Short Fiction – The unusual map

Two things changed my original idea for this Friday’s post. On Tuesday I went to see Bon Mould play in L.A. where he did a complete run through of the album “Copper Blue”, which he recorded under the band name “Sugar”. This album, one of my all time favorites, meant I was really looking forward to it. He also played some of the new album and a few other “oldies” of his. I had never seen him live before, I loved it. The band played really well. Hearing a complete run through of Copper Blue live was, well, worth the wait. For me anyway. It made me want to use it in some small way.

Last Tuesday night at the El Rey

My original idea for this post was to write another 100 word fiction. However the second thing that changed the post, was the idea of writing a short story to tie in with another post I am going to put up soon. I think the gig more tied in with doing that post, than this one. It is a post I thought of a few months back, but had not gotten round to write yet. More on that idea at the end. It was however, clear then that 100 words were not nearly enough for the short story. I think this one ended at 300+ words so it is still a short read, but way over the 100 word exercise. I did this in about 30 mins so apologies if it needs a few corrections.

The Unusual Map

In the moonlight, the Man stood for a moment, closed his eyes, and cast out his net. He took a deep breath, then with a flash of light, it began. For he was not a normal man, and this was not a net of rope and hole. He was what is known to some, as a net-caster. He who saw things in a different way. His cast, a net that could attract unusual maps and people. You might call these music maps if it helps you understand. They can tell you a lot about a person, their stories mostly, how these songs attach to people. These things being what he existed for.

A few seconds later, he withdrew to check if it was working, and to see if there were any bites. Already there were. Adjusting a frequency, like you might tune a radio, he found a track called “Changes” by a band called “Sugar”, and he found a young man attached to it. A rock band, a young man beginning to find his identity, nothing unusual there. Tapping a slender Index finger on his chin, the net-caster ran his eyes over the map. The young man was not young anymore, and there was much more to his story. He hung this map up on his review board. It would require more time and effort later. For now in his net, there was a map seemingly incomplete.

Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful world” was a destination on many maps, yet this one very significant. A man called Lewis, 27 years old with bad ideas. He wanted to try many things once, odd things like jump from a plane, and attach this song as a soundtrack. One of these bad ideas was to enter a freeway exit the wrong way. To the net-caster this seemed especially strange as there did not seem to be a plan for how he might turn around again. As it turned out, there wasn’t. Lewis hit another car head on. As the map demonstrated “A wonderful world” linked to many of his daft ideas, his life events, to his end, and ironically, his funeral. Lady Gaga’s “Poker face” was the end for the two people he hit head on with his car. The net-caster did not know what to make of this. You often do not choose what fits on a map, but that is what it is.

The net-caster thought humans were strange sometimes. Like the way they describe the reflected light from the moon as cold.

The post this links to, or should I say will link to, is themed around how certain music tracks are linked to you, through certain events in your life. They may not always seem significant. They may not be things you would necessarily choose, but nevertheless they are there. You will hear the song, it puts you in a particular place. The post looks at this from the other side. I will likely put it up next friday.

Lexicon word of the day: oniochalasia. Registered & Protected

14 comments on “Short Fiction – The unusual map

  1. What a way to be original in your creativity – I really love this and I get it… I definitely want to read more… 🙂

  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    Interesting and creative. What a nice way to fuse the worlds of music and writing.

  3. jmmcdowell says:

    I think it’s a good experiment. I’m curious what the net caster is and why he does what he does. Are there others like him? I think you’ve got the basis for a good short story here.

    • Elliot says:

      I have an idea to use this character in something, although the point of this short piece was more to accompany the other post that will follow maybe next week. But that said, he does raise lots of interesting possibilities.

  4. Smaktakula says:

    “Buying as a means of mental relaxation.” That’s a good one.”
    And when you call “Sugar” oldies, it makes me feel extra old, because I think of “Sugar” as the new band, and Husker Du (I’m not gonna bother with umlauts) the old one!

    • Elliot says:

      I think he played a couple of Husker du tracks. But Copper Blue is 20 years old so I guess it is an old one now. This must be how people who lived through the Beatles felt, in the eighties.

  5. rtd14 says:

    It is great you use music to inspire your writing. Certain songs make the connection to a certain soundtrack never created by the a movie producer, but wouldn’t be great, because they are the songs that connect to your life? Great job!

  6. DyingNote says:

    Sugar, Copper Blue – discovery. Thanks.

    Wish there was more than a ‘Like’ button here. Totally love “The Unusual Map” and am looking forward to the ‘promised’ post

    • Elliot says:

      If it is not clear, I love Copper Blue! If you like it, check out it’s younger brother, the 6 track “Beaster”. These tracks were recorded in the same sessions but are darker and work better as their own album. I often call this one my fave all time album. I own it on vinyl, cd and cassette.

      Glad you liked the post.

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