The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Spotlight on ‘The Lady of the Blue Hour’

In this Kindle Direct short story, Kenneth arrives home from a high school band trip with exciting news and finds the house empty. The car is gone, the remains of a half-finished lunch are in the kitchen, there’s a cryptic note about a hospital, and a strange lady on the street is looking for the dead.

LadyoftheBlueHourcoverLike Kenneth I played a clarinet in my high school band and, like Kenneth, spent many hours on rickety old school buses going to out-of-town football games and band festivals. What, I wondered, would it be like to get home and have the place look like one of those scenes in a movie where people suddenly disappeared in the middle of things? The coffee is still hot, the TV is on, and maybe there’s still a lighted cigarette in the ashtray?

In movies, this is seldom a good thing. The answer to what happened in The Lady of the Blue Hour would, of course, be a spoiler. So, forget about me spilling the beans here.

Teaser from the Story

“How long had he slept? The garage and the driveway were in shadow. From South to North, the kitchen, dining room and living room were turning blue. Kenneth walked out onto the wide front porch and saw twilight flowing down Wood Street as a tsunami of darkness. Minor currents and worried waves crashed against the sides of houses, progressed above the tree canopy, and swept in 4/4 time through the intersections. He sat on the porch swing because everything he saw was uncommon and dizzying, and he was afraid of falling or being carried away.

Wikipedia photo showing the clarinet's sections and keys.

Wikipedia photo showing the clarinet’s sections and keys.

“A pale woman approached the Perkins’ house. She had long black hair and wore an ankle-length peasant dress. The tempest of incoming dusk swept past her like whitewater around a boulder in a mountain river, but neither her hair nor her dress were ruffled. She didn’t notice Kenneth on the swing or old man Elliott standing in the street with his pipe in one hand and a hiking pole in the other. Eddie Perkins, fresh from his trumpet quartet’s Superior rating for a Baroque Suite at the festival, met her on the front porch. They hugged like kin.

“They held hands; she looked at him as though Eddie were telling her about his trip to Chicago. When they reached the street, she waved at Mr. Elliott before they disappeared into the rising ocean of night.”

I hope you enjoy the story. As you read, you’ll discover that it has one of the characters from my contemporary fantasy adventure The Sun Singer, but I won’t tell you who.

–Malcolm

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