There were two things the three people at the desk could see through the window into the soundproofed basement room. The first was a shining microphone stand supporting a thick microphone.
The second was a young woman.
A thick headset held her waist-length, black waves of hair out of her eyes. She wore no makeup as her perfect, unblemished skin and arresting eyes meant she needed little. Her eyes were a true midnight black, and the energy behind them seemed to suck the life force from every room she entered. All her life, she’d left a trail of men behind her in total thrall.
She wore the uniform of her university peer group – black jeans, black t-shirt, under an unbuttoned, black shirt. Her boots were soft black leather with a one-inch heel and rose to mid-calf. Plain except for a small embossed maker’s mark on the inside seam, the boots gleamed with a recent polishing. At just under six feet tall, she used those heels to put her eyes at the same level as the men she was usually attracted to. She didn’t want any man looking down on her if she could help it.
Her black leather jacket hung on the back of a chair at the bottom of the basement stairs. A heavy, broad, silver bracelet she wore on her left wrist provided the only contrast in her outfit. Intricately carved with Celtic designs of an ancient age, it appeared to be part of her and some women wondered how she could get it off over her hand. She hadn’t taken it off since she acquired it so this wasn’t an issue for her.
More than once, her friends would ask when and where she got it. The answer she gave was always the same – she didn’t remember. She was lying. She remembered the moment and the person who gave it to her as if it were yesterday.
At this moment however, her mind was full of the music playing in her headset. She swayed in time to the beat, and after the few opening bars she opened her mouth and began singing. The words flowed out of her as honey flows out of a jar, sweet and slow. And like honey, they enveloped the senses as the steady bass beat and haunting flute music carried them out and away from her through to the recording system on the other side of the wall.
She stood with her eyes closed, her hands caressing the microphone stand allowing the words and music to penetrate deep within her. They stirred the bracelet’s old memories and the emotions it generated. It was that emotion, that raw, unfiltered emotion that drove the words deep into the production team.
The team, two men and a woman, stopped talking and looked at each other with wide-open, amazed eyes, and with wonder written across their faces. They nodded at each other and grinned. She was good. Damn, bloody good.
She sang the last words of the song as if she was ending a long, passionate love affair. The words of farewell carried the underlying tones of both anger and regret as they faded. After that last note, she stood motionless allowing the total silence of the soundproofed room to penetrate deep within her and cleanse the emotion dredged up by her words.
The producer’s voice in her headset interrupted her thoughts. “Vivien, that’s bloody great. Let’s listen to this and see where we have to make changes or improve it.”
She smiled at the three people through the glass window. She didn’t think there’d be too many changes unless they were playing games with her. But she said, “OK. Be right out.”
She pulled the headset jack out of the socket, took the headset off, opened the soundproofed door and walked into a room full of noise.
The contrast to the blessed silence was almost overwhelming and she took a few seconds to get used to the surrounding cacophony. The young producer stood, walked to her and gave her an enthusiastic hug. She took a deep breath and allowed it.
Vivien flashed a quick negative thought she didn’t want either of the two men doing the same. When she looked towards them, neither had so much as moved an inch. She smiled to herself at that.
The smile penetrated through to her mouth and eyes, and that brought return grins from the men. Men were so transparent, she thought.
“You were amazing,” said the woman. “We’ll do something really good with this.” She paused for a moment. “Do you have a Facebook page and video channel?” she asked.
Vivien didn’t want to confess technology intimidated her. But after a few seconds, she resigned herself to it and shook her head.
The woman raised an eyebrow, but said nothing.
“I guess I’ll need to get a site and channel,” said Vivien. The feeling of being out of time and place, a roiling in her stomach, ruined the sense of creativity she’d had only a few seconds ago when the song finished.
The woman nodded in agreement.
Vivien screwed up her mouth, “I feel so stupid when it comes to tech stuff,” she said. She shook her head and shrugged her shoulders.
“Yeah, many creative folks can’t wrap their heads around all this technology,” said the producer waving toward the tables full of electronic mixing boards with the hundreds of switches and slider panels.
Vivien decided she didn’t want to appear to be incompetent in front of this woman, snorted and then said, “OK, I’ll figure out how to do that and I’ll have something organized as soon as I can. And I’ll get video making software and..,” Vivien’s voice trailed off. “Lots to do other than just sing, isn’t there,” she said. Her voice grew in strength as she finished her sentence, “Never thought of that other stuff but I’ll take care of it.”
“Good. Look, if you want help, I have a friend who does this kind of thing in his spare time. He can give you some pointers. You could do it yourself I’m sure but a small bit of help from him will speed this up and make it so much simpler. He’s a good guy and between you and me, he’s single and shouldn’t be,” said the young woman.
Vivien rolled her eyes, and the woman laughed out loud. “No really. He’s a good guy, genius-level smart ,and good looking,” she said. “And, he’s between girlfriends. Just sayin.'”
Vivien looked at her, thought about it for a second, wondered why he was between girlfriends, then shrugged and said, “Give him my number.”