Tansy Undercrypt
Author, Illustrator, Purveyor of Doom & Whimsy

Hook

May 23rd 2017 in Microfiction

After touring for almost 30 years, Johnny retired the golden fiddle that the Devil had given him; it sat in its case in a temperature-controlled vault he had designed for it. “It’s a beauty, and that’s no lie,” Johnny would say in every interview, “but it ain’t for sale.” His mansion had been robbed four times (once by the security team hired to protect it), but the fiddle was safe in its secret spot and nothing else was taken. Johnny’s agent badgered him about playing galas and reunion spots, but he refused. “Done means done, Jed,” he would remind him softly and pour a generous amount of bourbon into a glass to help him wash down the disappointment. Johnny planned to garden in retirement; he was going to read books, binge-watch Netflix, get a little exercise, and stay quiet and peaceful. It took him years to find the hook – to see it and know that (ironically) he’d been played. “I done told you once, you son of a bitch, I’m the best there’s ever been,” was what he’d said at the time … and the Devil had smiled (big as anything). “That kind of hubris is the sin of Lucifer himself,” Johnny whispered in the darkness, settling into bed. “Looks like I’ll be returning the fiddle to its rightful owner in person some day soon.”


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