An innocent instrument–absolutely harmless, silent. Until placed in the hands of a madman…And the mystical, hypnotic sounds unleashed on some rock-crazed women!I am Handler Notorious and I am here to assure the residents of Sunset Valley that the Cult of the Indigo Llama does not exist. Well, not anymore.So many years ago, my father, Xander Clavell Notorious, bought an electric guitar. He loved playing it and I loved watching him. Noticing my keen interest, he signed my up for guitar lessons.My first attempts at playing music were not successful. All I could produce was loud screeching noises. But I persevered and eventually I mastered the instrument.Within my home a debate was raging. My parents were very concerned about my future. They knew I had inherited an evil streak from my mother, Baby Notorious. She thought the Notorious Gang was the natural place for me to land.Dad was dead-set against that plan. He was still an active participant in the Gang and he knew how dangerous it was. He had done some time and his worst fear was that I would end up in prison.I probably should have paid more attention to their heated discussions but I had discovered how to make my own money and I felt like my future was set. I had started playing my guitar in Central Park.Everyday, I went to the park and righteously riffed on the dozen or so compositions I had learned. The citizens of Sunset Valley generously rewarded my talent, avidly throwing coins and bills into my open guitar case.My parents never fully embraced my ‘career’ as a street musician. But they didn’t hold a grudge either, because when they passed on, I inherited the Notorious Estate.Aside from all the money my parents had made through their illicit activities, my mother held a patent on her invention, an evil robotic fish that could be programmed to do all kinds of terrible things. I could expect to live in style for many years to come.My brother Dodger lived with me. Whether or not he had an opinion about my music was unknown to me. We got along fine, but Dodger was very focused on his career in the Air Force. I continued to jam in the park on a daily basis. The money I earned was a sweet bonus and an affirmation that I was a gifted musician. But I didn’t have to depend on it to live, I simply played because I loved it.One afternoon I finished a set near the fountain in Central Park. After my last song was done, a lovely young woman approached me shyly. She spent several minutes gushing over me and my music.I look back on that day, meeting Rose and I wonder…what if I had brushed her off? What if I completely ignored her? But I didn’t. I had noticed her watching me several times. She always seemed to know where and when I would be playing. I loved the idea of a devoted fan and I didn’t care if she was some kind of stalker.The next week, I saw Rose again and she was with another woman. While I was playing, they welcomed a third lady and this trio started showing up everyday, every time I set out to play. They cheered me on and even called out requests of their favorite songs.One day, one of these three women showed up dressed in flowing blue robes and bare feet. It was an unusual outfit.What made it even more unusual was when the other women showed up wearing the exact same clothes. Long, dark-blue flowing robes and bare feet. I got a little distracted from my playing, watching my ‘groupies’ as they danced and sang in their remarkable fashions.By now, a fourth woman had joined the original three, and this woman came towards me holding a neatly-folded pile of dark blue clothing. She encouraged me to go into the bathroom and change into these clothes. I was a little uncertain but I didn’t want to alienate them so I figured why not?As soon as I put on the dark blue shirt and pants, I felt a surge of pride. My fans and I were sharing a true sense of solidarity and I discovered my performance was incredible.I was pleasantly surprised one afternoon when the girls approached me holding a picnic basket. They fed me a delicious lunch and told me in excited, bubbling voices that my music was their life. The other three told me their names–Selma, Janice and Merrilee. Rose leaned towards me and said in a hushed voice that they were prepared to do anything to make me happy.I’m not the most fortunate-looking guy in the world so when I discovered what they meant by ‘anything’ I was very proud of myself. I don’t want to be explicit, so let’s just say my bed was never empty.I was very happy with these new ladies in my life and I asked them all to move in with me. I really liked the idea of our little family. The girls took turns cooking and cleaning and everyone got along incredibly well.We lived in our own special world of music, my music! Every afternoon our little band would descend on the park and the girls sang and danced like whirling dervishes. It was a wild scene and we attracted bigger crowds everyday.Me and my ladies became very well-known in Sunset Valley. It never ceased to amaze me when I would be out doing some random errand and a fan would introduce herself and tell me how much she loved my music.Men would come up to me out of nowhere and shake my hand, telling me that I was a lucky guy. It seems that the alternative lifestyle I was living with my beautiful ladies was common knowledge.The more conservative people of the town did not like the life we were leading and I found out the hard way what the negative price of fame could be. The newspaper published a story calling us the Cult of the Indigo Llama. The story listed all kinds of outlandish things that we did and blamed us for happenings in Sunset Valley that had nothing to do with us.The negative publicity was so unfair. No one had ever interviewed any of us, the reporter simply made up a bunch of lies to damage us. We weren’t a cult of any kind and to compare us to llamas was the ultimate insult.There were some things that came to light to me after I read the article. I had no idea that Selma and Rose had abandoned their husbands and children to follow me. They always seemed so happy…I didn’t know they had left some very sad people in their wake.I didn’t know that Rose had been fired from her very prominent position as Director of the Sunset Valley Institute of Art because she insisted on wearing her blue robes and bare feet to work everyday. It just never occurred to me that these women had any problems because of their association with me.After that muckraking article, everything changed for us. People in the town began to treat us very differently. I would be out doing some mundane chore, minding my own business. I would walk by a group of people…Their heads would be bent together and they would be whispering and I could hear the words ‘indigo’ and ‘llama’ and my face would get hot and I would start to shake.Then as I passed them, I would hear them laughing. It was cruel, mocking laughter.I knew me and my girls had become a laughingstock and I did my very best to shield my ladies from the embarrassment. I tried to do all the shopping and when we went to the park, I tried to find a clearing away from other where we could play in peace.Bu we soon discovered we were no longer welcome in the park. A police officer went up to Rose and asked to see her identification. He asked the same of the other girls and myself. Then he asked to see our permit to perform.We had no such thing and the cop informed us that we were banned from not only playing music in the park, but even from congregating there. We would be arrested for disturbing the peace if we did not get a move on immediately.The girls and I discussed the idea of taking our little show on the road. The next morning I got up and decided to do a little practicing but I made a horrible discovery. No matter how hard I tried, the only sounds I could make come out of my instrument were terrible squeaks and squawks. It was if I had completely forgotten how to play.Dodger, dressed in his own dark blue uniform, ignored the horrible sounds coming from my room. During this whole experience, he had kept to himself, never expressing an opinion about my music or my ladies.But he was also suffering the consequences of my infamy. He had worked so hard to achieve his dream of becoming an astronaut only to now have members of the community protesting his right to that honor, saying he, too was a member of our maniacal cult.The women were unsure of what to do with themselves now that I was no longer able to play. They went to the park in spite of the ban and tried to raise support for me but they were quickly run off by the police.They continued with their normal routines around the house but I began to notice squabbling where before their had been peace and unity. I also realized my bed had been empty for some time.One night, the women had a conference in their communal room without me. The girls decided as a united collective that they no longer wanted to live as a family. They chose to abandon me since it was now so clear that my talent was all washed up.A final horrible story on the news had made them realize that they were wrong to follow me. As I stood by, watching despondently and feeling completely helpless, they each left the house we had once so happily shared.The girls were silent as they each walked past me, just as silent as my now useless guitar. There were no goodbyes, no hugs, no tears.I watched the last one leave and my heart felt like it would shatter into a million pieces.For a very long time, I lived in the gloomy world of deep depression. I missed my girls, I missed the fame and I didn’t know what to do with my life.But eventually I had to move on. I had to somehow find a way to live a normal life…well, as normal a life as a Notorious can lead. I did meet a woman who knew nothing of my past and she agreed to marry me.We raised a family of three children. We had a son, Sigismund and twin daughters, Hansu and Lyssandra. I tried to give them the best life possible and I hoped sincerely they would never find out about what had happened when I was a younger man.But secretly, sometimes I wished I could have it all back. One day, I got out my guitar and I walked down to a private beach where no one could hear me or see me. In the still ocean air, I was able to play perfectly again and the sweet sounds of my guitar made my spirits soar.I remembered with much joy what it felt like to be the center of attention back when I played for the citizens of Sunset Valley and I longed to return to the park and jam. But those are the dreams of a foolish old man.But this morning, for old time’s sake, I rummaged around in my drawers and I found some clothes I had carefully packed away. My heart soared when I unfolded them and laid them on the bed. What memories they evoked!I changed into the dark blue pants and shirt and I stood in front of the mirror for a long time, admiring myself. I could faintly hear the cries of my ladies as they sang and danced and called out requests for their favorite songs. I could hear the crowd clapping in unison. I smiled just a little and then I picked up my old battered guitar and I made my way slowly to the private beach.I played and played to an audience of no one, only me and the setting full moon. I played every song in my repertoire and every song sounded better than the last. No one will ever know but for one final performance, the Cult of the Indigo Llama lived on!