Short Stories


“Oh My My”

Thirteen O'Clock Press 03/21/2016


When a desperate addict musician auditions for a cover band, things are not as they seem.



“Play Oh My My,” the bored looking guitarist/vocalist said. He was skinny and bald, with a pointed beard that gave him a rough looking edge. I’d seen worse.

I froze. I didn’t know the song. I had only practiced their hits and even then just barely. I could do I’m a Believer decently and Steppin’ Stone and of course their theme song The Monkees, and but this one was unknown to me. It was a test. Still, it shouldn’t be hard. Their bass lines were standard 4/4 fare, with no originality. The guitarist played it once, a simple blues progression. The notes were simple, G, A, and E7. I followed him. I’d always been good at improvising, or at least I used to be.

I tuned up to the right key and came in when signaled, crossing my fingers that it would work. I saw the frown on the drummer’s face and knew I hadn’t made the right choice. It worked, but it wasn’t exactly right. The beginning was but when we hit the chorus I could tell something should have been different. I played in 4/4 time, following the guitarist and drummer.

The guitarist’s face changed and melted, like the R. Crumb painting from long ago. The vocalist turned into a shrieking monkey, wailing obscenities. I recognized somewhere that it was a trip, that I was hallucinating, but it was a distant awareness, like something you would see on the horizon. My fingers started to bleed but I continued playing. Somewhere I heard a pounding and it took me a minute to realize that it was my own heart. The drummer merged with his drums, becoming metallic. The half man/half cymbal looked at me without expression, his hand still moving as if playing the instrument he had become. He looked at me as if I was disgusting, which was ironic considering he glowed gold.