Down On Rue Morgue Avenue

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.

The worst part was the afternoon, between 3PM and 5PM. The romance had worn off. You woke up at noon, either in the van, or, if you were lucky, in the hotel. You met up with a local band or various other hip kids at a restaurant of their choice. Sometimes it was genuinely good; usually, it was kitschy place where the waitress had a speech impediment and the art students would laugh down their sleeves at her when she went to get their coffee.

You hit the road at 1:30. 5 hour drive. Show up at the club in time for soundcheck.

The afternoon drive, once the pancake and coffee sugar rush had evaporated, was bad.

We’d given up on the tapes we’d brought along: Guided By Voice, Jesus Lizard, old Rolling Stones. You’d pop in a cassette and, as if by magic, someone would begin to emit a whining sound. Uuuhhhhhhhhhhhh…

We broke up on the drive to Oberlin. Carrie was all about Oberlin. All the brilliant boys she had dated. All the brilliant professors she had fucked. This gig would be far better than the huge success at Emo’s in Austin. Carrie felt that playing to 12 people at Oberlin, all of whom despised you, was substantively better than playing to 400 people at CBGB; the kids at Oberlin read Colson Whitehead.

She sat in the passenger’s seat and rested her head against the window. Camille suffering. Unable to take on lovers. She wore a gaudy toreador jacket that she’d received in high school. From her mother’s friend, a 35-year-old sculptor they both fucked.

Here comes the whining…


She had written a novel in her junior year of school. Her dad had shown it to James Wolcott, who called incessantly with encouragement.

“Tell me about where we’re playing, tonight?”

Carrie didn’t answer. No surprise. She was probably lost in thought. Marguerite Duras or her fantasy about fucking Béatrice Dalle.

After about two miles…

”My friend, Ruben. His house.”

“Cool. He has a PA and stuff?”



”Ruben used to play with Bullet LaVolta.”

”Cool,” I said. Playing through Bullet LaVolta’s PA.   Saw them with The Lemonheads.

“He played with Jabbering Dynamo, too.”


He played with Jabbering Dynamo, too.”

“Jabbering Dynamo from Providence?”


”I was in Jabbering Dynamo. There were only three of us: me, Chris and Alex.”

Carrie tucked her chin in to her chest.

It was like drinking a glass of cold, cold water as quick as you could.

“Is he lying?” I asked. “More likely, are you lying? Have you always lied? That would explain a lot.”

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