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LAST MINUTE PLANS: Fictlicious At The Hideout

By Maggie Hellwig in Arts & Entertainment on May 15, 2012 6:00PM

Last week, The Chicago Sun-Times announced their results of the Our Town Short Story Contest. Michael McCauley, carrying an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama and wearing the decoration of publication in several literary reviews, threw his story, "The People of the State of Illinois Vs. Andy Walquist," into the mass of submissions. It rose to the top, was picked, and is now on display for all to read.

The story is told in the form of final statement from Andy Walquist, who has quite idiotically waived his right to a lawyer. The crime: drunkenly swerving onto Midway Airport's airfield, causing a Delta Airlines flight to swerve into the terminal. His defense: heroism.

You may recall a certain Captain Sullenberger, aka "Sully," who captured the country's heart and imagination when he flew an airplane into the Hudson River. Now, tell me, is it legal to fly airplanes into the rivers and lakes of this fair land? Of course not. A critical distinction exempted Sully from penalty--he was hero.

And so you the members of the jury must ask yourselves: am I not a hero?

To understand exactly why Walquist fancies himself a hero, we suggest you read on. Or, you can go to the Hideout tonight at 7 p.m. to hear the story read by McCauley himself. Fictlicious is a series of live events featuring "tasty morsels" of original short fiction meshed with live music. The theme for tonight's event is "Lucky," so it seems appropriate to have the fortunate contest winner headline.

Others involved in Fictlicious's Lucky event are StoryStudio Chicago Instructors Scott Onak and Eugene Cross, WBEZ Front & Center's producer and partnership coordinator Shannon Heffernan, and the Our Town Short Story Contest co-judge Micki LeSueur. The musical talent involves Liam Davis, Steve Frisbie, Susan Voelz, and Sarah & the Tall Boys.

Tonight, May 15 at The Hideout 1354 W. Wabansia Ave, 7 p.m., $7