The gig

by Amar Patel in

Here's a short story that I bashed out at a recent brand workshop. The aim of the day was to master a certain style of writing that "takes you there". The ability to paint a picture with only words – active verbs, alliteration, detail and sentences of varied length. The brief was quite loose and certainly liberating: 5-10 minutes to describe the atmosphere of a picture of a crowd at a famous London venue. The moment you describe could be real or imaginary. I'll leave it up to you to decide if this ever happened.

This is it. There's a sea of black and red, dotted with flickers of stars and sequins that dance off the bright white lights in the sky. Shouts, cheers, screams and whoops whizz from left to right, from the front row to the posh seats way up high. 

Even that slightly stiff suited bloke is going crazy. He's bursting at the seams, you know. Not sure about those tight lack trousers. 

And hats. They're prescription issue for everyone in the house.  

Almost time. Lights up. Twenty-five years in the making, and then some. Slipping, sliding, gliding, kicking … and moonwalking of course. He makes it look so easy. The Fred Astaire of the beat.

Who cares if we're out of rhythm as the fanfares sound and the troupe of dancers descend into the audience to lend a hand. For that moment, I am that 10-year-old boy with the cassette, pen and pad set bought from Woolworths in 1988 for £9.99. For that moment, I am the King of Pop.


A self-portrait by Michael Jackson from his 1988 Moonwalk autobiography, looking 10 years into the future

Amar Patel