Chapter 2

Written by: Ken Burns

I didn’t like the noise. It made my ears ring. Hearing Mr Battersby sing God Save the Queen before morning tea last Friday made my heart soar.  I put my hands over my ears to dampen the screeching. The colour and excitement of the moving mass of young people was clearly filling the air with joy. 

Timidly making my way through the back of the crowd I was hit in the face by the elbow of a very sweaty young woman obviously intoxicated. She looked at me without an ounce of sympathy then reached into her leopard skin handbag. Out came a small cardboard box with the picture of a camel printed on each side. Upon opening this box she took a thin white paper stick then  bundled it into her mouth. Her lips were very full and red. The other hand had a stick with a flame on it that she whisked towards the tube in her mouth. The end lit up as she drew a very deep breath. She sucked down the smoke and blew it out in one breath coughing loudly. I was amazed.

 

‘I’m Patty,” she said happily holding out her hand.

 

“I’m George,” came back my sheepish reply.

 

“Sorry about the smack on the head.”

 

“That’s alright Miss.”

 

“You know you are the spitting image of George in that band on the stage.”

 

I went red with embarrassment having never been talked to in such an open manner by a young woman before. 

 

She opened the cardboard box with the camel on it and waved it at me. Tempted to take on new experiences but very conscious of danger I shook my head and waved my hand mouthing the words, 

“No, thank you”.

 

She put the packet back in her bag looked up at me and in the sweetest way mouthed, “Loser”.

 

We eye balled each other fiercely then burst out in uncontained laughter.

 

My mother told me she was keen for me to get together with a young woman as I am a man of great potential. Patty was not what she would have supported but I liked her anyway.

 

The musicians started to walk off the stage. The crowd were clearly hysterical upon getting so close to them. Girls were screaming while trying to touch them. Boys were nonchalant but still engaged in the moment.

 

The four made their way towards the back of the hall. The one Patty said looked like me moved towards her clearly having an attraction. He looked over towards me.

When our eyes met a thundering bolt of electricity hit both of our bodies. I fell to the floor shaking.

The crowd circled me and leaned down in concern. I grabbed one hand, got to my feet to look my helper in the eye. It was George from the band. We were the spitting image of each other.

Comments

Ken, you never fail to amaze or entertain. Now what a great surprise to have the main character look like George Harrison. I loved the girl Patty with the red lips and the packet with a picture of a camel each side. I also loved the juxtaposition between Mr Battersby singing God Save the Queen before morning tea and the screeching noise he hated at the Cavern. And then the expectations of his mother and what she might have thought. So really well done, Ken. This is a great little read and a good light-hearted chapter. Well done, matey.
George Harrison's first wife was Patty Boyd. Fiction has some factual basis.I had to make this human to believe in it. Not an easy write and nor should it be but it ended up fun.
I have to agree with Ray. What a clever and entertaining chapter. Great stuff, Ken!
Oh yes, love the twist in the ending. Well who would have imagined the time traveller would land at a rock concert. Loved it!
This really is a great chapter that presented clash of culture and a challenge to deal with for the next writer. I loved the glimps into the Cavern.
Great chapter, Ken. I wasn't alive in the 1960s, but this is exactly how I've always imagined 'Beatlesmania'! George's culture shock is very convincing. It's incredible how much society changed in one century, isn't it?