Too Far Out
Woody Wilson is gone, vanished. Monica is desperately trying to reach him.
But neither the Musicians' Local or Venus Pussy Club where he worked with a band know where he has gone… both Woody and his strange Soulair Horn are missing.
Monica’s first meeting with the man and his horn was as electric as all the computers in her Uncle Trent’s studio. Amazing sounds of progressive jazz greeted Monica when she opened the door to her uncle’s lab. She caught her breath when Woody lowered his horn after an unreal high note and looked at her from across the room.
Uncle Trent was a computer genius, and an inventor who had developed several software programs that were simpler and faster. Monica was surprised to see Woody had been invited inside her uncle’s highly secret lab. Uncle Trent had been working on some mysterious project ever since she could remember and as far as she knew, she was the only one he invited inside his workroom. That was because he loved her voice and had taught her to share his passion for jazz.
“Woody meet my niece, Monica.” Her uncle said, “She has a great voice. As big a range as Sarah Vaughn.”
The young musician crossed the room and took Monica’s hand and she wouldn’t have been surprised if sparks had come out of his fingers tips. Now she knew what they meant by body chemistry.
“Maybe you’ll sing for me sometime,” He also knew what to say to a women. Thick black lashes framed his gaze which made her nervous.
Finally finding her voice she tried to be cool, “I’ve never heard such high notes... What were you playing?”
“It's my own invention. I call it a Soulair Horn,” He held out the glistening musical instrument so she could inspect the bell which pointed skyward.
“It sounds something like a flugal horn only higher and hotter. But what was the music? It sounded out of this world,”
“Oh, that was from a new disk Woody brought me.” Trent put the disk in.
“You're right. His music sounds like nothing I have ever heard. More like some futuristic symphony. It was great but I'm afraid today's fans aren't ready for this kind of music. Who wrote that, man?”
“I did,” Woody shrugged “and you're right. Nobody will produce such far out stuff. Club owners always fired my group when we played original music. “
In the weeks that followed, Monica dropped by her Uncle Trent’s studio every evening after the art gallery where she worked closed.
Woody was always there and made no secret about working with Trent on some computer software soundtrack. It didn’t seem unusual to Monica that the men were mysterious about the project.
Uncle Trent was always slightly eccentric. One of his neighbors called him a crackpot, the same neighbor who complained about interference on his wireless laptop computer. He said some faint musical sounds interfered with his concentration on his email jokes. He could barely hear a sound but it made his two pit bulls howl. He threatened to call in the government, maybe even the FBI to see what Uncle Trent was doing in his lab. He accused him of being involved with a terrorist cult because his car had a bumper sticker that had the letters SETI on it and the formula N=XFL, If the neighbor knew SETI stood for Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence and that his neighbor was directing signals into space hoping to communicate with Alien Civilizations he would probably call the FBI.
Monica was too infatuated with Woody by this time to think of anything except his hot hands and smoldering eyes. Like a true gentleman, he walked her to her car each night. But no matter how much she rubbed up against him she couldn’t win him away from his mistress that was his horn.
All his passion was for his music. “If I keep working at it,” He said, “I’ll get that Sound I’ve been searching for my entire life. It will be bluer than Miles Davis, higher than Dizzy, timeless as infinity and faster than light.”
Monica didn’t know what he was talking about but kept swinging on his star. She tried to cheer him up when he got discouraged because no musicians could play a tempo as fast as his new music needed and still swing. To make enough bread to pay his bills he worked in a trio that played for pole dancers in strip clubs with names like "Star Grind," "The Heavenly Body Shop," and "Pussy Venus Play Pen."
One evening when Monica got to the studio, she found Uncle Trent and Woody both in an ecstatic mood, celebrating with a bottle of Moonshine Whiskey that had been a gift from one of Woody’s lap dancer friends who believed in astrology. Trent had installed a new antenna on the roof. He was trembling with excitement.
Woody hugged her and said, “At last, we have broken the great silence of the universe.”
Her excitement matched his own, “ Tell me. What have you heard?”
I picked up these sounds today from some space station or air ship somewhere out there.” Trent slid a DVD in a player.
Very faintly, breaking up in static, but unmistakable notes of Woody's tune came through the speaker. The tone was brighter and airier than any music Monica had ever heard. Her arms tingled from goose flesh.
“Maybe it is from Europe or Asia,”
“It can't be,” Woody said, “No one on earth except those of us in this room has heard that song. Trent has been sending my music into space for months. Don't you see. They are answering us.”
The next day Monica got a message from Woody on her answering machine. “I'm on my way to Las Vegas for an audition,” He said, “Wish me luck. I have a surprise for Trent.”
That was the last time anyone heard from the horn player. When Monica told Uncle Trent about the message he shook his head and moaned, “Oh, no. He should have consulted me. I'm afraid they aren't ready to communicate with us yet. I'm going to drive to Vegas tonight to look for him.”
“What could your search for alien intelligence have to do with his auditioning in a Vegas hotel?” Monica's voice was full of angst.
Uncle Trent shook his head, “He wasn't going to a hotel. His audition was with someone in the desert. I talked to a Ufology group this morning and there was a report from Las Vegas yesterday of some sightings by three women staying in nearby Sam's Town. A bright orange pulsing light that has been seen in that area before. Stranger still was a report from a teenage couple making out in a parked car off Boulder Highway on a dark hill who saw it too. But they reported hearing weird music prior to their seeing a large cigar-shaped ship hovering above and then shooting up like a rocket.”
A few days later Uncle Trent and the police found Woody's car on a deserted road in the desert. Paint on the car had been blistered as if by intense heat.
Monica still spends all her free time listening on Trent's radio equipment for a message from outer space. She is convinced Woody's Far Out composition is being picked up on sound waves from someplace and she has heard it. She heard the highest notes played by a talented Asian violinist and again by a jazz trumpet player on a levee near Jackson Square in New Orleans. Both young musicians told her the music had come to them on MySpace.