I pick up a yellow package and test its weight. Steel-wrapped, perlon core. I’ve never tried a wound E-string before. Feels good, but really, until it’s strung, tuned, and played, I’m not going to know. I like the weight of the wrapped string, the solidity of it in my palm. I’m comparing the bulk of this string with one of my usual brand when a noise makes me jump. No, not a noise. It’s a wall of noise. A huge tsunami of sound that washes over me and carries me away with it. It wails and shrieks and croons and moans all at the same time. I’ve never heard anything like it. My stomach leaps with something that could be fear or excitement. I can’t tell which. I just know my heartbeat has grown so fast and strong my ribs groan.
As if drawn by a magnet, I’m outside the string room, cutting through the jumbled spaces, the sound growing louder and louder. It reaches into my soul and tears off a piece, carrying it away. What is this music? Can I even call it music?
I stumble into the store’s main room on trembling legs. In the corner, someone is playing an electric guitar. Although playing doesn’t seem like the right word for the way his hands move across the instrument. He’s caressing it. Teasing it. Berating it into creating this otherworldly sound that pummels the walls and assaults my senses. Feedback cackles through the amp and he seems to encourage it, pushing the neck of his instrument closer and closer before tearing it away. Every note burrows into the marrow of my bones, each one digging deeper and deeper until I can’t separate my body from the music swirling around it.
As abruptly as it started, the sound stops. I stagger backward as if the weight of the noise was keeping me upright. I’m still clutching the packages of strings, the paper envelopes growing damp in my palm. My heart raps a staccato rhythm against my ribs and I realize I’m holding my breath.
As their attraction heats up, Sacha finds herself spending less time with her violin and more time with this exciting guy who makes her feel things she’s never imagined. Her plans for her violin-virtuoso future - and her self-confidence – are shattered when she screws up the audition for a prestigious summer music program. Failure isn’t something she’s had to face before, so when Dylan asks her to spend her vacation with him in the city, she lies to her parents, pretends she won a place in the summer school, and secretly moves in with Dylan. She’s expecting romance, music and passion, but when she finds herself playing second fiddle to Dylan’s newly acquired drug habit, she realizes despite what the songs say, sometimes love isn’t all you need.
Desperate to understand what’s competing with her for Dylan’s affections, she joins his band and does drugs with him -- just once. But once become twice, three times, and more. As the band's popularity grows, so do the pressures and her drug use escalates. If Sacha can’t figure out how to leave the band, and Dylan, she’ll lose herself and her own music foreve
Having spent a lifetime travelling the globe, Kate Larkindale is currently residing in Wellington, New Zealand. A marketing executive, film reviewer and mother, she's surprised she finds any time to write, but doesn't sleep much. As a result, she can usually be found hanging out near the espresso machine.
Her short stories have appeared in Halfway Down The Stairs, A Fly in Amber, Daily Flash Anthology, The Barrier Islands Review, Everyday Fiction, Death Rattle, Drastic Measures, Cutlass & Musket and Residential Aliens, among others.
She has written eight contemporary YA novels, five of which other people are allowed to see. She has also written one very bad historical romance. She is currently ghostwriting an autobiography while waiting to see which of her next YA idea percolates to the top of her brain