Maybe it’s in the swagger, or how fans react. It’s a chemical reaction between one who holds the fascination of many. Without a doubt, we recognize rocks stars, even dream of being one if only in our kitchen or as a parent.
Writers pursued rock and roll this week, chasing down stories to capture what makes a rock star. Familiar names cross the threshold and surprising takes join their ranks. Get ready for the show!
The following is based on the August 1, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a rock star.
PART I (10-minute read)
A Real Rock Star by Jo Hawk
Stars floated above Kye’s head. He couldn’t sleep when the ancients whispered. His gaze shifted from the sky to his sleeping brother. Their sheep rested quietly in the canyon’s safety.
Kye hefted a rock tossing it in his hand before using it to scrape images into the desert varnish coating the granite wall. The scene completed; his fingers rested on the depiction of his world.
The stars spun, eons passed, and the ancient voices grew silent. Kevin hiked into the park, hunting for answers. Placing his hand on the petroglyph he reached through time to touch the creator’s soul.
Rock Star by Miriam Hurdle
John Livingston stood in the center stage. It was their first concert on the road.
Ringo started the percussion. John, Paul and George plucked the guitars for three beats. They sang on the fourth beat.
“Hey Jude…, don’t make it bad…”
The fan screamed. The girls reached out their hands.
“Take a sad song and make it bet…ter…”
The screaming got louder.
“…Na-na-na na… hey Jude.”
The four bowed to reach to their fan. One girl pulled John so hard, he fell off the stage and hit his head.
“John, wake up. You’re late to your camping trip.”
Rock Star by Pete Fanning
Dave exited the meeting room to high fives and back slaps.
“Well done, my man. Can you fly out tomorrow?”
Dave smiled at his manager. Of course. His spreadsheets were impeccable, his PowerPoints sharp. He’d been killing it at work.
A glance to the windows, the Rockfish mountains in the distance. Shoot, the camping trip with Seth. Maybe Phil could step in. Seth’s loser stepdad worked at a bookstore, made ten bucks and hour. And Seth talked like he was a rock star.
“Dave, you in?”
Dave turned from the mountains. “Yeah, I just need to make a call.”
Back to the Garden by D. Avery
Without their devices, his children complained they had nothing to look at. “Look up,” he said.
They did. On a cloudless night his children looked up and saw a summer sky.
“Look at all the stars! What’s that big one there?”
“That’s a planet, one of the wanderers. Mars, fourth rock from the sun.”
“That one’s moving right across.”
Lying on their sleeping bags they identified what constellations they could. They had more fun inventing their own.
“Dad, look! A shooting star! Make a wish.”
“I already have,” he said. “You are stardust,” he whispered. “You are golden.”
Rock Star by Sally Cronin
The performance came to a climax, the singer whipping sweat laden hair around in a frenzy. Voice gravelly with fatigue, he growled out the final lyrics, gyrating across the stage. The last notes faded to the roar of the crowd. Thrusting his guitar above his head, he backed into the wings. Grabbing a towel he headed to his dressing room, eager for what waited for him. He sat back in the chair satisfied. Nothing like a fish paste sandwich and glass of cold milk to end the night. He smiled at the woman. ‘Thanks Mum just what I needed.’
Rock Star Famous by Nancy Brady
My son Mark and his friends formed a band called Spike Strip. They rehearsed daily after school their two songs in the run up to the concert planned for Halloween.
During trick-or-treat, they sang and played those songs over and over again as kids came to the door for candy.
The concert was over before I returned from work, but that night Mark and his buddies were rock stars.
So much so that when there wasn’t a concert the following year, many kids asked where the band was, disappointed that they weren’t playing. Apparently, it was a memorable event.
Rock Star by Jim “Quincy” Borden
Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.
Just because you’re not a rock star, it doesn’t mean that people aren’t paying attention to you.
Just because some psychologist came up with the idea of the spotlight effect, it doesn’t mean that people aren’t watching everything you do.
Because you are a dad.
In their eyes, you are a rock star.
And they are watching everything you do,
And hanging on every word you say.
And you will always be in the spotlight.
Because you are a dad.
And that’s better than being a rock star.
Mama Was a Rock Star by Faith A. Colburn
She starred with big band orchestras in cities along the Eastern Seaboard and around the Great Lakes. Then she married a Nebraska farmer. He moved her to a stark little square house with a hip roof in the middle of a howling wilderness. In less than three years, she ran back to city lights—nightclubs—singing all night. .
But she came back. She adapted to the prairie’s silences and its screaming winds, the outhouse, the washboard, and the tyranny of crops and livestock. She became a better farm wife than many women who grew up on farms—she rocked.
Caffeinated Rock Star by Liz Husebye Hartmann
Click, click, and click. She scrolled down, drumming her non-mousing hand, as pictures froze and popped at slower than a snail’s pace. Definitely not rocket science, but she had places to go, things to do, people to be. Really, she had to dust her shelves, vacuum her carpet, wash summer dust from her picture window…
And she’d had the coffee—too much—so she HAD to do the things. Her neck clenched.
Before all, she had to change that doofy Facebook profile pic. And the damn thing wouldn’t load.
Finally done! She’d feel like a rock star, except duh!
Cookie Rock Star by Ann Edall-Robson
The aroma of a busy kitchen lingered. Cookies in all shapes and flavours waited for the taste testers. Each cookie made to fit into a grandchild’s hand. There would be chatter and updates before sampling every morsel on display. Eventually, she would settle into the old rocker. They’d stand beside her, touching the worn wooden arms, rocking her and singing made-up lyrics to favourite tunes. Ending in giggles, and dancing with arms in the air. Today, they added one last line they had somehow practised together.
“Our G…R…A…M…M…Aaaaa is a cooookie roooock starrrrr!”
Meeting Idols by Matthew Shepherd
‘Hey sweetie. What’s your name?’
Meeting the star whose posters plaster the child’s bedroom prompts a broad grin at odds with her doleful voice.
‘How old are ya, Nancy?’
Zeta fills with an urge to hug her beaming fan and is leaning forward when the girl’s mother steps up.
‘Don’t even think about it,’ she snaps. ‘Get your own kid if you want to do that. C’mon Nance, we’re going.’
The crestfallen child turns towards her idol, but Zeta looks away, unable to bear a world with one less smile.
The door slams as Zeta’s face crumples.
Movin’ It by Norah Colvin
Miss Prim turned from the board just in time to see Max land a punch on Michael.
“He bumped me.”
Miss Prim sighed. “What were you doing, Michael?”
“He was rocking the desk again.”
“How many times—”
Without direction, Michael removed himself to sit in the corner. Before long, his feet were twitching, his elbows were pumping and his whole body was squirming.
“Sorry, Miss,” Michael muttered.
But he couldn’t keep still.
Years later, when he was a rock star, Miss Prim said, “I knew he’d make something of himself one day.”
Ready to Rock by Jomz Ojeda
The noise was deafening, yet he could hear nothing but the loud thumping of his own heart.
Jeffrey was ready.
The stage they were on was small, but the venue was packed. Jeffrey cradled his electric guitar and placed his fingers on the first chord he needed to hit.
He looked up at George, their singer. He was beaming, a smile on his face stretched from ear to ear. George pointed a finger at Mark, their drummer.
Mark pointed back at George with his drumstick, and banged on the drums.
Today they will win the battle of the bands.
Living Like a Rock Star by Susan Sleggs
OMG being involved with someone famous is hell. I’ve been followed by paparazzi, and can’t go shopping or out to eat with my own mother without security. I can’t buy anything, at any price, without people saying she paid. She wouldn’t date me if I didn’t have my own money. Why didn’t I listen when my friends told me living like a rock star wasn’t going to be all that easy? I’m just realizing, if I can get out of this relationship, I will always be HER ex and it will be years before I’m known as anything else.
Never Alone by Kelley Farrell
The observatory was dark, giving way to a stunning array of constellations above. These quiet moments with Danny were Maeve’s favorite. Too often she found herself pushed to the side for women giggling like school girls.
She always tried to be nice but sometimes, like during their long awaited reunion dates, she found it hard to be accommodating.
“I love you.” Danny pulled her closer. “Hey, I wanna ask you something.”
“Of course.” Butterflies settled in her stomach. Was this it?
“I wanted to ask …”
A shrill scream cut through the dark.. “Oh my gaawwddd! It is you!”
Let’s Rock by Joanne Fisher
I’ve always secretly wanted to be a rock star. Strutting my stuff on a stage in front of screaming fans as I do an incandescent guitar solo that drives them all crazy.
In reality I’m rather shy and awkward, and virtually a recluse. I can play a guitar, but not in front of others. Instead I sing along to all my favourite tracks in my bedroom pretending there is an adoring crowd in front of me. That’s probably the closest I’ll ever get.
I’ve always wanted to be a rock star, but I guess quite a few people do…
Song, for One by Chelsea Owens
I changed my name
You changed your mind…
Linzee squinted at the spotlights. Rows of apathetic audience saw only themselves in her mirrored lenses.
I should’ve listened
When you weren’t kind…
They were philistines, all of them. Uncultured. Uncaring. Still, better than him.
You think I’m all alone;
You think I’m yours to own!
Someone perked up. Another. Linzee strummed the crescendo to the chorus, sunglasses sparking in the rudimentary stage lights.
I shouldn’t’ve told you anything
Except where to shove that ring!
It didn’t matter. Tonight was hers; hers and those few who knew exactly what she sung.
Rock Star by Floridaborne
We sing to the energy inside a stadium, a concert hall, an empty field where thousands pay a day’s salary to watch us do what we love.
The very rich are revealed through eyes reflecting their abundance and expectations. Their stance screams out, “I deserve the best.”
Those who scrimped, who saved to pay for this one night stand, drink in the energy of an event that might be the pinnacle of their desperate lives.
We sing for the joy of it, for outside these walls there’s no place we can travel, nowhere we can find anonymity, or peace.
Always a Rocker by Kerry E.B. Black
A silvery line of droll punctuated the vacant expression that landed David in the locked down unit with nineteen other impared individuals. Once he commanded a tour bus and bested the world’s stages. Now his wheelchair and a disease kept him captive. He stared into private abysses until the activities girl arrived.
From her music player, drums drove a beat. Keyboards provided the backbone. Guitar wailed.
David perked up. He recognized the song. His song.
With an anemic voice, a mere ghost of his past, he performed.
The girl patted his shoulder and nodded. “Once a rocker.”
PART II (10-minute read)
Rock Star by Robert Kirkendall
Young Timmy held a broom horizontally and pantomimed strumming it like a guitar. He moved to the tune inside his head of the latest pop song and pretended he was playing as he wailed out the lyrics best as he could remember them. His mother came across his imaginary guitar virtuosity and beamed maternally.
“Well this is more useful than sweeping,” mother kidded.
Timmy stopped playing. “Someday I’m going to be a rock star!” he proclaimed with unrestrained, youthful enthusiasm.
“Why that’s just splendid, dear!” mother said approvingly. “So what are you going to do for a day job?”
A Star is Born by Anurag Bakhshi
As I reached the edge of the stage, and saw the crowd, I almost ran back.
I knew how merciless this seemingly innocent crowd could be.
But then, I thought of the adulation that would follow my performance, and my spine stiffened.
I turned around, and marched towards the center of the stage with a swagger.
The crowd immediately fell silent.
But I could sense them getting restless as I fumbled with the mic.
And then, I cleared my throat and started singing, “Baa Baa Black Sheep….”.
And students of Class Nursery-A finally had their very own rock star!
Rock It! by Anita Dawes
Rock and roll is in my soul
Born kicking and screaming my lungs out
Taking the fast track, music burning with every step
I wanted to find the songs to change the world
One day I would be famous, see my name in lights
I am dirt poor now, but not for long
Odd jobs along the way, I now had my first guitar
My style stood out, too far for some
Sam Phillips gave me my first break
It’s All Right Mama, playing on the radio
There was no stopping me now
I brought Graceland,
Who am I?
Sister Rosetta by H.R.R. Gorman
Rosetta’s fingers blazed over the fingerboard, twanged the strings with a fire never before seen. She infused a plain instrument with dripping sexual tension and lightning power. Fans clamored at her feet, and her soprano voice carried through the speakers.
The lights went down at the end of the show, and Rosetta made her way backstage. On her way there, a young boy attempted to accost her in the hall. “How do you play like that?”
“Why sugar,” she said, “I practiced and did it ’cause I loved it.” She pinched his cheek. “What’s your name, honey-child?”
Fishin’ by Bill Engleson
‘Course, no one believed Swampdeck.
“Ton ‘a bullcrap,” bellowed Calgary Pete. “Don’t even measure up to bullcrap, I’m thinkin’.”
“Most things don’t,’ I chimed in, lookin’ to contribute.
Swampdeck was insistent. “Saw ‘em. Saw ‘em fly in this mornin’. Stayin’ up at the Lodge. Big as life.”
Fact was, the odd moderately famous person did show up at Cuddles Cove to get away from the agony of glory.
But not him. Too big.
“Knew ya doubting tommyknockers wouldn’t believe me. So, I took a selfie.”
And sure enough, it was faint, but it sure looked like THE BOSS.
Could’ve Been a Rockstar by Ritu Bhathal
“ROCKSTAR IN MAKING SHOT ON STAGE!”
Minnie wiped a tear from her cheek as she scanned the article on the front page of the local paper.
He had indeed been someone destined for more than a few shifts in the Walmart down the road.
Simple boy, with a talent for playing his guitar and singing.
It was the end of term, and school had its annual talent show.
The audience was held captive, in more than one way.
During his performance, gunmen stormed in, opening fire around the hall.
Jamie was one of the first to fall.
The Tragic Tale of the Woman Who Shot Andy Warhol by Anne Goodwin
Your mother’s rock, her shining star; you could’ve been a professor, president, you. But you were the seer who saw too much, the dreamer who dreamt her utopia alone. You preached that men grew stiff at the thought of women as stiffs, and peddled your thesis to addicts and whores. Childhood, drugs, poverty and patriarchy drove you crazy, yet you were the only sane one in the room. You could’ve been someone. You could’ve been a rock star. But a black hole swallowed your prospects and talent when you put a hole in the body of a famous man.
Worship by Reena Saxena
He appeared on pages that mattered, donated to the right charities, got invited to all prominent do’s. The PR was perfect, more than his business was.
But all was not well in La-La land. Debts had been mounting. Financial institutions were not willing to lend any more.
Then… newspapers flashed news of his suicide. The suicide note blamed banks and tax authorities of harassment. The sympathy wave did not stop to think that tax evasion and default is not honest. The image he had so carefully built could over-ride logic.
A painstakingly carved out rock star, even in death…
A Flash of Fiction by JulesPaige
“Out, the bus is coming…Love, you,” I say.
I hear the children arguing. “It’s mine!” They bicker. Then, they get on the school bus. For a few hours I’m free. I can turn the radio on and while vacuuming I can feel like a rock star. I can sing at the top of my lungs while dancing. Take that Mrs. Nosey McGillicutty.
I’ll drink my carbonated soda pretending I’m drinking champagne at some local gala that is honoring my accomplishments. Too soon the end of the school day will come to burst my bubble.
My Rockstar! by Ruchira Khanna
One unforgettable torrid evening, I get unexpected news from my brother, “She is no more!”
I grew numb at first then shouted and cried relentlessly.
‘How can this be? She had promised to visit me in a few months.’ I murmured while I tried to make sense of the news.
‘Who shall give me priceless advise when I’m low and down?’
After a lot of sobbing and contemplation, I came to peace with the news that my rockstar, aka my mom, has left me for heavenly abode.
Stars of the Future (Lynn Valley) by Saifun Hassam
At the Farmers Market, Hannah and the other local chefs were serving a special luncheon today. Live music from the Lynn Valley High Rock and Jazz Band echoed around the Market. Hannah knew the stars of the day had arrived.
Jessica and Hannah grinned at each other. Jessica was the teacher in charge of the Rock and Jazz Band. Time for the celebration! The twenty students were totally surprised as Jessica and Hannah unfurled a huge banner:
“Welcome future stars! Thank you for your help!”
The students’ benefit concerts for the Children’s Learning Center had been very successful indeed.
A Star in the Rock – 1720 by Gordon Le Pard – The Curious Archaeologist
“Professor, this rock has a star on it.”
“Wonderful, another of these marvellous stones.”
“But don’t you think it looks as if it has been carved by hand?”
“Indeed it does, the hand of God. My theories about the nature of fossils are proved, I must write the book immediately.”
The conspirators were delighted.
“If he publishes he will be laughed at across Europe. We will be revenged.”
“But what if we are discovered? Already the stonecutter wants more money.”
“Don’t worry, he will lose his place in the University and we will be safe.”
They were very wrong.
Geology 101 by Nancy Brady
Dr. Wright taught geology. It was his passion; it was his life. He loved his subject, teaching college students the rudimentary elements of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. He taught them how mountains formed, about the shifting of fault lines, and about volcanic lava forming scoria and obsidian as it spewed forth from inside the earth.
At the end of the quarter, he took his students on a field trip to one of the local quarries. He handed them all tiny bottles of hydrochloric acid which reacted with the sedimentary rock, limestone.
This geologist truly was a rock star.
Rock Star in a Barn (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills
“Jukebox Hero” blasted from Danni’s speakers. She structured her barn to be her lab – a place to clean, catalog, and store artifacts. It was no University sanctum. Even the small budget she once had as a grad student in Pullman, Washington dwarfed her western set-up. But she used the space efficiently. She trained Ike’s family to save meat trays for her, and she scoured yard sales and free piles for anything useful. Like the bathroom cupboards some homeowner was throwing away. It formed a washing station. The freedom her own space produced made Danni feel like a rock star.
Shining Bright by JulesPaige
The rock stars are the volunteers who help those who are recovering. Children and women are the most abused. And there is a project bringing awareness to this plight. “One Million Stars to End Violence” a project of PERAK WOMEN FOR WOMEN SOCIETY”
I watched the video and made some ribbon stars of various colors and sizes. And I mailed them off to Malaysia. It took about two weeks in a flat rate envelope for them to arrive. My friend posted photos of them on her blog site. …I hope for more than one day the cause remains highlighted.
Karaoke Is Not Your Friend by tracey
Lisa’s friends nudged her and told her it was her turn. She gulped down the rest of her drink and as she stood up the floor tilted underneath her. She gently touched people’s shoulders for balance as she made her way to the stage.
She belted out “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”. “I sound just like Pat Benatar,” she thought. She finished to a thunderous ovation, people laughing and clapping. “I am a rock star!” she yelled as she left the stage. She continued to feel that way, at least until she saw the video the next day.
CenterStage by D. Avery
“Why not, Marge? You guys always pick, always either the same old pub or Nathan’s. Kristof wants to go to that karaoke place. Besides, it could be fun, we can pick on the wannabe singers.”
“Ok, Nard. I’ll let Ilene and Lloyd know.”
“No way, you two. You’re not going if you intend to pick on the participants.”
“Come on, Kristof, they’re always funny. Up there butchering good songs, strutting their rock and roll fantasies for all to see.
Fair game. Price of rock’n’roll. Besides, what do you care?”
“I care because I’ll be taking the stage. *Rocket Man*.”
“Pal, ya ever wanna be a rock’n’roll star? Git yerself an electric guitar, take some time an’ learn how to play?”
“No, Kid I ain’t. Always bin content right here, jist doin’ my ranch chores.”
“I know it’s last week’s prompt, but really, not even for one day?”
“Nope. Never wanted ta be a jukebox hero. The only stars in my eyes is these ones sparklin’ at night.”
“I s’pose yer right. I mean, what ya’d pay for yer riches and fame; sech a strange game, a little insane.”
“Yep. Them’s shootin’ stars. Here there’s rising stars, burnin’ bright.”