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Elvis Has Left the Building

Author(s): Charity Tahmaseb

Second generation Elvis impersonator, Elliot, is content with his small-town circuit and regular gigs at the Holiday Inn, until he attracts a fan who has never heard of the King. But stepping free of the shadow cast by both his father and Elvis may prove to be impossible. A short story.


Like Russian Orthodoxy, the Church of Elvis endures. On Friday and Saturday nights, I preach the gospel of Elvis according to my father. The elders come to remember, the newly indoctrinated to believe, the skeptics to be converted. They come as if to communion. They come, as my father always reminded me, to pay homage to Elvis. Except for Aimee. 
She came to see me. 
At thirty, I’m at that awkward age as far as impersonators go—too old for the young Elvis, but I’ve yet to don the white Pinwheel jumpsuit my father wore. I’ve compromised by having a replica made of the two-piece leather suit Elvis wore for his ’68 comeback special. It’s dangerous looking—very James Dean—and the number of women willing to pay tribute to the King has increased tenfold since I started wearing it. 
I was wearing it the night I met Aimee in the lounge of the north side Holiday Inn. The lounge’s bartender doesn’t water the drinks—at least not mine—and that night, I needed my scotch undiluted. 
“You got a new fan,” he said, with a nod toward the end of the bar. 
She smiled. They all smile. I remember them smiling at my father without understanding why. But Aimee was different. Maybe it was the untamed hair, or the too-long jacket paired with the too-short skirt, but I did something I never do. 
I made the first move. 
With two drinks in hand, I inched down the bar. She murmured thanks, a fine blush blazing up her cheekbones. 
“You have a beautiful voice,” she said. 
“Thank you, thank you very much.” The imitation never failed to get a giggle; it often led to a great deal more. 
But Aimee didn’t giggle. She surveyed me with clear, guileless eyes and asked, “Do you write your own songs?” 

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 9781611876321
Genre: Contemporary
Date Published: 11/12/2013
Publisher: Untreed Reads

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