YA Fiction - Serial Novels - The Sunshine Time
The Sunshine Time Season 1 Episode 6
The lights had been dimmed further and the audience was in muted mode, except for a few discreet coughs here, a few whispers there, and the occasional camera flashes. All attention was on the stage where Moon-Web was deep in the middle of the brooding, poetic ‘Purple of the Last Night Sky’. And there he was, Guy Caraindon, fidgeting back and forth in front of the others, his mellifluous voice, now low, now rising, displaying an extraordinary intensity and control. He made a very mesmerizing figure in the spotlight, his face in mysterious shadows, the thick, shaggy hair gleaming gold every time he moved his head. He was dressed in a short, long-sleeved, bright rose-pink kurta and blue pajamas, and his feet were bare. He cradled a violin and bow against his chest, and the other hand traced an invisible pattern in the air as he sang. His fingers were delicate and appeared almost transparent in the bluish light. At the end of the stanza, he raised the violin, tucked it under his chin, and brought the bow up in an arc, his eyes closing.
Someone whooped in the darkened club and a rash of goose-pimples went up my whole body. I had heard the song before, but not this musical section. It was a new addition; he had mentioned that they had ‘spruced up the songs a bit’. And what a sprucing it was too.
It was like the wind coming down from the mountains and bending the grass, sending a cloud of butterflies up in the air, and it shook me too, the look on his face, a highly charged, exalted look. He was no longer aware of anyone or anything around him. He was on some elevated plateau out of mortal reach. He was scaling the heights and reaching for some faraway star. He was dazzling. And then, almost on a brink, the music hovered and held. He opened his eyes, grinned widely, and swung into a mad dervish fiddling as the band stepped up the tempo, and the crowd erupted into claps and huge cheers...
I had not expected to be this enthralled when they had come on stage. They had followed three singing acts that had not been particularly spectacular, to put it generously, and their arrival had been greeted with a halfhearted clapping that was mainly instigated by the cheers and shouts and whistles coming from our table under the leadership of the Proud Mama, as Krzysztoff Petrassi termed Diana Van Heusen, and the Proud Papa, as Diana Van Heusen dubbed him back. I would have cringed if Mum and Daddy had stood up like these two did and demanded that people applaud ‘my kid, the genius’ and ‘our prize, our one and only talented darling’. I had even cringed on Guy’s and Conor’s behalf, but it was unnecessary. Their parents weren’t off the mark and they themselves were wired to match such over the top behavior.
Conor Larkin, the very tall, very weird-looking, and very blue-orange-and-pink-haired guitarist, conspicuous in a red, green, and purple kilt and a glittering blue and gold jacket over a yellow singlet, had grinned broadly and blown extravagant kisses at the parents and the audience, making encouraging gestures for them to make more noise. Except for the height, I wouldn’t have recognized him from our meeting at the train-station. Jason Ambershan, the rumored fire-eater of the Caraindon-Ambershan clan, looked like a clean-scrubbed choir boy beside him, with neat auburn hair and a conservative dress sense; dark trousers, white shirt, nothing to draw notice. He was the only one that seemed to have a problem with the gaga conduct. He wore a buttoned-up expression, kept his entire attention on his mandolin, and had not cracked so much as a smile the entire time he had been on stage.
Guy Caraindon had followed them, becoming instantly the cynosure of all eyes, the whistles and screams going up. I had nearly been deafened by his mother on one side and his girlfriends, Angela and Mindy, on the other. He had laughed and, like Conor, had blown out extravagant kisses. He had pointed at his mother and his girlfriends and had then appeared to notice me. He had widened his eyes in a dramatic expression of amazement and extended both arms, palms upended, at me, before winking and grinning and twiddling his fingers.
I had frozen, not having expected such a public acknowledgment and not knowing how to react to it. I had been half-flattered, half-embarrassed, and I hadn’t really realized what I was doing until Billy had smacked down my half-raised hand. Then I had stopped twiddling my fingers back at Guy and shut my half-open mouth and put my hand back in my lap. Diana Van Heusen had smiled and pinched my cheek and said, “There, what did I tell you? My little Pumpkins is so happy to see you. Maybe you should give him a chance, hmm?”
She had stopped tugging at my cheek to lean across and smack Billy’s knee for snorting rudely. I had caught Mindy’s happy, unconcerned grin in my direction and Angela’s contemptuous head-shaking glance up at the ceiling. With a dismissive twitch of her eyebrows, she had shifted to the other side in her seat and crossed her legs. Guy, smiling, had turned away to the microphone. If he had ever been nervous, as Ricky had mentioned earlier, there was no trace of it. He had rubbed a spot over his right eyebrow and surveyed the rest of the crowd with a calm amusement, like he was privy to a fine joke and couldn’t wait to share it with everyone.
“Ah, me darlings,” he had said, in that beautifully modulated voice. “And there I was, terrified, that you wouldn’t show up.”
The band was depleted by two members, he had informed the audience. One had just eloped, he had said, and the other was soon going to wish he had too. This was greeted with laughter, followed by more cheers as he introduced the stand-ins, Psyche Maimon on the keyboard and Makem Eacharn on the drums.
“Bear with us,” Guy had said. “We will try to play the same song at the same time.”
And then, his face still alight with the beatific smile, he had raised his violin and nodded to the band and launched into their first song ‘Seeking The Icebird’.