Word Count : 496
A Star Falls To Earth
By Josh McMullen
Bobby sipped one more martini, slowly, letting the alcohol burn his insides like wildfire as he waved his
way off the stage. The phoniest of smiles was plastered on his face all the way to the dressing room, and
once he closed the door, it fell like an overcooked souffle.
He had once been on top of the world, when the world was a little bit simpler. All he had to do was step
in front of the microphone, and the ladies would start falling at his feet. His albums flew off the shelves,
and there were radio stations playing nothing but his music. The critics touted him as a testament to the
way music should be, as the money flowed like water.
The harsh lessons came quickly after he made it to the top of the world. The protesters came first,
demanding in their usual way that he stop this “music of the devil” and “corrupting their youth”. That
came as a shock to him, that no one would like his music. He shrugged the whole thing off and his
popularity rocketed further.
The gold diggers came next. He had lived fast and loose on his rise, using his baby-blue eyes and sultry
voice to his advantage many times over. Now, his reckless lifestyle had come home to roost, with an
endless barrage of illegitimate children leaving him in and out of court almost constantly. He won some,
he lost more, each taking their pound of flesh. He still had the voice, though; he would just continue
singing and let the music take care of it all.
Unfortunately for him, the numbers continued to mount well into middle age, to the point where the only
woman he ever truly loved finally sent him the harshest lesson of all. She left him on their 20th
anniversary, right after the banana flambe. Of course, she had to have her pound of flesh too, and she was
going to take even more than the gold diggers took, because she could take as much as she wanted from
wherever she wanted. She did just that, and left him on the brink of destitution.
Now, he was reduced to making a bare bones living in cheap hotels and cruise ships, singing for the
remnants of his younger, wilder days. He plastered on a counterfeit smile every night and soldiered
forward, singing until his voice went hoarse and beyond.
But now, he couldn't soldier any longer. He sipped his martini, every last drop burning like he had
swallowed five Zippo lighters. He had enjoyed the taste, and his last one had been the sweetest of all. He
grabbed the sleeping pills off the vanity, downing one, then another, and still another until even the action
of taking them to his mouth became too much.
His eyes slowly shut, knowing that no matter how much they applauded, there would be no encore.