State of Address

A salon. After hours. Dimly lit.

We see a red styling chair. Behind it are a counter and a wide mounted mirror. In the right upper-corner of the frame there are dismembered mannequins set against a wall.

The salon OWNER, a woman with fashionably short hair, enters the frame, sweeping the floor.

The sound of a door opening, faint sound of traffic in the background.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN enters. The stovepipe hat, the beard, the coat, the whole Lincoln bit.

LINCOLN nods to the OWNER, who gestures toward a chair.

LINCOLN takes off his hat and coat, sets them down on a table.

He proceeds to sit down in the chair which is set against a sink, facing backwards.

The OWNER turns on the water, then eases LINCOLN’S head back, his neck slotted in the cleft built into the sink.

The OWNER rinses LINCOLN’S hair, massages his scalp. She applies shampoo to LINCOLN’S hair, repeats the rinsing and massaging.

When she is done she towels off LINCOLN’S head and gestures toward the red styling chair.

LINCOLN goes to the chair and sits down. The owner covers LINCOLN with a smock.

The OWNER turns on the radio. Albinoni’s “Adagio in G Minor” is playing.

The OWNER gives LINCOLN a haircut. When the haircut is done, she prepares a hot towel and places it over LINCOLN’S face. She removes the towel and proceeds to give him a straight razor shave.

After the shave the OWNER gets down on her knees, between LINCOLN’S legs, wrangles his dick out from his zipper, and gives him a blowjob.

When she is done she rises to standing and wipes at her mouth.

The OWNER exits the frame.

Lingering shot of LINCOLN slumped in his chair, eyes closed, “Adagio” still playing.

LINCOLN gets up, puts on his coat and hat and exits the frame.

Lingering shot of the chair, the counter, the mirror, the mannequins.

Sound of a gunshot, a body thudding against the floor.

“Adagio” is suddenly washed out by static.

The OWNER re-enters the frame, turns the dial.

We hear Lincoln’s voice, in scratchy-time-weathered audio.


A house divided against itself cannot stand.

(Dead air, popping and crackling with fuzz)


(scratch-repeating, techno stutter-effect)


do not expect the house to fall, but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

(Electronic lounge beats kick in)

The OWNER goes offscreen, re-enters with a broom in hand, begins sweeping.

Electronic lounge plays as she sweeps up.

From the far-right corner, we see dark blood seeping into the frame.


About John Biscello

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, writer, poet, spoken word performer, and playwright, John Biscello now lives in Taos, New Mexico. He is the author of three novels: Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, Raking the Dust, and Nocturne Variations, and a collection of stories, Freeze Tag. His fiction and poetry has appeared in: Art Times, nthposition, The Wanderlust Review, Ophelia Street, Caper, Polyphony, Dilate, Militant Roger, Chokecherries, Farmhouse, BENT, The 555 Collective, Instigator, Brass Sopaipilla, The Iconoclast, Adobe Walls, Kansas City Voices, and the Tishman Review. His blog--Notes of an Urban Stray--can be read at Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year.
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