By Lewis Shiner
“’That’s Glenn Miller,” my father said. “But it can’t be.”
He had the back of the hospital bed cranked upright, the lower lid of his left eye creeping up in a warning signal I’d learned to recognize as a child. My older sister Ann had settled deep in the recliner, and she glared at me too, blaming me for winding him up. The jam box sat on the rolling tray table and my father was working the remote as he talked, backing up my newly burned CD and letting it spin forward to play a few seconds of low fidelity trombone solo.
“You know the tune, of course,” he said.
“’King Porter Stomp.’” Those childhood years of listening to him play Glenn Miller on the console phonograph were finally paying off.
“He muffed the notes the same way on the Victor version.”
“So why can’t it be Miller?” I asked.
“He wouldn’t have played with a rabble like that.” The backup musicians teetered on the edge of chaos, playing with an abandon somewhere between Dixieland and bebop. “They sound drunk.”
My father had a major emotional investment in Miller. He and my mother had danced to the Miller band at Glen Island Casino on Long Island Sound in the summer of 1942, when they were both sixteen. That signature sound of clarinet and four saxes was forever tied up for him with first love and the early, idealistic months of the war.
But there was a better reason why it couldn’t have been Miller playing that solo. If the date on the original recording was correct, he was supposed to have died three days earlier.”
We’ve got a mystery on our hands! And all sorts of revelations to unfold. Lew’s love of swing music and his expertise shine (so to speak) in this fine story. Learn about the mystery of Glenn Miller’s death during World War II and much more in The Story Collection Storybundle.
Lewis Shiner is the author of BLACK & WHITE, FRONTERA, and the World Fantasy Award-winning GLIMPSES, among other novels. He’s also published four short story collections, journalism, and comics. Virtually all of his work is available for free download at www.fictionliberationfront.net.
Visit Lew and learn more about his books and stories at lewisshiner.com.
So there you have it, my friends. The Story Collection Storybundle is live but time is running out! You the reader name your price—whatever you feel the books are worth. You may even designate a portion to go to a charity. Savor traditionally published, multi-award-winning stories from diverse and varied publications which the authors have collected for you.
The Bundle includes What I Didn’t See (a World Fantasy Award Winner) by Karen Joy Fowler (the New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club), Collected Stories by Lewis Shiner, Errantry by Elizabeth Hand, The Green Leopard Plague by Walter Jon Williams, Women Up to No Good by Pat Murphy, Strange Ladies: 7 Stories by Lisa Mason, Wild Things by C. C. Finlay, and 6 Stories by Kathe Koja.
But you must act now. The Story Collection Storybundle lasts only until June 2, 2016 at https://storybundle.com/storycollection. Enjoy world-class stories for your summer vacation and beyond!