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What You Singing About?

T. J. Berg is a writer and scientist. She is a graduate of Odyssey, the Fantasy Writing Workshop, and her fiction has appeared in Talebones, Tales of the Unanticipated, and Electric Velocipede. She is currently doing cancer research in Scotland, where, because she's an American, she is learning to use words like "wee" and "chuffed", and not to refer to her jeans as pants. She is a member of the Glasgow Science Fiction Writer's Circle.

The Devil and The Blues
Met the devil one day, drinking coffee at my favorite breakfast cafe. Devil was looking at me while I was reading my paper.
"What you want?" I asked the devil.
"Ain't never about what I want," Devil says. "Always about what you want."
"Don't want nothing," I says. "I look like a guy wants something?"
Devil just shrugged.
"I got me a good woman," I says.
Devil just says, "Uh huh." And he was agreeing.
"I got me a pair twin girls, sweet and spicy as gingerbread, love their daddy."
"Mm hmm," was all the devil says. He couldn't disagree.
"Got me a good job, gonna send my girls to school and buy my woman a fine little house."
"Sure that," the devil says. And he wasn't disagreeing with me. So I went back to reading my paper.
Devil was still looking at me.
"What you want?" I asked the devil.
"Ain't never about what I want," Devil says.
So I folded up my paper and I says, "Guess the only thing is, I always wanted to sing the blues."
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Author Comments

This was partly inspired by listening to the tragically sad song "Strange Fruit" by Billie Holiday and wondering if, as a writer, I could really tackle in my fiction the tragedies, sorrows, and injustices which I have not been a victim of myself.

- T.J. Berg
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