The first is titled Piano Man. It is one of my favorites. The second is entitled Waiting for an Update. It is one of my very few trips into the Science Fiction realm. I hope that you enjoy them.
Please remember that I'm creating stories based on my impression of what the images represent. I place the pictures after the story so that your opinion of what the photo represents doesn't interfere with the picture that I'm painting.
August 4th, 2006
Scott Brown’s eyes showed the effects of three shots of bourbon, or what he affectionately refers to as his medicine, requisite poison before any gig. I’m Cliff Daniels, bartender extraordinaire at a swanky new lounge, Mystique, settled neatly in the confines of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.
Scott is the biggest attraction here, kind of a local celebrity. The kid has it. That’s it, no if ands or buts about it.
I get the next shot of bourbon lined up for him. It’s like clockwork, three warms him up, the fourth fucks him up, but that’s when his fingers begin to fly. They take over, telling stories of heartbreak, jubilation, and every ounce of the road in between.
On days like today, when there is enough of a breeze, we leave the door open, an open invitation to let Scott’s piano prowess seep out and snare anyone passing by.
“Scott you know you’re not supposed to smoke in here,” I tell him.
He waves me off. “Po-po occupied. You think they have an excuse to come in here aggravating me over a smoke? Man half these people in here would lynch they asses.” He sucks his teeth in that way that you know the argument’s finished.
“Scott man, them fingers warmed up yet or you need this shot here to ease the arthritis?”
“I keep telling ya ass me ain’t got no fuckin’ artrytus. Just pass me my drink Doogie Howser M.D.”
We both laugh. His is a deep almost mad scientist type of chuckle. Mine is a register higher. The blend makes the women at the table nearest to the stage turn towards us. Scott catches their smiles after slamming down his drink. He flirts back with his eyes before telling me, “da one with the big ass going to ride me tonight.”
“That’s what you always say!”
Scott asks, “Have I ever been wrong?”
I laugh, “plenty of times.”
He walks back to the stage and sits down by his piano, takes a swig of water, and then speaks softly into the microphone, “I need a songbird tonight that knows how to take it home.” He overlooked all the hands that shot up until he locked eyes on the woman with the big ass at the table with her girlfriends. “I want you.”
Scott’s finger danced to “At Last” and his songbird snagged the tune and belted as if possessed by Etta James’ spirit. I knew at that moment those fingers would get him anything he wanted tonight.
Piano Man represented a transition for me as a writer. To that point I hadn't given myself completely in attacking dialects. The rhythm of Scott's character's voice made it extremely easy for me to write this. It was one of the best experiments that I have ever completed. Perhaps the Piano Man will need to be resurrected.
Waiting for an Update
August 10th, 2006
Alisha’s massive hands engulfed the gift from her mother, Bianca. Her eyes lit up with excitement, “Momma, what is it?”
“The earth beings call it a snow globe. It’s a city they call Chicago.”
“Chicago, what a strange name for a city. I would like to rename it Xander.”
“Well you can’t just go changing the names of places whenever you’d like to Alisha, things have names for a reason.”
“Momma, why did they call it Chicago? It seems such a boring name for a city with such a beautiful skyline. Look at all the skyscrapers.”
A smile came to Bianca’s face. “Skyscraper…Alisha I see you’ve been doing your galactic studies. Let me scan my brainware for an answer to your question.”
“Please do, my brainware can only scan our domestic databases. I can’t wait until I get updated.”
“Your update will come when your brain is mature enough for it sweetheart. I’ve told you that many times.”
Alisha sat, gift in hand, shifting it from one hand to the other. She giggled. I hope these ones don’t die like the ones in New Orleans. These humans are such terrible pets.
Bianca spoke in a very spiky lifeless voice, indicative of downloading, “Chicago was a name given by a tribe of American Indians known as the Potawatomi. The Potawatomi referred to the marshes Chicago was built on as Checagou. It means wild onion or garlic; it is also referred to as skunk cabbage.”
“Momma is that data corrupt? That’s a funny reason to name something Chicago.”
Bianca’s eyes popped open, download completed. “Alisha be careful.”
Alisha’s mouth gaped open. The once blue sky was turning purple. She could see the ant like beings running for their lives, as they placed their hands over their mouths and ran in terror.
The globe fell from Alisha’s hands, but was scooped up by her mother as if she was the second baseman for the New York Yankees. “Your contempt is poisonous too them. Learn to use your words more carefully.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Their world is not for us to judge. We were only meant to observe. Your opinions can be poisonous.”
“Then can you at least tell me what happened to New Orleans?”
“I’m going to put this up for safe keeping…New Orleans was my mistake…you were too young…I thought you were ready this time.”
“I’m ready.” There goes my update, stupid earth beings!
I don't have the image here, but I will insert it when I get the chance to. This story infers that Alisha (an outside force) was responsible for Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. In her innocence and desire to entertain herself--which ultimately redefines whatever she's looking at--Alisha creates havoc and devastation. However, despite such events she believes that she is mature enough to handle more instead of following the natural sequence of events (experiences) that would change her naive outlook on the world.
If you look at the image of Chicago you will see the purple background. I saw some sort of poison being introduced, despite the beautiful skyline, the type of poison that outsiders have inadvertently brought that have destroyed many a cultures throughout history.