My Fest 2019

I decide to hold a music festival at my parents’ house. My ex is invited. Her band’s slated for Saturday, and she’s really nervous. ‘Look,’ she says, pointing at the posters I‘d made. ‘We’re playing on the same day as so-and-so band-I’ve-never-heard-of.’ So-and-so band, it seems, is super-intimidating. I’m being supportive and not-gross, because we used to be in love and have sex with one another but now neither of those things are true.

A blues combo starts playing in the basement. Four gray-haired white men really laying it down. They do a sort of electrified, four-on-the-floor, non-swinging rock ‘n roll blues. There’s only one other guy watching but he’s really getting into it, smiling a connoiseur’s smile. I go upstairs to check on things. After all, I’m in charge.

Meanwhile, other bands are arriving. One arrives in this huge contraption which is less a van and more of a giant, multi-colored robot. They’re so excited they hop out acrobatically and shake their fists and do high kicks at the air. Another group shows up in a huge silver-bullet-shaped thing on wheels. They are loading out when a commotion starts up in the basement.

One of the guys in the blues band, I’m told, has killed one of his fellow blues-band guys Like, stabbed him in the middle of a song and run off. The two remaining bluesmen are shouting at each other. The ‘connoisseur’ stands there, shell-shocked. I look around, wonder briefly if my ex is safe, and delegate calling the cops to someone else, as I am in charge and that’s what people do when they’re in charge, delegate.

Where did the murderer go? I wonder.

I go and search the surrounding woods for a while. The murderer has disappeared. I go back to the house. Are the police here yet? I ask anyone who’ll listen. Where are the police? Didn’t someone call the police?

More bands arrive in unlikely vehicles, giddy and happy-go-lucky, totally unawares. There is a killer on the loose. I don’t know what to do.


My Hugo eligibility post

0% percent of you have been asking about it, so here goes:

I have exactly one (1) short story eligible for this year’s Hugo: “Ohotsuku-Kai” came out about a month or so ago in Stupefying Stories #22, available now in both Kindle and print edition.

So, you know, do what you will with that information.

empty auditorium

**cue sound of crickets in an empty auditorium**