The echo of 300,000 screaming fans filled the hallway as Trent made his way to the dressing room. The crush of people always amazed him, but after 10 years of touring and recording, he’d resigned himself to the realities of fame- people will always want more of you than you are willing to give. The assistant that the venue had assigned him opened the door and a blond woman wearing tight leather pants with a mesh tank top stood, smiling from ear to ear.
“Trent? Hi, my name is Jeanine- I’m with Rolling Stone,” she said.
“Didn’t Bill call you and say no interviews?” he asked.
“Yes, he did, but-,” he held up a hand to stop her.
“Then what about that was unclear?” he had turned to face her, his piercing blue eyes locked onto hers. She shrank back a bit, but held her ground.
“I thought that you might reconsider if I showed up personally. Our readers want to know more about you- about growing up in Louisiana and the band’s future and about your fans. We should really get you on the cover soon, before the human pyramid stunt that those kids pulled off in Paris is old news,” Trent sighed, he had already seen the outcome of this interview. His profile would increase by 100 percent and he would then be on Sam Hain’s radar. The moment he’d worked toward since he’d left the God-forsaken town of Tearmann Springs and he couldn’t take it. His movie career had been put on hold for the same reason- had he taken that A-List role, Sam Hain would have known. He silently cursed the nagging loyalty that he still felt toward his home town, even now, long after his parents had passed.
“Jeanine- it’s not going to happen,” he said, softly and with a million dollar smile that he knew from experience would charm the panties off of any woman, “Call Bill and we can reschedule, but I have somewhere to be.”
The eager assistant, who’d been standing in the door watching this scene unfold, ushered the reporter from the room. A couple of minutes passed before the door opened once more. Trent could see in the mirror that this was the one person he’d wanted to see for months, whose presence was not a good thing.
“Shawn,” he nodded into the mirror and continued to wipe his face.
“Trent,” Shawn replied, “How are things?”
“What do you want, Donovan?” Trent asked.
“You know very well why I’m here. How could you release that album? I thought that we’d come to an agreement about this 6 months ago,” he was now sitting on the couch across from the vanity and speaking to Trent’s reflection, “Why do you want to expose us so badly?”
“Expose what? Tearmann Springs? That backward town lives in a self-imposed exile that is ridiculous!” Trent’s face was flushed with anger, “Every time I seem to have something incredible happening, why is it that you show up and tell me that I can’t- what the hell should I care if you don’t want me to write any songs about my visions? They are mine and they’re good songs!”
“Are you not concerned about your own safety? You have millions of obsessed teenagers following you around the world. Do you not think that maybe you’re putting more than just creative energy into your songs? Do you ever wonder what will happen if the magic goes wrong? You could end up tied to a chair by some insane girl or boy who feels that you and they have a true connection,” Shawn asked.
“That only happened once, Shawn, and the cops found me. The girl was fine- the Crone out in Phoenix was able to cleanse her and she went back to her life,” Trent said, “Why are you so sure that Sam Hain is looking for me? I’ve never had any dealings with them and I’m sure that they’ve got plenty of seer’s on staff- they don’t need me. Anyway, I’ve done what you and Amelia have asked. All of my bio information still says that I’m from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with an entire life that I didn’t live. Nobody will know that I’m lying.”
“I know that you’re lying. Your songs are getting too specific, Trent. We don’t want to ask you to give up your life, but if they realize who you are and what you can do, then you’ve just given them a map of the battlefield and we need that as a tactical advantage,” Shawn replied.
“What are you talking about? If my songs are your only tactical advantage, then you should think of surrendering now. Why are you even seriously thinking about this? A magical war in the 21st Century- it sounds like the plot of a bad fantasy novel,” Trent spun to look Shawn directly in the face, “What is this really about?”
“I wouldn’t want you to worry your pretty face about it- it may give you wrinkles,” Shawn replied, “What did that guy on the talk show say- ‘the most beautiful man’ he’d ever met?”
“Screw you. Get out,” Trent said.
“Okay. Here’s the deal, Trent- You know that you always have a home in Tearmann Springs, but if you want to stay out of this battle, then you need to lower your profile. Maybe it’s time to take a hiatus from Music and Films- Go to an Ashram, the New Delhi Area has a few that are sympathetic to our beliefs in anonymity. Whatever you do, don’t make enough noise to attract Sam Hains attention or that little prophecy you had 20 years ago will be coming true,” Shawn stood to leave.
“You know damned well that the prophecy is the reason that I can’t come home, Donovan. It was a vision of Riordan McCluskey slitting my throat as a human sacrifice in Tearmann Springs. I’m not going back, so we can be sure that it won’t happen,” Trent wasn’t as sure of his own reasoning as he’d wanted to sound.
“They have their ways, just be careful,” Shawn said, nodding as he closed the dressing room door. Trent turned back to the mirror and stared at his own face. He’d run from his own death so long ago that it hadn’t dawned on him how he might have been running straight toward it the entire time.
To read part 2- click here!