Now for a scene from book two…
“Where’s Ash?” Julian asked Foster a few minutes later when Ash suddenly seemed to vanish from their observance.
“He was here a moment ago. He…,” Foster trailed off, eyes widening as they halted on the front of the room. “Oh no.”
“This song is for the love of my life, lost forever to a fiery pit, possibly lava and…humidity.” Seated on an upraised platform and makeshift stage, Ash strummed a few chords on his guitar before he began to sing.
Julian and Foster stared a long, open-mouthed moment as everyone in the room listened.
“What is he doing?” Julian muttered, aghast, to his brother.
“Musical therapy. At least the crowd seems to enjoy it.” And they were; angels, many of them sitting as couples, nodded approval of Ash’s heartfelt lyrics and golden voice.
“It’s nice,” Julian couldn’t help but remark. “Have you heard this one?”
“No, he’s composing on the spot…which is somewhat frightening to consider. This could get ugly very quickly.”
True to prediction, what started off as a pleasant love song suddenly became hard chords and shouted lyrics about pain and death, golden tones gritty with the agony of the soul.
“Oh God,” Julian muttered, wide-eyed.
“This is getting out of hand.” Foster abruptly rose to his feet and strode through a transformed crowd of shocked angel faces to the front of the room. When Ash gave him no regard and continued to sing and play as if his heart had been ripped out and was now on display for all to see its scars, Foster did not hesitate to grab the guitar and wrestle it out of Ash’s grasp. “Give me that. Come on, Ashland; time to go. You’re sucking the fun out of the room.”
“But I-” Ash didn’t get the chance to protest as he was dragged to his feet by both Foster and Julian and half-carried, half-yanked out of the tavern to a gaggle of curious eyes behind them.
Once away from the crowd, Foster insisted, “You need to sleep it off, Ash. We’ll get you home. And tomorrow you’ll feel better.”
“Singing was making me feel better,” Ash insisted, a slight slur to his words. “But you took my guitar.”
“That wasn’t singing,” Foster corrected. “It was shrieking and deafening in its shrillness. Not your best work, Ash, my friend. You’re hurting, and you’re trying to make sure everyone is hurting along with you.”
“My head feels awful.”
“I’m sure it does. Half a bottle of wine will do that to you.”