“I’ll play any song you want,” the busker promised, if only they’d put five dollars in her case.
William gave his daughter the money. She skipped to the fiddler, who bent to hear the whispered request.
“What’d you pick, sweetie?” he asked, but recognized the tune immediately.
His mother sang it nightly when she rocked him to sleep. Sally must have remembered it from her own bedtimes not long ago.
William hadn’t cried at the funeral; dementia’s extended stay had prepared him. The tears came now, in a subway tunnel, while a young bohemian begged not to lose her sunshine.
About the writer:
Jeff Fleischer is a Chicago-based author, journalist and editor. His fiction has appeared in more than three dozen publications including the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Journal, Shenandoah, the Saturday Evening Post and So It Goes by the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. He is also the author of non-fiction books including Votes of Confidence: A Young Person’s Guide to American Elections (Zest Books, 2016), Rockin’ the Boat: 50 Iconic Revolutionaries (Zest Books, 2015), and The Latest Craze: A Short History of Mass Hysterias (Fall River Press, 2011). He is a veteran journalist published in Mother Jones, the New Republic, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, Mental_Floss, National Geographic Traveler and dozens of other local, national and international publications.
Image: “NYC,” photograph by Baptiste Charruyer, Paris. @wild_fangs_photos