The Standalones

Chapter Sixteen

Ken Preston

13 June 2024

Silhouette of a rock band against a spotlight and the words The Standalones

Once again, Chloe thought to herself that this was not what she had imagined life on the road with The Standalones would be like. So she hadn’t expected chauffeur-driven limousines, champagne on ice, and bodyguards chaperoning her wherever she went.

But this? A brawl in what could possibly be the roughest pub in London, and a lion prowling around too? Chloe didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, or simply run away. As it was, she was too busy helping pack up the band’s kit to think too much about what happened next.

Chris had managed to navigate his way between fighting bikers and get outside with his precious keyboard. Matt and Chloe had looked after the guitars, following Chris outside. They stowed the equipment in the van and turned back to face the pub.

None of them seemed in a hurry to go back inside.

“Why on earth is it called The Dog and Whistle?” Chris said.

“More like The Lion and Whip,” Matt replied. “Maybe we should suggest a change of name to Theodora?”

A crash echoed from inside, and a hairy biker tumbled through the doorway. He climbed back on his feet, dusted himself down, and ran back inside to rejoin the fight.

“At least someone’s having fun,” Chloe said. “I wonder how Scarlett is?”

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