Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

Free copy left
You can read our best books
markbinmore would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Burn Baby Burn

By markbinmore All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Humor

Burn Baby Burn

Queen B sat on a gold-plated throne looking every bit like a ruling monarch.  A cigarette was perched upon his lips and in one hand a half drunken tumbler of brandy and soda.  He was flicking through the first draft of a biography some ambitious new author had written.  The cover was red and in huge gold glitter was the one word title - Fabulous – Queen B nodded, he approved. 

It was his birthday, his fortieth… again.  If truth be told this was the fourth time a celebration like this had taken place but no one dared question the age of this aging diva. 

Hey girl, fetch me some chicken,” he shouted as he clicked his fingers at some nervous looking PR assistant, “I need some chicken and mama needs the chicken now”.

The assistant fled.  The other wannabes in the room just chuckled to themselves.  They had heard it all before.  Queen B was throwing one of his “Look at me BITCH I want all the attention” strop and they took no notice.  It was old news.

Queen B was still shouting.


The PA had long gone.

Queen B then clicked his fingers once more to get some order in the room and proceeded to read aloud from his book to his audience of admirers.  All they had to do was stop, gaze and listen.  Those were his only commands.   

Chapter One, A weekend in 1972.  Stephen had enough of home life in his native Los Angeles when a friend suggested he travel to San Francisco for the weekend. Stephen instantly fell in love with the city, the lights and most of all, the men. By the following Wednesday he was completely moved in to the city that would be his home.

Some say he arrived in 1970, others a few years later, but whatever the exact date Stephen had found a home where he could live the life he wanted exactly the way he wanted. He found the freedom exhilarating and in no time found himself surrounded by like-minded friends.

Queen B tutted, “No bitch calls me Stephen”. 

He continued.

Stephen moved around from flophouse to flophouse in the Haight-Ashbury section where he enjoyed his status as a young hippie. One day he found his way to a rehearsal of a drag performance group Handbag.

While surrounded by the typical chaos that passed for a rehearsal Stephen sat at the piano and tapped out a tune demanding silence before he continued. Soon everyone on stage was standing around the piano listening to the androgynous young queen deliver a simple version Heartache Baby. 

Stephen quickly found acceptance and soon he was singing as a featured performer every Saturday night in The Handbag Show at the Roxy.

The rest they say is history,” Queen B commented before slamming the book and rising from his chair to a rapturous applause and some severe ass kissing.  He didn’t mind, he knew the praise wasn’t quite genuine, he would have done the same years back to some other unsuspecting disco diva but even so, despite the falseness of the flattery, he lapped it up. 

And so, the rest they say is history. 

After the Handbag show, there were more gigs, more claims to fame, and continuing sexual encounters with wannabe admirers mostly backstage at a gig or if they were privileged, back in his San Fran attic studio.  Then one night a vision of glamour came as a famous PR face in the crowd.  There followed some serious flirting, a few negotiations, some compromise, the sacking of his backing singers and long term manager but on the plus side assurances of millions of dollars to be earned if he sold his soul and signed on the dotted line of the recording contract with Joystick Records.

He signed. 

Then came the much talked about debut single, a billboard dance chart hit which was called Fame followed by a second hit single Success.  There was a twelve minute disco remix constructed by the man of the moment Justin Fox, a celebrated DJ at the Minstrel Club.  He created a remix where dancers on the floor were instructed to light matches, sniff poppers and wave their arms in the air as the chorus came to a dramatic cowbell finale. “I am success,” Queen B would rhythmically chant, “I am the best the business”.

Then came the album laughingly and tongue in cheek called Fame At Last, there were fantastic reviews, a nationwide tour, celebration parties, more kisses, more champagne and glittering awards and the recording of what would become that all important difficult second album Rise. He decided he was the new mama of disco.

There was the tragic but often aired hilarious TV interview on TVs Nightime show, “I don’t know if I can recreate the magic of my debut, BUT I WILL TRY,” Queen B bleated while waving handkerchiefs to an adoring crowd.  Naturally they all screamed back.

Do you want it” he would cry to an audience who would scream back “YES”.  Mr TV presenter appeared unimpressed.

Mama can’t hear you, DO YOU WANT IT” he would belt back.  Cue dramatic over acting applause, open stretched arms encased in an assortment of gypsy bangles and fake tears. Mr TV presenter still appeared unimpressed.

I love you all,” he would utter as he stumbled off set intoxicated by love, affection and cheap gin.

There would be continued success, luxurious fame, cash spent on jewels, fashions and drugs.  There was the video dream where neon lights would embrace the disco vibe of his leading hit single Disco Heaven from his third album he called Star

I called it Star, because I am one,” he would coo. 

No one argued the point.

The video would see Queen B walk aimlessly around a darkened isolated nightclub decorated with fake palm trees and tinsel, miming over backing tapes, dramatically waving his arms, giving sudden camp hand gestures and winking to the camera whilst wearing an ill-fitting red wig and Chinese kimono.  He knew what the audience wanted and he gave them everything.

But then there came a different time, a time of sadness, the death of a lover, a difficult fourth album Dust.  The album sleeve featured Queen B, face covered with white powder resembling a geisha girl but with tears in his eyes looking aimlessly from a taxi into the quiet streets of downtown San Francisco.  People complained. 

This isn’t disco,” cried one agitated clone.

There was rejection, a flop single, a second single cancelled and a miserable drunken cabaret appearance where Queen B fell off the stage in a vodka stupor.  After intoxicated stage fights and backstage bitch scenes, came the weight gains, the endless diets and dangerous midnight sexual liaisons followed by more comfort eating.  Buckets of chicken and burgers would be ordered and consumed. Invitations returned and appearances cancelled; there would be no curtain up tonight.  After months of pill popping, double cheeseburgers, cocaine parties and cheap cider binges, there would be silence as the crowds dispersed and a new younger hipper sexy crowd had no idea who this drunken fat old mess was. 

There was one scathing article in a newspaper, “WHERE IS HE NOW” some aging queeny journalist would write. 

An equally energetic bitchy young queer wrote back, “Probably eating”.

There would be one attempted failed comeback, the “Back To Where It All Began” tour, only the past was never the same as no one came.  His original backing singers snubbed his request to join him, the costumes never fitted and the vocals were tragic. 

Joystick Records cancelled their contract.  There were no millions, what was made had been spent on sex, drugs, cheap champagne and even cheaper friends.  There would be continual disastrous reviews assisted by daily drug taking, dirty dark room sex, scandal and news reports, more loss, more heartache, more friends dying, more funerals, too many funerals. 

Where has everyone gone,” he once said, “Why have all the beautiful men died, I can’t stand another fucking funeral”.

For once, many people agreed with his sentiments.

A proposed album Back To Basics was circulated amongst record companies but no one was keen, no one wanted a drunken has been on their books and no one returned his telephone calls.  It was time for a change, it was rehab time, it was checking in time, it was now or never time.

And then, just when everyone thought they had heard the last, there was a new sunrise, a new dawn, a new awakening. The much heralded comeback, the song that everyone wanted to hear, the record that was destined to be a success which he called Anthem, the dedication was simple, “This is for all those names embroidered on quilts, this is OUR anthem, we need to reach out and rejoice, and we need a parade…”

The inevitable #1 hit comeback album Parade on MSM Records followed by the greatest hits revival, then the documentary “I never left you all, I just had a little downtime,” he would laugh showing off his new slim line in a figure hugging brown and purple leather corduroy trouser suit.  There were flowers, there was love, it had all returned, he had found eternal happiness not with a star gazer but with a garage mechanic called James.  He collected new friends, some were fake and others real – it didn’t matter so much now, he was back, back where he belonged.  And now, someone had written it all down, all his ups, ups, ups and his downs, downs, downs.

It was all there in black and white. Where he had come from, what he had done what he had said and what had been said about him.  Some of it as fabulous, most of it was nasty, Stephen denied various claims and yet between the lines, everyone knew…it was the truth.

As the final paragraph concluded,  

No one knew what the B stood for though many said simply B was for bitch of the highest level, he quickly learned how it felt to have the total attention of a whole nightclub, and he loved it.

To see the audience stand on their feet and hear the roar of applause after hearing his falsetto renditions of "Work That Magic," "Get Me Into Something" and gospel songs like "God Bless The Child." It has been said that Stephen had not sung in public since he was a child in a local gospel choir and it was here he grew into his own as a performer. Soon his love of creating a fantasy for an audience was born.

Queen B was back.


Five years later FABULOUS was reissued in paperback.

The same year Queen B’s name was added to a quilt.

(Burn Baby Burn was originally published as a short story in 2012.  This is now being developed into a full length book with a possible TV tie in).

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, markbinmore
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Julia Summers PA: Reading this now. It's fun, hilariously fabulous yet taste of what you desire in a unusual read. I will post an actual review when I am finished. But so far loving the flow and the story seems to keep me drawn

Ben Gauger: Kudos go to wordworrywill, author of Kings and Things, an otherwise imaginative tale set against the trappings of the royal set, but then again I don't imagine there'd be many authors who invoked the names of Oprah Winfrey, Vladimir Putin, Jeff Bezos, Beyonce and Steven Spielberg, As for the plot...

Alex Rushmer: Although I don't know the story of the Phantom of the Opera, I really enjoyed this story. The writing was very evocative, and it really put a picture of time and setting in my mind. The voice of the story really added to the character development. The idea of the time travelling -- or whatever re...

Ben Gauger: Kudos to Dhira Vidhea, author of Boy Who Broke In My Window, an otherwise engaging tale of love and acceptance of the quirkiest of individuals, whose overall conception of the plot is spot-on and whose writing style is impeccable and as for her writing skills they are the best I've ever seen, tho...

ianwatson: The comedy is original and genuinely funny, I have laughed out loud many times reading this book. But the story and the plot are also really engaging. The opening two or three chapters seem quite character-dense but they all soon come to life and there is no padding, filling or wasted time readin...

dd1226: I love reading about other countries and I think this story about Cambodia after Polpot creates awareness of the tragedy that happened there and the actions of the U.N. to hold elections. The heroine of the story is easy to relate to, a modern, middleaged woman looking for an adventure, wanting t...

Sinhala-Kella (aka Scandal Mania): Hey Fazio, I LOVED your story! The bus - I don't watch Grey's but that was vividly shocking! And the last paragraph where you said April was engaged to one man but rushed in to save another. It was sooo cute the way Jackson won April back - there were so many lovely bits - 'Shonda' (LOL!).You nee...

Rebeccaseal: This was an almost perfect story that I would recommend to anyone. The only thing I would work on is painting a more realistic picture of Haiathiel. Somehow the environment seemed limited, and the land itself a bit unfinished. This can be solved simply by added descriptions to people and places. ...

Regina Lum: While the plot so far is kind of linear and loosely follows Pride & Prejudice's plot, I find this version of Pride & Prejudice a very enjoyable read!! I read all 13 chapters in one sitting!! I can't stop myself from reading! I hope to read more and feel the love blossom between Elijah and William...

More Recommendations

LesAnne: I've never come across a plot like this, and I like its originality. At first, the title gave me the impression that the story is about friends making bets, but I've been proven wrong. I like the personality of the female main character, how evident her strengths and weaknesses are. She's become ...

summerstone: Seriously this is one of the best books I've ever read. The plot is intriguing, I love the narrative style. Its very descriptive and unique, with minimal cliches. It makes for a great read and the sequels are amazing. Totally worth reading. ^^ That's me trying to be professional. But in all hones...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."