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Shell Game by John Lutz (eBook)

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A Short story by John Lutz


The lowering sun was like a red eye peering over the pine trees on Gray Mountain, into the quiet band room. Hans Jorgan had been the music teacher and band director at Allville High School for ten years. He was forty- three and had given up his aspirations to compose Broadway musi-cals. It was, he often told his colleague and lover Ella Smith, a time in life for reality. Usually Ella would misinterpret his statement and turn the conversation in the direction of marriage—her notion of desired reality.

Willy Kruger, sitting among the swirling dust motes in a slanted beam of evening sunlight, wasn't adding to the sense of reality Jorgan was seeking to make the new basis of his life. Willy was a pudgy sophomore who played second tuba in the band. He had a round face, and a fold of flesh beneath his chin that would become more defined and then duplicate itself as he grew older and heavier, tiny blue eyes that could only bring to mind the hogs his father Zeb raised out on Route 13 near the edge of town. Jorgan often thought that as a tuba player, Willy had a future as a hog farmer.

Now here, in the warm band room that smelled of stale sweat and sticky varnish from the rows of wooden bench seats, beneath the portrait of John Philip Sousa, near Visit, the tiger-striped cat that had strayed in last month and become the band mascot, in this setting of small town normality, even suffocating mundaneness, Willy was stating the remarkable: "I mean it, Mr. Jorgan! Old Miss Kraft's a vampire!"

John Lutz Short Story Collection

Shell Game
Stutter Step
The President’s Cat Is Missing
Thieves′ Honor
Typographical Error
With Anchovies


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John Lutz Short Story Collection
5x8 in

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