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Once Upon an Alternate Universe

Yorgo L. Douramacos is an over-educated amateur with ambitions in fiction writing and photography. Find and follow his web activity from its hub at yorgolee.com.

********Editor's Note: Adult language*********
A dosckside bar in Liverpool, 1970-something. A steel worker named Osbourne has come from Birmingham looking for work and steps in for a pint. He sits next to a soused dock hand by name of Lennon. No words are shared but they do stop to hurl abuse at the performer on stage peddling clever pop tunes that lilt and sway but have no punch.
"Fuckin' McCartney..." Lennon says.
Osbourne piles on, but he secretly loves the twee little ditties the bearded troubadour on stage is playing. He and Lennon dicker between hostility and sullen camaraderie. A half full glass is thrown and McCartney leaves by the back door.
Osbourne hums one of the tunes to himself as he gets up to leave. He walks past two unseen forms hovering near the door.
The angel smiles at Little Richard and says, "This is what would've happened if you'd never been born."
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Author Comments

This story was born out of a series of text exchanges with a close friend, the kind where we try to impress each other with brain droppings and counterfactuals over the space of a day or so. I eventually sketched the scene in the bar but it was he who introduced the idea of the spectral Little Richard viewing the scene.

Beatles lore is something I know fairly well so when I imagine a world without Rock and Roll that's where it comes down for me. I'd love to hear versions of this story from other perspectives though. What would Little Richard have seen if he was taken to visit a version of Detroit in the 1960s or the Jackson household in the 1970s in a world where he hadn't come along?

- Yorgo Lee Douramacos
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