So Long Colt Macleod by @JRSinason #NaNoWriMo


So Long Colt Macleod

Written by Josh Sinason

NaNo Excerpt

“What do you mean you can’t find Dorian?” Gerry yelled as flecks of spital caught the light from his window and landed on his desk. He dug his nails into the old scratched wood so tight I thought it was going to break into splinters in his hand.

“Well, I went where I thought he was and then I went a few other places and then I went like this.” I made a shrugging motion. Making Gerry laugh was still on my list of things to do for the last day. Judging by his expression it might be the most difficult. Maybe I shouldn’t have picked the worst day of his life do try. Well, maybe the second worst day.

I remember when he came in the night he found his wife cheating. It was raining pretty hard and he came sloshing in all the way to the control room. He didn’t even take off his dripping wet hat and coat. He came right to the studio and just stood there for a moment, not saying a word. I don’t think anyone else noticed him but me. I’d only been there a few months and barely mumbled a word back to him, even as he sent me on errands. Once, we walked into the men’s room together and I was so gun shy I pretended to rub a stain of my shirt instead of standing next to him at the urinal. But as I saw him standing there, his clothes wet and heavy, he looked small, like napoleon in a cheap suit. It made me want to look in his office chair to see if he was sitting on a phone book the last few months.

Gerry was standing in a puddle by the time Marv noticed him. Gerry’s angled grey scowl met Marv’s sympathetic stare, neither of them giving in until Marv mouthed the words, “I’m sorry.”

I’d come to realize Marv knew everything. He didn’t say it to anybody although we all knew what was going on. Every time Gerry sent me to his house or the theater to check on his wife Marv saw me leave. He never said a word but I knew that he knew.

“Don’t you have a fucking show to do,” was all Gerry said as he walked away, leaving nothing but a puddle and a stain of mud on the carpet from his shoes. Things were never the same between Gerry and Marv after that. Gerry stopped coming to the studio during the show and barley left his office. You can still see the muddy stain in the shape of his cheap fake leather shoes right in that spot.

I walked past the studio and saw the muddy prints and wondered why no one bothered to get the carpet clean. I was hoping to find Dorian in the studio but it was empty. I figured he’d be stashing his flask of bourbon behind the mike stand but neither the flask of expensive bourbon that I used to steal sips from on occasion or Dorian could be seen. Sometimes I stood in the studio just like Dorian did, facing the thick window separating the actors from the sound effects guy with his props.

“Llllladies and Gentlemen,” I said as I moved the mike a perfect 8 inches from my face. “Presenting the paragon of action and adventure, a half hour so action packed the edge of your seat won’t be able to contain you. Get ready for thrilling adventure with Yours Truly, Colt Macleod!” I always enjoyed that intro. Dorian hated doing them but it was my job to make sure they got done. He considered it a lower form of acting on par with making a Colgate commercial. But if he turned around and saw the control room even for a moment he would have seen me and everyone else who grew up with that voice standing there with wide eyes and gigantic smiles.

If I turned around a moment sooner I would have seen Lindsey standing in the control room before. I didn’t see her until I turned around and saw her with her hand over her mouth, shaking as she tried to hold in her laughter.

“Please tell me you weren’t rolling tape on that.”

“I wish. I didn’t realize all this time you were angling for Dorian’s job.” There it was, that smile and that laugh that I hadn’t seen all day. It dawned on me in that moment that I hadn’t seen it in weeks. Calling it a smile wasn’t even accurate. It wasn’t an ear to ear grin, it was a wide open expression of glee, the kind you see with kids at the circus. That laugh was boarding on a shout and even Gerry, who claimed it annoyed him no end, couldn’t help but take a deep breath and a step back and just enjoy it when it happened.

“Well, I’m glad one of the more humiliating moments in my shot radio career made you feel better.” I said, as I opened the control room door and looked to make sure she actually wasn’t recording anything. I’d imagine wasting tape wasn’t high on anyone’s list of priorities that day.

“It helped a little.”

“I’m here if you want to talk about it. Maybe we can go to lunch and--”

“Roy! Roy! Damn it Wolfman.” Gerry burst through the control room doors. I stumbled backwards and Lindsey went to the corner and pretended to look through some paperwork.

“I thought I told you to find Dorian. That washed up old Brit is upstairs trying to get in Wheeler’s office. Get your ass up there and drag him down here.”

Gerry stormed back out again without even waiting for a response. Lindsey and I exchanged an awkward glance as she started dusting the control board. I stood there waiting for some semblance of a response but she kept me waiting. I waited a moment longer but all I got was a hint at that smile and a wink. It was enough for me to want to sprint toward the elevator and drag Dorian’ stuffy British ass downstairs as fast as I could.

Author Bio

Josh Sinason is regular contributor to the stairwellblog at and has been a featured writer in the Two With Water reading series. He currently works as a freelance writer in Chicago, IL. You can follow him at