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Fan Fiction: "On the Inside" - two chapter preview of the music-industry AU

Fan Fiction: "On the Inside" - two chapter preview of the music-industry AU

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kowalski: pinboard
Better last couple of days even if the brane is eating half of them.

Have tried being useful and everything, but it leaves little time to do anything I want to do, as I seem to get knocked out after lunch.

I've had a dig through my email, but I won't get totally caught-up today.

I've been having moments of writing desire but they turn up at the worst times.

ETA: like now. I'm losing my typing and struggling with words

Anyways, I've showed the following to yeungmaisu and I think it's only fair to show everyone vaguely curious about what I've been working on since last October (or so).

This is a due South AU about Ray Kowalski, the accoustic punk, being hooked up by his new record label, Family Records, with a Canadian songwriter, Renfield Turnbull. There's also Ray's ex-wife and current manager, Stella, and her piano genius boyfriend, Ray Vecchio, who find something fishy about the whole situation.

I think that is the sanest synopsis I've come up with. The eventual pairings are RayK/Turnbull and Stella/RayV with a tiny cameo from Fraser/Smithbauer and Frannie realises that Tony is not a lesbian.

The whole thing is insanely multistranded.

A lot of thought has gone into the selection of these two concurrent parts. I've gone in for characterisation away from the more complicated aspects of the story. That is not to say they are isolated from the main narrative, Frannie is weilding a serious plot device and we learn something about Turnbull's idea of a good time.

And yes, I was waggling my eyebrow in Roger Moore style in the last piece. ;-) I like blather, corrections and good minded poking, so please enjoy this.

From the pages of On the Inside, I'm A Poet
Moonage Daydream and Butterflies and Hurricanes
In which Turnbull muses on his layover and Frannie ignores her brother.

Moonage Daydream

Renfield had bought a travel guide at the airport. He’d also bought some bubble gum, but this was not pertinent at this juncture. He wasn’t going to be in town long but Martha Fraser always said that proper preparation prevents poor performance. This was why he’d asked the guy he knew at the Record Exchange in Toronto to look for anything that might help on his assignment.

His layover there started well, with a bootleg of Ray Kowalski at the Ride Forever bar. It went less well when it turned out that Todd had since gained a boyfriend and Renfield spent the night alone in the Travel Inn, his only date with his right hand in a shower with inexhaustible hot water. He wasn’t somebody to mire himself in thoughts of chastity and pollution, but he had never felt that clean. Orgasm was a white hot point quickly washed away. It was pared down to an abstract, all clean lines and no emotion.

He could have stayed there. Perfect clean highs with no complications. But – you wouldn’t think it – but Renfield needed the complications, something to hold onto. Every imperfection something he could squirrel away for his return to the famine that was his life in Inuvik. After one disastrous encounter, he wrote off rig men, lumberjacks, and migrant workers. As a student in Toronto, Mark had encouraged him to explore himself and others. He needed that bite of true emotion under his pleasure. It didn’t matter what form it took, he was as happy with jerking off in a cinema – with Mark, it was almost innocent – and picking up a hospital porter who let it all hang out on the weekend.

Even Benton – especially Benton – would agree that it was a natural function of human sexuality. That it was chastity that was the unnatural state and the only truth could be found in passion. Renfield had found himself sitting back on a mattress – trying to smoke a cigarette, because that was what his teenage brain told him he should do – and looking into the guts of the universe and seeing the words that sung… The aboriginal people of Australia believed the world was sung into being and there were times when Renfield was so close he could almost comprehend it. Not that it was the reason for his activities away from home; the understanding of the universe, which he could get as well from a sweat lodge or some strange concoction Benton had found in a battered book of self-help medicinal distillations. People tended to forget that our immediate forbears considered cocaine and laudanum medicinal – but it was one of the compensations for sating his appetites.

He didn’t know what he was looking for tonight, but he trusted fate – a strange thing considering the events of his life – to provide to him. And if all else failed, there was the intellectual stimulus of the assignment with Kowalski to look forward to, not a mere pretext, but also… What Renfield had heard of his work was more than fascinating, there was something he saw beneath it and he wanted to peel away the letters and find the man under the words.

It had taken him a while to find what he wanted in the guidebook; it was hidden under “Alternative Chicago”. He’d picked the first listing in the book. The first cab he flagged wouldn’t take him where he wanted to go. Some men would have given up then, but Renfield was a patient man. Waiting for a second cab, he hummed the first few bars of Too Young to Die under his breath. The one song he’d never sell. Nobody would do it justice.

Butterflies and Hurricanes

In the Ghia her brother sourced her from a cousin with a garage in sight of the Golden Gate Bridge, the crystals and the crucifix and the Madonna hanging from the rear view mirror swung wildly as Frannie swerved to avoid some numb-nuts who had stepped out into the road. She stopped a moment to make sure the guy was good and not high on something or had left his brain in the bar. Ray would kill her if he knew, hell, Frannie could have got knifed to death and Ray would still kill her. It was okay, he was family and Ray wanted to look after his family, who doesn’t? He worried about gun crime and random shootings, the gangs and pretty much everybody. She wished he would worry less.

Maybe Stella would help with that, but if the paper on the passenger seat was to be believed, then it might well be that Ray would start walking into the night on his own again. She didn’t know why, or least she pretended she didn’t. It’s hard to find an honourable way out in this city. On the cop show reruns after she got home and curled up with honey and lemon, they had this thing called “Suicide by cop”. And Ray always used to play cops and robbers. Until he started playing hoops with Frankie Zuko; after that, Frannie was kind of hazy, he hadn’t been home but in some musical glasshouse.

She was only trying to communicate with this guy, the one with the leather jacket and nothing on underneath, that maybe he should look where he was going before he ended up flatter than a carpet. He backed away like he thought she was the one with the knife. It’s then Frannie notices the cowboy hat; it is totally her thing, it would go just perfectly with her little pink suit with the bustier. She’d worn that to an official reception and Ray had spent the whole time glaring at her over the soup. Well, not the whole time, there was that woman from that television station, dressed in green and looking like a praying mantis.

Frannie was glad when she dumped Ray on his ass. Only family can feel like that and get away with it. If she was a co-worker – like Elaine or Mort – then it would be poking her nose in and more than that, the big long German word she learnt at evening classes. She had wanted to know what all those Wagner ladies were saying, even if she was completely the wrong shape for the breastplate. Not that she cared, because she knew that chainmail was made of string painted silver. It tended to flake off and one of the girls had come out in hives and everything.

The guy was clearly new in town. She seized the bull by the horns, took a deep breath and just told him. There were these things called pedestrian crossings, he should use them. And that stepping out into the road like that was a death sentence, death wish, that kind of thing in this city. “I was only trying to hail a cab, but none of them are stopping for me.” Surprise much? Frannie couldn’t place the accent but he looked a nice guy even if he was dressing like a stripper on the way to a bachelorette party. Not that she’d ever got one this good before marrying her loser husband.

It wasn’t as if she was planning one, either. She was going to get Maria a baby shower, but that just wasn’t the same. She’d told Tony she was working on a plumbing course. With the help of a big pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Kisses, she had Maria eating out of her hand but without the pickles. Nobody ever used pickles as a bribe. She was heading to Ray’s date; she had to save him before it was too late and he got his heart broken again. She had run into Angie the other day and she was doing session work and teaching school kids.

She asked where he wanted to go and, yes, it had to be like that. What a waste. You could tell why gay guys are always happy. She would be very happy too with a guy who looks like this, like a whole new world of sins. Confession was going to be really interesting this month. She needed some new material. She gestured to her car; the keys were still in the ignition. It was tight, he was a bit on the big side, and if Frannie’s hand brushed against his thigh clad in denim turned soft through wear and she shifted into drive, than that was more than good.

I am hoping to get enough of this thing done to post an upgraded version of last year's dSSS entry and a bit more besides. I have been doing some very heavy rewriting - the Frannie section was one paragraph of shallow Frannie before I realised that all the characters in this story are equally important and deserve the same level of attention. I can pretty much tell you where every person with "screen time" is going to end up.

I need to set myself up with an "On the Inside" icon for posts like this. And I would like to thank the f-list for putting up with all the random research and clip-outs. You guys are made of fangirl win.
  • Those were fun. Though I am now picturing Benton as Inuvik's drug dealer...
    • He runs "White Wolf", a record label dedicated to Inuit throat singing and other native music. Also, he usually handles Renfield's songs and... okay... pimps them out.

      (So kind of drug dealer-y)

      Let's face it, Ben would be the best guy to take on corruption in the record industry and negociate fair pay terms and cut out "breakage" in contracts. He leaves the powers that be exhausted but they feel good...
  • Oh I love seeing this! Love love love Turnbull, you've added some very interesting layers to his goofy personality. I am totally happy getting these juicy, wonderful tidbits as I await the full masterpiece. *snuggles preview*

    And I'm with Janne, here, imagining Benton as Inuvik's go-to guy. heheh.
    • You should see his lucky hat. *nods nods*

      You might be waiting more than a little while on that front, I have a lot to repair, integrate and continuity check. I can't remember if Stella's mom has a first name and it's driving me batty. I think Lucretia would be overdoing it. (But damn funny, Stella's - much nicer "go forth in your beliefs"* - dad is called Lucifer. Crazy crazy child naming there.)

      I think I might need to check that part.

      * 1960s Who quotes doesn't really help, huh? He doesn't give a damn who or what Stella does as long as she is happy. Stella's mom is trying to set her up with an oily alderman called Orsini
  • Hmmmm
  • ..... That bubblegum... I'm just fixated on it XD

    That's for the heads up, it's a great way to start a morning ^_^
    • There had to be a reason for the bubblegum, right?

      Just because I have the hots for magical realism, doesn't mean that I don't believe in causality... I just lead it a merry dance. I am taking the whole thing seriously. I just need to find my writing hat, like Turnbull's but without the flowers.
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