Saturday, April 4, 2015

Original Fiction - A Royal Welcome

The saga continues…seriously this thing is taking on a life of its own, I thought maybe 2 or three posts but now I’m not even sure when it will end, or frankly if I even want it to end. As you may recall dear reader, I started this story back in January after a dream I had that featured “We’ll Always Have Mexico” a song by Haley and Michaels (if you haven’t already check out their website and learn more about this fantastic couple). I must restate how odd it is that I’ve even chose this as my “muse” I don’t know Shannon or Ryan and I certainly don't know any of the Royal family, heck I've never even shown a big interest in the comings and goings of the Royal family, yet I find myself thinking about this story long after I’ve left the keyboard. I’ve written many a great paragraph on my way to work which will never see the light of day. Must remember to get a tape recorder STAT!

Get the new Haley and Michaels EP here ...

To read the background before jumping in below … here’s the link to the other posts

and now I give you part 3 of this journey

A Royal Welcome

She couldn’t believe she was standing at the baggage claim in Heathrow Airport, it seemed literally foreign to her as going out of the country before today meant Canada. Looking around she wanted to grab the nearest person and say “We are going to play our music for the QUEEN!” but was determined to keep her cool and resisted the urge. She did want everyone to stop moving so she could live in this moment and capture it so she’d always remember it as Ryan walked over to her.

“You can stop looking, they lost your bag. They are tracking it and said when they find it they will send it to the hotel, but it was definitely not on the plane. I guess it got left behind after the last plane change. I’m so sorry Shannon!”

She looked up at Ryan “Do you realize where we are? Do you realize what we are about to do?”  She took his hand and the clink of her ring made her pause again, “Do you realize this is our first trip as a married couple?” She wanted to make a list of all the first happening in her life because they were all coming so fast she was afraid she’d forget them all. First time I’ve lost my luggage on a trip, she thought, first trip with my husband, first time I’ve called Ryan my husband, first time in London, first gig ‘across the pond,’ it was all starting to make her head spin when Ryan leaned down and grounded her with a single kiss.

Nearly a year ago this journey started with an email from Prince Harry which they were all pretty sure was a joke. He was inviting them to perform at a benefit concert for their Royal Foundation. They couldn’t believe that the Prince had heard their music, which hadn’t been released yet overseas. After several additional e-mails it was clear that the group and their managers weren’t taking the request seriously until they received one with a European phone number simply asking them to call for a discussion about the benefit.

After checking the time in London Shannon, Ryan, and Mark, their manager, dialed the phone. The last thing they wanted was to wake up and infuriate the Prince, or more likely his “people” by calling at an insanely late or early hour, if by some chance this was real. They listened as the phone dialed fully expecting some pub or radio station to answer, pulling a prank. The way they saw it this could be good publicity for an up and coming act and definitely a story to tell on stage or in their next interview.  They each sat there thinking, what if this is real, but not wanting to voice it out loud and appear to be foolish later. Shannon was praying for no answer so they could leave a voice mail and the journey could continue.  Until there was definite sign that this was a prank a small part of her could live in the ‘the Prince of England likes our music’ bubble.

After the third ring a quiet voice answered, “Hello” not expecting an answer Mark stumbled, “um…yes, this is Haley and Michaels we were told to call this number to talk about a possible benefit show.”

“Oh…yes” a very surprised voice answered, “One moment.” Then there is a thud on the phone. Mark gave a nod to the band as if to say told ya. After a few moments in which Mark would have hung up, if Shannon had let him, the voice returned to the phone, “sorry about that, hard to talk business with a sleeping toddler in your lap.” Shannon playfully slapped Ryan on the arm and mouthed, ‘That’s Harry!’

“I’m so glad you guys called, I could tell from the e-mail exchanges we weren’t all on the same page. I’ve asked someone to get Kate so we can really discuss the benefit and convince you guys to join us since she’s the co-chair. As you know from my initial e-mail, the benefit would be for The Royal Foundation and will help fund a lot of the projects we have in the coming year. The hope would be that this would turn into a yearly benefit which would serve several purposes for us, to promote the foundation, showcase some of the kids we are helping, the work the foundation does, and fund projects for the coming year. It would also give the artists a platform unlike no other.”

The three of them sat there dumbfounded until Ryan blurted out, “Is this real?”

The Prince laughed, “Ha ! Yes very much so. Kate just walked in, I have Haley and Michaels on the phone to talk about the benefit.” 

“Hey guys! So glad to finally get to talk to you! We LOVE your EP, even George sings ‘we’re gonna light it’ as he walks down the hallway, well as well as a toddler can sing it! Um… speaking of which where is my child?”

“He’s on the couch he had just fallen asleep when they called. So guys we are thinking May 2016 for this benefit, we haven’t finalized exact dates yet but we are thinking a 2 or 3 day festival featuring music, a sports tournament around the music festival, and arts and crafts. Three or four jam packed days of activities and events all showcasing what the Royal Foundation has to offer.”

Kate breaks in, “The theory is to put an emphasis on the kids being helped by the foundation, showcasing their art, showcasing their talents and showing why supporting this foundation is supporting these kids and why the two are important. We feel like putting an emphasis on the positives that the foundation gives to these kids then more will get involved and we can do more for these kids. We feel like the musical aspect of a festival will bring more people to the table so we can show them how truly amazing these kids are when given the proper chances. So the bottom line is … are you guys interested in joining the benefit?”

Before thinking Shannon says, “Why us?” then she panics, “I mean it’s a fantastic opportunity and we’d love to, I’m just … our music isn’t being played over there …. So yeah why us?”

“Bloody Hell did you not tell them the story” Kate says towards Harry. “Last time Will and I were in the states we heard 500 miles on the radio. I fell in love with it so Will bought your EP for me. I immediately fell in love with the entire thing and sent it to Harry. He fell in love with We’ll Always Have Mexico and we agreed you guys should be at the benefit if only because we’d love to hear more of what you guys can do.”

Dumbfounded Shannon and Ryan just sat there, Mark jumped in, “of course we’d love to be a part of this, and we apologize for not writing back but in all honesty we thought it was a prank. I’m glad Shannon convinced us to give you guys a call to find out for sure. We’ll definitely be more responsive now. Can I ask who are some of the other artist? I assume it’s a mixture of artist and genres.”

Harry was glad they were on the phone, “um…to be honest …. You guys are the first group we’ve contacted about his benefit. However yes, a mixture of artist and genres is what we are going for, but we also want it to make sense, meaning you guys won’t be the only country group with a bunch of alternative bands. We want to bring as many people to the festival and a mixture of talent should do just that. We are also hoping that the artist will hook up with some of the musically inclined kids that will also be a part of the festival and talk with them about the business and process of what they do. A mixture of established artist, armatures and up and coming acts will really allow for a learning experience like no other.”

The next few months were a blur of activity as Haley and Michael’s continued to support their EP, work on their album, plan a wedding, and prepare for the festival. Soon they were suggesting bands they knew to the foundation and talking about schedules, plane tickets, and arrival times. They had really gotten to know Harry and Kate over the last year and couldn’t wait to see them in person and not over a computer screen. Shannon never wanted to leave this airport because they would be that much closer to this fairytale being over.  She was jolted back to reality and out of Ryan’s embrace by a now familiar voice.

“Pathetic you’d think they’d wait until they got to the room, I mean there are kids here!” Harry said under his ball cap and sunglasses as he gestured around the airport.

“Oh, leave them alone this is after all their honeymoon, congratulations you guys! I hope you don’t mind but we decided to make this welcome on our own.” Kate said from under a similar ball cap as she grabbed Shannon’s arm and pulled her towards the doors, “Now let’s get going there’s so much to do!” Shannon looked back to see Ryan shaking hands with Harry as Kate started talking about all that was to come over the next week or so, it was truly going to be the trip of a lifetime and she couldn’t wait to get started even if she’d have to wear the same jeans for a few days.
so anyway there you have it ... what do you guys think? have you guys checked out Haley and Michaels, if not you really should, they are fantastic ! What's your favorite track on the EP?

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