Chap. 8 - What About Tomorrow
Published Nov 8, 2011

Written By



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What About Tomorrow; Chapter Eight:
"It Was a Zombie Jamboree..."

Whilst Carter and Nita were in Brooklyn Heights for the rest of September and most of October, Evelyn tells of her autumn.
Hope You Enjoy!

What About Tomorrow; Chapter Eight:
"It Was a Zombie Jamboree..."

Whilst Carter and Nita were in Brooklyn Heights for the rest of September and most of October, Evelyn tells of her autumn.
Hope You Enjoy!
For me, at least, the month of October coalesced around five main events.
When thinking back on this October the first thing that would come to mind was the night of a date, that only came into being because of the garden party my mom was invited to early in the month; I can recall with perfect clarity the picturesque astonishment on her face, like she didn’t think she was worthy; the invite was from the local gardening club, which was mostly infested with old ladies whose skin was still tanned from the sun and their fingers looked weathered, or that’s how I imagined they’d look because they were always wearing white gloves. Though my mom averred that they were plenty of other, younger peoples, and that they were not ALL boring—anyway:
My mom was fussing with her shirt, and I was collapsed on her bed looking over at her, reluctant to sing her praises thinking that she’d mistake such an act for support of her decision—her decision to go out on a date. And I recognized the look on her face—or more so, I didn’t recognize it—and that’s how I knew she was smitten. With this “Alan Michael”—whoever heard of a name as silly as Alan Michael? Then I realized it wasn’t silly at all and that I was being…a jerk. So I relented: “Mom! You look B-E-A-U-tiful!”
She turned to me carefully, “Are you—”
“I am in no way supporting your…” I considered, “…impetuous choice.”
A laugh escaped her: “I’ll have to thank Pilot for your new found…” She frowned delicately, considering herself, “increased vernacular, hmm?” She smiled triumphantly.
I snorted, Pilot…Pilot, I closed my eye’s and pictured his face—the weekend after Pilot told me about his dad, he never took his eyes off me. Like he thought I was going to disappear. But I did not, I refused to give up on the idea of “Pilot=friend” because of his dad’s stupid, selfish choices. But they way he stared at me made me fumble on my guitar chords during practice—much to Dawn’s vexation.
“Lyn—sweetheart, are you listening to me?” I opened my eyes and sat up, just to be sure I didn’t drift off into another Pilot-induced la-la land.

“Are you—”
“I am not pining!” I snapped, hopelessly.
“Dear,” She smiled knowingly, “I was going to just ask when the talent show was, and if the band is going to perform?”
“Oh, well in that case, the talent show is soon enough—Dawn won’t let us forget it!”
“Will you be going to the community center to practice tonight?”
“Umm—” Dawn hadn’t called—yet—but she liked to pop up on people so: “I don’t know, mom.”
“Well if you do—text me.” She winked theatrically.
The doorbell rang, and as she headed toward the door I gave up any notion of beating her to it and scaring the bejeezus out of this “Alan Michael.”
But before she left she threw me a salute and mumbled: “No alone time with Pilot!” And then she left. I could hear the murmur of conversation through the thin walls before she was gone entirely. “Great,” I told the air crossly, “What am I going to d—” I checked the refrigerator. Reliably, my mom had made apple pancakes for dinner. Before I could even grab a fork the doorbell rang. I dragged myself away from the plate of pancakes. And managed to keep my resolve long enough to open the door: “Pilot!” The word erupted from me before I could stop it sounding so desperate.
He stood surprised at the intensity of the outburst, “Is this a bad time?”
“Noooo…” My current Pilot-drunk state made me draw the syllable out, for a long enough time for Pilot to smile awkwardly.
I instantly regretted it seeing his uncomfortable smile.
A whimper came from behind him—Pilot cleared his throat. “Uh, I wanted to ask you something—”
“What is it? Does Dawn wanna met up to practice again?”
“Yeah, actually—but there’s something else—” More whining sounds came from behind him.
“Where does she want us to be—are you hiding something behind your back—hey, does it smell like wet dog to you—not that I’m implying that you-um—what were you going to say?”
“Uh,” he frowned, “Good question…s—good questions.”
“Sorry…I—” forced my mouth shut.
“It’s fine,” He said, “I wanted to ask you—”
I instantly regretted it seeing his uncomfortable smile.
A whimper came from behind him—Pilot cleared his throat. “Uh, I wanted to ask you something—”
“What is it? Does Dawn wanna met up to practice again?”
“Yeah, actually—but there’s something else—” More whining sounds came from behind him.
“Where does she want us to be—are you hiding something behind your back—hey, does it smell like wet dog to you—not that I’m implying that you-um—what were you going to say?”
“Uh,” he frowned, “Good question…s—good questions.”
“Sorry…I—” forced my mouth shut.
“It’s fine,” He said, “I wanted to ask you—”
“Is that a dog?”
And I wondered how I could miss the little brown form.
“I didn’t know you had a dog!”
“I don’t—I wanted to ask you if you could—I mean; if it isn’t too much to—”
“My mom always wanted a dog,” I said simply.
Unfortunately I had to dash his hopes—“No…”
He frowned.
“But I’m sure I can convince her of it…” The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them, or want to.
“Thank you, Evelyn—my step-mom hates dogs; but I think the feelings mutual.” His eyes twinkled at the punch line to his own, personal, inside joke, and I was painfully aware that all I could do was stand there awkwardly wishing I could know him well enough to be able to laugh too.
“What does you step mom have against animals?” For lack of anything better.
He paused before answering, staring at me, once again, like I was a highly intricate, highly fascinating paradox. “I may be giving you the wrong impression of my step-mom…” He drifted off.
I waited for it.
“…She doesn’t have anything against animals, just dogs, when she was little a dog chased her around the block a few times and scared her shi—badly.” His voice wavered like he wanted to elaborate…
“Tell me more about your family.” An order.
“You know about my dad…” He stopped and stared at me, probably to gauge me reaction—
“Yeah,” I said softly, “So, do you have any other family members.”
He nodded, “Three half sisters…”
“What are their names? …” I pressed.
His phone rang and he easily slid his phone from his pocket to his ear—and the open look that had occupied his face just a second before was just as easily slammed shut—and I sighed when I heard Dawn’s voice, shouting:
“Get over here now, Pilot! We’ve been waiting for…twenty minutes—”
“You never even told me where we’re meeting.” Pilot replied.
“…Right—what’s taking so long anyway?”
“I was asking Evelyn—”
“Bring her too!”
“—Asking Evelyn if she could house Lupe.”
Her voice softened considerably, “What’d she say?”
Pilot’s gaze slid to me and he smiled, “If she can get her mom to agree…”
“Oh, Margaret,” Dawn said familiarly, “I’m sure she’d agree to take in pour little Lupe.”
“I don’t know how you could be so sure.” I threw in.
“ANYWAY,” Dawn said decisively, “Remember the twin’s twelfth birthday and how we—”
“Led them down to the—”
Dawn cleared her throat: “Way to botch my tale…” though there was a smile in her voice, “…How ‘bout you get your talented butts down here before I do something rash—like decide the band name WITHOUT you!”
And before she could hang up, Ace’s voice shouted—“She means please!” Then the line went dead and Pilot returned his phone to his pocket.
He raised an eyebrow.
“Let’s go.” I shrug. Then, “What about Lupe?”
“We’ll bring him with us.”
“—And she tried to run—but the giant bunny could HOP!!! The End.” “What!? What about Dr. Poltergeist; who in a surprising twist isn’t even dead, let alone a poltergeist? What about—”
“He lives happily ever after.” Lukas mentions.

“I don’t need a back-seat storyteller person—okay?” Mark snapped at Luke.
“Fine-Fine; but you always forget to tell that Martin is actually a Martian who was behind the neighborhood's missing jars of peanut butter.”
“What!?” Ace couldn’t hold it in.
“Guy’s…” Dawn said slowly, “Shut up.”
She snatched Lupe from my hands—“He’s not as cute as I remember…”
Then she lowered him to the ground and announced, “I have called this meeting so we can decide the name of my-OUR band. The talent show is right around the corner and I-WE must be PERFECT! The winner, and the runner-up both get to perform at the Halloween dance, the Saturday before the 31st. But we could use all the practice and experience we can get! Oh, and publicity: the more people know how much this band rocks the BETTER!” She stopped herself before she squealed in delight. “So…” “I’m not completely over ‘Mark and Those People Who Play Instruments Behind Him:’ or M-T-P-W-P-I-B-H—you know, for short. Or even: ‘That Obscure Band You’ve Never Heard Of,’ T-O-B-Y-N-H-O…”
“Mark,” Lukas said after a slowly broken lapse in conversation, “That’s a bit of a mouthful, don’t you think?”
“Well I don’t hear any better ideas,” Ace spoke up, “Come on, guys, THINK. We’ve got no band name—”
“Way to state the obvious—Ace.” Dawn snapped.
“A band without a band name; like a chocolate-chip cookie without the chocolate chips—how lame is that?” Mark whined.
“Not that lame.” I said defensively.
Luke shook his head, and then quoted, “A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.”
“But curb appeal is everything.” Ace intoned.
And that’s how the conversation went: us all throwing out dead-man-walking ideas that Dawn, and occasionally others, immediately shot down. Thirty-or-something minutes later, after an endless succession of declined monikers for the band: I’m sure all of our brains hurt, because mine sure did. Yet, still, no success. Then in the darkening night and brightening moon, Pilot re-introduced himself into the conversation from which he had hence faded out of. “I’ve got an idea.” He stated calmly. And paused, like his idea was fragile and he was afraid we’d stomp it to dust. “As you all know, I’m taking Latin for my foreign language…”
A few nods went around our group.
“Well I’ve been thinking…”
And indeed he had been because the ring of fierce cheers met the next few words out of his mouth.
That night our band name was decided, and we were officially official.
And it's safe to say I DEVOURED my apple pancakes as soon as I got Lupe and me home.

Imagine the scene: there’re at least a hundred seats, most, if not all, are filled. Filled with people—their eyes watching you intently, judging you.

“…they give these ball players now a days, very peculiar names.”
“You mean funny names?”
“Strange names, pet names. Like, Dizzy Dean, and…”
“His brother Daffy?”
“Daffy Dean.”
“And their French cousin.”
“Goofe’ Dean? Goofy Dean, oh I see! Well let’s see—we have Who’s on first, What’s on second, and I Don’t Know is on third.”
“That’s what I want to find out.”
“I SAID, Who’s on first, What’s on second, and I Don’t Know’s on third.”

After a couple of moments I managed to find my mom in the audience.
…“I’m asking you who’s on first!”
“That’s the man’s name.”
“That’s whose name?”
“Well go ahead and tell me.”
“That’s it.”
“That’s who?”

There was an antagonistic pause.
“Look, you got a first baseman?”
“Who’s playing first?”
“That’s right.”
“When you pay off the first baseman every month, who gets the money?”
“Every dollar of it.”
“All I’m trying to find out is the fellow’s name on first base.”
Mark, Luke, and Ace were all cracking up, and I had been forced into permanent smile by the contestants' performance—and Pilot was nowhere near the school he’d told me he tended to keep his distance from big crowds. Dawn grabbed my arm while I was looking the other direction and dragged me off: EXIT STAGE RIGHT.
“How do I look?” She said nervously, her hands flitting around her.
I’d never see her so uncertain, especially of herself, and looked at her skeptically.
“Oh, fine. Do you remember your—”
“Yes-yes-yes; I have not forgotten how to play a guitar. You can trust me Dawn—you should relax. Enjoy the show—”
“We’re going on NEXT.” She squeaked, “aren’t you a little nervous?”
I shrugged, “Of course, I’m just too busy enjoying the acts.” I said pointedly, Dawn was reminding me of the butterflies fluttering painfully in my stomach.
In response she stalked off to where the boys stood, still laughing just quiet enough to not be heard by the audience.
“I throw the ball to who?”
“Now you ask me.”
“You throw the ball to Who?”
“That’s it.”
“Same as you!”
“You just changed them around.”
“Same as you! I throw the ball to who. Whoever it is drops the ball, the guy runs to second, who picks up the ball, throw’s it to what, what throw’s it to I don’t know, I don’t know throw’s it back to tomorrow, triple play!”
“Another guy gets up, and it’s a long fly ball to because. Why? I don’t know, he’s on third, and I don’t give a darn!”
“I said, I don’t give a darn!”
“Oh, that’s our short stop.”

Then the sound of roaring applause and scatters of laughter.
And then it was our turn.
We gathered on stage; and Markus, Ace, Lukas, and I started playing. For a second my fingers forgot the chords, jilted from me by the crowd, but it came back in time for Dawn to start singing...
And I hoped we sounded as good as we thought we sounded.
It was…
Four minutes of my life…
But I enjoyed every second of it.
Though it was nothing like my imagination:
A. flashing lights;
B. dramatic (guitar and other) solos; and
C. our own personal group of raving fans...
D. all of the above; or
E. none of the above:
We were just a teenage band debuting at a talent show, playing ONE simple song.
And… It turns out, not quite good enough to win a high school talent show. Dawn was not the only one who was NOT content with 2nd place.
After some consoling and me mentioning that we still get to perform at the dance, Dawn cheered up. Too late did I realize what I had done—
But afterwards we all went to our respective homes and had a good night’s rest.
—Only just, for the next to weeks, Dawn worked us mercilessly.
Practice after finger-grueling practice.
And it was almost fun at first, but only at first.
But, Dawn was indeed merciless, every day of the week. And she’d oh so condescendingly explain that with October 29 approaching we’d need all the practice we could get. And she’d oh so sweetly imply our faults as musicians—
And by the time she was commenting on our fashion sense, Ace had enough.
“Dawn, I’m going to say this once—so listen very carefully—I’M DONE!” He left.
Dawn simply shrugged it off. But Lukas, realizing he too was at the end of his rope, stormed up and out behind Ace. Only after a beat, Markus left too. “Are you going to leave to?” Now she was mad; she asked me, or more so yelled at me.
“No-nooo. I’m not.”
“Good.” She brightened instantly.
“But—” Dawn groaned “—You might want to slow it on the negative reinforcement, I mean, we need them: you might what to…” I didn’t dare say it.
Luckily: “Apologize, Dawn.” “Apologize?” Dawn mumbled incredulously.
Then she left too. “Well that was a catastrophe.” He said.
“I couldn’t find a better word to describe it.”
“Soo…” I said, my mind organizing all our unfinished conversations.
“Oh-kay, then, let’s have it. Ask and I will answer.” He must’ve been reading my mind.
“You said you had three sisters?”
For a second he looked as if he’d wished he hadn’t divulged the information, then, “Yeah.”
“What are their names?”
“Alyssa is the oldest, she’s in sixth grade; then Blake who’s in fourth, and Chelsea is just in kindergarten.”
“Well, they sound very…nice.”
“Yeah, well, they are.”
A question popped into my head, “Do they get…you know?”
“Teased, tormented—Nope.” Pilot said quickly. “That’s only me.”
“Then why don’t you move,” It’s not like I wanted him to, “Where does your non-step mom live—or is she—”
“No, she’s not dead. She lives in Appaloosa Plains, I visited her, once, last Thanksgiving.”
“Why didn’t you, um, stay?” Again, I don’t know why I was encouraging him to leave; especially since that was the last thing I wanted to happen.
“BECAUSE…” He said sharply and I feared I’d overstepped. Then, “As long as I’m here I can be the figurehead for peoples hate for my dad—once I leave—” He stopped himself.
He scooted over on the couch, and I sat down. As loud as a whisper, “Once I leave they, my BABY sisters, will take my place—I won’t do that to them; their lives should not be effected by the choices of their father—OUR father. They’re only kids; Alyssa, Blake, and Chelsea, they’re only kids. They should NOT have to go through—” “But that’s not fair! What about YOU, Pilot! Why do you have to do it all by yourself!” To say I didn’t understand who’d be a gross understatement. “Life’s not fair.” He said resignedly, “Life’s handed me this lot, and it’s protecting my family, and I live with it…” I couldn’t find my words. “Plus,” he said as more of a side note, “My friends are HERE.”
It was the night of the Halloween dance, October 29, and we were gathered outside of the school. There was a terse moment of silence, and then Ace spoke:
“Apology accepted.” The twins nodded in agreement.
Yesterday, Friday, a rumor had spread fast around school, that one Dawn Hendrickson had stood up on her desk in History and announced that despite her outward appearances, she is not perfect—she can’t whistle. The mere absurdness of the announcement led many to question how sound of mind Dawn was. But that’s not the point: public humiliation was Dawn’s way of apology. “Nice costume,” Dawn snapped.
And Ace proceeded to whistle as he walked toward the school.
Just before we passed through the doors, Pilot called: “Good luck, guys! You know where I’ll be. I know you’ll do great!”
They gave half-hearted nods and approving grunts of acknowledgement. But there was an undertone of sincere thanks in those gestures. Pilot waved us off, like he was a dad sending his children off to their first day of school.
“Do you like Pilot?” I don’t know where the words came from but they did—loud and clear. I broke Dawn’s intense stare and looked out across the gym: people were dancing sporadically to the artificial music pumped through the speakers and the teachers, the only ones who were actually wearing costumes, feasted by the buffet table in their boredom. I glanced back at her, and she was still staring at me—WHERE DID THOSE WORDS COME FROM?— she crossed her arms, then relented:
“Do I like Pilot, hmm—let me think…” Her tone could one-up spoiled milk. “Yes.”
My stomach twisted uncomfortably.
But she wasn’t finished—“One might say I love him, but…” Dawn held out for good measure, “He’s more like an pansy older brother to me than anything else…”
She must’ve heard me sigh in relief because she was still not finished: “He likes you, ya know.”
My stomach again twisted painfully, this time for no apparent reason. “How can you tell?” I mumbled for no reason.
She looked at me sideways: “You know that Pilot writes all the bands songs—right?”
I nodded even though this was news to me.
“Well-p, he won’t stop writing love songs—” and more to herself “—I HATE love songs—”
But she had already tromped up the stairs. A second later the music shut off and her voice came loud and clear: “We are ‘MUSICA AETERNA;’ get used to the name.”
I ran up the stage after her, and the boys a bit surprised but the suddenness of Dawn’s musical takeover jumped to their instruments.
“Let’s hope all that practice paid off, huh?” She toyed, and then turned.
Then Ace started a backbeat, then me—people were staring—Lukas played a few keys before Mark joined in. And finally Dawn giggled softly into the mike, the sound reverberating through the speakers. And then, she started to sing:

“It was a zombie jamboree

Took place in the New York cemetery

Oh, it was a zombie jamboree

Took place in the New York cemetery…”

“Zombies from all parts of the island

Some of them are great Calypsonians

Since the season was carnival

They got together in bacchanal

And they were singing:”

Judging by our peers reaction—they liked us. Either someone spiked the punch, or they liked us; they actually liked us.
“Back to back, ghoul, belly to belly,
Well I don’t give a – ‘cause I’m stone dead already,
Back to back, oh oh oh, belly to belly,
It’s a zombie jamboree!”
“One female zombie she won’t behave,
See how she’s dancing out of the grave,
In one hand she’s holding a quart of rum,
The other hand is knocking a conga drum,”
“You know, the lead singer starts to make HER rhyme,
While the other zombies rockin’ in time,
One bystander he had this to say:
‘It was a trip to see the zombies break away!’”
“Hey, hey, back to back, everyone we sing, back to back,
And belly to belly, then back to back,
One, two, three, four,
Hey, what a zombie jamboree.”
Dawn was smiling crazily, and panting and they were cheering and I felt my own wild smile reflect Dawn’s.
Though we were still rushed off the stage: the first place winner was awarded more limelight than us. And we leaned against the wall our adrenaline slowly ebbing reluctantly away. Finally: “You’ll find Pilot in the dugout, tell him of our exploits.” She smirked, “But be back in fifteen minutes, or else!” I didn’t look back. The night was incredibly biting and I was even more determined to find Pilot before I froze to death— “Hey.” I swear her came from nowhere.
“Whadda ya what?” My skin prickling and voice as cold as the wind.
“Oh, nothing,” his eyes said otherwise: EVERYTHING.
“Then get out of my way.” I didn’t mean to be so rude, but I was thoroughly spooked; and I don’t enjoy being spooked.
He didn’t move.
I was going to take a more direct—or indirect route—and step around him.
But something stopped me; I didn’t move.
“What’s going on?” He slightly inclined his head toward the school.
“Halloween dance.” I mumble, tongue thick and the world a little hazy.
“Wanna show me ‘round?” His smile was playful and a little TOO seductive.
While the haze of my world had turned into a thick fog. I nodded, then shook my head; “Yeah, sure—no.”
“Which is it?” His eyebrow jumped.
It took me a moment to fight the ‘yes’ forming on my lips—“No,” I said firmly, “I do not; go find someone else to drool over,” I didn’t mean to add that last part but it came out anyway.
He looked at me hard, smirked, then walked away the mist thickening into a wall, then— It was gone; he was gone; my heart hammered inside me like some drum of war sounding out my end; I didn’t trust this darkness—I ran. “Pilot.” It was more of a sigh of relief than anything else.
Pilot must’ve been half asleep; and there was Lupe fully asleep beside him. His eyes snapped open, then closed slightly once he recognized me; “Hey, Lyn.” Pilot smiled, sleepily “How’s the band—how are you?”
“Good-good.” I lied.
He sat up a little straighter, “What happened, Lyn.” His face all-serious, and his voice all hard.
I laughed lightly here, “Nothing, Pilot, really—I was just thinking.”
Pilot nodded gravely like he knew how heavy thoughts could weigh.
I sat down beside him. And the silence buzzed between us, I was so used to breaking it that I was surprised when he yawned and asked: “Dawn told you I’d be up here?”
I nodded.
“It’s quiet…” he said in explanation; “and…” he let the silence draw around us.
“You like to be alone.” I offered.
Pilot shrugged, non-committal, then, “Yeah, I guess I do—sometimes.”
It was quiet again for a moment.
“Did you want to tell me something?” He asked, glancing at me.

I didn’t move a muscle.
He looked up at me, and then followed my gaze; then he stood up.
It was that kid from before and he was stalking toward us—another form practically flew toward him, catching him by the arm. I blinked in rapid succession. The two were having a heated conversation, a very heated conversation and the taller on glanced back catching my eye and I was suddenly filled with unfamiliar emotions: anger, confusion, resentment, and fear. Fear bolted me to my place, suffocating me. Then our stares broke and the feelings were swept away.
Across the field the duo shared a few quick words then they left.
“What was that about?” Pilot whispered to the dark.
“I don’t know.” I mumbled back, but then a familiar feeling of dire curiosity sparked through me and I really, really, wanted to find out
But you know what they say: be careful what you wish for. SCRIPT FOR THE ABBOTT AND COSTELLO SKIT “WHO’S ON FIRST”:

First off; sorry about the lateness of this chapter. Second, my sincerest apologies if the above URLs don’t work, they should, but if they don’t—my apologies. Third: these things just keep getting longer don’t they? Fourth, and always, I Hope You Enjoyed.

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spladoumNov 18, 2011

I enjoyed very much indeed. Though I kind of wish I knew how Mom's date went ...

fabrizioammolloNov 9, 2011

Very nicely done! Who is this guy that suddendly shown up? Don't tell me, I'll see in one of the following chapters. I'm eager to see how the two branches of the story are going to join. \:\)

eviNov 9, 2011

Great story and perfect shots!\:rah\:

Matej_136Nov 8, 2011

Amazing \:wub\: \:wub\: Great Work \:wub\: \:wub\:

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