Querrie and the Quislings

by Helen R. Peterson

We wanted to call ourselves Fifth Column but the name was taken. Some chick punk band in Canada, which is a joke. Canadian punk. We found a girl named Carrie to front the band, cute, two dimensional, decent voice. She never got why we had to spell her name with a Q. No imagination at all, but she was just enough of a distraction to draw a crowd.

I played lead guitar, Carl on drums, Van on Bass, we all backed up Querrie on the vocals. J.W. and Brett were our roadies, setting up and breaking down equipment. We�d hang out for about a week, making friends with the kids at the Mcdonald�s, the gas station, wherever they had to hang out. Invited a few to dance on stage, maybe pick up a guitar and back me up if we got lucky and found a kid with talent. They inevitably brought us home, parents sympathetic to a band of rag tag kid musicians who obviously weren�t going to make it big.

It was pretty easy to get some free meals out of it, play the role. Whole families would come out to hear us play, stomping their feet, dancing with grandpa. Gave J.W. and Brett plenty of time to dig in the potted plants and under the welcome mats, find the keys we�d watched teenagers scoop up for a week, and sack whatever they could before the final set.

BIO: Helen R. Peterson has been published in over 100 online and print journals, both nationally and internationally. Most recently she�s had work accepted at Word Riot, Juked, Existere, and Strong Verse. She was also featured in The Lunch Break Book published by Poet Plant Press, was the editor of the small print journal Chopper, and read at the Bowery Poetry Club in November.