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Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest-The_Talent_Scout-by_Christine_Venzon.docx

declaration from the Les Paul. He rolled into “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” then “The House of the Rising Sun.” He tore into the riffs, gnawed and crunched them like a starving hound. Like revenge. A handful more bills fluttered in. He swigged from a bottle of Abita Springs as his audience trickled away. When he started again, the mood had changed. He dwelled over “Stormy Monday,” and Marti felt rain on the window and an old afghan on her shoulders. And when he sang, “Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline,” it undid her more than a moaning Muddy Waters or wailing Bessie Smith. She remembered a five left in her pocket from filling the tank. She dropped it in, meeting his eyes. “You play the blues like you’ve lived them.” He doffed his fedora. “Thank you, ma’am —.” An unabashed grin broke over his face. “No — just learning ’em.” “They still make you play outside?” “Yeah, but I’m doing good tonight.” She looked over his take so far. “This is a good night?” “Well, yeah. I won’t be dumpster diving at Back Yard Burgers for a couple days. That’s a joke.” “Good. Because E. coli is no way for a bluesman to go. Whiskey, yes. Fatal diarrhea, no.”


Microsoft Word - 2014_Great_American_Fiction_Contest-The_Talent_Scout-by_Christine_Venzon.docx
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