Jazz Gang Flash Fiction: Good Omens

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This flash fiction piece was written for Sunday Scribblings. Although it is set in the same world as Steal Tomorrow it is part of a new series of stories centered around some new characters. The "Extras" section of the sidebar will soon be updated to reflect this. In the meantime, enjoy the new story and then drop by Sunday Scribblings for more fun!

He had heard the sound for the last three nights, a plaintive wail that sometimes cooed like a homesick dove and other times howled like an omen of disaster.

Tim was skeptical that any catastrophe could befall him that hadn't already. Death, violence, hunger, dirty water, and dark nights without electricity had been bad enough, but now there was the cold of winter to deal with as well. The pandemic had taken everything and there was no fresh calamity Tim could find alarming.

As the sound started again, he shivered in the parka he had taken from a looted sporting goods store. The haunting song was familiar now, and not just because he had heard it before. Having finally identified it, Tim struggled to decide what, if anything, to do. Was the saxophone player the ghost of a jazz artist rotting in a mass grave, or was it a teenage survivor like himself, seeking a little comfort in music?

It seemed unlikely someone would waste precious energy on playing a sax when so much needed to be done just to survive, but Tim could relate. From his back pocket he pulled out a pair of snare sticks and drummed on a nearby surface. At first he played to his own inner rhythm, recalling the cadences he had played in marching band, but gradually his tapping slowed to accompany the sonorous call of the saxophone.

When the song ended, Tim smiled and shoved the sticks back in his pocket. Perhaps tomorrow he would work up the courage to seek out the mysterious musician. Maybe they could play together, or even start a band. Tim stifled a laugh at the absurdity of a post-apocalyptic musical group, but...why not? There was something oddly liberating about losing everything. Whatever the source of the mysterious saxophone's wail, it was a harbinger of good things to come.

If you enjoyed this story, check the sidebar, where you'll find the serialized novel, more flash fiction (including prequels), and other fun Steal Tomorrow stuff.


Old Egg said...

The sound of a saxophone and with it a faint glimmer of hope that perhaps is just one small indication that all is not lost.

Your ongoing contributions to the Steal Tomorrow saga allow us to question ourselves and how we too might survive such an event.

Belva Rae Staples said...

I love the hopeful tone in this. No matter how bad things get we can find something good if we try.

Other Mary said...

Ah, so nice to have a good omen!

Archna Sharma said...

It's a familiar thought, the possibility of the sound of music being an omen. A post-apocalyptic musical group doesn't seem so absurd when you think of how much light and life exists in music.
Anyway, I loved this excerpt.

Jae Rose said...

A fine jazz rift of flash..saxophones when played badly can be alarming..maybe they need a drummer to help..I hope they meet..Jae

K said...

I like the idea that they might start a band despite everything. Tim, and Mario have proved here that situations do not have to define us...even the worst of them.
This was a lovely hopeful read.

Alice Audrey said...

Good omen indeed. So this is how the band is formed. I'm so glad I finally clicked on the link menu.