THE WIND CRIES LARRY
by Gary Archambault
Copyright © 2001, 3 A.M. MAGAZINE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Gary Archambault has published stories in The Silver Web,
Pulphouse, and, in Canada, Descant. His story "Falling Awake
To The Here In Now Brightly" received honorable mention in 97's The Year's
Best Fantasy and Horror (edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling). His
stories have just started appearing in e-zines such as 3 A.M. Magazine
The hundred-and-forty-grand tour bus lay on its side. Like a huge
deactivated mechanical shark, thought Larry "The Lizard" Watson, lead
singer of Crotch, whose album Scar Tunes, Car Tunes, And Bar Tunes had
that week hit the four million sales mark. He hovered about fifty feet
above the tour bus, experiencing a clarity and calm he never wanted to end.
He sensed that it would if he went back, however. Back into his body. Man,
he'd never even conceived of feeling as he did. Like a cloud. Like a
floating all-knowing eyeball saturated with the very essence of ecstasy
itself. Man, it rocked. But. He had to go back. To try to save the guys,
and the driver, Dan. Not to mention the three band-aids they'd picked up
back in Moose Jaw, Sasquatch-oh-wan. Shit. He didn't want to slip back
into his fleshly mortal threads, back into the earthly plane where such
rockin' lucidity was impossible--unless you meditated on some mountain or
something, and who had the patience for that? Larry "The Lizard" Watson
told himself that they were probably all dead. Furthermore, more than
likely they didn't even want to have their maya-ridden lives elongated.
Dead, his bandmates would be propelled into the Rock N' Roll Hall of
Legends, man. Alive, in all likelihood they'd end up O.D.ing in some
backstage pisshole, spikes dangling from their arms, their careers in
ruins. And the groupies from Moose Jaw, to live fast, die young, and leave
good-looking corpses was all they wanted, man, and who was he to refuse
them that. Which left Dan. Shit. Good ol' straight-talking Dan "The
Big-Time Voodoo Chile Fan" Powell had two kids, an eight-year old daughter
named Hendrix and a six-year-old son named Jimi. He talked about them
constantly. And he was always saying stuff like, "A man who does wrong by
his kids is a man who got the soul of a snake." Shit, thought Larry once
again. Doubleplus dog shit with worms in it. He had to go back to see if he
could save Dan. If he didn't, he would be cast into the outer darkness. The
otherworldly wind blowing through his disembodied spirit told him so.
Man, not even smack had put him into such a paradisiacal state. Nor
had pussy, no matter how much of it he got. Nothing had.
To not feel as he did--it would be like losing his five senses and
all four limbs, or his mind like Syd Barrett did. Shit. This was as
not-rockin' as it gets, him having to slide back into his cage of mortal
skin and into his previous state of non-grace, back into his lucidity-free
lifestyle. Hmmmm. Maybe even in the outer darkness, this heavenly serenity
would remain, his newfound feeling of divine fullness. A line from a song
he wrote went through his mind. I'd rather shoot smack in hell than drink
tea with Jesus. He tried to recall what he had meant by that, and
Shit. The last fucking thing he wanted to do was go back!!
In the outer darkness, whatever that was like, a cross between the
Deep South and a Hanson concert probably, he would stay a spirit ... and
that meant that he would keep feeling the way he did!! He spiritually
Minivans and sports utility vehicles and Subarus and Corvettes and
Dodge Ramblers whirred by the beached-shark tour bus. Surely the occupant
of at least one of the passing enviro-wreckers would donate a quarter to
getting some paramedics happening, or would punch in the magic number on
Chances were that they already had, and what the hell could he do
anyway? He was a singer not a doctor, a songwriter not a healer. He didn't
know the first thing about treating the mangled.
More and more traffic whizzed by. The snow had started up again and
man he'd never noticed how rockingly gorgeous falling snow could be, all
twinkly and sparkly and super-cool.
No, he decided firmly, I am not going back. Life is all foreplay and
no climax. Let this spirit that I now am be pulled into the outer
darkness. I am not returning to the worldly realm. I could be in a
full-body cast for months for all I know. I could be paralyzed. I ain't
no hero. I'm not even in the same ball park, no matter how many of my fans
act like having my autograph's as close to God as they're ever gonna get.
Like I have some great cosmic message to bestow upon them.
He began to float slowly upwards. Images of Hendrix and Jimi flashed
through his wondrous new crystalline consciousness. Dan practically kept a
whole photo album of them in his wallet.
"Fuck the world," was his last thought before he--instead of being
pulled into the outer darkness--was dematerialized forever.
As the wind cried, "Larry."
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