THE ELECTRIFYING REHEARSAL

So I’m rehearsing with the band. Kenny is on the drums, Alan is playing guitar, John is singing and I’m also playing guitar and singing backup vocals. Our band is called The Models. We are a rock band and the music is loud.

We are between songs. I need to pull the microphone closer. It is on a heavy metal stand. I have one hand around the neck of the guitar and across the strings. Using my other hand, I grip the microphone stand.

Inside the amplifier plug, the earth lead has come adrift and is touching the live wire. It electrifies the casing of the amplifier, including the guitar lead sockets. I do not know that my guitar strings are humming with two hundred and forty volts of electricity.

As I grip the microphone, the circuit is complete. Electricity can now flow up the guitar lead, through the strings of my guitar, into my hand and through my body to the microphone stand. From there it finds its way to earth via the earth cable in the microphone.

My hands lock around the stand and the guitar neck. The grip is so fierce I cannot let go. My jaw clamps shut. I try to scream but I can’t. I try to shake myself away from the guitar and the microphone stand but I can’t. I spin round and round, my body rigid with shock. Brilliant lights flash in my mind. I bash into the wall. My nose spurts with blood.

The guys stare at me. They don’t know what to do. Kenny lifts his feet from the floor, thinking in some illogical way that the floor is somehow alive with electricity. Only Alan has the presence of mind to pull my guitar lead from the amplifier.

The electrical circuit is now broken. The microphone stand falls to the side and I collapsed to the floor. The palm of my hand is seared and burnt. I sit with my back to the wall, gasping for breath. My chest aches.

The boys pick me up and help me to the car. John drives me to hospital. I have an ECG. Everything is fine. The doctor says the electric shock caused my muscles to contract violently. They were in spasm for many seconds. That’s why my chest aches so much. A nurse bandages my hand and I am discharged. There are no more rehearsals that day.

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