Remaking the Misfits

Remaking the Misfits

Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

Houses:

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

Houses:

Summary

My fanfiction entry for JemCon's fiction contest (2016). It was never submitted because of time constraints on my part.
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Summary

My fanfiction entry for JemCon's fiction contest (2016). It was never submitted because of time constraints on my part.

Content

Submitted: April 06, 2017

A A A | A A A

Content

Submitted: April 06, 2017

A A A

A A A


"No!" Riot shouted, launching himself from his chair. "No, no, no!"

Ahead of him, standing on a rotating dais, three young men were frightened into stillness. The music booming through the cavernous warehouse stopped. Riot stepped into the center of the dais just as it stopped moving, as well. He held his hands out in a "V" shape which elongated his trim body.

"You finish the last movement in this position. The cue for the movement is the last note of the song - this is not a difficult concept. As it is, now, you're all out of sync! You look clownish and unprofessional."

The boys exchanged glances between themselves.

Riot lowered his arms, letting out a long sigh. "You all came to me when Starlight Music terminated your contract. I took you on because I saw in you what Jerrica did not - potential. Now, it is time you started living up to your potential. Your single goes online at the end of next week. Your video needs to be finished or no one will even know who the Fifth Avenue Boys are...again."

Jay and Joe nodded. Tom moved back into position. Riot stepped off of the dais and out of the camera shot. The crew around them relit the area in blues and purples. A soft white spotlight came down on the three boys and swirls of smoke came up from the floor.

"One more thing," Riot told them. "I'm not sure why wardrobe has any of Regine's rags lying around but take those hideous shirts off."

Watching from the wings, Minx stifled a laugh. The boys on the stage began removing their shirts, handing them off to wardrobe staff. Make-up people made final touch-ups, all of them avoiding Riot, who stalked back to his chair. Rapture, who agreed to add an uncredited background vocal, was watching from the sound booth.

"Cue track! We're going to run the entire thing again. This time, I want some perfection!"

The title song to their newest CD, Street Smart, began. Tom's lyric started strong, as did he. Powerful bass rang out through the warehouse. Rotating around, Tom's good looking face and bare torso were captured by the cameras. He moved in time with the music, executing choreography with grace and ease. Joe was next to be brought into focus. Like his brother, his smooth, carefree face was striking, his glistening body something to behold. When the camera shifted to Jay, he ran both hand through his shaggy red hair and mimicked his lyrics. Feeling the music, the three belted out the last chorus of the song as Rapture's melodious addition came through a live microphone. The sound was stunning, amplified by the acoustics of the warehouse. This last take - was flawless.

"At long last," Riot whispered to himself. "Let's have a look, shall we?"

All three Boys joined him at the monitor. Footage from their video ran through on a loop. As they watched, Riot made notes to the production team, telling them which portions to filter, which ones to cut, which ones to make certain made the video. When they were finished, the Boys seemed to have a clearer concept of their video.

"I think we made a fantastic decision to come here," Jay beamed.

Riot gave him a cool smile. "Your decision to move away from amateurs like Jerrica Benton and Anthony Julian was the best one you could have made. You all have talent but talent is nothing without a vehicle. Stingers Sound is a super-charged vehicle."

"We're grateful," Joe spoke up. "Very grateful, for all you're doing for us."

"It's been a long day. I want you all to take tomorrow off, get some rest. Your press junket begins on Friday. You'll all need to be rested."

All three left the large stage to change out of their costumes. Riot gave the footage another once-over, allowing it to run all the way through. Minx and Rapture joined him for the last few moments of the video. Neither of them offered any feedback.

"I want you to get this footage to Tech-Rat," Riot told Minx. He took a zip-drive from the monitor station. "I want to see what sort of spin he puts on this."

"He's going to do the final cut?"

"He'll do a final cut. I think there's more to Tech-Rat's skill set than being Eric Raymond's flunky. It's time we challenged him to prove me right.

Just then, the double doors to the warehouse began to rise, sending a clattering through the space. The Stingers turned to see four women walking with purpose toward them. The crew scattered, offering no resistance for women they knew all too well.

Rapture put a hand on her hip. "What fresh hell is this?"

Minx slipped her hands and the drive into the pockets of her lightweight black overcoat. She shifted her stance, exposing the dangerous slit in her tight black pencil-skirt. She affected a smile she knew made Roxy and Jetta nervous. As fellow predators, this smile disarmed them, threw them off their game.

"Riot! You and me, we need to talk!"

"Pizzazz and the Harpies," Riot mused. "Come to squawk and shriek about your concert schedule?"

"What the hell have you done? You have the Fifth Avenue Boys appearing on James Kernel's show two days before our album comes out! They're on two day ahead of us!"

"The schedule was set by Kernel's people and by Eric. He never sees fit to consult me before he blunders into promotion for the Misfits. If you have issue with how things are, I suggest you take it up with him."

"He's out of the country so I'm taking it up with you!"

"You should be grateful James has agreed to have you on, at all!"

Riot and Pizzazz glared at one another.

"Kernel's a jerk! We didn't agree to go onto his show to play stupid games with him! We went on to promote our music!"

Rapture chuckled. "He plays games with all of his guests. You should have done some research before going on so you'd know what to expect."

Pizzazz returned the advice with daggers. Turning back to Riot, she put a hand on either hip. "So, you're not even going to try and fix this? They're drawing focus away from our launch!"

Putting both hands on the monitor bay, Riot took in a long breath and let it out. He attempted to maintain his calm, getting angry would do none of them any good. Instead of addressing Pizzazz, he shifted his gaze to Stormer.

"I like the curls," he said with a smile. "They're very flattering. I'd keep the softer look for Kernel's show."

Stormer smiled, smoothing the front of a pastel pink sheath dress. The lighter shade of blue in her hair complimented the butter-yellow overcoat she wore. In sharp contrast, Jetta wore a leather catsuit and stiletto-heeled boots. Her hair was drawn back from her face, clipped at the crown, and left to fall down her back. She gave her band mate a derisive glance, speaking to Riot.

"You're not even listening to us, are you? You and these little birds are all what matters! We're tired of playing the second fiddle to you lot!"

Riot met the challenge in her eyes. "What do you propose to do about it?" When Jetta offered no answer, he continued. "Thanks to the rising costs of your concert expenses and the decline of your singles' sales, you haven't got the money to buy Eric out. You can't make it to your booked dates on time so you have to return almost all of your appearance advances. What could you do to improve your second-fiddle standing?"

Roxy smiled. It was always her greatest pleasure to see the Brit silenced, whoever did it. The gesture didn't go unnoticed. Riot walked around the monitor console and stopped in front of her. She looked up at him. He was not smiling.

"Why do you think this is funny?"

"Listen, buster," Roxy began. "I don't answer to y--"

"Enough!" Riot cut in. "Your problem is, you think before you speak - if you think at all."

"You don't talk to us like this!" Pizzazz shouted. "Nobody talks to us like this!"

"Be quiet, Pizzazz! Be quiet and listen!"

Shocked into silence, the green-haired singer stopped talking. Riot walked around them, taking their measure. When he came back to the monitor station, he was framed by Minx and Rapture. It was one of their strengths, this continuous show of unity. Riot spread his arms to encompass all of the Misfits, who stood with their shoulders arched, their backs to one another.

"You're always coming to me with complaints, demands, threats, and venom. I am not responsible for the mess you always seem to get yourselves into - you are. You all make poor decisions, you allow Eric to manipulate you into even poorer situations, and you don't take control of your Destiny."

Rapture smiled at the reference.

Riot continued. "If you aren't happy with your promotion, then find a way to generate some publicity on your own, something positive so the Misfits look like something more than a giggling girl group pretending to be hard."

"How?" Stormer asked. "Eric won't help us."

"But you will," Pizzazz said, catching on. "Won't you?"

"Now, wait a minute..." 

Pizzazz put up a hand. "Quiet, Roxy. Let's hear him out."

"Turn over the Misfits to me."

"We don't need a boy in our band!" Roxy protested.

Shaking his head, Riot kept his eyes on Pizzazz. "Let me redefine who you are, what you sound like. I'll guarantee you six months of top-quality bookings without talk-show hosts wanting you to play games and sing karaoke for free."

Rapture and Minx made subtle movements, both of them complimenting Riot's own. Pizzazz took note. On one side, Rapture wore a sparkling red tube dress with a transparent black shell. Minx's corset was the exact same color of crimson, her skirt the same shade of black. Riot wore a black turtleneck and black leather pants and boots. Something clicked in Pizzazz and she nodded.

"All right. We're in."

"WHAT?!" Roxy shouted. "Are you cracked?!"

"You lost your bloomin' mind?" Jetta echoed.

Pizzazz put both hands up. "Shut up, you two! I know what I'm doing." Turning her attention back to Riot, she leaned in for emphasis. "We do this, we become your puppets and you guarantee us six months of top-notch bookings?"

"Yes, but you're not going to be our puppets."

"Not like before," Rapture quipped, unable to control herself.

"You had a number one hit with It Takes a Lot and you were right. It takes a good deal to survive in this business. The Stingers have weathered poverty, loss, and scandal. We know how to survive. I'm willing to teach you to do the same."

"When do we start?"

"Tomorrow morning. Meet us at Suite 303 at nine sharp. I'll phone Sharon tonight. We're going to start by giving you all a make-over."

Putting her hand up again, Pizzazz stopped all forthcoming protest. "We'll be there, nine sharp."

"Like fudge, we will," Roxy broke in. "We're not dancing for these idiots anymore!"

Pizzazz whirled on her band mate, fury in her eyes. "You'll be there, Roxy, or you'll be back on the streets! You fall in line or you fall OUT of the Misfits, you get me?"

With a sideways glance at Riot, the platinum Misfit nodded. "Yeah...I get you. I don't like it...but I get you."

"All right, Misfits, let's jet!" Pizzazz strode back toward the open door. "I'm hungry!"

"Let's try out The Breslin," Stormer suggested. "They have brunch until four."

"Sounds ace to me," Jetta chimed in. "I'm dying for some pancakes and maple syrup!"

When the Misfits were gone, Rapture turned to Riot. "Not to be flip, but are you feeling all right?"

"What's the plan?" Minx asked. "Are we going to bait them into humiliating themselves again?"

Riot shook his head. "We lose money every moment the Misfits remain chained to Stingers Sound - in spite of their sold-out concerts and singles which climb the charts. Their problem is, they sabotage themselves. If Eric isn't going to do something about it, I will. With them out of the country, now is the perfect time to fix the Misfit problem at Stingers Sound."

***

After a light breakfast at the Landmarc, the Misfits filed into the salon. Like a dark cloud, Pizzazz swept passed the other stations to the back of the place where Riot stood with a tall woman sporting upswept blonde hair ran through with streaks of sea-green. Minx and Rapture were absent, a strange sight to take in. Coming to a halt a few feet from the duo, the Misfits' lead singer put both hands on her hips and adopted a defensive posture.

"Okay, we're here. A few rules before we start this--"

Riot cut her off. "This is Courtney Claire, she'll be taking care of you this morning. Don't give her any trouble or the deal is off and we will not be moving forward."

Courtney smiled at them and indicated the four empty salon chairs behind her. "If you ladies will take a seat, we'll get you all washed and prepped."

Three other stylists emerged as though summoned. Once Pizzazz took her seat, the other Misfits did the same. A stocky male with a razor cut and a tall shock of blue curls attended Jetta. He began by washing and conditioning her dark mane. After removing the sunflower from her hair, Stormer was treated to the same by a shorter woman with a sunshine-colored pixie cut. Roxy hesitated but the slender brunette with stylish facial hair and sharp green eyes convinced her to let him shampoo her. Riot stood back, hands in his pockets, and watched.

Courtney trimmed the ends of Pizzazz's bright green hair. When it was brushed out and dried, it came to the center of her back. Before attempting the styling, she offered a box of facial wipes, pulling one out for emphasis.

"Get the warpaint off. We've got something else in mind."

Reluctant, the rocker did as she was told, eradicating the high purple arches above her eyebrows. It was a strange feeling, clearing away the mask she wore for the world. Courtney leaned forward, framing the sides of Pizzazz's face with her hands. They both saw a face neither had seen for some time.

"Just look at those amazing cheekbones," the stylist said. "What a fantastic foundation to work with."

Next to her, Jetta's stylist pulled up all of her dark mane to judge its length and health. "This blocky cut is doing you no favors, love. We're going to even out the lot and give you some body."

Watching in the mirror, the Brit said nothing. Longer chunks of hair were cut away, setting the length. He stood back, gauged his progress, then took a box of wipes from the station. He handed them to Jetta, who knew what to do.

"You'd better work a miracle, mate. Otherwise, I'll drop a pence to the Royals. They'll have your head for makin' a mess outta me!"

"I'm trying to fix the mess already made outta you," the stylist retorted, his Welsh accent prominent. "Go on, then, get to wiping!"

Roxy snorted with laughter. She was already clean-faced as her own stylist began cutting away long strands of hair to even out the length. At first, Roxy was put off by the way her hair was treated but as it took shape, she was liking the direction he was taking it. She would never admit it, though.

At the end, the pixie-cut blonde worked at a steady pace. "I'm a huge fan. I have the whole mix collection of I'm Okay, too. I bought the re-release of Back to Back just for the extra voice tracks. It's a very cool sound."

In the mirror, Stormer smiled. "We worked very hard on those. It's nice to see someone appreciate it."

"You know you guys have quite a fan base. You and Kimber are like...role models for some of us. There's even a whole ship-based website for you guys."

Pink rose in Stormer's cheeks. "I know. We've seen some of the fan-art. Kimber and I are both very flattered so many people would take the time to make art about us."

"So, are you guys...together?"

"We're just very good friends. Kimber is dating a stunt man from Arizona and I've been dating someone here in New York. It's still very flattering, though."

"What did you think of your portrayal in the Misfits comic?"

"I loved it! Not only does it make me not feel so guilty about those extra pieces of delicious chocolate cake from the hotel but it gives our fans something to embrace if they don't look just like we do, in real life. I think it's very positive."

Looking in the mirror, Stormer caught the wide smile spreading over the stylist's face as she worked. When next they made eye contact, they shared a smile of understanding. Just behind the two of them, also in the mirror, Riot gave the Misfit a wink and a smile of his own.

The hair and make-up transformation of the Misfits took just over an hour and forty-five minutes to complete. All four of the women were turned away from their mirrors so they could offer no commentary or protest on the process. When they were finished, each of them were brought to their feet without a peek in the mirror. Riot inspected each of them, one at a time, giving silent appraisal. When he finished, he turned them toward their respective mirrors.

"Oh...my...god," Pizzazz whispered.

Her electric green hair was an earthy, vibrant color streaked with lighter green. Her make-up was a smoky purple cat-eye lined in black, accented with glittering green. A rich plum color with a high gloss coated her lip. She leaned in close, her fingers going through the thick, full waves of her hair. In the mirror, she saw Riot. For the first time since their meeting, he saw her, too.

Jetta's hair was a mass of elegant curls with stark white streaks and clipped-in silver strands. Her foundation was pale, her eyelids frosted, lined in black. Her lips were stained burgundy. She marveled at what looked back from the mirror.  

Speechless, Roxy took in the transformation. Not since she won the lottery did she feel as glamorous and new as she did in this moment. Her hair was in platinum waves, framing her face. Devoid of its bright orange and yellow, it was the face of a young woman who was confident in herself. Burnt orange and summer gold were the colors of her eyelids. A complimentary red colored her lips. Of the four girls, she spent the most time taking in what she saw, as though she could not believe what she was seeing.

For Stormer, the large curls, smoky gray eye color, and pleasant pink lipstick was closer to how she looked every day when she wasn't performing. She still retained the trademark three bars on her cheek but they were closer to gold than yellow.

Behind them, each of them could see Riot in their mirrors. "Ladies, this is your first step toward the future. These looks are yours. In these first six months, you'll have the help of your new make-up team to help duplicate them."

Pizzazz turned from her mirror. Eric never gave them their own make-up team. Riot was making good on his promise, staying true to his word. She spoke up, then. "What's next?"

Taking a card from his inside pocket, Riot handed it to her. "Your driver is taking you to this address. Minx will oversee the next part of your transformation."

"Minx," Roxy groaned. "Perfect."

"We have a driver?" Stormer smiled. "What are we waiting for?"

***

Pizzazz was first out of the car. She led the others into a Fifth Avenue boutique where they saw Minx standing in the center of a large showroom. In a body-hugging white jumpsuit of matte leather, tall white boots, and gold accents, she stood out. Her blond hair was pulled high on her head, showcasing gold hoop earrings. She opened her arms, taking in the showroom.

"Welcome to your playground - for the next two hours."

Minx stood between two women, each dressed in modest black dresses with stylish heels and accessories.

Stormer recognized them while the others remained oblivious. "You're Kary and Ashlyn. You were on television when you were younger."

"House Full," Kary confirmed. "I see you're a fan."

"I've seen every episode."

"We've been big Misfits fans for as long as we can remember so when the Stingers asked us to help, we jumped at the chance."

"Help?" Roxy asked.

"We're going to be your stylists to the stars," Ashlyn told her. "We've think we've pinpointed what style mistakes you're making and how to fix them."

"Bobby Stark is our stylist! He doesn't make mistakes, he's a professional!"

"So are we," Kary said. "It's why you're here."

"I still don't like it."

"You don't have to like it," Minx told her. "You just have to go along with it."

Before there could be any further protest, Kary took Roxy by the arm and led her into the racks. Ashlyn walked Stormer and Jetta over, expecting Pizzazz to follow. Instead, she stayed where she was, not far from Minx. Her eyes were glazed over with suspicion and a hint of annoyance. In response, Minx put one hand on her hip and raised an eyebrow. She said nothing.

"Why is he doing this?" Pizzazz asked. "The real reason."

"I would never presume to speak for Riot."

"There has to be an angle."

Minx smiled. "You're wasting time."

Knowing she would get nothing resembling an answer, the Misfit followed the others. After some time, and more than a few styling tips, the others were brought back to the center of the store. Other people, employees of the store, were taking other items of clothing and putting them into bags and boxes. Kary stood between Roxy and Jetta, with Ashlyn between Pizzazz and Stormer.

"I think you've all made some smart choices. Eliminating the outdated leather and those hideous prints are steps in the right direction."

"My sister is correct," Kary said. "We've also arranged for special costumes to be sent over to your hotel in the next couple of days."

"Costumes?" Pizzazz asked, her curiosity off the charts.

Minx answered. "Rapture will tell you all about it in the morning. You'll be meeting her for breakfast on a sound stage used by some of the most talented artists to have ever graced Madison Square Garden!"

Stormer could not hide her excitement. "Wouldn't it be amazing to play the Garden?"

"For once, I agree with the bird," Jetta said. "Been a dream o' mine since coming to the States."

"Perhaps your drive back will inspire you," Minx said. "As a special treat, Riot has reserved a table for four at Tavern on the Green. Dressed as you are, you're ready for such a fine establishment."

Kary indicated the employees. "We've also taken some of the items you all indicated you liked and they'll be waiting in your car."

"It was an honor," Ashlyn said. "You all look amazing."

Dressed in flattering black pants and boots, a white tank top and glittering sheer shell, Roxy felt the heat of a blush coming to her cheeks. The last time she felt this way was when she'd won the lottery and treated herself to a spending spree. It wasn't often someone told her she looked amazing. Not even the sound of Jetta's voice could spoil her good feeling.

Pizzazz waved the others into the car. Her own wardrobe was a navy blue pencil skirt with matching bolero jacket. The strips of reflective material along the back, cut into lightning bolts and sewn along the outside shoulder seems were what sold the look for her. The stoned scoop-necked top in blue and white swirls was Ashlyn's idea. It loathed her to agree but she liked it. Dangerous blue heels were her own stylish act of rebellion. Even though she felt good about her look, and her other choices, there was some quiet aspect about all of this she didn't like. At the door of the car, she turned back to see Minx, Kary and Ashlyn standing in the showroom, all of them waving at her.

"What is it?" Jetta asked from beside her.

"I don't know, yet. None of this feels right, to me."

"Not right how?"

"A new look, shopping spree, now dinner in a fancy restaurant? It just feels wrong."

Stormer opened the door on the other side of the car. "Like when you and the others gave me a wallet full of credit cards and a car to come back to the Misfits?"

***

The next morning, Jetta was up before the others. From the bags of new clothes, she dressed in brown suede pants, matching boots with a high heel, and a fitted black top. She managed to replicate the hairstyle from the stylists and decided on simple silver hoop earrings instead of the large, clunky ones she wore. For the first time since coming to the United States in search of a musical dream, she felt as though her outer appearance matched what was on the inside. There was a strange sort of harmony in feeling good about how she looked, knowing others would like it, as well.

Stormer's arrival in the suite's living room was just as quiet as she was. The dress she wore was a pleasant powder pink on one side and a complimentary black on the other. Its belt was in opposition of each color with a silver buckle. Her transition to wearing clothes better suited to their figure and personal style was easier than the others would be.

"Looking posh," Jetta said, giving her a smile.

"You, too. Are the others awake yet?"

"I heard 'em stirring about. I doubt they're ready, though. Roxy still has to find her broom."

In spite of herself, Stormer gave a laugh.

"What do you suppose all this makin' us over is about, then?"

"I think the Stingers just want to help."

Jetta laughed. "They don't do anything to help anyone else. Whatever they're angle, you can bet it'll benefit them before it will us."

Instead of voicing her own thoughts, Stormer did not reply. One afternoon, not long ago, she and Roxy were in the recording studio finishing a harmony when Rapture came into the sound booth. Unbeknownst to them, she adjusted some of the background instruments and made some other adjustments to their vocals. Roxy was furious when she saw Rapture behind the board but when the track was played back, her anger dissolved. She and Stormer were more than surprised when the Stinger slipped out of the room with a simple request for them not to tell anyone of her involvement.

Sometime later, Pizzazz and Roxy came into the room. Neither one being morning people, there was no real discussion before all of the Misfits were waved toward the door. In the elevator, there was minimal conversation. Roxy was more agitated than the day before because they were going to be addressing the one thing which she took comfort and strength from - her music. She rode the elevator to the lobby with her arms crossed, her face set. Beside her, in a similar stance, Jetta shared her trepidation. To the back, Stormer was excited about the possibilities ahead of them but she kept this to herself. It was not the time to bring up her own enthusiasm.

After a short car ride, the Misfits entered a tremendous soundstage. Rapture stood in front of a half-circle booth with two sound techs on either side of her. Her bright yellow mini-dress was softened by a white coat and a double strand of pearls. The white boots she wore were similar to the black ones Pizzazz chose. Holding out her arms, the blonde took in the entirety of the place.

"Welcome! As Minx has told you, we're going to be working on ways to improve your sound. I'm not going to be giving you any pointers on guitar or any other instrument but on arrangement and ways to add in strength to your music."

Roxy bristled but said nothing.

"We're going to be remastering one of your best known songs," Rapture went on, opening the door to the sound booth. "You've got some of the top names in the industry for the next two hours. Let's get to it, ladies."

Pizzazz led the others into the studio where their instruments awaited. As each of the others readied themselves, she went through her scales. Under normal circumstances, this would have been done in private but it was a professional thing to do and she wanted to appear as professional as possible. Rapture's voice coming through the speakers silenced her.

"We're going to lay down the new harmony first. You should all be familiar with this track. More or less, it's your anthem."

First to recognize Making Mischief, Stormer was excited to hear the new instrument track. She and Roxy wrote the bridge back when the group first formed. New guitars and a heavy synthesizer were added alongside a saxophone sound Jetta laid down when she first joined the group. With a look toward Roxy, she opened her mouth and began to sing. It took Jetta and Pizzazz a few notes to join in. In the sound booth, Rapture made some adjustments.

For the first time since forming the Misfits, Pizzazz caught a definitive glimpse of the full potential the group had. She and Roxy were instant friends. Stormer had a mischievous side but nowhere near her own. Still, she was talented and funny. This kept her in the group. Jetta was walking trouble but she was good on the drums, when they had them, and could sing like a songbird. With some direction from the sound people, a few tweaks to their instruments, the Misfits were starting to sound better than they ever had. It galled Pizzazz to admit they had Rapture - and Riot - to thank but she did not let it bother her while they finished up their song.

The final cut of Makin' Mischief was clean. It was free from the extras. It had a stronger bridge and additional guitar and drums. There was an overall strength to the song, one Pizzazz approved of. In spite of herself, she thanked Rapture before she could stop herself.

"What's good for the Misfits is good for Stingers Sound." Rapture smiled. "We'll get Riot's approval on this and send it out to Eye-Tune in the morning. Afterward, we'll see if all this work has been for nothing or not."

***

"Pizzazz!"

Looking up from her tablet, the singer acknowledged a furious Roxy coming through her office door. Pizzazz had more than a good idea what this latest tirade was to be about even before the platinum-haired singer slammed her phone down on the desk.

"Have you seen this?!"

"Yeah," Pizzazz nodded, knowing she wasn't going to get any peace.

"So? What are we going to do about it?"

"Nothing."

"Nothing?!" Roxy was shrieking now. "The Stingers co-opted our press on everything! Riot turned this whole thing into a one-shot reality show about how he made us over! It's streaming right now! We look like complete incompetents!"

"You knew the Stingers weren't going to let us share the limelight." Pizzazz stood from her chair. "The way Minx was in the middle of the Sholsin twins? The way Rapture was in the middle of all those techs? You should have known it was all staged. If you had any doubts, then having us redo Makin' Mischief should have been your ultimate tip-off."

"Huh? Why? It's our song."

Pizzazz chuckled. "Because we say, causin' things to...Riot. Twice."

"We were suckers!"

"No, we were smart." Pizzazz came around the desk and showed Roxy her tablet. "See this? It's our download numbers on Eye-Tune. Our video download has doubled since the Stingers' special started streaming. Turns out, what's good for Stingers Sound is good for the Misfits. We may not like coming in second, just this once, but we have a whole new image, a stronger sound, and a chance at seeing the kind of numbers we did when It Takes a Lot went platinum."

Somewhat placated, Roxy collected her phone. "Well...if you're all right with it, I guess I can be too. Still, the Stingers are too much!"

"I agree but this time, Riot's ego was good for us."

"The others are already in the studio. I'm going to had that way, too. You coming?"

"In a minute," Pizzazz told her.

Minutes after Roxy was gone from her office, Riot appeared in the doorway. Pizzazz leaned against the front of her desk, offering no resistance to his entrance.

"I assume you've seen the numbers?"

"I have," she said with a nod.

"The Misfits are rising in popularity again," Riot told her with no small amount of pride. "I kept up my end of our bargain. Your first booking is as our opening act next month...at Madison Square Garden."

Pizzazz could not hide her surprise. "You're not kidding...are you? Us? At the Garden?"

"I am a man of my word. You have a five-song set before our own, allowing for an encore, should it be requested. My only stipulation is, you close with Makin' Mischief."

"Of course," she said, knowing why. "We accept."

"You're on your way back to the top. How does it feel?"

"It feels dynamite," She said with a smirk of her own. "I never thought I'd say this...but, thank you, Riot. Thank you for helping me see things in a different way."

"You're most welcome. I look forward to our collaboration but for now, you have rehearsal."

***

 

 

 

 


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