Serial blogging, stories to tell. Short stories and micro-fiction!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

The Devil’s House Band

By: Jesse Edwardson

Johnny Rock has never felt a groove as sweet as the groove he was digging tonight. He and his band, Johnny Rock and the Rollers, were only twenty minutes into their first set and they weren't missing a beat. Sydney the bass player, who Johnny thought looked a little like Bob Ross, that painter guy on TV, was playing with his eyes shut. A sure sign that he was in the zone. Robby the drummer, who was usually drunk before the gig and passed out after the gig, was playing sober and keeping things tight. Ziegler, on keyboards, was already breaking a sweat. They were all feeling the groove, and so was the crowd.
The dance floor was packed with sweaty bodies gyrating to the sounds of the band. Johnny could see everything that happened on the floor from his spot on stage. Girls dancing with only their friends and trying to ignore the guys, guys dancing with their empty beer glasses trying to look cool, and couples who seem to have it all figured out by dancing real close together, Johnny watched it all from behind the mic. He really got off on seeing people enjoy the music he and the band played. It made all the time spent learning to play the guitar worth while.
The band was reaching the end of the song they were playing. Johnny hoped the dance floor wouldn't clear out like it sometimes can at the end of a good song. Dancing people get thirsty and through all of the years playing in bars and nightclubs Johnny has always felt that the band and the bar were caught up in a kind of “tug-o-war” with each other, using the crowd as a rope. The funny thing was though, “last call” always came before the last song of the gig so in a way the band always won the fight.
“Alright, is everyone having a good time?” Johnny spoke into the mic as the last chord of American Band rang out. The crowd cheered back their answer. “Good, good, we are Johnny Rock and the Rollers and let's keep the groove going and the dance floor full with a great Rolling Stones song that's asking for a little Sympathy for the devil!” Johnny announced into the mic.
Robby started drumming the intro. Johnny began singing and Ziegler came in with the piano right on cue.
As Johnny finished the opening line “Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste.” he noticed a door in the back of the club open up. The door was at the top of some stairs. It must be the office of the club owner, Johnny thought. A tall, thin man stepped out onto the landing. He was wearing a pure white suit complete with a vest and a black silk tie. It looked very expensive. The man pulled the door shut and crossed his arms. He stood there on the landing and watched the band.
Johnny caught his eye. The owner gave Johnny a quick wink and slight nod of his head. He nodded back. The owner smiled. Johnny thought maybe the man was feeling the groove just the same as the band and the crowd were. There is just something sublime about a sweet groove.
“Whoo, Whoo, Whoo, Whoo, Whoo, Whoo, Whoo, Whoo,” Sydney and Ziegler came in with the backing vocals and for once they were singing in key. Johnny gave Ziegler a smile of approval, Ziegler winked back. He thought the night couldn't get any better. The dance floor stayed packed and the band was tight.
He glanced back up at the owner. He was still standing with his arms crossed and he was still smiling but the smile didn't reach his eyes. Johnny thought he looked a little creepy. His teeth were blazing white, just like his suit. His eyes looked black, just like his tie. Johnny didn't recall seeing this man earlier when they were setting up their equipment.
And that was when something in Johnny's head clicked. He couldn't remember setting up for the gig. He couldn't remember playing Johnny B. Goode, the song they always open with. He could, however, remember driving here. He remembered arguing with Robby about who was a better drummer, Keith Moon or John Bonham. Then he remembered swerving to miss a dog that was in the middle of the road. He could remember the sound of the tires screeching and finally he remembered seeing a big tree filling the windshield and that was it.
Johnny looked out into the crowd and could finally see, really see everything as it really was. The Glamour had been lifted. Everyone on the dance floor looked exhausted and miserable. He couldn't spot one bartender at the bar. Every glass, every bottle in the joint was empty. He looked over to Ziegler and saw his life long friend staring back at him with horrible fright. Ziegler had already realized what was happening. Sydney, with his Bob Ross beard, kept the backing vocals going like a man who couldn't help himself. “Whoo, Whoo, Whoo, Whoo, Whoo, Whoo, Whoo, Whoo,” he and Ziegler sang in unison. Johnny wasn't quite sure what was really going on but they needed to stop playing. He now felt as though he had been playing non-stop for days.
Johnny was at the climax of the solo and tried to stop playing his guitar. His hands wouldn't obey, they kept right on playing with well practiced skill. His arms ached and his throat felt like he had been breathing fire instead of air, but he could not stop playing or singing.
He looked back up the staircase at the owner. He was still smiling. In his head, Johnny heard the voice of the man at the top of the stairs. “Now you understand. You are mine and you will keep playing that song until I grow tired of it. But don't get your hopes up, it is my favorite.” The owner opened the office door and entered. The last of him that Johnny saw was a thin red tail coming out from under his suit coat. The tip of the tail was shaped like a barbed spear point.
The band played on.
“Whoo, Whoo, Whoo, Whoo, Whoo, Whoo, Whoo, Whoo,”

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tears of my Father

A Poem
By: Jesse Edwardson

Tears of my Father
saddest of all.
Pent up emotion
cause them to fall.

Eyes of my Father
unwilling to try.
Somewhere, someway
forgot how to cry.

Remembering now
a moment of pain.
Tears of my Father
falling like rain.

Face of my Father
remember and learn.
Tears from his eyes
on cheeks that burn.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rust Bucket

A Poem?
By: Jesse L. Edwardson

To all the rust buckets and jalopies and the Detroit rolling iron that never sees fresh oil until the idiot light comes on.  The cars that are neglected, abused and ignored.  Thank you, for getting us to our destinations that one final time, every time.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Alone in the well? part three

By: Jesse Edwardson

Richie’s teeth began to chatter, his lips were turning blue, and whatever was in the well with him began to caress his legs.  It felt slimy and every time it touched Richie he would kick and let out a scream.  He knew that it had to be some little fish or something like that, but he couldn’t help being terrified by it.

Through the top of the well, twelve feet above him, he could see a small patch of sky.  It was darkening, he figured it had to be getting close to supper time.  Grandma had probably already called everyone in to eat, and by now they had to know he was gone.  Hopefully someone would be out looking for him soon.  He was near exhaustion.  The chunk of wood he was clinging to was helping him stay afloat, but he wasn’t sure how much longer he would last.

The truth of it was hypothermia was rapidly draining Richie of his strength.  The snow that had covered the farm all winter had only melted away three weeks ago.

Below the surface of the water Richie felt the fish, or whatever it was, bump his left leg again, this time just below the knee.  It seemed to wrap itself around his leg just briefly before he kicked it off.  His kicks were becoming weaker and weaker.  Soon he won’t be able to kick at all because of the icy water.

“HELLLLLLP!” he called out.  “GET ME OUT OF HEEERRE!”

“No one’s coming,” he whispered.  “I’m a goner.”  More tears ran down his cheeks.  Richie rested his head on the chunk of wood and wept silently.

Just then, the thing in the water wrapped around his leg and pulled him down.  The water filled his ears and mouth again, and just as quickly as it pulled him down, it let go.  He bobbed back up coughing and grabbing for the chunk of wood.  His fingers found it and he pulled it tightly to his chest.

“AHHHHHH! cough, cough, cough.  HELLLLP!”  he yelled again.

“Boy, how in the hell did you wind up down there?” a familiar voice called down from the top of the well.

“Grampa!  Get me out of here!  There’s something in the water and it’s trying to get me!” Richie called with tears of relief streaming down his face.

“Alright Richie, calm down.  I’m gonna have to head back to the house and get some rope.  Can you hold on just a little longer?”

“Yes, I think so.  But hurry, I’m freezing and something just pulled my leg!”

“Alright alright.  I’ll be right back.” Grandpa said as he got back to his feet and started running back to the house.

The old man has never run so fast in his life.  He got back to the house, found a rope in the utility room, and quickly explained to everyone where he found Richie.  Of course everybody wanted to follow grandpa back to the well and help, but he told them all to sit tight and eat their dinner.  Grandma ran to the bedroom, came back with an afghan, and handed it to grandpa.

“That boy has got to be half froze.  Make sure you wrap him up in this and carry him back.  I bet he won’t be able to walk too good after a fall like that,” Grandma said with tears of worry in her eyes.

“I will dear,” Grandpa said as he went back outside.  He paused briefly to grab his flashlight that he keeps by the back door.  The sun was almost below the horizon now.

By the time Grandpa returned to the well, Richie was pulled down three more times.  Each time he was held down just a little longer than the last.  The panic was overwhelming.  Richie was sure he was going to die the third time.  The thing had grabbed both of his legs this time and held onto him tightly for almost a full minute before finally letting go.

In the middle of a coughing fit, a bunch of rope fell down onto Richie’s head.  He looked up to see Grandpa shining a light down at him.

“Richie, grab a hold of that and wrap the loop on the end around you real tight and I’ll pull you up!  Ok?” he called down.

“Ok,” Richie answered.  He found the loop in the rope and put his arms through it.  His arms felt so heavy.

“Have you got it around you boy?”


“Ok, brace yourself.  I’m gonna start pulling you up.  If you bounce against the wall just try to walk up it like spider-man.  That will help me a lot,”  Grandpa instructed Richie.

“Ok Grampa.  Please hurry I hate it down here!”

“I bet you do,” Grandpa chuckled as he set his feet.

Grandpa started pulling and the rope bit into Richie’s armpits, but he barely felt it.  His small body slowly started to rise out of the cold water.  Grandpa grunted as he pulled the rope hand over hand.  Luckily for Richie, his grandpa is as strong as an ox.

Just before Richie’s feet left the water, the thing grabbed his right ankle.  It’s grip was so powerful this time Richie thought it would pull him back into the water.  Above, Grandpa struggled with the rope.  It felt like Richie had gotten heavier for a moment.  He let out a short grunt, pulled a little harder, and Richie started to rise again.  Below, just as his foot slipped out of the things grasp, Richie thought he heard a small voice say Don’t leave me, I want to play…

Richie did the best he could to keep the panic under control and try to climb the wall as Grandpa had told him to.  As he neared the top, he could smell fresh air.  It was as if he was smelling it for the first time.

When he reached the top, Grandpa let go of the rope with one hand, grabbed Richie by his shirt, and pulled him onto the ground.  His footing slipped and he kicked the flashlight into the well.

The flashlight tumbled in the air as it descended into the well.  It’s light beam swept down one side and up the other.  It hit the water with a splash and slowly began to sink into the murk.

The flashlight passed through the water casting an eerie green glow.  As the flashlight sank, it’s glow illuminated a shape in the water.  A face, clearly female and quite young.  The eyes were closed, but then opened when the flashlight cast it’s glow upon them.  The open lids revealed milky grey eyes.  Startled by the light, she covered her face and darted into the deeper depths of the well.  The last thing the flashlight shone upon before blinking out was her checkered dress and her patent leather shoes.

the end

Monday, February 21, 2011

Alone in the well? part two

by: Jesse Edwardson

While Richie was panicking in the well, Grandma called from the back door toward the barn.  “Supper is ready everyone!  Come and get it!”  The kids charged out of the barn in a stampede.  Grandma smiled and moved aside to let the herd of children rush into the house.

“Now, all of you warsh your hands and and we can dig into this wonderful food your Grandma has made for us,”  Grandpa said from his favorite chair in the living room.  Half of the kids went into the bathroom to clean up and the other half crowded the kitchen sink.  Grandpa got up and crossed the kitchen toward his wife and gave her a warm hug and a kiss on the cheek.  She blushed.

“Ok everybody get settled, find a chair.  Amy, can you put Tyler in the highchair for me?” Grandma said as she put a platter of fried chicken on the table.

“Sure Grandma,” Amy answered.  “Where’s Richie?”

Everyone looked around the room.  “Maybe he’s still hiding in the barn,” Bobby offered.

“I’ll go look,” Grandpa said as he put his old worn out cap on his head.

“Well hurry, I don’t want your dinner to be cold for you,” Grandma said.

“I’m sure he’s just hiding in the hay loft, we’ll be right in.”

The screen door slammed shut behind Grandpa as he stepped out onto the porch and trotted out to the Barn.  He called Richie’s name as he entered the dusty and silent barn.  The old owl that lived up in the loft was startled by his voice and flew out through the hay door.  He probably thought he could have the barn to himself again since the kids left.

“Richie!  Are you in here?” he called.  No answer.  The setting sun shone through the barn windows lighting up a million dust motes floating in the air.  “Where is that boy?” Grandpa asked them.  Of course the dust had no idea where he was.

He stepped out into the barnyard and called Richie’s name again.  Still no answer.  “I wonder if that boy wandered out into the woods,” Grandpa said to himself.  He headed for the woods calling out the boy’s name.  He was beginning to get worried.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Alone in the well? part one

By:  Jesse Edwardson

This story is dedicated to my aunt Mary Day, better known as Mickey, because she is AWESOME!!!

The old boards seemed to disappear from beneath Richie’s feet.  What they really did was fall into an old well, leading the way down for the small boy.  The largest piece hit the cold water first, followed by a shower of the smaller bits.  Richie plunged into the water last.  He fell so fast, he hardly had time to gasp.

Completely submerged, the water filled his ears with gurgling silence.  The water was ice cold.  Panic took hold of him.  He began kicking his feet and flailing his arms searching for a handhold or something to stand on.  All he found was slimy stone walls and floating  bits of wood.  Richie managed to pull his way to the surface.  He was a decent swimmer for a ten year old.  He could doggy-paddle with the best of them.  He grabbed hold of a board and coughed out a mouthful of water.  The well water tasted awful.  If green had a flavor, then this water tasted green.

“HELP!!!” cough, cough.  “HELP!!!” he cried.

It was useless to yell.  He was the only one out here in Grandpa’s woods.  The other kids were still playing in the barn.  They were all playing hide and seek.  Ritchie left the barn to hide because he was tired of always being found first.  He wandered out toward the woods and planned to hide behind a tree when he fell through the old boards that covered the old well.

“HEEEEELP MEEEEE!!!!” he screamed at the top of his lungs.  His voice bounced off the stone walls of the well and only succeeded in hurting his ears.  He yelled for help over and over again but the barn was too far away and there was no way the other kids would hear him.

He was winding up for another scream when he felt something in the water bump against his foot.

“AAHHHHH!”  he yelped in surprise.  “What was THAT!?”  He started kicking his feet and looking over his shoulders trying, in vain, to see what was below the dark surface of the water.  It felt as if something reached up from the bottom of the well and tried to untie his shoes.

“HEEEELLLLLP MMEEEEEEE!!!!  GET ME OUT OF HEERRRE!!!”   he cried again over and over.  When he finally stopped screaming, the silence fell heavily into his ears.  The well became as quiet as a well kept secret.

Again he felt a tug on his shoelace.  He pulled his foot back and tried to swim away.  Given the limited space he couldn’t go far.  Whatever was in the water followed him and tugged again at his shoelace, this time on the other foot.  He kicked both of his feet frantically under the water and started to cry.  Hot tears streamed down his cheeks as he shouted again for help.