A 500 Word Short Story by Scott A. Gese
He had the best of both worlds.
He was rich and he was famous. For twenty years he lived the life of a rock star. Sold out concerts, platinum albums and all the liquor, drugs and women a man could ask for. It seemed as if there would be no end to this life of unprecedented fame and fortune. But of course, everything comes to an end. And so it did for Harvey Anderson and his heavy metal band called Hardrock Quarry.
The band was playing their final encore to a sold out show in the city of Chicago. Harvey was smashing his guitar on the stage floor. He had done this so many times, the audience expected it. What wasn't expected, at least by Harvey, was the shard that flew back and lodged in his throat. As soon as it happened he dropped his guitar raised his hands as if the show was over and exited the stage. He had worked the audience into a frenzy. They never knew.
Backstage there was pandemonium. Harvey was bleeding heavily. The shard had nicked an artery and lodged in his larynx. Fortunately the band traveled with a personal physician, mainly to keep an eye on them as they frequently partied with hard liquor and illegal drugs.
Tonight he earned his money. He kept Harvey alive until an ambulance arrived. Harvey was admitted to the emergency room of the local hospital. The shard had damaged his vocal chords.
As Harvey recovered, it became apparent that his natural voice was now but a shadow of what it used to be. He could no longer strain his vocal chords when he sang. Even talking was difficult at times. His life was saved, but his career was over. Without Harvey, the band fell apart. Its members went their separate ways. Harvey went home to his Malibu house lost and confused.
For several months after word got out, a constant string of well wishers stopped by to console and party with Harvey, but it wasn't the same as when he was on the road. Over time, Harvey felt less like partying. He was changing and as he did, his partying friends dropped off.
He was becoming bored. He needed an outlet. Harvey may not have been able to sing like he used to, but he could still play the guitar. From time to time he would anonymously fill in as a lead guitar player for other heavy metal bands, but his heart was no longer into their wild lifestyle.
His Malibu home held a state of the art recording studio. Harvey used his time doing something he had frequently thought about, but never had the time to pursue. With his raspy voice, an old Lee Oskar harmonica and a secret love for the blues, Harvey Anderson reinvented himself.
Harvey Anderson had died on that fateful night. In his place, a new man was born. His first release was called Outland Blues. It took the world by storm.
© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.