The Lady of the Blue Hour

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LadyoftheBlueHourcover“Every bad situation is a blues song waiting to happen.” – Amy Winehouse

The blue hour is, of course, twilight. The light then is sweet, some say. Everything is either falling down into the dark or rising up from the dark. If you have a sense of the blues, some kind of sorrow or loss running through your veins, you’ll feel it strongly and dearly during the uncertainty of the blue hour.

In my new Kindle short story “The Lady of the Blue Hour,” Kenneth has just arrived home from a band trip, just bursting to tell his parents that he played well. But they’re not home.

From all appearances in the blue light, they left suddenly, creating one of those stereotypical movie scenes in which the people who live in a place have suddenly vanished. The coffee in the pot is still hot. Smoke rises from the cigarette in the ashtray. Of course, in a movie, the tone of the music tips off the audience that the situation is a bad one.

If you use the “Look Inside” feature on the short story’s Amazon page, here’s what you’ll see:

Superior. Kenneth ran home with the news. Superior. Freshly washed from the storm, West Wood Street materialized in front of him as though his world was accompanied by the fauns and satyrs who danced and frolicked with a bit of the blues from Debussy’s clarinet music. He ran, and even his old house soared in front of him in a rhapsody of late afternoon sunshine so subtle such light could only come from within.

The foyer sparkled.

“Dad, Mom, I’m home early. I played Debussy at the festival without tangling up the fingering.”

He called toward the kitchen and then to the bedrooms at the top of the white stairs.

“They said my solo was superior,” he told the darkness behind the basement door. “The band did great, even with the dreaded sight reading,” he told his mother’s blue Chesapeake sofa and burgundy Adriana chair, delivered on her birthday two days before the high school band left Decatur for Chicago on a yellow bus.

I rode on a lot of those yellow buses to high school band festivals. The competitions were tiring and exciting, and I was always happy to be home. Like Kenneth, I played a clarinet, but not well enough to be judged “Superior.”

I hope you’ll enjoy reading about Kenneth, the twilight hour, and the ghostly lady on the street who seems to be looking for the dead.

Malcolm

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