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Roses are Black: Rise to Fame


by cmac22066

--------

The Twisted Roses is one of the most revered bands in Neopia. However their climb to fame was not easy and when they arrived at glory's doorstep they were faced with even more problems. There used to be four Roses, but after what the group went through there were only three left. This is their story...

Sarah sighed as she sat on her bed and put her hand on her head. She brushed a piece of hair away as she thought about the day at school. The blue Zafara had just gotten home and, as usual, had run up to her room and closed the door. She closed her eyes but opened them again when her little sister began pounding on the door.

     "Sarah," she called. "Open up! Why do you always have to close the door? It's like you never want to talk to your family at all! What happened at school today? Let me in!"

     The little pink Zafara struggled to push the door open on the other side. Sarah rolled her eyes and put her desk chair under the doorknob to keep her sister out. "Leave me alone, I had a pretty bad day," she called out. It's not that Sarah had actually had a bad day at school; it was the usual excuse to keep her nosey little sister at bay.

     Sarah went over to her keyboard and sat down. She looked over her space and frowned as she saw that old sheet music had been stacked neatly on the floor. "Mom," she muttered. She kicked the sheet music so it slid and flew all over the clean room. Who needs sheet music anyway?

     Sarah sat and tried to work out a change of chord for her guitar, which lay in its case in the closet at the moment. Sarah never needed sheet music. She just started playing right where she had left off either before school or the previous night.

     Music came easily to her and she enjoyed almost every kind. It was her passion and her life, not that her family would ever understand. Her mother wanted her to go out into the world as a sophisticated young lady, like her sister was. Sarah had other plans. She would finish school, then join a band along with her best friend, Danielle.

     Danielle was a pink Shoyru who was just as passionate about music as her Zafara friend. Her music voice was beautiful and could be changed to fit any genre. At the moment she was in choir practice at school.

      A waste of talent if you ask me, thought Sarah as she took out her sleek, black electric guitar and began to play so loudly that the neighbors were holding their hands over their ears.

     **********

     The pink Shoyru rolled her eyes and tried to keep an enthusiastic grin on her face as the school choir teacher vainly tried to get the Altos to sing in tune.

     This is the biggest waste of time, she thought. Sarah was right, we should be home now practicing and looking for a band to join.

     "Never mind!" cried the choir teacher. The Kyrii always had trouble controlling the choir since they all insisted on treating it as a joke.

      "Danielle," he said, turning towards her.

     "Yes, Mr. Reeves?" she replied.

      "Why don't you join in singing so we can actually be a choir? The Festival is only three weeks away and this year we are going to beat our rival school."

     Mr. Reeves smiled maliciously while he thought of his revenge on his brother. "We are going to win this year. Now..."

     The school clock struck four at that moment and Danielle and the other choir members all retreated outside. Danielle said goodbye to a few of her friends and started walking towards Sarah's house.

     She didn't even need to look up from the sidewalk as she walked. The consecutive sounds of Sarah's guitar and keyboard were loud enough to guide her there. Without even knocking, Danielle let herself in and went up to Sarah's room. She knocked on the door and called her name.

     The music stopped and Sarah opened the door. "Good, you're here," she greeted Danielle.

     "Hello to you too," Danielle replied as she flopped herself down on her friend's bed.

      "I was trying some different beats and I think we would be better off with a three-four time instead of a two-four. It gives more room for words, especially longer ones."

     "What words?" asked Danielle. "We keep saying we're going to write some but we never do. So basically it's just keyboard, electric guitar, and synthesized drum music playing over and over again."

     Sarah sighed sadly and sat on the floor, cradling her guitar.

     "I know, Danielle, I know. But if we're ever going to get out of here and actually play in a band we need to think of some songs with actual words in them. Anyway, I think that you should write them. You're the best writer in the class and..."

     "Whoa, whoa, stop right there, Sarah," interrupted Danielle. "We're a team, remember? Anyway, I can't sing up there alone without getting stage fright, much less write my own lyrics! And you must be confusing your writing skills with mine. You're an amazing writer."

     Sarah nodded her head in agreement, at least with the stage-fright part.

      It was very true that Danielle would get up in front of an audience, even her classmates, and suddenly not be able to talk... or breathe.

     "I don't understand how you have stage-fright and still sing in the choir, Danni," put in Sarah.

     "That's because there is no main focus-point when you sing in a group. That way most people close their eyes and listen the music we sing... that's even better. And you know how much I hate being called Danni." Danielle winced as though her mother was calling her by her much-hated nickname right then.

     Sarah rolled her eyes and went back over to the keyboard. She pressed a key up and down to suppress her boredom.

     "Danielle, Sarah," came the cry of Sarah's mother from downstairs. "Dinner, girls!"

     "Guess you're staying for dinner, Danielle." Sarah shrugged. She put her guitar on her bed and she and Danielle walked downstairs to the kitchen.

     ************

     "I say we stop at that new clothing store on the way to the mall, Sarah," said Danielle as she and her Zafara friend walked on the sidewalk on the way to town. The fall afternoon was beautiful, but cold and the winds blew relentlessly.

     But Sarah was too busy reading a flyer that had been posted on a tree near the road. "Danielle, this is what we've been looking for!" she cried in excitement.

     Danielle looked over the flyer. "It's the Neopian Festival of Song and Dance, so what? I go every year anyway, the whole choir does. Mr. Reeves has something against his brother and is always pushing us over the limit to beat his choir."

     "But, Danielle," Sarah pleaded. "If we find one or two more members, and then we finally write some lyrics, we can enter ourselves. Think about what will happen if we win? There will be talent scouts there looking for bands, singers, and dancers. Who knows... we could get famous and then everybody could hear our music!"

     "Sarah." Danielle stopped her friend and turned to face her. "I think that you are getting way too ahead of yourself. How are we supposed to find more members that would be willing to play in a band that can't even come up with lyrics to their tempo-changing songs?"

     Sarah sighed and stepped on a leaf. "Yeah. I guess I am getting a little ahead of myself. I..."

     Sarah paused and looked up curiously. "What's that sound?" she asked.

     "I don't know," replied Danielle. "Let's check it out."

     Drumbeats and an electric guitar were heard from the Neopian shopping square. Danielle and Sarah ran off and pushed their way through a large crowd of Neopians that had gathered and formed a circle around a white Ixi and a skunk Lupe.

     They were playing amazing music and were using the Lupess' bass drum case to collect a steadily rising amount of tips and donations.

     Danielle and Sarah stood awestruck. There were no lyrics, but the sound was exactly what they had been looking for. Hard-core, but not heavy metal. Dark and mysterious, but not sappy.

     When the Lupess and the Ixi finished playing there was a round of roaring applause from their audience.

     "Come on, Danielle," said Sarah as she shoved her way towards the two band members as they began packing their equipment up.

     "Sarah, I thought we were going shopping?"

     At first the Lupess and the Ixi didn't look up. But then Sarah broke the ice. "Hi. Um, my name is Sarah and this is my friend Danielle."

     Danielle waved her hand and smiled timidly.

     The white Ixi merely nodded. "Hey," said that skunk Lupess.

     "We loved your music," said Sarah, jumping right to the point.

     "Thanks," said the Lupess. The Ixi merely shrugged in appreciation. "I'm Belle," the Lupess continued. "And this is Chermaine. She can't talk; she was born that way, so I usually talk for her."

     "Oh," said Danielle. She was surprised that the white Ixi was not able to speak.

     "Danielle and I want to start up our own band and are looking for a few members. We were thinking of maybe playing in the Neopian Festival of Song and Dance a few weeks from now," Sarah said. "Would you two be interested?"

     Belle looked at Chermaine who shrugged again. Then Belle turned to Sarah. "All right, I guess we can. It's not like we have any gigs at the moment anyway." She looked at Sarah and Danielle. They were almost glowing with happiness.

     **************

     A week later, Sarah, Chermaine, Danielle, and Belle all sat in Sarah's garage. It had been a good practice, but now the hardest part began: thinking of lyrics that fit the music.

     Chermaine twisted the new diamond stud she had gotten for her newest ear piercing and took a piece of paper and pen out from her guitar case. She wrote: "How much longer is this going to take? Plus it's not as if I'm going to be singing them anyway."

     "Cher's got a point," stated Danielle.

     "You're still going to sing, right, Danielle?" asked Belle as she examined her black painted nails.

     "I guess," the pink Shoyru answered.

     Sarah rolled her eyes in frustration. Danielle was getting less and less confident in herself every day. She had been faced with the decision of dropping out of the choir and eventually chose to so she could devote all of her time to the band. However, little progress was being made.

     Belle's eyes suddenly lit up as an idea popped into her head. "You know what you two need? A new look. That may help us all come up with some lyrics."

     "That's a really good idea," chimed in Danielle. "But what's our theme anyway?"

     The group went back into deep thinking.

     "Oh I know!" Danielle cried. "How about something really cute like..."

     "Bleh!" choked Sarah.

     Chermaine rolled her eyes and put her head in her hands.

     "Danielle, you do realize that two of us are Goth here? Something cute would ruin our image."

     Chermaine took up the paper and pen again and wrote: "I agree... Hey, maybe we should spend some time darkening your outlook on the world, Danielle."

     "No, thanks," stated Danielle. "Sarah might if you ask her, but I am definitely not ready to go Goth at the moment."

     "I think Goth is actually a good idea," broke in Sarah. "Our music is pretty dark anyway. But there are so many other Goth bands coming out now. It's a total sell-out fad. How about a teenage revolution theme? That suits most of us the best anyway."

     Chermaine, Belle, and Danielle looked at each other and nodded their heads.

     "That's actually a really good idea, Sarah," said Belle. "Goth and teen revolution... I like it!"

     **********

     The next weekend was spent darkening up Danielle and Sarah's looks. Using all the money they had, the group was able to purchase a skunk and a shadow paintbrush.

     Danielle hesitated to jump into the Rainbow Pool but Sarah dove right in.

     As the narrator of this story... I would prefer not to talk about the ear piercing... *shudder* Anyway...

     By Monday morning, Danielle and Sarah were completely changed on the outside. Sarah may have not made the perfect Goth, but she looked like one and managed to pull their band's theme off nicely.

     Danielle, on the other hand, took a lot of work.

     ************

     Sarah was extremely nervous. The festival was only a week away and the band still didn't have either a name or song lyrics.

     She was on the verge of an emotional breakdown. Her mother was screaming at her because of her new look and her sister was constantly banging on her room door. She had already broken three guitar strings in the past five days and had to switch to the keyboard until she could get it fixed.

     Her long black and red painted ears twisted in frustration. She needed to channel her emotion into something... but what?

     I have an idea, she thought to herself.

     Sarah got a pen and a piece of paper and sat down. As soon as she had written the first word, the rest came flying out onto the page.

     *************

     "These are really great lyrics, Sarah," Belle stated as she re-read the words Sarah had written.

     "I agree," wrote Chermaine. "Definitely Goth and revolution-like enough for our band."

     Danielle merely nodded her head in agreement. She was still a little unsure of competing in the festival; it was only five days away and they still hadn't set the lyrics to music or thought of a name for the band. She took her compact mirror out of her backpack and examined the new dark purple eye shadow she had just gotten. She hated to say it, but it did look good on her.

     She reached for the paper. "Let me see it again, Belle," she asked.

     The Lupess handed her the paper and the many silver bangles clashed around on her arm.

     Danielle looked over the lyrics again and made the final decision. "Okay, she said. "I'll sing this in the festival. But, we need a name."

     "I've always loved roses, they are so beautiful but have such a dark side to them with their thorns on the stem. Not my idea of a flower of love," said Sarah.

     "Roses sounds like a good name to mix with another," Chermaine scribbled. "But we need something else. Something to make it all sound twisted but beautiful..."

     Danielle raised her head and smiled. "I have an idea," she declared. "Twisted Roses."

     Chermaine started to clap and Belle looked Sarah who nodded her head in agreement. Danielle took a bow.

     "That's an awesome name, Danielle," Sarah said. She whispered it to herself: "Twisted Roses..."

     ************

     "We won, we won!" screeched Danielle at the top of her lungs.

     "Stop being so happy," said Belle. "It's so un-Goth-like." But the Shoyru could see even the dark Lupess starting to smile.

     Sarah had never been so happy in her life. Their lyrics and music had been dark, but the crowd had loved it. They were pushing each other over to get autographs of the now famous foursome.

     After the show, they were on the stage packing up their equipment when a green Yurble approached them.

     "Hello, girls," he greeted them. "I'm Sam Oscroft and I'm an agent in the music industry. I saw you four play tonight and I loved the whole thing. The theme was brilliant, the music was stunning, and the lyrics were captivating and dark."

     "Thank you," wrote Chermaine on a piece of paper.

     The Yurble looked confused for a second until Danielle explained that Cher couldn't talk.

     "Quite all right, Ms.," he smiled. "I wanted to ask you girls if you would like to get into the professional business. I could be your agent, and you'd be famous in no time at all!"

     "Really," gasped Sarah. "Then everybody could hear our music! This is what I've always dreamed of!"

     She ran up to the Yurble and shook his hand in excitement. "Thank you so much, Mr. Oscroft!"

     "Just call me Sam, ladies. Come to the studio at noon tomorrow and you'll have yourself a gig in no time."

     He tipped his hat and walked off the stage.

     "Did that really just happen?" asked Belle in amazement.

     "I think so," replied Danielle.

     Sarah was brimming with happiness. Her dream was finally coming true just the way she had imagined it.

The End

I made it in if you're reading this! I've always loved Twisted Roses and I hope you enjoyed the story!

 
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