Idol Debut

by Samuel Barnhart

I’m running as fast as I can. Aside from being late, it’s a perfect night for “The New Voice of 1984” to debut. A cloudless sky with the moon’s spotlight following me as I race to the concert hall. I’m late because of my costume. The blonde wig, the tiara, the Saturn-ringed shoulder pads and miniskirt. The producers probably think chaos would clot Yokohama if Sweety Galaxy showed up without her custom microphone embedded in its silver scepter.

Sweety Sweety Sweet! Peachy Peachy Peach!
Captivate our universe with your song of love

The song speeds through my head to match my feet dashing down the sidewalk. Pavement strikes are drumbeats. Sharp turns are guitar wails. Missing the car the producers sent almost becomes a blessing. My fans won’t mind the wait. When I finally reach the stage, they will cheer for Sweety Galaxy with everything they’ve got.

Nobody ever cheered for Sagako Satoe.

Each step I take chips away at the life that belonged to Sagako. Her photos are ripped up, her furniture is broken and her clothes shredded. After I sign that final contract tonight, right before I hit the stage, I will take my combination microphone/scepter, the Galaxy Strike, and crush Sagako’s skull with it.

There’s no room in the universe for both Sweety Galaxy and Sagako Satoe.

The Milky Way angel who believes in her dreams
A pure heart full of light that shines
Make A Chance!

I cross the street and a bicycle swerves, its owner stunned as I leap across him to reach the other side. I may be delayed, but nothing will stop me. This is what I was born to do. I had attended each round of auditions in anticipation of becoming a star. A pop idol with my single on every station, billboards stretching across Japan, even my own cartoon.

Galaxy Strike! Her weapon from the stars
Twirling it magically in her fingers
Don‘t Forget Your Promise!

As I run I can see the street rise up and meld into the seaside concert hall that awaits my debut. I go faster and begin to hum the melody. My mind plugs the words in. I will have sung the song a million times in my head before it escapes my open lips.

Is this what Sagako expected? As I hum my debut song, I wonder. What did Sagako really believe would happen to her when she won that very last audition? Her every laugh and wink built anticipation for this colossal night. No, in her wildest dreams she never could’ve expected such instant celebrity.

Tonight, the cute seventeen year-old girl who made friends so easily and could win over any enemy with a smile that scrunched up her freckles into a second, even bigger smile, leaves the world as Sweety Galaxy enters it.

Sweety Sweety Sweet! Peachy Peachy Peach!
 Forge destiny with your very own hand

Sweety Sweety Sweet! Peachy Peachy Peach!
We’ll support you until the very end

I’m backstage inside the concert hall almost before I realize it. Frenzied people weave around, all of them too busy to notice I’ve arrived. I finish humming and find my way carefully to the dressing room. Suddenly it’s right there in front of me, impossible to miss. “Sweety Galaxy” etched beautifully on the nameplate. I lift my Galaxy Strike in one hand, turn the doorknob with the other. Nothing can pull my focus at this point.

Sagako Satoe has her back to me. She’s arguing with the producers because none of them have any idea what happened to the Sweety Galaxy costume. Wasn’t it in the car when she rode to the concert hall? The door shuts behind me. Sagako turns. Even when she’s confused, she can’t help but be cute.

“Didn’t you get second place?” Sagako asks as I break her face with my Galaxy Strike.

Appearing like a miracle, how long we‘ve waited
Captivate our universe…

I step over Sagako’s body to the contract lying unsigned on the dressing room table. After initialing the contract, I press it into the hands of the horrified producers. Deep down they must know I should’ve won first place in the idol competition. I was destined to be Sweety Galaxy no matter the outcome.

I run from the dressing room, down the hall and up to the curtain, I can hear the audience screaming, I can feel them. I step through and throw my arms wide to greet everyone. Their applause pulsates.

Wipe away those meaningless tears! Fight On!

I bring my microphone-scepter up and begin “Galaxy of Silver”, the song that was always meant for me. I’ve never felt more alive.

Samuel Barnhart writes and mops bathrooms in South Florida, not at the same time, but he’s working on it. His work has previously appeared in Slink Chunk Press and Liquid Imagination.

Photo credit by Moyan Brenn via Flickr, All Creative Commons


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