Author Topic: Story: Carol  (Read 25980 times)

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story: Carol
« Reply #30 on: 12. February 2023, 20:35:16 PM »
I think Sparky ran out of fingers and toes, either that or he hasn't had enough sleep. It should be chapter 18.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Carol
« Reply #31 on: 13. February 2023, 00:02:07 AM »
I think Sparky ran out of fingers and toes, either that or he hasn't had enough sleep. It should be chapter 18.
Read the chapter title: "I need Coffee"!!!

changed it...

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story: Carol
« Reply #32 on: 13. February 2023, 00:55:46 AM »
My wife woke me up at one in the morning and I couldn't get back to sleep. 14 hours later and I going to try to finally get some decent sleep. I combined all the files for "Surrogate" and wrote two more chapters for 'The Seamstress", one of which I posted. My mood has improved somewhat.

I'm enjoying reading your stories, and I may try to add the latest chapter to TheArchive before I go to bed, but don't count on it. :)

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Carol
« Reply #33 on: 15. February 2023, 20:58:32 PM »
Chapter 19 - Did they make number 1?

By 12:30pm, everyone was awake and dressed. They were all in Jelly Fish's apartment, and Brian and Lisa were there too, as well as Hon Su, the Jelly Fish manager.

The radio was on, as they were listening to the chart run-down show, with the girls explaining and translating what was being said. Paige had set up the camera, to record everyone's reactions when the news came through to whether Jelly Fish had made number one. The radio had just started playing the number 10 song, when Hon Su's phone rang. He spoke to someone for a while, then explained to everyone: "It's the radio station, they are wanting to speak to us live when they announce the top two. I assume you're all ok with that?"

"OMG, they did that with us when we had our first number one!" said Dianne. "It's so nerve-wracking! Good luck, girls!"

Hon Su talked on the phone again, then told them that they could listen to the radio until they started playing the number 3 song, then they would need to listen on the phone, ready to be interviewed. He kept the phone nearby, ready to respond as needed.

The number 3 started to play. Min Jee turned the radio off, and a voice came from the phone, now on speaker: it seemed that they wanted to check the sound levels, then they were all listening to the radio via the phone. The record ended.

"And now, on the phone, we have some very special people" said the presenter in English. "But before I speak to them, I'd like to speak to their guests: I believe the girls from CJDL are there?"

The girls quickly looked at each other, and nodded: they knew exactly what to do. Getting a bit closer to the phone, Carol started: "Hi there, I'm Carol!". The rest followed, and they ended with their "And we are CJDL!" callout.

"Welcome to Seoul, ladies! So this is a song that you wrote for Jelly Fish: I'm guessing you're probably as excited as them to hear if they've made number one this week?"

"Absolutely! We're keeping all our fingers crossed for them!" replied Jenny.

"So, Ahnjong, Min Jee, Taeyang, Yun Hee: are you all ready to hear which record is at number two this week?"

"Only if it's not Jelly Fish!" called out Taeyang.

"Well, I can tell you that number TWO in this weeks chart is..... there was a short pause, and a record started to play... and it wasn't 'Sexy Yellow Rollerskates"! The girls screamed out loud: Yes, Jelly Fish were at number 1!! 'Click': Paige and Callum were catching the moment on their cameras.

The presenter then said something in Korean, which Hon Su explained was that they would be talking to the girls after the record had played. The four girls from Jelly Fish were still screaming and dancing around the room, and hugging everyone.

Yes, they had actually done it! They had made it to Number One!

Finally they calmed down, and waited for the number two song to finish. The presenter again said something in Korean, then started talking English again. "So, let's talk in English, so the girls from England can understand us. So, yes, Jelly Fish are indeed number one this week, with the song that CJDL wrote for them: Sexy Yellow Rollerskates. How does it feel girls?"

"Amazing! Wonderful! Wow!" they all started shouting out.

"Ok, Ahnjong, let me speak to you...."

"Oh, my, this is absolutely wonderful! And I'm so glad CJDL are here to share this moment with us!"

"What about you, Min Jee?"

"It makes all the hard work of the last 5 years so worthwhile!"

"I bet it does. Yun Hee, I guess you'll be performing the song again on TV this week?"

"Yes, but this week we're going to be joined by the four girls from CJDL."

"That sounds like it should be fun. Taeyang, you looking forward to that?"

"Oh, yes. The four girls only got here last night, but their smiles are as big as ours right now!"

"Well, congratulations to you all on getting your first number one! Hey, maybe one of the girls from CJDL would like to introduce the song?" Carol quickly moved closer to the phone: they had all done this sort of things many times before... in fact, Carol had introduced quite a few of the songs when she spent the afternoon on Croydon Radio.

"Hi, I'm Carol, from CJDL. Well done to Jelly Fish on their first hit record: this week's number one is 'Sexy Yellow Rollerskates' - yay!!". The song started to play, then after 5 seconds cut off, and the presenter was talking to them off-air.

"Thank you, err.. Carol, for that perfect introduction. And girls, well done on making number one: thanks for talking with me!". He then talked with them and their manager in Korean for a few moment, before Hon Su ended the call.

"You did it" said Dianne, "but I suspect you deserve it! Now, just take a few minutes to 'enjoy the moment'!". She turned to Linda: "Of course, you've not officially been through this yet, have you? Maybe we need to 'get our skates on' too, so you can celebrate your first number 1." Dianne was referring to the fact that they had had their last number 1 during their tour, before Linda had formally joined the group.

"I feel SO much better now that the waiting's over" said Taeyang.

Hon Su had gone over to the kitchen area, and returned with a couple of bottles of champagne that he'd taken out of the fridge. Lisa (that's Jenny's mum, in case you forgot) went to the kitchen, and found some glasses.

"You four deserve this, I know you've been working hard recently!"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Carol
« Reply #34 on: 16. February 2023, 21:08:52 PM »
Chapter 20 - At the National Museum

"So, what do you want to do this afternoon then?" asked Taeyang, after they finished the lunch that had been prepared for all 15 of them in the apartment.

"Is there a nice park somewhere around?" asked Jenny. It was clear her mind was in gear and thinking fast.

"Yes, there is..."

"Ok, so how about going to a park, and sharing an hour with your fans? It's a midweek afternoon, so I'm guessing not TOO many people will make it."

"You're kidding?"

"Not at all. They're the ones that got you to number one, so go and give something back! Don't worry, we'll be there too!"

"Hon Su, are we allowed to?" asked Taeyang.

"I don't see why not. Jenny's right, your fans are important, and I bet we'll get a load of coverage online. Let me have a word with the 'bosses', we might need a couple of extra security guys."

"Ok, when you make the post, you need to spell out the 'rules'..." and Jenny explained how the CJDL fans in England had quickly learned that if they behaved themselves, they got to spend a bit of time with their idols.


The Korean social media channels had been buzzing. First of all, Jelly Fish had been posting a few pics and messages, to celebrate their success. Then Jenny had, with help from the girls, posted a message, explaining 'the rules of engagement' if they did a 'fan meet', making it VERY clear that if there were ANY problems, they would all need to just leave, if only for their own safety. They she hinted that they might make an un-announced public appearance, but with no details about where or when.

They had decided to visit the National Museum of Korea: whilst there probably wasn't THAT much of interest for them to see, there were large paved areas (with seating) and parks around it, and while they were there, both Jenny and Min Jee posted messages saying where and when to meet them. The location had the great advantage that there was plenty of space and plenty of public transport to get there.

Finally, it was time to meet their fans. The three security guys who were with them went out first, and stood discretely back, keeping mainly out of the way, but ready to take action if needed. It goes without saying that Paige was recording all of this for her future documentary.

Already there were a couple of dozen fans waiting for them, and Ben, who was by now very used to these 'meets', went with Brian and Hon Su over to them.

"Hi, I'm Ben, I'm Jenny's boyfriend." Hearing Jenny's name, there were a few screams and cheers. "The girls are about to come over to see you: please, try and stay relaxed, I know you are all excited, but try and make this as much fun for THEM as it will be for you. Ok?". Hon Su repeated that in Korean. "The girls from CJDL have done this in England many times, and as long as you are all relaxed and are nice to them, then they will sit with you, talk to you, take selfies with you and so on. But if things become... 'difficult'... then they WILL walk away! Do you all want to have fun?" Again, Hon Su translated. Ben then briefly explained that Piage would be filming them all for her English documentary, and if this was a problem for them , then they should leave. Ben then walked back to where the girls were.

The girls, whilst dressed smartly, were dressed fairly casually, so when they came out of the museum, they weren't THAT obvious. The eight girls, plus boyfriend, brother and parents walked across to where the fans were, and the small group cheered loudly, but then quietened down.

"Hi everyone!" said Jenny, smiling and purposefully showing off her metal smile. The small crowd screamed out, but quickly quietened down as Jenny 'shushed' them "It's nice to meet you all! Let me introduce 'my team', then I'm sure one of the girls from Jelly Fish will introduce themselves too." Jenny introduced everyone. "And this is Min Jee....". Again the crowd shouted out, but quickly quietened down, as Min Jee introduced the girls from Jelly Fish.

So far, the fans were being very restrained, and behaving themselves surprisingly well: it was clear that they were willing to 'play ball' if it meant they got to spend some time with their idols.

"So, we're going to stay with you for a while, we're not in a big rush" said Carol. "I'm thinking that we should do some selfies first, then we were thinking that it might be fun for us to ask the girls from Jelly Fish some questions, and they can ask us some. Then I'm sure some of you will have some questions too. And more selfies for the late-comers before we go!" Taeyang, whose English was probably the best of the 4 Korean girls, quickly translated that into Korean. With help from Ben and Callum, the fans all got their cameras ready, passed them over, then sat with one or both bands to have their pictures taken. There were a LOT of smiles! Whilst most of the fans were wanting to have their pictures taken with Jelly Fish, Carol was pleasantly surprised - given how short a time they had actually been there - how many were wanting pics with them too.

"Ladies, we just found somewhere better for you to sit, if you're going to be talking to each other, it's only over there...." said Mike (Dianne's boyfriend), pointing. They all got up and walked the small distance. A few more fans had arrived, so Brian and Hon Su met them, explained what was going on, emphasising that as long as they were restrained, the girls would be more willing to spend time with them.

"So, can I start the questions?" asked Carol. As there were no complaints, she continued. "I'd like everyone to tell us how many brothers and sisters they have, and whether they are older or younger. Let me start: Just in case you forgot, I'm Carol. I have one sister, and she's four years older than me. Ahnjong, what about you?".

"I have a brother and a sister: my brother is two years older than me, my little sister is three years younger, and I love them both! Jenny?"

"Oh, right, yes, I'm Jenny, although my full name is actually Jennifer, which is what my boyfriend Ben calls me: no one else does though! I have 2 brothers: Michael is 3 years older than me, and Callum - come on over, Callum! - Callum here is 2 years younger than me. He works with the band. Oh, that's my mum and dad over there, they are CJDL's managers! ummm... Taeyan... do you have brothers and sisters?"

The questions session actually went on for about 20 minutes: it served two purposes. First, if they were all going to work together, and pretty much live together for the next 3 or 4 weeks, it was good to know a bit about each other. But second, and just as importantly, the fans loved it.

"Hey, I see we have a load more people here now, thanks for coming along. Don't worry, we'll make sure you all get selfies before we leave!" said Dianne. "By the way, if you haven't worked it out, those 4 girls over there are Jelly Fish, and we are CJDL. We're visiting Seoul because we wrote Jelly Fish's current song, and we're going to be on TV with them on Thursday to sing it with them." The girls from CJDL were showing off their experience at dealing with a small crowd of fans. Jenny was the one who had started doing it, but during their last tour, they did quite a few informal 'fan meets', and the other girls in the band were getting quite good at persuading the fans to stay calm.

"Ok, I bet you guys have a lot of questions for us too, don't you. Shhhh! Tell you what, rather than screaming out, put your hands up, and Ben, you can randomly choose someone... how does that sound?" suggested Jenny. Yes, they really WERE good at this. Ben 'randomly' chose a girl who was showing off a lovely metal smile (naughty boy, Ben!!!).

"You're Jenny, aren't you? How long have you had your braces? And haven't they been a problem, as a singer with CJDL?". Both Carol and Jenny smiled: after their earlier chat with Taeyang, they couldn't have wanted for a better question.

"I got my braces about 9 months ago now, it was between our first and second tours. In fact, if I remember right, it was two days after I met Ben for the first time! And no, they have never been a problem, in fact, I'd say the opposite: our fans found the fact that I had got them to be a very positive thing. I was in a position to show that braces, and things like headgear too, are actually quite 'normal' things, and people shouldn't be made to feel awkward and embarrassed if they have to wear them. I guess I'll have them for another three to six months, then, like Carol there, I'll have to wear retainers. I see you have braces too: got long to go?".

The questions continued, mainly aimed at the girls from Jelly Fish: some were quite simple, like "what's your favourite colour", others were more serious, asking them about boyfriends (no they don't have boyfriends), and why they wanted to become idols. The girls were good, they were realising that they could use their status to encourage their fans in positive ways.

"Ok," said Jenny, "I think that's enough questions - thank you for them, by the way, I think we all enjoyed them! I can see that a load more of you have joined us, and I absolutely KNOW you'll want to have selfies, especially with Jelly Fish, so let's try and get organised! We can sit over here, Jelly Fish over there. Get into a very British queue, camera apps ready: when you get to the front, pass your camera over, and one of the team will take a picture. If you want pics with both of us, then join the other queue too! Taeyang, want to translate for me?"

"Sure..." said Taeyang, who translated what Jenny had just said. Fifteen minutes later, all the pictures had been taken.

"Ok, final pictures... we'll stand over here, and you guys can take pictures of us." suggested Carol. They got themselves in two rows, with Jelly Fish standing at the back, and CJDL kneeling down in front of them.

While they had been doing this, Hon Su had called the coach driver, and he was now waiting for them.

"Hey, our bus is here!" said Yun Hee, "We need to go!"

"Thank you all for coming along, we all really enjoyed it, I hope you did too!" called out Jenny to the crowd. Minutes later, they were back in the relative calm of their coach.

"Well, I just had a text from Ben Jin at FY:" said Hon Su, "they've seen what's been going on online, and I think they are impressed at how well things seemed to go. So well done, everyone! And Jenny, thank you, that was a great idea - and I STILL can't work out how you managed to to keep all those fans so well behaved!"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Carol
« Reply #35 on: 17. February 2023, 20:25:28 PM »
Chapter 21: We need to talk about braces.

Back at the apartment, Jenny went over to Hon Su, Jelly Fish's manager.

"Excuse me, Hon Su, but have you got a few minutes? Carol and I need to talk to you..."

"Sure, of course."

"Why don't we go into our apartment, it will be a bit quieter in there?" suggested Carol. Hon Su followed Jenny and Carol throught to their apartment.

"So, is there a problem?"

"Well, no... and yes. It's about braces..." said Carol.

"Braces?" asked Hon Su.

"Yes, these things..." said Jenny, smiling and showing of the medium-sized metal brackets on her top and bottom teeth.

"Ok, what about them?"

"Look, I can understand why FY have rules about their idols not having boyfriends or girlfriends and that sort of stuff, but what's the big issue about your idols having braces?"

"Ah, right, you've been speaking with Yun Hee, haven't you?"

"Actually no, we were talking with Taeyang about it this morning, and how Yun Hee wants braces, but it seems that you won't let her. Why not? It's crazy! I'm sure she'd look a lot nicer if her teeth got fixed."

"Well, yes, you're right, although I should say that it's not me saying she can't have braces, it's just one of the FY rules...."

"Sounds like the rules are wrong! Outdated. I mean, yes, maybe ten, fifteen years ago, braces had a bit of a bad image, but these days, all sorts of people have braces, even members of well known English girl bands! Braces are so normal, and no one REALLY cares that much about them. Were you there when the fans started asking questions earlier on? That one about my braces?"

"Yes, I heard that, and I do admit that, to quite an extent, I agree with you. And yes, you're right, I suspect those rules were written not too long after when FY started up, so about 15 years ago."

"Sounds like maybe it's time to get the rules changed, don't you think, bring them up to date? Hon Su, you actually work for FY, don't you? Can't you have a word with some one?"

"Yes, I probably can, but....". Hon Su paused

"...but why would they listen to someone like you? Is that what you were going to say?"

"Yes, I guess I was."

"Sounds like you need a bit of 'leverage', something to make them pay a bit of attention to you?"

Hon Su smiled. "Yes, I guess I do, and something tells me that you're about to give me some..."

"You mean like... erm... you have 4 visiting English girls, who are upset by FY's stupid and outdated rules about braces, and you're worried they may not be wanting to promote FY quite so positively? I'm sure we could think of a few more like that, if you need them!" said Jenny with a wry smile.

"You know, your father is a good negotiator: I can see you've learned very well from him!" replied Hon Su with a smile. "Let me see what I can do!"

"Thanks, Hon Su, we can't really ask for more than that!"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Carol
« Reply #36 on: 21. February 2023, 00:01:54 AM »
Chapter 22: time to get dancing!

They all managed to get to bed at a sensible time on the Tuesday evening, which meant they all felt a lot better when they woke up early on the Wednesday. They now had 2 days - well, probably more like 1.5 days - to learn and perfect the dance routine from Jelly Fish that they would be performing on TV on Thursday evening.

Not only did FY effectively have its own school (technically it wasn't their school, but they had a LOT of their students there!), they had their own music practice rooms and dance studios that the bands could use to practice in: Park Hon Su, the band's manager, had booked one of the rooms for them for the next two days. The CJDL team had also asked him to book them a music room for the Friday, so they could run through their set, as well as check out the borrowed electric drum kit and piano: they didn't really want any surprises when they performed on stage on the Saturday.

They were met by a guy called Holangi, a choreographer and dance trainer. The morning started with our four girls first of all 'limbering up - they hadn't danced for weeks! Next they were learning several specific dance moves, working on them until they became completely familar with them. It wasn't QUITE so bad for Jenny, Dianne and Carol, because they had, historically, had some professional choreography training before their first tour, and done a lot of dancing onstage. By comparison, Linda, as a session musician, had had no need to do any ongoing dance training, and so was struggling a bit! Of course, the four girls from Jelly Fish were just taking things easy: they were already up to speed on the dance routine, they just needed to be able to dance with CJDL.

Callum and Paige were also there, filming bits of what they were doing: Mike and Ben had gone out with Jenny's mum and dad to do a bit of 'sightseeing'... much to the annoyance of our four girls.

"Oh, I'm aching in places I forgot I had" said Linda, when they stopped for lunch.

"Don't worry," said Yun Hee, "you're actually doing pretty well."

"Yeah, you're all doing far better than I thought you might!" added Ahnjong.

After having a long enough break to let their lunch settle, they ran through the dance routine again, then spent time working on a few of the more difficult bits, then did another run through the whole thing.

"Ok, let's all take a break, then how about we try it whilst you all sing the song, like you'll be doing tomorrow evening?" suggested Holangi. Dancing whilst singing is a bit harder, but they already knew the song very well, plus they'd been singing along quite a bit throughout the day.

They had an early finish, at about 4pm: by then, the girls had really had enough, and just needed to rest a bit.

"Hey, Holangi, thanks so much for today! See you again tomorrow." said Carol.

The girls went and showered, and put on some fresh clothes. "Don't bother with too much makeup," suggested Carol.

"Ah, Carol wants to go out in public...." suggested Linda.

"Absolutely! I didn't come all this way to never go out and see some shops! I'm sure there must be SOMETHING near here!"

"Yes, there's a nice shopping centre about 10 minutes walk away...." replied Taeyang. "If all of us are going, I suggest we split up into 2 or 3 groups, we might be a little less conspicuous."

As they did their hair, they did things they normally didn't. Carol normally wore hers down, so she put it up into a ponytail. Yun hee, on the other hand, normally wore a ponytail, so she put hers down, and Min Jee clipped hers back in a slightly different way. Yes, if you looked at them from a few meters, you're recognise them; but from a distance, it would be less likely. And, of course, Taeyang was right: context is important: if they went as a group of four, it becomes more obvious who they might be, but in smaller mixed groups, they were more likely to get away with it.

Their coach was waiting at the back, so they went and spoke with the security guys who was waiting there, and he agreed to go with them to the shopping centre. He would be with one of the groups, and if anyone else had an issue, well, they all had phones!


"Thanks guys, I enjoyed that, it was nice to get out, and it was fun to see the sort of shops you have here" said Carol to their 4 hosts a bit over an hour later. Most of them had just been looking, but Ahnjong and Taeyang bought a couple of simple bits of clothing.

While out, they got a couple of 'looks', from people maybe wondering if they had recognised them, but otherwise, they had a pleasant and anonymous time.

Finally, they got back to the apartment, where they met up with Jenny's parents, Ben and Mike, and Hon Su.

"How did it go today?" asked Jenny's mum, as Jenny hugged Ben.

"Well, as expected, our 4 hosts here had no issues, but I think the rest of us have a few aches from bits we've not really used for a while!" replied Jenny. "Other than that, the routine is looking ok, I'm sure a couple more hours tomorrow will do it!"

"I'm guessing you're probably all hungry?" said Hon Su. There were various nods and comments of agreement. "Good, I thought we'd go to a place that's not too far away: it's not a fancy place, but does good food, what I'd call 'home food': I suggest we use the coach to get there, and we can walk back afterwards."

Dinner was good, and four of the girls (Carol, Linda, Taeyang and Yun Hee) took a diversion to a small 'street bar', which was basically a pop-up tent with chairs and tables, where you can both drink and eat.

"I think, sometime, we need to come out and have dinner at a place like this," said Linda.

"Absolutely!" replied Carol. "The food I've seen looks better than what you'd probably get at one of those donner places down in Croydon!"

"Hey, that's not too hard to do!" replied Linda.

"Ok, next week sometime?" suggested Yun Hee.

"Yeah. We can let the 'couples' go somewhere nice, and the rest of us can come out and eat and get pissed!" said Carol, raising her glass of soju.

"I'll be glad when tomorrow and Saturday are over, then we can take a bit of a break." said Taeyang.

"I doubt it: I bet we'll need to do some TV shows and other stuff next week ..." replied Yun Hee.

"Welcome to our world!" said Carol. "My experience is that it goes in spurts: you're busy doing TV and out on tour for a bit, but then you get a bit of down-time, time to write some new material. I know it's probably a bit different for you guys, but after all the excitement of 'rollerskates' dies down, make sure you get Hon Su to give you a bit of a break." 

Whilst they could have stayed out late, and easily have got drunk, they realised that the next day was going to be a busy one, so went back 'home' after a couple of drinks.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Carol
« Reply #37 on: 21. February 2023, 17:33:29 PM »
Chapter 23: We're going on TV!

"Hey," said Holangi, I have an idea, come with me!"

They had started dancing again at about 9:30, and worked gently over the next two and a bit hours, taking several breaks. It was now just after 12, and they were looking forward to having a break for lunch.

Holangi grabbed the large Bluetooth speaker he was using to play their backing track, and lead them down to the cafeteria area, where many of the other students were sitting, having their lunch.

"Oh, lunch already?" asked Carol.

"Not just yet!" said Holangi, "You guys really need an audience, don't you? Here's a very discerning audience for you...". Carol smiled: yes, she actually liked this idea! Holangi clapped his hands a couple of times to get everyone's attention, then said something in Korean: the only bits Carol recognised were the words 'TV', 'Jelly Fish' and 'CJDL'.

While he did that, Paige set up the camera, so that she could see both the girls dancing, plus the 'audience'.

"Ok guys, take your positions in the open area over there....". With the eight girls in position, the music started, and although they weren't using a PA system, the place was small enough that with eight of them singing, it didn't really matter. Everyone stopped eating their lunch for the 4 minutes the eight girls were dancing and singing. After that, everyone started clapping and cheering, and many of them came over, and started talking to the four girls from Jelly Fish... clearly they knew them quite well.

A couple of older people, clearly a couple of the teachers, came over, and spoke to them all, expressing their pleasure at how well they had just done.

Holangi came over to our four girls: "There you go: they all think you're ready for tonight! And so do I... grab some lunch, then have a break, then we'll do a last run through, before you go and freshen up, and get yourselves ready to go to the studios."

Carol took a moment, and went over to Paige. "Hey, how you doing? You ok with doing all this filming?"

"It's not all that bad, actually. I mean, earlier when you guys were practising, I didn't really need to do a lot. Whats more fun for me is watching you guys practising and doing stuff, I've never been so close to you for such a long time, to REALLY see what you guys have to do. Yesterday and today, you guys have been working hard, you have my respect!"

"Just wait till next week, when we REALLY start doing the dance practice, I have no doubt they are going to push us hard!"

"Something tells me you won't mind that..."

"I don't think we will, I think we are all realistic enough to know what we'd be letting ourselves in for. Tell you what, package up one of the run-throughs we do this afternoon, and post it online will you? I'm sure our fans back home would like to see what we're doing. Also, you could do something when we're rehearsing tomorrow for the live gig...."

"Yeah, ok, I'll let Callum know, I'm sure we can quickly pull out a couple of minutes of the video later on!".


After taking them all back to the apartment to get freshened up, the coach took all of them (including Ben etc) off to the TV studios. Whilst the show was live at 7:30, they needed them there by about 4pm to get ready and do a run-through.

The four CJDL girls were used to this, having been on so many TV shows, so were quite relaxed. The girls from Jelly Fish had been on far fewer shows, so were a little more stressed out. While they were waiting, Jenny went and had a word with the four Korean girls.

"Remember, whilst you may think you're very important, these guys have to deal with people like us every week, we're just 'cattle' to them, so when they tell you to do something, don't argue, just do it, it's easier for everyone, and to be honest, they'll probably respect you more for not making their lives any harder than they are already!" explained Jenny. "If you have a problem of any sort, tell Hon Su, that's what he's paid for, to sort out your problems. Get someone to do a visual check on you too, check you look ok. Don't take your phones onto the set, leave them with Hon Su. And make sure you take a pee before you go out there, even if you don't think you need one! We all have one job tonight, and that's to go out there, look pretty, and sing as we dance. I'm sure you all know most of that, but better for it to be said than we all end up looking stupid!"

Jenny thought back to one of their earlier TV appearances: she'd been drinking loads of coffee and soft drinks, and almost peed herself in the middle of one live interview! She'd never been caught out again though!

They had been and checked out their costumes yesterday: JY had organised them, and most of them fitted well, although Carol's needed a slight adjustment to make it fit her properly. So they got changed, then went into makeup. Paige was able to video them as they waited in their 'green room', also when they were in makeup, but she had been clearly told that she could not do any filming on the studio floor.

There was a lot of sitting around and waiting, which is pretty normal whenever you go on TV, but finally they were called on to set to perform, which all went very well: being the number one act, they performed last, so soon after they finished their performance, the show was over.

Back in the green room, Hon Su came in with someone they didn't recognise. "This is Park Ben Jin, he's one of the executives of FY Entertainment".

"Thank you everyone, you all performed well," he said. "Ho Su, which are Carol and that other girl I need to speak to?" he asked Hon Su quietly.

"Carol, Jenny, do you have a moment, Ben Jin would like a quiet word with you." They all went to the other end of the room.

"I understand that you aren't to happy with the rules we have at FY." he said.

"Um, yes, it's just that.." started Carol. Ben Jin held up his hand, to say 'stop'/

"And I'm glad you said something. Yes, those rules were written when we first started the company, about 15 years ago, and as a result of your comments, I'm going to be reviewing all of the rules, bring them up to date. As for the braces rule: yes, back then, braces were not a popular thing, but now, yes, they are very much more popular. Someone showed me your posts when you first got your braces: you definitely know how to use the internet to your advantage, don't you."

"So, you're going to get rid of the braces rule then?" asked Jenny, smiling and making sure that Ben Jin saw the metal on her teeth.

"Yes, I think so, and as long as people are sensible, I can't see an issue."

"And Yun Hee?"

"I think she should be the first of our idols to get braces, don't you? Shall we tell her?"

"I have a feeling she's gonna be very pleased!" said Carol.

"Tun Hee!" called out Ben Jin, "can you join us please?"

"Err, yes sir?" said Tun He when she came over.

"Don't worry," said Jenny, "it's actually good news..."

"Tun Hee, Carol and Jenny here highlighted that our rule about braces is a bit old and out of date. Would you like to have braces?"

Tun Hee's face lit up. "Really?"

"Yes, really, and as a gesture, I'll make sure that FY pays for them! Just make sure you get some good publicity for us!"

"I will, sir, don't worry!"

"Ok, so now I need to have a word with your manager, Mr Stevens, isn't it?"

"Yes, that's my father, he's over there with my mum, they both manage the band."

"Well, Carol, Jenny, it was nice to talk to you, and thank you both for being willing to stand up and make your opinion known!", and he went of to talk to  Jenny's mum and dad.

"Oh my goodness.... so what did you say?"

"We passed a message up the chain via Hon Su, strongly suggesting that FY's rule maybe needed revamping, especially the one about no braces." said Jenny.

"You missed out the bit about 'maybe not wanting to promote FY quite so positively'!" said Carol.

"We got the feeling that it would be quite hard for you guys to make such comments, but we're not working for FY, so they can't really do much to us if we start bad-mouthing them! But it needed to be said!" added Jenny.

"Thank you both so much, but how did you know I wanted braces so much?" asked Tun Hee, smiling widely, and not worrying about showing off her crooked teeth.

"Well, apart from the fact that, when you look it's pretty clear you need them, we were talking with Taeyang the other morning," explained Carol.

"Ah, right. Hey, I'm going to have to find out from you about braces now, aren't I?"

"We'd be very happy to help.... Anyway, lets get back to the others." said Jenny, turning around. "Hey, where's mum and dad gone?"

"Hun Su's gone too..." said Tun Hee. About 10 minutes later, Hun Su returned.

"Hey, you know where mum and dad are?" Jenny asked him.

"Yeah, they needed to go off with Park Ben Jin, they need to speak with someone in London, but they said they'd call you soon."

"Ah, ok. I wonder what that's all about?"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Carol
« Reply #38 on: 23. February 2023, 22:33:48 PM »
Chapter 24: Gig Rehearsals

After performing on TV, they were 'abandoned' by both of Jenny's parents, so they went back to the apartment where dinner had been planned for them all. Callum got a phone call from her dad, which caused him to go off to his room, to do something, but he was back a few minutes later.

"So, what's going on then?" asked Jenny, "What's mum and dad doing that's so important that they can't be with us?"

"They said they would explain all, but seems they were having an important meeting, they needed to play them some of your new stuff..."

"Very interesting... but I thought we were signed up with 'Big Dog Records'?" said Dianne.

"You are," replied Callum, "but that covers just the UK, and I'm pretty sure, Europe too. I get the felling that FY are hoping to make some money from you guys!"

"Well, if it means a bit more money for us all, then I'm not going to complain" said Linda.

"Sadly, Linda, you're not named on our old stuff, so you'll only get something on our new stuff. But don't worry, I can't imagine it's going to make us three millionaires in the next six months! I mean, I can imagine there's only a small interest in us here in Korea." said Carol.

"Actually, don't underestimate yourselves, there's been a lot of stuff going on online after you were all on TV earlier."


The Friday was 'just' a rehearsal day: they were already pretty familiar with the stuff they planned on playing, but they DID need to rehearse 'Rollerskates', which they would play as their encore, as Jelly Fish were going to join them. Also Jenny needed to check out the piano, and check that her configs would work ok, and Dianne needed to check out a drumkit she'd never used before.

They got to the rehearsal rooms by just after 9:30... initially Jelly Fish were rehearsing in one room, CJDL in another. The good news was that Dianne managed to get her electric drum kit set up pretty quickly, and the piano, as promised, was exactly the same as the one Jenny had, and her configs loaded from her USB stick first time. After a quick run-through of their 30 minute set - mainly to check their timings - they went to where Jelly Fish were practising with a backing band.

They were a VERY different band: while CJDL were now singing while they played, Jelly Fish didn't play themselves, they had a backing band - no doubt made up of session musicians - leaving the group to sing and dance... so their rehearsal today was as much about dancing as singing.

"You guys are such good dancers...." said Jenny, as they ended a song.

"I guess it's something to do with the 4 years of practice!" replied Min Jee.

"So, you guys want to come and run through 'rollerskates' then?"

"Let's have a quick break, then yes...." suggested Min Jee, as she went and grabbed some water. They were sitting relaxing when Brian, Lisa and Hon Su arrived. Jenny got up and went over to her mum and gave her a hug.

"So what were you guys doing last night that was so important that you couldn't join us for dinner?"

"Yeah, sorry about that, but we had a long meeting with Park Ben Jin and a couple of others, hopefully earning us all some money!"

"I'll let you off then. So what's happening?"

"Well, first of all, you guys need to go over and overdub your voices onto Jelly Fish's recording of 'rollerskates' later on. They want to release a version with all eight of you singing, but it needs to happen straight away if there's any chance of it selling."

"So you've signed a record deal for us with FY?"

"Not quite - well, not yet anyway. We've signed a contract with FY for 'rollerskates', and we're discussing terms for a more general deal. We had a long phone call with the guys at Big Dog last night, and while they cover you for Europe, they are very interested in some sort of deal with FY for your back-catalogue, plus any new stuff you do... for distribution here in Asia. Also, if you guys are interested, there's the possibility of more 'joint ventures', either with Jelly Fish, or other idol groups."

"Oooh, interesting!" said Jenny.

"Yes. But lets get tomorrow out the way first... oh, and the recording bit done" said Brian. Brian's phone beeped. "Ah, that's an email back from Yu-Eye - she's the girl's producer, you met her the other evening - she asks if you can make 5pm tonight? She says the studio you'll be using is pretty small, so can you make it no more than six of you in total?"

"Five o'clock should be fine," replied Carol, "We'll have finished getting ready for tomorrow by lunchtime, and this afternoon I was rather hoping we can just try out some of our new ideas, so we can be ready whenever."

"Talking about rehearsing," said Linda, "we need to go and run through 'rollerskates' a couple of times? It's going to be a different performance if we're playing and Jelly Fish are singing to something they aren't quite as familiar with."

"In that case, we'd better 'put our skates on', literally." said Taeyang.

"What, you gonna perform in skates?"

"We're not sure yet, we want to try it out, see if it's sensibly possible".


"So, on the flight over, you'll remember I didn't get a lot of sleep, because I was working on something?" said Jenny to the other three. They had finished lunch, and had decided, as suggested by Carol, to work on some new stuff.

"Yeah, you've not said much about it since..."

"Sorry about that, been working on making something you can sing from..." Jenny passed out copies of music and words, in colour.

"What's all this lot then?"

"It's a worship song. Let me try and explain: it's not one of our normal 'we all sing it together' things, this is a 4-part acapella, with 4 very distinct parts. I can kinda hear it in my mind, and I know it's not going to be an easy one... which is probably why God gave it to us. I think he's trying challenge us a bit, stretch us. But I have no doubt that we can do it. So, you've each got a printout that's unique to you: your part is the top one, the other 3 parts are underneath, a bit fainter, so you can see how the four parts go together..."

The three girls spent a moment looking through the music that Jenny had given them.

"You said 'challenge' didn't you... it's definitely going to be a challenge, isn't it?" said Dianne, with a big smile on her face!

"I suggest we all go away and find somewhere quiet to familiarise ourselves with our own parts, maybe sing it through a few times. Then get back together in maybe an hour?" suggested Jenny. Jenny went over to Ben, and hugged him. "Don't you find this boring?" she asked him.

"A little bit, but it's actually quite interesting, watching how you four work together: you guys do most of your rehearsing when I'm not there, so it's a side of you I don't see that often."

"But you've seen us rehearse on tour?"

"That's different, that's mainly things like sound checks, or when you're messing around together back at the hotel. This is different. I mean, when you were working with Jelly Fish earlier, that really was quite amazing: I'm looking forward to seeing what that looks like on stage tomorrow!"

"Yes, that should be fun. Oh, Ben, thank you for... well, just BEING here with me!" said Jenny.


"Hey, Linda, want to work together on this?" suggested Carol about 15 minutes later.

"Yeah, ok..."

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Carol
« Reply #39 on: 26. February 2023, 18:38:01 PM »
Chapter 25: The recording studio

By 5pm, they had arrived at the small recording studios. 'They' being the four girls, along with Paige and Callum (who would do some more videoing): it seems that the others' had decided to find a bar, and have a gentle drink together, while the girls did their over-dubbing!

It was a bit different from the studios they tended to use, with just a relatively small booth for recording voices. Outside were various keyboards and so on, all electronic (so no audio issues!), and if they needed something bigger for any reason, then they would go elsewhere. For what they needed to do today, it was excellent, but would not have worked for them if they had to lay down some guitar and drum tracks as a band.

"Hi, come on in..." said Yu-Eye, Jelly Fish's producer they had met the other day at dinner.

"Nice to meet you again!" said Linda, who was still excited to meet one of her 'heros'.

Paige was with them, and was filming what was going on: this was exactly the sort of footage that would be good for a program about CJDL's visit to Korea.

"Right, I'll give it 30 minutes and two takes..." said Carol.

"Pardon?" said Yu-Eye, not fully appreciating what Carol had just said.

"A maximum of two takes, unless we screw up, and we're out of here in 30 minutes...." explained Carol. Yu-eye looked a bit perplexed.

"Look, Yu-Eye," continued Carol, "with the greatest of respect to you as a producer, but we're hardly working on a piece of art here, and our careers hardly depend on this song doing well, let alone being 100% perfect. We're giving the bedroom a quick coat of paint to brighten it up, we're not trying to paint a Picasso! We know the song well enough that, unless we really screw up, one or two takes will give us what we need: the twentieth take would be no better.... besides, I need an alcoholic drink, plus I'm hungry, and want some dinner!"

Jenny looked at Carol, thinking about what she had just said. "Actually, I think you're probably spot-on right there, Carol. This is just a quick 'commercial job' to earn us all money, it's gonna be forgotten about in 4 weeks time! Come on, let's just get on with it...."

"But we need to set up a couple more mics..." said Yu-Eye.

"I see two mics in there, that'll do us!" said Carol. "Look, we've been in profession studios enough to know what we need to do, let alone the countless time we've done this at home. Trust me, you might just get a surprise!" said Carol. In real terms, Carol was right. Besides, Yu-Eye wasn't actually THEIR producer... like them, she was there to help them knock off a quick bit of commercial music.

Yu-Eye rolled her eyes (no doubt thinking something like 'bloody young pop idols, think they know it all...'), and the girls went into the booth, followed by Paige: again this would be good video, watching the girls getting prepared. The tech guy came in, and made sure their headphones were ok for them, and the girls limbered up their voices for a few minutes, during which time the tech guy set the levels up.

"Hey, Mr tech guy, what's your name?" asked Dianne.

"Umm... I'm Park Ji-Hun"

"Well, nice to meet you, Ji-Hun, and thanks for everything you're doing here today!". Ji-Hun smiled: clearly he wasn't that used to getting thanked by the artists he recorded.

"Hey, let's try a run-through without any music playing" suggested Jenny.

"Actually, before we do that, I think we should just stop for a moment" said Dianne.

"Ah, yes, good point! Linda, why don't you lead us?" said Jenny.

The four girls all held hands, closed their eyes, and dipped their heads. "Hey, God, thanks for everything so far, I think we're all enjoying this trip to Korea. But that doesn't mean we're not humble enough to know that you gave us these skills we're about to use, so, as ever, we ask you to be with us as we do this! Amen!". Linda didn't actually SAY that, she SANG it, and the 'amen' at the end was loud and powerful.

"I like the style there, Linda!" said Carol.

"Ah, it's boring just saying it, singing it's much more fun, plus I'm hoping he likes the gesture!" replied Linda.

"Right, we ready to do this?" asked Carol.

"Need me to leave?" asked Paige.

"Nah! You know how to be quiet, so why not stay, and get some good close-ups of us?" suggested Linda. Yu-eye and the tech guy didn't say anything, no doubt looking forward to seeing the girls screw it all up.

"Hey, make sure you record this, maybe we'll release an acapella version of it!" said Carol with a big smile. They positioned themselves, Linda and Carol in front of one mic, Jenny and Dianne in front of the other. "Ready? One.. two.. three.."

Three and a half minutes later, after a perfect acapella rendition, Yu-Eye had a big smile on her face: yes, they really WERE good at this, and she now understood that what they had said about '2 takes' wasn't showing off, and she now suspected they would probably do what was needed on the first take. "Nicely sung, ladies. Let us know when you're ready to do it with the music." said Ji-Hun.

"You going to give us the whole thing, with the 4 girls on, or just the backing track?" asked Dianne.

"Probably better to give you the whole thing... do you want the vocals a bit quieter though?" asked Ji-Hun.

"Let's go with full levels the first time, we can get you to turn them down on the second take, if it's an issue." replied Carol. "Want to play a bit of it now, so we can get our headphone volumes right?"

As Ji-Hun fed them the music, they all adjusted their headphone volumes, and started to sing along. "How does that sound?" asked Carol.

"It sounds fine to me!" said Yu-Eye, "You all ready?".

Carol looked quickly at the others. "Yeah... let's do this!". The music started, and the girls joined in at exactly the right point. "So how did it sound?" she asked afterwards.

Yu-Eye had a smile on her face. "Ok, so that was probably just fine, but lets do a second take... you never know, it MIGHT be better!". All the time Paige had been recording what was going on: this was great video!

"Hey, Carol..." said Jenny as they finished the second take, "you just did all that with your retainers in!"

Carol smiled, at the same time running her tongue around her mouth. "Yeah, I did, didn't I? Hey, Yu-Eye, did that actually sound ok?"

"Don't worry, it sounded just fine to me! And you guys have my respect: you just did what you said you would, and I wasn't really expecting that. I guess you've been doing this a bit longer than many of the bands with FY have! Hey, before you go, you got ten minutes? I have something I'd like to talk to you about, not sure if it's of interest to you, but it's worth asking."

"Yeah, ok..." said Linda as they left the voice booth, and came out into the 'office' area.

With the four girls all out of the voice booth, Yu-Eye looked over at Ji-Hun and nodded. Music started playing out of the speakers, and Linda recognised it straight away: it was the OP (= theme tune) from 'Dragon Slayer - Umibo', one of the many songs that Yu-Eye was known for. Just as the vocals were due to start, Linda started to sing, and then suddenly realised that Ji-Hun had set the vocal track level to be quite low.

"Go on.." said Yu-Eye, "I'd love to hear you sing it....". Linda continued to sing the song: she couldn't remember all the words, and missed a couple of the notes, but otherwise gave a quite amazing rendition. Rather than what you might have expected Linda's voice to sound like - if she had sung normally - this was a very much more 'girlie' voice, as you'd expect to hear on an anime OST.

Jenny, Carol and Dianne were all looking on, in awe. "Where the hell did THAT voice come from? That was pretty spectacular, Linda!" said Jenny.

"Oh, I was in the choir at school, didn't I tell you?" replied Linda, smiling, and feeling rather proud of herself.

"Anyone else want to give it a go?" asked Yu-Eye.

"I think I'd need a bit of practice first!" replied Carol. "So what's this about?"

"The other day, Linda said that she not only liked that sort of music, she said that she wished she could write some, but wasn't sure where to start. Several weeks ago, I was approached by a production company, asking if I was at all interested in working on an OST for a new anime they've started working on. After meeting you the other day, I had a listen to your music: I was assuming it would be more stuff like 'Sexy Rollerskates', but got a very pleasant surprise when I heard your more recent stuff. So I thought I'd play that track, and see what your reaction would be... to be honest, I rather hoped that one of you, maybe even Linda, might sing along, but I had no idea she would be quite so good as she was! Look, I guess the big question is: would you guys be at all interested in maybe working with me, to put together a load of stuff for the OST? They don't want it to be quite as 'full-on' as that one was, but it probably needs to be a bit 'rockier' than what you're doing now. Linda... the rest of you... interested?"

"Wow. I'm certainly not going to say no, but I think we all need to talk about it a bit more. Seems to me that maybe you two guys should join us all for dinner!" replied Linda.

"I need to mix this down, they need it ready tomorrow morning at the lastest, but why don't you join them, Yu-Eye?" replied Ji-Hun. "And ladies: very nicely sung tonight, I wish many of the other idol groups were as disciplined!"

Offline anton08

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Re: Story: Carol
« Reply #40 on: 27. February 2023, 07:45:23 AM »
Sorry, but I can´t help wishing more braces aspects in this story.  :(

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: Story: Carol
« Reply #41 on: 27. February 2023, 09:04:09 AM »
Patience, my friend. Sparky is telling the story the way he feels it should go. Not all stories are about the braces, some stories have braces in them as part of the story.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Carol
« Reply #42 on: 27. February 2023, 13:14:57 PM »
Whilst I could give everyone in the story some braces, it would be totally unbelievable, and would quickly get boring.

I can tell you that one of the Jelly Fish girls wil get braces soon....

Offline xxxforce

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Re: Story: Carol
« Reply #43 on: 27. February 2023, 18:02:46 PM »
Just keep on the good work Sparky - You can't meet everyones taste ;)

I really enjoy this Story (with and without braces) :)

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Carol
« Reply #44 on: 27. February 2023, 18:32:08 PM »
Just keep on the good work Sparky - You can't meet everyones taste ;)

I really enjoy this Story (with and without braces) :)


One day, I was feeling a bit silly, and wrote this as an abrupt end to the story:

Chapter xx - Off to rehearsals

The following morning, the eight girls, along with Paige and Callum, got onto the bus to go and do their dance preparation for the TV show on the Thursday.
On the way there, the bus had a tyre blowout, causing it to swerve into the oncoming lane of traffic, where it was hit by two very large trucks.
Despite the paramedics best efforts, all 10 passengers, and the driver, were declared dead at the scene.

The End.

Yeah, ok, maybe a bit brutal!!!