Preview of “One Night on Gilman Street” from Punk and Whiskers

Mike leaned over Erin’s shoulder as she Googled the address he had given her. Her eyes darted all over the screen, reading the results from her search. “This place isn’t on any map I’ve found so far,” she said. Her whiskers twitched.  “That’s just weird. The owner gave you a phone number too, didn’t he?”

        “Yeah,” Mike said, pulling out his cell phone. He scrolled through his list of contacts, until he reached a number for an Adam Merrick. “Here.” He handed Erin his phone, and she Googled the number from his screen.

        “It’s a cell phone number,” Erin said. “That’s all it’s telling me. Maybe we got the address wrong?”

        “No, that’s the right address,” Mike said. “I really wanted to go by and check the place out, before committing the band to playing a gig there. But, when I entered the address in my GPS in my car, nothing came up.”

        Erin shook her head. “I’ll try the name of the club,” she said. She typed the name Solo into the search bar, and pressed enter. “Well, at least there is a place called Solo in the Village. It’s on 9th Street.”

        Mike sighed heavily. “I have a funny feeling about this place,” he said. “When I spoke to Adam, he seemed really enthusiastic about having Our Lady play there. I guess I’ll talk to the band, and get their take on it.” Erin handed him his phone, and he slid it into his pocket. “Thanks, Erin.”

        “Anytime,” Erin said.

        Mike walked into the recording studio down the hall, and took a seat on one of the wooden stools. The members of Our Lady of Righteous Rage were in the sound booth, rehearsing a song Nick had been working on. They suddenly stopped in the middle of their song, and Nick shook his head. They began to talk among one another, until they looked up at Mike, and stepped out of the booth, one by one. “Hey, Mike,” Nick said. “What’s up?”

        Mike smiled. “You know that gig I was telling you about?” he said. “The one at that place in the Village? Solo?”

        Nick nodded his head. “Yeah,” he said. “Does the owner still want us to play?”

        “Uh, yeah, he does,” Mike said. “But there’s something I wanted to talk to you guys about.”

        Amy, Rob and Aidan joined Nick and stood in silent curiosity.

        “I wanted to go by this place and check it out first,” Mike said. “But when I entered the address into my GPS, I couldn’t find it. So, I had Erin Google it, and she couldn’t find it either. But, she did find a club by the name of Solo in the Village, off of 9th Street.”

        “So, then it is a real place,” Aidan said, shrugging his shoulders.

        “It appears to be,” Mike said. “But I can’t shake this funny feeling that I have. If you guys still want to play the gig, then I’ll go along with it.”

        The band looked at one another, then nodded in agreement. “We’ll do it,” Nick said. “We’re releasing a new album soon, and we need as much exposure as possible. Besides, with all of the writer’s block I’ve been experiencing, we really need something like this gig to inspire us.”

        “Okay,” Mike said. He pulled out his cell phone, and gave Adam Merrick a call.

        Our Lady was scheduled to play a two hour show at Solo on a Thursday night at seven. The band showed up at six to begin setting up. The place was packed, and there was a mosh pit directly in front of the stage. Once Mike had a chance to walk around with the owner, he felt better about it.

        Adam, the owner, looked like he could have been Aidan’s cousin: same height, same blond hair. Instead of green eyes, his eyes were a piercing light blue. His tail was fluffy, like Amy’s .

        “I had a hard time finding this place online,” Mike said, after Adam had given him a tour of the club.

        “Sorry about that,” Adam said. “We’ve always had an issue with receiving our mail. The post office said it has something to do with some sort of address change they did a few years ago. But, I’m glad you found the place! We’ve got a big crowd for you tonight.”

        Mike smiled as he looked at the tables in front of the stage. Every table was full, and a few people were standing in the mosh pit, waiting for the show to start. “Looks good,” he said. “Well, I’m sure the band is almost ready.”

        “Great,” Adam said. “Have a good show.” He extended his hand to Mike, and the two of them shook. Then Mike headed back stage to check on his band.

        Amy was busy getting her guitar in tune, while Rob looked over his drum set. Nick and Aidan were testing the amplifiers. They looked up just as Mike was walking towards them. “Hey,” he said. “Did you see your audience?”

        “Yes, we did!” Amy said. “And they look so punk tonight. I saw a couple of Mohawks out there.”

        “Are you feeling better about this place?” Rob asked.

        “Yeah, I guess,” Mike said. He looked at his watch. “Well, you don’t have much time left, so I’m going to head over to the bar and grab a seat. Have a good show, guys.”

        “Thanks, Mike,” Nick said. Mike turned and walked away.

        At seven, the band took the stage. The moment the audience could see them, they began to clap and cheer. Nick stepped up to the lead microphone, and adjusted the strap on his guitar. “How’s everybody doing tonight?” he asked.

        The crowd gave a loud cheer.

        “Oh, come on!” Nick said. “This is Solo! You can do better than that! How are you doing tonight?!”

        The crowd cheered even louder.

        “That’s more like it!” Nick called. He looked back at Rob, who raised his drum sticks above his head, and gave the band a count-in, before they launched into one of their songs, Come for the Wake, Stay for the Funeral. The house lights suddenly became extremely bright; the band was forced to use their hands to shield their eyes. When the lights became dim, Amy was the first to lower her hand, and look around. Nick and Aidan lowered their hands, followed by Rob. The four of them looked around in disbelief. The entire club, was completely empty.