"Norma and the Fiddler of Gurg" explores what would happen if LA burned, which is known to happen, occasionally. Norma is plucked from the highway and transported to a sanctuary light years from Earth where she meets Harvey Daniels, the long-haired fiddler of Gurg. "Norma and the Fiddler of Gurg" was first published by Labyrinth Inhabitant Magazine, May 2009, and can now be found in SPECULATIVE JOURNEYS.
On the last day of spring, Norma's house burned down. Horrific thought it seemed, Norma considered it a blessing, almost liberating, the ultimate sign that she should leave Los Angeles. Truth be told, it wasn't the fire that convinced her to go away, but the fact LA had been abandoned, along with the malls, the convenience stores and the grocery markets. The heat had driven anyone who thought they were someone off to find a more habitable home.
Driving north on the San Diego Freeway after most people had already fled LA, Norma adjusted the car radio, looking for a station that still broadcasted the news. Static.
She slapped the steering wheel with both hands. "Damn." Now there was no telling what lay ahead.