Father’s a Drunkard

Copyright -John Nixon

Copyright -John Nixon


We didn’t get many strangers in White Oak them days—not since the mine closed.

“What can you do?” Chet asked, and his whiskey tipped in the glass as he leaned back in his chair.

The man had a derby hat and a fine collared shirt as white as January, with a garter on each sleeve. “I can play piano,” the man said.

And he played it right pretty too—sat down and played Clementine and Father’s a Drunkard, and one so pretty, sad and sweet I’d a given a week’s wage just to hear it again.

I don’t know why Chet did what he did.

This has been an edition of Friday Fictioneers, hosted by the amazing Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This week’s photo courtesy JohnNixon. To read more or to submit your own, click the blue froggy button:



  1. White as January. Excellently rollicking. Love this 🙂

  2. ha ha. I like how you ended this with a suspense of what Chet did – the photo gives a clue. Nicely done.

  3. I enjoyed the voice you used and what a bizarre and tragically funny twist. It just comes from out of left field and is one of those unexpected and dry bits of humor that has kept me chuckling the entire time I’ve been writing this. Thanks for that. 🙂

  4. The atmosphere and the voice is beautifully captured

  5. Hugely entertaining.
    For such a sweet looking lady you have a rather dark and twisted humour.
    Still grinning here.

  6. Maybe Chet’s not a fan of piano music 🙂

  7. Maybe Chet was offended by the last song (and the title). Great atmosphere, I love the description of the piano player.

  8. I have a feeling Chet didn’t really appreciate his lady swooning over the piano-player…

  9. michael1148humphris

    I am with Bjorn on this one.

  10. Wonderfully descriptive, deliciously humorous

    !My 100 word story!

  11. Great story, Karen. Apparently, Chet is the jealous type. I echo C.E.’s comments as well.

  12. Why is it shooting the piano player is always a sport? Oh well, there are worse things.

    Funny stuff, Karen, and fun all around. 🙂

  13. Ha! Oh, Chet. Poor Piano Man. I had to re-read that to really wrap my head the action. Yikes! The shirt description really drew me into the moment – just lovely. 🙂

  14. I didn’t get the sense of anybody’s woman swooning here or Chet being jealous; Chet wanted the well-heeled man’s money since money was in short supply since the mine closed. The next guy in a derby that comes in better be real careful too!

  15. Loved the voice! So laconic.

  16. I’d love to know what that final song was. Fantastic story – so much left to the imagination.

  17. chet had to do what he had to do. the man was a player alright. 🙂

  18. Dear Karen,

    Great voice in the this. You left me wanting to know more.



  19. I enjoyed the tone and voice in this story. And you said so much with just that first line! The rest is just as tasty!

  20. peterkirsch

    I don’t know either, but he prolly d’served it!

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