What’s in a moniker?

King Dave Flaherty has everything a guy could wish for: all the overtime gigs, all the waitresses, and, if not the universal admiration of his peers, at least none of them dares try anything on the son of the president of the Chicago stagehands local. King Dave wants more than that, though, and it’ll save him in two ways.

One, it’ll save him from having to be an old-fashioned stagehand in a modernizing union, where a collitch degree and skills with fancy equipment are called for.

And two, it’ll save him from the fate worse than death threatened by Nadine Fisher, a nineteen-year-old small town preacher’s daughter who’s run away from Texas to wait tables in the diner next door to the Auditorium Theatre. Nadine wants to make a better man of King Dave.

But that’s not the fate worse than death.

Nadine has witnessed the worst thing ever to happen to King Dave Flaherty. Being from a small community herself, she knows very well the undying humiliation that will be King Dave’s portion if what she saw becomes known. Her own reputation was ruined by a boy who valued his pride more than the truth—ruined so that she had to run away to the big city and hide her shame. Nadine is going to save King Dave from himself by concealing the truth, so long as King Dave agrees to reform his way of life.

basic-CWKing Dave doesn’t care about his moniker much. He knows he’s Old Man Flaherty’s only son. He appreciates the work it gets him, and the protection from the consequences of being himself. He doesn’t want to be called King. But he knows it could be much, much worse.

spotlight50x50His best friend Bobbyjay is lucky: his uncle is known as Rob the Snob and his cousins are Raybob and Bobbert. Their coworkers range from Dydie Grant (pooped his pants lifting too much after a big lunch) to Fuckdaluck Eddy, an otherwise mild-mannered little prop guy with Tourette’s; from Dammit Dunstable, an outspoken department head at the Skyline, to the plus-size doormen who guard the stage entrances of theaters all over town: Ice Berg, Hamburg, and Cheeseburg Nelson, too big to be anything but easygoing. Weasel Rooney got his nickname from a call girl, never mind why, and anyway he prefers Weasel to Harold. Anvilhead Arnie Baxter took it on the noggin one day when a gobo fell off a light bridge onto his hardhat. One-Ton Jepson is named after his pickup truck, which is compensating for something. Badger Kenack will fight any man to the death. Yeah, it could be worse.

Read a sample and find out just how much worse it could be for King Dave Flaherty, who has just made his last—well, almost his last—stupid stagehand mistake.

On special for 99c during the month of January, 2016!

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