Desert Foxes Live in Concert by GR Richards

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GR Richards

Length: Short Story

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Xetondra is a rock band like no other–just five tribal nomads wandering the desert with their flock, their instruments, and solar-powered amps.  They are young, free and entirely self-sufficient.  When it’s time to put on a concert, their label arranges for holographic tickets so fans can attend their desert performances without leaving the comfort of their own homes.  In fact, the members of Xetondra don’t rely on the West for anything… until their drummer Hrjac falls for a Westerner named Andy.  After years musing post-concert with Andy, Hrjac is dying to meet him skin-to-skin.  But the band won’t leave the desert and Hrjac would never impose his harsh nomadic lifestyle on the guy he loves.  What to do? 

EXCERPT

When the label asked them to squeeze in a quick interview before the show, Hrjac was happy to oblige.  He was always anxious for news from the West, not because he had any vested interest in Western politics or society—only because Andy lived there.

D’way was the only one who could figure out the new holography mechanism, and he fiddled with the signals until a young white man with short brown hair came into view.  He looked a hell of a lot like Andy, but he wasn’t Andy.  There were no substitutes.

Glancing around the group, Hrjac noticed their diva was missing.  He leaned toward Bodgan and asked, “Where’s Zolta?”

Before Bogdan could respond, their Western interviewer said, “I see the whole band’s here, with the exception of Zolta.  Will Xetondra’s lead singer not be joining us?”

As Zolta’s mate, D’way was the only one who ever knew what was up with the prima donna.  “He’s resting up before the concert,” Dway said—code for he chewed too much betel last night.  “I hope you don’t mind if we get started on the interview without him.”

The Westerner made a noise that sounded like hmph before delving into the same questions they’d answered countless times before.  “What does Xetondra mean in your language?” was everybody’s favourite because it didn’t mean anything.  Xetondra was a made-up word, but they encouraged the Western myth by always providing a different answer to that question.

“It means tribe of wanderers,” they’d say, or “desert foxes,” or “most popular rock group in the history of everything.”  And, judging by the worldwide attention they’d attracted, the latter had a good chance of becoming true.

 

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