Chapter 54 - Stop the Music
“What the hell…? Grant, this isn’t what these are like I swear. Usually it’s just a bout of friendly fighting. If you fall down, you get picked back up and tossed back into the pit. No one deliberately tries to harm others… I’ve never seen this happen before...” Rhett said, looking down.
Rhett had been to concerts in the past, although not this exact genre, and there were still mosh pits. It was an unwritten rule to treat everyone with respect in the middle of the pit.
“What happened?!” Kale ran up to Grant and Rhett. “Is he okay?”
Bar security gathered and helped the wounded man up, wrapping his leg with a cloth as blood seeped through. Another bar employee came running over with a mop bucket and cleaned up the small puddles of red. The band set their instruments down and went over to check the situation.
“Looks like someone got stabbed,” Rhett answered after getting a closer look at the situation. He turned his head frantically, trying to catch a glimpse of anyone or anything suspicious. For once he was putting to use his skills learned from Shelpo, but this wasn’t where his focus was really needed for the night. I’ll start asking the important questions that could help me find out more about Aeyn after I’ve had a few more drinks, he thought.
For now, he wanted to try and find the culprit of this stabbing, or maybe he was just him procrastinating what he really needed to be doing. He convinced himself that finding the culprit was now the most important thing to do, even with all the security around. That wasn’t a wrong decision though. If he could, he would have liked to protect everyone from harm. Although, Rhett realized that trying to find clues hidden within the mass of people would be almost impossible on his own, and gave up after looking for a few minutes.
Rhett, Grant, and Kale walked back to their table. The atmosphere was completely different from what it was moments ago.
“Ah, can’t say that’s the first time I’ve seen someone get stabbed here,” Ambri said as she made her way over and leaned against a chair. “Poor guy.”
“That probably would have been me if Rhett dragged me over.” Saraiya sipped her drink. “But, judging by the cut, and the cloth around it, he should be fine after some treatment.”
“I’m kind of glad I showed up a bit late…” Natch said, sitting next to Saraiya. “I was planning to join up with you guys in a few minutes.”
“That was a lot of blood though... “ Kale muttered. His attitude had completely flipped. He walked back over to the fish tank and gazed towards them. Perhaps, he was talking to them, but no one could tell with his mask.
Ambri walked over to her coworker who was rolling the mop bucket back towards the cleaning closet. After a few moments she came back.
“You alright, Grant?” Rhett asked. Grant looked like he was on the verge of throwing up.
“...Y-yeah… Hey Ambri can you get me a drink, or three.” He took a deep breath and placed his hands over his face after taking his hands from his pocket.
Rhett patted Grant on the back. “He’s gonna be okay, man. No need to worry. We didn’t witness a murder.”
“That’s good…” Grant’s fingers were shaking as he slowly dropped them onto his lap. “Sorry, I’ll be fine. Just give me a moment.”
“Grant! I brought you two drinks!” Ambri came rocketing out from behind the bar and placed them in front of him. “Rhett, don’t worry, I’ve got more coming for everyone else too.”
“Thanks…” Grant chugged one of them. “So, do you think they will keep playing?”
“Yes I think they will, I remember hearing about something worse happening at a show of theirs’ years ago,” Kale said, fixing his gaze back onto the group.
“Oh really? Like what?”
“Murder.” Saraiya spoke and glanced towards the stage. “One time after their set was over, someone was killed in the backstage area.”
Grant looked surprised. “They… didn’t do it did they?”
“Really Grant, you think they would still be able to tour if they did it?” Saraiya said.
“Some people still think they did it somehow, even though someone else confessed to it. It doesn’t make sense to me,” Kale said. “Maybe those people can’t grasp that aggressive music doesn’t mean aggressive people. It’s just a different way of venting out emotions. I always feel great after a heavy show.”
Rhett stood there, surprised. “Wow, I didn’t know that. Wait, how did you even know that Saraiya? I thought you never listened to them before moving here.”
“Yeah, that’s right. I never listened to them. That doesn’t mean I never heard of them.” She raised her drink towards Rhett.
After twenty minutes, the ambulance finally arrived and took the man out on a stretcher. Police were searching around the area as well, using a metal detector on everyone who entered or exited the building, searching for the blade.
“Tense atmosphere, huh? But, I did just hear that the band will start playing again in around ten minutes,” Ambri said as she approached their private table.
“Oh, glad to hear that. I was getting nervous I wouldn’t get to hear anymore than the few seconds I did,” Natch said.
Kale departed his gaze from the fish tank. “Oh so soon?”
“I do hope that man is okay though…” Grant said.
“He’ll be okay Grant, no need to worry,” Saraiya said.
“You guys ready for the next round?” Ambri made a few more drinks and brought them over to everyone.
Rhett nodded with excitement, Saraiya smiled and grabbed the drink, Grant sat, already starting on his fourth drink, and Kale dipped away from the group, making his way out towards the crowds.
“Grant, you might want to slow down on those, Ambri did mix them pretty strong. Plus, getting drunk just for the sake of escaping an emotion is never good.” Rhett said, but he had no reason to talk. Alcohol was the only thing that had been getting him by since his sister vanished. “But getting drunk for the sake of a friend is always good!I don’t wanna let you go at it alone! I’ll catch up to you. Ambri! Give me three shots!”
She shook her head, smiling wryly from behind the counter and started pouring them.
“Finally finished!” Saraiya stretched. “I got all my questions ready.”
“I thought you finished them already?” Rhett asked as he finished his second drink.
“Well, I did. But, after seeing them perform a bit I came up with a few more questions.”
“I hope it’s not about the murder…” Natch teased.
“Let’s hear ’em!” Rhett said as he walked over to Saraiya to peek at the paper, drink in hand.
“Oh come on. You never let me see anything you write.”
“Yeah, don’t feel bad. I don’t let anyone see what I write, but I already told you what it’s about, knowing they are interview questions is enough, right?” she said as she folded up the paper and placed it in her pocket.
Rhett scowled, and reluctantly gave up.
Ten minutes went by and the lights were beginning to fade again. Cheers echoed throughout the establishment. One by one the stage lights lit up as the crowd made their way back.
“Oh hey let’s get going Grant! Back to the front!... “ Rhett said. “Or not, it’s okay man whatever you want to do.” He changed his mind as he saw Grant still looking down, as if he was sick.
“Mind if we hang in the back around Kale?” Grant asked.
“I’ll come with you guys if you are staying in the back. I think it’s a good idea to stay out of the pit too,” Natch said.
“Yeah, that’s not a problem! Where is Kale anyway?” Rhett asked and looked around the area.
The crowds were getter denser, and finding Kale in this mess seemed impossible. Just in case, Rhett turned back to look at the fish. However, no one stood to watch them.
“No way!” Saraiya started cackling.
The speakers started shaking with sound and the vocalist stood before the microphone. “HEY GUYS WE’RE BACK! WE GOT WORD THAT THE WOUNDED MAN IS GOING TO BE OKAY! SO LET’S START THE PARTY ONCE AGAIN!”
“Is… is that Kale on stage?” Natch asked.
Ambri spun around to check as she had just delivered another set of drinks. She must have really wanted them to not remember this night.
“What is he doing?!” Rhett asked.
“WE GOT A SPECIAL REQUEST HERE! THIS GUY, KALE, SAYS HE CAN SCREAM BETTER THAN US! LET’S SEE IF HE CAN PROVE HIMSELF! DURING THE INTRO TO THIS NEXT SONG WE ARE GONNA HAVE A LITTLE COMPETITION!”
“Damn it Kale…” Ambri looked frustrated.
Everyone started laughing, except Grant.