Short Story by Lance Manion. Keep on Keepin’ on

Short Story by Lance Manion. Keep on Keepin’ on

Keep on Keepin’ on by Lance Manion is Yareah Magazine proposal for this Sunday. A sharp short story about our realities and dreams. Have a nice day!


Photo by Ken Banks

Another night, another hard lesson in the politics of psychology.

Or was it the other way around?

His fingers raw from a long set, Jim picked his bass back up and trotted out on the stage for an encore.

Jim, or Jimbot (short for Jim Bottom … a moniker many bass players pick up), was all supply side during business hours.

But nobody ever got laid singing a song about fiscal responsibility.

Nothing good rhymes with budget or deficit.

So he stared out at the crowd and searched for the evening’s conquest. He knew that his window of opportunity was about to open in “1 … 2 … 3 … 4”.

“Rockin’ In The Free World” by Neil Young.

The word opportunity has many different connotations.

From the opening line he was attacking the man. Pointing fingers. Assigning blame. The size of his balls grew like the Grinch’s heart on Christmas morning.

But there’s a warnin’ sign

On the road ahead

“That’s right” he thought to himself … “Come to papa.”

The warning sign ahead might be the national debt or the mortgage crisis or any number of other economic troubles that waited at the doorstep of the concert hall like so many hellhounds but as he stood posturing amidst the light and the smoke he knew that this crowd had no interest in such things.

What they wanted was red meat and Jim was just the man to give it to them.

His balls threatened to push the monitors into the pit.

There’s one more kid

That will never go to school

Never get to fall in love,

Never get to be cool.

 His empathy was so obvious that girls who normally wouldn’t give him the time of day swooned if they so much as made eye contact with him.

Girls who had no idea about his investment portfolio or job prospects or anything else about him for that matter.

He marched around the stage as the guitar screamed out all the deficiencies of our society and the crowd became galvanized against all those who were responsible. The cold-hearted monsters who kept things as they were.

And at that moment every female’s panties would melt at the slightest touch of his machine gun hand.

We got a thousand points of light

For the homeless man

We got a kinder, gentler,

Machine gun hand

 And what’s funny is that for those few minutes Jimbot believed it. Every word. He was caught up in the swirling horseshit of being both the messenger and the message.

Fuck the man!

There is somebody to blame.

There are easy answers.

He was pointing the way.

Got a man of the people,

Says keep hope alive

Got fuel to burn,

Got roads to drive.

 He shouted the chorus again and again. Until he was hoarse.

He didn’t want the song to end.

Nobody did.

Once the feedback died down and after the inevitable blowjob in the dressing room everything would come back into focus.

Back to reality.

Back to educated men in expensive suits sitting in board rooms scattered across the country making decisions. Buying and selling.

Rockin’ in the free world.

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Lance Manion has been called demented, hilarious, quirky and well outside the mainstream. He has released 5 collections of short stories, contributes to numerous online flash fiction sites and blogs daily on his website Currently, his fifth book named "The Trembling Fist" is out and promises to be his fifthest yet. I'm sure there are a lot of redeeming features about Lance that we could mention but none of them are coming to mind just now. If we think of any we'll be sure to get back to you.

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