‘Solo On The Drums’ by Ann Petry

Petry, Ann 1947

Solo On The Drums by Ann Petry, 1947

The magic trick:

Telling the story of a man’s emotional stress and strain through his performance of a drum solo

We’ve had a few stories about jazz on the SSMT website over the years. None were quite as visceral, though, as “Solo On The Drums.” Petry uses the drum solo as a means to seamlessly share the backstory of Kid Jones. With every hit on the drum skins, the feelings and information intensify. Soon they become extremely personal – from current relationship dramas on down to the problems of his childhood with his mother. Kid Jones is exhausted by the end of the drum solo, and so is the reader. And that’s quite a trick on Petry’s part.

The selection:

He made the big bass rumble and reverberate. He went a little mad on the big bass. Again and again he filled the theater with a sound like thunder. The sound seemed to come not from the drums but from deep inside himself; it was a sound that was being wrenched out of him – a violent, raging, roaring sound. As it issued from him he thought, this is the story of my love, this is the story of my hate, this is all there is left of me. And the sound echoed and re-echoed far up under the roof of the theater.

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

Advertisements


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s