500 Word Short Story
The Devil Runs the Show
Scott A. Gese

500 Word Short Story

Eddie Hardy sat in his music studio sipping a cold beer while his manager tried to talk some sense into his stubborn head.

“Eddie, you can't keep saying the things you say on stage. Just go out there and play. People don't want to hear this crap. They just want to hear your music. You're at the top of the charts right now. Don't blow it with all of this satanic nonsense you've been spewing lately.”

“It's not nonsense, Jake, and you know it. The music industry in in the pocket of satanists and devil worshipers. Half the musicians I know are involved and the other half are being pressured to do the same. Me included. I'm not playing that game.”

“The thing is, Eddie. None of them are talking about it.”

“Sure they are. You hear it.”

“But they're not talking about it on stage like you. Record labels will blacklist you if you don't shut your mouth. Keep it up and you'll be selling encyclopedias for a living.”

“Jake, I ain't worried about it and you shouldn't be either. The controversy can only do me good. People are talking. Isn't that what we want? To be talked about?”

“Only if it's in a good way and this ain't it. I'm telling you. Knock it off or you may be found dead from an 'accidental' overdose or a successful suicide attempt one of these days. It's not like it hasn't happened before, and you know exactly what I'm talking about.”

“I don't do drugs and I'm not about to kill myself.”

The conversation was interrupted by a knock at the door. When Jake answered it, he was asked to leave. Jake didn't argue. He left Eddie and the stranger alone. The stranger leaned against the studio's control panel. “Do you know who I am?”

“No, why don't you tell me.” quipped Eddie.

“I'm the man who wants to own you. Follow after my organization and I'll make you a mega star. Keep talking trash about me and you'll suffer the consequences.”

“What organization are you talking about?” Eddie knew. He just wanted to hear him say it.

“You said it yourself on more than one occasion. Half the music industry has agreed to the terms. Now it's your turn.”

“Like hell it's my turn. Pardon the pun. Get out of my studio. I'll never sell my soul to this industry. What I do is my game, not yours.”

“I'm real sorry to hear that, Eddie. Real sorry.” The stranger left the studio.

Eddie didn't know what to think. The stranger had unnerved him. When Jake came back into the room, he seemed to be a changed man. He was calm and told Eddie everything would be alright. He pulled a small electronic device from his pocket and touched Eddie with it. Eddie grabbed at his chest and slumped in his chair.

“Sorry Eddie, Game over.”

© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

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