Maelstrom Extra: Fickle Djinn

Thursday, June 25, 2009 reviews (Comments): 3
Kalila smoothed an imaginary wrinkle in her skirt. “I’ve changed my mind.”

Ricky didn’t take his eyes off the road. “About what?”

“The photo shoot.” She flipped down the visor and scowled at her reflection in the vanity mirror. “I don’t like this outfit.”

Ricky darted a glance her way, then returned to monitoring the traffic. The exit was easy to miss and they were running late. “You look fine.”

Kalila leaned back in her seat and pouted. “I should’ve worn something darker, something with less sparkle.”

“Well, it’s too late now.” He checked the lane next to him and moved over. “I had to call in a lot of favors to get you this opportunity, so I can’t reschedule. Besides,” he slowed down as he eased the Lexus off the freeway and onto the access road. “You asked me to buy you that outfit. You said it would be perfect.”

“I changed my mind.”

“So unchange it.” Ricky set his jaw and fixed his eyes on the cars ahead of him as if by ignoring her, he could forget he had a fickle djinn in the passenger seat. As they passed a series of small boutiques, though, she grabbed his arm and pointed.

“Over there. It’ll only take a minute.”

Ricky shook off her grip. “No. Now will you please quit the diva behavior? You look terrific. You always do.”

When they got to the studio, Kalila stalked into the building without so much as glancing his way, and ducked into the first ladies’ room she could find. Ricky waited outside the door, glancing at his watch and pacing. They were late. Her hair looked fine. Djinns didn’t need to use the restroom. What was she doing in there for so long?

Finally she stepped out, resplendent in black leather and red coral. “What do you think?”

“I think if you were going to conjure a new outfit anyway, you could’ve left off harassing me about it.”

“But the car trip was so boring. I had to do something to pass the time.” She slipped her hand into his. “Now come on. Let’s go see that photographer.”

Maelstrom Extra: Streetside Seduction

Thursday, June 18, 2009 reviews (Comments): 6
The woman’s shrieks drew passers-by. “Him,” she screeched, pointing at the blond man who watched her in bewilderment. “That degenerate exposed himself to me. Call the cops!”

Bo smiled at being called a degenerate and leaned against a wall.

“You should be ashamed of yourself,” she told him.

“So should you,” Bo said. “You need to loosen up, have a little fun.”

While the woman sputtered in indignation, a policeman ambled onto the scene. He looked at the frantic, gray-haired woman, then at grinning incubus absently drumming a rhythmic staccato on the wall with his fingertips. The cop hesitated, taken in by Bo’s expansive smile, then adopted a concerned expression.

“What seems to be the trouble, ma’am?”

In outraged tones, the woman explained that as she was walking down the sidewalk, Bo not only propositioned her, but dropped his pants.

The policeman looked at Bo “Is what the lady says correct?”

Bo gave a little shrug. “I offered her a good time. I wanted to bolster my case by showing her the evidence.”

“He’s a wicked pervert and should be thrown in jail,” the woman said.

Her words fell on deaf ears as the policeman was entranced once again Bo’s innocent eyes and boyish smile. “As long as there was no threat…” he said hesitantly.

“Absolutely not.”

“All in good fun?”

Bo’s grin broadened and he hooked a thumb in the waistband of his jeans. “Want to check it out for yourself? I know a motel where they don’t ask questions.”

Thoroughly under Bo’s spell, the cop nodded, then gave the woman a perfunctory “Have a nice day.”

As they strolled off down the street, the woman screamed after them, “Why aren’t you arresting him?”

“Because he meant no harm,” the cop called back. “Honestly, lady, you need to lighten up a little. Life's too short.”

Maelstrom Extra: By the Lake

Thursday, June 11, 2009 reviews (Comments): 4
Gravel crunched under the wheels of the rented Jeep as Ricky pulled into the driveway. “Well, here it is.”

Kalila cast a skeptical glance at the gray clapboard cottage. “This isn’t what I expected.”

“Is anything?” he cut the engine and reached in the back for his overnight bag. “I’ll show you the house, and then we’ll go down to the lake. Uncle Robert said the canoe is in good repair.”

Kalila followed Ricky inside, looking all around and clutching her lamp to her chest. She let him lead her from room to room, and finally selected a spot near an upstairs window where she set her brass oil lamp on a table. “This is where I’ll sleep.”

“I was planning on sleeping in the other room.”

“You can still do that.”

“Right.” He didn't ask whether she’d join him in bed for awhile or just what her intentions were. Djinns didn't like a lot of questions. “Wait here. I want to get something out of my bag and then I’ll show you the lake.”

While she waited, Kalila examined the family photos on the walls, and when Ricky emerged from the other room, she followed him down the stairs.

Outside, a narrow path wound its way from the back porch through the trees, to a dock that listed to one side. “I’m sure it’s not dangerous,” Ricky said, but Kalila had already drawn the same conclusion. She walked to the end of the rickety dock and stood for a moment, looking out over the dark water.

“I’d hardly call this a lake,” she finally said. “More like a large pond.”

“I never said it was much.” He came to join her. “It was the time I spent here with my dad that made it special. It was nice of Uncle Robert to buy it from my mom. The money came in handy. But I would’ve liked to have gotten the place for myself.”

“Family.” Kalila nodded. “It means a lot to you humans. I noticed the pictures on the walls.”

Ricky shoved his hands in his pockets and stared out over the water for a few minutes. Finally he became restless and said, “Want to take the boat out?”

“Not particularly.”

“But I…well, look.” he took a small box out of his pocket and opened it. Inside was a small wooden fish, red with a glitter tail and a hook sticking out of its belly. “One of the lures my dad made,” he explained. “I’ve had it as a keepsake all these years, but I think it belongs here.” He pointed across the water. “Somewhere out in the middle of the lake he loved to fish at.”

“So coming here is sort of a pilgrimage for you.”

“And a chance to spend some time alone with you, away from all the distractions that clutter up our lives. That’s why people come to places like this, to focus on the things that really matter.”

“I see.” Kalila looked out over the water again, her eyes narrowed in thought. “So you wouldn’t have brought just anyone.”

“No. This place is special.”

They stood together for several minutes, watching the reflection of sun and cloud on the glassy surface of the lake. A hawk flew overhead, the wind sighed in the pines, and water burbled and lapped at the dock. Finally Kalila asked to see the fishing lure again, and she took it from Ricky’s hands and examined it in the afternoon light. Then she handed it back. “I think I understand now,” she said. “Let’s go get that boat.”

Tour: Home!

Thursday, June 4, 2009 reviews (Comments): 1

After yesterday, I hope it’s obvious to everyone why we don’t let Lazaro post.

The El Paso gig was fantastic! Not only did we draw the local crowd, but we had some of our Las Cruces fans follow us over, and we had some from Juarez, too. Just to see us!

We packed the club and the fire marshal had to come out twice! Bo seduced him the first time, and we thought that would be an end to it, but we knew stronger measures were needed when he came around the second time. Ricky says let’s just hope no one finds the body.

After the gig, we went to Juarez and partied until sunrise.

What a crazy place! If they have any laws, we sure weren’t aware of them. Bo, Vic, and Lazaro were like kids in a candy store. I told them afterwards that maybe we shouldn’t be so hard on humans, since it’s obvious that some human societies have more silly rules than others, and some places are actually quite friendly to our lifestyle. They just burped and went to sleep. That’s males for you.

Ricky was very distressed about our foray into Mexico, but I made it up to him when we returned. Maybe when all this is over I’ll send Ricky on a nice vacation someplace. Then again, he’d probably spend all his time just worrying about what we were up to, so it’s probably best we all stick together.

We’ve got a gig tonight and I need to go get ready, but the tour is essentially over. We had a great time, met lots of cool humans and other creatures, saw new places, and sampled new cuisine. It was a lot of fun and I can hardly wait for Ricky to book the next one!

You’ll be doing that soon, Ricky, won’t you?


Damn, where did he go?

Tour: Day Twelve

Wednesday, June 3, 2009 reviews (Comments): 1
Fort Stockton, Texas

Stupid band won’t let me post all tour! I hate them.

El Paso gig was good.

Fort Stockton sucks.

Tour: Day Eleven

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 reviews (Comments): 1
El Paso, Texas

The tour is almost over, and a good thing because I’m at about the end of my rope. That breakdown south of Albuquerque was a disaster, but at least I was able to salvage something for us in Las Cruces.

We had a small incident soon after our arrival, with Vic insisting we go to Carlsbad after the gig and Nevin arguing with him about whether or not bats were “nice” animals. It got ugly and Nevin disappeared in a huff. I found him at the Natural History museum and persuaded him to return. It wasn’t too hard to do, since the museum featured desert wildlife, including snakes and lizards. Nevin is more into birds and bunnies than reptiles.

Last night’s gig went off well, even though it was a Monday. I used Twitter and Facebook to get the word out to the New Mexico State students and they came out and had a great time. To the best of my knowledge, no one is missing or anemic after last night, so I figure it was a success.

Our gig tonight is in El Paso.

It was just a short drive from Las Cruces, so I slept in this morning. Nevin and Kalila had waffles, coffee, and strawberries waiting for me when I woke up, and were very nice to me. Makes me wonder if there are things going on I don’t know about. I sure hope not.

Tour: Day Ten

Monday, June 1, 2009 reviews (Comments): 2
Las Cruces, New Mexico

Well, we finally got out of that miserable hell-town. Kalila did something to the mechanic to make him think it was Monday, and he had the bus ready by the end of the day. Ricky thought it was too late to get on the road, but we were ready to get out of there, so we loaded up and started south.

Once the sun went down, it was a nice drive. I sat and looked out the window for a long time, enjoying how nice and dead everything looks out here in the desert.

Toward morning, we reached Las Cruces. I woke Ricky up so he could tell Calvin where we were going, then I went to bed.

Ricky was able to get us a make-up gig for tonight. It won’t be as good as the Saturday we missed, but it’s better than nothing, and Ricky thinks he can get us a good turnout from the local university. He’s doing something on the computer to let them know about tonight’s gig. He says maybe the news will “go viral,” whatever that means. I just hope it doesn’t mean weird germs in my meals. Some viruses have a funny taste to them.

I’ve heard there are some big caves not too far from here, and they’re full of bats. I suggested a pilgrimage, but Ricky thinks we don’t have time. Humans are so particular about such things. Makes you wonder about their priorities.