We’re nearly at the halfway mark of the year on the Short Fictions & Curiosities project. Today marks the fifth release in the short story series: a story about New Orleans, jazz funerals, and making bargains that the devil will inevitably hold you to.
Above all that, this story is about desire: about wanting something so much that you’d do absolutely anything to get it.
It’s a little late to celebrate Mardi Gras, but when I initially shifted this story back by a few months, I figured February would be the time to let it into the wild. New Orleans and Mardi Gras are a symbiotic thing for me: it’s a time of magic and debauchery. It’s when people let their inhibitions go right before lent, and things get a little crazy — a little liminal. Who knows what might happen when freed of your social shackles.
This story has been a long time coming: it’s been in progress for almost two years; a story I’d started but planned to abandon. I’m happy to say that it’s complete at last: it’s one of the shorter stories in the collection, and it’s a bit of an experimentation.
I wanted to play with a looping narrative: where you’d end at the place where you began. It was more difficult than I thought.
Regardless, here we are.
About Short Fictions & Curiosities
Short Fictions & Curiosities are monthly offerings: a sample of short stories, wonders, terrors, and experiments in speculative fiction: small slivers of dark fiction and horror from the vault for your enjoyment. They are free to read, with the hopes that you’ll share with others on the social media platform of your choosing. Each story has been penned and designed by Kira Butler. They are formatted for ePub, Mobi, and PDF, and it’s at your discretion how you’d like to receive them.
You can read the initial announcement about the series here.
About the story:
It’s always been Louis and his horn: when they shut off the electricity, when the cable got cut, when they kicked him out of the projects and he had to sleep in one of the tombs in the cemetery adjacent. The instrument is his lifeline; his heartbeat a metronome that sets the rhythm to every sad jazz tune he’s ever memorized. His baby. His one love. His one companion when his luck runs out and he’s thrown from a bar, unable to pay his tab, his horn sailing after him and crashing into the street. That’s when Louis meets the man for the first time: a dapper gentleman who picks him up and brushes him off, and offers him the only thing he’s ever wanted… for a price.
About Kira Butler:
Kira Butler is a speculative fiction writer and creative professional from Montreal. She holds a BFA from Concordia University, is a supporting member of the Horror Writers Association, and a member of the Quebec Writers Federation. She has been writing fiction for over ten years, having produced over twenty short stories, and three novels. She haunts KiraButler.com, and can be found on Twitter and Facebook.