Audio Killed the Radio Star

Written on January 26th, 2010 by Adam in Short Stories + Flash Fiction

“You don’t understand,” he screamed. “I’m DJ Floyd McVay. Don’t you recognise me?”

The security guard glanced at him and shook his head.

“Why would I recognise you? You’re on the radio.”

DJ Floyd McVay was young and talented. Everyone told him that. Well, all his Facebook friends told him that at least.

“Why don’t you close your eyes and listen to my voice then?” Floyd had been working at Kilchester FM for nine long months and security still wouldn’t let him in.

“I don’t think so. Now just run along before someone gets hurt.”

“Hurt? Hurt!?” He’d been here two months longer than DJ Cristal Stainback whose show started when his finished. He knew she had no problem getting through the door. But all that was going to change. “I absolutely demand you let me in,” Floyd squawked. “I-er, I need to prepare for my show.”

“That’s what they all say,” the security guard shook his head.

“You’re just doing this to annoy me aren’t you? My show finished an hour ago and when I walked out the building I walked past you.”

“That’s what they all say,” the security guard shook his head again.

“Stop saying that! It’s five o’clock in the sodding morning, it’s not like I could pose a security risk.”

“That, sir, is what they all say,” and again the security guard shook his head.

“That’s what who all say? All the people who are queuing around the block to host a show on the least listened to show this side of North Pole radio? The listeners to this horrendous excuse for a radio station are so overwhelmingly stupid they barely have the intelligence to press the buttons on their mobiles to call us. And, my God, when they speak – it’s like someone’s reanimated the dead!”

The security guard kept staring and tapped his biro on the newspaper in front of him.

“Fine, here,” Floyd reached into his pocket, plucked out his security pass and thrust it across the desk, deflated.

The security guard inspected it carefully, looking from the photo to Floyd and back several times before saying, “There, was that so hard?”

Although he’d lost valuable time he was sure he could still get the job done because that bitch Cristal was a creature of habit. He knew at precisely three a.m. she would play a song that lasted longer than four minutes. As soon as the song started he also knew she’d go to the toilet and last but not least she’d pick up a fresh cup of coffee from the machine. Once that little ritual was complete she would scuttle back into the studio in time to do her next spot. The quiz.

All Floyd had to do was replace her jingles with some he had prepared specially. Then the listeners would be bombarded with some well-prepared profanity. It would be a miracle if all she did was lose her job. In this town he suspected a lynching wasn’t out the question.

And then nothing but nothing would stand in the way of DJ Floyd McVay’s promotion to host of the coveted Kilchester breakfast show. From what they were saying on the internet she was his only competition when the current DJ stepped down next month. He made a mental note to use one of his fake accounts to create a ‘Floyd McVay for Breakfast’ group on Facebook when he got home.

His tongue touched his dry lips and he stood around the corner, out of sight and waiting. It was dark in the corridor but Floyd’s eyes were accustomed to the dark. Permanently accustomed to the dark. Sometimes he didn’t see daylight for months. But all that was going to change very, very soon.

He heard the familiar noise of the heavy studio door opening and closing and the clack-clack of Cristal’s heels heading off towards the toilets. He smiled and stifled a laugh.

“What you doing lurking in the corridor?” the security guard turned on his flashlight and shone it at Floyd who, in turn jumped into the air whilst making a noise that sounded a bit like bwahhh!

“How long have you been there?” hissed Floyd.

“A while. Don’t think you’re him,” said the guard

“Him who?” said Floyd

“That crap DJ. Don’t think you’re him otherwise…”

“I am him.”

“Otherwise why’d you be sneaking around?” said the guard.

“And I’m not crap. Who said I was crap?”

The security guard turned off his flashlight and put his hand on Floyd’s scrawny shoulder.

“Come on, whoever you are. Don’t give a shit, I’m chucking you out.”

Floyd glanced at his watch. Cristal had already been gone for just over a minute. He didn’t have time for this.

“How much do you earn?” said Floyd, reaching up to the security guard’s hand and lifting it as calmly as he could manage from his shoulder.

“What? Err, none of your business,” the guard’s hand started to rise again but a frown had invaded his face. “Err, why?”

“Well, let’s say tonight you were going to earn what you earn in a week helping me do something you shouldn’t help me to do.”

The security guard’s frown dropped further on the right hand side of his face leaving him with one raised eyebrow.

“And let’s say,” continued Floyd. “That it’s something which could get us both sacked. Or it could earn us both a load of money.”

“Us?”

“Yes. All we have to do is get her sacked then I can take you on as, oh I don’t know, let’s say my personal assistant.”

The security guard stared at Floyd. Something was happening in his head but, like an antique slot-machine, it was impossible to predict what the outcome of it would be.

After what appeared to have been gargantuan effort he looked ready to impart his answer.

“Alright then,” he said. “Cash up front though.”

“Erm, I don’t have it on me but here’s my cash card as security. PIN number is my birthday – fifteen twelve.”

“Fair enough and if you don’t give me the money I’ll tear your face off.”

“Fair enough.”

And so, with less than a minute left, Floyd sprinted through the door of the studio, replaced the jingles and sprinted back out grinning like… well, like a DJ from a local radio station actually.

Moments later the clack clack of DJ Cristal Stainback echoed down the corridor as she returned for the surprise of her career. The security guard and Floyd made their way back to reception and the guard flipped a switch. The silence was sucked from the room as some forgotten rock ballad hurtled towards its thunderous apex.

“I usually don’t have it on,” said the guard. “It’s crap.”

“You said. Now shut up and listen.”

The pair of them stared intently at a speaker just beside the front desk as the record finished and Cristal began introducing the next feature. Floyd’s grin fell away for a moment when she announced that today she wouldn’t be doing the usual quiz.

“Instead,” her voice was clear and sharp over the expensive sound system. “I have an all new feature for you, my darlings.”

Hope began to shoehorn itself back into Floyd brain. A new feature meant new jingles so all was not lost.

“I want you all to phone in and let me know what you think of this recording.”

Floyd giggled, enjoying the butterflies in his stomach.

And then he heard his own voice emanating from the speakers.

“…the least listened to show this side of North Pole radio? The listeners to this horrendous excuse for a radio station are so overwhelmingly stupid that they barely have the intelligence to press the buttons on their mobiles to call us. And, my God, when they speak it’s like someone’s reanimated the dead!”

The switchboard to the left of the security guard started flashing. Slowly at first, then brighter and bright until all the lights on it were dancing feverishly.

“She put you up to this didn’t she?”

“I’m afraid so, sir. She’s my sister you see. Now, I’m going to have to answer some of these calls. But first I’m going to have to throw you out.”

“Fair enough,” Floyd’s shoulders had dropped and he was just staring at the speaker. “Can I have my card back?”

“I’m afraid not, sir.”

Floyd nodded and the guard threw him out.

  • Kelleyschorn

    i liked this! the ending was awesome it made me laugh:)