The Melody Man   


Avril sat in the quiet of her dressing room her eyes closed.

It was the 5 minutes of peace she demanded just before each show, her mind went over the playlist a few ideas crept into her mind. She was not nervous, she never got nervous before a show, but the excitement pulsed through her veins, the tension and excitement gradually washing over her..

Suddenly Avril felt cold, she shivered and opened her eyes

The dressing room had gone, she was surrounded by a thick mist which swirled this way and that, she tried to move but couldn’t..

Slowly a shape appeared in the mist, it was indistinct, grey, cold and threatening.

Avril had never been scared in her life, but now she was scared, fear slowly crept through her body as the shape got closer ..

It was a tall, human figure coming towards her out of the mist.She could see its face, tight drawn skin clung to its bones,pale bloodless lips framed the mouth, matted hair white as snow clung to the the furrowed forehead, but It was the eyes that scared hair, they were black, lifeless and they were staring straight at her..

The face loomed closer, it was inches away from her own, that horrible face those horrible eyes were looking into her very soul.

“ You have my song “ said a whispered haunting voice that chilled her blood..

A skeletal hand with chipped black fingernails moved towards her face out of the darkness..The extended finger touched her forehead, a sensation she had never known shot through her body at the touch of the finger

“ You have my song, I can feel it “ said the threatening voice as the mist swirled and played round the horrible pallid face..

“ You will never sing my song, never..”

“ The melody man will never sleep again “ it was a threat a cold haunting threat in a whispered voice.

Avril gasped as the hand moved away, the figure slowly dissolved in to the mist

“ I will never sleep again.......................”


Avril felt her eyes closing but the face, that horrible face remained etched into her mind..


“ 2 minutes Av “ boomed a loud voice followed by a loud banging on her dressing room door.

She was startled by the noise and opened her eyes , she was sitting in her dressing room, no mist , no melody man nothing, everything was normal.


The memory of the dream faded..She pushed her way through the door, a sea of faces smiled ather, with shouts of “ knock em dead Av” and “ rock it to em motherf*cker “..

She stood at the side of the stage waiting for her song cue..She could hear the crowd and the

band , She heard the familiar sound of skater boi and ran onto the stage, the noise of

the crowd that greeted her was what her music lived for..She grabbed the microphone took a deep breath and…......

Nothing happened.

The crowd didn’t seem to notice, they were still cheering wildly, the band started again, avril had missed her cue

before, nothing serious..

She took a deep breath opened her mouth and………


The crowd were getting quieter, it was hard for her to make out the faces but they were all staring at her

She looked round at the band who were also staring at her, she made a sign for them to play, she lifted the microphone..

For the third time nothing happened,

She just stood there’

The crowd had gone quiet, the band had stopped altogether

Avril looked round in desperation and then did the only thing she could..

She ran.......... tears streaming down her face..


She ran through brightly lit corridors having no idea where she was going, she bumped into people who tried to talk to her, but she needed a few minutes to herself, time to think, to clear her head.

She saw an exit door in front of her and pushed her way through it.

She was in a car park under the night sky, she was totally alone except for a young girl who was walking across the car park.

Avril whispered her own name, she could hear it clearly, she said her own name, her voice sounded normal, she tried to sing her own name but nothing came out, there was just silence..She was utterly lost..

“ Hello “ said a small voice “ I’m Samla “

Avril looked round her eyes stinging from her tears

It was the young fan, she was about 12 years old, she was standing smiling at her..Avril turned away, this was the last thing she wanted.


Something made her turn and look at the girl who was still smiling..

“ I…. cant….. sing “ said Avril not knowing why she had said it..” My voice has just………..”

“ Have you seen the melody man ?“ asked the girl

Avril just stared at her, how could she know her dream..

Slowly Avril nodded.

A sad expression fell onto the girls face

“ He’s stolen your voice” she said

“ How… but….. why” stammered Avril

“ He stole my moms voice “ said the girl sadly “ she never sings now “

“ Why ? “ was all Avril could say

“ You have his song “ said the girl “ The song that will send him to sleep “

“ What song “ asked avril “ I don’t even know his song “

“ You haven’t written it yet “ said the girl “ but you will, he stole your voice so that you cant sing it, it’s the only way he can be stopped, somebody writes his song and sings it, it sends him back to where he comes from. He will sleep for a long time before he wakes up again "

Avril just stood there, this was just a nightmare, it must be..

The girl handed her a crumpled up piece of paper “ I haveto go now “ she said “ this is my telephone number ring me if you ever write his song “

“ But what if I cant “ said Avril desperately

“ Then you will never sing again “ said the young girl, who looked at her sadly, slowly turned and walked away.


The next day was the worst Avril had ever known, she was crowded by her friends, Deryck rang her and talked to her

for a long time ,but she couldn’t tell him what was really happening.

The press were clamouring for her..Avril evaded all questions ,she just pointed at her throat and shook her head, she wanted to be left alone to think..

She managed to slip away and sat in a quiet room her head resting on a piano that was in the corner .. She had never felt like this in her life, the sadness that she felt was unbearable, her tears were never ending.

They fell on to the keys of the piano..

She tried to put her feelings into words, the words turned into the line of a song, but it was so sad she couldn’t continue. She hit a random key, the melancholy sound it made reflected her sadness, she hit another key, then another.


They melded together into a poignant refrain.


She stopped, what was she thinking, her career was over and here she was messing about on the piano..But the song urged her to finish it..Lines became verses, simple verses but so very sad, the gentle piano accompanied her words perfectly, she found even listening to her own song heartbreaking..

The show the previous night had been cancelled but owing to a few free days in the tour, it was rescheduled for this very night, she had

been told to rest, that she had laryngitis, that she was just tired but she knew none of it was true


She would haveto try she would haveto stand on stage and go through it all again..

She felt for a handkerchief, a crumpled piece of paper fluttered to the floor, she looked at it, it was the young girls phone number..She rang it, a young voice answered.

“ Hello Avril “ it said

“ Samla ? “ asked Avril

“ Yes” she said “ have you written his song ? “

Avril was just about to say no when the refrain from her haunting song echoed in her head..

“ Yes “ said Avril “ I think I have “

“ Would you like me to sing it” asked Samla

“ How …..But don’t I haveto sing it .”

“ I can sing it for you “ said Samla “ he cant stop me from singing


Your song must be sung in front of a lot of people “ said Samla “ tonight , before he can steal it from you, just wait for me”

The preparations and hasty rescheduling had been made, people were filing into the arena, many out of curiosity most just ordinary fans, hoping Avril was alright.

Nobody spoke to her before the show, they just looked at her with worried expressions on their faces..

Avril stood at the side of the stage with Samla standing next to her.

“ Here are the words “ said Avril “ pushing a piece of paper into her hand, but youve never heard it "

“ I know the words” said Samla smiling at her

They walked on stage together, hand in hand, the crowd were totally silent the band also silent.

Avril sat by the piano.

Samla walked to the microphone.

Avril struck the first note and Samla began to sing

The sound that came out of her mouth was so beautiful, so sad, that nobody made the slightest noise.

Avril sat playing the piano tears streaming down her face at the beauty of the song..

The song finished, Samla walked away from the microphone and smiled at avril.

“ Hes sleeping “ she said and walked off the stage.

The band started playing..Avril walked to the microphone took a deep breath and……

gave the greatest show she had ever given. The crowd were ecstatic, their Avril was back and at her best. 


Samlas song was never repeated.

Avril never heard from Samla again.


3 years before on this very day the local newspapers had carried the story of a young girl and her mother who had died in a car crash. They had been on their way to the young girls first ever concert.

The mothers name was Joyce McGovern.

Her daughters name was Samla.......



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