Written in response to today’s Daily Prompt: Take the third line of the last song you heard, make it your post title, and write for a maximum of 15 minutes.
The last song I heard before I wrote this was Long Burn the Fire by Beastie Boys.
James was only 13 but he had been spinning records for five years, ever since his Ma had let him have the old vinyl from the basement and a used DJ deck. He had grown up listening to her Beastie Boys and Run DMC collections and other, less known rappers. He lived and breathed this stuff his whole life. And tonight was the night to show everyone what he could do.
He had bought his ticket to the Battle of the DJs in the first five minutes they went on sale, three months ago, and had signed up to be a contestant shortly after that.
As the shadows lengthened across the city and the sun went down, his nerves started to interfere with his confidence and his concentration. His hands shook a little and sweat broke out on his forehead. But this was what he was born to do and he was excited more than he was nervous.
Without stopping to eat dinner, or even the chocolate bar in his bag, he gathered his equipment, bagged it and hopped on his board. He would be early but he wanted to get there before anyone else did – check out the space.
When he arrived at the old airport hangar ten minutes later, it was deserted but unlocked. He opened the door and slipped inside. The space was huge, with a big stage at one end, black walls on all sides and a concrete floor. There was a raised area on top of the stage, with a microphone, wires and speakers. Not bad equipment. He could work with it.
He soaked in the pre-show atmosphere. The space pregnant with expectation and short-lived silence. Soon the room would be full of people dancing, sweating, screaming, laughing. Listening to his tunes.
Slowly the hangar began to fill, first with technicians, then with other would-be DJs, his competitors, and finally the audience began to arrive, filling in the cracks and spaces between those who had arrived early and nervous.
The competition began almost two hours later, and by then, James was backstage with the other DJs, where strobe lights flashed their multi-coloured strands through the holes in the wall in time to the music. He was smiling grimly, bouncing on his feet to the first contestant’s tunes, just waiting to get out there. He knew he could do better.
Eventually, the announcer shouted “James Milligan!”
He was up.
James slipped from behind the curtain into the full throng of the event and a roar from the croud greeted him. Some of them saw then that he was only a kid and fell silent, but many didn’t notice or didn’t care, and kept cheering for the music to start up again.
“Hey y’all out there!” Cried James as he went straight into his first pumping tune. “Hey, I’m DJ James and I may be young but get ready for the ride of your life, ’cause I’m the type of MC with the most pizzazz!”
And then he was a star, up on the stage, the crowd soaring and screaming and tripping on his music, and nothing else existed outside those four walls.