Music When the Lights Go Out (Short Story)

The bar is old and its white walls are stained yellow like smokers fingers. There are hardly any patrons this evening and my band plays on the creaky stage. They’d have been better off with a jukebox, or even the radio. No one cares or needs a soundtrack. It is the kind of bar where evenings end. Not by choice but simply because nothing happens here. I stand in front of the microphone and look out towards the bar.

I blink and then I am standing outside the bar in the rain. I smoke a cigarette. The neon washed street gives me a pink glow and glints on my black leather jacket. I look like I’ve fallen out of the eighties. I flick the cigarette into the gutter and it makes a satisfying hiss. I head back towards the bar.

A girl stops me.

“Got a light?” Continue reading “Music When the Lights Go Out (Short Story)”

I Never Got Your Name (Short Story)

He felt as though he had been born with a suitcase in his hands and to him life had always been a journey. Not in some hippie philosophical way but in tangible miles and so he had kept moving, one foot in front of the other. He drove a motorbike that he had bought a few towns back when his car; red, old and knackered had given up. The exhaust had puffed its last mouthful of smoke and the engine stopped. He had pushed the car for two miles before he came across a small roadside garage. An old motorbike had been lent against a wall, forgotten until now. The greedy mechanics had happily swapped his car for the bike. His car destined to be stripped and sold for parts. One of the mechanics had smiled at him.

“Girls prefer a motorbike, forget the car. You’d never get a girl in that.” Continue reading “I Never Got Your Name (Short Story)”

Amphetamines and Pearls (Short Story)

Evelyn McHale was beautiful. She was fond of jazz and smoked elegant cigarettes imported from Paris. Evelyn was engaged to be married. He was a handsome man, dark and chiselled, and they made a lovely couple. But Evelyn was unhappy, deeply sad. She wore this mantle lightly and let no one close. In fact Evelyn always cut ties. She had worked as an airhostess and when she finished there she had burned her uniform. Something about fire, or perhaps destruction, made her feel clean. She moved on from there leaving her old life in ashes. Now, however, Evelyn was getting married. She was putting down roots. It surprised her.

Evelyn suffered from terrible migraines and her doctor had put her on a course of Benzedrine. It was modern medicine at its finest she was told. It did little to help her. She would feel conversely euphoric and then irritatingly angry. The Benzedrine kept her up all night and her lack of sleep was driving her mad. Continue reading “Amphetamines and Pearls (Short Story)”

Rapunzel, Noir (Short Story)

The Last Stop

In every area of life there is tragedy. I never needed to look far. It always seemed to find me. I always wanted to get out of town, take the red eye, and wake up somewhere clean. Instead here I was in L.A. on a dark rain soaked night in a dive bar. The bar was called The Last Stop or at least something like that. The sign was nearly gone and no one cared to remember. I was drinking to forget, leaning heavily on the bar. I had little to my name, a pack of Camels and an old military issue pistol. I lit a cigarette and exhaled slowly.

I had a girl on my mind. She was a lovely creature with long golden hair, a singer. Her stage name was Rapunzel. She belonged to Harry Wilcott and Harry kept her locked up. He was the jealous type and wouldn’t let her be seen. I was a detective but I’d also worked for Harry, been on his payroll. I had learned to look the other way, keep Harry’s interests in mind. Continue reading “Rapunzel, Noir (Short Story)”

The Myth of Icarus, Retold (Short Story)

Deep in the dark ages a Pictish tribe huddles around a large fire. The night sky is dark and twinkles with dying stars. The ocean meets the sky in a seamless arc and softly thuds against the island’s shore. Their tribal leader Minos, a strong man, stands to address them.

“This beast is a danger. We must capture him.”

Daedalus watches from a slight distance, his son Icarus leans close. Daedalus knows that the responsibility to capture the beast will fall on him. Continue reading “The Myth of Icarus, Retold (Short Story)”