Title: No Moaning No More
Length: Exactly 200 words
Blind Berry Jackson made it to the sink just in time to spit out another chunk of blackened lung meat. He knew that he didn’t have much longer.
The needle crackled and popped as he dropped it onto the 45 of his decades-old hit “No Moaning No More”, creaking out of the tinny speaker he had propped up next to his cot.
Jackson collapsed back onto the worn mattress, and felt the tired bedsprings poking at his skeletal flesh. A painful cough ripped through him, as memories of years on the Chitlin Circuit erupted on the back of his eyelids.
The white girls used to sneak in the back door to hear him playing those run-down ol’ dives, hypnotised by his delicate fretwork, his gnarled fingers shimmying across the guitar. He used to fix them with his one good eye, and his rumbling voice would ooze out. “Know what they say? Darker the Berry, Sweeter the Juice.” They would melt when they heard that.
In a moment of perfect synchronicity, the needle skated off the end of the record just in time to catch the last breath rattling out of his body and into the fusty air of the room.