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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Second Chance - Episode One - by Lacy Muircastle




Second Chance is book #2 in the Second Life© Love Stories series.  This book is taking the form of a serial.  I intend posting an excerpt of an episode a week in the SL Enquirer.

Here we go:

Second Chance
Episode One
Seb Livingstone
I teleported into the club as I’d done many times since discovering Second Life©.  I hadn’t felt this nervous for a while.  I enjoyed singing covers, but tonight would prove whether I could still hack it with my own stuff. 

My IM pinged.  Damn not now.

Stacey Windsong:  Hey, baby, how’re you? 
Seb Livingstone: Good thanks, Stace, just getting ready for BB’s.
Stacey Windsong:  Oh, I don’t have anything booked for you for today?
Seb Livingstone:  I made the booking myself.
Stacey Windsong:  I see.  And I’m not important enough for you to tell me what you’re doing?
Seb Livingstone:  Please don’t start.  Look, I have to go.  Come here if you want to, if not I’ll catch up with you later.
            More pinging.

Blue Benelli:  Hey, Seb, how're things swinging?
Seb Livingstone: Hey, B, do you really wanna know. Lol.
Blue Benelli: *Laughs* You ready then?
Seb Livingstone: Oh yeah.
Blue Benelli: Break a leg buddy.  Give me a yell when you’re ready for me to announce you.
Seb Livingstone: Cool.
BB’s was a simple, uncomplicated venue that has graced Second Life© since late 2008. It was Blue’s mission in Second Life© to provide one hundred per cent live music all the time.  I was following – The music whisper – Russell Eponym, and after my set, Pol Arida would be taking his thumping set centre stage.   I oriented my avatar on the stage behind the mic.   My breathing became rapid and shallow.  My pulse pounded in my temples.  I sat on the stool in the middle of my home studio. The laptop set up to stream my music in-world.  This was it, make or break.

I typed in Blue’s IM:

Seb Livingstone:  I’m ready to roll B.

Blue switched to voice -Hey everyone, good to see you all here.  Give a huge round of applause to my boy Dr Livingstone.”
Applause and cheers ran up my screen.  I looked out from the stage, at the packed club.  The buzz was invigorating.   It never got old seeing people waiting for me to start a set.  There was nothing quite like an enthusiastic audience to get the blood pumping.  I loved performing.  I was addicted to the adrenalin rush.  It made me feel alive.
How are we this afternoon?” 
The crowd erupted.   Chants of – ‘Dr Livingstone, Dr Livingstone’ and ‘Sing ‘Tears’ sing ‘Tears’ and applause rained down the screen again. 
Yeah, yeah J, it’s in the set, but today I’m launching two new songs. ‘Avatar’ is the first one I’ll sing for you.  No prizes for guessing my inspiration for this song.” 
Cheers flowed again. Then the crowd quietened as my music stream came through.

You’re beautiful, you’re gorgeous
You’re an avatar,
Lifelike, surreal
Ethereal, how bizarre
Here one minute
Gone the next

     The crowd applauded wildly. Catcalls and shouts of TUUUNE ran up the screen.
 
     On my own in my home studio, I fist-pumped the air.  Yes.  The feeling never got old.

     “Glad you liked it, and for my next new song.  No prizes for noticing a bit of a theme going on is called Virtual Reality.”

Humans will always be humans
Whether they be pixels or
Living breathing beings
Virtual reality no responsibility
What an opportunity

     Comments like - Dr Livingstone, is there going to be a new album?” and “Where can we buy those tracks?” ran up the screen like credits at the end of an epic movie.
     I felt stoked that my new material had met with such vocal approval.  I closed my eyes and let the crowd’s reaction wash over me.  It was the jump start I needed and how it was supposed to be.  I still had it. 
     I could take it into the real world.  My second chance was going to happen.           
     My computer continued to ping with comments and accolades — what a rush.
     To answer some of your questions, you can buy the tracks as singles off iTunes, and it’ll be on Genius and YouTube, and yes, I’ll be working on a new album.  I’m hoping to get signed to a label soon.”

     Requests poured in.

     Okay everyone here’s the one you’ve been waiting for.  “Tears”.
     I braced myself for the wash of emotion it always launched on me and clung to my microphone as though it could save me from being carried away.

Tears, tears, inevitable
Smiles there were a few
And when the tears ran out
We were numb and so blue

Why, why, why, shattered dreams
Why, why, why, shattered dreams


     The crowd roared in appreciation.  But this song would forever haunt me.  It was a constant reminder of the past, of disappointment and the despair that had followed.  

My IM pinged:

Stacey Windsong: You okay?
Seb Livingstone: Are you here at BB’s?
Stacey Windsong: Obviously.
Seb Livingstone:  Thanks. I didn’t see you. There are so many people here.  And yes, I’m okay.
Stacey Windsong:  Why do you keep singing that song?  You know it’s not good for you.
Seb Livingstone:  It’s difficult to say no to the audience.
Stacey Windsong: Oh, please, Seb, I think you're just masochistic.
Seb Livingstone:  What about the two new songs, did you catch them?
Stacey Windsong: I did.
Seb Livingstone: And?
Stacey Windsong:  They’re not bad.

     I frowned at my screen.  Hell.  Not bad, what the fuck?

Seb Livingstone:  Thanks for the vote of confidence.
Stacey Windsong:  You know that I don’t think you should still be singing after everything you’ve been through.
Seb Livingstone:  And you know that’s not going to happen.
Stacey Windsong:  I’m here to keep an eye on you, make sure you don’t fall off the tracks again.
Seb Livingstone: I can hardly forget since you remind me all the time.
Stacey Windsong:  You should be putting all your effort into getting a real job in the real world.  None of this virtual world malarkey.  It’s a waste of your time and mine.
Seb Livingstone:  I didn’t ask you to be here.
Stacey Windsong: Excuse me, that’s unnecessary.  I too have a vested interest in you, so I want to know that you’re okay.
Seb Livingstone:  There’s no need for you to be in SL to know that I’m okay since you see me in real life.  Please do us both a favour and leave.


For the rest of  Second Chance - Episode One - pop on over to Amazon.  You can pick it up for free on Kindle Unlimited.


Future Episodes will feature graphics by the extremely talented Skip Staheli, so be sure to look out for them

If you feel so inclined, please leave a review in the SL Enquirer, in the comments section.

I hope that you'll enjoy reading Second Chance - Episode One.  I'll catch up with you next week.

Lacy



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