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 Dark Memory

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AuthorMessage
evlvt



Pig
Posts : 9
Join date : 2010-07-11
Age : 58
Location : Michigan, USA
Humor : Very dry...and a little dark.

PostSubject: Dark Memory   Sat Jul 17, 2010 1:31 pm

There was a dark memory hiding in the man’s subconscious but nobody realized it.
General depression and anxiety were the first symptoms of the flashback immediately following the reading of the playlist for the new CD. The mere sound of a song title had never affected David this way, making him gasp unconsciously when the producers read it aloud. The attention of the others was drawn to David’s involuntary exclamation. He mimed wiping his brow and glanced at his watch, hoping the others would pick up on the signal.
Carlos responded immediately, suggesting an afternoon off for the members of the group. It would give them a chance to review the playlist without the producers hanging over their shoulders and constantly asking their opinion before the guys had even formed one.
Since it was nearly one o’clock and they were starving, Carlos insisted on “real food”, meaning home-cooked. The group was staying in a huge mansion outside Detroit, leased by the record company. Superior recording studios and the “Motown sound” had drawn the producer’s interest. Several original members of the old bands were playing on the new CD.
Driving to the fruit and vegetable market on the east side of the city the four split up, each agreeing to prepare one dish. Carlos purchased meat and shrimp then stood flirting with the butcher’s pretty daughters. Seb was self-elected salad chef. He slowly browsed the organic greens, sniffing and snapping lettuce leaves before making his decisions. Moving away from the cashier Seb spotted David standing across the market. The tall blond was staring off into space.
Not a good idea, thought Seb. He could be mobbed by divas or worse; a fan could snap a picture of him looking vacant, which could start great drug rumors. Seb moved quickly to David, about the same time two older women made a determined approach, cameras at the ready.
“Wake up man, you’re about to be mobbed!” he hissed into David’s ear.
“Who? Where?” David slowly returned to reality and instantly became Divo David, friend to fans and little old ladies.
“Picture? No problem, ladies. C’mon Seb, be a sport.” So the fans left happily with pictures of David, Seb and their groceries.
David looked at the bakery counter. “Any idea for dessert?”
“Chocolate pie… David, what’s wrong?” Seb inquired.
“Nothing at all. Just a little down, buddy.”
“You were pale and shaking, David. Don’t lie to me.”
David spun around and glared at Seb. “I said it was nothing!” He exclaimed.
Several nearby shoppers turned at the raised voice.
“Come, we’re drawing attention. Divo’s fighting will be tomorrow’s headline,” Seb said.
Urs and Carlos met them at the car, both carrying bags.
“Paella!” announced Carlos.
“That’s all you know how to cook,” teased David. He seemed as if the temper flare had never occurred.
“My soup will be better,” stated Urs.
The neighborhood outside Detroit had a small town feel. Their neighbors, mostly seniors, protected their famous neighbors fiercely. They delight in sending the searching fans in the opposite direction from where the Divos actually were.
The four singers returned the favor, running errands and tidying yards for their elderly protectors. Urs especially enjoyed the yard work. With his hair pulled back under a ball cap, sunglasses and jeans he looked like a thousand other metro weekend yard warriors.
The smell of browning meat filled the large kitchen as Urs and Carlos jockeyed for position in front of the stove.
“Makes me glad I chose the salad, watching you two try to cook,” Seb joked as David smiled and flourished the pie. “While I did everyone’s stomach a favor and didn’t cook at all,” he announced.
Seb rummaged in the pantry looking for a bottle from his wine stash. “Where’s the red wine?” His voice was muffled with his head and shoulders buried in the deep cupboard.
“Well, I was straightening the pantry. Wine should be cold, right? I figured…” David ran out of words.
“Wine in the fridge? David, we’ve talked about wine, right? This wine cannot be treated like a carton of Ripple”
“What’s wrong with Ripple?” Pouted David. “It was good enough for me in high school.”
Seb groaned and rescued his abused wine, uncorking it.
“Come, lets sit on the deck while this breathes,” he told the American.
“Need help, guys?” David looked at Carlos and Urs hopefully.
“There’s certainly no more room in front of this cooker,” Urs joked, elbowing Carlos aside so he could stir his soup. “You two get cleanup.”
“Yes, Mama Buhler,” David replied.
Carlos and Urs knew that Seb was the best choice to discover what was upsetting David. Seb would discuss it with them later, with David’s permission.
The redwood deck wrapped the back of the house, and an eight-foot privacy fence enclosed the back yard. Seb stretched out on a lounger while David sat nervously in a rocker. Later afternoon sun painted the house and yard with golden tones and turned the autumn trees to flame. David was very nervous, drumming his fingers on the chair arm.
“What’s up, Seb? Why the father confessor routine?” he asked his friend.
“I will ask you the same, David” Seb replied. “I thought you would be sick this afternoon at the meeting. You seemed fine, then turned pale and shaky when the playlist was discussed. Does one of the tunes bother you?”
“I’m fine,” David mumbled. “Jjust don’t like number three very much. It’s wrong for us. All wrong…all wrong!” David’s voice had risen in volume as he spoke, and the last two words were shouted.
Carlos poked his head out of the kitchen door. “No fighting, children . Dinner is ready. Salad Man, your salad was made by Urs. Therefore you and David get kitchen cleanup all week.” David laughed and slapped Seb’s back.
“I’ll help. My fault you didn’t get your salad made, anyway.” David remained nervous and edgy all through dinner. He ate quickly, hardly doing justice to the delicious food. Then he refused dessert. Now his three friends were really worried. Poor appetite, refusing sweets and he seemed to have no memory of his outburst on the deck. Carlos, Urs and Sebastien exchanged concerned looks. Something was definitely wrong with David.
By ten o’clock that night the neighborhood was quiet. David had disappeared into his room to pack for a weekend visit to his girlfriend in New York. His three friends tried to relax on the deck, enjoying the cool night.
“I’m very worried about David,” Urs stated with what was obviously occupying all of their minds. “I’ve never seen him so agitated. What was he shouting about before dinner?”
Seb pulled himself from deep thought. “He hates number three on the playlist. It really freaks him out. I don’t think he himself knows why. He has no memory of these outbursts.”
“Carlos has the right idea,” said Urs, glancing at Carlos. The Spaniard was beginning to snore.
“Let’s sleep on it tonight and see how David seems in the morning.”
Morning came earlier than expected when David screaming awakened the house. Since his bedroom door was locked, Urs and Carlos shouldered it open with a crash. David stood wide-eyed with terror in the middle of his room.
“No!” he shouted. “No…no!” Seb grabbed David’s shoulders and shook him.
“David!” he said loudly. “David, wake up!”
David’s eyes cleared slowly.
“Hey guys. Why’s everyone in my room? That door’s gonna cost big money. Who did that?”
“David, you woke us all screaming. That was some nightmare,” Urs answered.
“Just a dream. I can’t remember it now. But thanks for the wake-up call.” David looked unhappily at his smashed bedroom door.
“I’ll leave it unlocked from now on,” he tried to joke.
Out in the hall Seb exchanged looks with Carlos and Urs.
“What now?” Carlos asked. “David cannot go on in this manner. We have to find out what is wrong. What is bothering him,” Seb sighed.
“I suppose I shall have to be the bad guy here and do the dirty work. David’s really traumatized by something that happened to him, yet he cannot remember.”
“And this ‘dirty work’?” Carlos asked.
“Do what any good friend would do,” Seb replied. “Call his mama.”
The next morning Urs drove David to the airport for his flight to New York City. Carlos and Sebastien sat in the kitchen while Seb nervously dialed the home of David’s parents.
“I feel terrible going behind his back like this,” he began to Carlos.
“Bonjour, Madame Miller! How did you know it was me? Ah, of course. No we’re all fine here…” Seb looked in panic at Carlos, who made a ‘speed it up’ gesture with his hands.
“Actually, David’s been acting strangely, ma’am. We’re choosing the playlist for the new CD and one of the songs really upsets David. He refuses to even hear the title.” When Seb said the title of the song there was a gasp from David’s mother, then silence.
“Madame? Are you all right? What? Where? Here? But David is in New York visiting his girlfriend. Yes, yes, goodbye.” Seb looked at Carlos, who raised his eyebrows in question.
“Well?”
“She’ll be here tomorrow. When I told her David was in New York she said ‘all the better’.”
Saturday morning a taxi pulled up in front of the house and a small blond woman climbed out. Urs threw open the front door and rushed to carry her suitcase and a large, flat box. Carlos and Seb followed closely behind him. David’s mother was engulfed in huge, warm hugs and double-cheek kisses.
“Wow, what a welcome! I should come more often,” she laughed, her blue eyes so like David’s, sparkled happily. She barely came to the men’s shoulders but ran her home with an iron fist, according to David.
“David keeps you to himself when I always want you for myself,” Carlos crooned, kissing her hand.
Mrs. Miller narrowed her eyes at Carlos. “Save it for the paying customer, honey,” she laughed. When Carlos looked pitiful she kissed his cheek and smoothed his hair back.
“Now you know you’re my favorite baritone. Put this box in the fridge. They’reEelk steaks from the last hunt; should be thawed for supper tomorrow. I carried them on my lap from home. Put on a pot of tea for me, and coffee or whatever you boys are drinking. It’s conference time.”
An hour later they all sat at the kitchen table. Urs and Carlos cradled coffee mugs in their hands and Seb and David’s mother shared the teapot.
“When David was four years old,” she began, “ his class went on a field trip. Along the way the driver diverted the bus with ten students and two teachers off onto a country road. The driver picked up three other men. When one of the teachers protested at what was developing into a kidnapping the driver shot and killed her. In the chaos after the shooting David ran off and walked two miles to a gas station. The police were called and David was our little hero. Everyone was saved except the brave teacher who tried to protect the kids.”
“My God!” exclaimed Urs. “What a memory to live with.”
“The psychologist he saw as a child said it would never surface. Damn quack! I should sue him!”
“But the song. How does it fit in? David was in a daze when he saw it on the playlist, and he had a terrible nightmare last night.” Sebastien looked confused.
“The song for the new CD has a simpler child’s version, sung as a round. The kids were singing it on the bus that day and the class sang it at the teacher’s memorial service,” replied Mrs. Miller.
“The song triggered the memory,” Carlos said quietly. “David is suffering terribly.”
“I called David’s fiancée,” said Mrs. Miller.
“Fiancée?” the men repeated.
“David told me he’s proposing this weekend.”
“Proposing! Mio! Mothers know everything!” exclaimed Carlos.
“Women have ways to make men talk…” grinned David’s mom. “Anyway, I suggested she take him to a well-known hypnotist, suggested by our family doctor. His office is in New York City. Our doctor knows him personally and says he’s very successful at treating buried trauma.”
“That song is coming off the CD,” Urs announced firmly. “We can’t run the risk of it upsetting David again. Our Divo life is crazy enough without him suffering this added stress.”
Mrs. Miller began to weep. She moved from Urs to Seb to Carlos, kissing and hugging each man warmly. “You’re such good friends, helping my little boy like this.”
“Living with your little boy is like living with a great big bear!” exclaimed Carlos.
The next day a phone call from New York confirmed David’s appointment with the hypnotist. David’s fiancée (now officially) told his mom he had really benefited from the relaxation techniques learned from the hypnotist and he had two more sessions. Mrs. Miller and the other three Divos celebrated with grilled elk steaks and red wine (chosen by Seb of course, although he claimed it was quite a challenge to match wine and elk.)
Mrs. Miller spent Monday cleaning the house and washing the pile of dirty clothes piled in ‘David’s room. She generously washed Carlos and Sebs laundry too. Urs kept up on his laundry and his room was spotless.
“You’ll make somebody a wonderful wife,” laughed Carlos.
“I feel sorry for your wife, Carlos,” replied Urs. “You leave everything where it drops.”
“Redeeming qualities, my dear sir,” growled Carlos, wiggling his eyebrows.
Mrs. Miller left Monday night after a second call from New York. This one from David himself to his friends, announcing his engagement as well as some new relaxation techniques he’d learned from a hypnotist his fiancée used. When he arrived home he was amazed at the clean house and neatly folded laundry on his bed.
“Ya know, guys, I had the strangest experience at the airport. As I came down the concourse from my plane I swear I saw a woman who looked just like my mother headed for a departing flight.”












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