Entry 0096: Three Sentence Stories with the Starman


LP: Diamond Dogs by David Bowie

1976 RCA Victor AFL 1-0576, reissue, gatefold

Favorite Track: Rebel Rebel


  1. Teenage Wildlife

There was a snort from the Diamond Dogs and a rustle of leather and chains. The old man pleaded, swinging his cane at ferocious snickering faces, spinning off-balance to fall in to the wet litter of the alleyway. The dance of youth, bloody in its intent, stomped away the mistakes of the past.

2. Criminal World

The Starman surveyed his kingdom from the 23 story of the burned out Butler Tower. His lightning bolt-shaped telescope spied dissenters huddled around a trash fire eating InstaProtein wrapped in pages of old newspapers. The Starman ran his fingers through his hair, a pang of pity and a reverie of love floating in the back of his mind.

3. Valentine’s Day

Tam and Gilly were asleep in their bag while Frost kept watch. The lovers were strangely silent tonight, which perturbed Frost more than he would like to admit. He sniffed the air for traces of the Diamond Dogs, never taking his thumb off the blade of his knife.

4. Lazarus

Gilly was missing in the haze of smoke. Tam and Frost ran despite their injuries through the maze of rubble and fire, trying to shake the Diamond Dogs from their heels.  One was dead with a knife in his throat, but the others were on their cycles, bright beams penetrating the disappearing darkness.

5. John, I’m Only Dancing

Frost was slammed against the wall, something sharp digging into his shoulder blade, but he was able slip his hand around his attacker’s back and pull out his secret dagger. The Diamond Dog was ten years younger than Frost, his face so boyish and fat with adolescent tenderness, Frost felt something as he paralyzed him. What he murmured haunted Frost for the rest of his life.

6. Star

Starman rode out on his Devastator, a sleek black cycle with the handles set on either side of a dragon’s head, mouth open and ready to spew forth fire. He flew past most of the Diamond Dogs searching in vain in abandoned apartments and bombed out factories. The prey always hid in the same spot: under the bridge where once a monster lived.

7. Breaking Glass

Tam couldn’t stop his tears for Gilly, a wine bottle smashed at his feet. Frost had a gun now and contemplated rejoining the lovers, but then he would be alone. With courage, Frost admitted to himself that people were needed in one’s darkest days.

8. Running Gun Blues

Frost fired rapidly killing some of the Diamond Dogs that had repelled from the top of the bridge. Tam was dying, half submerged in the water, one wrist limply held as if grasping some ghost’s hand. The Starman’s cycle roared and Frost met a blast of fire.

9. Ashes to Ashes

His entire body wracked in pain, smelling his own crispy flesh, Frost crawled to the paused cycle with the dragon’s head. The Starman wore a gold and black cape, his hair spiked wildly to the sky, his teeth were filed down to fangs, and his triumph smirked in each black eye. Slowly, The Starman inched the cycle forward to put out the flames.

10. Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family

The explosion caught everybody off guard. His last searing thought, The Starman realized the dissenters were not eating, but preparing explosives. The dying screams were caught and carried by the wind, never to be put out.


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