kill an elephant. Michael, who was sitting next to her, placed a hand on her shoulder to hold her back in case she exploded. But that wasn’t how Jason saw it.
He saw the movement and sneered. “So, like your meat on the dark side now?”
Tabasco’s fists clenched and her knuckles began to turn white. She started to shake a little, visibly restraining her anger. Michael also tensed at the slur, happy that his dreadlocks hid the look on his face. Cliff stood up and got between Jason and the table, easily dwarfing Jason’s small frame. “Back off…” Cliff said. He had known Tabasco longer than any of his other band mates, and even though he was a little younger than her, Cliff might as well be Tabasco’s older brother. And his appearance made him a very effective bodyguard.
Jason took a step back instinctively, then smirked. “Forgot how to fight for yourself, Taba-” he began, but was cut off when a fist connected with his left cheek, sending him reeling backwards.
Cliff had been pushed back into his seat and Tabasco stood where he had been standing, shaking the feeling back into her right hand. As Jason spit a tooth and some blood onto the floor, Tabasco chuckled, but stopped when she heard a girl scream, “You b****!”
The girl that had walked in with Jason, who Tabasco recognized as a cheerleader, ran up and slapped Tabasco on the cheek. When Tabasco’s head snapped to the side, the girl grabbed her hair and pulled.
A few things need to be understood about Tabasco. For one thing, she could care less about her hair. It was merely something on her head, and she much preferred her cowgirl hat. Secondly, she did not “fight like a girl.” Tabasco fought like a drunk biker you might see in a movie. If she has any advantage over her opponent, she’ll use it, by-god. And she hates losing.
When the cheerleader pulled on Tabasco’s hair, she had pulled down so that Tabasco was bent in half. Tabasco scowled and brought a fist up into the girl’s stomach. The girl released Tabasco’s hair and backed up, instinctively curling up to protect her stomach from further damage. Tabasco started forward, another fist drawn back, but a hand placed on her shoulder stopped her. She turned slightly to look at Cliff, who smiled softly and said, “Let’s not and say we did.”
Tabasco nodded, took a deep breath, then quickly walked out of the restaurant and got in to the van. Tabasco’s band mates apologized to the management for the disturbance, promising to give Tabasco a “stern talking-to.” Then the guys climbed into the van as well, and drove off to get Salt’s present.

Tabasco’s Ma stuck to a strict schedule when it came to birthday parties, so Sidewinder pulled into the driveway of Tabasco’s house just before one o’clock. As they strolled in through the door, the teens heard Tabasco’s Ma shout, “Time for presents!” The band mates carefully walked through the house, dodging the various decorations, and managed to get to the dining room, where the small army of fifth-graders stood around the table, watching Salt and Pepper tear the delicately wrapped presents open, which mostly consisted of movies, games, and toys. Once done with their friends’ gifts, the twins looked expectantly at the teens.
Tabasco smiled and gestured at the hallway, which was the signal for Cliff to walk in with the piano. He set it down on the table, the box having been hastily wrapped in the van. Written on the wrapping paper with a permanent marker were the words “TO: Pepper FROM: Sidewinder.” Pepper ripped off the paper and stared at the image of a keyboard printed onto the cardboard. She began to blabber thanks at the teens as Salt’s face slowly fell, wondering why he hadn’t gotten a present.
The doorbell rang. Following the plan, Tabasco declared, “We’ll get it!”, then walked towards the front of the house, Cliff and Michael close behind her. From the dining room, the party-goers heard the door open, followed by a hushed conversation. A moment or so later, Tabasco’s voice carried through the house, saying, “Hey Salt, c’mere a second!” Salt got up from his seat, a little confused but very curious, and went towards the front door. Another hushed conversation, then Salt exclaimed, “No way!”
The small crowd of elementary school kids leapt up and were all in the little entryway hardly a second later, gawking at Salt, who was standing next to a brand-new bike. No words were spoken, but within the next five seconds, all of the children were wheeling down the street on their bikes, Salt in a place of honor at the front.
“Well…” Tabasco’s Ma observed.
The band turned around to see Tabasco’s Ma leaning against a wall, a wrapped present in one hand. She continued, “That definitely topped all of the other presents. Way to go Suzette.” She pushed herself off of the wall, walked over, and held out the present to Tabasco. “Happy Birthday to you, Suzette.”
Even though she celebrated hers a day later, Tabasco in fact shared a birthday with her twin siblings. So, it if weren’t for the seven years’ difference, they would be triplets. Their Ma, ever the traditionalist, celebrated all three on the actual date, hence the present now.
Tabasco took the present and peeled the paper off, revealing a long, thin red box. She took the lid off and looked at what was inside.
A necklace. At first, Tabasco felt a little sad since she did not really like wearing jewelry (except for maybe an earring or four), but then she actually looked at the necklace. The chain was about as thick as a pencil and looked to be made of silver. Hanging from the center of the chain was an inch-wide metal circle with a highly polished, clear stone set into it. And, somehow, nestled inside that stone was a tiny replica of Tabasco’s Flying V.
Tabasco was left truly speechless, simply staring at the necklace with her mouth slightly open. To fill the silence, her Ma started to talk, saying, “I have a friend who’s a jeweler, and I asked him if he could do a special order for me, and he made that.”
Tabasco nearly leapt forward so that she could hug her Ma. “Thanks Ma…” she whispered, holding back tears. “It’s amazing…”
Her Ma smiled and returned the hug. After a few moments, the guys walked into the kitchen to pick at what was left of the food, letting Tabasco and her Ma have their touching mother-daughter moment.
A short time later, they broke the embrace and walked into the kitchen, Tabasco putting on the necklace as she walked.

“Happy Birthday!” the staff of Note-Worthy Music, and a few customers, yelled at Tabasco as she was restocking the music books.
Since her back had been turned to them and she had been focused on her work, Tabasco yelped and jumped, a few of the music books flying out of her hands. She rounded on the small crowd and scowled at them. “What the hell was that for?” she demanded.
“Ah-ah!” a fifteen-year-old customer who swore like a sailor exclaimed, then pointed at himself. “Language, young lady, there are children here.”
Tabasco made a face at him while the crowd began to sing the “Happy Birthday” song, and then the other members of Sidewinder carried out a cake with a small “Tabasco’s” written in icing at the top with a big “18th” in thicker icing in the middle of the cake with three candles strewn about.
“We only had three candles,” Cliff explained. “So each candle equals six.”
Tabasco shrugged, then blew out the candles one at a time, followed by a small cheer from the crowd. Suddenly, the cake vanished, replaced by a small, wrapped-up box, maybe two-inches-square. Holding the box was Tabasco’s friend Jack Owens, who smiled and said, “Presents first, cake later.”
Tabasco groaned and rolled her eyes. She should have known they would take advantage of her minor addiction to sugar, but she decided to suffer through it and gorge herself later. She took the box and peeled the paper off of it, revealing a simple cardboard box. She peeled the tape off the edge and opened it, pulling out a plastic sandwich bag filled with guitar picks.
“Michael told me how you burn through picks like mad,” Jack explained. “So I got you plenty of extra.”
It was true that Tabasco constantly needed new picks. At one memorable gig, she had been playing one of Sidewinder’s heavier songs, and the pick she had been using wore down to nothing. So Tabasco smiled and replied, “Thanks Jack.” The following presents were also mostly guitar-related paraphernalia, interspersed occasionally with a book or DVD. Of course, some were music books and some of the DVDs were recorded concerts. Tabasco was a little surprised that she didn’t get any CDs, but one or two people simply gave her a card with some money inside, so the CDs would come.
Finally, only one gift was left, held by Jack’s sister Diane, who was also one of Tabasco’s closest friends. She smiled and held out the box. “I got you a new outfit!” she declared.
Slightly intrigued, Tabasco took the box, ripped off the paper, and pulled the lid off. She fished through the tissue paper and pulled out a dark-blue tank-top and a pair of jeans.
Big enough for a toddler to wear.
“I got the smallest size I could find,” Diane tried to say over the laughter of the crowd, then started to laugh as well.
Tabasco laughed too, but with the present ordeal complete, she walked over to the cake. She picked up the plastic knife someone had brought and cut a line about two inches in across the width of the cake, then cut that in half, and set those two pieces on a plate. She then grabbed a fork and walked over to a counter to enjoy her cake.
The rest of the partiers followed suit, and soon everyone had some cake. As they ate, most walked over to wish Tabasco a Happy Birthday, and she would reply, through a mouthful of cake, “Fank-hoo.”
Soon enough, the small party was over. Some people stayed, some left, and Tabasco returned to work (after finishing off the cake, of course).

The next morning, her fellow members of Sidewinder were the first to find out about Tabasco’s newest romance…with Diane. They learned this when Tabasco received a text message from Diane that said, “<3 u, babe. Last nite was amazing.” So, Tabasco told the guys that Diane had taken her to dinner as a real present, then she stopped speaking, allowing the boys’ imaginations to fill in the rest of the details.
At the end of the school day, she declared that was going somewhere with Diane, but would, without a doubt, show up for practice on time. True to her word, she showed up at four-thirty, ready to play. In fact, she seemed to play better than before, which her band mates would not have thought possible.
Then, one day at lunch, Michael asked, “So, Tabasco…”
“Yeah?” she asked back around a mouthful of sandwich.
“What’s it like kissin’ another girl?”
The other two guys looked at Tabasco slyly, and slowly set down their food, turning to listen to her response. Normally, another girl named Kris, who had kissed more girls than all three of the guys put together, would have done so as well, but she had stormed off when Tabasco had “switched over” and had not wanted her.
Tabasco didn’t pause and answered, “Iss jus’ like kissin’ a guy…” Now she paused to swallow her food. “But it feels different…” she added, wiggling her fingers suggestively.
“You hit any home-runs yet?” Zac asked.
When he asked this, Tabasco had begun drinking from a can of soda, and when the question registered in her mind, she started to cough violently and nearly choked. She coughed one last time, then punched Zac as he and the guys began laughing. “Where the hell did that come from?” she snapped.
Zac smiled. “Just wondering…”

It was another month before Tabasco “hit a home-run.” Afterwards, she was over at Diane’s house every Friday night, and would apologize on Saturday for missing practice, and then would do it again next week. Another two months passed in this fashion, and then she was suddenly at practice again. The guys pressed her for details, so she explained that she had talked to Diane, and decided that she “didn’t swing that way.” They had chosen to remain friends, and, maybe someday, they’d give it another shot.
With that out of the way, the band began practice.
Chapters:   « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 8 Next »

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