Kill The Lights, Verse I



Scene Title Kill The Lights, Verse I
Synopsis Your star will shine, and then it will fall
Date February 2, 2010

Quinn's Brooklyn Apartment

Robyn Quinn couldn't remember the last time she had been this excited. It had been one thing to actually pick up her album from the factory with Royce; it was another to know that it was now out in the wild, for everyone to see, and more importantly, hear.

That's why there's a stack of papers thicker than most of the bigger books she owns sitting in the passenger's seat of the van she's borrowed from Royce Garret, ever present friend and bandmate, and co-conspirator on finally making her biggest dream in all of creation come true.

Every newspaper and magazine in the city that publishes music reviews sits next to her. The album is out today, and with it, all the local reviews, print and internet. She hadn't been able to get anything out to bigger national outlets like Rolling Stone or Spin - she'd barely been able to afford the print run, much less convince such big names to take a look at her album. But all the New York papers got it, Pause has it in their issue that comes out today, and hopefully it was getting play on Studio K's airwaves throughout the day.

The van wheels into parking garage adjacent to her Brooklyn apartment, worn brakes screeching as it settles into a parking spot. Grabbing the papers and magazines, she pauses as her phone vibrates, almost forgotten as it sits in one of the drink holder. She picks up, furrowing her brow at the text sitting on the screen of her iPhone 3G.

Quinn where are you?

Bout to head upstairs. Got some stuff. You home?

Call me Quinn. ASAP.

Let me get upstairs. Just come over dumbass.

The phone chimes again, another return message from Royce, but she slides her phone into her pocket. She'll get to it when she gets to it. Calling Royce was important - this was their big day after all - but it could wait a few moments to do what she wants to do. Climbing out of the van, she wraps her arms around the stack of papers and practically bounds her way over to her building.

In the side door, past the steps she never uses, and straight to the elevator as a single piece of paper slips out of her stack and flies down the hall. She doesn't make an effort to grab it - ultimately it's not that big a deal. Instead, she hits the button for her floor and waits, anxiety building as the elevator slowly makes its way upwards. Impatiently, she taps her foot, looking down at the top of the stack in her arms - the new issue of Pause.

The elevator doors have barely started to open when she dashes out, up to her apartment door. She had sublet it while she'd been in Rochester until she'd returned to New York two months ago,. And it was exactly where she wanted to be for this moment.

Fumbling with keys, the door is practically kicked open once unlocked, Quinn running her way to the table that sits against the wall that the living room shares with the kitchen. The stack is dropped off on the table, even as her phone begins to ring. She doesn't even have to look, knowing the ringtone - "Everything is Alright" by Motion City Soundtrack, assigned to Royce. She rolls her eyes, reaching to pull the issue of Pause of the top of the stack.

Thrown down on the table in front of her, she grins ear to ear as she flips through to the new local music reviews. She'd wanted to do more, but she wasn't a big enough deal to get anything like a the cover shot she dreamed of, or even a small article - the review would have to do.

At the back of the magazine she finds the section, eyes beginning to scan across the reviews. Two by groups she somehow doesn't recognise, another by some local solo artist, and- aha! She lets out a giddy gasp as she comes across the entry for Curiouser and Curiouser, by Robyn Quinn, and-


Her head tilts slightly to the side as she stares at the page, at the rating under the album/artist credit. Two asterisk like symbols - two stars. Two out of five. She recoils visibly, eyes widening as she looks down at the page. "W-what?" The words are choked after a moment, looking over the text of the review. "Ambitionless?! Are y'fuckin' kiddin' me?!" She reads through it some more, before gasping.

Angily, she picks up up the magazine and hurls it across the room. "Bunch a' assholes anyway!" As it lands near the door, she turns back to the small stack of local papers and magazines. Another one pulled off and flipped through until she finds the Entertainment section. She hopeful for a few moments, until she gets to the body of the scoreless review.

By the numbers, lacking in any sort of excitement. Passable, but forgettable.

It's tossed to join the issue of Pause on the floor, and Quinn moves to the next one. Thrown, on to the next one. With the third one, the story becomes clear to her, tears, welling up in the corners of her eyes.

Lacking in substance, marred by poor production.
Safe sound, safer lyrics. Occasionally catchy, but always underwhelming.
Meandering and uninspired.
Good for a listen or two, but quickly forgotten afterwards.

She doesn't notice as the doorknob to her apartment rattles, door frantically pushed open as a young man with red hair and thick black glasses stumbles into the room. "Quinn, whatever you do-"

He pauses, seeing the papers spread across her table, her hands flat against it. The small pile of papers by the door. The unsteady breathing coming from Quinn.

"Fuck," he breathes out, closing the door behind him. "Quinn, I-"

A newspaper flies through the air at Royce. "They hate it!" Quinn shouts, voice slightly shrill. "What th' fuck, Royce!" Elbows propped against the table, she buries her face in her hands.

Royce lets out a sigh, pulling his glasses off his face as he approaches the table. "This is why I wanted you to call me, Quinn, I-"

'You knew?!" Quinn's eyes are wide, staring at Royce for a moment, before slamming her hand down on the table. "Next time maybe lead with that, y' jackass!" She throws another paper in his direction, a smaller local one. Royce tries to bat it away, but instead he misses and it clocks him in the forehead.

"Jesus, Quinn!" he shouts taking a staggered step back at rubbing at the impact point.

She glowers at him for a moment, before turning to her phone on the table. "Studio K should be doin' th' five o'clock head t' head now! Y' gave 'em 'Light The Way', yeah?" She looks at her phone expectantly - almost six.

"Yeah, but- Quinn…" Royce sighs, walking over to the table, picking up her phone before she can. "It ended like twenty minutes ago." He heaves out a sigh. "Sorry." A pause, looking over at her computer. "I'd stay off the music websites too…"

Quinn recoils, staring down at the table in shock. "No… no, no, no, no, no…" Slowly she lowers her head down to the table, tears beginning to stream down the side of her face in earnest. "Oh god, these reviews are absolutely brutal…"

Royce's lips thin, before he walks over to her and places a hand on her shoulder. "It'll be okay, Quinn. Let it blow over, give it another go.Can't be that bad, can it?"

A choking cough turns into a full full sob at those words, though - rather than encouragement, Robyn Quinn feels only despair. "Y' don't get it, Royce, this completely naffs things up!" Fingers dig into the last paper on the table, ripping as she draws them into a fist. "I put everythin' int' this, Royce. I'm broke."

The last word is choked up, and she looks up at him. Eyes shake, cheeks redden, makeup smears. "I was countin' on this! This was my dream, how could it let m'down!? My life savin's, mum's savin's! Everythin' went int' this!"

"Wait, what?" Royce seems take aback by this, a half step taken back from Quinn as he eyes her - not without judgement either. "Quinn, you said everything was taken care of, that you'd be fine if-" A hand reaches up, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Okay, well, there's still the bookstore-"

"Royce, I moved t' Rochester f'r six months! I quit that job months ago!"

"You-" He closes his eyes, letting out a long sigh. "Jesus, Quinn. This is why I told you not to dive into this too hard, to take your time!" His jaw clenches, both hands raised in a motion of disbelief. "I told you this wasn't your best material-"

"Feck off," is practically growled by Quinn, turning to look at him her- her sadness slowly beginning to change into something else.

"It's true though! You've should've given it more time, Quinn! What that- something something wonderland concept you had?" Royce is adamant about this, and only stops when one of Quinn's fist slams down on the table.

"You got somethin' you wanna say, Garret? Or y' just gonna sit there an' tell me how this whole situation is completely banjaxed?" Again the words come out with something resembling a growl, Quinn's sudden anger punctuated by her choice to use Royce's last name.

He lets out an exasperated breath, eyes rolling as his shoulders sink. "Look, Quinn. I'm sorry but it's true. You kinda set yourself up here. Maybe- maybe it's time to kill the house lights, go back to the bookstore, and-"

There's a slightly hysterical laugh from Quinn, cutting him off before he can continue his point. "Y' just don't get it, do ya?" Leaning back against the table, hands reach up to cover her eyes. "I've got nothin'," she breathes out in a shaky breath. "I'll have t'- start sellin' things t' make rent, I'll- I'll-" She chokes out another sob. "Oh god, this is a disaster."

"Look, who knows how many you might sell Quinn, maybe It'll be fine. But maybe next time, take your time instead of pushing things so hard." His hands are on his hips, Royce's expression and tone both firm as he stares at her.

This story's missing a wishing well
No mirror to show and tell
No kiss that can break the spell
I'm falling asleep

Fingers part, eyes focused on Royce as he speaks. Quinn shakes, slowly raising a an arm and pointing at the door. "Get th' fuck outta my house," she chokes out. "Get out! The last fuckin' thing I need right now, is your holier than thou bullshit!" She screams it out at, picking up the last thing on the table and hurtling it across the room at him.

Every prince is a fantasy
The witch is inside of me
Her poison will wash away the memory

This time, Royce is successful in swatting it away. "Seriously?" He waves a hand at her dismissively. "Fine. Come see me when you decide to grow up, Robyn Quinn. You know where I'll be."

We kill the lights
And put on a show
It's all a lie
But you'd never know

A middle finger is his reward, Royce scoffing but otherwise silent as he makes his way to the door and out. He barely manages to resist the urge to slam it to make a point. Quinn watches him leave, eyes locked on the door for a moment. She trembles, before finally collapsing down to her knees, bawling as she pounds her fist into the carpet.

Your star will shine
And then it will fall
And you will forget it all

For once in her life, Robyn Quinn has no idea what to do next. Her only thoughts are filled with despair and fear of the nights that lay ahead of her.

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