bang the doldrums

4/5/23 - this was a music prompt! someone in class submitted the song bang the doldrums by fall out boy as a musical prompt. we listened to it, i read some lyrics, we wrote what it made us think of. and um. well. it made me think of... them ! band au. farrow. um. yes. i dont think i ever use his or skuggy's name in this. why? i dunno. shy probably. enjoy.?


The backstage is bustling with movement and the sound of gear being hauled from one end of the room to another. The band had just performed their next to last song for the night, and only had one more to go.

The lead guitarist was once again wasted, waggling an empty liquor bottle between his fingers like a guitar pick as he sways over the planner before him. His bandmates, the drummer and bassist, were preparing in the back for the showy ending he had planned for them tonight.

Trevor, the bassist, smacks him on the back of the head as he passes.

“Hey. Are you seriously drunk right now? We’re wrapping in a few minutes, come on!” He sighs. He’s used to it, and was expecting it, but it was still just as frustrating as the last 20 times.

“Nahh. Listen. I never have my greatest ideas sober.” He takes an imaginary swig off his hollow bottle. “I need you to sit. Sit ‘ere. Look at this.”

Trevor, with a roll of his eyes, decides to entertain him for a while and sit. “What.”

The guitarist points to the scribbled paper. “This. This’ll be what gets us on the front pages.” Trevor squints. It doesn’t look like much of anything, just scribbles and chicken scratch.

“What…is it?”

“My final show,” says the guitarist with a hazy grin stretching across his face. “Think about it.” He points sharply to a vaguely humanoid blob scribbled onto the page. “If I were to die during a live show, crushed by stagelight, wouldn’t that be the only way to end my show?” His head lolls back to stare up at Trevor with eyes devoid of any semblance of life. “We’ll be news for weeks. We’ll go down in history. And—“ He reaches over and cracks open a new bottle with his teeth. “It’ll no doubtedly grab the attention of my favorite little traitor!”

All Trevor could do was stare straight on at him like he was insane. He was! Throughout all the time he was forced to spend with this piece of work, he had learned very well that he was.

“I think you seriously need to lay off, man.” He brushes the empty bottle off the sofa, where it rolls off into oblivion. “Listen. We’re not—killing you. Do you hear yourself right now?”

“Clearer than ever, my dude.”

“Okay, then you severely need to get a grip, asshole!” Trevor grabs his shoulder hard. “Literally every time you get drunk you do this shit, trying to get that guy’s attention—what is he, your ex wife?! Leave it!”

“Ah, but you see…this is my single best love song!” The guitarist stands and sways, using Trevor’s head to balance him upright. “What does he want no greater than for me to die choking on my own waste? And if I give him what he wants—well, maybe he’ll feel bad for fuckin’ leaving me, won’t he?” He laughs. “This band has been…a crock load of shit since he left and you know it.” He hiccups. “I had everything. I had record deals…travel…we went to Seattle! And I had—“ He stops, placing a fist against his mouth as if to hold back something within. “…I had chicks,” he finally exhales.

“I knew you were an ungrateful prick. Why do I even stay here?” Trevor sighs. “Well, you’re not getting any of that when you always end your shows on your ass,” Trevor sighs, shoving his arm off of his head. The guitarist stumbles and falls against the sofa. “We’re playing our show and you better be able to play that guitar by the time we call you up. See ya.” He turns back. “And if that stage light does as much as wiggle during our show, I’m ending it. You got it…?”

From the floor, the guitarist winks up at him.

“No promises.”

Trevor crosses the room and passes by their drummer. She raises her head and quirks a brow. Trevor sighs.

“He’s shitfaced again.”

“I know,” she says. “What was he saying about killing himself again…?”

“I dunno. It’s for that old pianist again.” Trevor rolls his eyes. “Seriously annoying. Should we keep the show going?”

“We’re on the last song. We probably should.” She stretches her arms over her head, showing off the muscle definition earned through years of actually playing. “Wasn’t really expecting a hit show joining this band.” She smiles, turning briskly. “I’ll see ya on set, Trevvy.”

Trevor hesitates before reaching out to grab the back of her shirt.

“Wait! Phoebs.” She turns.


He swallows hard. “…You think we could check the stagelights before we go?”

“Come on. You don’t wanna see him get squashed, at least a little?” She smiled teasingly.

“No,” he groaned. “It’d be gross and really just kill the night. Let’s just get it fixed again.”

They exchange a nod, and turn once again to the tampered stage light control room, yet another part of their show routine.


i am scared, i want to go home