A FRIGGIN’ STAR • by Joel Willans

I’m a friggin’ star, I tell Bev in a telephone call from Istanbul. She laughs just like I knew she would and I ask her to please wait for me. I’m coming back to you, doll, soon as I can. I need you. You’re my muse. You’re my everything. She hangs up. I stare up at the ceiling and lose myself in the intricacy of the design. I wish I had my pad so I could sketch it down, store it away, use it someday.

“Spy, spy the pretty one,” the girl says from the foot of my bed. I look down between my toes and chuckle.

She’s a beauty. Italian, I think, or Greek maybe. Her hair’s blonde, though, and she has blue-green eyes that look all the more amazing sitting in her caramel-coloured face. I wonder whether her hair is really that light. It looks a cert that I’ll find out soon enough.

She stands up and starts gyrating, teasing me with a slow motion belly dance. She is still wearing her bikini and I can just make out my scrawl on the top of her breast.

“Sign me. Sign my titties,” she said as I rocked into the hotel. “They’re the finest in Turkey.”

“I’d rather not, Madam,” I said all pompous, which made the lads laugh because they knew I was at my weakest after a gig.

It’s all that adoration, waves and waves and waves of it. It has its own smell. A mix of perfume and sweat, panties and smoke. It smells sweet even when it doesn’t.

“Please sign them, just one. I dare you!”

I snatched her pen.

The lads cheered.

And now she’s in my bedroom doing this thing with her belly and I’m so close to screwing her on these pink silk sheets, I might as well get up now and flush my wedding ring down the pan.

“You want me to dance different?” She puts one finger on her lip and tilts her head and I wonder if she makes her living seducing weak-willed minor rock stars. “I have so many moves you don’t believe.”

I want to say yes so bad. My body is screaming at me like a manic groupie. Give it to her, Jacko, give it to her. I get up and swagger towards her, doing the hips thing that always gets the phalanx of babes crushed at the front howling like hounds, and she nods. She nods because she has me.

I sigh, stroke her face and hold her hand.

“I only want you for your voice. You know that, right?” She laughs. “Kiss me with that special mouth.”

Funny and flirty. I take a deep breath, filling my head with her scent, coconut, sunshine and whiskey. I close my eyes and imagine her with me and it looks so, so good.

When I open them, she’s still there, lingering like a saucy dream.

“Come on, kiss me.”

I hesitate for a second and then with a shake of my head, I pass her my coat. “I wish I could, babe. You’re a real beauty, but the only thing I’m kissing tonight is this.”

I clench my fist, bring it to my mouth and kiss the gold band Bev gave me when I was still battling barmaids and gambling machines for my audience’s attention. The girl looks confused, strokes the coat I’ve put around her shoulders and, with a shrug, slips out the door.

I feel great. Better than I have for weeks. I replay those final words in my head. A cinema moment. Fucking poetry in motion. Bowie couldn’t have done it better. I thank Bev and grab a hotel pen. It’s small and plastic, but when I write those opening lyrics, magic flows from the nib.


Englishman Joel Willans currently lives in Helsinki, Finland, where he edits a travel blog and works as an ad agency copywriter. A Pushcart Prize nominee, his stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio, and published in many anthologies and magazines, including First Edition, Pen Pusher, Brand, Southword, Riptide and Route. Online, his work can be found at places like Pank, Word Riot and Boston Literary Magazine. In 2008, he won the Yeovil Literary Prize and Global Short Story Award.


Rate this story:
 average 5 stars • 2 reader(s) rated this

Every Day Fiction

  • Mandy Pannett

    Great story. Beautifully written and I love the way the narrator is proud of himself at the end, not because he resisted temptation but because he has the start of a new song lyric.

  • Paul A. Freeman

    Oh, yes.

    What a fine piece (the writing, that is, not the gal)!

    The characters have such a realistic feel to them, it’s scary.

  • Sarah

    Fabulous story – thanks for the read!

  • Excellent.

  • Rob

    What, no smut? No infedelity? Hollywood would be so dissapointed. I’m not. Five from me.

  • Amy Corbin

    That was great!

  • Marie

    🙂

  • Bob

    . . . but it turns out he’s a serial killer, right? Right?

    No? Oh well. This was a terrific slice, great voice, nicely pitched. nice tone. A natural five.

  • Engaging and unique.

  • Really well done. Just a moment of a life, but so much is in that moment. Great job.

  • Seemed to me to be more a slice of life, or character sketch, than a complete story. I guess it’s just not my kind of thing.

    I had a little trouble at the beginning, all that unquoted dialog in the first paragraph. Also, the transitions from present tense to past tense didn’t go smoothly for me … I like to see scene breaks for that sort of thing.

  • J.C. Towler

    A rock star faithful to his wife. Now there’s a fantasy angle I never considered. I think I’m more apt to believe in fairies and Hobbits, quite frankly.

    Good job.

    –John

  • Alex

    Pretty nice, could be better but pretty nice. A tad bit too long for what it accomplishes. I kinda knew the ending since the second paragraph.

  • Margie

    Now ‘that’ was a great piece of flash! (Get your mind out of the gutter, I know what word you were thinking I was going to use). Tisk! Tisk! ;D

  • gay

    You’re a Friggin Star, Joel. I love the way you write. 5 from me.

  • Oscar Windsor-Smith

    “It’s all that adoration, waves and waves and waves of it. It has its own smell. A mix of perfume and sweat, panties and smoke.”

    Just like being a flash fiction writer, eh? 😉

    Excellent story, Joel, reminded me of my own band days (And then I woke up)

    🙂 scar

  • A good story, Joel.

  • Robins Fury

    I was pulled into this one. It had an honesty about it. I thought he would cave…nice to have the ending honour his committment to his marriage, but he was SO tempted. Great story.

  • Marko

    Fantastic! Love this story. It’s so rock and roll. Final paragraph is a killer. High five from me Mr Willans!

  • Jon Gibbs

    Great stuff! 🙂

  • Robin

    yet more delightful short fiction from Mr. Willans. I’m always amazed how he draws us in instantly with just a glimpse of his characters.

  • Good stuff, Joel!

  • James

    Im a visual type of person so i don’t read alot, especially fiction, but this was a really vivid scene that i could really appreciate. Thanks

  • Super writing.

  • Smitty

    Excellent. 5 stars. I was hooked from the title and it just got better and better.

  • I was also hooked from the start and it got better … loved the play on his muse … Five.

  • kathy kingston

    Great writing, well done. A five from me.

  • Thanks very much for all your comments. It rocks my world to hear that so many people enjoyed it!

  • Lisa Cousins

    Fantastic Joel, 5 stars from me!

  • Donna

    Five out of five from me, I soaked up lot’s of my favourite word used in this little gem. Ta chuck.

  • Thanks for all your comments and votes. It’s rocked my day to know that so many of you enjoyed this story!

  • Ama

    What an excellent story, yet again, Joel.

  • Jonna

    Excellent 🙂 Thanks!

  • Sally

    Another good story Joel….5 stars for a star!

  • Kira

    Amazing stuff Joel! Thanks.

  • Ana

    I really enjoyed the story! I loved how I just read it simple as, and the words just strung together well.

  • massimo

    Ciao Joel
    Not bad at all! I didn’t know that you are such talented writer. Congratulations. But tell me one thing: the guy in your story wasn’t italian, was he??!! 😉
    Give my regards to Maria
    Saluti from the land of chocolate
    Massimo