Chapter Two: A TV Welcome
"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to tonight's show!"
The television presenter greeted his audience with a warm grin, as the television studio was filled with applause and whistles. "It's a big show for you tonight as well! My first guests are a well-travelled bunch of musicians, who've come all the way from Southern California to take part in a very special Hallowe'en errand in just over a week's time. Two months ago their entire careers seemed to have gone up in flames, yet last month they scooped America's most prestigious music award and took the billboard chart by storm with a unique and highly publicised hit single, Dolorida - already many times platinum in the United States! Now they're back in the UK for another storming tour. Everyone, please give a warm welcome to California's beloved - it's Jewel!"
The stage-lights went up, and the five musicians launched into a snappy rendition of their penultimate chart hit, "Fallen". It had been the last song to have been put out in the United Kingdom, where it was still high up in the charts, and the audience showed their appreciation as the girls headed from the stage to the couch where the interviewer, one Ian Coulson was waiting for them.
"Well, Jewel, first of all, welcome back to England!" He exclaimed, as the five sat down. "It seems a fact that whenever you girls grace our shores, there's always plenty going on - and this tour is no exception! Copper, perhaps you could tell us a little about this Hallowe'en challenge of yours, and what precisely is going on?"
"We were probably as bewildered as you when we were first told we'd been invited to spend a night in a half-renovated tower in one of England's Mediaeval castles." Copper's dark eyes twinkled. "And to be honest, none of us knew where Bainbrook Castle was, not even Sadie, though she'd heard of it. But when it was all explained, we jumped at the chance. The basic story behind it is simple - three or four well-known British papers have got together to effectively sponsor us to spend Hallowe'en night in the castle's tower. Allegedly the tower is haunted, and the challenge is that we spend the whole night - from dusk on the thirty-first till dawn on the first - inside the castle walls. None of us are allowed to leave till daylight, else the challenge is lost."
"The incentive to take part in it is more than just Jewel pride, though." Topaz put in. "The challenge benefits two important causes - firstly, Bainbrook itself, and other heritage sites. And secondly, a large part of the money will go towards a new - and I understand, much needed - ward at one of the nearby hospitals. In those circumstances, we could hardly say no."
"Are you girls afraid of meeting a ghost?"
"I don't believe in ghosts, so I'm not afraid of anything except getting cold." Nancy looked amused. "I've heard that castles are drafty places - I'm more concerned by getting pneumonia than getting spooked."
"Personally, I'd quite like to meet a ghost." Sylva added. "I don't know if they exist or not, but I think it'd be fun. We're not scared, Ian. We're excited and looking forward to it. None of us have ever done anything like it before, and as Topaz said, with causes like that, how could we say no?"
"There's been speculation in the presses of late that you girls are not planning on releasing the hugely successful American track Dolorida in the United Kingdom." Ian eyed the group speculatively. "Is there a special track you have in mind for your next UK release?"
"We're not decided on Dolorida yet." Nancy shot Copper a thoughtful look, then, "It was something of a special one off in a lot of ways - after the fire, we needed something to make people realise that we could step up a gear and get people's attention. We succeeded in doing that - in more ways than one - but I don't think we ever anticipated that it would become as big a deal as it has done."
"Copper, is it true that you sing the vocal?"
"Yes." Copper said quietly. "Which is a large part of why we're undecided about it. I'm not as good at singing live as Topaz or the others, and it's a lot harder to get a track that's wildly different accepted outside of your home turf than it is inside it. California and the US as a whole reacted to it great in the end - but I don't know that it would go down as well here. We've learnt that British and American tastes tend to be very different!"
"Topaz, the last time Jewel were here, you weren't a part of the expedition." Ian smiled at Topaz. "Everyone here has probably seen you playing opposite Travis Banning on the big screen. How is it you came to return to Jewel?"
"I went back to where I belonged, that's all." Topaz dimpled. "I loved doing the movie, and I made some great friends. Morgan O'Sullivan and I phone each other regularly, and go out for dinner occasionally, when I can get someone to watch my daughter. I wouldn't take back my experiences on the film set, because I made a very dear friend during that time. But I'm not an actress, I'm a musician. People have been great in the presses about my movie - but I'm not fooling myself. I was acting a role that I'd spent several years living already, and music was a big part of it. I never intended to come back to Jewel once they had adopted S...Garnet into their midst, but they asked me to come back and in the end I knew it was what I wanted to do, also. I've had one solo number one hit from the movie soundtrack - Only If It's Real - but I realised that I don't like being a solo performer very much. You get used to being a part of a team, and I missed them. This was better all round."
"Well, I'm sure the public would agree that if you ever wanted to carve out a solo career, you'd have a big following." Ian grinned. "Only If It's Real topped the UK Top Forty for eight weeks, you know, and kept three of the UK's best known acts at bay. It was top ten for three months, and it's still lurking around the lower reaches of the chart, even now, in October."
Topaz's cheeks pinkened.
"I didn't know." She admitted. "But I'm thrilled to know that. It was a big hit in America, but it's long gone from the chart now - I'm stoked to know that over here it's still popular enough for people to be buying it and keeping it in the chart!"
"Garnet, how does it feel for you to be back on home soil, after all the negative publicity you received last time you were here?"
"That was then, this is now. At least, I hope so." Sadie looked grave. "England is my home, and I want to feel welcome and safe here. What happened in January was a big strain on me and on everyone connected with me - as I'm sure you can imagine. I'm glad it's over, and not looking to repeat the experience this time around, I assure you."
"Will you be seeing your sister, whilst you're here?"
"I hope to." Sadie nodded. "I have no idea what the presses reported about the case after I left the country last Winter, because it's not something that we discuss when we talk online, but I love Georgia dearly and I know - if noone else does - that what happened was none of her fault. Yes, I hope to meet up with various family members during this tour, free time permitting. We're Monahue girls and we stick together, whatever."
"Well, that's all we have time for, except for me to wish you all the very best of luck with your tour and the Hallowe'en challenge!" Ian grinned. "No doubt we'll all hear a lot more about that before the tour is through - everyone, Jewel!"
"That was grim."
Sadie dropped down into a free seat in the dressing room, reaching up to take the clip out of her hair, allowing her thick waves to tumble haphazardly over her shoulders. "I didn't expect him to ask me about Georgia, when the tone of the conversation was on the tour and Topaz's movie and everything."
"You had to know he would, though. This is the UK, and this is where the whole thing happened." Nancy said sensibly. "And you handled it great, Sadie."
"Yeah, but I don't want to be answering questions on my sister's murder trial every time I'm interviewed." Sadie rolled her eyes. "Anyone got a hairbrush I can borrow? I can't find mine."
"You left it on the table back at the hotel." Copper told her, reaching in her purse and pulling out her own brush, handing it over. "Here. I saw it this morning before we left, but I forgot to mention it in the hurry over the car and getting here on time - sorry."
"Ta." Sadie ran the brush through her hair. "Do you suppose they will ask about it everywhere we go?"
"Probably." Sylva nodded. "Think of it this way, though, Sade. It could've been worse. They could've locked you up. They could've locked Georgia up, come to that. Neither one happened, and Georgia is able to get on with her life - I bet you get a lot more questions about it than she does."
"I probably do." Sadie reflected. "Being in the public eye has it's downside. But since the trial and all the publicity Georgie has adopted Alyssa's surname - she's made herself Georgia Knighton instead of Georgia Monahue. I think she's half-afraid some of the braindeads from Kent might take it upon themselves to avenge Neal's death, though to be honest I doubt they'd even think of it. And of course, because she was eighteen, her name was released in the press when the trial happened. With her being my sister it got her a lot of publicity - I think she feels she can start anew better under a new name."
"That makes sense." Copper's expression was gentle. "How is she, anyway?"
"Well, I only know from the chats we have online, and they're not as often as I'd like." Sadie replied. "Alyssa said she was slowly getting to grips with things and doing better in her last letter, though. That's partly why I want to see her while we're here. It's harder to hide things in person."
"She was a miserable washout when we saw her before." Sylva remembered.
"Syl!" Topaz scolded. "That's Sadie's sister you're talking about!"
"Yeah, well, for a would-be murderer, she didn't exactly fit the bill." Sylva retorted. "I mean it, Topaz! She spent a night at the hotel with us and she didn't say hardly a word."
"Would you have, in her position?" Copper reasoned. "Poor kid. I'm glad that things are better for her now."
"Me too." Sadie nodded, as there was a sharp knock at the door. "I'll get that - bound to be Jetta."
"Only Mom knocks like that." Nancy observed, amused, as Sadie swung open the dressing room door to reveal their manager. "Hey, Mom - what fun plans have you got for us for the rest of the day, huh?"
"You've a CD signin' in Queensway in 'alf an hour. Then lunch. I'm goin' to treat you." Jetta told them, an amused smile crossing her face at their expressions. "After lunch, you've nothin' till tonight, but I want you to stay at or around the 'otel, all right? Press are bound to be on the prowl." She fixed Topaz with a meaningful look. "You especially."
"I have no intention of leaving the hotel without permission." Topaz assured her. "I feel creepy being here."
"Well, at least we're not playing at the University. That would be creepy." Sylva told her, slipping an arm into her friend's. "Come on. I s'pose we have to go sign disks if Jetta says we do, though I hate doing CD signings!"
"Well, let's hope the University is busy today, huh?" Topaz reflected. "Because I live in dread of him turning up at the signing!"
"I don't think he will." A troubled look entered Sylva's blue eyes as she remembered the last time she had seen Cameron. "I wouldn't worry."
"Well, I hope you're right." Topaz responded with a sigh. "Okay. Let's go."
As the quintette headed outside to find their car, Sylva shot her friend a worried look.
"If she knew what I said to Cam the last time we saw him, she'd probably skin me." She murmured. "But I had no choice...I had to say something. Let's just hope that he isn't planning on a big showdown confrontation with her while we're in the capital! Because if he is, well, it's my neck on the line as much as anything, and Topaz might never speak to me again!"
NO SUCH THING AS GHOSTS
Chapter One: Flight To England
Chapter Two: A TV Welcome
Chapter Three: Avril
Chapter Four: A Rival
Chapter Five: Sadie's Family
Chapter Six: Suspicions
Chapter Seven: Bainbrook Castle
Chapter Eight: Jesta's Game
Chapter Nine: Trapped!
Chapter Ten: The Castle Ghost
Chapter Eleven: To The Rescue
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE NOTE
Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, Sirena, Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita, Luis and any other characters in this fiction which do not appear in the animated Jem series are copyrighted to me (E.A Woolley) as of January 2002 <unless otherwise specified> and are not to be reproduced without permission ANYWHERE. Jetta, Pizzazz, Stormer, Roxy, Raya and all other original Jem characters are the copyright of Hasbro Inc, Sunbow, Christy Marx and the other writers of the Jem series. The future world of Pizzazz, Raya, Jetta, Roxy, Stormer, Clash, Synergy, the fate of Jem and her memorial are all copyrighted to me. The future world of Kimber and Shana is copyrighted jointly to myself and Gemma Dawn.
The concept of 'Jewel' is entirely my own, and any apparent link with any fictional or actual person or persons of this name is entirely coincidental. Equally the characters in this fiction are not based on any real life individual.
The concept behind the future world of Danse, Aja and Craig, the idea behind Jerrica's futureworld and the split of the Holograms is copyrighted to Gemma Dawn, whose Teenangel Outsiders fiction is directly twinned with Just a Dream. The character Sammi and any of the other Teenangel Outsider characters mentioned in this fiction are entirely copyright to Gemma Dawn and appear here only with her permission.
Pay her page a visit!