“You’re a canary, I’m a coal mine! ‘Cause the sorrow is just all the rage!” Martin sang smiling as he looked at all the well dressed people watching the band perform. Lewis was to his left with the trumpet, Mark to his right with the bass, and John behind them on the drums. Martin had been sitting at a piano in the front while he sang.
This was how they spent most nights. Playing at the bar for George Flowers, the owner. The group were all close friends and enjoyed playing together.
George was watching them from the bar table. George would smile at Martin whenever he caught his eye.
After the show, George met them out back.
“Good to see The Rich Bunch haven’t lost their talent.” George says with a smirk.
“You say that every night George, we have been playing for 2 years.” Lewis says chuckling.
“Well, who knows, maybe you did overnight.” George says.
“And why would the best bassist on this side of the city lose his talent overnight. Maybe the trumpet player, but not the bassist!” John said laughing, getting an elbow to the chest from Lewis.
“Stop complimenting me, save the compliments for Martin!” Mark says laughing.
“I’m never speaking again if Lewis elbows me again!” John says, to get another elbow to the chest.
“Better start now!” Lewis says.
“Lewis, John stop! We don’t need to fight!” Martin said laughing.
“You sure are a wurp Martin.” Lewis says, running his hand over his own hair to make sure the gel had kept it all in place.
“Well aren’t you a bimbo!” George says laughing.
“Come on, let’s stop talking this way, before the eggs hear us!” Mark said laughing as well.
“Damn, look at the time, the misses would hate me if I were home late again.” George says, looking at his watch and stroking his beard.
“Better wash up first, you look pretty zozzled if you ask me.” Martin says.
“Watch your tongue Stumph, or someone might just cut it out of your mouth.” George says before starting to walk off.
“Now don’t go taking any wooden nickels alright George?!” Lewis yelled after him. George didn’t reply to that.
“Now let’s get heading home.” John says, breaking his own silence.
“Ha, knew John couldn’t stay quiet for long.” Lewis says.
“That’s only when he says he will stay quiet.” Martin says as he puts his hand on Mark’s back.
They started walking home. They passed the park when they saw something quick in a flash of light shoot into the park. They all looked at each other.
“It’s only 9, a little adventure wouldn’t hurt anyone.” Lewis said with a smirk.
“Then let’s check it out, no one’s going to miss us.” Martin says. Mark and John nod to agree, Chicago got boring when you followed the same schedule everyday other day.
The group walked into the park and started heading to where they saw the light land. They found in through a bunch of trees. A glowing rock, about the size of Mark’s head.
“Look at the shine on that stone.” John said. Lewis got closer to it.
“What you reckon happen if I touch it?” Lewis asks.
“I don’t know, maybe you’ll explode and we’ll be one less annoyance and we’d each be getting another sawbuck.” Mark says.
“Yeah but then you’d be down a trumpet player.” Lewis says.
“We could always replace you.” John says with a chuckle.
Lewis rolled his eyes and picked up the rock. It suddenly began to glow brighter, almost blinding the band. Then they all blacked out.
Martin woke up being dragged by Lewis while Mark had John on his shoulder.
“What happened..?” Martin asked as he stood himself up.
“We all happened to pass out at the same time. Lewis and I woke up first, now that he’s up, help me with John.” Mark says. Lewis went over and got John’s other arm over his shoulder.
“Well, we’re almost home anyway.. Carrying John makes me feel lucky I don’t have to take my bass from home to the bar and back again.” Mark says again.
“Heh, aren’t we all. I’m not sure how I’d get a piano up those stairs.” Martin says.
“I have no idea why you are complaining.” Lewis says.
“Says the man who plays trumpet!”
Mark mumbles ‘if anyone asks John’s just bent’ as they got to the door of their apartment building. They each had separate apartments, but they all were on the same floor. They headed up to their apartments, Lewis taking John in to his since he was probably out for the night if he wasn’t awake yet.
They never found out what that rock did to them until about two months after the incident. They had just finished playing and were backstage. Mark put his bass in its case while Lewis did the same with his trumpet.
“Where is George, I didn’t see him at the bar.” Martin asks as he takes off his suit jacket.
“Probably in the restroom.” Lewis said.
“Hmm.” Mark says. “Speaking of the restroom.” Mark stood up from putting away his bass and walked to the doorway which lead to the restrooms. The only thing Mark could remember past that was seeing a figure before being knocked out.
Mark woke up tied to chairs with George tied up on the ground in front of them. One of the masked men grabbed George by the chin and forced him to look at the band.
“Maybe after we kill your little band you’ll understand we’re not letting your little wife get off so easy from your mistakes.” The man said.
Mark saw that the rest of the band was tied up with him, John and Lewis already being awake, and Martin was stirring.
“Start with the half negro.” The man said, pointing at Lewis, who was fighting against the restraints. The other man walked up to Lewis with his gun drawn. John and Martin started trying to fight against their restraints, but the gags wouldn’t let them yell or scream.
The man then put the gun to Lewis’s head and shot him. Martin and Mark both tried screaming and John kept trying to lash out. George was crying but didn’t react like the others.
Next was John, shooting him in the head like Lewis. Then came Martin. Mark looked George in the eye with a look of ‘I hope whatever you did was worth it’ as the gun was put to his head.
“Have fun in hell you kike.” The man muttered to Mark before shooting him.
Lewis woke up laying in the back of a car. He was confused, trying to retrace his memory, he was tied up, they put a gun to his head and-
Was he dead? They killed him, shot him in the head. Lewis tried to move, finding his restaurants gone, but he felt someone in there with him. He found there was a shovel at his side and he grabbed it by the handel, planning to use it against whoever it was. Maybe the gun didn’t fire the bullet, and that was why he was alive.
The car eventually stopped somewhere, and Lewis could hear water. It had to be Lake Michigan. He heard a splash before the trunk was opened. Lewis yelled and smacked the guy in the face with the shovel. The man went down and the other guy jumped, giving Lewis time to get out of the trunk. He then attacked the man with the shovel, knocking him out as well. Lewis then went back to the trunk to try and figure out where the others were. He found that John’s body had been in the trunk next to him. Lewis dragged him out, feeling tears running down his face. If John was dead, there was little to no hope for Mark and Martin. Lewis noticed the other car with the trunk open. As he assumed, Mark and Martin were both inside of it.
Lewis saw down on the ground and just cried. He wasn’t sure what to do, George was likely dead like his friends, and he was probably thrown into the lake. Lewis ran his hand over his hair out of habit, then noticed the bit of missing hair, which Lewis instantly noticed as being strange. Why was it gone?
That’s when he heard John taking a panicked shaking breath. Lewis turned around to see his previously dead friend sitting up and panicking. He looked at Lewis.
“What the hell just happened?!” John yelled.
“I don’t know.. I don’t think the gun we-”
“No no no, you were dead, you had the hole through your head, a-and then they shot me… Oh my god this is strange..” John says.
“How did this happen..?” Lewis said as he stood up.
After Martin and Mark came back to life, they ran from the pier and found somewhere to call the police. The men were caught with information from George’s wife, but George’s body was never found, probably somewhere at the bottom of that lake.
After a few years, The Rich Bunch rose to fame, traveling around and playing at other bars, they even recorded some records. After about 15 years, the group noticed they weren’t aging, their hair still grew and their injuries would still heel, but they never aged. The group retired once Mark hit the age of 45, and just fell off the map afterwards.
“Brendon! Can you stop it with that fucking music!! I have a headache!!” Dallon yelled at Brendon from where he was sitting on the bus.
“Come on! This is classic!” Brendon said.
“Classically annoying! I liked it better when you kept playing that Paramore song over and over!”
Brendon rolled his eyes and turned the music off.
“You get silence for an hour, then I’m finally going to get to play my Rich Bunch record.” Brendon said.
“Damn your records!” Spencer yelled from behind the closet door, where he was getting something from.
“Come on! Rich Bunch was one of the best jazz bands of the time! Their records are close to impossible to find, and I managed to get one!” Brendon says showing off the record.
“Aren’t The Rich Bunch the ones who just sorta vanished in the 1940s?” Dallon asks.
“Yeah, but they sure made good music if the reviews are to be believed.” Brendon said.
“Where have I seen those guys before?” Dallon said, gesturing to the cover. Brendon looked at it.
“We saw a movie with posters of them in the background, remember? That’s probably where you remember them from.” Brendon said shrugging. Brendon glanced over the picture of the band members. He had been looking at pictures of them for years, as he always loved looking at things about the band, even if he only now was able to listen to their music. He knew each member by name. Martin Stumph, Lewis Kingston, Mark Joseph, and John Vaughn.
Brendon got bored waiting for the promised hour to end, so took his record player into the room with the bunks and set the player on one of the bunks. He then put the record in to play and sat on the bunk across from the one he put the record player on. He looked at the cover while the music played.
“You’re a canary, I’m a coal mine! ‘Cause the sorrow is just all the rage!” Were the first lyrics sung on the record which made Brendon raise an eyebrow, those seemed so familiar.. The musical intro was familiar as well. The rest of the song didn’t ring bells, but it was just the way it was sung in the beginning.
As he kept listening, he realized how similar the lead singer sounded to Patrick Stump.