Saturday, December 20, 2014

six o'clock show

illustrations by pete palomine and konrad kraus

everybody was talking at once

alice was possessed of a strange suspicion

suddenly a savage thought sent her brain hurtling through space

it was almost time for the six o'clock show

but sissy and charisse and the others just kept on yakking

alice was sorry, but she had do what she had to do

things like this have happened a million times through history

everybody is always sorry afterwards and they build temples and monuments to the dead heroes

it is just the way it is

but, thought alice, this just doesn't feel right

she had a half-pint of whiskey in the pocket of her dressing gown

suddenly johnny appeared out of nowhere and gave her a smack on the jaw that sent her reeling

he stood over her and gave her an insolent and cynical sneer

"we were just ready to break into the big money."

"i'm sorry, johnny, it won't happen again, i promise."

"get out there and get on with the show."

he gave her one of his sudden quick smiles and everything was o k

they will do it every time

alice reached into her pocket for the half pint of whiskey

what could she do? - she couldn't read everybody in the world's mind

everything would be different when they got into the big money

a dust storm was brewing on the horizon

maybe the rubes wouldn't show up and they would have to cancel the show

sometimes the way things turned out made you wonder

the whiskey went down her throat like a burning silk caterpillar

who will ever know your mind or anybody else's

the show started on time

sources: dashing diamond dick, by w b lawson
the liberty boys of '76, by harry moore
claude's confession, by emile zola
sinister street, by compton mackenzie
the hollow, by agatha christie
the case of the sulky girl, by erle stanley gardner
"the doll", by daphne du maurier
my cousin rachel, by daphne du maurier
here comes a candle, by fredric brown
"the freak show murders" by fredric brown
women, by charles bukowski
the accursed, by joyce carol oates

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