Messenger-inquirer obituaries

Owensboro, KY's premiere reddit presence!

2011.11.05 01:49 neobchod Owensboro, KY's premiere reddit presence!

Consider this a loose info dump for anything happening in or around Owensboro.

2021.05.18 22:49 elpajaroquemamais [SF] Island 27

Island 27
Chapter 1: The man in the mirror
The crowd was exceptionally large and loud tonight. Butch stood there, shaking and trying to get the bottle open so he could medicate himself again, the only way his crippling anxiety ever subsided. His pills weren’t legal, but they helped, albeit temporarily. Sometimes the effects even wore off before the show was over. Once, the crowd cheered for more and he denied them his signature 7-song encore.
He had always enjoyed playing music for an audience, but the audience was everywhere now: streets, restaurants, even trying to take pictures as he would walk through his yard to his front door. He could never step off life’s stage and be anonymous again; the viral marketing campaign from the record label had made sure of that.
When he saw the man standing in the doorway behind him as he looked up and into the vanity mirror, he ignored him again as he always had. He was just a hallucination, a side effect of the little gray tablets. This time, he didn’t go away. He was, as always, wearing a black suit and tie, looking sharp and forgettable at the same time. As Butch walked to the door, he was there. “My name is Mercury,” said the man.
“How did you get back here?” replied Butch.
“That’s not important. I’d like a few minutes of your time after the show. Don’t worry, I’ll find you.” “What kind of a fucking name is Mercury,” he murmured to himself as he walked away, rolling up his sleeves to reveal the multi colored tattoos on his arms. He was dressed in his typical garb: Dark jeans (skin tight when he was younger, looser now) with the cuffs rolled up exactly 3 times to show his grandfather’s army boots that he still wore, a white wrinkly button-up shirt, a prominent yet ungaudy belt buckle, and a vest. He topped it all off with a fedora. He had dozens of each component, and this completed his often imitated look.
5 years ago, playing music was like breathing. It filled his soul with a light he couldn’t find anywhere else. Performing these days, however, was like trying to stay awake during a long drive when you haven’t slept. He knew he needed to continue and give it his best, but he really just wanted to let go and suffer the consequences. The record label would withhold his pay for a month. That was the penalty for a failed or incomplete gig. They owned his time, and he knew it.
If he was mailing in his performance each night, he was the only one who knew it. His bandmates bragged in interviews about how much he loved what he did. The reviews of his performances and albums were first-rate, raving about his “flawless stage presence” and “contagious energy that makes it seem like the whole venue is breathing in unison.”
He went out and played the usual mix of new album tracks and hits from the last 3 years, although he wished he could still get away with AC/DC and Led Zeppelin covers with the occasional original. He hated this music: the production, the process, the assembly-line like procedures of pop songwriting, and especially the deep meaning people were able to attach to these hollow, wooden lyrics.
The internet was rife with his picture and one of his “inspirational” lyrics superimposed. “They’re just random words that rhyme,” he thought to himself. “Don’t overthink it, people.” He hadn’t written a song he really connected with since “Julia.” That was 6 years ago when was only barely old enough to drink. Julia was 30 at the time, but looked 25. It was his first heartbreak. He barely thought about her anymore, even though her song made him famous. Times had changed.
It was a frigid November night in Brooklyn, and as he walked in the alley to his bus, he was stopped again by the mysterious man. “It’s cold out here. I prefer tropical climates.”
Butch quipped, “Then why are you here?” “To help you.” “Help me what?” “Escape this life. Do away with this constant breakdown you are experiencing.” “Nobody except my doctor knows any of this. How do you?” “Because that’s my job. To find people that need to escape, and help them. I’m good at my job, Mr. Harper.” “How can you possibly help?” “I’d be glad to show you. My car is right over here. Let’s go.” Whatever he was walking into couldn’t be any worse than his everyday life. Even if he got hurt or killed, it would be a welcome escape. # #
Chapter 2: Scenes from an Italian restaurant
“Tiramisu, please. Thank you,” ordered Mercury to the waiter. “It’s the best I’ve ever had, and I’ve had it in Italy.” Butch inquired, “What is your job that you travel so much, and how can you help me?” The man, with a smile, replied, “I help people like you get away from the crazy life that celebrity brings: musicians, actors, even presidents. Mercury is not my real name, Mr. Harper. As my name implies, I’m a messenger for my employer.”
Looking puzzled, Butch lowered his fork, piercing the last ravioli. “If you do this all the time like you say you do, why don’t we have all of these missing people?” “Because once you get away, you have to stay away. It’s a solution, and it’s a permanent one, but it’s not without sacrifice. When people die young, sometimes they really do die. Sometimes it’s us.”
Confused anger filled his face. “You can’t expect me to give up my wife, my kid, and my family to fake my death.”
Mercury replied stoically, “I assure you this reaction is typical. Like I said, this solution is not without sacrifice. It rubs people the wrong way at first. I will never try to force you into this decision, though. It is something you must want and the choice is final once you make it.”
With a little more calmness to his voice, Butch asked, “Where do I go if I say yes? Where can I go that people won’t know me? Cameras are everywhere, even overseas. Every vacation I’ve had has failed because some fan recognized me.”
“I understand wanting to know more, but you’ll just have to trust me. You’ll still be very alive and away from this nightmare in which you currently reside. I am sorry for my ambiguity and there is always reluctance, but I promise you we have plenty of happy customers. If you say yes, all your questions will be answered when we get you out.”
“Customers.So I have to pay you?”
“Of course. That’s how we maintain our operation. It’s a percentage of your income, so it’s very sustainable over time. We won’t ever kick you out. I’ll make one more visit to you in one week. It looks like you’re scheduled to be in Atlanta next week. I’ll drop in on you after the show. If you say yes, we’ll get started right away. If you say no, I’ll never bother you again and you can continue on with your current life. Any more questions?”
“Yes. You have an accent I’ve never heard before in any of my trips around the world. Where are you from?”
“That’s a story for another day, my friend.”
Deep down, he had already made his decision, and he knew it. It was the only way to stay alive and escape, it seemed. Was it selfish to put his family and friends through so much suffering over his death? Without doubt, yes. But he just couldn’t take it anymore. During his three-day break, he flew home and had dinner with his family. He cooked, of course, because any restaurant would just be filled with paparazzi. Although they didn’t know it, he was saying goodbye. He hoped he somehow could avoid seeing their faces crying on TV, but he still knew he had no choice; he was miserable.
When Mercury showed up that next Thursday, Butch was nervous, but when he asked if he was ready, Butch nodded in confident agreeance. “There’s no going back after this moment. Are you sure?” “I’m sure.” #
Chapter 3: Blood on the Tracks
William Lewis “Butch” Harper died on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 at approximately 11:42 p.m. Known for his honest delivery and soulful performances, Mr. Harper’s genuine musical style is sure to be missed. Although the circumstances aren’t completely known, authorities have pieced together that Mr. Harper was intoxicated and fell in front of a MARTA train as it came into Decatur station Tuesday night. He is survived by his wife, Jeanie, a 3-year old son, William Harper Jr., and his parents, Elouise and Jim Harper of Stamford, Connecticut. The family will have a private service in their home and asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Foundation for Alcoholism Research. He read the obituary from the plane. It was surreal to see his name, and the body double from the pictures was uncanny. He hadn’t died from alcohol, and there weren’t many addiction specialists that would think he had a problem, but that was an easy explanation for someone falling in front of a train, and easy to get in the bloodstream of the body.
“What now?” inquired Butch. “We go.” “Where?” “Nowhere.” The plane took off and, as far as he could tell, carried Butch and Mercury west. The plane flew low but extremely fast. “No radar detection this way,” explained Mercury.
“People weren’t meant to handle this type of stress, Mr. Harper. Our bodies haven’t caught up to this technology. We are so connected to everything all the time. You can sing at a normal volume and technology makes it to where a stadium of 100,000 people can hear you like you’re singing directly to them. Our bodies are still expecting hunting and gathering, and we have turned everything into a constant stream of calendar appointments and deadlines. You’re an idol, Butch, and that comes with a lot of unrealistic expectations. Our organization was started in 44 BC by our first leader, Brutus. He knew that his friend Julius needed to be free of his duties.”
“This is crazy,” cried Butch in disbelief, “you mean to tell me there is some secret organization that removes celebrities from the public and it has been going on for 2000 years? Surely you don’t expect me to believe that bullshit.”
Staying calm, as always, Mercury began again, “I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. Being the leader of something as large as the Roman Empire was something that humans were simply not meant to experience. That much stress and responsibility simply isn’t natural. When we started, we were a remote mountain village in the Alps, we had to get more creative in the 20th century with the advent of radar and satellites. We have had some brilliant scientists in our group over the years, and they always seem to stay one step ahead of emerging technologies. Tesla is a whiz at keeping us hidden. Our island is completely invisible unless you are a resident.” “Island?”
“Wait, did you say Tesla?”
“I didn’t realize he died young.”
“86 to be exact. Once every several hundred years, someone comes along whose technology we need. I considered having him on the island, but his technology was also helping the outside world and his life wasn’t really all that stressful. I met with him in secret several times a year and brought his technology back here. We paid him well for it, which allowed him to fund some impressive research. When he was ready, we brought him to Island 27.”
All over the world, vigils were held for the fallen artist, with the typical cliches of “gone too soon” and “RIP.” The largest was in New York City, where a section of Central Park was roped off and filled with wreaths and flowers. The world was going to miss him. Little did they know, their sentiment was not mutual. #
Chapter 4 - La Isla Bonita
When they landed, they were in the middle of a sandy beach surrounded by tropical jungle. As they walked down a clearing, there were dozens of cabanas off in the distance. A group walked up to them as they were approaching. Mercury greeted them with a smile, “Janis, Jim, Kurt, I want you to meet our newest resident, Butch.”
Butch stood awestruck as some of his biggest influences stood in front of him, looking as if they had aged maybe 5 years each. Cobain hadn’t seemingly aged at all. He turned to Mercury with a look of astonishment. Mercury, seemingly reading his thoughts, said, “Yes. They aren’t dead, we just gave them an escape, like you. Because of the technology and lack of bad environment, you can expect to live to at least 300 while here. Kind of gives new meaning to the Forever 27 club, doesn’t it?”
“So why were they all taken at 27?” inquired Butch.
“Yes. 27 is the age that we have determined, through a lot of experience, in which a person can make this decision in a sound mind. Any younger and they can mistake the angst of youth for a truly insufferable existence. That is why this island is called Island 27. That is the age of a lot of our residents. Occasionally, we will take someone early if their life is exceptionally difficult, like in the cases of James Dean and River Phoenix, and sometimes they are older,” replied Mercury.
“Like John Lennon.”
“No, unfortunately Lennon isn’t with us.” An overwhelming rush of emotion overtook Butch as he mentally prepared to interact with some of the most prominent cultural icons of the 20th century, some of whom he respected immensely. He rattled off names and Mercury confirmed them.
“Jimi Hendrix?”
“Marilyn Monroe?”
“They share a house.”
A man walked up as they were talking, and even without his trademark sideburns, it was clear who was standing in front of him: Elvis Aaron Presley. “Hey there, man. It’s real nice to see you.” He continued walking down to the beach. “I can’t wait to play ‘Suspicious Minds’ for him and see what he thinks,” thought Butch to himself. A question suddenly came to Mercury, and he trudged through his embarrassed reluctance to ask. “My death was a freak accident, and believable. Why did you guys kill Elvis on the toilet?”
“We used to let people choose their own deaths, and after him, we stopped. It just got too risky. People started saying that it wasn’t him in the coffin, and we had to cover our tracks, no pun intended, a little better. We thought about changing it after Marie demanded a public execution, as is her style, but we kept it around until Elvis just pushed us over the edge.”
“You mean ‘was her style,’ right?”
“No. Is.”
As he reached the shore, he looked around at the landscape, which looked as if it had been designed based on an amalgamation of all the most pristine tropical destinations on earth. It was paradise, through and through. As he was looking, something that starkly contrasted this Eden was the barbed wire fence that surrounded the jungle, which in turn surrounded a volcano, though it didn’t look to be active.
“Hey Mercury, what’s with the fence?”
“That area is unfortunately forbidden. There are many dangerous animals in that jungle, and although it is very tempting, we must always stay away. We’ve lost several people over the years. Mr. Holly was too curious about it. Every day, he kept getting closer, and subsequently went in. We finally had to take precautions to keep you all out I’m afraid. Get settled, and we’ll talk more in the morning.”
Butch settled into his cabana, which was perfectly decorated for the version of him that only he knew. The posters, instruments, books, and furniture were the greatest hits of all his studio apartments and houses. He finally went to sleep, although he found it hard to fathom falling asleep during what felt like a dream.
Chapter 5: Another Day In Paradise
Butch woke up around 10 am and swam in the ocean, which reminded him of his trip to Costa Rica before he hit it big. The water temperature was perfect for swimming, and he did so for a good long while. It was so nice to be on a beach where he wasn’t swarmed by his legions of fans.
Later, he connected with Elvis, and after apologizing to him for bothering his rest, he reluctantly asked if they could have a jam session. Elvis obliged, remarking, “You’re the first person in a while to actually come here and want to still play. Everyone else got tired of music when they were forced to do it for a living 340 days a year, but my love for it always went deeper than most.”
The next hour was like something out of a dream. As he wanted, he showed Elvis his cover of Suspicious Minds, and when Elvis asked to hear his originals, he played them, Elvis learned them, and played them back. Butch thought about the pills he used to take, and realized gleefully that he no longer needed them. The island had done as Mercury promised. It had taken him away from the unbearable stress of his dreaded fame. He was free.
He couldn’t wait to spend the next several hundred years meeting all the residents and hearing their stories. He went around from cabana to cabana, and met only a small group of the several hundred inhabitants. Kennedy, a lifelong sufferer of Addison’s disease, seemed to be completely cured and pain free, and still spoke very softly of Jackie, and was glad she was able to find love again. “She handled the fame better than Jack and I ever could. She was so graceful and poised, and she deserved the best, but I’m glad he’s here with me,” said Marilyn Monroe, carrying 3 glasses of wine. She was brunette again, and very reminiscent of her early photo shoots, even though that had been 60 years ago.
The fame and the stress was all worth it for this permanent retreat. He couldn’t believe he would even be considered in the same category as all these historical icons. He just knew he would wake up eventually, but he never did. Day after day, he learned all he could about these people from the best source possible: themselves. Much to his surprise, they were all equally eager to know about him. Most of them had been here since before his first album came out, although he was curious about someone who wasn’t.
He had been in a house band that opened for her back when she was starting to generate some buzz around London, and was certain she wouldn’t remember him. He was wrong.
“Butch, right? How crazy to see you ‘ere. I never fought I would see anyone I ever met again. It’s overwhelming when you first get ‘ere, but it gets pretty normal in a monf’ or so,” she responded in her Cockney accent. “You nevah get ovah the beauty of the place fough. Sometimes I go out by myself, and just look across the water.”
Year after year, Butch settled in and got to know most of the residents, welcoming the new ones when they arrived as he was welcomed when he did. One night, he was strolling through the village, when he saw Mercury quietly creeping behind the cabanas. He silently followed, and couldn’t believe it when Mercury slipped through an unseen hole in the barbed wire fence and entered the jungle. #
Chapter 6: Night Moves
Butch followed Mercury, avoiding detection as best he could, and followed him through a path that had clearly been used frequently. Butch began to wonder what was hiding through the jungle, and began to deeply question Mercury’s honesty.
The jungle was dense and vast, and other than the cleared path, it was impossible to see more than 10 feet through the trees. Contrary to Mercury’s warnings, there were no animals to be seen or heard at all. He followed him at a normal pace for roughly an hour, and must have walked 4 miles. He was careful not to step on leaves or sticks and stayed a comfortable distance behind him to avoid detection.
When the path opened up to a clearing, there was a stone temple cut into the volcano, with four Corinthian columns spanning two stories from the ground to a portico overhang. Mercury hurried inside, with a bag that Butch noticed for the first time. He followed quietly to the doorway and peeked around the corner.
What he saw next was strange, even for this place. Mercury produced what appeared to be a cooked leg from an animal, and handed it to a man he had not yet met on the island, lying on the bed in a toga. The man began to eat, and spoke in a weak voice. “Who is it this time?”
“Aaron Burr, Sir.”
“He saw a lot in his time. His flesh tastes of adventure, and of spite.”
“That makes sense, my lord Brutus. He did lead an interesting life, before his time here.”
Butch’s heart raced in disbelief, and he barely succeeded in not audibly gasping at the reality before him. Brutus was still alive. He looked to be on the edge of death, but still, he looked pretty good to be over 2000 years old. Butch had so many questions, and he knew he couldn’t ask Mercury or he would have to admit to what he saw. He took off running back toward the village as quickly as he could, barely avoiding tripping several times. He was petrified and exhausted, but made it back to the cabana with a full moon overhead. He tried to sleep, but couldn’t, and decided to take a walk.
“You’re up late.” The voice startled him, and he knew immediately that it was the last person he wanted to see right now, and his intonation told him what he already suspected. Mercury knew.
“I found this, and I think you know where.” It was the ring his father had given him when he turned 15. It was silver with a wave pattern made from small turquoise stones. It was one of his most prized possessions, and one of the only things of value he still had from his old life. He must have lost it his panic.
“You lied to me. You told me this place was paradise. It’s not; it’s hell. Is he going to eat me too?”
“Butch, I can explain, if you’ll just let me.”
“I want to go back.”
“I told you, you can’t.”
“Am I the only person who knows about Brutus?”
“Yes, and we are going to keep it that way. I tell you what. I’ll give you a choice: I’ll tell you the truth about all of this, and you can decide for yourself. If you really want to go back, I’ll let you.”
Chapter 7: Sympathy for the Devil
“As I told you before, and I was telling the truth, Brutus brought Julius Caesar away from society to save him from the fame. In the village high in the Alps, we met Otzi. He was a medicine man who had been living in the area for over 3,000 years, and after gaining his trust, we learned his secrets. You see, when Prometheus created the humans, he defied Zeus, or Jupiter after the Romans adopted him, and gave us fire. He also gave us another attribute which went hidden for thousands of years. As Otzi showed us, our lives could be prolonged. At first, this seems wonderful, but living up to his name, Prometheus gave us a limitation.
We can’t live any longer than 300 years. If we cross that threshold, we turn into beasts reminiscent of the deepest circles of hell. We simply were not meant to live that long. What he didn’t account for was our will to survive. Otzi never would tell us how he prolonged his life so long, but could never have predicted Brutus’ desperation would solve the puzzle. After Brutus and Julius had lived in the village for almost 300 years, Julius started to turn, and the worst winter storm they had seen in their prolonged lives set in.
Brutus, being afraid and confused, killed Julius in his newly troglodytic form, and being hungry, ate him. What Brutus discovered next was the most surprising of all: upon eating but a single leg of the meat he cooked for himself, he appeared 150 years younger. He knew he had to keep this secret to himself, and started switching out Otzi’s meals for regular animal meats while he wasn’t looking. Before long, Brutus was the sole keeper of this cannibalistic secret.
Unsurprisingly, he wanted to continue living, so he started recruiting, again under the guise of rescuing people under stress. At first, it was almost always emperors because of their receptiveness and their amazement at Brutus’ still being alive. After a while, he got an assistant, and named him after his favorite god.”
“No, although Mercury was the name he chose, I am the 4th person to hold that mantle. The first was Constantine, and I took over from Dante.”
“Who were you, then?”
“Leonardo da Vinci. I told you I would explain my accent.”
“Why aren’t you a monster then?”
“Like Brutus himself, I partake in the turned residents, though not as frequently. I fear we are coming to the end of an era, though. Every time he eats, Brutus regains less and less vitality. Maybe Prometheus had more forethought that we anticipated. He ages almost faster than I can bring him the meat now. We still haven’t figured out how Otzi did it for another millennium beyond this. Anyway, knowing this, do you still want to go back to civilization?”
“I do. I guess you’ll swear me to secrecy, huh?”
“Actually, you won’t know where we are, you’ll never find us again, and no one would believe you anyway. Tell anyone you want. You can’t have your old life back though, as you’re already dead.”
“I don’t want it back.”
Chapter 8: Back on the Chain Gang
Butch was dropped off via private jet in a familiar location: LAX. It had been 5 years since he died, and it was strange to see all the people. His thick beard and modest clothing did its best to hide his identity, as did the time that had passed. He started working at a bicycle shop for weekly cash pay, eventually saved up enough to buy his favorite old 1988 Sunburst Telecaster from the fan who had bought at it his estate auction, and started playing in his apartment. He had the urge to write like he never had before, and he wrote four albums’ worth of material in two weeks. Since he didn’t have a ton of money, he narrowed the songs down to one album, and took the rough sketches into a studio.
He payed as he always did these days, with cash, and recorded a demo. He sent it to all the record labels he could find, and was quickly contacted by a local independent label for distribution rights. He maintained that he didn’t want to meet in person, and the label agreed to release the demo as is because of its raw sound.
The mysterious unseen artist quickly skyrocketed to fame once more. He kept all the reviews and clippings he could find, and framed one that he felt was written by someone who would enjoy the true story behind the new music.
“Emerging artist Mercury’s Sandal has released his debut album, and I am simultaneously rejoicing in two artists being back from the dead. The predominant sound is eerily reminiscent of early Butch Harper tracks like ‘Julia’ but the rockabilly influence can definitely be heard on a few tracks as well. Harper and Elvis must have sent this one down from Heaven, because that’s what it sounds like. Do yourself a favor and download this one. I tried to reach the artist for an interview, but his label maintains that he is extremely reclusive and doesn’t do interviews. I’ll keep trying, and here’s hoping for a sophomore project soon.”
His label got the idea to market him as a cartoon artist, like Gorillaz or the Archies. To cement this idea, his first single off of his sophomore album was a cover of “Sugar, Sugar.” The public continued to love his throwback sound and wanted to meet him, but he stayed away and continued writing. Such is life.
As he went to a coffee shop one day, he saw him. A man he had never met was with him, but he knew that face anywhere. It was his Willie. Even though he wanted to say hello to his long lost son, it would be cruel to confuse the kid after he had probably spent several years trying to move on. One last detail twisted the dagger a little deeper: He was wearing a Butch Harper tour t-shirt.
He continued to write and record, but never performed live. While recording his third album, his still oblivious sound engineer jokingly suggested he record a cover of ‘Julia’. As the joke evolved into a serious notion, they paid the money, bought the rights to the song from the estate of his dead former self, and set out to do it. It came naturally to him, and he was rushed with all the emotion that he had the first time he recorded it. The tricky part this time was to sound different enough as to not give himself away. As it had been the first time, it was a hit. “How strange”, he thought, “to have two different number one hits with the same song.”
Chapter 9: Deja Vu
“I see you’ve been busy, Butch.”
He hadn’t been called by that name in over 10 years, but he knew exactly who it was. Mercury was back, and he looked as if he hadn’t aged a day.
“Leo, I didn’t ever expect to see you again. I’m successful, stress free, and I haven’t told a soul about my five year island getaway. So why are you here?”
“That’s precisely why I’m here, Butch. Brutus has died.”
“So what now, do you shut the whole operation down?”
“Not exactly. I have a plan, but I’ll need your help. You see, you have been back here for 10 years, you’ve stayed anonymous and out of trouble, and you haven’t told anyone about the island, even your son.”
“How did you-”
“Not important,” he responded. “You passed the test, and I want the island to keep going, but I want it to be different. I don’t want to eat people anymore; it’s barbaric. I want the island to be exactly as I advertise it. A paradise to live out the rest of your days. I want to be completely transparent about the 300 year threshold, and give people a peaceful death right before it, which is of course better than having to be hunted as a wild animal.”
“Sounds like you have it all figured out. Why do you need my help?”
“Because I’m almost 600 years old, and like I said, I want to stop eating people, but I want to be sure I’ve left it to someone who can sustain the island in a realistic and dignified way. Constantine passed his title to Eric the Red, who passed it to Dante, who passed it to me. I want you to take over now as the new Mercury, and bring this new era to fruition. You’d be able to come back and record your music while you were recruiting new members who need to escape.”
As before, Butch thought about it, but had already made his decision. He packed up and joined Mercury on the jet. When they arrived, they rounded up all the residents, told them all the truth, and gave every single one of them a choice to leave. The only one who decided to leave was Napoleon, who ironically decided to spend his last few years on Elba.
Over the next 6 months, the fence was torn down from the jungle, and the temple became a place of incredible solace for the inhabitants. It’s where one day, several years later, Mercury laid on the same bed where Butch had seen Brutus, and silently passed away while given a clear injection designed by Tesla. He had started to turn after not eating the meat, and Butch knew it was time for him to go. All was well and Butch became the fifth Mercury. Soon, no one called him Butch anymore, and he passionately carried out his duties.
Chapter 10: May the Circle Be Unbroken
Butch walked through the streets of Los Angeles with no danger of being recognized. He had been alive for 55 years, but looked 30, and was familiar to no one. He stopped by his favorite record store and looked through the new releases, when he saw it: Willie Harper’s blues revue. Despite no direct influence, his son had followed in his footsteps. His first emotion was pride, but it slowly gave way to an unwavering anxiety in wondering if his son was happy.
He started looking around and finding every bit of information he could about his son, and learned some tragic news: Jeanie had died. Although he hadn’t seen her in years, the news crashed on him like an avalanche. Not only was the love of his life gone, his son was an orphan. He saw in the tour dates that Willie was playing at the Haw River Ballroom in North Carolina, and he decided to go. Although he shared a lot of duties with his predecessor, their wardrobe couldn’t be more different. Butch still dressed as if he was on tour in the early 2010s, with his denim jackets and vests.
The show was an unbelievable mix of blues, soul, and the popular synthesizer driven rock typical of the time. Butch had played this venue on his way up, and still remembered all of its nooks and crannies. He snuck his way backstage right before the show ended and waited by the door. Through the crack he could see white lines on the table and a familiar bottle of pills on the dresser. “My boy is just like me,” he thought. As he came around the stage to the room, Butch ducked around a corner to avoid being seen.
After a few deep breaths and contemplations about a moment for which he had waited 20 years, he stepped into the door. Familiar eyes looked up from the white dust covered table, and quipped, “Who are you?”
“My name is Mercury. I’d like a few minutes of your time after the show.”
His son looked him in the eyes with a puzzled look and said, “What kind of a fucking name is Mercury?”
submitted by elpajaroquemamais to shortstories [link] [comments]

2017.08.08 22:48 excelladesign1 Chapter Summary of "Ask More" book

Chapter 1: Why ask?

SMART QUESTIONS MAKE SMARTER PEOPLE. We learn, connect, observe, and invent through the questions we ask.

Chapter 2: Diagnostic Questions

Our need to identify problems so we can act on them is an ingredient of daily existence
Types of diagnostic questions:
Write out a list of questions and don’t let up until every one of them is addressed. If the specialist you’ve chosen can’t or won’t answer your questions, see that as a red flag, a clear sign that you need to get a second (or third) opinion

Chapter 3: Strategic Questions

Types of Strategic Questions
When taking controversial action, ask:
When taking another possible job, ask yourself:
  1. Do I have an obligation?
  2. Do I really want to do it?
  3. Do I have the passion to do it?
  4. Do I have the organizational ability to do it?
  5. Am I going to enjoy the work or be good at it?
  6. What is my family’s view of this?
When considering a major decision:

Chapter 4: Empathy Questions

Types of empathy questions:
You can ask questions about their childhood and find out, were they sick, were they well? Just all those things that create who you are.

Chapter 5: Bridging Questions

Bridging questions are intended to encourage people to talk when they don’t want to. They coax information, glean detail, and assess intent and capability.
Your prospects of getting a closed person to open up is enhanced if you:
Echo questions enable you to use the other person’s own words for emphasis and as a follow-up question. Add inflection to suit the mood—sympathy, surprise, and humor.
Bridge-building questions work best when people are at cognitive ease and feel they have a receptive audience.

Chapter 6: Confrontational Questions

SOMETIMES YOU CAN’T BUILD BRIDGES. You’re not looking for empathy and you’re not looking for trust. You just need an answer.
Confrontational questions work best when you:
Before you confront somebody, ask yourself:
There are also several things to consider when confronting somebody:

Chapter 7: Creativity Questions

Creativity questions invite us to pull out the paintbrush, throw away the coloring book and think differently. They prompt our imaginations.
When asking creativity questions, you must:
What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Chapter 8: Mission Questions

Mission questions ask more of everybody. They help you draw people into a genuine conversation about shared goals and what everyone can bring to the task. They help you convey your priorities.
When you're pitching other people your mission, you must:
Ask about values and priorities. Find out what resonates and where your common interests lie. The answers may lead to collaboration and commitment.
Once you've established your mission, ask yourself:
When talking to other people, some problems you might come up with include:

Chapter 9: Scientific Questions

When asking scientific questions, you should:
How can my idea be wrong?

Chapter 10: Interview Questions

The first rule of the job interview: Don’t wing it. Preparation pays. Know what you’re talking about and to whom. Know as much as possible about the job. Have a list of questions on a pad and in your head. Think about where you’re going in the conversation, what you want to find out, and how you want to get there.
Prepare a response for the following questions:
To the astute interviewer, your tone will convey as much about you as the words you use, so strike a balance in how you present yourself. Talk about your successes without bragging, express confidence without sounding cocky, acknowledge your shortcomings without sounding insecure.
Some questions to ask the interviewer include:
Be ready for curveball questions that seem off-the-wall.
Good questions to ask interviewers:

Chapter 11: Entertaining Questions

What are the basic ingredients of entertaining questions?
Some questions include:
Politics, religion, and money will inspire some but turn into disasters with others. Know the difference and navigate deliberately.

Chapter 12: Legacy Questions

Chapter 13: I'm glad I asked

In some societies, questions are viewed as an outright threat. Repressive regimes know they cannot stand up to scrutiny or challenge. Thought dictatorships reject accountability and suppress curiosity.
Benjamin Franklin had said, “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”
Inquiry is the sincerest form of flattery. Ask a good question and you convey interest. Slow down, listen closely, and ask more and you engage at a deeper level.
submitted by excelladesign1 to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]