The dual between the guitarists lasted a long time. Both of them had plenty to offer the masses, and the masses had plenty of appetite for the music. I was partial to Gabby’s sounds. She had a very instinctual, natural vibe that resonated straight to me. She stroked the strings just like my professor had. With that soft stroke of intimacy, a soul at harmony with its muse. I loved the way she played, and so did a great many others in attendance. I decided they weren’t going to quit anytime soon and went to go dance with Braidy. It was fun to just let go. All my worries about grades, deadlines, and money melted into the music. For a while I forgot all about everything, until someone bumped me in the back.
“OW!” I said. Stepping forward a few steps before realizing I’d gotten to close to the mash pit. The hit wasn’t intentional but someone did bump into me rather hard. “Oh, sorry.” The guy who had bumped me was much larger than me. I waved my hand. “Its fine.” I said. I walked away from the moshing and felt Braidy’s hand on my shoulder. “Hey you ok?” She asked with concern on her face. Her hand slipped to my back and and winced. “OUCH.” I said, while I moved forward in reaction. “My back.” I told her. “Come on.” She said, grabbing my arm and pulling me into one of the more lit corners of the basement. “Lift up your shirt, let me see.” She ordered. “Nah its ok.” I said. “Michael.” Her tone indicated we were not just skirting over this. I sighed and slipped out of Anabelles strap, then turned and lifted the back of my shirt. “Holy shit!” Braidy said. “Oh yeah. That.” She’d probably noticed the new dragon I’d just had put on my back. I wasn’t covered in tattoos like Gabby on stage, but I had a bit of work done. I liked inking, and if I could afford it might end up completely covered. “I’ma take a picture.” Braidy said. “Its not that cool.” I told her. I saw the flash of her phone camera anyway and chuckled a bit. Maybe it was that cool I thought to myself. She pulled the back of my shirt down and turned me around, holding her phone screen up in a “look at this” serious expression.
On my back were two very peculiar marks. The had a definite base just about 6 inches below my shoulder blades. Like two impact points. From there they spidered up my back in 5 distinct extensions like fingers spreading upward. Black, and blue with blotches of purple they were very pronounced. The bruises didn’t look at all like an outline of a guitar case. I don’t know how I could have been hit like that. “What the hell?” I couldn’t believe it. I tried to look around and look at my back. I obviously couldn’t. I slipped my shirt off. There were guys all over the place bare chested so it didn’t matter. I fit right in with the cross work on my chest and upper arms. I wasn’t a gym rat but I had a good build. I didn’t even notice the shade of pink evident on Braidy’s face. I still had her phone and held the camera up behind me to take another picture. I looked at the screen again. “Damn.” I said. Braidy looked at my back again. “Oh man.” She said, taking her phone and having me turn again. She took another shot and then flipped it between the one she’d taken earlier. “Michael look.” She gave me the phone. I looked at both pictures. My heart pounded. It had to have been just minutes between both pictures, but you could clearly see. It was growing.