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Suzie’s House 506: … Of Minds

Lisa caught herself biting her lips and made herself stop. These were her friends. They might be a little strict about how the video came out – kind of like before when Tracy wanted something more even though she wasn’t real clear just what – but they wouldn’t be nasty about it.

Which only made it all the worse if they didn’t like what she had done. She sat at the dining room table in Ben’s house with her laptop loaded and all the members of the band standing behind her. One finger hovered over the left-click mouse button.

“Wait!” She pulled her finger back. “Ben helped a lot with the storyboard. He should be…”

“I’m here.” Ben dumped his backpack by the door as he came to join them. “Sorry. My math teacher wouldn’t let us go even after the last bell rang. Did you show then yet? This is going to be great!”

“We already know the story, right?” Tracy tried to hurry them up. “I mean, we were in it. Right? So let’s see!”

“Right.” Lisa gritted her teeth, and clicked.

Mrs. Audrey called it Latest Greatest. When you’ve been working really closely on writing, it was hard to tell if it was any good. While Lisa worked on the music video, she found out the same thing happened for making videos, too.

The title popped up.

“Brother’s Keeper?” Tracy’s voice got tight. “That isn’t the title of the song.”

“I know. It’s the title of the video.” Lisa lifted her chin, waiting for everyone to tell her she couldn’t have a title for the video. At least not one that didn’t match the title of the song. But no one said anything. They’d probably tell her afterwards, along with all the other things wrong with the video.

She started with some of the original footage of the band playing in Ben’s backyard. It really was good footage – like a real rock band. They were really rocking the opening. Then Emma started singing.

Lisa looked away. She already had the thing memorized inside and out anyway. Instead, she twisted around in her chair, and looked into their faces.

Ben looked kind of surprised. He didn’t seem to be too offended that she hadn’t really stuck with the story they worked out together. She just kind of took some good ideas and ran with them. A lot of the stuff he’d come up with ended up on the cutting room floor. She’d have included it all if the song ran longer than three minutes and twenty seconds. But it didn’t and so something had to go.

Tracy’s head tipped. Lisa guessed it wasn’t really what she was expecting either. But she hadn’t been there for most of the filming. Lisa just didn’t bother to tell her about all the times she and Emma had gone off and done stuff, usually with Bruce. When Tracy was around, she had a way of pushing into the frame and messing it up.

Justin got this little bit of a smile, like a happy movie critic. Lisa could never tell what Gene was thinking, though his eyes never left the screen. Kate looked out the window about half the time. She seemed to flinch when her face showed.

Both Bruce and Emma watched with fixed expressions. Emma might know the whole thing already since she was in nearly every scene, but they hadn’t really talked too much about how it would all fit together as a whole. Bruce played the villain, so he showed up a lot, too, though not so much as Emma. He was pretty good at guessing this stuff, though. So maybe not so much surprise for him.

Lisa almost said something. She wanted to ask them what they thought even before the big ending. But she stopped herself. Better to let them say it on their own if it was too bad.

The last bar of music lingered with a super close up on Emma that drew in so tight all you could see was one eye and part of her mask. Then the credits rolled really fast because Lisa noticed that when she watched videos with long credits, she didn’t bother to watch all the way through, and she wanted every view to count.

Then it was real quiet for way too long.

“So?” Her voice came out too high and embarrassingly unstable. She cleared her throat. “What do you think?”

“Post it.” Tracy said with no hesitation.

“Yep.” Bruce and Justin both nodded agreement.

“I… I think… y-y…. It’s good!” Emma did the bobble head thing for a minute, then stopped herself. “It… it’s g-g-got too much of m-m-m-me…. but…”

“Post it.” Gene said unequivocally.

“But what if it flops the way the first version did?”

“I’ve been thinking.” Bruce drew everyone’s attention with the confident way he talked. “Could be there just weren’t enough people who knew about it before. If we want it to go viral, we need to help it a little. We need to get people to watch it, and click on it and stuff.”

“Oh! I know just who to ask!” Kate looked happy for the first time since she’d arrived.

“Wow. Collaboration is a lot different than I thought,” Ben said.

Lisa tensed, waiting for him to tell her how messed up they were because of it. But he just looked thoughtful and didn’t say anything else.

Lisa thought about all the things they could have said were wrong with it, but in the end, she decided to just go with it. It wasn’t the raves she kind of secretly hoped for, but it was good enough. She uploaded it to youtube.

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Next week – the video. Ran out of space this week.

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5 comments to Suzie’s House 506: … Of Minds

  • Kellye

    Love how you’ve shown the creative insecurity through Lisa. “It wasn’t the raves, but it was good enough.” Spot on. 😃

  • It is so hard to be confident and assured at that age and this shows up so well the this episode. Although you emphasise Emma’s reticence they are all teenagers and each of them are in their own way. Are we really going to get the video next time? That would be great!
    (p.s. You have used the word ‘quit’ for ‘quiet’twelve paras up from last line of story).

  • I like this one.

    My ex, back before she was an ex, used to read most of the things I wrote, and it’s a terrible limbo I go into when someone is consuming my art.

    I’d pace back and forth and try not to comment while she was reading.

    This felt a lot like that.

  • its to bad they don;t have someone better to advise them and help them but hopefully this video is good.

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