Archive for July 17th, 2011

17th July
written by amber

The Man with Samurai Hair

He’s not a samurai. He’s not Japanese.

He’s backlit outside the stage, surrounded by theatrical smoke, a bright nimbus of wisps dangling down from his topknot.

His band’s on next. Beal Street Realists. They don’t do blues, despite the name. Jeronimo, he of the dreadlock snarl twice the size of his head, picked their name. He thought it sounded cool. Freddie, with his samurai hair, has the stage name of Freakoid and he plays the double bass.

Back home a framed photograph of Freddie sits on his mother’s dresser. Age eight, standing beside his first bass fiddle on the occasion of his first concert. Everyone taking music lessons from Mr. Schmidek played in the concert, whether they were good or not. Freddie was good.

“Do you enjoy it, son?” his father had asked, when Freddie was 12 and heading off to his first fiddle camp. “You could make a career of it. Most musicians don’t earn a lot of money but there’s a great deal of job satisfaction.” Freddie’s father had been a mechanic and Freddie now knows that both money and job satisfaction had been minimal.

“I’m just happy your father’s not around to see this,” his mother had said after the first – and only – gig she’d attended. He’d hoped she’d hear the musicianship, but all she heard were Jeronimo’s x-rated lyrics and all she saw were the ripped t-shirts and Lydia’s short skirts and the hair – Lydia’s unfeminine lack of it, Jeronimo’s excess of it and his samurai topknot.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story written every day and posted on this website. The project runs from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by making first line suggestions in the Comment section.

This is another story inspired by Hinton’s Wild Mountain Music Festival.