She falls straight backwards onto the grates with a hell of a crash. It goes unheard, drowned by the band's last notes before they stop. The mic stand is ready to follow her down but it sways upright, wagging. The mic cable loops at her side obediently.
Some people in the front row scream, close enough to see the truth, but most think it's a joke, until the noise stops. One of the grips comes to see if she needs help and frantically motions upstage.
The monitors largely conceal her. She is too far up front to be covered by the scrim. Before long she is screened by people, the platform crowded.
She rolls her head, hair tossed above and around, her mouth opening and closing to announce something that she hasn't the breath to say. A halo of friends and lackeys encircles; the lighting continues to flash and cycle, unreal colors masking her dire state, her pale blood merging with skin... it pours up through her cleavage and forms twin rivulets around her neck, wells up in the red and wet of her mouth like the head of a white worm.
The sequenced noise warbles strangely out of its context until a stagehand kills it.
Her eyes are busy, tagging the faces of her supplicants. They are silhouettes to her. She must be frightened but later her friends agree her expression was one of apology. The wall is breeched by the paramedics. Seconds have passed.
will I be loved when it's over?
The house lights come on. An announcement is made; the audience is asked to leave.
She is given a plastic snout of an oxygen mask; her eyes click open and closed above it a number of times, then remain open. The paramedics begin CPR. Pink mush glurts out of the hole with each compression, splats on the floor below. Her bandmates and crew watch her dying. Both her hands are held.
Picked out by royal blue laminate, the pastel liquid drips and spreads below like melted strawberry shake, bubbles plicking into nothingness, only feet away from the milling audience yet unseen. It is cleaned up in time for the next engagement. The medicals poke and pull at her flesh, interrogating it.
and as my life drains out this hole, so the life of the world drains in.
Some of her friends stand, step away in denial. A stretcher arrives and she is hoisted onto it. It is carried backstage and down, grows legs and she is carted away, a comet tail of witnesses following.
Humanity flows from the exits. Police officers present to harass and intimidate her unloved teen fans are confronted by a mob full of thwarted energy and overwhelmed by incomprehension and fear. The fighting begins quickly and soon becomes a riot. There are deaths.
Like a conspiracy she is taken out the back and fed to the ambulance. The paramedics do not allow anybody to ride. They slam the doors and the vehicle reels away, arclight beams splashing her band's faces with blood until they fade with distance. A roar of desperation from the parking lots chases her.
The world's lights pass by. Beside Lavender is another stretcher. On it is a white body bag. On a hook above her is a sack of human blood, carmine and pure. One paramedic strips her of her blouse, as the other unzips and spreads the bag, reaching inside and grasping a lean, pale arm.