I haven’t done a writing circle in a long awhile. Ten years kind of long. And time is not something i have a lot of. But… creativity is a muscle which should be exercised constantly, i’m doing deep editing on the Cabaret album which is more tedious then creative, and my buddy Matthew Broyles is involved so.. i’m in. And it’s good. I enjoy writing short stories on the fly. The prompts are 900 words or less, so you have to keep it short and tame.
Week 1 prompt: Oh My God We’re All Going To Die
1992: In their senior year of high school Dennis Brobart and his best friend Gary Zygote form the symphonic metal band Centurion Rampage along with a guy in their class named Scott who plays drums and listens to Ozzy. They practice religiously in Scott’s basement, learning covers and writing original songs with quite complicated phrasings and rhythms. A major triumph occurs when bassist Phil joins and is able to score them a gig at the beginning of the summer opening for hard core band The Slurping Rogers.
Dennis and Gary are the main writing team and at the time, best friends. They often sit outside as the weather warms up and talk of their dreams of stardom and world domination.
The gig is a disaster. The boys’ compositions are impressively ambitious, but alas, they do not possess anywhere near the required skill to adequately perform them. Also, the hard core audience hates them. After the gig Gary gets wasted with The Slurping Rogers. Dennis cries for awhile then walks 7 miles home.
1996: At college together, Dennis and Gary continue the band. After a terrible falling out with their old drummer (who they fire for ”lack of chops”, although Dennis is secretly relieved for jealousy reasons) they replace the other members and after a few years at college are actually rather decent. Their following is relatively small and to the boys’ sadness include very, very few female fans. However, some of the bros at Phi Sigma Beta think they’re the bomb and they play all their parties as well as some bar gigs.
2000: After college Dennis and Gary and their drummer Alex all move to Philadelphia together to take the band to heights of glory. They scour gigs around the city and eventually land a couple regular nights at some clubs. They pull together money from their days jobs (of which Gary has the best and therefore is often asked to contribute the most) and record their first CD, Universal Spasmodium, which to them sounds like the height of professionalism. To their credit, it is indeed just this side of listenable.
However, it is now several years after college and while the band is surviving, their dreams of glory are giving way to a certain tedium. Alex quits and is replaced and Gary starts getting promotions which he keeps quiet from Dennis and the band so he isn’t asked to contribute even more cash. Gary starts to think seriously about quitting the band and focusing fully on his burgeoning career. Also, Gary and Dennis have been living together since college and by now drive each other nuts.
2002: The band records their second album Wasteland of Depravity. They sell 475 copies all told at gigs which they consider to be a monumental success. Dennis sleeps with Gary’s girlfriend, feels incredible shame but doesn’t tell him. That is, until at a summer festival they do acid together and Dennis in a fit of drug induced guilt, confesses. Gary doesn’t mind at all. Until he comes down that is, at which point he starts minding a great deal. The two get separate places soon after, although the band stays together.
2003: Gary tells Dennis he is quitting the band. Dennis cries for an hour and begs him to stay long enough to record one last CD. By now Gary barely thinks about the band as his job is going quite well and is rather more engaging and fulfilling then he would have imagined. He shows up at gigs and practices, although has managed to get practices whittled down to next to nothing. Dennis is writing most of the songs and has written a double album story cycle he has titled Oh My God, We’re All Gonna Die.
Gary has given it a lot of thought and decides that what he really needs more than anything, is to just never see Dennis’ god damn face ever again, or at least for a decade or two. Their drummer and bassist don’t care either way. They are in 3 to 4 different bands each, including a wedding band together which pays the bills shockingly well. Of all their bands, Centurion Rampage is their second to least favorite so they’re fine with the news that Gary wants to go, and plan on splitting when he does.
Despite all this, Dennis convinces the band to record this last CD. He even gets them to practice more, which they all do grudgingly out of guilt for breaking his little crybaby heart.
2004: The CD is recorded and finished. The band splits up, although they perform the full album live twice before they do. They sell 27 copies at the gig.
They never see each other again.
In September Dennis uploads the album online then heads out to California to work as a hired marijuana farmer. He figures he’ll pick the weed, make some money and figure out what to do next.
Oh My God, We’re All Gonna Die by Centurion Rampage becomes a bit of an internet phenomenon, at least among symphonic metal fans. While the band had had a hard time attracting fans of the genre in their area, across the net there turns out to be a ton of them. And they love the album. Bands for the next 2 decades site the album as a major influence.
Unfortunately, on his trip to California Dennis got into a car crash during a rain storm and was killed.