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Chapter 3
Beyond the Reaches of Fame

"That's absolutely crazy! How do they expect him to go out there all cut up like that?"

"Yeah the only reason we have him up there is cause he's the "cute Beatle" what good does he do us up there all bruised and stuff," Ringo added sarcastically. We all tried to stifle giggles but Brian did not look that amused. Ringo could always make the most serious arguments less stressful and more fun.

I'm sorry lads I've already been through all that with t they won't seen to listen to reason so I guess you just have to go on anyways I wish I had a way to stop it but I don't," Brian argued.

"Well when does it start?" George asked mockingly.

It starts at nine PM Trini Lopez, and Sylvie Vartan are the two main opening acts but I do believe that there is a juggler and a full music hall variety act are also booked."

"Well that gives us about seven and a half hours to loaf around the hotel," George sighed.

"Cheer up lads I know that things are bound to start looking up," Brian persisted.

"Well I'm going for a dip at the pool. Who's with me?" John yelled.

"Ay ay Lennon I'm wit ye," Ringo quipped.

"If someone can get me there Ill lye in one of those lawn chairs but its way to cold to be swimming this early in the year," I said casually.

"Oh don't be daft, you can get in the water, Paul," John argued

"Im with Paul on this one cold water like thatll give you goose pimples," George agreed.

"I didnt think of that, Ringo moaned.

"Great now youre all turnin against me. I wont stand for this kinda mutiny," John bellowed.

"Cant we at least take a look?" he begged.

"Alrigh' John but I am not making any guarantees," I said firmly. Brain carefully assisted me too a wheel chair as we made our way to the elevator. The pool was abandoned (as I expected) and the weather was somewhat chilly but not cold per say. John jumped into the pool leaving George and Ringo very cold, wet, and angry. Luckily enough I was not in his path of destruction.

"Brrr, I'm cold. See now I got goose pimples, Lennon and it's all your fault," George whined.

"Well if you cant beat em join em," Ringo smiled and jumped into the pool. That time I did get a little water on my feet and quickly retracted into a ball. Pain shot throughout my body as I returned it back to its original lying position hoping to avoid further anxiety. George pouted on the side of the pool shivering with a towel wrapped around his neck.

"I guess you win, John. It's too cold to stay out once you got me all wet," George relented. The time slowed as I watched my companions acting like teenagers around the pool. Everything seemed so great, so perfect, I didnt want things to ever change. Well I wanted us to be richer and more famous but happy all the same. Being a rock star was perfect, mounds of money, women, houses, you also travel throughout the world. Yep that's the life for me, not a care in the world. I felt someone shake my arm as I stared obliviously trying to focus on where I was lying.

"Arise fair princess, thou art needed for a concert to swoon the fairest princes from far off lands."

"I have my prince right here," I smiled giving him a wink.

"Well sorry, but you're not my type, I only like blondes. Come 'ead don't want to miss the lovely lassies, do we?" John said in his loud sweet voice.

"Uhh John, I kinda need your help," I replied meekly.

"Poor Paulie where would you be without me. Up you go," he heaved as he pulled me out of the warm bed I was lying in. That's odd I thought I was sleeping in a lawn chair. It didn't matter anyways so I quickly dismissed it. I got dressed as fast as I could (with Johns help of coarse) and hurried to catch the elevator, which slowly made its assent as we neared the door.

"Damn," John yelled in rage knowing how late we were to begin with. We knew that in a matter of seconds a sea of teenage fans would engulf us if we waited much longer. I sat down for a second trying to rest with what little time I had left before being pushed into the raging mob like a mother bird pushes her chicks out of a nest for the first time. With a ding we were off as I stared uncomfortably down at the floor hoping john wouldnt have any more sudden outburst.

"Hurry up," Neil growled as we walked out onto the marble foyer.

"I know we're a little late, but its no need to get your knickers in a twist," George snorted.

"Well we cant be late after all this is opening night and I told Brian that everything was alright and he could go back to England," Neil explained.

The growing masses became unbearable, I was positive that if the air was any thinner I would pass out on the spot. With thousands of fans clawing at me from every angle in every direction I felt so lost and so afraid. I sure hoped that not all the concerts fell into this retched pattern.

"Ow" I yelled in agony.

"Sorry 'bout that, I didn't mean to," Ringo apologized.

"It still hurt," I grimaced.

"Well John stepped on my foot but you dont hear me complaining," George smirked.

"Aren't you contradicting yourself by mentioning it?" John analyzed.

George looked down at himself defeated as the rest of burst into laughter. John could always relieve the tension even if he was a lot better at adding to it. The screams penetrated against the glass pounding, pounding in my ears sending involuntary shivers down my spine.

"Think they can get any louder?" Ringo inquired.

"Did Paul give Annabel the time of her life?" George quipped.

"So it is possible," John snickered.

"Im sure she won't view sex the same after me," I defended, "hopefully she won't be traumatized like the birds you sleep with."

"Well I do have that affect on women," John gloated.

"It isn't just women you have that affect on," Ringo interjected.

"Ringo I had no idea," John gasped.

"He meant that you drive everyone crazy you tart," George clarified.

"Well tell me something that I don't know," he said sarcastically.

"More like something that everyone doesn't already know," Ringo whispered bitterly.

John playfully punched his arm as we stopped at the traffic light the fans crowded along the edges of the car.

"Hi girls," John mouthed.

The volume intensified over three times the speed of sound as I reached to plug my ears. What was so sexy about us saying hi? I mean it wasn't like we were specifically talking to one of them and they were getting hysterical, no we just had to give all of them a smile and they melted into a puddle of warm goop. Ringo blew one a kiss as another fan pushed the others around her to put her chest against the glass. I tried my hardest to stifle the giggle lapsing in my throat but I could tell this was a wasted effort because my comrades were all pointing and prodding for her to continue. I must admit that I was more than a little aroused especially since she was the first one to ever attempt something so "risque" in a very public place away from the backstage drama not yet associated with the Beatles.

As the Cyrano Theater came into view, the masses seemed to compress us even tighter like a boa constrictor does to its prey. I could see the faint view of where the door was standing but with all the bodies huddled around it you would assume they were giving away free money. Lights flickered as my foot slowly touched the ground all eyes sympathizing the recent events but longing to have a piece of this immortal standing before them. The thrill of fame lit a new as I walked in proud arrogance with my friends. John blew the blonde a kiss, George winked at the redhead, and Ringo mouthed I love you' to the quiet brunette. I just gawked at the seemingly large number of male fans gathered around the busy entrance. None of the charismatic McCartney charm or the to die for smile, just pure and dreaded terror of the uncomfortable surroundings. Some of the fans started to take heart at my unusual behavior but ignored it assuming' it was linked to my accident. Reaching for solitude I looked to our backstage room only to find a closet with the name Beatles hanging near the frame.

"You got to be kidding," John complained, "We had bigger backstage rooms in Hamburg."

"We didn't have a backstage room in Hamburg," George remarked confused.

"Precisely," Ringo cut in.

"Only five minutes till show time boys," Neil yelled. I listened to the remnants of Sylvie Vartan's voice as I tuned my bass and prepared to walk on the stage. A loud roar of fans shrieking Les Beatles erupted as we walked towards the stage.

"Bon jour everyone," John said, "Our first number will be I Want To Hold You Hand."

"One, two, three, four," I counted in.

"Oh I, tell you something, I think you'll understand. When I say that something I want to hold your hand. I want to hold your hand. I want to hold your hand." I felt confident as I sang the lyrics I stared into the crowd for the first time and got a little panicked. I noticed a lot of males in the crowd, which was rare for most concerts. I could hear what we were playing, no obnoxious girls screaming throughout the whole show.

"We'd like to ask on this next number that you clap your hands and stomp your feet," I requested. Oh great there went the Lennon antics making his contorted face while stomping his feet half hazardly and clapping his hands in a way where his fingers sort of intertwined together. I saw George fighting off the laughter dwelling in John's crude behavior. Ringo managed to keep a steady beat as we plowed through another song. Concerts were generally a blur for me because we always sang the same songs but my focus was mush better than usual because we were in France not your typical British theater.

"And now for our last song we're going to let the best Beatle take the spotlight once again; put your hands together for the one the only John Lennon," he introduced himself in his typical cocky manner.

"That's the last introduction you get to do Lennon," I mouthed.

He simply ignored me and kept singing each word, spiting me knowing that ignoring my presence only made me reach the end of my wick faster. I know that I shouldn't take John so seriously from experience but I guess my trusting sincere nature makes me involuntarily want to believe his every word or mannerism. I swear I wanted to ring his neck when I let him get to me like this but I usually had the common sense to hold back my frustration. I gave him an evil glare, which caused him to slump down in fear because he knew I only gave it on the rarest occasions and was likely to send him to the hospital if he pushed me further. The applause rang out as we gracefully bowed and headed back stage.

Content and secure with our debut in France I walked haughtily into our dressing room to change into less sweaty clothing.

"Oh come on, you just have to let me in," a girl whined to the security guard.

"Sorry miss but you don't have a ticket and I am afraid that I can't let you in unless you do," he cautioned.

"You could break the rules just this once," she pleaded, "besides I am sure I could make it up to you if you did."

"No I can't and I am going to have to ask you to leave because now you are just getting on my nerves," he bellowed.

"You won't be able to hold me back next time," she threatened, "there will be too many other fans like myself to even try." He laughed at her empty threat and pushed her along outside the theater.

"I swear they get more and more threatening every time," he muttered. I smiled at the familiar scene as John assisted me with putting on my coat to fight against the cold January air.

"You ready to leave yet Macca," John questioned anxiously," I wouldn't want to get caught with the likes of that girl from earlier."

"I don't know the possibilities are endless on how she uses that aggression in bed," George smiled.

"I bet she's a screamer," Ringo added," but girls like that always hit you in the shoulder and it really hurts."

"Don't tell me you don't like a little playful punch in the arm once in a while," John said while leaning to do just that.
"I got me eyes on you Lennon so don't even try it," he said putting up his fists in a defensive manner.

"Let's go already Neil will bring the guitars," I reminded them.

"What's your hurry," John asked but stopped himself mid-sentence remembering the potentially violent fan.

"What's taking you all so bloody long?" Neil said crossly.

"It's not my fault," I defended, " I told them we needed to start heading to the car."

"Yeah Paul was DIEING to go to the car I mean the agony we put him through should make him a martyr," George said sarcastically.

"Well join the club cause anyone who spends more than five minutes with you lot truly is a martyr," Neil laughed. Ringo John and George stared at him dejectedly but the hard expressions on their faces fell as I tripped on George's misplaced guitar.

"Ow," I winced in pain.

"Gee this just isn't your week," Neil observed.

"Wow I thought I should buy bet on the horses today you think I should wait after all," I said insincerely, "it's your fault anyway for just leaving it out like that." The red anger burned in my cheeks I had finally snapped with the bad conditions around me. I try to be an optimistic person but I just lost it. I didn't need this not today not tomorrow why couldn't things get better. Well I had gotten laid so they weren't all that bad. Great now that reminded me of how long I had been cheating on Jane when I really liked her. She was totally clueless of coarse since our relationship is just young yet but I fear the day when she is enlightened to the plainly obvious. Wait a minute wasn't I angry with someone, oh right that no good roadie of ours. It was his fault, it was all his fault, and ooh, I got even angrier and turned my face toward him ready to let him have it when a group of stampeding fans rushed towards us. The guards were making an effort to hold them back but within a couple seconds, the mob was bound to break through.

"Shit," Ringo yelled as we dashed towards the car.

"That was to damn close," George panted.

"Ahh hell I think I lost a shoe," John muttered.

"Yeah it's a shame but better the shoe than you," George reminded.

"Where's Paul?" Ringo asked fearfully.

I hadn't been as lucky as the others to make it to the car. A few paces towards the car and I fell to the ground unable to bear the pain from previous and current accidents. I watched in horror as the car dashed away and I was left to tend to the overexcited mob. They were circled around me like vultures and picked off any personal item they came across on my body. My shirt was ripped off my back, my pants didn't have much material left from this blood thirsty crowd and only covered a forth of my leg was covered, shoes gone, hair mangled, and coat pockets thoroughly emptied, I felt more helpless than a blind quadriplegic the type John always snickered at if he got the chance.

I was ready for my life to pass before my eyes as the hands mangled my weak body to touch me as if I were a god or a simple touch would make them a part of my circle which in a way it did. Unfortunately, I was not immortal or I wouldn't be in this situation, or at least I would be able to get out of it. This would be my life when we were the biggest band in the world. Everyone wants to know me but I wouldn't know him or her an almost frightening concept. However, not one to ponder when your life is at risk. Wait was I suppose to set things straight with an all-powerful being? I hadn't the slightest clue if I could even believe in god after Mary died. I was so young and needed her so much and without her, I could never have the same respect or understanding of religion. My trust and dignity fled me as each hand poked me; my rage was burning, growing with each abuse of my human rights. I did the only thing I could think of to cause confusion and therefore get some space to breath. I screamed. I screamed with all my might as some fans stepped back others moved in attracted to it like a sailor to the mythical sirens of the sea.

No knights in shining armor came to my rescue only more disoriented fans that wanted to know why Paul McCartney was screaming. I began to feel claustrophobic in these constricting conditions as I drifted to a state of unconsciousness. I could only see white around me as I looked down at my body only to see it did not exist. I searched desperately to feel anything but no objects of reference were available only the ideas of a world passed. The emptiness was too much for my brain to withstand. I needed something, anything to come into focus. A rush of hatred and fear swooped over my lifeless body or rather the space where my once visible body occupied. Was I mad? Wait a sound a distinct voice, the voice I was saved from insanity. The white nothingness may have been my captor but alas the comfort of sound a part of the only universe I had ever known left a glimmer oh hope for returning to reality as I knew it. A song drifted throughout the whiteness, which soon melted away into shapes of deep red. I could now see a more distinct shape I identified as my body. The shades of red dried up into a unique ebony as I walked aimlessly to find the master of the voice that both haunted me and gave me life. The more I searched the quieter the voice sounded until only the faintest whisper could be heard and all colors gave way to their original shapes. I reeled up in horror to see myself strapped in yet again another uncomfortable unfamiliar bed.

"Where am I and what happened?" I said dazedly and confused. No one answered but the quiet clock, which ticked in rhythm to my now much slower pulse. I drank in my new more pleasant surrounding praising my eyes and worshiping my fingers once taken advantage of but now kings in their own right. Aside from the clock, bed, and cupboard the room was empty plain and simple. I sat up and looked at the cupboard which had a single lock of hair tied with ribbon lying in the center. The room was too eerie for me, I needed something less bland, less white, so I undid the straps and walked slowly towards the door waiting for a man to push it open and throw me to the floor. The room was too eerie for me, I needed something less bland, less white, so I undid the straps and walked slowly towards the door waiting for a man to push it open and throw me to the floor. As I reached for the handle, I jumped back in fright as I heard a distinct creak of footsteps nearing. No my ears were playing games with me it couldn't be footsteps it had to be a rocking chair because it squeaked in a sublime rhythm much to long for human walking.

I tip toed back to the door and threw it open as my head swerved back and forth to see the culprit. To my dismay, it was only an empty dark red hallway so I toddled towards a painting of a rich aristocratic princess. Her beauty could not have been surpassed in my opinion but what was a work of art like this doing in a dwelling from a different planet. My ears perked up as the voice drifted through the halls vexing me because it refused to sing only speak in tongues I could not understand. I reached to the door left of the painting and opened it but could see nothing without light and ran my hand down the wall aimlessly to find a switch. Candles in the room flickered on their own like magic as the ebony furniture's stale smell swept through my nostrils. How had all these candles turned on if there isn't a switch I thought in awe but I ignored my thoughts and ran my fingers across the dusty piano? All black keys, I looked perplexedly as the sound of music drifted from my fingertips. I had no control over my heart or soul; even my mind seemed to be in the hands of an outside force because I kept ding things involuntarily. As I played, a melody rang out not of my own but the voice I was in conflict with. Another voice more manly in nature joined with perfect harmony. A final chorus of younger voices joined with an obviously childlike tone or at least a good mimic. The male voice resembled mine only with a deeper color. I tried to place the female voice but each time I thought I knew who it was a different tone took its place. I yanked my fingers away, ran into the white bedroom, and hid myself under the covers. Maybe when I woke up this would all go away. Maybe? But I couldn't sleep as I laid there staring at the white ceiling and started tapping against the counter in a rapid nervous fashion. I had to go back and face whatever this was even if it wasn't human.

This time as I entered the hallway I walked in the opposite direction but alas it only made a circle to the first and only other door I had been able to enter. My heart was pounding so fast I felt like the concert at the London palladium all over again. I walked into the dark room but no magical lights were there to aid me so I had to close my eyes and remember every detail of the room. I slowly stopped at the piano. I had never gone farther than this so what would I do now? A great tune began to form in my head when I stopped myself abruptly, "Your supposed to be finding out where you are and what you're doing here." Great now I am talking to myself and aloud no less.

"I can answer that," the voice smiled.

"Not to be rude but I would much rather you turn on a light or two I can't see me bloody hand in front of me face," I croaked.

"As you wish," she replied meekly. All the candles flickered back to their luminous light and the old woman in the rocking chair smoothed her collar.

"Perhaps I should answer your questions now since you seem more than a little awkward to be here. When all those people were gathered around you I contacted the local authorities and fought the crowd to get you out safely," she stopped.

"Well go on," I replied in suspense, "you must be a pretty strong woman to fight off that lot."

"Yes I am very strong and you don't know the half of it," she answered proudly, "but I know you have other questions on your mind so I will not bore you with your amazing rescue." I had a feeling this was going to be a long conversation, a very long conversation.