Hooray! It's First Friday again, and three great authors have described, in 150 words or less, what they saw in this picture. Each one had an entirely different idea. This is how creativity works. Wonderful examples.
For thirty years, Andres played his guitar in the corner of the little Barcelona bar as the clientele changed from working-class people to thugs and gangsters from the wharves, to slumming aristocrats, and finally to gay men and women. But Andres played on: seguedillas, flamenco, classical. On the night Andres didn't show up for work, the bartender went to his one-room apartment and found it empty, except for his guitar. No effects of any kind. The bartender brought the guitar back and leaned it against Andres' chair. In the 1990s the bar was closed and shuttered for the last time. A year ago, the building was scheduled for demolition, and the workmen found a room rotten with damp, the walls cracked and peeling, everything shrouded in plaster dust. But the guitar leaning against the chair in the back corner: it looked like someone had dusted it every night for years.
“Thank you . . . thank you.” He nodded to the enthusiastic crowd that overflowed the smoky basement club. Breathing in the sweet smell of weed, he flashed his best boyish grin at the table nearest the stage. Three sexy chicks, all giving him the eye. He’d go home with at least one of them – shit, maybe all three. If a good looking guitar player couldn’t get laid…
He shifted his butt on the stingy-seated folding chair and struck a tentative chord…
His wife’s voice shrilled down the stairs. “Damn it, Mort, can’t you shut the basement door? You couldn’t play guitar fifty years ago; you can’t play it now, you old fool.”
The door slammed; the nightclub disappeared. Alone in the dank, mildewed basement, Morton sighed and watched another leaf of paint peel loose and drift, like a discarded dream, to join the others littering the floor.
Rafaela DaVinci bared her fangs. “You put my guitar in the dungeon?”
“Strictly speaking, it’s a cellar,” I said mildly. Damp, with peeling paint and fractured linoleum, sure—but it was also the closest time portal. “I propped it against a chair.”
She snarled, all flying hair and furious eyes. “That guitar cost ten thousand bucks!”
“So it’s the perfect bait,” I said. “Titus can smell an antique from eons away, and if he opens the portal to take it…”
“I can get back to the future.” Where she wouldn’t have to hide her fangs. “Where I’ll have to buy back my own damned guitar!”
“That’s where my brilliance comes in,” I said. “I’ve rigged the pickup inside the guitar. Any noise in there and we’ll hear it. You’ll have ten seconds to cross the portal, snatch the guitar—
The portal opened, squawking a warning through the pickup. Rafaela ran.
|The Fear Artist - Amazon|
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Timothy Hallinan is the Edgar-nominated author of the Poke Rafferty Bangkok thrillers, the Junior Bender Mysteries, and the 1990s cult-favorite PI novels featuring Simeon Grist. His newest Poke Rafferty novel, THE FEAR ARTIST, received stars from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal. Hallinan also edited SHAKEN, an ebook anthology of stories, with 100% of the proceeds going to Japan tsunami relief, will soon release an ebook called MAKING STORY: 21 WRITERS ON HOW THEY PLOT.
Hallinan wishes to acknowledge that the
bar was stolen, or rather inspired, by the bar in GITANA by Sam Reaves,
masquerading as Dominic Martell. http://www.timothyhallinan.com/ His blog is in his website.
|Under the Skin--Amazon|
|To Rescue or Ravish?--Amazon|
When Arabella Wilbanks flees a forced betrothal, the last person she expects to find at the reins of her getaway hackney is Matthew Worcester. It’s been seven long years since they gave in to their mutual desire, but Matt still burns with regret for leaving her without a word. He should escort her to safety, but the chance to reclaim her proves impossible to resist...
Barbara Monajem started writing at eight years old. She has wandered from children’s fantasy through mystery to paranormal and now historical romance. Today’s little effort is her first stab at science fiction.
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