Welcome to the next episode in the ‘Deleted Scenes’ series of sections of the original trilogy novels that were not included in the three-books-in-one The Prodigal Band Trilogy. It has been a while since I have posted in this series as loved ones had come out for a visit. So here goes.
In this episode which gives more detail to a sinister event that happened on top of the burning of the band’s jet as it landed at a London Airport for an important meeting that never happened–it was a ruse to get the band to London so that even more nefarious events could happen, but didn’t (in Chapters Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen)–the forces of evil tried another nefarious event to get even with the prodigal band for not toeing the evil line anymore, but instead siding with Good. The Evil couldn’t burn them in the jet, so instead it chose to burn them at home, so to speak.
At the end of Chapter Fourteen of The Prodigal Band Trilogy, the minion of evil called ‘Beast’ had separated from his boss and fellow minions who has tried to kidnap Mo, the wife of synthist Bry, to perform a house burning of the beach house of guitarist Jack.
In the meantime, ‘Beast’ was on his way to Altuna Beach. To blow up Jack Lubin’s beach house! I just hope that traitor and his traitorous family are sleeping inside! And then—‘You gonna burn…oo-oo-oo…burn…oo-oo-oo…burn…oo-oo-oo… yeh, you will, yeh, you gonna burn…oo-oo-oo…burn…oo-oo-oo….deep inside o’ hell!’ ‘Beast’ sang in his head the refrain of Sound Unltd’s first big hit, ‘Burn’.
Again from the three-books-in-one, narrator Lloyd Denholm, who freelanced for the pop culture magazine CounterCulture, saw this event being reported by another reporter on television. The event happened in mid-July, 2001. From Chapter Fifteen of The Prodigal Band Trilogy:
I had just gotten out of bed having been up until 2 a.m. going through more of Jay’s notes for his updated edition of CounterCulture’s History of Rock & Roll Volume Two that it was my job now to complete.
Then got dressed, made breakfast, and then turned on the TV.
“…Firefighters have been putting out this fire, which appears to have been started by an arsonist that attached a cache of explosives with rope around a wooden post holding up the now burned veranda…” said a TV reporter I knew very well, in front of what looked to me like Jack Lubin’s Altuna Beach house. I had passed it by several times when making my way down to Los Angeles, taking the scenic route off a Pacific coast highway.
So, as the story continued, I called this reporter on his cell phone.
“So, Ken, are we talking about Jack Lubin’s beach house?”
“Yeah, and no one was here except for some fifty- or sixty-year-old caretaker guy and his wife. His name is Pearson. He survived it fine and I’m gonna interview him later. Pearson is the one who notified police and firefighters, about four hours ago. He thinks it happened around 4 or 5 a.m. under the veranda. In other words, someone snuck by here—”
“On the TV it looks as though some parts of the house are still intact.”
“Well, the place is cordoned off. There’s a garage nearby intact where Pearson and his wife are hanging out. He’s waiting for the Lubins to return.”
“LA, Pearson said. The Hills.”
“Right. After returning from London, where Sound Unltd’s jet catches fire! I smell a story-of-the-year here! I mean, come on, Ken, Jack Lubin’s beach house burning a week after their jet burns is no freakin’ coincidence!”
“Yeah, I agree.”
“And what I want to know is just who the hell did Sound Unltd piss off?” And as I said that I thought either they really did accept Christ, pissing off the Satanists, or they took some so-called ‘Illuminati’ oath to Satan, and are becoming their own sacrifice!
“Now don’t go all ‘Jay Elliot Conspiracy Freak’ on me, Lloyd!”
“Well, Ken, how the hell do you explain it?”
“Look, I’m coming down. Now. I mean, surely Jack Lubin knows about this by now. And I got a few questions to ask him.”
“Yeah, you and about fifty other reporters waiting for him to show up!”
Around 10 a.m.
But Jack Lubin did not ‘know about this by now.’ Instead of listening to news or even radio when driving, he preferred to listen to pre-mixed CDs containing possible album song arrangements, his own recorded guitar solos, or albums of his fellow rockers.
As he drove home, Laurie—woman’s intuition had brought many sleepless nights—fell asleep. So she did not see smoke arising from a spot she would have known was very close to their beach house.
But seven-year-old daughter Alyza did.
While Jack was paying attention to the road which was curving around a cliffside to Altuna Beach and not seeing any smoke, Alyza called out, “Daddy, is that smoke coming from our house?”
Now past the slippery sloping curve, he said to her, “Huh?”
“That smoke, daddy.”
He saw the smoke, and he knew. He hyperventilated. Oh my God! It’s just not gonna end, is it? Why? Hell, I know why! He didn’t know if he should speed up and risk going over the side of the road, or stop to grieve.
Just calm down, Jackie boy! He resumed a safe driving speed. “I see the smoke, Lyza. Yeh, it’s our house.” Turned to her as Jake, sitting in a toddler car seat, started crying having just woken up—waking his mother as well. “And you need to pray to God to protect whatever can be.”
“And kitty!” The pet kitten found abandoned on the beach a few months before.
At which Laurie cried out, “That smoke is our house, eh Jack?”
“Yeh. They just keep on, eh?”
Father God, keep Pearson and Daisy safe. And kitty. And Lady too. ‘Lady’ was Jack’s 1960 classic guitar he played at gigs.
“Lyza,” Laurie said to her daughter, “keep Jake calmed down, eh? We don’t need his crying on top of everything else.”
And on and on until they got off the highway, past the guarded gate, onto the dirt road to the half-burned house. And the reporters.
Right! Jack thought, fuming. Like we really need a bunch o’ bloody press monkeys at a time like this! And you better be okay, Pearson ol’ chap, and Daisy!
And, as Jack and the others left the car, the ‘press monkeys’ came a-runnin,’ but so did Pearson, from out of the garage, calling “Mr. Jack.”
Lubin went running to him joyfully. “You safe! So glad to see you, eh?” Hugged the man. “And would you cut the ‘Mr. Jack’ crap!” Kissed the man on his forehead. “You ain’t no bloody butler, eh? But me friend, eh? The guy who saved me from killing myself on smack.” Composed now, he let Pearson be. “You and Daisy both,” as Daisy, Pearson’s wife of twelve years, came to be with them, and hugged Jack on his side. “You both family. The mum and dad I never had.”
Then Laurie called out, “I’ll handle the reporters, eh?”
And what she told them was, “You want to find out what happened? We don’t know, okay? Ask the firemen and cops. We don’t know. And please don’t bother Pearson and Daisy. They lost stuff too you know! They are grieving too you know!”
Now comes the deleted scenes related to this event, involving Jack and his young daughter Alyza, who want to find her pet kitten, Kitty, and is whining about it since the firefighters won’t let he go back into the burned house.
Then Alyza went toward the still smouldering house–the back end was relatively unscathed–looking for “kitty,” a six-month-old abandoned kitten that sometimes slept with her. And which she had to protect from baby brother Jake, who liked to walk or crawl over it–toddlers could be like that–and he called ‘shitty’–gee I wonder where he got that from!
But then a firefighter caught up to her. “No, missy, you can’t go into the house. It is still smoking and is very dangerous.” Grabbed her arm.
“No! I want kitty!” Then shook off his embrace and ran toward daddy, yelling, “Daddy, this man won’t let me see kitty!” And then nearly cussed at him–rich kids were like that sometimes.
The firefighter followed her.
Alyza reached daddy, and cried out, “Daddy, this man won’t let me see kitty!” And rather defiantly at that, expecting daddy to scold the man.
He squatted down to see eye to eye with her. “You can’t go into the house now, okay? Maybe tomorrow, but not now. And how do you know kitty is in the house? Cats are very smart you know. When they know there’s a fire, they run out of the house to safety.”
“And,” looking up at the fireman, “you should thank this man for keeping you from danger.”
And then Jack did indeed thank the man. “And to you all, and the cops. Thanks for saving what you could save.”
“You’re welcome,” the firefighter replied, and left.
But not before the girl thanked him.
“If you see kitty, let me know, okay?” Smiling.
Shortly after this, a fellow rocker comes to pick up Jack and the family and the former butler and his wife, Pearson and Daisy. When the fire is completely out and part of the beach house is still intact, Jack and the rest return about a week later. The authorities allowed it so Jack and the others could get their belongings. And so Alyza could try to find Kitty.
“You can search your house for belongings–”
“And kitty!” Alyza shouted at the cop. To which Jack, tired of his daughter wailing ‘poor little rich girl’ screeds at authorities, barked, “Lyza! Calm down! Now!”
“–and take what you can out of the house, today only. It’ll probably be at least a week or two before you can come back here again.”
The chief looked toward the damage, sighed, then said, “Because, Mr. And Mrs. Lubin, it’s gonna take at least two weeks to go through the debris. We already found the C-4 cache–but apparently whoever did it, tied the batch incorrectly–man, this place should have gone up in flames and burned completely. It’s as if the culprit was just trying to scare you, not kill anyone.”
Gee, should I spill the beans on who I know did this?
“So, go ahead in–and I do hope you find that ax of yours!”
“Yeh, me too. It’s a classic, and I got it when I was nine years old.”
“And kitty.” Alyza whined, but to herself.
The back end of the house was smokey but upright, and, in the master bedroom was a partially burned wooden door leading through a tight passageway to a rather small recording studio–the one at Farlough was three times as big–that contained a metal fireproof vault with a black metal spin-combination lock; the vault was as tall as the back end of the house, about ten feet high encased in another metal closet, which also encased the studio. In fact, the studio was the only part of the house that was completely intact, and no damage to any mixing or other consoles, or laptops or other hard drives. Any removable equipment would be taken, including song files on the laptop and portable thumb drives.
Then, when Jack opened the vault, sure enough, ‘Lady’ could not wait to be embraced by ‘her lover.’ Two amps were also inside the vault, and he wanted to play ‘her’ but there was no power, so he just strummed her ‘ladyhood’ and felt at peace–‘she’ was as good as new, weeping for joy as her ‘man’ made his happiness known, amp and power, or not.
A high-pitched whiny ‘meow’ invaded his ears, as a cute little grey fluffy female kitten deigned to enter ‘forbidden territory’–and then lick itself.
“Huh,” he asked the kitten, ‘where’d you come from?”
So he flung the strapped guitar at his back, and picked up the kitten by the scruff of its neck, out the studio, out the hall, out the bedroom, and into Alyza’s own bedroom where she was, of course, looking for ‘kitty.’
“Meow!” Kitty must have thought, finally, my mistress! “Meow!”
“Kitty!” Alyza glowed, took the kitten and put it into her arms, as it purred as loudly as a baby cat could. The hugged daddy for finding her most valuable possession. “Thanks, Daddy!”
And, when he bent down to hug her back, ‘Lady’ hit her ‘bottom’ on the floor, making a metallic ‘bonk’ sound.
As with the scene in The Prophesied Band where singer Erik is starting to build a relationship with his son Alec, this scene is another heartwarming episode with Jack being a father to his daughter, Alyza, who is seven years old. Plus. I love cats!
You can purchase the trilogy novel at the links within the Bookstore link: https://omegabooksnet.com/bookstore/
The Prodigal Band Trilogy © 2019 by Deborah Lagarde, Battle of the Band © 1996 by Deborah Lagarde, The Prophesied Band © 1998 by Deborah Lagarde and The Prodigal Band © 2018 by Deborah Lagarde. Permission needed to copy any materials off this page.