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Evil Evie

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PostSubject: Elvin Rockband Ballads   Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:29 am

I was inspired by Stormcatcher's art, which she keeps in her Hollow Tree, to write a series of tales in which the Elfquest characters are in a rockband central AU. I took one look at her beautiful artwork and decided I wanted to play around with some of the ideas represented their, I have plans to feature a little bit from each one of her drawings (except for the steel company two-edge one, I'm still thinking).

My first story features Bearclaw as the leader of a band, but it takes place right in the middle of all the stories I have ideas for, I definitely intend for Cutter to start his own, just in case you were wondering. The stories will not be written in order, but as my muse takes an interest in them. Because of this I have decided to roughly date them as to when they are taking place.

Since this is an AU I have taken the liberty to change things around with characters ages, when events take place and how relationships are formed. Some of this is because I have removed a lot of the magical elements from the story, like sending, recognition and character immortality.  I hope that the fact that things won't play out in the same way they did in the comics will keep readers interested and guessing.

I hope you enjoy my tales of Elvin Rock band ballads.
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Evil Evie

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PostSubject: Re: Elvin Rockband Ballads   Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:31 am

Hunting Bear: Single
Originally released in 1969, re-released in 1981

Strongbow gently cradled what had once belonged to his father. He plucked at a string lovingly and the string replied with a gentle light tone. He plucked it and the other strings of the black electric Harmony H63 Espanada guitar in succession and listened to the instrument sing. Then, Strongbow attentively played the first few notes of Bearclaw’s song, the part only his father had ever played, ‘Hunting Bear.’

Strongbow stopped playing and listened carefully to see if anyone had heard him. His ears registered nothing and so he bent back over the guitar. He began again this time little bit louder, as the song was meant to be played. It was a difficult song, with parts that were intense and parts that were soft and full of melancholy. Strongbow had practiced for years on his own guitar, but it had never sounded quite right. Now it sounded almost the way it was supposed to. Since it was an electric guitar and he didn’t have it plugged it was still far quieter then it was supposed to be, but since he didn’t want to be heard, which was for the best.

Strongbow imagined what it would be like if he were standing on stage with Bearclaw and the rest of the band, Bearclaw and The Wolfriders. He imagined the lights shining down on him, the colors swirling, listening to the crowd as they sang back the lyrics. In response to his imagination Strongbow stood as he played and closed his eyes. All he heard was the music as it washed over him and now he could almost imagine he was in the forest stalking a bear and preparing to go in for the kill.

There was a sudden snap and one of the strings broke, striking across the back of Strongbow’s hand. He hissed in pain and held the guitar away from himself as the remaining strings continued to hum. Strongbow set the guitar down and he was filled with a horrible feeling. He rubbed the back of his hand where the one string had struck it.

After standing there for a few moments, Strongbow bowed his head, set down the guitar and walked out to find his mother.


***


Trueflight sensed the silent approach of her cub. It was impossible to hear his approach and so she had learned other ways. She turned a little to glance back at him and confirmed his approach with her periphery vision. “What can I do for you my son?”

Strongbow let out a low sigh and Trueflight paused and turned. “Strongbow, what’s wrong?” She looked down at the back of Strongbow’s hand and saw the slash mark there as well.

Strongbow held out his hand for his mother to examine and then she took his face in her own hand and looked at it. “Did one of the strings on your guitar break?” He nodded.

“Go wash your hand. I’ll get the first aid kit. Then you can get your guitar and I’ll see if Bearclaw has any strings set aside or not.”

Strongbow hesitated and then signed to his mother; ~ I’m not worried about fixing it now. I’ll take care of it later. I’ll do my homework instead. ~

Trueflight raised her eyebrows, but didn’t say anything. She knew then that her son was hiding something. She nodded and then went to go find the first aid kit.


***


Strongbow was no dummy. He knew his mother now thought that one of the strings on his guitar was broken. So he took his guitar and discarded, though with a few reservations, one of the perfectly healthy strings. Then he brought it out the next day and showed it to her. He then told her that he wanted to go pick up the strings by himself.

Trueflight wasn’t sure if that was best. “Are you sure you can communicate what you need to the salesmen? Using a notebook is tedious and you know the chance that he’ll understand sign language is slim to none.”

~ I’ll have to learn to live in this world without you eventually mother. Music is my life, if I can’t conduct myself in a music store, what good am I? ~

Trueflight sighed, his logic was sound. She couldn’t baby her silent son forever and he was almost sixteen. “Alright, go get yourself a new set of strings, but don’t take too long.”


***


Going to the music store alone had given Strongbow the chance to buy the strings not only for his own guitar, but also for his fathers. The strings on his father’s guitar were old, which was why one of them had broken. He was glad for a more pressing reason to buy to them, because now he wouldn’t have to retune the guitar every time he wanted to play it.

The trip wasn’t too difficult. Communicating to the salesman what he had wanted was time consuming, but the man had been patient and understanding. Strongbow prayed that throughout his life most of the people he encountered would be this way.

Strongbow was back in his room now and had just finished stringing the guitar and tuning it. He set it down beside him, leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes.

The doorknob turned and clicked.

Sitting bolt upright, Strongbow made a quick grab for the guitar and then watched horrified as his hand managed to knock it over. Strongbow gasped, the guitar fell, landed on its side, and there was a sudden loud crack.

Eight year old Cutter peeked his head in through the doorway, “Strongbow?”


***


Strongbow didn’t really want to show his mother what had happened to her late husband’s guitar. So instead, he took the now broken instrument to Joyleaf, Bearclaw’s lifemate. Maybe if he showed her she could help him work around his mother and her blustering mate Bearclaw. Cutter, her son, followed close behind.

“Are you going to be in trouble Strongbow?”

Strongbow scowled at the boy and motioned for him to be quiet.

They were in Bearclaw and Joyleafs house, a large rundown home that they had worked on tirelessly, bit by bit since they had bought it a few years after their marriage. Right now, he and his mother stayed with them, in-between tours, while other members of the band stayed in the trailer or with relatives.

Considering the supposed history between his mother and Bearclaw, Strongbow was surprised that Joyleaf was ok with letting them stay, but she welcomed them with open arms.

As they approached the area where Joyleaf was Cutter suddenly bolted ahead of Strongbow and shouted out, “Mom, Strongbow broke something, I think he’s in trouble!”

Strongbow mentally cursed his luck. If it wasn’t for cutter he wouldn’t have broken the guitar in the first place.

Joyleaf chuckled, “I know a certain someone who is going to be in trouble if his room isn’t clean when I check it again. You should be working on that like I told you too.”

“Aw, mom!”

“Go clean your room Cutter; I’ll be up soon to see if you’ve been working on it.”

Cutter left sulking as he went and Strongbow signed his thanks, he did so slowly so that Joyleaf could follow what he was saying.

~ I broke my guitar ~

“What now?”

Strongbow sighed and signed it again slower, then shook his head and asked her to follow him.

He lead Joyleaf to his room and showed her the guitar’s broken neck. ~I need to fix it.~

Joyleaf examined the broken guitar and picked up the pieces, “I don’t think I can help you Strongbow. We need to take this to Bearclaw or your mother.”

Strongbow sighed again; ~ I really don’t want them to see it. ~ he signed.

Joyleaf smiled softly, “It’s what we have to do.”

He had hoped that wouldn’t be the case, but he finally gave in to the inevitable. He couldn’t just leave the guitar the way it was and it needed to be fixed right the first time.


***


“That’s Hawkhunter’s. You pulled it out of storage?” Bearclaw asked Strongbow.

Strongbow nodded.

“And now you’ve broken it, that’s why we put it away!”

Strongbow began to grow angry, ~ it was my fathers! I just wanted to play his song on it. I wanted to play Hunting Bear!~

Bearclaw caught bits and pieces of Strongbow’s furious signing, but he turned frustrated and shouted for Trueflight to come and tell him what her son was saying. He didn’t have the patience for this.

Trueflight came in a minute later and saw the guitar in Joyleaf’s hands. She reached out to take it. “New strings,” she noted. “Strongbow, you didn’t need strings for your guitar, she needed them for this one.”

Strongbow, who had been looking at his mother, broke eye contact and looked down. ~It needs to be fixed,~ he said.

“I want to know what he said before.” Bearclaw said, crossing his arms.

Strongbow repeated himself.

“He says he wanted to play Hunting Bear on it. The song Hawkhunter and you wrote.”

~I wanted to practice it so that I can play it on stage with you.~

Trueflight calmly repeated this.

“We don’t play that song anymore! We haven’t played it since your father got sick two years ago! That was our song, and your not ready to play it yet!”

“He’s not asking to play it now Bearclaw,” Joyleaf said calmly.

“I don’t care, I’m going out.”


***


Trueflight took her son aside. “How did it break Strongbow?”

Strongbow explained how he had rushed to hide the guitar when Cutter was opening the door.

“I wish you had asked me if you could use it. I would have been ok with that. Your father would have wanted you to have it.” She reached up and turned Strongbow’s head so that she could look in his eyes, the boy was crying. Trueflight pursed her lips and drew Strongbow into a hug, “I know cub, I know. I miss him too.”


***


“Hey! Dad!” Skywise shouted as he came running into Bearclaw’s den, “Did Strongbow really break his dad’s old guitar? Cutter says he did.”

Bearclaw suppressed a smile, “yes, he did, he’s lucky we were able to fix it. It’s a lesson learned. Remember, Skywise, don’t go messing with any of my equipment without asking first and especially not New Moon.”

Skywise looked at the white Norma Electric guitar longingly, “will I get to play it someday?”

Now Bearclaw did smile, “Maybe, someday I’ll give it to you Skywise. You or Cutter will get to keep it as your own someday.”


A few months passed. Strongbow turned sixteen. Bearclaw and The Wolfrider’s left to go on a short three week tour. It was during this tour that Bearclaw allowed Strongbow to first play on stage with the band. He called it a belated birthday present. Strongbow’s new dream, to play Hunting Bear, his father’s most famous song, was still unrealized.

During one of the final shows on the tour Strongbow stood backstage, watching the rest of the band, Treestump on drums, Trueflight on Keyboard, One-eye as the base guitarist and Bearclaw as the lead guitarist and singer. They were short three of the members that had helped start the band.

Since it was a small venue Bearclaw took a moment and allowed for requests from the audience. He paused when one of the audience members shouted back, ‘Hunting Bear.’ This was followed by a large chorus of requests for this very popular song.

Bearclaw huffed and took his mic in hand. “I’m sorry everyone, but…” he paused when he saw Strongbow out of the corner of his eye take a step out of the stage wing and onto the stage. Bearclaw frowned at him, this song was important, it stood for so much of the friendship he had shared with Hawkhunter. He wasn’t sure if he was ready to share it with someone else, especially not with the very person that had almost ended that friendship.

He glanced at Trueflight for an instant and then felt himself cave. “Everyone, I’m not sure if you realize it, but this young man over here,” he beckoned for Strongbow to approach, “is the son of the late HawkHunter who passed on a little over a year ago. I’m not sure if any of you are aware of this, but we haven’t played Hunting Bear since his passing. Today… for the first time Strongbow will accompany me as we play Hunting Bear!”

Strongbow looked at Bearclaw with an expression of utter shock and then a slow smile crept over his features. He positioned his fathers guitar and stood next to Bearclaw. Tears filled the boys eyes as he played the song, surrounded by the flashing lights, listening to crowed shout back the lyrics. Strongbow was unaware, but he wasn’t the only one with tears in his eyes.

It was amazing. It was fantastic. Strongbow utterly killed it.


***


After the show Trueflight went to find a moment where she could talk to Bearclaw alone. “When are you going to tell him? Are you ever going to tell him?” She asked the question softly, with just a hint of regret in her steady voice.

“I don’t think I could Trueflight.” Bearclaw said with a sigh, his gruffness taken over by the same feeling of regret. “He’s so much like Hawkhunter. You heard how he played that song tonight.”

Trueflight nodded, “he misses Hawkhunter, Bearclaw and right now you’re the closest thing to a father figure that he has left. Someday you’ll have to tell him. I’m not saying that now is the right time. I just want to know if you ever will, because if you don’t I will.”

“I have other cubs to raise right now. Cutter just turned eight and Skywise ten. Right now my focus is on them.”

Trueflight nodded, “you aren’t perfect Bearclaw, you’re an old badger if there ever was one and someday they’ll find out and see your flaws and your mistakes. Let that be on your terms, not theirs.”

Bearclaw grumbled, he wished that Trueflight hadn’t brought this up. It was like she was trying to make him feel guilty. Bearclaw grumbled again. It had been quite a night. He needed to go find a bar and have a few beers.

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manga

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PostSubject: Re: Elvin Rockband Ballads   Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:50 am

Interesting. It's odd how well this switch works. Smile

What is it that Bearclaw is hiding from Strongbow?
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Evil Evie

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PostSubject: Re: Elvin Rockband Ballads   Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:52 am

that's for me to know and you to find out!

I'm glad you like it Manga and I am happy that you find that the switch works.

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Shadowpath

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PostSubject: Re: Elvin Rockband Ballads   Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:49 pm

Very interesting and fitting take on Strongbow! Shocked Hope we get to see more!

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