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[April 2010 Vignette] Bang Your Head

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North Bay Yacht Club. April 1st, 2010 7:03 pm


Estelle has been attending charity events since she'd been in the womb; family legend stated she once kicked so hard at a fundraising dinner that Warren Buffet dropped his fork. But this was her first time she'd ever hosted the annual Freedom City April Fool's Masque, and she'd seen it as a wonderful opportunity to have a little fun. It was typical for the host or hostess to present a skit, monologue or other entertainment, and the blonde scientist-turned-superheroine had gone all out. She only hoped she'd be asked back.


She'd sent her one invitation to Viktor Archeville, but she'd been too busy setting things up to notice if he'd made it; as busy as he was, she knew better than to take it personally if he didn't attend.


After the audience had enjoyed a few rounds of drinks and some sinful hors d' oeuvres, Estelle took the stage to enthusiastic applause; she looked very elegant in her powder-blue ball gown and heels, her signature locks coiled into an impressive arrangement on top of her head, with several diamond-encrusted combs on loan from Harry Winston tucked into a number of spots. She wore a black domino mask, which felt rather ironic considering unlike most heroes she normally didn't disguise her identity.


"Ladies and gentlemen, madames et monsieurs, if I may have your attention please." She held up a small index card and cleared her throat, as if to make a dramatic recitation. "Would the owner of the 2009 Carver Sojourn please move your vessel? You're blocking the caterer's barge. Thank you." This led to a round of polite chuckles and smattering of applause. She bowed to both sides of the room as she grinned. "And I thank you again. As many of you know, I am Dr. Estelle de Havilland; a Harvard graduate, organic chemist and a fellow at ASTRO Labs. I was also born into money, so to be perfectly honest, I have probably attended more charity events than most people have enjoyed hot meals. I say this not in shame, nor in my defense, but more in the way of a pre-emptive apology."


As she continued to speak, her hair began to unwind, revealing a number of odd items hidden within its mass, including a fairly complete makeup bag and a small compact. Estelle continued, seemingly oblivious to the confused murmurs of the crowd.


"When I was asked to host the Masque, I was determined that I would bring something fresh to the table, something we haven't seen before. I'm fairly sure I've succeeded, but all of you will be the final judges."


As she spoke, several cotton balls held by thin golden strands began to remove her classy make-up, while another set began to apply a wide variety of garish colors, including a bright red slash of rouge on either cheek. Now fairly tarted up, she looked offstage and gave a little nod.


"I hope that any offense that our performance yields tonight will not impact your generosity of spirit, or far more importantly, your checkbooks."


A well-groomed valet approached from stage left, bearing a cherry red Gibson SG, which the blonde heroine accepted with a smile, and in return, she handed him all her jewelry for safe keeping. At this point the crowd was alternately intrigued, concerned and offended, more or less split along age lines.


Just before she put the strap over her shoulder, she used her hair to unzip and step out of her ballgown, revealing her old Knox School uniform underneath which now barely fit her, in the best possible way; this elicited a fairly vocal response from the crowd, mostly positive, thank God. Stelle plugged in, praying that the pre-dinner sound check would be enough; she did a few tentative strums, gave a thumbs up to the sound guy, and then the curtains behind her parted, revealing the other four members of 'Naughti Girlz', the 80s metal cover band Estelle, her sister Sunny and their three best friends founded back in high school. They hadn't played together in over ten years, but Sunny handled all the phone calls and somehow made it happen; she was even able to have an old artist friend put together a large banner with their name in angry silver and black glitter to hang from the rafters.


Dr. de Havilland shook her head vigorously, and her hair all at once went all frizzy Dee Snider. Soliel de Havilland-King, mother of two and married to a State Department diplomat assigned to Japan, stepped forward cradling her massive Rickenbacker bass and grinned like an idiot. And Tippy Claremont, a highly-paid corporate tax attorney who owned a five-bedroom house in the Hamptons (since the divorce, anyway), leaped forward to grab the mic.


"Are you guys ready to rock?" The crowd (well, most of them) responded enthusiastically. "Then let's hit it!"


Stelle ripped into the opening licks of 'Thunderstruck', and they were off; technically AC/DC wasn't part of their normal repertoire, but Estelle had insisted she had to play at least a little Angus for her sake. They kept the set list fairly short, partly because they didn't want to drive out everyone over fifty, but also because they were all a bit older than they used to be, and many of them had kids. And truth to tell, they were never all that great to begin with, but what they lacked in skill they more than made up for in enthusiasm and sassy sex appeal.


The players:

Theresa 'Tippy' Claremont - lead vocals

Yvonne 'Vonny' Brookhurst - guitar, vocals

Estelle de Havilland - lead guitar

Soliel 'Sunny' de Havilland-King - bass, vocals

Carol Ann 'Dizzy' Desmond -drums


The set:


We're Not Gonna Take It


Cum On Feel The Noize


For Estelle, this was heaven; to let go so completely and so publically was not something that came easily to her, but having her big sister there made it all right and so much fun. Standing back to back as they played like rock stars, just like they did in Sunny’s room when their parents stayed out late, she felt like a kid again, and a weight she didn’t even know she was carrying lifted off her shoulders.


On her last solo, Stelle spun her head ‘round and ‘round, whipping her magnificent golden hair into a downright dangerous helicopter effect that thrilled the crowd and pretty much terrified her bandmates, though they needn’t have worried; her hair never did anything she didn’t want it to, and it was way too much fun to pass up.


By the time they were done, the yacht club ballroom had gone insane; there was dancing, leaping about, a few torn gowns and a lot of alcohol consumed. And Stelle and the girls had helped raise a lot of money for cancer research. And backstage, there were a lot of hugs and Facebook invites.


Collapsed in a chair, her mass of hair drenched in sweat for the first time ever, Gossamer could only smile Yep, I love being a superhero.

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