Radio is Not Dead

17 min readSep 2, 2021

by Brad Foster, 2015 ©

This old bastard is really pissing me off, Thatcher Mulgrove almost said out loud.

Not that anyone would have heard him at that moment, standing in the nearly deserted antique mall. The late afternoon sunlight spotlighted Thatcher, the old man, and the thousands of dust specks eternally suspended in the room.

The old man had flicked off his hearing aids — two large white drums snug inside his hideously scarred ears. Their large dials allowed the old man, with his shaky hands, to easily shut out Thatcher.

The only other customers were a young couple on the top floor, from the sounds of their footfalls on the bare wooden planks.

Thatcher glared at the old man, who just shook his head and returned his gaze.

“Fine then,” Thatcher said, not caring if the proprietor heard him or not. “But I’ll be back.”

He strode out of the store, making sure to pull the door hard after him.

Maybe he’ll hear that, he muttered. He got some small satisfaction when he heard the startled shout from upstairs, that reached him through the screen door.

An hour earlier, Thatch had strolled into the four-story antique mall. The last place standing amid an otherwise vacant and run-down outdoor mall, along a forgotten county highway.

He had almost passed it when he realized that “Frank’s Findings” was not yet another casualty of the economy.