And The Beat Goes On

In my teen years I did what any teen would do. I would sit after school and watch my favorite videos, play cds for hours, and buy magazines with my favorite artists on the glossy covers. I would lay in bed with my headphones on and let the smooth pages slip through my fingers as I read page after page of every silly little detail. What was this boy band’s lead singer’s favorite cereal? What type of girl did each bandmate like? I would imagine that I was famous, friends with someone famous, or dating someone famous.

School was abuzz with gossip on stars, not that I was ever invited into the conversations. I just lived inside my mind, only barely paying attention in class, until the day was over and I could return to my favorite hobby. There was a singer in particular. Roxy. A little slip of a thing with a great voice. She was featured with all the top artists and her music was constantly dominating the charts. I so wanted to be like her! Not just popular and beautiful, but she was talented as well! A girl can dream right?

Then the day came when she was coming to a city nearby. I longed to go but I knew my mom couldn’t afford the ticket, let alone spend hard-earned dollars on something so frivolous. So imagine my surprise when the radio announced that they would give away two front row tickets, limo ride, and backstage passes to the lucky winner. I raced home just for a chance to call. But when I arrived home, my mom was on the phone with one of her girlfriends. On the rare day that she got off early, why did it have to be today? I dropped my bags and ran down to the gas station, the only place I knew that still had a payphone. As I plunked in the quarter, I prayed with all the fervor within me, promising anything I thought to offer when the phone clicked with someone picking up on the other end. No way! The person asked my name the patched the call to the DJ. I nearly died right there. Me and a guest, how did I feel? “Numb and tingly” was all I could muster. The DJ gave me the details on how to pick up the tickets at the station. Crap, the day and time would be when my mom had to work. No matter, I was going to get those tickets.

On the day, I could barely contain my excitement. The station was also going to take me to and from the concert and my mom was more than happy to let me go since everything was paid for. I took a local bus and settled in the seat. The stops took forever and by the time I made it to the station it was dusk. The receptionist at the desk was packing to go but pointed me to the elevators and the floor the radio station was on. The elevator dinged and I stepped out, muzak softly playing behind me. The floor was dark but I heard a Roxy song playing down the dark corridor. Stations were supposed to be dark, right? I headed down the hall, following the music. As I continued on, I saw doors to the left and right of me but no end, no way to turn, only forward and back. The doors had nameplates but none of them were the radio station and I had to get extremely close to read. Not even a light from a window, nothing. The same song was still playing and I thought it strange that it was on repeat. Maybe I passed it. I turned around to head back.

That is when I saw it. I couldn’t make it out, male or female, I couldn’t be sure. I called out, “Hey, do you know the way to the radio station?” The it/something shifted from one foot to the other but said nothing. I didn’t shout a second time. My eyes were darting right to left. I tried a doorknob near me. Locked. I wasn’t surprised. I tried to press myself close to the door, hoping the something couldn’t see me. The Roxy song got louder. The something stepped closer. Slow, deliberate steps. I tried another door. Locked. The music got louder and suddenly I realized it was coming from the something. Instantly, it was upon me. How it saw me in the dark I don’t know. I only know I couldn’t move or even breath. Why wasn’t I trying to run or fight back? I could do nothing.

And then I saw the something’s face. It was Roxy! I was looking into her glistening black eyes, dark hair brushing my face. I couldn’t scream. I was numb and tingly and that is all I felt as she bit into my shoulder. A chunk of bloody flesh was hanging from her mouth but the music continued. I could do nothing but stare at her eyes and watch as she ate me piece by piece. Fingers disappeared down her gullet, music played. Next were my hands, then arms, but she never stopped singing. The music was coming from her filling my ears. I started to feel weak and dizzy from the blood loss and the music still played. Right before I closed my eyes for good she said, “You’re my best tasting fan yet.”