On a lonely Austin night, the streets glistened with a freshly fallen mist. Rikki waited silently backstage, barely acknowledging the bustle around him. His usual enthusiastic greeting of fans and band members gave way to silent nods and wan smiles. He rubbed his finger nervously beneath the sleeves of his deep red, almost black, crushed velvet jacket, as if searching for the ring it once bore.
The house lights dimmed. A small spotlight shone on a black guitar. Rikki let out a faltering sigh, made the sign of the cross, and stepped nervously on to the stage as a hush fell over the crowd. He slung the guitar over his shoulder as he bowed his head low, his lips moving in silent prayer.
Beneath the shadow of his cap, Rikki’s eyes glistened.