I'm going to kiss you, Willie Brown, If I get out of this.

Here is a quick prompt based on a Robert Johnson tune.

Prompt: Crossroads

I went down to the crossroad and fell to my knees. I asked the Lord above, “Have mercy on my trespass; I do wrong. But do not take me on your day Lord.”

An old chicken wagon passed. He didn’t even look my way. I’m going to kiss you, Willie Brown, If I get out of this. Ain’t nobody knew Bob like Willie, and damned if he didn’t set me up with the devil; nobody going to rescue Bob’s dusty ass today. Hell I wanted this. Dust settled on the roof of my mouth. I spit. “Ooh-ee, Bob. This may be your last day of mediocrity.”

My black guitar case hit the hard pan with an acoustic bong. I flipped the golden clasps and pulled out Tanya. “Ooh, babe, you are looking fine, fine, fine.” I kicked close the case and sat. Drrunn, drrunn, drrunn. Tuned her up. Cradled her in my lap. First this knee, strum. Then the left, strum. Good. Good! I felt it then. The velvet rhythm, acute familiarity, made new through stiff fingers. This was a tune that, had you not been there that evening, you would not have believed me capable of charming out of the old girl. Oh, how with every unexpected note, the mood deepened and the air around us got thick with tone. Yes Lord! That was it! Clean, vibrant, living, living! God I was really living!

“Living?” He said. “You have not lived yet.”

The scent of burnt tar sent my tears to work. I gagged and covered my eyes. “Christ.”


“You’re him?” I said. I peeked through my fingers. “That was quick. Tell you truth, I got to worrying I missed a step. Maybe said the Hoodoo wrong.”

He smiled at me under a black bowler. His pants, his coat, both tailored as mine, but new. And damned if that old devil wasn’t a white boy. “I am profoundly affected by my music,” He said. “Continue. Then we will deal.”






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