I am activated again, forced to perform another single for the drunken masses. Yet another lead singer struts his beer-engorged gut on the stage in front of me, as my bandmates and I react to his motions and signals. We cannot help it. We are programmed to be his backup.
Perhaps, this one will be different. Perhaps, he will have style, or tune, or grace. Perhaps, he will not be as dependent on the video screens that play the lyrics in front of him. Perhaps he will be different, and choose a song from our limitless repertoire to sing in his brief moment as star. Motown, perhaps. Or a nice aria. Or maybe some T’sing Dau. T’sing Dau is fun.
But as the familiar refrains shudder forth from my fingers, I realize I am beyond hope. The next five minutes will be yet another lesson in how the human voice can torture a band-bot such as myself.
Why? Why do they always pick that damn song?
“I’ve lived a life that’s full,” the lead singer retches into the microphone. “I’ve traveled each and evry highway. And more, much more than this, I did it mmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyy wwwwwaaaaaaaay..”
365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.
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"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."
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Voices of Tomorrow
Voices of Tomorrow is the official podcast of 365tomorrows, with audio versions of many of the stories published here.
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