It’s late. You’re up working crosswords. Everything’s quiet. You’re sure you’re alone.
You look up and see a banjo player seated across from you. He’s not dead. He’s not a ghost. He’s just sitting there with a straw hat, suspenders and a banjo in his lap.
He’s not playing.
You look down at the crossword puzzle book, then up again.
There are two banjo players sitting across from you. They are identical save for hair color and mustache arrangement. Neither is playing.
You offer them assistance. You offer them water. They say nothing.
You set down the book and rub your eyes. It’s been a long week. You haven’t been eating well.
That last clue, 17 Across: How they do it in Iowa, just won’t solve itself. You look up.
There are 43 banjo players in the room with you.
None are playing.
You wonder: Where did we get so many chairs?