Saturday, April 1, 2017
Blog Tour Excerpt: Famous by Default by MK Harkins
Screams echoed behind me.
Dear God, if you get me out of this, I’ll never ditch my bodyguard again.
“There he is!” squealed a high-pitched voice. A twelve-year-old girl, like the others in her mob, chased me. And I feared for my life. I’d think about that charming fact later.
I darted around the corner and came face-to-face with a brick wall. Dead end. My chest heaved in ragged breaths, and sweat seeped from every pore. Where to escape? I backed into a small alcove to assess.
A rabid herd of crazed, stampeding tweens, all wanting a piece of me—hair, t-shirt, shoes, whatever they could rip off—were too close. I needed Ray, my bodyguard, like, this second.
But I’d ditched him this morning so I could have a “regular” day at the mall. The type of day I’d enjoyed only six months before. A lifetime ago. I hated my life now. However, focusing on survival was the wisest choice right now.
With a lowered head and a tug on my baseball cap, I rounded the corner back into the main corridor and ducked into the nearest store.
“Can I use your bathroom?” I asked the clerk.
She let out a squeak and dropped something lacy and pink.
“Quick. They’re coming.” My hand tapped an impatient rhythm on her counter. Temporarily shielded by a rack of nightgowns placed at the front entrance, my time was running out. The excited voices from just outside came through loud and clear.
“Did you see which store he went in?” a breathless voice asked.
“I think he went into Victoria’s Secret.”
The stunned clerk pointed to a back hallway. I dashed past bras and crashed into a half-naked mannequin, veered sideways, and managed to lock myself in the closet-sized employee bathroom.
Frustrated, I ripped off my cap and threw it across the small room. It bounced off the wall and plopped into the toilet. Figures. My favorite hat splashing in the toilet was the perfect metaphor for my life. No way was I fishing that out of there. I kicked the door and swore under my breath.
It was their fault. Why shouldn’t I swear at the top of my lungs? Why not scream obscenities through the door for all the fans to capture on their cell phones? I’d love to see the headlines: Brother of the chart-topping rock band, The Jaynes, has mental breakdown at the Bellevue Square Mall.
My mom’s voice floated through my head. Don’t embarrass your brothers. They need your support right now. Just because you didn’t want to join the band doesn’t mean you should turn your back on music. They’ve cleared the path if you ever decide you want a solo career. You can record that artsy Indie stuff you like so much.
I paced back and forth in the small room, rubbing the stubble on my chin. It didn’t matter anymore, because I hated music, well, for now anyway. My entire seventeen years spent surrounded by the guitar, piano, violin, and drums didn’t matter anymore. My history wasn’t enough to make me want to play again. What I wanted was an eraser, or maybe time travel. I’d go back and tell my twin, Gage, not to form that stupid rock band with our two older brothers. I’d tell them it would make my life a living nightmare, and it wasn’t worth it. I never wanted it. I never enjoyed it. I wanted my life back.
Although, they were enjoying the hell out of all the attention.
Famous by default. A genetic twist of fate. Either the girls thought I was my twin brother, Gage, or they were intrigued because the media had labeled me “mysterious.” The fact that I refused all interviews that included our family fascinated the public. Because, in our media-hungry culture, who didn’t want their fifteen minutes? Who didn’t want to be a rock star? Not me. No, thanks. I wanted nothing to do with the music industry or the fans.