Pretties For You

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.

In an effort to upstage the headlining band, the openers filled their own bass drum with dynamite. The other members did not inform the drummer of their plan, and he was killed in the resulting explosion.

The promoter stared at the blackened, dripping stain on the ceiling of the club. It had previously been the drummer.

“You guys could have just gotten matching suits,” the promoter offered.

“The headliners wear matching suits, so that wouldn’t have worked,” replied Wilde Man Cool, the opening band’s 43-year old lead singer.

“Well, they still have a drummer, too. Unlike you guys…”

The club had been closed for hours. The evening had ended early, with most of the audience heading home to scrub the drummer from their garments. The headliners refused to perform, noting that the smoldering cavern in the middle of stage made it impossible for them to set up their equipment.

The promoter poked at the stain on the ceiling with the baldheaded end of the broom. A few teeth were dislodged from the sticky mixture of blood, viscera and burnt paint. They bounced off the ride cymbal embedded in the monitor.

“Well, I can’t book you guys, again. This is the limit.”

”I understand,” muttered Wilde Man Cool. “We’ll take a few months off.”

”No. That’s not it,” grumbled the promoter. “You misunderstand. You vaporized your own drummer for no other reason than to upstage a local ska band. I don’t think you guys realized this: we make all out money from selling beer. The bands are an afterthought. If I could, I’d book a DJ.”

“Why don’t you do that,” asked Wild Man Coole tartly.

”Ah, I promised my dad we’d keep booking bands. We were burying him alive and I’d just tell him anything to calm him down.”

“Is your dad dead?”

”I would have to assume he is by now.”

“Ah.”

”You know who else is dead? Your drummer.”

A fragment of the drummer’s Revelation Records t-shirt fluttered down and became trapped against the stage lights.

Wilde Man Cool thought for a moment.

”We’re going to have to get a new drummer.”

“You might be harder than you think,” the promoter opined. “Good drummers – I mean, really good drummers – are tough to find, and you already killed one of them.”

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