Authors: Brandace Morrow
Finding Sadie: A Prequel © Copyright 2014 by Brandace Morrow
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, printed, transmitted, downloaded, distributed, stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, without the express permission of the author. Please do not participate or encourage piracy in any capacity of copyrighted material in violation of the author’s rights.
This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to any person, living or dead, or any events, occurrences, places, or business establishments is purely coincidental. The characters and story line are created from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
Editing by Jenny Sims, Editing4Indies
Cover Design by Najla Qamber Designs
Interior design by Inkstain Interior Book Designing
At fifteen, I took on the role of Popper out of necessity, forgetting the person I was. That's when I became the lead singer of a grunge metal band.
Now at twenty-one I'm cocky, a pessimist, and violent. My shrink is even fed up with me, suggesting I try something radical to appreciate the value of life.
She gives me a card that leads me to him, and ultimately I find . . . me.
The Los Rancheros Series
“If you touch my boob again, I’m gonna kick you in the nuts so hard you’ll have to start a new band. As a soprano. You get me?” I warn my drummer, Maury, who is currently playing Santa for this photo shoot. I’m on his knee in a ridiculous costume that’s itching like a freaking hair coat.
“Chin up. Head tilted. Other side. Eyes wider. Squint a little bit. More glare. Shoulders back. Arch your back a little bit more. Open your mouth. No, close it. Now give me some teeth.”
At this point I look like a freaking chicken on speed. “Alright. I’m out,” I say, dropping the pose, and walk off the set in a pair of platform elf shoes, toe curl and all.
“Wait, wait! We didn’t get the shot!”
“Who fucking ordered this stupid set-up anyway? I thought we were doing Rolling Stones.” My reputation precedes me. These people are looking at me like I’m unpredictable. But when you’ve been in an all-male band since you were fifteen years old, you learn to throw a punch like a dude real quick.
My publicist, Tammy, sets about trying to keep up with me and soothes my feathers as I stalk to my trailer. Very few people can walk in platform heels as well as I can. Yup, it’s just Lady Gaga, me, and strippers across the world.
“Popper, this is for Moorehead Cosmetics and Costumes. I don’t know where you got Rolling Stones,” she titters, her eyes scanning the vicinity. The whole crew, about twenty five people, has stopped working to watch my tantrum.
, I think as I pull the latch on the RV door and stomp up the rickety folding steps. As soon as I’m inside the claustrophobic space, I start stripping. The lime green polyester outfit gets thrown into Tammy’s face. Then I advance on her.
“You told me this was a big shoot. You told me this would be everywhere. You said Rolling Stones,” I seethe an inch from her face. From here I can smell her high class perfume, see the nose job my money paid for. I also see the fear. She knows I don’t give a shit and would crush her perfect nose without much provocation at all.
“I said Moorehead. You must have misunderstood.” Misunderstood is her little code for drunk or high.
“You’re a fucking liar, Tammy. Get out,” I growl before moving around her to sit on the rock hard couch and take off my white six inches heels, leaving me in a pair of frilly bloomers and striped knee highs.
“We have to finish this shoot, Pops. We have a contract,” she says in her
voice. Too bad I’m not a little girl or that might have worked. Yeah, probably not.
grunge metal. We are
some KISS cover band who needs to put their faces on Halloween costumes. Now get the fuck out before I kick you out.” I manage to not raise my voice until that last sentence.
Good job, Popper.
Tammy shakes her head, her eyes tired. Yeah, well, I’m fucking tired too. I’m twenty-one going on goddamned sixty. Finally she leaves and I pick my clothes up from the floor—fishnets, black leather shorts, a lacy bra, and a tank top with arm holes too big to cover anything. I zip up my high heel ankle boots, slip on my shades, and grab my keys. Passing the mirror, I have to back up for a second.
I rip the lime green mini Santa hat off of my head, pulling several strands of my bleach blond hair out by the roots.
The door slams open and I force myself to look bored and nonchalant as I turn around. My manager, Brian.
“What the fuck, Popper?” he says between clenched teeth.
“I’m out. We aren’t putting our name on something this hokey. It’s bullshit.” I try to maneuver around him, but he grabs my arm tightly. God, he’s such a cliché. Gold chains, bald head and all.
“Do you need some oxy or something? I’ve got some stuff if you need it to get through.”
“Nah. You’ve got two seconds to move your sausage fingers off of me before I beat your fat ass.” I look down at him. My heels make me taller by almost a head, though he has at least a hundred pounds on me, and is definitely going to leave bruises on my arm. He gives an extra squeeze before shoving me away, but I just use it to propel myself down the stairs.
My shoes echo off of the back lot. Looking around, I realize I should have known this was a small job. Yes, we’re on an actual set with trailers, but I spot props pushed into shadowy alcoves that look like the movie that’s rumored to have lost their backing. At least the costume company was fast on their feet. But not as fast as me. I hit the key fob, and my car door starts to lift.
“Hey bitch!” I hear from behind me, but I keep going until I’m sliding in and slamming the door down again. Once I get the engine sounding good and mad, I let it die down to about the equivalent of an angry bear and put my hand to my ear.
Damen isn’t high or stupid enough to touch my car. He knows I would probably run his ass over. I shoot the car into drive and peel out.
On the way home, I stop at In-N-Out for dinner before turning to the beach. By the time I get to my house on stilts, the sun is setting. The unlocking of the door echoes through the silent house. My boots ring out on the hardwood floors as I make my way to the ultramodern kitchen. I toss the fast food bag, and it slides down the white marble island. Next my shoes come off, clattering loudly. I strip my clothes on the way up the stairs and head to take a hot shower. As always, I take great pleasure in washing out the grease that makes my hair look dirty. I use creams and butters on my body to get the makeup from the photo shoot off.
When I step out of the shower, I eye my form in the huge mirrors opposite me and towel off slowly. My hair is almost white, it’s so bleached. But, other than that, I may have been a model. My fast metabolism makes me the envy of “normal” women. What they don’t realize is that it’s hell to find jeans that are long enough; I barely have any ass and definitely no boobs. God, I would kill for some boobs. As it is, I don’t need a bra and risk giving myself a heart attack by eating fattening foods just to keep my ribs from showing. I brush my hair for a long time, relishing the feel of it before forcing myself to put the brush down.
Slipping into a camisole and panties, I head straight downstairs to the back deck, having already opened the glass wall from an app on my phone. On my favorite lounge chair, I stuff my face, watching the sky change colors, and listen to the waves. I watch until the horizon is ink black with a few stars twinkling.
The ocean breeze blows my hair every which way, drying it in snarly knots. Who needs sea spray in a bottle when you have the real thing? I’ve found it’s the easiest way to get the look of a grunge band’s lead singer. Reaching behind me, I pull the throw blanket off of the back of the chair and around my shoulders. I watch a couple jogging with their dog down the beach. As they go past, their laughter floats up to me on my perch. They never notice me.
I know when to put on a show and when to become invisible. I’m good at it. I’ve had to be. This business is about image and perception. I know when Maury has had too much blow to make like wallpaper and fade into the scenery. I know when I leave my house most days, no matter where I go in this town, I’ll be spotted, recorded, judged. That’s when I have to be
. Here, where I’m alone, where I can think and breathe the salty air, is when I lose Popper. This is the only place I’m me.