Allan Woodcourt, age 17, of Oklahoma, did not believe in monsters. Which is not to say that he didn’t believe in other extraordinary things.
Alan believed that becoming an excellent musician took hard work. Alan believed in scales, in practice, in listening. He believed that interval training was to be taken like a warrior preparing for battle. He believed in the mechanics of music, that artistry was nothing without technique, and that technique was only mastered through hard work. And most faithfully, Alan believed that applying oneself, giving a sort of faithful devotion to the work, was what lead to results.
Allan also believed in going home with strange men after concerts, especially if those men had a lot of money. In particular, if those men had champagne and limousines and a house with a driveway that had it’s own road name. What Allan couldn’t believe is that someone with that much money, in the year 1991, didn’t have cable.
“How is it that you don’t have cable?” he asked, throwing himself on Charles’ couch in front of the television. His long blond hair spread out around his head on the pillows.
“I honestly don’t spend much time watching it,” said the monster who was Charles. “I suppose it never occurred to me.”
“MTV alone!” cried Allan, pulling the remote off the antique wooden table, “MTV!”
Charles stripped off his jacket and hung it on the back of an antique chair. “Music, yes? They have shows about music?”
“How can you be such an old man?” asked Allan, leaning back and putting one well muscled arm under his head. “You’re like my grandfather.”
Charles raised an eyebrow. “Oh really.” he said, pulling the silk scarf off from around his neck and draping it over the couch. “Do you often kiss your grandfather, then?”
Allan blushed. “Just get cable, for Gods sake.”
Charles sank into the couch. “Not for Gods-sake.” he said to Alan. “But maybe for yours.”
Allan sat up, and then threw a pillow at Charles. “It’s cable,” he said, “not a wedding ring.”
Charles let the pillow hit him and smiled his unforgettable smile, his memory scarring, truth bearing smile. “I do so appreciate having young people around,” he said.
“Jesus.” said Allan, shaking, his eyes on that nightmare mouth. The door was past Charles was heavy oak and the window, Allan suddenly noticed, was bolted shut.