Hobo Harmonica by Glenn Dysarz

Some kids walking along the railroad tracks found the body down by the creek where the trestle bridge crosses over.

Sheriff Joe thought the old hobo got caught out on the trestle the night before. A train must have come along and that was it for him, knocked him clean off. We rolled the body over and it was a god awful mess.

James from the coroner's office was going through the hobo's pockets, looking for personal effects, when he exclaimed to me, "Hey, Deputy Roy check this out." There in his outstretched hand was a gleaming chrome harmonica. It was in perfect condition.

Engraved on the top side in fancy lettering script was the name ‘Charlie’.

James held the harmonica to his lips and blew. There was a long, low raspy wail sound, and as he slid the piece along his lips the sound changed to a high pitched squeal.

"Boys, this here is a keeper, pure quality," he smiled. "I used to play you know. I call dibs if nobody claims her."

"Bag it up, Jim," called Sheriff Joe solemnly and James complied, slipping the harmonica into a plastic evidence bag.

We got the deceased bundled up and James and I carried him up from the creek and back into town.

A week went by and nobody came for the old hobo, so he was given a John Doe burial out at the town cemetery.

James laid claim to the harmonica and sometimes, late in the evening, he could be heard blowing out tunes while he worked alone in the coroner's office down the hall.

Glenn is new to this game.  This is his first publication of fiction and he is noticeably stoked.  His goal is to write stories that people would read and then later say 'what a ride'.  Now a yankee transplant, he misses the Italian bakeries of the Detroit area.


David Barber said...

Well done, Glenn. In this piece you portrayed how people in certain jobs can just shut their minds off to the bad things they see.

A first time write that worked for me. You're welcome back any time!

Anonymous said...

Maybe not just a shutting of minds, David. I get a faint but distinct whiff of a crossroads at midnight here -- I suspect that, that harp's not quite done with its mission yet. Nice first outing, Glenn. More please.

David Barber said...

Love how your mind works, AJ. Makes the story work even more when you look at it like that. Thanks.

Thomas Pluck said...

Nice work, Glen. Enjoyable read!

Chris P. said...

Congrats, Glenn.

Paul D. Brazill said...

Very well done!

books said...

Nice story.

I grew up in a small town in England - Eddie Cochran was killed in a car crash there.

A young police cadet looked after Cochran's guitar until it was claimed. A year later he quit the force to form a band

The band - Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich - we're popular in the 60s.


Benjamin Sobieck said...

It takes a real psychopath to play a dead man's harmonica. You said a lot without having to say much. Sounds like the start of a great character.