I recently came across a satyrical writer/poet that piqued my interest. Check out his short story. Here are the first few paragraphs of the story. Follow the link at the end for the whole thing, and check out his facebook page for more.
“We’ll be in Shrewsbury soon” said the driver. Gordon had hitched a lift from Manchester with nothing but a guitar on his back and a feather in his cap – finally escaping the crime-ridden council estate he’d lived in all his life. Gordon was a precocious musical talent with a natural sense of rhythm – learning his trade by hitting pots and pans with wooden spoons. In his teenage years he discovered an aptitude for the guitar and the piano – attributing his musical prowess to his father who played the drums in a jazz band. All the gigs he’d played, the recording sessions he’d been involved in and the useful contacts he’d made in the city, all seemed futile now. Without the offer of a record deal the Manchester music industry had seemingly overlooked him. With the recent recent split from his long term girlfriend there didn’t seem to be a good reason to stay in Manchester. “A rolling stone gathers no moss” echoed the proverb in his mind – “I may not be a rolling stone but I’ve had enough moss”. The town of Shrewsbury resonated with Gordon. He recalled the story his father told him of a fishing trip on the river Severn – which encompassed the town centre in the shape of a horse shoe. He was dropped off on the outskirts of Shrewsbury on a warm spring Saturday evening. He walked towards the town, over the English bridge – that reflected over the rippled water of the river, among the old black and white buildings -” wow – what a mellow town” he thought. He approached a group of rowdy young people and noticed two tall lads walking slightly ahead of the adjoining gang – so inebriated they were holding each other up like giant matchsticks. Spotting Gordon had a guitar on his back, one of the lads – Martin, asked Gordon if he had a place to stay. Gordon shook his head and so was adopted by the gang. Martin was a virtuoso slide guitar player and street wise too. He sensed intuitively that Gordon had nowhere to sleep, and as he had a guitar on his back – felt an obligation to invite him to the guitar jam party they were all heading to. The party house was decorated in guitars of all shapes, sizes and colours than circled the main room and hung from the walls. Unbeknown to Gordon, among the party-goers were some of Shrewsbury’s most accomplished guitarists. After extra drinks they all settled down on the numerous sofas – “do you want to play a tune mate?” chirped Martin to Gordon – sensing Gordon had something special up his sleeve. Gordon took his green guitar out of its soft case and played a furious funk song with blistering speed – intervening intricate rhythm patterns on the body of the guitar with his right hand – his singing voice soaring with effortless range and raw passion. The room erupted into rapturous applause and Gordon followed it up with a moving ballad that reduced some of them to tears. “I call it Folkadelic” said Gordon. Martin smiled wryly – he knew Gordon would be special before he’d even taken his guitar from out of its case, but Folkadelic was a revelation and a new music.
Some of the party people then requested Drew to play a song. Drew was the same age as Gordon – Twenty eight, a Shrewsbury born lead guitarist who played with sublime feel, exquisite touch and a formidable attack. At his most ferocious he could purposely break strings, to the concern of worried onlookers who would wince at the potential injury he may have caused himself. He’d played in a local band and was considered a mercurial guitar hero – for all his uncanny skills he could be an inconsistent and undisciplined performer. He was blighted with acute anxiety than often affected his guitar playing. His arms and shoulders would freeze and numb as a consequence of his panic attacks and during gigs his fingers would sweat so profusely it was difficult for him to grip the guitar strings. He would drink heavily to pacify his condition – consequently he would be too drunk to remember the guitar chords he otherwise knew so well. Drew though was obsessed with fame. Playing guitar in a local rock band wasn’t enough – he wanted to leave his mark on the planet. He played one of his songs at the party, and though well received, he shrugged his shoulders in concession that Gordon was an impossible act to follow that night. The group then encouraged Bruce – a heavy metal whizz kid Guitarist to play a song – a twenty two year old classically trained player with a giant wing span. Bruce played an instrumental piece but halfway through the party group lost interest and began chatting – Gordon had stolen the show. Drew felt an instant affinity for Gordon – as if he’d met him before. Drew was as disillusioned with the Shrewsbury music scene as Gordon was with Manchester – for different reasons. Drew was tired of Shrewsbury’s old folk and blues scene – Gordon’s music made you want to dance, it was progressive and fresh – it was Folkadelic. He was enthralled to witness this new music genre – he looked over at Gordon and said “I’ve got a place you can stay”. Gordon was welcome to sleep over at the party but Drew felt he would be the better host. He trusted Gordon and realised that Shrewsbury’s music scene needed him and Shrewsbury may well be good for him too. Drew had an agenda for the good of all. When Drew and Gordon arrived at Drew’s place the front door was locked and the only key available had been mislaid by one of the other tenants, so the only access was through a side window that was left ajar. “Interesting evening” said Drew climbing through the window with half a bottle of wine in his hand. College House was a three storey, black and white building with old beams that adjoined a bed and breakfast and housed six tenants including Drew. “Sleep in this room – if anyone asks you’re a guest of Drew’s” said Drew. The next morning Gordon realised that Drew had given up his room and was astounded by such a grand gesture.