The Murder of a Jazz Musicain
Chapter oneIt rained that night, but in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square people party just the same, but when the time is 3 in the morning not many wants to party. So now all the drunks go home in their vehicles. One of them will die, and four others will kill ten more, three of them children. One kid won’t make it pass five, and two won’t even make it pass ten, another drunk will hit a pole. He’ll run away like they always do, then he’ll trip and hit his head, blood will gush out, killing him in ten minutes.
It’s sad as it is inane, but it happens everyday, but not all drunks kill behind the wheel. One drunk, no older than thirty two but two years of heavy drinking makes him look forty, tries to make it home by foot, in an alley behind his favorite bar. There’s a dumpster near by, you could tell just by the scent, but he doesn’t smell it. He smells worse. His overcoat reeks like a homeless man cursed by the drink; then again so is our drunk. The man’s breathe has a hint of tobacco, funny thing is he doesn’t smoke. There’s gunpowder in his shaggy brown hair but he rarely use such a weapon. His teeth are stained; his skin feels rough as sandpaper, and dry unlike his drinking habit.
He continued to stagger, until he saw it. A light, a yellow and red light, but a light just the same. His eyes lit up with confusion. Such a sight was desolated to him, but he knew what it meant. He tried to get closer but the wet cement made him slip. He tried to get up, but some how he couldn’t. Then he notice the light was turning into shapes, no words. It said Chuck’s Jazz Lounge, written in red neon. Above it was a yellow saxophone, also neon. Yeah, he knew what it meant; it meant that this was the place. Then he noticed a door in front of him, a faded red door mounted on the brick wall. He got him self up somehow and opened it. A burst of bright light stings his eyes, eyes so use to the vague and foggy night. The light burns like scotch down his throat but then that light faded away, and his vague vision became lucid. It’s a room filled with empty tables and empty booths, but some how it’s alive, like it’s moving, no, dancing. It’s the music, yeah that’s it. It’s that sweet jazz you only hear in New Orleans, the kind of music that shakes your rhythm like a martini shaker. Where’s it coming from? Why it’s a blind man in a cheap Stanford suit, whose skin is as dark as the night’s sky, but his smile is as bright as the sun. He plays that trumpet on that little stage by himself like he was challenging the devil to a music duel. Heck if they did duel Satan would be crying all the way back to hell, because that’s how good he played. The best part is he does it not for profit, nor fame, no he just plays so that sweet radiant sound can ring in his ears. Then the musician here’s something other than his sweet music, the sound of a curious man, walking closer, with more booze in him than the lounge’s bar. He stops playing and grins at the dunk.
“How’s it going my friend?” the blind man states as if he knew him all his life.
“I’m fine sir,” the drunk’s voice is harsh and cold like most killers are. “I just would like a drink.” Even this blind man can tell he’s drunk.
“Haha! You drink anymore and you’ll end up puking for da week,”
“Yeah, you’re probably right, so I’ll take something else.”
“And what’s dat?”
“A chance to earn good money with merely a good hand of cards,” the drunk said. The blind man just laughed at his comment.
“Man, you’re crazy. I don’t run card tables anymore.”
“No need, I got dis place now, where I can just play my heart out.”
“Really, so you won’t play, not even for fun?”
“Not even, no, I just play the tunes now, besides too manay people owe me money in those days. Zey bet more dan day own, and I wuz too damn nice ‘bout it, told dem da’ pay up when-evah day can.”
“No you don’t,” he laughed, not like a bully. No, more like a couple of old farts telling stories over a pint, “you so drunk you can hardly see, hell you so drunk I smelled yo’ ass back when you were outside my door. Keep up dat drinkin’ and you’ll end up blind like me. So what else can I do ya besides talk, ‘cause I got no time fo’ dat now Mista’?”
“Money,” he grunted.
“Hmph, Well how much do ya need?”
“Three million,” he said, and then he pulled out a revolver.
“I don’t got that kinda money.” Then he heard a click, the cool steel chamber rotated, and he knew what was going on. “Listen buddy I don’t have dat kinda’ money, you’re just drunk an’ talkin’ smack. It happens I know, but you better just put dat gun away.”
“Listen you want three million, I’ll give ya three million. Just let meh go to de safe I got by da cash register, behind dat paintin’.”
“So that’s where it is?”
“Yeah,” The blind man gave a grin, “dat’s where it is,” but even the blind like himself can see the fear behind the smile.
“And the key?”
“It’s in da’ cash register,”
“Then you’re useless now.”
“Don’t t-talk l-like dat,” he said it in a soft, rickety, voice, like records of all the other great jazz musicians when it’s scratched over time, problem is this guy doesn’t have time.
“You were good to me blind man, but this is how it ends,” and with the pull of a trigger lead flew out of the barrel and into the musician. The killer went to the safe, and did what all other thieves do while the blind man only wept as his life began to fade away. The sad part is, tears rolled down. No, he wept in anguish and sorrow, for the thief, for the gunman, he wept and forgave the man, even though the killer didn’t ask for any. The blind man’s heart stopped beating, his eyes rolled back, and he laid there in a puddle of his own blood, while the killer just walked away with his money as if the body was merely a ghost.