Peter had been at it for weeks, song after song, he strummed his guitar this sunny morning and nothing came out. He had sung his last and now his vocal chords were tired of the abuse they had received. That was it, after only one year of an illustrious debut. That was going to be the end of Pete Joy, “the man who sung with a woman’s heart.” He wrote music like Babyface and Teddy Pendergrass, Sang like Sam Cooke but had the shortest career of the three predecessors.
It wasn’t actually a year; it was more like 8 months, 3 weeks. He had skyrocketed in to fame and with the pressure to stay on top and relevant. This heart throb needed to produce more music fast, write music even faster. And with his vocal chords shot Pete Joy was history! He shut himself from the world. His publicist, after seeing him, thought it would be a great way to create some mystery around him to have people wanting more from him. Pete didn’t care, he was crushed, after taking him 40 years to get there he was only going to stay at the top for 8 months and end? It couldn’t be.
That night after ordering room service, Peter flipped through the TV blasting the volume so that he wouldn’t hear any knocks. He wanted to be alone and just mope around. Every channel he flipped to was the same.
“And the winner is….”
“America’s next top model is….”
“Welcome back to who wants to be a millionaire….”
Peter got tired and turned off the TV. He flipped his sheets around and found his head phones, he was just about to put them on when he saw something emerge from his hotel room door. He rubbed his eyes to see that he was seeing right. He opened his mouth attempting to inquire who it was, he shut his mouth again, no sound emerged.
He flung a magazine at the little being drawing closer to his bed.
“Aww! That wasn’t very nice Peter!”
Peter was startled and inched back on his bed, fanning the being away with his hands.
“You won’t get rid of me that easily.” The little man uttered.
Peter inched into his bed and drew out a pillow and with all his might flung it at the little man. The man flung and hit the TV screaming. He landed on the floor with a thud. Peter inched toward him to see if he had killed him. Peter looked down at him and in an instant Peter’s ankles were grabbed by the little man and he was flipped to the ground. Peter landed on the ground with a thud and groan.
“Can you hear me out please? I am so darn tired of being treated this way. Am I that grotesque and freakish that no one would want to talk to me, a 3’ 9’’ man, and find out who I am first before trying to kill me. Even women treat me this way. I need to talk to Nyasaye to sort this mess out. More attractive guardian angels… Darn it I am fed up of being…” The little man stopped rambling and clicked.
‘Yeah you heard right, guardian angel…call me Help”
“Yeah, believe it or not that is my name.”
“Yeah! Yeah! Let’s get on with it; you can save the ‘pleasantries’ for later.”
“Help for what?”
‘You do realize I am reading your lips right now? No sound is coming out? And you still wonder what you need help for? Boy! You humans sure are a ‘special bunch’ no wonder Nyasaye has a lot of mercy on your sorry souls.”
The next few hours in the hotel room Help assisted Peter create new music using something special. He ditched the guitar and handed him a Nyatiti. An eight stringed lyre with strings made from animal tendons, it had an unusual sound but as Peter strummed the instrument and made up lyrics and played, his voice returned richer, stronger with a magically long vocal range; from treble base to ultra tenor sounding almost feminine. Peter was in awe, he cried all night.
At dawn he arose to a cleaned room, bed in breakfast and a note.
“Studio at 11am!”
It was 10 am; Peter wolfed down his breakfast and hit the shower. He dashed out got to the lobby and ran back to his suite, grabbed his nyatiti and the stash of lyrics he created at night and dashed into the limo. He was so engulfed in his work he almost ran down a fan in the lobby.
He pulled up into studio and to his surprise, there was no one there. It was closed. The limo had pulled out so there Peter was out in the cold July rain wondering where to go, the frustration he felt the day before began to return. He began to sing sorrowfully leaning on the studio building wall, tears streaming. And just like that the studio doors unlocked and opened. Peter walked in and went straight to the recording booth. Help was seated at the mixer.
“Hit me with your best shot!” Help yelled through the mic.
The next three hours were a set of some of the best culturally fused music that the world was going to ever hear in many years to come. At the end of the recording Help bid Peter farewell never to be seen again.
The following day when Peter was scheduled to produce his new album, he got a call from a panicky studio executive.
“It’s been leaked!”
“Slow down Jose, what do you mean leaked.”
“Your lead single ‘broken’ from your new album has been leaked what do we do?”
Peter had this smirk on his face, ‘What’s the reception like. People are super requesting they love it!”
“Time to schedule a new tour don’t you think and give the people the great music they are looking for right?”
And just like that Pete Joy was back on the road more glorious than ever.