Monday, November 16, 2020

Woodstock, by Michael Bracken


 "Woodstock," by Michael Bracken, in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, November/December 2020.

This is the seventh appearance in this space by my fellow SleuthSayer Michael Bracken.  That puts him close to the top of the list of repeat offenders.  This time he is a long distance from his usual territory, both geographically and thematically.

It's August 1969 and Shirley Warner picks up a hitchhiker who explains he is on his way to a music festival near Woodstock, New York.  The hitcher, a hippie, decides she looks like a Shirley.  "A housewife.  Her old man takes the train into the city five days a week, expects dinner on the table and a fresh martini waiting when he gets home.  Most exciting thing a Shirley does is watch Wild Kingdom Sunday nights to see if Him Fowler gets mauled by something." 

Shirley's response?  She throws her wedding rings out the window.

And that is how the story proceeds.  Shirley's reaction to the famous Three Days of Peace and Music, tells us all we know (or need to know) about her immediate past.  By the time it is over her life is moving in a new direction.

A well-written story.


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