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An invariably samey show played to a mostly similar aging audience at a familiar venue marked the end of Spring for the band. Only a handful of new faces since Morton's last visit seemed present, as he scanned the demotivated crowd from behind the valves of his tuba. The lead singer made a leery but well-intended remark to a haggard, frizzy blonde woman near the front of the mediocre venue between songs, while the drummer sniffed and snorted, and Morton wiped the moisture from the mouthpiece of his sizable instrument. There were claps, although they sounded more akin to a timestretched cacophony of corpses crunching and grinding as rigor mortis set in. Supportive squeals and chants sounded like the damned crying for salvation from their eternal fiery peril in the depths of hell on earth. The audience changed very little from gig to gig, and the embittered forms of these poor souls was aging as drastically as the band.
Daily, Morton would face a dilemma. Waking at the crack of dawn, he would take the time to stare back at himself in his bathroom mirror for up to two hours, although it was typically around three-quarters of an hour. During this time he would prepare his rigid persona for the day ahead, challenging himself aggressively and sometimes out loud. However these self-indulgent moments presented Morton with a much deeper issue, for the reflections yielded two divided traits of his personality: that of the band and that of business; that of hate and that of love.
It had been taking over his life for several years now and Morton felt that he had reached a point whereby he had to make a very serious decision, for he found his true passion in selling carpets. The countless concerts, psychotic zombified fans, strain upon Morton's embouchure and band politics had all taken their toll on the ailing man, who was nearing mid-life crisis territory, and convinced him that purveying fine floor coverings was the righteous path to take.
The remaining band members were not impressed by Morton's announcement about leaving the band for a life of fabric peddling, at the end of the gig that night and a violent fracas erupted in the backstage area of the venue, which incidentally did not have any security staff or doormen. Steve, the lead singer and originator of their band 'Enterprising Walrus', was notably upset. Before Morton could complete his remonstration, Steve levied the ex-member with a heavy carnal tax. A bulbous Mancunian fist greeted Morton's nasal tract, a meeting celebrated by the crimson eruption of life juice. The additional members of the band rallied around Morton as he flailed away from Steve and backed himself to a wall, moaning and cursing from his bloodied lips as he did.
Insults and slang reverberated around the economy VIP area as Morton pleaded with the clearly displeased members, but there was no suitable recompense or retraction that the defunct band member could offer.
The drummer stepped up and craned in with his overbearing, tattooed arms subsequently fisting a brutal rhythm against the decaying man's form. Weighty punches to each ear crippled Morton's hearing temporarily, but among the fierce insults he managed to pick out, "fucking carpets," spat angrily but the lead singer. Concluding his drum roll, the drummer smashed upon Morton's ribs in a pattern much like the timpani bit from '2001 - A Space Oddysey'. As he skirted the verge of consciousness, Morton slid down the wall into a crumpled but upright foetal position.
The remaining members of 'Enterprising Walrus' seemed pleased and optimistic about what they might be able to achieve without a brass player who seemed to hold them back all the time with his naive approach and preference for ostinato patterns. Hissing an angry laugh and ignoring a sigh of displeasure from the drummer, the lead singer grabbed a drum stick from a nearby carrier bag and approached the crumpled mess. Yanking fiercely at Morton's hair, the lead singer pulled his thinly covered skull into a secure position and began to prise at his teary, closed eyelids. Morton resisted with squirms and noises of displeasure, but his eye was finally opened with force. With his other hand, Steve the shit singer drew the narrow end of the drumstick within his clutch to Morton's exposed sense organ. The pig-like squeals and impained groans unsettled all of those in the room, Steve included. A couple of female fans had been covertly peering around the door during the aggressive extravaganza but chose to leave at this point.
The lead singer was a drinker but his hand was steady as he applied the 2B stick to the inset area near Morton's tear glands. It took some considerable leverage and produced sickly squelching sounds, but the vocalist eventually managed to force an advantageous intrusion to the flesh around Morton's eye. His vision became blurred and fuzzy while involuntarily staring at the vocalist's wrinkled but excited and coked-up expression. All of the additional band members grimaced when Steve started to prise the sphere from skull, and announced he was about to remove the eyeball. The previously benign guitarist made a sharp exit to vomit in the stinking backstage toilet and the previously up-for-it drummer turned to look at shitty band posters on the wall.
Morton's screams spanned more octaves than he had known could actually be produced by such Marlboro weathered vocal chords, and although his hearing was shot, he could hear enough of his own voice through vibrations in bone to drift away from the matter in hand, and consider the alternative path of being a vocalist. Perhaps if he had pursued this from the outset, he would not have become so frustrated and become obsessed with being a carpet salesman. Nevertheless, Morton's eyeball was promptly removed, and it was almost disappointing to Steve that there was very little additional blood produced. By this time, only the drummer remained with Steve and Morton in the room, and he was paying little attention to the proceedings as he was still diverting his attention to a rare Durutti Column poster which he had noticed near the door.
Morton was crying, but his violated eye had trouble coping with the situation. From his remaining visual sensory organ, although blurred with tears, he saw Steve looking in disgust at the bruised eyeball resting in his hand.
The lead singer sounded almost ashamed and remorseful as offered his hand forward and insisted that Morton should eat his own eyeball, but he was completely serious and committed. For some reason the effect of this verbal demand upon the man of rhythm was rousing. "I want to take the other one out after he's swallowed it," the drummer sneered.
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