XI - The audition

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[RECAP: Juliet's mission to seduce her Latin teacher Mr Carl Spencer is in full swing. She's also been asked to audition for a local band who heard her sing at a karaoke night]


Feeling half foolish, half nervous, Juliet made her way to Dover Avenue on Saturday morning. She told Aunt Mary she was going for a walk to get some fresh air. Aunt Mary was the kind of person who thought that fresh air was a wholesome thing.

It was a bright, sunny day though not overly warm. Being October, the summer was decidedly over with the last heat of September slipping away, but it made for good walking weather.

Fifteen Dover Avenue was a house much like any of the other houses on the street. Nervously Juliet approached the front door and pressed the bell.

A short guy with dark spiky hair and thick dark eyebrows answered it. "Hey."

"Hello," Juliet replied. She had no idea how these things were supposed to go. "Drew mentioned I should drop by?" She was trying to appear cool but inside she was twisted up in knots.

"Ah yeah. Auditions." He opened the door to let her through. She followed him down a hallway through a kitchen, then down into a basement where there was a group of people and a load of musical equipment.

Juliet felt horribly out of place. She was relieved to recognise Drew who smiled in a friendly way. "Hi. Glad you could make it. This is the band."

There were five of them including Drew, who made all the introductions. Lead guitar, second guitar, keyboards, bass, drums. Plus two girls who weren't members: one had red hair, the other was small and dark.

Juliet thought they must be auditioning as well. But it turned out that the girl with dyed auburn hair was dating the bassist. The other was the sister of the keyboardist, Jax, whose house it was. He was the dark haired guy who had opened the front door.

It was a lot to take in: a lot of names to remember. Not that she would probably need to remember them after today. She would probably never see any of these people ever again.

Someone offered her a beer, which she sipped tentatively. It wasn't her favourite drink but anything might calm her nerves.

There was some discussion involving the guitarists about an amp and feedback, much of which was going over Juliet's head.

"So what happened to your previous singer?" she asked.

"There wasn't one. It's mainly split between me and Jax, but we wanted a female vocalist for a new direction we're taking," Drew told her. "It's kind of an experiment, like trip hop with some punk and new wave. It's Jax's baby, he's the musical genius."

Jax seemed to be a guy of few words. "You sing Blondie, right? Can you do Rapture?"

Juliet wasn't sure. She had some idea of the first lines. "Not all the rap sections though." It was really long, from memory.

"That's okay," Drew said. "It's just to give us an idea."

Somehow it felt a thousand times harder singing in front of these few people than in front of a crowded bar the other week. But Juliet steeled herself. She wasn't sure where she got the courage but deep inside she had a burning desire to do this.

The microphone was on a stand though she would have preferred to hold it. To grip onto something, for dear life. She wasn't sure what to expect in terms of accompaniment but the band clearly knew this one, as the drummer started playing and then the rest of them joined in.

Juliet closed her eyes and simply sang. Her voice winding and snaking around the high, melodic notes. She found that she remembered the start of the rap section from some long buried memory. In her nervousness her voice was huskier than usual but she could see images in her mind as she spoke, like her own music video.

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