Crimes & Misdemeanors
Stories by writers Thomas Kearnes, Steve Young , Kevin Norris, Todd Mercer, and Angelita Bradney, performed by actors Jeff Wills, Seth James, Samantha Jane Gurewitz, Jon Sprik, and Lauren Clark. Hosted by Andrew Lloyd-Jones at KGB Bar on Wednesday, 7th October 2015.
The owner of the club had named it Outlaws because he liked pretending we were in the Old West. Never mind that we lived in dead-center East Texas. In the club, a narrow walkway circled the sunken dance floor. Colored strobe lights winked over the men foolish enough to think their dancing prowess impressed us. One bar was located at a front corner of the club while a second loomed in back. The region’s most convincing drag queen, a dude who insisted we call him Nadine, often shimmied inside a floor-to-ceiling cage while we feigned arousal.
Some nights, all we looked forward to was the arrival of Crackhead Clint.
Her walls were bare except for a picture postcard of a bearded Jesus in a white robe and winged sandals. He floated among puffs of silver and white clouds, in a pale blue, watercolor sky. Otherwise the wallpaper was ugly and mottled, serial rows of beige goose bumps and stapled seams. Her room was as small as a prison cell and chilly, and the single bed was too low and too soft, a cheap mattress covered by a pink electric blanket that no longer provided warmth.
The black tower appeared in the garden overnight.
I had stumbled out of bed to to make the tea, my seventy-odd years weighing heavy as I shuffled across the kitchen. Shreds of dark dreams clung to me; they had been getting worse, night by night. Filling the kettle, I glanced at the window, expecting to see the sundial and the magnolia tree, maybe birds pecking at the food I'd put out the night before. But instead there was the tower. Shock jolted me awake. I dropped the kettle and splashed water over my dressing gown.