KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 6: Fall 2016
Micro-Fiction: 301 words


by Warren Jones III

Owen had had enough. Satisfied that his career as a jazz musician was going nowhere, Owen sighed as he signed over the remainder of his soul to the demon. The goblin snarled as he accepted the less than ideal arrangement. One third of a man’s mortal soul would do. Snapononeandthree shrugged, knowing he was the only malignant spirit equipped to handle jazz musicians that desired more than $100 gigs during their short, miserable stay on the planet.

Sucking heavily on a clove-flavored cigar, S/1+3 lit the blood-spattered document with the end of his stogie and stuffed it into a rather sinister looking mouth. He turned to his newly acquired property and belched out a rancid smelling unintelligible spell designed to provide Owen with the necessary tools to achieve the + $100 goal. His odor remained behind as he left the green room with a tip of his beret and a “go get ’em, tiger.”

Owen wiped away at the acrid mist, tuned his axe to pitch, and strode to the stage. Of course he played like a man possessed. After the show the club owner handed him the envelope stuffed with cash and hoped he could book him again soon. Owen smiled and left the club without looking inside. He had paid his sideman and was sure his new fiend had kept the bargain.

Arriving at his place he set down his horn and opened the envelope. He counted out the bills. Fifty, twenty, two tens, five, five ones. He frowned and shook the envelope. A quarter fell out, rolled off the table, across the floor, and into the heat register. As he looked into the darkness the smell of cloves hit him and a gravelly voice whispered, “no shortcuts champ.” His tears left dark stains on the tattered rug.

Warren Jones III
Issue 6, Fall 2016

is a jazz bassist, composer, and writer working near Lake Michigan. His poetry appears in The Birds We Piled Loosely (Issue 5, October 2015). His short stories are available on Amazon/Kindle. His 2013 CD release I Imagine So includes 11 original compositions in the jazz genre.

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