|Hello everyone, I've began to write a story regarding an alternative timeline of sorts, one where Freddie survived. I know that Freddie's passing still affects many of us to this day and I hope you find this to be a respectful and bittersweet tale as I've often wondered what he and the band would have done if he had not been taken so young.
Chapter One - Home
Jim stood uneasily at the door of the bedroom, cats swirling around his feet, as a doctor fussed around his sole patient. He was more of a friend of them both now than just a visiting practitioner, albeit one that bickered with the same level of glee as Freddie always found in argument. Jim could never be bothered with that nonsense, even when discussing the trivialities of dinner plans or what videos to rent out on any particular evening.
'Bloody arguing at this hour of the night, you two should form a fucking troupe', Jim quickly uttered in his familiar working class Irish brogue, devoid of any humour in this particular case.
'Shut up, wallflower, let the adults fuss', came the reply in a crisp, educated tone. Freddie may have been lying in bed, the aches of his life abnd condition becoming more than a study in trying to live at least comfortably, but he never let up, never gave Jim the satisfaction of the final word, if just to rile him.
The doctor reserved a smile, knowing this situation comedy still had a few scenes to go by the time he left their home and continued to check Freddie's vitals. Heart was regular, pulse strong, mouth was clear and eyes a touch red but not any more than was noticed before. Freddie found it all so tiring. He would find it demeaning as well but he knew the weight of what was to come, and in that, holding a touch of responsibility and maturity would at least help those around him cope a little better. He knew Jim, and he knew his stoic, inward, Irish manner hid a fountain of worry to say the least. He knew Jim could only look on, never help, never truly help. No-one could.
'Well, things are to be expected, no marked changes which is good, medication is stocked and I assume that you're not letting up on it, Freddie. Remember our discussion about missing the odd one as you put it'.
'Not you as well. Yes I'm taking them, yes I'm ensuring I drink warm but not overly hot tea, yes I only ever take them at the right time, under a cherry tree called Gerald on the 32nd day of each fucking month'. Freddie could feel neither the embrace of shared brotherly humour from a concerned doctor or the man at the door, arms now firmly crossed, ready to call him a daft bastard.
'Sorry', uttered Freddie, with a ring of genuine inflection. 'Sorry, I've just never been one for the regiment of life but I am taking them responsibly, doctor, and thank you for asking, you have a right to, darling'.
The doctor with accustomed practice put away his stethoscope and torch without a look downwards and smiled at last. 'I know you are, Freddie, and you're coping well, better than most to be fair to you'. There was a pause as a golden cat found her from Jim's feet to the bedpost and scratched while the coast was clear and while no-one shooshed her away for now. He looked around the room slowly and considered something carefully, always aware of the good habits a doctor, a nurse and a person who simply cares must pick up and practice. Namely, never give good or at least better news than before without knowing absolutely sure you can attest to it.
Freddie found his gaze focusing onto the television atop the dresser, Top of the Pops was on and he tried diligently to not be the old man he protested against being but he couldn't help but shake his head and laugh in disbelief at who was playing. 'Sharon's at number one, Jim, can you fucking believe it'.
'Who?' Jim queried, his mind elsewhere, arms still crossed.
'You know fine well. Elton, and it's not half-bad. I must phone him, he's just suffered a terrible success'. Freddie laughed to himself at that well-worn joke, even if he alone was the comedian and the audience.
Sitting by the bed, Dr. Mitchell caught his patient's eye and told him before he lost his nerve and showed the trembling of nervousness in his hands. 'Freddie, I believe we will be moving you to new medication soon. The hospital laboratory has received supplies of a treatment from our counterparts in the U.S. which works in stages and it's more than just a single drug. Trials have been very promising there, we're allowed to test it here and with your consent of course, we'll start you on it all immediately'.
Freddie and Jim looked on with a rare and singular curiosity, even a glint of confusion but more an intrigue born from the unexpected and with nothing said for more than a few seconds, Jim asked the pertinent question.
'A new way to treat Freddie?'
The doctor nodded, more than once and looked at them both. 'Yes, and we believe, we believe it may halt what is happening'.
Freddie's eyes gave signs that his mind was reeling through the quiet sadness of what had already come from his terrible illness, both to him and those around him. He had seen the promise of new treatments only take his friends even more quickly than if they were not on them. But there was something different in the tone of what was just announced. He saw a light, in the distance of that sadness. Beyond his friend, beyond the love of his life, beyond the walls of their home. He could see and feel a way back.
For the first time, in longer than he dared recall, Freddie Mercury felt this may not be the end just yet.
--- To be continued ---
|continue it by having him live, then Queen go on tour, then have him and Jim Hutton break up.|
|Very well worded Gemma.|
|That last segment is so sad to read.|
|I like it. Good reading. Very well done author.|
|Thank you all for your kind words. The ending of this initial chapter is sad because he has already seen what has become of friends now lost to the blight of AIDS but there is hope at last and the journey will continue in Chapter 2 as I introduce the band and we start to glimpse a post-Innuendo era with Freddie still very much part of it.|
|Hurry up and wright I wanna read more?|
|I like it, I hope that new chapter will be soon.
Don't listen to Ohio Mustapha, Freddie and Jim don't break up, no way.
I'm kidding, you are the author, continue it as you want, I will reading. :) :)
|Chapter Two - Queen
Early August, 1990
The tapping of sticks without flair on a mixing desk gave clue to the restlessness that cast itself over a drummer without much to do but wait. Roger Taylor found himself looking out of the high-cast windows of the studio and for the first time since he was a teenager, wanting to ask permission to knock off his shift early. Who would he ask? Brian? He's not exactly the gaffer but they agreed that they would put the hours in and ensure whenever their erstwhile band leader was feeling up to it, they'd be on call to build a song around him and his still fruitful vocals. Roger waited, just a little longer though.
'Right, five o'clock lads, I think Freddie's going to take it easy today', said Roger, trying to sound as diplomatic as he could but the obviousness of his tone gave away his intent.
Brian let slip a sly smile and did agree though. 'Yeah, Jim did say he was adjusting to some new treatment or other. I'm sure he's alright though'. Those words, however long practised, never sat quite right with Brian, Roger or John as they knew that it was not a question of regaining Freddie, but slowly watching him depart. It had been a calendar month since any of them had seen Freddie and even in the sparser moments of contact between singer and band-mates, it was a period of time that gave anxious thought to what phone-calls may come next. Will it be to hear that Freddie is visiting the studio for a few hours or that he is no longer able to.
With a nod towards John, his bass tuned twice today but already halfway propped onto its stand as if to protest being played, the members of Queen began to switch various desks and gadgets onto standby and had thoughts about settling into the local pub for the evening, at least until wives and girlfriends shooed them back out.
Just as the vast desk in front of the studio space relinquished its humming and went dark, the phone rang, the chirping startling them all for a moment.
'Hello, old bean, sorry I haven't been keeping up with the day to day', Freddie spoke excitedly and to Brian, he sounded different, he couldn't think of any other word but robust, certainly more than a matter of weeks before.
'Alright, mate! Good to hear from you. Don't worry about that, Jim has been along to say hello and listen to a few backings. How you keeping?' Brian tried to infer an almost formal tone with his friend but he was excited to hear from Freddie directly as Jim usually acted as a go-between over the phone.
'Well, I'll tell you, I feel good, I do feel rather bloody splendid and I wouldn't mind popping in to get to work'. Freddie was not going to ask if they minded as he knew the answer and he felt strangely guilty for not being there more. What had happened over the Spring, albeit it temporary or longer, was nothing short of a miracle in his mind and the man who once took his various medicines and vitamins with rehearsed protest now counted down the hours and treated it as a responsibility as serious as seeing to his cats and their welfare.
Brian looked over at John and Roger, one jacket sleeve on each and gave a knowing stare with a hint of cheekiness in it. 'We've got two songs with lead vocals to record, three with backing and Roger has a demo to get your take on, you're going to like this one, he's calling it 'The Show Must Go On'.
Freddie roared with laughter down the phone, 'You just tell Taylor he's a fucking diva, calling a song that'.
Brian sensed it, they all could in that moment. Freddie was back.
John smiled and shook his head as he took his jacket off within moments of nearly escaping to freedom. 'Looks like we've been booked for the evening matinee, lads, best learn how to play our instruments again'.
|Beautiful reading this!!!|
|Gemma Mercury, Wow, that is truly amazing, what a great reading, and what a miracle that could be if you could write the whole Queen biography like that, being partially a literature teacher I must tell you, you are really a big talent and what a joy to read a thing like this for a Queen fan - show must go on - you must write on;)|
|Man from Zanzibar
|I don't want to speculate, though some people say if his doctor switched the treatment from that horrendous AZT drug (that actually what was poisoning him) to some experimental ones (at the time), Freddie could've survived long enough to receive the proper meds in the mid-90s, that would likely sustain him to the present day. How that would affect Queen and post-Innuendo recordings, I don't even want to imagine, too painful to dream about it.
Sadly, not in this timeline.
|Man from Zanzibar it seemed like he wanted to die if he stopped taking his meds around the end of September 91