Just A Dream...
The Jem Memorial
Chapter Four: Top Of The Charts
"This is definitely the life."
Sylva stretched out on her sunlounger, adjusting her shades and relaxing back against it contentedly. "Hanging out by the pool and sunbathing whilst our red hot music video is being played all over America. Who said that being famous was hard work?"
"Well, tomorrow we begin promoting the song properly, and Monday it comes out in stores." Copper observed from her deckchair. "Then we'll be busy, I should think. But California sun is so addictive, I have to admit. We've had gorgeous weather ever since I came here. I love it!"
"This ain't anything special." Nancy dived in neatly off the side of the pool, coming up for air and swimming across to the other side to join in the conversation. "I do love having a pool though. Mom would never let us have one at home, after Dad's accident, and if we wanted to swim we had to pester Aunt Phyllis. She usually said okay, but if she was in a bad mood..." She pulled a face, ducking under the water for a moment.
Sylva eyed her critically.
"We gotta redo your hair before we go on TV tomorrow morning." She decided. "The yellow is starting to fade."
"Good." Nancy replied. "You know that I never wanted my hair dyed. Thank God it's coming out!"
"Oh, but it's part of your image now, Nance!" Copper wheedled. "And Sylva's right, it isn't as vibrant as it was. Tell you what, tonight I'll see what I can do about touching it up for you, okay? Then we'll be ready for tomorrow with a vengeance!"
Nancy pulled another graphic face.
"Ugh." She said. "More hair dye!"
"We'll use the permanent stuff this time." Copper decided. "I did pick both up, just in case. And it will hold better. As if it weren't tough enough dying yellow into black...we don't want you with grotty green stripes through your hair!"
"No way." Nancy looked apprehensive. "Bad enough having yellow. Okay, I'll be good."
"First for everything." Sylva remarked.
Nancy shrugged, pushing out on her back and idly swimming out to the centre of the pool.
"Whatever." She replied.
Copper reached for her magazine, flipping through the pages.
"This still gives me goosebumps." She observed, pausing on one page and setting it down on the tiling. Sylva leant over to look grinning as she registered what the picture was. At the close of their video shoot, when, if the truth were told, all three girls were ready to drop they had had photos taken and then a brief press-conference, arranged by the ever-vigilant Phyllis. As a result, Jewel were in almost every magazine that week, and advertisments for their debut single were everywhere.
"We look like real pros." She decided now. "Even Nancy."
"I heard that!" Nancy exclaimed.
"You were meant to." Sylva informed her sweetly.
"Changing the subject..." Copper interrupted the brewing dispute at that moment, casting both girls meaningful looks. "What do you reckon it'll be like to perform live on national television?"
"Well, we've played live at clubs." Sylva replied. "It'll just be like that, only with cameras."
"And of course, if we make a mistake, we'll be total fools in front of all America." Nancy remarked. "How nice."
Copper shot her friend a concerned look.
"Are you okay about us doing this?" She asked. Nancy nodded.
"Yeah. Part of the job." She said. "I mean...well, okay, I am kinda nervy now, but I know that I'll get that buzz when we actually do it. In any case, Syl sings the beginning of the song. By the time we reach my bit I'll be well into what I'm doing."
"Cool." Copper grinned. "We gotta blow them all away."
"So long as Sirena doesn't decide to show up." Sylva grimaced.
"I doubt that she will." Copper replied sensibly. "She has some TV appearance of her own tomorrow, or so I read somewhere, because her single is still number one. I don't think she'd jeopardise her own promotion to sabotage ours."
"Our song is better, mind you." Sylva observed.
"Is it, though?" Nancy swam to the side, pulling herself out of the water. Her face was marred by a frown, and Copper looked surprised.
"Nance? What's up?"
"I dunno." Nancy admitted. "I guess it just occurred to me that however good or bad we think we are, it totally depends on the public and whether or not they like it. It's not a good song if it doesn't sell."
"It'll sell." Sylva perched down beside her bandmate, dangling her feet in the water.
"How can you be sure?" Nancy demanded.
Because, much as I hate to concede it, you are one hell of a songwriter." Sylva admitted. "And with our performing talent, how can we fail? Zoe's video is as hot as anything, we look like total babes, if you wanna know my opinion, and it's bound to give us good promotion." Her eyes twinkled wickedly. "I bet there are guys all over the country drooling as we speak! And it's being plastered all over the music channels."
"Sylva's right. So long as we have confidence in what we're doing, others will have confidence in us." Copper agreed. "And we've the fortune of having Misfit Music backing us. With their experience in promoting music acts, I don't think we can fail."
"I guess you're right." Nancy conceded. "It's just...well, it's my song, so I'm a bit protective of it. That's all."
"You don't need to worry any. I was blown away listening to the track when we were doing the video." Sylva said. "As soon as Phyllis and Jetta give us copies of our own I'm sending one home...that'll show Dad exactly what I can do!"
"Doesn't your Dad want you to be a star?" Copper sounded interested.
"He wanted me to go to college, like Anna." Sylva grimaced, not disclosing the impulsive actions that had led to her father's ideas on the subject. "Luckily Mom and Aunt Roxy understood how important music is to me and that I don't want to be any kind of academic."
"More likely your mother realised that she'd pay for you to go to college to flunk your classes and have a wild social life." Nancy said dryly. Sylva looked rueful.
"Yeah, probably." She admitted. "Ah well. I'm kinda hoping the wild social life part is gonna come with this job...I intend to enjoy myself, whatever my father thinks!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"On air in ten, Dean."
The tall black presenter turned, casting the studio production assistant a smile.
"I'm ready when you are, Jules." He assured her. "We opening with that new group? Are they arrived yet?"
"Yes, they got here just a minute or two ago." Julie Kazar rolled her eyes. "I was getting a bit worried that they wouldn't show. There's been a pileup on the freeway this morning and only slithers of traffic are getting through. I'm still frantic about this afternoon's acts if they don't clear the mess soon."
"Well, at least we have Jewel here and ready to rock." Dean grinned at her, checking that his microphone was firmly clipped to his shirt collar. "I guess I better get out there...I hear the music playing. Wish me luck!"
"As ever." Julie winked at him. "Go show 'em how it's done!"
Dean stepped in front of the cameras just as the title music ended and the show began. His programme was well-known for its spontaneous activities and live humour, and for this reason was extremely popular. Though he himself was too modest to admit it, everyone around him knew that Dean Stacey himself was a large part of the draw. Voted television's sexiest presenter two years running, it was every young hopeful's dream to appear on his show.
"Well, hi, everyone and welcome to the show." He began. "And have we a show for you today! But enough talking...lets kick things off with the band whose video has been taking the television channels by storm this week. Copper, Sylva and Goldie...it's Jewel!"
As the camera's attention swept away from him to the young group he settled himself on his couch, turning to watch the performance. He had seen the music video himself and had been impressed by it, even more so once he had learnt that all of Jewel's music was self-produced. Too many musicians, in his view, were reliant on some wizard behind the scenes to produce the essence of their sound.
He cast his eye over them. They were young, but there was no indication of nerves in their faces, and they played with a vibe that was fresh and eye-catching. Somehow he knew that Jewel were not going to be a one hit wonder.
He had first been put on the trail by Zoe's mother, Constance Montgomery, who hosted an evening chat show of her own on the same network. The two were great friends, despite the generation gap, and it was not uncommon for Constance to pass tidbits of key information his way, courtesy of the carefree information that her daughter's happy air provided.
And, he had to admit, she was usually right. A troubled child and difficult to handle during early adulthood, Constance had grown up a good deal since the birth of her daughter, but in many ways it was due to the steadying influence of her older cousin that she had settled in life at all. Though not always friends, events had brought them together, and since Zoe's birth they had been as close as sisters ever could be.
"And if Zoe's latched onto Jewel, no doubt they'll be a hit. Groups she works with usually are sooner or later, the girl is charmed." He observed with amusement. He had known Zoe since High School, though the film artist had been younger than him, they had caught the same bus to school and had become good friends since they had worked together on the school radio station. It had been through Zoe's mother that he had got his longed for break in television, but his integrity was such that it had never dawned on him to use his young friend as a stepping stone into the profession and even now their friendship was maintained.
He glanced once again at Jewel, as they finished their song to a rousing reception from the studio audience.
"Write their own songs, play their own instruments, but will they make it all the way?" He mused to himself, beckoning the trio over to the couch. "Somehow I think Misfit Music have got a good thing going on here."
He grinned at them as they sat down, breathless and excited from their live performance.
"Well, what can I say?" He grinned at them, as the cameras focused in on his face. "What a beginning to the show! You've taken the nation by storm this last week with your stunning video, and now it seems that you're set to take the American chart with the release of your single tomorrow...how does it feel to be almost famous?"
"It's fabulous!" Sylva exclaimed.
"Its a dream for us all still." Copper grinned. "Everything's moved so fast and none of us expected it to go as quick as this - I guess we're still reeling from it all."
"I understand that you write your own songs?" Dean asked. "Who's the musical whizkid among you then, or is it a team effort?"
"I guess that would be me." Nancy put in quietly, but there was a sparkle of pleasure in her eyes. "I've always loved writing, ever since I was small, and it's fun to know that we're performing something that's so personal to me."
"You wrote the melody and the lyrics for Beauty Queen?" Dean pressed. Nancy held up her hands.
"Guilty." She agreed.
"She's one heck of a songwriter." Copper added.
"Well, judging by the reaction, I'd say the audience agree with you!" Dean laughed. "Tell me, where did the name Jewel come from?"
"Actually it was my brother Aaron who came up with it." Nancy replied, tucking a lock of yellow hair behind her ear.
"It was based on our names too, though." Sylva put in. "Copper's was a childhood nickname cos of her red hair, mine, well, Sylva is short for Sylvina, and..." She glanced at Nancy. "Well, I guess we kinda corrupted her into being Goldie."
"Every single magazine I've seen this week has been tipping this song to knock Sirena's record off the top spot." Dean continued. "What have you girls to say to that? Is it unwanted pressure or welcome attention?"
"A bit of both, I think." Copper grinned, sending Nancy and Sylva rueful glances at the mention of their self-appointed foe. "Sirena has...um...made herself at home at the top of the chart and beating her achievements these last few weeks is going to take something a bit special...we just want to do whatever we can. This is a learning curve for us all and any success is welcome...we don't expect to be number one right away."
"But we do wanna be the best." Sylva piped in. "To be honest, Dean, Sirena can do what the heck she wants. We're gonna give it all we got and, well, we'll see who's number one this weekend."
"Tell me, how did you girls come to be together?" Dean looked interested. "I'm already sensing that you're three very different people. Goldie, I believe your mother is involved in the administration at Misfit Music?"
"Yes, she is." Nancy nodded her head. "But Misfit Music never gives out contracts to people except on merit, no matter who the person is. Ms Gabor had made it clear to me that she thought I had potential and Copper was scouted in Michigan. Sylva..." She paused, glancing at her companion.
"It's always been my dream to sing, and my mother used to work with Jetta and Phyllis." Sylva smiled her sweetest smile. "I got a screen test at Misfit Music and they signed me on sight."
Dean paused, considering.
"So you've been pushed together as virtual strangers - what is that like? Tell me, do you get along?"
"It's difficult at first to find common ground with strangers." Copper said diplomatically. "But I don't think we're that any more. Jewel are a team. Right, girls?"
"Yep. That's us." Nancy agreed dryly.
"You're billed to play Jem's Memorial - is that right?"
"Definitely." Sylva nodded. "And we can't wait!"
"Jem was a legend in her time and to play a concert like this one is a great way to pay tribute to that memory." Copper said.
"Indeed it is." Dean grinned. "Well, girls, many thanks for joining us today, and for sharing your song with us. Lots of luck with your single. Jewel, everybody!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Sylva screeched down the stairs, pounding down them two at a time and hurrying into the main salon. "Nancy! Oh God, have you heard?"
"Heard what?" Nancy glanced up from her manuscript book. "Unless you mean your incessant screaming, I haven't heard anything."
"I just spoke to Phyllis on the phone." Too excited to notice the jibe, Sylva dropped down onto a chair, her eyes bright with delight. "Guess what! Guess what!"
"Well, if you're hyperactive over it it could be anything." Nancy rolled her eyes. "Cool down, Syl, and tell us in coherent English, will you?"
"I can't! It's too exciting!" Sylva exclaimed.
"What is it, Syl?" Copper set her book aside, eying her friend curiously.
Sylva paused for effect. Then,
"Jewel are number one!" She shrieked.
"What?" Copper's eyes almost popped out of her head at this.
"For real?" Nancy demanded. Sylva nodded, her blue eyes sparkling.
"Yes! Phyllis just told me and I was so close to screeching down the phone at her! We're number one; as of this afternoon Sirena is second best! And it gets better!"
"How could it get better?" Copper exclaimed.
"It does, trust me." Sylva beamed. "Two people have already called Misfit Music with the intention of setting up interviews and exclusives with us!"
"Wow...all so fast!" Copper laughed. "Does this make us stars yet, do you think?"
"Sure we are, if Sirena counts as one." Sylva nodded. Nancy grinned.
"I have to admit that I'm kinda relieved." She owned. "It's vindication of my work and all of that."
Before anyone could respond, there was a knock on the door and Nancy got up to open it, grinning as she saw her brother.
"Hey, come to celebrate?" She asked jokingly, for he had his toolbox under his arm. Aaron grinned back.
"Well, yes, of course, but not just that." He replied. "Congrats on making number one, sis. Mom told me as I left the house that you'd secured it. Guess you better get used to celebrity status now, huh? Everyone will want a piece of you!"
"God, I hope not." Nancy shook her head. "I doubt it anyway. One song doesn't constitute die hard fame and fortune." She eyed him thoughtfully. "You don't seem overly ecstatic for us."
"I am, believe me I am." Aaron assured her quickly. Not for worlds would he admit that with Jewel's ascension to the top of the American charts, the chances in his own estimation of him finding the courage to ask Copper out had become nonexistant. She was, he believed, out of his league now. After all, he had told himself, what would she want with him when she could have any celebrity? "I guess it's still sinking in rather. My kid sister is a rock sensation...doesn't gel well that with the Nancy I grew up with."
"Pig." Nancy swiped him playfully. "So what are you here to do?"
"I have a few more electrical adjustments to make." Aaron replied.
"Aaron!" Sylva appeared in the hall. "Didya come to party with us?"
"Fraid not, Syl." Aaron grinned at her. "Though I'm glad that you girls got your hit. I had a feeling you would, mind you. Mom and Aunt Phyl don't take kindly to second place - they generally get what they want in this world."
"Well, we put Sirena in her place." Sylva dimpled. "Don't we get congratulatory hugs?"
"Hey, why not?" Aaron set down his toolbox as his sister rolled her eyes heavenwards at her bandmate's blatant flirting.
He hugged Sylva tightly, picking her up and swinging her round. "Nancy, you wanna come join our happy hug here?"
"I think I can live without it." Nancy said dryly. "If you want me, I'll be upstairs."
"Is Copper in?" Aaron asked Sylva once his sister was gone. "I need her help with some tinkering about, if she can spare me an hour or two now she's a chart-topping drummer!"
"Sure, she's in." Sylva grinned. "I'm sure she'll talk to you, Aaron, we're not getting all affected by fame yet you know. But you don't want to work, surely? Not today!"
"The sooner I finish here, the better your quality of life will be." Aaron pointed out. Sylva pouted.
"All right." She conceded. "But I still think it's bad timing." She shrugged. "Well, can I get you a coffee? If you're gonna be working, you'll need something to keep you going."
"That'd be great, Syl, thanks." Aaron grinned. Sylva smiled.
"My pleasure." She told him with a wink. "Go take a seat, I'll be right there."
Aaron headed into the salon, casting Copper a grin.
"Hi there." He said. "I guess I better offer you my congratulations too."
"Thanks, Aaron." Copper sent him a smile.
"I was hoping that you might be able to spare me an hour or two on a project of mine." Aaron settled himself beside the redhead on the couch. "I would've mentioned it before but you were so busy with promotion I didn't like to intrude on you."
"Well, I've no plans for this afternoon." Copper dimpled. "I'm all yours."
PART TWO: THE JEM MEMORIAL
Chapter One: Starlight Mansion
Chapter Two: Discovery!
Chapter Three: Zoe
Chapter Four: Top Of The Charts
Chapter Five: Aaron's Secret
Chapter Six: Sirena's Plan
Chapter Seven: Reboot
Chapter Eight: Some Answers
Chapter Nine: The Jem Memorial Concert
Chapter Ten: Revenge
Chapter Eleven: Repercussions
Chapter Twelve: A Temporary Solution
Chapter Thirteen: Wild At Heart
JEWELFIC MAIN PAGE:
Copper, Nancy, Sylvie, Anna, Blade, 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.