Author Topic: Story: Carol  (Read 25162 times)

Offline Sparky

  • Special Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2280
  • Gender: Male
Story: Carol
« on: 03. December 2022, 18:41:57 PM »
Chapter 1 - a crooked tooth.

Carol woke up and looked over at the bedside clock: it was 9:12 am. For most people, if they woke and saw the time was 9:12am, they would panic, as they would be late for work. However, at the moment, it didn't REALLY matter what time she woke up, and compared to recently, 9:12am was comparatively early!

Last night she'd got to bed 'relatively early', by which I mean before 1am. She's been binge-watching the TV series 'Lucifer' on Notflux over the last few days, and was currently up to series 4.

As she lay in bed on her back, she ran her tongue over her teeth. Her lovely straight teeth. Except, today, her tongue was exploring the bit around her left upper front two tooth, and the canine next to it: things didn't feel QUITE as she remembered them.

As a young teenager, and thus whilst still at school, Carol had braces for a while. Her teeth hadn't actually been all that bad, so she had been given simple metal brackets, top and bottom, with a couple of elastics in the last month or two of her treatment, followed by hawley retainers. She wore the retainers full time for 6 months, then at night for the next 6. She stopped wearing them at all sometime whilst at 6th form college, and her teeth still seem to be ok.

Well, until today, that is.

So, Carol decided that, if she could find her old retainers, she could try them in, and see if her teeth HAD actually moved at all. She thought for a moment: she knew she still HAD her old retainers, but wondered where they could be. She didn't positively remember actually unpacking them when she moved into her flat, almost a year ago, so she guessed they must be in one of the three boxes of stuff stacked up in the corner of her spare room.

Carol got out of bed, and went to the kitchen, and put the kettle on: she needed some coffee before she could do anything! With a cup of coffee in her hand she walked into her spare room, putting the coffee on the bedside table, next to the spare bed. Her previous place had been a much smaller, single bedroom place, but with the extra money from finally having made the charts with 3 hit singles, and a UK tour under their belts, she had decided that having a better and newer place to live, and with a second bedroom, was high in her list of needs.

As a girl in a pop band, most people would have assumed that she would have gone and bought a fancy place in a trendy part of London, but the girls in the band weren't like that. Jenny had a 2-bedroom top-floor recently modernised flat in a rather average (but actually quite nice) part of south London, and had bought the whole house last year, now using the downstairs flat as her 'office'. Carol rather liked Jenny's place, what it was, and where it was, so she had found a place a couple of miles from Jenny, although her place was a bit newer, and was designed as a 2-bedroomed flat. Whilst she didn't have the advantage of a separate 'office' she could store some of her instruments in the spare bedroom, and worked in her lounge-diner-kitchen, which was actually quite a good size.

She took the top box off the pile, put it on the bed, and opened it. She smiled as she opened the box, which was full of memories from her teens and the time before the band made it big. A snow-globe from Torbay. A bag of fridge-magnets from various places they had gone to on holiday - she kept those out, to put onto her fridge. Her old recorder (the musical instrument type) she got when she was about 12. An old MP3 player, with the wire of the earbuds wrapped around it. OMG, her first ever phone, an old Nokia! Many simple and small things that, individually, were not that special, but together they kinda defined Carol's teenage life.

Carol had nothing better to do (well, other than work on some lyrics for a new song!), so didn't rush. It had been a while since she had looked at this stuff. More importantly, it had been a while since she had had the TIME to look at this stuff. Hmm, old keyrings. Her old, rather tacky, jewellery box, which contains some very dated teen bits of jewellery. And a bag of old makeup.... she should have thrown that away ages ago, but it brought back memories. She smiled as she took the top off some bright red lipstick: the same lipstick she had worn when she had her first kiss. I mean, how could you EVER think of throwing THAT out?

Lots and lots of memories, but no retainers. She put everything - except the fridge magnets - carefully back into the box, closed the lid, and put it down next to the other two boxes. After a (large!) sip of coffee, she took the second box over to her bed, and opened the lid. This box contained mostly clothes. Carol hadn't really got much bigger, so these clothes would probably still fit her - which is probably why she hadn't thrown them out. Again, many memories. A blouse that she loved wearing - but clearly well out of fashion now. And there was the top that..... the top she had worn the first time they had ever performed 'publicly', at their 6th-form annual concert. Back then they used the very simple name 'Three Girls', and they had been 'volunteered' to open the show. Totally nerve-wracking, but, as we now know, it turned out to be the first of MANY stage performances since. Yeah, there was NO WAY she could ever get rid of that.

Underneath it was the first ever specific 'stage outfit' she had worn. That performance was at a charity concert, where they were one of many 'amateur' bands playing that evening, and her mum had got it for her. That performance was probably the one that gave the band their big break, and was the last time they had used the name 'three girls'. After that, Jenny's parents - who subsequently became their managers - had suggested they needed better name, one that wasn't quite so generic, and one that stood out a bit more. It was Jenny who had come up with the idea for the name. Of course, initially, she had suggested 'JCD', but that sounded too much like a company that made diggers, so they eventually settled on 'CJD'. Yes, that was the name linked to 'Mad Cows Disease', but they all rather liked the irony of the name!

As Carol removed the outfit from the box, and placed it on top of the others, on the bed, she spotted what she was looking for: her old pink retainer box! She took it from the box, and as she opened the lid, memories of having braces came flooding back to her. Luckily the memories weren't too bad. With her teeth not being all that bad, she was far from being the first of her year who got braces, so by the time she got hers, it was no big deal. She remembered one specific girl... what WAS her name? She had severe buck teeth on the top, and her lowers were quite crooked. She had to wear all sorts of bit of metal and plastic in her mouth for about two years, poor kid. She had heard stories that she also wore headgear, but - unsurprisingly - had never seen her in it.

And yeah, several of her friends also had braces. Sonja: she had an expander in the top of her mouth, which made her lisp when she first got it. And what was that thing that Laura had? Big lumpy removable things, designed to push her lower jaw forwards, twin-somethings? Carol decided that she's actually got off quite lightly, having just a set of upper and lower metal brackets, and they weren't too big either. Plus, a couple of elastics at the side - so not too visible - at the end of her treatment.

Then she got these, her retainers. She had appreciated how nice her teeth had looked when she got her braces off, and wore them faithfully all the time (except when eating) for 6 months, then every night for the next 6 months, then once or twice a week. She had last worn them in her 6th form - she had found that, even if she didn't wear them for several weeks, they were still quite easy to put in, which clearly meant that her teeth weren't moving.

She took the retainers from the pink plastic box, and held them in her hand, so she could look at them. Like the retainers many of the other girls at school had, they were ice-clear plastic plates with shiny steel wires... although they were clearly starting to age: their original look of sparkling ice now looked rather dull.

Both retainers had clasps at the side, that clipped over your molars, with a wire at the front that came out behind the canines, did a bit of a jiggle, went over the front teeth, before doing a second jiggle, and going in behind the other canines. Memories came flooding back as she looked at the retainers: having a lisp for the first week she had them; almost losing them one day, at lunchtime; kissing with them in; practising singing with them in.

She took the lower retainer, and put it into her mouth, then pushed gently down without needing to think what she was doing: it just clicked straight into place. That didn't really surprise her, the big question was whether the top one would fit... or not. She put the top retainer into her mouth, and started to push upwards - it definitely felt tight. She pressed a bit harder, and it actually clicked into place, but she could immediately feel pressure on her top left incisors and canine. It felt very strange having her retainers in her mouth after so long. She ran her tongue around the wires, and over the plastic plates, which seemed to have a bit of a strange taste to them - a taste of 'old plastic'.

Just for fun, she tried talking out loud, to discover that she had a lisp again!

By now, the pressure on those three top teeth was starting to make those teeth a bit sore. So, she decided that maybe she should remove her retainers, to take the pressure off her teeth. She took the bottom one out first, as she knew that would come out easily. But the top one was wedged in a bit more firmly, so she pulled down with a bit more force: the retainer twisted slightly in her mouth, and she heard a strange sort of 'click': when she removed the retainer, she could see that the archwire had just broken, where it came through her teeth between the canine and pre-molar. She remembered that her lower tooth used to touch it just there, so clearly it had weakened a bit over time, and that's why it had just broken in that spot.

She put the retainers back into their pink box, and ran her teeth over her teeth again. Clearly her teeth HAD shifted a bit... just a tiny bit. But did it REALLY matter? Carol wasn't really sure, so decided that it wouldn't hurt to go and see an orthodontist, and see what they thought. She knew it would be something she would have to pay for - Jenny had hinted how much HER braces had cost - but that wasn't a big deal, she could afford it. And as a singer in a chart-topping girl band, she knew that her smile was VERY important!

Offline Sparky

  • Special Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2280
  • Gender: Male
Re: Carol
« Reply #1 on: 06. December 2022, 18:23:24 PM »
Chapter 2 - at the ortho

"Hey, Jenny, just before you go.... who's your orthodontist?" Carol asked just before they finished their call.

"I didn't realise you had problems - besides, didn't you have braces at school?"

"Yes, I did, but I just noticed yesterday that something has moved the tiniest bit... and when I tried my old retainer in, it was rather tight... plus I broke it when I took it out. So I thought maybe I should go and get some professional advice, before it gets any worse."

"Good call, yes, definitely go see someone, and get it checked out. My ortho is David Bright, the place is called 'Archway Orthodontics'. You know George Street, at the end of the High Street? There's a set of nice old offices down there, it's in one of those, on the ground floor. I'll send you their phone number... Feel free to tell them that I recommended them."

Later that afternoon, Carol called them, making an appointment for 2:30pm on the Friday.

Thus, a couple of days later, just before 2:30, Carol was in reception at Archway Orthodontics.

"Hi, my name is Carol Danvers, I have a 2:30 appointment..." she said, feeling slightly nervous. While Carol visited her dentist regularly, it had been several years since she had visited an orthodontist.

"Ah yes, with Mr Bright. I believe he's nicely on time, so please, do go into the waiting room over there, someone will come and get you shortly." Carol turned to walk to the waiting room, when the door by reception opened, and Jenny walked out.

"Jenny! What the heck?" said a very surprised Carol.

"Hey, Carol, what's the chances of bumping into YOU here.... I'm guessing you're here to get David to take a look at you?"

"Yes. And I'm guessing you just had your braces tweaked..."

"Indeed, new archwire, new ligs," said Jenny, smiling. She looked at Carol, and sensed she was slightly apprehensive. "Hey, if you like, I could come in with you to see David."

"Actually, yeah, that would be nice..."

A young lady, clearly one of the assistants from the way she was dressed, came into reception, went over to the waiting room, and was a little confused when she found noone waiting. She returned to reception. "Erm, I thought Carol Danvers was here?" she said.

"Ah, lady over there, talking to Jenny....".

Carol had heard the short conversation. "Sorry, I'm Carol Danvers..."

"Ah, ok...". The assistant suddenly realised that Carol had been talking with Jenny. "You know Jenny? Anyway, please come through, Mr Bright is ready for you". As she led the way, she realised Jenny was coming too. "Oh, you're coming back too?"

"Yeah, I love the place so much, I just can't bear to leave!". Jenny decided to do the introductions. "Carol, this is David, my ortho, and this is Angela, his assistant. This is Carol... she's the "C" to my "J".

"Ah, right!" said Angela, suddenly working out how they knew each other. David wasn't quite so sure, so Jenny explained "we're both in CJDL"...

"Ah, ok... nice to meet you Carol. Come on over here, let's sit down and you can explain why you're here". David, Carol and Jenny sat down together, and Carol explained how she was feeling around her teeth the other morning, and that something - something very small - felt different, at the top left. How she went and found her old retainers, how the lower one fitted just fine, but the top one was tight, and broke as she removed it. It was odd, but she felt a lot more relaxed knowing that Jenny was there with her.

"I suspect it's no big deal, but I thought I should get it checked out" explained Carol.

"That sounds very sensible - as you say, it may be absolutely nothing. I don't suppose you brought your old retainers with you, did you?" asked David.

"I did indeed." Carol opened her bag, and took out her old pink retainer case, and passed it over to David.

As soon as he looked at it he commented "ah, yes, certainly from a few years ago, I'm guessing you had braces as a teenager?"

"I did. I was 15, and my teeth weren't actually too bad, so I got simple metal braces, and a couple of elastics at the end. I had those for a little over 12 months, then I got these retainers, which I faithfully wore full time for 6 months, then every night for another 6 months. After that, it was once or twice a week... or so... By the time I was about 17, I found that they were never tight when I put them in, so guessed that my teeth weren't moving any more, so stopped wearing them". As Carol described her history, David looked at the retainers.

"Yes, we often THINK that our teeth are stable, then something happens that changes things, often something very small. Wisdom teeth. Getting older. Clearly SOMETHING has happened to your teeth, so why don't I take a look?"

David took Carol over to the treatment chair, and got her to sit in it. "You've had braces before, so I'm guessing you recognise what Angela has in her hand..." he said as he reclined the treatment chair.

"Looks like a lip-spreader to me!" said Carol.

"Indeed it is, probably identical to what your orthodontist used when you were younger - things don't change that much, do they?". David adjusted the light so that it shone onto her mouth. He looked carfully and slowly at Carol's teeth: in principle, they looked really good, but yes, he COULD see that the teeth on her top left were very slightly different in their positioning from the ones on her right. The bottom ones looked close to perfect. He removed the lip spreader from her mouth.

"Well, yes, I can see a VERY slight difference there on your top left. Is it anything to worry about? Probably not right now. Your teeth are still in excellent condition, and if you came to me as a new patient, I probably wouldn't actually suggest treatment. But I have a couple of suggestions"

"Yes, do go on..." replied Carol.

"Step one: I would like to scan your teeth: that way, whatever happens, we have a baseline on the system to compare things to in the future. Step two: we make you a new retainer that fits you, and you wear it at night, to make sure your teeth don't move any further. It probably wouldn't need to be every night, unless you feel pressure when you put it in. Step 3: optionally, I can configure the retainer to put a tiny bit of pressure onto those teeth, so move them slightly, back to where they used to be: I think there's enough 'slack' in your teeth to do that. I guess a lot depends how much you're worried about those teeth moving. And I COMPLETELY understand that you need perfect teeth for what you do! So what do you think?"

"I'm thinking yes to everything. I've worn a retainer before, and if it's just at night, then it's not a big deal. So what's the scanning? I guess it replaces taking impressions? If so, I'm all for it, I used to hate having to have impressions done!". Carol looked over to where Jenny was standing, and smiling.

"What's funny?" she asked her.

"Well, sounds like you're joining me in the 'braces club'"

"Yeah, I suppose I am... although I won't need to tell anyone, if I only need to wear them at night! So, how do I get scanned then?"

In the background, Amanda was wheeling a small trolley over, and plugged a couple of wires into connectors over on the side. The trolley had a keyboard and screen on it, and there was a large 'snake' on the side of it. David typed on the keyboard: he was setting up a folder for Carols scans, then he opened up the scanning program: at that point the screen above and in front of Carol came on.

"Tell you what" said Jenny, "this is a pretty cool bit of technology: if you watch the screen up there, you'll see your teeth slowly appear!".

David put the lip-spreader back into place, and put the end of the 'snake' into Carol's mouth. "There's a small camera in the end of it, plus there's one of those motion sensors in the wand, like you have in your phone, so it knows which way it's pointing. Suddenly, on the screen above Carol, she could see images of her teeth starting to appear, and grow as David moved the wand around her mouth. The initial scan only took a few minutes, but then David checked the images: he used the mouse to move and rotate the 3-D image, and it was clear there were a few 'holes' in the image, which David needed to scan again, to fill in.

"Ok, all done!" he said, taking the lip-spreader out of her mouth again. "So, if you just lie back, and look up at that monitor, I'll try to explain what I'm seeing". Jenny moved to just behind Carol, so she could see too. "So, generally, your teeth look really nice" he said, moving the view around. "And if I then close your teeth, like this...". He clicked on the mouse a couple of times, and the images of her teeth closed together, with the computer highlighting where her teeth touched. "Your bite is still very good, but you can see that your lower and upper front teeth don't quite touch, there's the tiniest of gaps between them. So lets zoom in on those top teeth... yes, you can see there's a very slight different between the left and the right, but you have to look very carefully to see it. But you know your mouth and teeth better than I do, so if you say they have moved out a tiny bit, I'm 100% happy to believe you."

Carol felt happy that what David said matched what her tongue told her. "So what now?"

"Well, I need to create a formal 'treatment plan' that I'll need you to sign, but if you can tell me you want to go ahead, I can get your retainers ordered, and you can come back in a couple of weeks for me to fit them. Do you have ANY questions that you'd like to ask?"

"Just one: do you have any idea why my teeth might have moved?"

"Not really: your teeth actually look pretty stable. It could be something as stupid as you've started biting on the end of a pencil. The important things is that we now have a scan, so we can keep an eye on things, and a new retainer will hopefully keep things stable again.". Carol nodded. "Anything else?" he asked.

"No, not that I can think of. I've had braces before, so I'm pretty familiar with that side of things, and I'm sure you're not going to charge me a stupid price, so that shouldn't be a problem."

"Excellent. Well, Carol, it's been good to meet you, I'll see you again soon"

Offline bsma189

  • Bronce Member
  • **
  • Posts: 31
  • Gender: Female
Re: Carol
« Reply #2 on: 07. December 2022, 01:19:08 AM »
Looking forward to seeing where this goes!

Offline TrainTrack

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 190
  • Gender: Female
Re: Carol
« Reply #3 on: 07. December 2022, 02:23:35 AM »
I feel like it’s going to end up either with the fairies or like the WTF? story.

Offline Sparky

  • Special Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2280
  • Gender: Male
Re: Carol
« Reply #4 on: 07. December 2022, 02:59:15 AM »
Hehe... always fun to hear your theories....wrong storyline I'm afraid!

Offline xxxforce

  • Special Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 919
  • Gender: Male
Re: Carol
« Reply #5 on: 07. December 2022, 15:43:27 PM »
CJDL is back :D Another one of my faourite Storys from you :) GO oN :)

Offline Sparky

  • Special Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2280
  • Gender: Male
Re: Carol
« Reply #6 on: 07. December 2022, 15:51:36 PM »
Chapter 3 - Friends to stay

"Hey, Linda, what you up to this week?" asked Carol on the phone.

"Not a lot" replied Linda

"Fancy coming over and staying for a couple of days?"

"Hmm, let me think about that... stay in my little place, or join you in your much nicer place: it's a hard decision!".

Linda actually had a 2 bed flat, one as bedroom, the other one - much smaller, and without an actual bed - where she stores her stuff, including guitars. However, it was a bit old and scruffy... By comparison, Carol's 2 bed flat was much newer, much nicer, and a bit bigger too. Carol used to have a flat-mate, but sadly she left a bit ago, leaving Carol on her own, but it did mean that she had a proper spare bedroom again.

"Don't blame me, you must be able to afford to rent a better place by now..."

"Yeah, I know, but I rather like my crappy little place. But you're right, I really should get somewhere a bit nicer. If only so I can invite you guys to stay over, and let you sleep in a bed, rather than on the settee. But to answer your question: yeah, of course I will, it will be nice to actually BE with you, rather than just seeing your face on a screen!"

"Ok, when would you like to come?"

"How about after lunch?"

"Yup, that's fine with me. Bring a guitar or two with you, I'm rather hoping we might be able to inspire each other to write something. It's about time we found out if you've got any songs inside you!".

"Not one of my strong points, you know that".

"Oh, come on, Linda, that worship song you did with Jenny was really good! Mind you, knowing how Jenny gets inspired for her worship songs, I'm thinking that maybe a higher power might have helped you too..."

"Well, there you go!"

"No, you don't get off the hook that easily... I'm determined that we'll write something together by the end of the week!"

"Anything else you want me to bring?"

"You got any percussion stuff at home you could bring along? Tambo's, shakers and things like that?"

"Yeah, I got a small crate-full, I'll throw them in the car. Want me to pick up some beers on the way?"

"Like your thinking, girl!"

"Anyone else likely to join us?"

"Unlikely, Jenny and Ben have gone off for a few days, and I'm sure Diane will be spending time with Mike. So, see you sometime after lunch then!"


"Linda!!! Come on in!" said Carol, giving Linda a hug. "Good to see you again... You've never actually been here before, have you?". Carol helped Linda take her clothes into the spare bedroom and guitar etc into the living room. She put the beer in a convenient place, in the lounge.

"No I haven't. Of course, you've all been to my place a couple of times, the empty beer cans were proof enough of that!!!".

Carol laughed. "Yes, they were actually good fun evenings - thank you for suggesting those! Cuppa?"

"Yes please!". The two girls went to Carol's kitchen, where they make some tea. "So, what we gonna do then?"

"Well, I was thinking we can get our guitars out, start messing about, and maybe we'll get some inspiration for a new song...."

"For the group?"

"Doesn't have to be. Could be for just us, or even just for fun... I just want to encourage you to have a go at creating something!".

When Linda had been working with the band and helping develop their new songs before they went on tour, she'd not done any of the 'original writing', it was more helping them knock the new songs into some sort of usable shape. Before that, as a session musician, she just played (or sang) what she was given, so the last time she had actually written anything was when she was at music college, although even then she was very much a music performer, rather than a creator.

"Oh, ok, I'll give it a try."

Linda had brought 2 guitars with her: and acoustic and an electric. Carol had her own guitars too, including a bass, plus a keyboard, so they had plenty of options. She had also bought the crate of small percussion stuff. Carol picked up Linda's acoustic guitar, and strummed it. "Nice sound...." she commented, then passed it over to Linda, who took it, and started strumming it. "Got any ideas?

"Well, I got this in my head as I was driving here...." and Linda played a few bars of a simple melody. Over the next 2 or 3 hours they played together on the guitars, and drank their tea, followed by  a couple of beers. By the end of the afternoon Linda (with a little help from Carol) had managed to write a simple song, both music and words, based on that simple melody.

"You know" said Linda, "that was actually good fun.... I mean, I helped you guys develop the band's new music, and we messed about a bit on tour, but that's the first time since college that I've sat down and written something completely new - and it was so helpful having your experience to help me!"

"Good. Maybe we can do something tomorrow to inspire you to write something else!"

"So, what's the plans for the rest of the day?"

"Dinner, of course, then how about popping out to the local pub for a drink?"

"Aren't you worried someone will recognise you? Or me for that matter?"

"It's always a worry, but I think most people would expect us to be dressed like when we're on tour. But dressed in scruffy jeans like this, without all the makeup, and hair, then it's not quite as likely. Been ok so far! Mind you, Jenny got caught out bigtime a while ago. A couple of local journalists found where she lives, and waited for her to come out. But Jenny being Jenny turned things around, gave them an exclusive for her anonymity. Remember the photographer who worked with Paige at the Press Conference where we announced you were joining the band? That was Sarah, one of the two."

"Ah, yes, I did wonder how you guys knew her, she was very pleasant and relaxed for a journo."

"She's the one that did the pics when Jenny got her hair cut, and donated it to charity. She's been good to us, and we've let her have several exclusives in return. Useful person to know."

"Yeah. Hey, I notice you don't do a lot of social media... any particular reason?"

"Not really. I just don't have the urge to share every moment of my life with the world. I think Jenny more than makes up for my not doing it. You still posting stuff?"

"Not as much as before I formally joined the group... Before it was about making the world aware of my abilities, so I could get work, but I'm in a 'normal job' now."

"'Normal job'? Oh I wish...."


After dinner, Carol and Linda walked the 5 minutes to a local pub, The Crown, and had a couple of quiet drinks.  Whilst Carol had lived in the area for a bit now, she'd only been to this pub maybe two or three times before - she typically went to The Red Lion, but fancied a change this evening. While they were there, Carol spotted a poster on the wall that listed the events at the pub: one of the events was an "Open Mic Night" that happened every couple of weeks, and it was due to happen in two nights time. Whilst Linda would probably be gone by then, it could be fun to come along by herself, and play something.

Offline Sparky

  • Special Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2280
  • Gender: Male
Re: Carol
« Reply #7 on: 07. December 2022, 16:13:40 PM »
CJDL is back :D Another one of my favourite Stories from you :) GO ON :)

Indeed. And this time, it's very much from Carol's perspective.

So, very soon she will <redacted>, and then the whole band will <redacted>. Not sure what happens after THAT though, not got that far!!!

Oh, and braces will keep popping up from time to time...

Offline Sparky

  • Special Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2280
  • Gender: Male
Re: Carol
« Reply #8 on: 08. December 2022, 16:45:32 PM »
Chapter 4 - a quick summary

So, yes, this story is about Carol (and Linda, and others...), from the pop group CJDL. For those of you who never read the story "Jennifer loves singing" or "Asian Braces in London", here's a quick recap:

Carol, Jenny & Dianne are in a Number 1 girl-group, CJD. Together since 6th form college & music college, they get on well, and all play a variety of instruments, although Dianne tends to play drums, Carol guitars, and Jenny guitars / keyboards (but they sometimes switch around for a song). They are all excellent singers.

Jenny meets Ben through a dating app, falls madly in love with him. 2 days after meeting, she gets braces (with an expander, lower lip bumper & upper facebow). Luckily Ben likes braces! Jenny wears the HG in public / on stage. In the band, Jenny tends to write the music, Carol & Dianne tend to do the lyrics. Jenny is very media savvy.

Ben's music tastes are much rockier than what CJD do, and Jenny was massively influenced by Ben's music, (including a heavy rock group called "Darkest Knights" - Jenny took Ben backstage to see Darkest Knights as a birthday present, & performed a couple of songs on stage with the band). Whilst developing the new music / recording it / preparing for tour, they realised they needed a 4th band member, so hired a session musician, Linda, who mainly plays guitars. She was in the year below them at college, knows them, and they get on well.

CJD go on their second tour. Jenny struggles without Ben, so he tours with her for the last week of the tour. Last night of the tour, onstage at Wembley Arena, in front of about 10,000 fans, she proposes to Ben.

The day after the tour ends, Linda officially becomes the fourth member of the band, now renamed to "CJDL". Historically, Linda - as a session musician - plays music, but has never really written anything, thus Carol wanted to encourage her.

They are all Christians, and Jenny has 'been given' several worship songs which she has assigned to her church, and (not actually in the original story) they recorded them on a special CD (including a worship song written together by Jenny & Linda)

Whilst CJDL doesn't formally have a "front man", the rest of the group has made it clear they are ok with Jenny taking the lead on stuff. Jenny is very active in social media, but the rest of the girls tend to be a lot quieter.

So, this story happens at some point after that second tour......

Offline braces37

  • Bronce Member
  • **
  • Posts: 51
  • Gender: Male
Re: Carol
« Reply #9 on: 11. December 2022, 07:36:11 AM »
Something I like about your work is how you have different stories tie in with each other, without necessarily having to be direct sequels. I notice a problem with CJDL; they don't have a bassist! Bass is the second most important instrument after drums, so one of the guitarists will have to switch.

Offline Sparky

  • Special Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2280
  • Gender: Male
Re: Carol
« Reply #10 on: 11. December 2022, 16:04:52 PM »
Just edited this, to explain better:

The original 3 members of CJD, so Carol, Jenny and Dianne, can all play drums, bass / rhythm / lead guitar and keyboards, so sometimes when playing live, they make lives harder for themselves, and change around!

Linda joined the band simply because their 'newer music' regularly needed a 4th player. Linda is a guitarist, and is happy playing bass / rhythm / lead. Yes, she can 'sort-of play' keyboards and drums, but not well enough to do so on stage. On CJD's second tour, Linda played mainly bass, occasionally swapping with Carol or Jenny to play rhythm or lead.

So, 'normally' we'd expect to see Dianne on drums. If there was a keyboard part, then that would most probably be Jenny. Carol tends to play rhythm or bass, leaving Jenny to lead on the keyboard, but if they run with 3 guitars, then Carol will probably play lead and Jenny rhythm.

And, of course, all the 4 girls can sing.

Offline Sparky

  • Special Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2280
  • Gender: Male
Re: Carol
« Reply #11 on: 12. December 2022, 21:40:48 PM »
Of course, one of the problems when writing a story is that, in your mind you have all sorts of 'extra details', maybe something that was a possibility for the story, but never made it... but it's all useful background information, and stuff *I* know about, but *YOU* don't!  So if you have questions or comments, I'm very happy to 'fill in the holes'....

No braces in this chapter, but there will be in Chapter 6!


Chapter 5 - Open Mic Night

Carol went up onto the small stage and put a small audio recorder on the floor in front of her. She then stood there for a moment as Steve, the tech guy, adjusted the mics for her. She had decided not to introduce herself to start with, instead she just played a song that she had been working on. At the end, the audience was very appreciative, clapping hard.

"So, I guess I really should introduce myself: I'm Carol. It's been quite a while since I've done have done an open-mic night! I was here with a friend having a drink on Monday, saw the poster, and I was inspired. So that song is one that I have been working on the last couple of weeks."

"Now, the music for this next song was written by someone else, I've been working on the lyrics - it's very much a 'work in progress', I've done 2 verses so far, and still haven't worked out how to end it, but heck, I thought you might like to hear what it sounds like...."

Carol played and sung the song: she sang the two verses, then continued playing the guitar, and got sudden inspiration. "Hey, I have another verse....", and she sang the new words, then let the guitar gently trail off. Again, there was applause.

"And that's why I always record anything I do - inspiration comes at the strangest of times" commented Carol. "I can remember once, in the middle of our set, up in Glasgow! We'd just played a load of our songs when Jenny pipes up 'hey, do you mind if I try something?' and starts playing something completely new on her piano! She does that sometimes!". Carol could have given more details, but she wanted the audience to work out for themselves who she actually was. Mind you, the next song might give things away.

"Well, the other day, my friend Linda and I were playing acoustic versions of a few of our songs... some worked, others were complete failures. So, how about....  yeah... 'Love on an Island'? That seemed to go ok..."

This was one of CJDL's newer songs, and whilst the acoustic version sounded quite different, the song was very recognisable, and the audience seemed to like it. Carol could also see a bit of chatting going on - she suspected they were saying things like 'is that Carol from CJDL?'.

"So, my last song. I thought it would be fun to end with something we all know.... actually, here's an idea: get your phones out and look up the words for Dylan's 'blowing in the wind', then you can ALL sing along!". Carol started playing, and then started singing: 'How many roads....'. Almost everyone else joined the singing, and of course applauded at the end.

"Thank you ALL very much, it's been a privilege to play to you all: we normally play to rather larger audiences, so playing somewhere so intimate has been a real treat for me!"

"Well, thank you Carol" said Steve, the guy running the open mic evening, "but before you go, something tells me you normally play in a bigger band?".

"Yeah, you might say that, but you can work it out for yourselves!. Tiny hint: there's normally four of us, and the band's name starts with the first letter of my name. But tonight, I'm just Carol, enjoying playing music in my local pub!". She got another round of applause. After leaving the stage, she put her guitar back next to her table, then went up to the bar.

"I think I'll have a pint of the 'Young's Special' please." Carol said to the young girl behind the bar.

"Would I be right in thinking you might be in CJDL?" asked the girl.

"I'm afraid I am, I hope you won't hold it against me!" replied Carol.

"So how come you came here tonight?"

"Well, The Crown is almost my local," explained Carol, "and like everyone else here, I love live music, and so far, they've all been pretty good."

"Ok, Kevin, if you're ready?" said Steve, the guy organising the stage and PA.

"Well, I think you'll enjoy Kevin - he's often here, and he's really good!" said the girl behind the bar. Carol paid for her drink, and rather than sit alone, she decided to join some of the others in the pub.

"Mind if I join you?" asked Carol.

"Yeah, sure!" said one of the girls sat at the table, with a big smile. I mean, how often do you get someone who is clearly a pop star asking if they can sit at your table?

Kevin walked up to the stage, and stood in front of the microphone. "Well, I'm not quite sure how I can follow that, she was pretty good". He started playing and singing a song that neither of them recognised.

"He IS good" thought Carol a few minutes later as he finished his first song.

So, Carol was chatting with a girl who had performed earlier in the evening, and she got a feeling that she wanted to ask her something, but was a bit shy about asking. "Now, Susan, I get a feeling there's something you really want to ask me, but are a bit apprehensive about asking. So go on, ask away... what's the worst that could happen?"

"Well, I can sing a lot better than I can play, so I was wondering if you would play one of your songs while I sang to it... "

"Sure, that could be fun - what would you like to sing?

"Hmmmm..... How about 'We're all in hot water'? I love that one!"

"No problems... you'd better go tell Steve. Tell him 2 mics for me and my guitar, then you'll need a mic..."

"Ok" said Steve about half an hour later, "It looks like we have something a bit special about to happen: would you welcome Susan back on the stage, with her 'backing band', Carol!". By now, everyone knew who who Carol was.

"Right!" said Carol to Susan as they walked over to the stage. "Make it look like you own the stage, I'm just a session musician for you.... Don't bother with an introduction, I'll just start playing, then we can talk afterwards!"

Up on stage, Carol counted the two of them in, and Susan managed to start singing at the right time too. Whilst a bit nervous to start with, she relaxed into the song pretty quickly. At the end, the crowd clapped enthusiastically, then she re-introduced herself, and thanked Carol.

"Well done, Susan, that sounded good! Hey, Steve, we got time for another one?" asked Carol.

"Might as well..."

"Ok, Susan, do you know 'Daffodils'?"

"Oh, yeah!". Susan was clearly thrilled that Carol was offering to play a second song with her.

Once again, Susan sang reasonably well, and as they left the stage, she had a massive smile on her face: who wouldn't when you've just sung a couple of CJDL songs with a member of the band playing with you!

Offline Braceface2015

  • Platinum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1491
  • Gender: Male
Re: Carol
« Reply #12 on: 12. December 2022, 22:30:25 PM »
I think that finding the right amount of detail to put into a story is difficult.

It is a balance between giving the reader enough detail to create a picture in their mind of what you want them to see, and then letting them fill in the rest of the details to create the image they expect to see.

I enjoy all of your stories and can tell that you are having fun writing about what interests you.

Offline Sparky

  • Special Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2280
  • Gender: Male
Re: Carol
« Reply #13 on: 13. December 2022, 00:30:40 AM »
I think that finding the right amount of detail to put into a story is difficult.

It is a balance between giving the reader enough detail to create a picture in their mind of what you want them to see, and then letting them fill in the rest of the details to create the image they expect to see.

I enjoy all of your stories and can tell that you are having fun writing about what interests you.

The nice thing about Carol is that I already "invented the universe" in a couple of other stories, so I can get on with having fun "telling the story" , without needing to "set it all up". Of course, it's the same with the "Fairies" and "Serena"..... Maybe when I'm done, I need to kill them all off, stop me writing about them!!! (nah, no good, I could still do a prequel!!!)

Just need to squeeze some braces in there, somewhere.....

Offline Sparky

  • Special Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2280
  • Gender: Male
Re: Carol
« Reply #14 on: 15. December 2022, 00:06:03 AM »
Chapter 6 - Carol collects her retainer

After checking in at reception at the orthodontist's, she went through to the waiting room, where a mum with her teenage daughter were also waiting. Carol sat down in the seat opposite, and could see the girl, who was in her mid-teens, looking at her. The girl smiled slightly, and whispered something to her mum, who whispered something back, but the girl kept looking at Carol.

"Something tells me that your daughter thinks she recognises me.... am I right?". The mum smiled and nodded. "So, who do you think I am then?" she asked the girl. The girl looked at her mum, as if to check it was ok to speak to Carol. "It's ok" said Carol, "I'm ok with it when it's somewhere quiet like this...."

"Are you.... Carol? Carol from CJD"

"I am indeed, although we're CJDL now that Linda has joined us.".

"Ah, of course, I forgot..."

"That's fine. We're still getting used to the new name ourselves!".

"She's a Carol too!" said her mum

"Excellent choice of name!" said Carol. The girl smiled, letting Carol see that she had a mouth full of metal braces. It was clear she was a bit shy when in the presence of a 'pop star'. "You know, I used to have braces like that when I was about your age. You coping ok with them?"

"You used to have braces?" asked the girl.

"Yeah. I was just a normal schoolgirl like you, same sort of age too, and my teeth were a bit crooked, so I needed braces."

"So why are you here? I've seen your pictures, and you have lovely straight teeth"

"I do, and I wore my retainer for a couple of years after I got my braces off, and my teeth never moved. Until maybe a month ago that is, and I noticed these couple of teeth here didn't feel quite right." Carol pointed at the two teeth that had moved a tiny bit. "So I found my old retainer, and put it in... and it was so tight it broke. So I'm here to collect a new retainer, which might also be able to move these teeth a tiny bit".

"So you're not getting braces, like Jenny, then?" asked the girl.

"No, I think one band member in braces is enough! So, what do you think about Jenny having braces... and she had headgear for a while too, didn't she?". The girl seemed to relax a bit.

"She looks nice in her braces, and I think she was very brave to let people see her in her headgear".

"Yes, you're right. Hey, I'm assuming you're a fan?". The girl nodded. "Ok, I want a REALLY honest answer to the next question: what do you think about the new music we've been doing? If you really don't like it, then don't feel scared to say so!"

"No, I actually like it - I think I prefer it to some of your earlier stuff."

"What about your friends at school, do you know what they think?"

"I think some prefer your older stuff, others are like me, and like the newer stuff"

Carol looked at the girl's mum. "It's actually very nice to have some real feedback from our real fans! Hey, is it ok if I read your daughter's mind?". The mum smiled then nodded. "Something tells me that you're thinking something like 'I wish I could take a selfie with Carol'.... am I right?". The girl nodded. "If your mum's ok with it, then I'm ok with it too. There's just one thing: whilst I'm 100% ok if you want to post it online, don't say which ortho we're at, it's not fair to the staff here, ok?"

Carol went and sat next to Carol, then Carol took a selfie of the two Carols. "I bet your friends are gonna be so jealous, eh? But it kinda makes up for having to put up with having braces!"

Angela, David Bright's assistant came in. "Carol?" she asked.

"Yes?" replied two Carols together.


"Hello again, Carol! So your retainer has arrived, but I got them to make it a little but differently compared to your previous retainer...", David motioned for Carol to sit in the large reclining treatment chair, while Angela passed David the retainer on the teeth model. Whilst traditionally the teeth models would have been made of white plaster, these were made of slightly pink plastic, printed with a 3D printer.

The retainer seemed to be slightly different from her old retainer (which was a normal hawley retainer, which had adams clasps on her first molars, with the labial wire coming out just behind her canines)

"As you can see, rather than having solid plastic behind your front teeth, there's a 'spring' wire with plastic over it, to allow slight movement of your front teeth. Then, rather than the normal labial bow, this one has a tiny spring on each side (imagine the round spring on a clothes peg), which will pull your teeth into line better, pushing against the plastic on the inside. In addition, there's a couple of extra c-clasps going back and around your front premolars, they should help anchor and stabilise the retainer a bit better."

Carol looked at her new upper retainer. Yes, it had a few more wires than her old retainers, and the plastic plate was made of clear pink plastic, rather than the ice-clear of her old retainer, but that wasn't really a big deal.

"Now, while your lower teeth appear to be stable, I thought I'd get you a lower retainer made too: it's just a normal hawley retainer."

"So, this will slightly move my two teeth back into place?"

"Yes, whilst it is currently set up to just retain your teeth as they are, I'll make a couple of tiny adjustments, so that it applies a small amount of pressure on those two teeth. So, ready to let me lie you back, and see how they fit?"

Carol sat back in the chair, and David reclined it, adjusted the light, then fitted lip-retractors, so he could more easily see her mouth and teeth. Memories started coming back to Carol of when she was a teenager, and got her braces, and eventually her retainers.

"Ok, so let me fit your lower retainer first...". While he had been talking, Angela had removed both retainers from their models: she passed David the lower retainer, which he carefully put into Carols, mouth, then pushed gently, yet firmly, down. It clicked nicely into place. Carol's tongue couldn't help but feel it... it felt very familiar.

"Feel ok?" asked David. Carol nodded. "In that case, let put the top one in...". Like with the bottom one, he pushed it onto her upper teeth, and with a nice click it went into place. Once again, Carol's tongue felt around her new retainer. Both retainers seemed to fit her just like a glove, with no real pressure - that would happen in a moment, when David made some minor adjustments. David removed the lip-spreaders. "Have a feel with your tongue... it should be just as comfortable as you remember from your old retainers. All ok?"

Carol's tongue felt around the plastic plates, then over the metal wires: yes, there were a few more wires over her top teeth than her old retainers used to have.

"They feel pretty comfortable" said Carol, with a bit of a lisp.

"Good. Ok, let me take the top one out, and activate those springs. In fact, why don't you take it out, it will probably be easier!". Carol put her forefingers onto the molar clasps of her top retainer, and pulled down: because it was new, plus the fact that it had a couple of extra clasps on it, she had to pull down with quite a bit of force, but it then popped out ok. She passed the retainer over to David, who quickly rinsed it, then used his pliers to slightly bend a couple of the wires, then passed it back to Carol. "If  you'd like to put it back in again... but just be aware that there will be a bit of extra pressure on your left front teeth."

Carol took the retainer, put it in her mouth, then using both her fingers and tongue, pushed it into place. Yes, she could feel a little bit of pressure on those top front teeth.

"Let me put the lip spreader in again, and take a good look....".

"Tho how long do I need to wear the retainers for, do you think?" asked Carol with a lisp, a few minutes later.

"Well, I was thinking that - if you can manage it that is - it would be good if you can wear them full time for 2 or 3 months. Let those teeth adjust a tiny bit, and hold them in place. After that, just at night."

"Yeth, life ith relatively quiet right now, tho I should be able to manage to wear them  full-time. Shame about the lithp though!"

"Don't worry, you know full well that it will disappear after a week or two: just try and speak as much as you can..."

"Or thing, of courthe!"

"Actually, singing would probably be better. Anyway, I suggest you come back and see me in, say, six to eight weeks, then we can see what progress you've made.