Harden Your Hearts, You Pharoahs

You’ve been holding down the third slot in a three-band club and things haven’t been going great. You’ve got the look down pat — all lace cuffs and mirrored shades and a tight, catlike smile that never pulls your lips away from your teeth — and the crowd likes you… well, they like you okay, most of the time, but that’s the problem, it’s only most of the time. When you’re on, you’re untouchable, and when you’re not, it’s nothing but a sea of baffled, bored faces. Pretentious, they say, which in the quiet space of your windowless basement room you’ll admit is fair; unlistenable.

The band feels it, too. The three perverts you found to play backing and drums don’t say anything, but the new blood on keyboard and guitar aren’t shy about coming for your throat. They’ve been after you to play one of the songs they wrote, or at least listen to them, but you’ve been doing this for a couple hundred years, you’re not about to take advice from a pair of jumped up new romantics who are barely old enough to remember Grover Cleveland’s first term.

There’s an aspiring singer that comes sniffing around for a job that catches the eye of the number one band; you take her out to the shores of a nameless lake and leave her on the bank, bare skin slightly steaming in the predawn.