The Taylight Zone - Anthology Seven

01 - Strange Animals - Amerika

Mmm... keyboard. Nice.

Taylor smiled to himself and smoothed his hand over the warm line of keys. He pounded his fist down onto them and a blast of silence erupted. He grinned.

The arena seats were empty now, but within the afternoon every seat would be filled. An audience of girls, writhing, wormlike, in utter chaotic anticipation; this night would be just like the thousands before it. His stomach no longer fluttered before a show, so he took a kind of queer amusement from watching the girls, some of them so overcome with emotions their small, fluffy minds couldn't take that they burst into tears or into spasmodic, almost convulsive shrieking. Taylor liked knowing he had that kind of power over them. With the right unstable girl and the right wink of his eye, he wagered he could probably make her pee herself. Wouldn't that be something...

The Blossom Music Centre was buzzing with light and sound technicians, roadies, and stage crew in charge of assembling the set design. It was really like a hive; everyone working in sychronicity, just a step or two away from total confusion. Taylor loved to be able to walk around in this antfarm and barely be noticed; it was a refreshing change from always being in the glare of the spotlight.

"Don't go off Blossom grounds, okay?" Jason Browning warned him, and he agreed. Everything was going well. There would have to be someone to take up the nails from his boots on the stage floor, but that could wait - it only took a minute.

He met Isaac and Zac at the top of Blossom's hill, safely out of sight, sitting on the dry grass and sipping Cokes.

"You know what's weird is that we're together practically all the time on tour," Zac mused, "But when we're together, just us three, it's like a totally new experience."

"I get ya," Taylor nodded, still standing with his hands in his pockets. Zac was floating, cross-legged, six inches off the ground.

"I wish Cinnamon would stop nailing my shoes to the stage," Taylor said and sat, flipping his blonde tendrils out of his face. Isaac was already beginning to rise.

"Well you won't wear the weights," Isaac said pointedly and bent down to set his Coke on the ground. "People're gonna start noticing."

"Mm." Taylor laid back on a cushion of air, his hands folded behind his head. The sky promised good weather, with only perfect blue and the occasional cumulonimbus. Previous shows had been plagued with rain, and he'd felt terrible that he couldn't just take everybody from the lawn into the pavillion. The point was for everyone to have fun and dance, and unless it was Woodstock '98, the slippery mud would prevent any of that.

Today would be good, though. Taylor smiled and closed his eyes, feeling himself float another inch or two higher.


Isaac and Taylor fell suddenly, and Zac looked up calmly, his concentration unbroken.

"Watch where you do that, guys," Jason stressed, gently pushing Zac back into the grass. "People can see through the cracks in that fence."

He pointed to the high brown barrier between Blossom and anyone who'd decided to come three hours early to try and catch a glimpse of the band. The boys grumbled and stood, gathering their pop cans, and followed Jason one by one, Zac's feet falling two inches above the path.