[Vfw-times] Cassie the Rock Vixen-Stage Sisters ch4

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Fri Aug 17 21:42:57 CDT 2001

Cassie the Rock Vixen-Stage Sisters ch4

Stage Sisters chapter 4

Written by & copyright of Andrew Cotton  Wolfie8898 at hotmail.com

Featuring Laretta Morrigan (Cassie's rhythm guitarist) and Cassie

Cassie, the Rock & Roll Vixen
Laretta Morrigan

Please read chapter five, featuring Laretta and Cassie at

All characters created by & copyright of Earl Bacon except Laretta, who is 
created by
and copyright of Andrew Cotton, Alex, who is created by and copyright of 
Donna Fritz
and Vixina, who is created by and copyright of Cloudchaser Shaconage.

Two days had passed since Laretta first met Cassie and rehearsed with her 
band.  To
Laretta, it might as well have been two minutes.  So much had changed so 
quickly for her
in this short amount of time.  She had become good friends with one of the 
most famous
stars of furry rock music, and she was on the verge of becoming the band's 
addition.  She, Cassie, and the band had been practicing rigorously over the 
past two
days, and for a good reason.  The Lone Star Metal Round-Up was the very next 
and Laretta's anxiety was starting to surface once again.

She and Cassie's band had just wrapped up the day's session and everyone was 
and confident of a successful performance the next day, so they had already 
packed up and
left to rest up and be prepared for tomorrow.  Laretta remained behind in the 
claiming she wanted to tune up her guitar just right.  What she really 
needed, though,
was some time to herself, to get her head clear and her nerves steady.  She 
thought she
could best do this alone, so that no one would worry about her cracking up 
just before
the performance.

At least, she thought she was alone.  She was sitting by herself in the stage 
fully dressed in her stage outfit except her pumps which were lying on the 
idly fingering her guitar when a door abruptly opened.  It was Cassie, 
looking as beautiful
as she usually did, wearing light blue high heeled pumps on her feet.  
Laretta was
surprised, not expecting anyone to still be around, and nearly dropped her 
"Oh, Laretta," said the vixen.  "I'm sorry.  I thought everyone had left by 
now."  Even
Slim and the rest of the crew have retired for the night.  "How come you're 
still here?"  Laretta regained her composure, not wanting to worry her 
companion.  "It's all right,
Cassie," Laretta replied, "I just wanted to practice by myself for a little 
while.  It's
no big deal."  Cassie just shrugged and went on, "All right.  Just be ready 
for the
concert tomorrow.  Everyone's counting on a top performance."

Laretta couldn't help but feel jittery by what Cassie said.  She knew she was 
ready for
the next day's big performance.  After rehearsing extensively and 
Laretta practically knew every piece to be played by heart.  She was also 
ready to face
the crowd of fans.  Even though this would be the largest audience she would 
play in front
of, she was used to playing before crowds of rowdy fans, and it helped that 
she would
be playing close to home.  What she wasn't prepared for was the very real 
prospect of
being thrust into the public eye once again.  She knew that being a member of 
band meant having much more in her life to deal with, and bad past 
experiences did not
help her with this prospect.

"Uh, Cassie," she started as she rose from her seat, "Can I ask you a 
question?"  "Sure,
go right ahead," the vixen replied, sensing a tone of worry in Laretta's 
voice. Laretta
rose to her feet, searching for the right words to say.  "Cassie, you've been 
performing for
a while now.  Have you ever worried about failure, or  being surpassed by new 
talent?"  She stared down at the toes of her sock clad feet, feeling slightly 
embarrassed.  Cassie responded in a gentle tone.  "Laretta, worrying about 
your career is always a
large part of being a musician.  Yes, I have worried about failure quite a 
bit when I was
new to the business, and sometimes I do worry a lot about not doing the best 
job I can."

She walked over to Laretta and put her arm around her shoulders.  "You're 
still worried
about tomorrow's concert, aren't you?"  Laretta sighed and leaned against 
Cassie.  "Well,
sort of.  Can you keep a secret?" Cassie smiled, "Of course I can, but only 
if it's a
secret worth keeping."  Laretta still felt uncomfortable, but she felt she 
could trust
Cassie, and continued on.  "Your rep, Andy, told me not let this out, but I 
think it's
too important.  He and my agent said that you're seriously thinking of making 
me a
permanent addition to your band.  Is that actually true?"

Cassie seemed a bit surprised at Laretta's admission, but inwardly decided 
straight forward honesty was the best way to go henceforth.  "Yes, that's 
Cassie replied.  "I've really wanted someone to back me up with rhythm guitar 
and vocals for
a while now and you seemed like a great candidate for the job.  My opinion 
hasn't changed
at all, Laretta.  You have incredible talent.  We'd really love to have you 
with us."
Laretta fidgeted slightly, and Cassie frowned, unsure of where the 
conversation was
going.  "It's really not too late for you to back down.  I'm beginning to 
think that maybe
we pushed you into this too soon."

Laretta was quick to respond.  "Oh no!  That's really not what I meant, 
Cassie.  Playing
with you is a dream come true for me.  I'm just worried that, well...it's 
just that I
haven't had the greatest luck playing in professional bands."  Cassie nodded,
understanding what Laretta meant by her words.  "Would you like to talk about 
it?" she
asked, as the took a seat herself.  Laretta nodded and sat back down, folding 
hands together between her knees, thinking about her past struggles.  "Well, 
I didn't tell
you much about what happened after I played solo in the nightclub scene.  
Several other
furry musicians heard about how popular I had become, and contacted me with 
the idea
of starting our own band.  It sounded like fun, so I managed to get a few 
together, and
we called our band called 'Bloodlust'."

"We did pretty well at first.  Since the others agreed that I had great name 
and that I could carry the lead vocals and guitar playing, we decided that I 
would lead
the band.  I felt great about it, that my career had real direction and a 
future," Laretta smiled, recalling the better part of the time with her first 
band.  "But
then we discovered that success could be really hard to come by.  We were 
often passed
over for human metal bands, who were considered less of a 'novelty.'  We got 
top billing for
a concert only once and it sold poorly.  We also managed to get one album put 
out, but it
sold even worse." Laretta frowned, continuing with her story.

"That's when I realized the downside of being the leader.  The rest of the 
band made me
their scapegoat for our lack of success.  They blamed me for not being 
aggressive enough,
for not staking out a core audience of fans.  I knew we had to do something 
to draw
attention to ourselves, but we were in total disagreement about how to do it. 
others liked the idea of picking up the 'death metal' genre.  I couldn't 
stand that kind
of music!  I didn't like the idea of having rude, even perhaps violent, fans 
being our
core audience.  Instead, I thought it would be better to try and blend our 
metal music
with alternative styles.  I liked how it sounded with Celtic strings, to 
reflect my
personal background, or with Latin rock, which I was sure would go over great 
Latino audiences.

I was completely unprepared for the band's reaction, though."  "What 
happened?" Cassie
asked.  Laretta sighed, "They balked.  They said they thought it was a 
mistake for me to
be the band's leader and they thought my ideas were just another bad mistake 
that would
make us a laughing stock.  One by one, they walked out, signing up with other 
bands, until I was left by myself."  Cassie sighed and nodded to Laretta.  
"I'm sorry to
hear that.  I can understand why you have such unpleasant memories."     
"Well, it doesn't
end there,"  Laretta replied.  "There's more?"  Cassie asked, a little unsure 
whether this conversation would only add to Laretta's insecurity.

Laretta nodded, a little surprised herself that she was this willing to 
divulge her
past problems.  "You see, I wasn't ready to give up leading a band yet," she 
added with
a frown.  "Although if I were smarter, I probably should have.  The news about
Bloodlust's breakup spread quickly, as did rumors of it being my fault.  I 
knew I couldn't
get another band back together just by asking around.  So I thought up of a 
new angle.
How about getting together with other species who normally feel left out of 
bands?  I checked around for other furry musicians who felt unfairly excluded 
from the
scene.  I had gotten a new band together, and all the other members were 
skunks.  We
called the new band 'Scars and Stripes'."

Cassie nodded and grinned, "That sounded like a neat idea, Laretta.  How did 
work out?"  "In the beginning, it went pretty well.  The skunks all knew about
Bloodlust splitting up, but they didn't care that I took the blame for it.  
They were happy
to be playing together in a band, and since it was all my idea, they agreed 
to let me be
the leader.  They didn't even mind that I proposed playing different styles 
of music,
because we all thought of ourselves as a different band!"  Laretta replied 
"I felt very happy and satisfied at the time.  We were happy together, we got 
of attention, and we even played music we all liked.

Eventually, though, things started to fall apart.  One member, the bass 
player, grew
resentful of me making most of the band's decisions, and thought he should 
have had
more influence in the band's leadership.  Another, the keyboard player, 
started drinking
and taking drugs, began missing rehearsals and always messed up his parts 
whenever he did
show up!  My accompanist also thought I was getting too much money and 
attention from
male fans, and thought she deserved the spotlight all to herself.  The only 
one who
never complained much or got into trouble was the drummer.  He was a real nice
guy.  Unfortunately, things only went from bad to worse."  The she-wolf 
frowned, recalling
how ugly some arguments got with her band mates.

"That sounds awful, Laretta,"  Cassie said, trying hard to find the right 
words to
say.  "Wasn't there a way to work things out?"  "I believed so, and things 
began to look
up when we got an exclusive engagement to open for Alice Cooper!  It was 
really exciting,
and I honestly thought we'd pull through for the occasion.  It all fell to 
pieces when
our keyboardist showed up completed drunk and stoned.  I was furious with him 
and tried
to straighten him out, but that just made the bassist mad.  He stepped in and 
accused me
of being an 'bossy dictator bitch'.  I tried to retaliate, but then my 
accompanist joined
in, saying she deserved top billing.  The drummer didn't say a word, he was
obviously terrified to get involved in the whole mess.

It was almost time for us to go on, so in a last ditch effort I tried to get 
them all straightened out.  That turned out to be a huge mistake."  "How so, 
Laretta?"  "They were all skunks, remember?  Except for the drummer, they all 
mooned me and doused me with their acidic spray.  It was absolutely awful!" 
Laretta sobbed, remembering the terrible stench and the fight that caused the 
band to split up.  "I knew there was no chance of us playing that night.  We 
were kicked out of the concert hall, and went our separate ways."  She 
sniffed and tried to go on, "You know what the worst part of it was?  I stunk 
so bad that no taxi or bus would pick me up to take me home!  I had to walk 
the whole way!" The she-wolf put her face in her hands and cried, remembering 
the terrible experience.

Soon after being ejected from the concert, it started to downpour.  As she 
started the
long trek, a heel broke off from one of her pumps, forcing her into a painful
lopsided stagger.  She was splashed repeatedly with mud and sewage from 
vehicles.  Hours later, when she finally reached her brother's house, she was 
soaked, tired, reeking of skunk spray, and devastated from seeing her dream 
The memories were too much for her, and she wept profusely in Cassie's arms.  
For her
part, Cassie just held Laretta and tried her best to comfort her.  "Laretta, 
I'm so sorry
to hear all that.  I never realized just how much you've been through."

Laretta tried her best to regain her composure.  "I'm really sorry Cassie," 
she sniffed as
she dried her eyes, "I had no business dredging up old problems that had 
nothing to do
with you.  I'm just really scared.  I don't think I can take another 
"There now,"  Cassie gently replied as she rubbed Laretta's ears.  "It's 
really nothing to
get too worried about.  Everyone in this business runs into rough spots now 
and then.
Heaven knows that I've seen my share of good times gone sour.  Why, the break 
up of my
last band, Furrosity, was such a mess that I wasn't sure I'd ever get over 
it!  I think
you were just hit harder, and it's taken a toll on your self-esteem."

Laretta just sighed and nodded, feeling a little ashamed of herself.  "You've 
been so nice
to me, Cassie.  I really want to be the best I can, but I'm also afraid that 
if I strike
out again, it would hurt you and your band mates, too." "Don't you worry 
about us,"
Cassie admonished.  "I know I'm still recovering from Furrosity's breakdown, 
though I can
tell you this:  There will never be a setback so terrible that you can't 
bounce back from
it, as long as you keep a positive outlook.  Tell me, do you think you'd even 
be here
right now if you didn't have what it takes?"    Laretta nodded and smiled a 
realizing what Cassie was trying to tell her.

"I see what you mean.  Of course, I was able to get over that horrible night. 
 I was
very grateful to have a loving family supporting me, and Karen's been 
wonderful too.
No matter what obstacles I faced, she was always determined to get the best 
work for
me."  Cassie smiled, "That's better.  Always count your blessings when times 
get tough.
That thinking has always worked wonders for me."  Laretta seemed slightly 
"Gosh, Cassie, I never thought of you as the type who would be struggling 
just to make it as
a musician!"  The vixen just nodded, letting her long black hair sway 
slightly.  "It
happens to us all.  If you ever need to talk about anything, you can turn to 
me, no
matter what.

Now, are you still thinking about backing down?"  Laretta appeared revived 
and charged with
a new resolve.  "Heck no!  This is the chance I've always been waiting for, 
and I'm not
going let you or anybody else down," she then added with a smile, "Including 
Cassie smiled and patted her lupine companion on the shoulders.  "I'm glad to 
that, Laretta.  I know you're going to be a great success story, you just 
need to
remember that you're the one who's writing it!"  Laretta smiled and gave 
Cassie a snug
around the waist.  "Thanks Cassie.  You're the best friend and coach that 
anyone could
ever ask for!"  Cassie happily returned the snug, and added, "Why don't we go 
out for
some ice cream?  That should help ease your stress."

Laretta was thrilled by this idea.  "Sure!  What are we waiting for?"   As 
she eagerly
headed for the door, Cassie cleared her throat and hesitated.  "Don't forget 
your pumps!"
she grinned as she held up Laretta's black stilettos.  "Whoops!"  Laretta 
slipped her
pumps back on her sock clad feet, and also remembered to secure her guitar 
and have it
ready for the next day's concert.  The two companions strode out into the 
night, feeling
a very special kind of bond.  Friends, colleagues, confidants, mentor and 
student.  An
amazing growth of a friendship in a very short amount of time.

Latest revision
August 12, 2001
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