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  1. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Short Story Contest (20) Theme: Inspired by Song Lyrics

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Gannon, Feb 27, 2008.

    Short Story
    Contest 20
    Theme: Inspired by Song Lyrics​



    Open to all, newbies and established members alike. Please post your entries in this thread. At the deadline I will collate all entries and put them forward for voting in a seperate thread. Sadly there are no prizes but honour on offer. The winning entry will be stickied until the next competition winner.

    Theme: Inspired by Song Lyrics (courtesy of member tonyshucraft): His suggestion was to have a contest themed by taking words or meaning from a favorite song and making a short story out of them. You could write a story about specific lyrics of about how they make you feel. For those that require a little assistance feel free to PM me with questions.

    Please provide the lyrics in question at the top or bottom of your piece.

    Suggested Length: 500 - 3000 words.
    Deadline for entries: March 12th 2008 17.00 (UK local)


    There is a ten percent leniency above and below the upper and lower word limits, respectively. Please try to stick within these limits. Any piece outside of the suggested limit will still be entered into the contest but flagged as such.

    Try to make your story complete and have an ending rather than be an extract from a larger one and please try to stick to the topic. Any piece outside of the topic will be dealt with in a piece by piece manner to decide its legitamacy for the contest.

    Please remember to give your piece a title and give its word count in brackets at the top of your story.

    Thanks and good luck.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Please be sure to credit the songwriter or performer whose lyrics you are using!
     
  3. Baywriter
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    Baywriter Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh! Fantastic theme idea! I might have to enter this one!
     
  4. Guybrush Threepwood
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    Guybrush Threepwood Senior Member

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    I'm thinking about all the Stephen Lynch and Tenacious D music I have.
    ...
    This is gonna rule.
     
  5. floydianslip6
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    floydianslip6 Member

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    The Radio
    [521]

    I sat in the car motionless: no engine, no headlights. Just the glow of the radio and the sounds flowing freely from it. I sat stoned in my driveway listening to "Us and Them" and "Time"; getting lost in another place. There was no one around me, no one around for quite a ways. Yet, I couldn't help but feel connected to everyone else that might be listening to these same songs on this same station at this exact moment.

    I couldn't get out of my car and lose this moment. Not more than 20 steps from me I had the CD, the MP3s and the vinyl. I didn't want to hear any of that. I wanted to hear it on the radio, I wanted to feel that moment. A moment that has been lost within our generation; distractions and diversions always a second away. So I sat, alone in my driveway, for 15 minutes at 1:33 in the morning just to have the experience, just to retreat.

    I had spent the entire night across the city at band practice playing along with "The Wall". You'd think the last thing I'd want to do would be to listen to more music. Especially with my day job looming over me in the morning. I sat and wandered within my mind. I tried to imagine how many other people were listening to the same song, maybe even doing the same thing miles from me. I could just easily be completely alone, only me and the guy at the station locked into the space and time we concurrently occupied... seven seconds apart. I tried to become this moment, in the present, and in the past; lamenting the future.

    How many of us have had a moment just like this and completely ignored it. How many have taken these songs to a level where their original meaning has no value, new connections permanently written in. Certainly I'm not the first to get lost in music on the radio late at night. Or the first to make a slightly pointless decision to sit in the car and wait for all 15 minutes to pass instead of just going inside and listening to my own copies.

    I imagined the DJ, maybe alone at the station. Trying to connect to his audience between debt reduction and chain restaurant commercials. Relishing or cursing his hours. Night radio, it's a different animal.

    I fell asleep, only for a moment. I felt my energy being sucked from me into the radio and broadcast onto the rest of the sleeping world. My eyes slowly opened as I was drifting along, in a minibus destined for Palo Alto... on a Greyhound bound for Arizona... lying on the grass at any concert venue you want to pick... making love in a hotel room... following an ambulance to the emergency room... getting stoned under an overpass with a boombox... - "I'm through with standing inline to clubs I'll never get in..." - sitting alone and stoned in my driveway, now listening to Nickleback...

    I had my 15 minutes. I shut the car and went inside.
     
  6. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    My story is going to be based on:
    Master of Puppets
    By Metallica


    Puppeteer
    It was a grundgy city the kind of city that no one cared about anyone. The kind of city that made you sick to your stomach. The kind of city that smelled of decaying flesh and rot wasted garabage. Bodies lay in the garbage all unable to be indetified.
    Heck! We live in a throw away society why should it matter about this man. That was the attitude here. This was a town of masters of puppets and strings.
    When you screamed you called their name master master.

    That's what they liked here. That's what they wanted here. There was no tourist attraction. They were the source of your self destruction.
    Leading on your deaths construction.
    Where you were dedicated to how I'm killing you.

    They twisted your mind and smashed your dreams. Were you came crawling faster and obeyed your master.

    That was the way it was here and you can't stop it. You can't stop it because you were all ready owned. Owned by someone who twisted your mind and smashed your dreams.
    Just call their name because they'll here you scream master master.

    As you eat your brekfast with needlework the way; never you betray. Chop your breakfast on a mirror. Pain monopoly; ritual misery.
    That's what you do here. That's do to please your master. Just call their name and they'll hear you scream master master.

    Master Master!
    You ask for the dreams you were after.
    Master Master!
    You only promised lies.
    All I hear or see is laughter.
    Laughter! Laughter!
    Laughing at my cries.

    But that was this world. The human body and human mind all a mere tool. A material thing in this world. Just a material thing that you could play with. Stomp on and laugh about.
    Where hell was worth all that, natural habitat.
    This world was a world that spun and made you feel alone and dark. Neverending maze, drift on a numbered days.

    This was a poem of blood. A poem without reality. Just a rhyme without a reason. Now your life is out of season.
    Yes your life.
    So come to the town of Masters. Master of Puppets your source of self-destruction.
    Enter if you dare. Just remember you're all ready owned.
    Muhahahahaha!
     
  7. Raffles
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    Raffles Member

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    PRETTY MARY 1,204 words.



    Mary awoke every half an hour when the driver of the car opened the window to have a cigarette. Each time he did, her long hair would fly in her face, and at first she’d tried to keep it from her eyes. Now she’d given up, not caring how tangled it became.

    The driver had put a Glen Campbell CD in and the lyrics to Wichita Lineman played over and over in her head. Mary thought they would forever follow the power lines along the side of the road, as if they were in some sort of friendless theatrical production. The song seemed appropriate and symbolic, as if the journey would never end and the destination never be reached.

    Mary couldn’t see much in the gloom of the car with the only light coming from the orange glow of the dashboard. She glanced cautiously around the car but found nothing to aid her escape. The woman in the back seat beside her wore high heeled shoes, and Mary smiled to herself, Not very practical if I decide to make a run for it, and she chases me.

    There had been no opportunity for that, not yet. Each time they slowed down, the woman sitting in the back kept a watchful eye on her. Mary had no clue of the time; they’d taken her handbag, her cell phone and had also removed her watch.

    They travelled with steady monotony during the night, through small unidentifiable towns. Later, as Mary dozed in and out of sleep, the car slowed to a stop. There was nothing distinguishable outside except a single red traffic light for road works, with only the right-hand lane open. A sideways glance showed her the woman had her head resting against the pillar of the car.

    Mary took a slow deep breath and weighed the possibility of making a run for it.

    The woman wore clumsy heels. The driver looked as if he ate too many hamburgers; and he smoked - it would be easy to outrun them. Her only fear, that he would say something to the woman, alerting her to their unscheduled stop. Yet he remained silent as he drummed his fingers on the steering wheel and stared with vacant disinterest at the road ahead. Glen Campbell still played in the background.

    Mary closed her eyes and undid the seatbelt, pressing the button down little by little, hoping they wouldn’t hear it click, and praying the car didn’t have a seat-belt alarm. The driver turned his head around and glanced at the woman asleep in the back seat. Mary held her breath and willed him not to look at her, then relaxed as he turned back and raised his hand to his face.

    Mary couldn’t see well in the dark, but guessed he was using his finger to clean his nose. Her mouth and nose wrinkled in disgust as the seat-belt wound slowly backwards until it stopped. The song, Today Is Mine played on the C.D.

    Believing it to be a sign and with no time to think, Mary grabbed the door handle and wrenched it open.

    A quick sprint across the other side of the road led into thick bushes. Fully aware of only precious seconds to escape, as the driver still had to alert the sleeping woman, she tore into the scrub. He also had to put the car into park and take his own seatbelt off before he could pursue her. Those few essential actions were her only chance to put space between them.

    Mary scrambled up an embankment through knotted undergrowth, scraping her legs and arms against branches that tore at her clothing, yet she didn’t feel it; her only objective to put more distance between them.

    After a few minutes their voices cut through the darkness as they shouted behind her, yet Mary didn’t dare glance back for fear of stumbling. The only light a half moon, which did little to show any hidden dangers beneath her feet.

    Her lungs were bursting and her legs aching, but knowing they could hear her crashing through the undergrowth, and that they were blind too, she pressed on.

    Gasping with fear and exhaustion, she could run no further. A large fallen tree loomed in the shadows and Mary climbed over it and crouched down, trying to listen for their approach. Managing to gain control of her breathing and hunkered down in silence; her heart still pounded with terror, as Mary sent a silent plea to God.

    The man and woman approached her hiding place, not trying to be silent, as they stumbled through the undergrowth and cursed each other. Their voices carried across shadows made by a torchlight swathing from side to side through the darkness. A soft whimper escaped her throat when they continued past, and as they went out of earshot, a trembling sigh of relief left her body. Mary sat down on the dirt and leaves and crossed her legs, still not brave enough to move a muscle.

    Small creatures rustled in the undergrowth as the darkness pressed against her, though Mary had bigger concerns.

    Where the hell have they gone? Have they given up and gone back to the car?

    She decided to stay until the morning.

    At least I’ll be able to see better, and maybe have a chance to double back to the road and hail down a car.

    Mary sat on the soil and leaves beneath her, wishing for her cell phone as the lyrics of Wichita Lineman spun around and around in her head. The hundreds of power poles they had passed during the night, now a dizzy blur before her eyes, as fatigue took hold of her mind and body.

    Hours later, and woken with a start, Mary squinted in the morning light, and stared into the eyes of the man who had driven alongside those blurred wooden poles. Her mouth opened, but he put his hand over it.

    “Don’t scream. I can get you out of here. Get up now, before she wakes up.” He glanced with caution around the bush, as Mary tried to sit up and speak.

    “I’ll take my hand away if you promise not to scream,” he said.

    Mary nodded.

    He removed his hand and helped her to stand up. “Here’s the key to the car,” he waved his arm behind him. “Go back that way to the road, and don’t look back.”

    “But?”

    “Don’t ask questions. Just go.” He gave her the keys and shoved her along the route she had fled the night before.

    Mary stumbled through the scrub, leaving the man behind, and soon reached the road. A quick glance to her right revealed the car where it had been parked, although the trunk had been left open. The traffic light showed green this time, and Mary slammed the boot shut, opened the driver’s door and put the keys in the ignition.

    Her face and arms were covered in scratches, and her hair a tousled mess, and she pushed it aside to see through the windscreen. As the engine turned over, the CD player came back on and Glen Campbell crooned to her –

    Nothing's quite as pretty as Mary in the morning……
     
  8. floydianslip6
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    floydianslip6 Member

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    That's a really great piece Raffles!!
     
  9. squint181
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    squint181 New Member

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    Retaliation (1597 words)

    3:13 AM and the noise is relentless. The dull thumps are a monotonous drone, each beat colliding against my skull like breakers against a rocky shore. I have been haunted by the clamor for hours now, and if I know the resolve of my torturer, it will not be abating anytime soon.

    I’ve tried to ignore them, pretend they don’t exist. Put my mind in a different location; fill it with soothing sounds to mask the intrusive noise. Pretending to be at a small cottage in a forest, I have focused on an imagining wind rustling through the leaves to attempt to block out the endless nightmare. Or picturing myself high atop a mountain, allowing only the calls of hawks hanging in the up drafts to enter my mind. But no matter where I envision myself, the sound eventually follows, breaking my trance and throwing me back into my darkened bedroom.

    Frustrated, I roll over and look again at my clock, only minutes have passed since the last time I checked it, but to me it seems like hours. Pulling my pillow over my head, I hope some how the down can filter out the retched beat. It works momentarily, allowing me a moment of silence to remember the seemingly innocent sequence of events that have lead to this torturous night. I got home from work earlier; tired form a long day working on the line, all I wanted was to crawl on to the couch, put on the T.V. and melt away to sleep. But as I put my keys into the deadbolt of my apartment door, I heard a yell form the parking lot.

    Standing there, hanging out of his car was my neighbor. With anger in his voice, he fervently pointed at my car which I now realized was accidently parked in his space.

    “Hey, you want to move that heap out of my spot!”

    Almost into my apartment, the inviting comfort called me. I knew what kind of man my neighbor was, easily angered and not quick to let go of a grudge, but the pull of the chilled beer in my fridge was too great.

    “Just park in mine, I’ll move it tomorrow.”

    With that, I went inside, closed the door and locked it. I wasn’t even to the kitchen before he started banging at the door, screaming at me to move my car. I was too tired to fight, or even deal with it, so I grabbed a beer, double checked the lock on the door, and plopped down on the couch. Turning on the T.V., I raised the volume to block him out. How long he continued, I don’t know? The long day mixed with the beer put me out in no time.

    I slept for a while, fitful and turbulent, the confrontation with my neighbor still lingering in my subconscious. The uneasiness followed my into my sleep, a sense of forthcoming retribution pervaded my dreams. When I finally awoke though, all I was met with was my T.V. blaring back at me. Clicking off the power, I staggered to my bedroom, hopping the soft mattress would lead to a more comfortable nights rest.

    Undressed, I climbed under the covers and let my weary head flop against the pillow. With my eyes closed I let my mind drift off to the murky cloud of sleep, when a sound caught my attention. Soft at first, I could barely pick up on it. I focused my attention at the noise and realize that it was coming form the other side of the wall, from my neighbor’s apartment.

    I listened for a while, sure that I recognized what it was, but not quite able to bring it to the front of my mind. The walls distorted it just enough for it to be too muted to identify, although a feeling of revulsion began to grow inside of me. It was a steady beat, looping itself after a few minuets. And while I wasn’t sure at the time, it was growing louder. Still, I tried to ignore it

    Back to now, the pillow has ceased in its effectiveness, the noise has again found a way in. The unstoppable tone has thwarted all my attempts to stop it, and in each case my defeats have only server to increase my irritation. At first, when it was quiet and barley audible, I tired just to will my self to sleep, hoping that it’s subtle tone would be unable to rouse me form my slumber. But soon, I realized the volume was steadily increasing and any chance to ignore it faded away.

    As its intensity grew, I found that my best chance to escape it was to find sanctuary elsewhere in my apartment. Armed with my pillow and cover, I made a spot for my self on the couch, but quickly the noise caught up to me. Same held true for the kitchen, even the steady hum or the refrigerator compressor didn’t stand a chance against the auditory onslaught. Only in the bathroom did I finally seem to find refuge.

    Ahh, the bathroom, what else better signifies isolation and solitude. There nestled between the vanity and shower did I locate comfort. With my pillow propped between my head and the cabinet, I found peace, escape. Smugly confident that I had eluded my neighbors attempt at revenge, I felt myself find sleep once again. But as I lied there, hovering on the precipice of unconsciousness, I began to hear the disturbing melody; it had discovered a way into my sanctum. Along the pipes, or possible through the crack under the door, it had found me. Like some predator in the night, stalking its wounded prey. Hushed at first, my mind began to work against me, adding the missing notes from my memory, completing the hated symphony. Soon, every part of my being could hear, no feel the spectral beat.

    Alas, I know understood that there was no way to flee the beast, it would follow me were ever I went, penetrate any mental blocks I put in place. Enraged I stormed back into my room, and slam my fists against the walls, leaving behind indentations. But the noise continued unabated, mocking me even as I empty my lungs in a scathing tirade against it.

    “Stop, stop, leave me alone, leave me in peace,” I scream. My rage is met with the indifferent melody, oblivious to my pleas. It persists, unwavering from its steady repetition. Over and over it continues, burning into my very being. I know the music now, thought, I refused to admit it to myself. Some how I thought if I could remain ignorant of its identity, there could still be some way to defeat it, a way not to let in. But, now I recognize the name of my demon, and hate it with every ounce of my strength.

    Panting after my unanswered screams, I kneel there on my bed, sweat dripping off my forehead. One last hope juts into my mind, a faint belief that if I could only knock myself out, I can finally rest. Grabbing my pillow with both hands, I smash my head into it. Again and again, my skull meets the yielding surface, searching for a painless escape. Soon though, I find my movements are in time with the rhythm of the song, in sink with the monster emanating through the thin wall boards and two by fours. It has won, I have lost. I collapse, near tears, muttering to myself, trying to make sense of the dreaded lyrics and remembering the first time I heard them.

    We built…’ Good, good, people working together to create something. ‘…this city…’ Yes, what a lofty goal, a project for the betterment of the community. ‘…on Rock and Roll.’ What? What the hell does that mean? ‘We built this city on Rock and Roll’ This is quite possible the worst song ever written. My god, what the crap was Jefferson Airplane thinking, how could this historic band come to this?

    The song washes over me; I don’t have the resolve to fight it any more. My bastard next door neighbor has got me; he put on a horrible song by Starship to torture me, playing it as loud as his speakers could go to punish me for something as trivial as parking in his space. Well, this isn’t over, not by a long shot. I have my own stereo and two can play at this game.

    I turn my speakers around to face the wall as a maniacal sneer crosses my face. My two 300 amp twenty inch stacks will blow away what ever he has over there. He started the war, but I defiantly have the artillery to stop it.

    Ok ready, now I need to find the ammunition.

    Flipping through my CD’s I find it.

    He should never have let it come to this.

    Open the tray and put in the disk.

    Just park in my spot, what’s the big deal.

    Scanning, which track? Oh yeh number twelve.

    He doesn’t know what’s about to hit him.

    Hit the repeat button.

    Hahaha, wipe the rabid saliva from my chin, revenge is at hand.

    Volume, up all the way.

    You stupid bastard, you could have just left well enough alone, but no, you just had to make a big deal out of nothing.

    Well, if I’m not going to get any sleep tonight, neither are you. ‘In the jungle, the mighty jungle, ONLY the lion sleeps tonight.



    In the Jungle (Mbube) by Solomon Linda

    We Built this City by Starship
     
  10. (Mark)
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    (Mark) Contributing Member

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    Wild Honey Pie by The Beatles

    Wild Honey Pie

    It was in the Spring of 1944 when my lawfully wedded wife lost her life in a mishap involving a pressure cooker and a group of orphans with physical disabilities that were singing songs for Jesus Christ, our lord and savior. There she was, my honey pie, cooking up some shrimp gumbo for all the men that worked in that old factory just outside of Waukegan that manufactured Laundry Detergent. She was a real womanly woman if I do say so myself.

    We were riding home in our buggy, pulled by our ever faithful horse Wharton, when a storm that rivaled the wrath of God came a floating out of the evening sky. My wild honey pie of a wife directed the buggy into that Laundry Detergent factory, and we got out and ran inside. Of course, my woman thought to bring in the new pressure cooker so it wouldn't be tarnished in the rain.

    My wild honey pie and I sat in the staff room, talking about this and that, when those orphans came in out of the rain, as sad and wretched looking as Cain after a long day's walk. It was a real coming together for mankind and womankind alike in that Laundry Detergent factor just outside of Waukegan.

    By sundown we were all hungry, and my wild honey pie of a wife decided to whip up some shrimp gumbo in that rotten pressure cooker. She had such a smile on her face, bless her little heart, that wild honey pie of a woman just loved to cook shrimp gumbo. She'd been talking about that pressure cooker for years, and we finally got around to buying it just that day.

    I sat there with a smile on my face and a proud feeling in my heart as everyone watched her make her shrimp gumbo. I knew at that moment in my heart that I was married to the most beautiful woman alive, and nothing could ever take her away from me. I was naïve.

    I told those orphans to go sing her a tune about the Lord, because I knew she loved to hear about Jesus Christ, our lord and savior, so she did just that. With all of the passion of Paul the Apostle after he saw Him, those kids went and sung to my wife.

    She turned away from that pressure cooker for one second, my wild honey pie, and she told them thank you a million times over with that look in her eyes.

    Then, it exploded, and she lost her arm.

    We took my wild honey pie to a doctor in Chicago, but it was too late for her. Jesus Christ, our lord and savior, had come down from Heaven and scooped her up with his gentle arms, and how she is in Heaven, singing with the angels.

    Look – What happened, happened for a reason. There is no getting past that. Our Lord works in mysterious ways, and I have no reason to doubt His omnipotent judgment.

    I sure do wish that-
     
  11. Keth Andril
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    Keth Andril Member

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    This is based on Ghost Love Score, by Nightwish

    She set the CD into the tray of her computer and pushed it in. There was only one song on it and it was completely anonymous. Unknown Album-Unknown Artist-Track 1. It was ten minutes and 2 seconds long. Maybe it was a song. Maybe it was a recorded speech. She could only speculate as to who had put this in her mailbox so late at night. She hit play.

    Instantly, her aural consciousness was submerged into the epic chords of a symphony and a choir. The dynamic shifted, ever so slightly and soon the pulsating bass combined with the female voice sent her into a sort of trance. Maybe the lyrics would give her some clue as to the identity of her mysterious giver.

    The lyrics painted the picture of a couple swimming in the ocean just before dawn, with the archaic chants being repeated confessions of love and declarations of commitment.

    My fall will be for you,
    My love will be in you,
    If you’ll be the one to,
    Cut me I’ll bleed forever.

    The chants subsided and were replaced by a placid string section. Now, the woman sang of a siren, a child and an angel. All one and the same, as the strings simulated the temperament of a calm sea. Rising and falling. Never cresting.

    Then, an abrupt change. The percussiveness of the guitar and brass, cut through the strings, ending her trance. The woman begged the siren not to leave. Begged the angel to take her along. The orchestra plunged into a darker chant of desperation and soon the symphony became hopeful, but not for long. Her wishes were crushed as anger and faithlessness swelled in the forms of brass and percussion, which became a racing heart.

    Soon the singer emerged, sounding as if she had some shreds of hope left, but the lyrics betrayed the fact that this was her last desperate attempt to sway the siren.

    Time to never hold our love. A denial by the siren. A rejection from the angel.

    And then the confessions returned. Only this time, they were different. This time, they carried sadness and despair within their rhythmic cries.

    And then she knew had given her this CD. Tuomas. They had met on the beach late at night. She had swum to the shore when she saw him walking along. She was the siren, the child and the angel, singing his desires to him. And he was the woman. They had become close for a bit and they were content. Until it became apparent that he loved her far more than she had ever loved him. It crushed him. He had tried to get her to fall in love with him for a time, but it ultimately led to nothing. She had never intended to hurt him as she did, and she hadn’t even realized that she had. Until now. Two years later. A tear rolled down her cheek and it was his voice she heard as the song faded to a close.

    My fall will be for you.
    My love will be in you.
    You were the one to cut me,
    So I’ll bleed forever.
     
  12. AWR
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    AWR Member

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    The Climb (661 words)

    Ignatius looked upward. Way, way up there was his target, glowing golden against the bright blue sky. It was hard to see through the scratched and ancient goggles but, honestly, he didn’t need to see it properly. It was up there. He was down here. His job was to climb the green expanse that towered above him, taking vital measurements along the way. Scenery just wasn’t an issue.

    The boss had assigned this climb to Ignatius, citing his vast experience and knowledge. The awestruck looks his younger colleagues had given him had ignited a warm glow of pleasure deep in his gut. Looking up now, though, and his confidence drained away. It was really big. Really, really big. Ignatius started fiddling with his harness. Checking and rechecking buckles and stitching that he had already checked hours ago back at the office. His radio fizzed to life.

    “Everything okay out there, Iggy? What’s holding you up?” a concerned voice, his Supervisor, crackled in his ear.

    “Fine, Bob,” Ignatius was ashamed to hear his voice squeak, “Just, well, you know …”

    “I know, Iggy, but the job’s gotta be done. Up you go, now. The research department needs these readings. ”

    Ignatius closed his eyes against the gentle reprimand. Thing is, he knew Bob really did understand. Once the best climber in the business he had been given greater and greater challenges until, one day, a fumbled slip followed by a spiralling tumble had left him unable to scale the green poles ever again. Ignatius had seen Bob, when Bob thought none saw, staring upward at the gold above him with an expression of such longing that Ignatius had turned away in embarrassment.

    Swallowing his fear, Ignatius wrapped himself around the rough surface and pulled himself upward. Within a few minutes he spoke into his radio.

    “Two,” and a few moments later, “Two.”.

    “Makes four!” Bob replied.

    Relieved pleasure flooded through Ignatius at the traditional response. Bob was such a stickler for tradition. Ignatius had heard some Supervisors no longer bothered. But, right now with his nerves fluttering, Ignatius could think of nothing he would rather hear.

    “Four.”

    “Makes eight! Keep going, Iggy, you’re doing great.”

    Ignatius groaned. Bob must be just as nervous as he was. Those silly rhymes were a dead-giveaway. He risked a look upward. The top was still a long way away. Got to keep going though.

    “Eight,” he rasped into the radio. Sweat was starting to pour, making his grip slippery and precarious.

    “Makes sixteen. Take it carefully, Ignatius.”

    Muscles were starting to ache and tremble. Each inch he gained cost him more and more in energy. Not long now, though.

    Finally he announced in relief the final measurement, “Sixteen.”

    “Make thirty-two. Well done. Iggy, good climb …”

    “Hang on, Bob.” Ignatius interupted his Supervisor. He looked around with panic, “I’m not at the top.”

    “What?! Are you sure?”

    “Of course I’m sure, The top is at least another couple of inches away!”

    “Then you gotta climb it, my boy.”

    “But there’s never been one more than thirty-two before. Never! Not in all our history!”

    “There is now,” Bob’s voice was level, “Up you go.”

    Ignatius shook his head. Bob was right. He had to climb it. Renewed energy coursed through him as he worked his way up the green until his head brushed the golden petals.

    “Three,” his voice trembled.

    “Makes, ah, thirty-five,” Bob chuckled, “You made history, Iggy. Down you come.”

    Ignatius took a deep breath and looked around. A strange thought crossed his mind. All his working life he had been doing the climb and, somehow, this time it occurred to him that these objects he climbed, these flowers, could almost be described as, well, almost beautiful.

    Wryly he shook his head. The thin air at this height must be affecting him.

    Ignatius pushed himself away from the stem with a powerful jump and released the parachute.

    Time to get on with the next climb.


    "Inchworm"
    by Frank Loesser.
     
  13. bicker
    Offline

    bicker Senior Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    brb, gone to the moon
    "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World

    Listen to the Song Here words in Italics are the actual song lyrics

    I never thought Mummy loved me as much as my brothers and sisters. Mark's the oldest and Mummy always gushes about how inquisitive he is or brags about how much he loves butterflies. Blah blah blah. Who cares about butterflies? Next is John, Mark's younger twin. Whenever we're out, Mummy pinches his cheeks and squeals about how cute John's smile is. She's right, though. He's really good with the babies, too. Josephine and Mary are the youngest. Josephine always tattles on me when I pick on her and Mummy never takes my side: "Leave your little sister alone!" Everyone loves Mary – the baby with the bluest eyes you ever saw. And then there's me.

    -----

    Hey, don't write yourself off yet.
    It's only in your head you feel left out or looked down on.
    Just try your best, try everything you can.
    And don't you worry what they tell themselves when you're away.


    -----

    I never thought Mummy loved me as much as my brothers and sisters. "Oh, Gretchen – she's our little tomboy," or "Don't worry about Gretchen, she's always bumping into things," or "Gretchen, come help Mummy please!" I always have to help with the chores. Stupid chores! And what kind of name is 'Gretchen' for a little girl anyway!?

    -----

    It just takes some time, little girl; you're in the middle of the ride.
    Everything will be just fine, everything will be alright.
    Hey, you know they're all the same.
    You know you're doing better on your own, so don't buy in.
    Live right now. Yeah, just be yourself.
    It doesn't matter if it's good enough for someone else.

    -----

    I never thought Mummy loved me as much as my brothers and sisters. "Mark, go play with your brother," or "Josephine, take the baby outside," and "Gretchen, leave your little sister alone," and "Gretchen, come help Mummy please!" Stupid tattle-tale! Stupid chores! Stupid name! I always have to play by myself.

    -----

    It just takes some time, little girl; you're in the middle of the ride.
    Everything will be just fine, everything will be alright.
    It just takes some time, little girl; you're in the middle of the ride.
    Everything will be just fine, everything will be alright.

    -----

    It's bath time and Daddy's coming home from work soon. Mummy likes to have us cleaned up before dinner. The twins always get to go first, since they're the oldest. Mummy says, "Boys need more hot water because they're so dirty." Stupid boys! Josephine and Mary are next. Mommy says, "The babies might get scalded if they go first and might catch cold if they go last." Stupid cold water! My bath is always last! I never thought Mummy loved me as much as my brothers and sisters.

    -----

    Hey, don't write yourself off yet.
    It's only in your head you feel left out or looked down on.
    Just do your best, do everything you can.
    And don't you worry what the bitter hearts are gonna say.


    -----

    "Gretchen, come help Mummy please!" Stupid bath! "Honey, come quick! Help me with the babies!" Stupid chores!

    "Mummy, why's everyone sleeping on the floor?" Mark, John, Josephine, and Mary looked cold lying on the tiles. Their lips were blue.

    "I love you so much, Gretchen. You were always my favorite." She held me under the water until I fell asleep too. I never thought Mummy loved me as much as my brothers and sisters….until today.

    ----

    It just takes some time, little girl; you're in the middle of the ride.
    Everything will be just fine, everything will be alright.
    It just takes some time, little girl; you're in the middle of the ride.
    Everything will be just fine, everything will be alright.
     
  14. Charisma
    Offline

    Charisma Transposon Contributor

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    2,704
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    Location:
    Lahore, Pakistan
    Based on:
    Zombie (Look at the bottom of the post for lyrics)
    By ‘The Cranberries’

    WARNING: Religious elements involved.

    His Heritage

    Officer Frank Gates shuffled through the record of the army enlistments. His obedient, but somewhat rude troop waited for his next command. He looked up and darted his gaze towards William.
    “Will…you haven’t submitted your proposals on the recruitment as of yet. You said you might.”
    “I decided not to, sir.”
    “But you must. There are very few proposals. I want more. You know how the Sergeant loses his head if we don’t have a ‘democratic’ way of doing things.”

    He attached humor to his otherwise deep voice, but the soldiers were not in the best of their moods. The officer shoved the thick stack of papers to a side and stood up, ready for inspecting everyone. Everyone stood erectly, gazing into thin air, as the officer slowly explained the agenda, while observing his men. His style was sustained and rhythmical with his blue eyes widening and shrinking abnormally.
    “There is no report on the enemy as of yet.”
    He stopped, looking for signs of relief, or perhaps terror, but the soldiers seemed half-dead.

    “However, I have read your proposals. I am satisfied with all of them. Except yours.”
    His smile became an erratic one for the soldier. Ali shyly ducked his gaze.

    “Ali Hussain?”
    The fact that Officer Gates was so particular about his first name, was in itself a painful reality.
    “Yes sir!”
    He said out sheepishly, in spite of the anger which dominated him.
    “You don’t want to fight in Afghanistan, eh?”
    The officer was not really rude, but Ali did not find logic in asking the question. Of course he did not. Why would he, in the least, want to kill another Muslim?

    “No, sir.”
    “Why?”
    Ali trudged past his dismay and said plainly:
    “I cannot fight the armies in Afghanistan, sir.”
    “Why?”
    “Because-“
    In a state of breathlessness, he stopped. However, the tense atmosphere pushed him to talk.
    “Because they are like my brothers, sir.”
    “Are we not your brothers, Ali Hussain?”
    “Yes, you are, sir.”
    “Then?”
    Ali did not have an answer. Perhaps these questions were better unanswered in any case.
    “Then?”
    The officer repeated harshly, and when Ali did not entertain him, he gave out a dissatisfied sigh and sat down.

    “Whatever may be your reason, Ali Hussain, you have been recruited to the battalion which will fight in Afghanistan, according to plan B.”
    He murmured, slightly frightened, perhaps expecting to see a bomb emerge out of the Muslim man’s shirt. But Ali remained calm.


    Fatima brushed her hair as Ali complained about the day’s happenings. She hushed her younger sister who was playing with the cat.
    “How could he? He knows better than anyone that my religion doesn’t allow it.”
    “He’s a secular man. He wants you to be practical.”
    “I am being practical. Do you want me to bombard an array of thousand men, all of whom pray to the same authority as I do?”
    “Of course not. But do you value your job, or your religion?”
    “What do you think?”

    Fatima yawned, throwing her glossy brown hair into a braid. Ali put an end to the conversation and picked up Farooq from the cradle.
    “How’s my little lion cub?”

    He tickled his stomach, and the baby boy chuckled. The innocent laugh uplifted his heart from the throbbing pain he was experiencing and Ali jumped back onto his bed. He played with the baby like a little boy, laughing and giggling carelessly. Fatima smiled adoringly at her husband’s juvenile gestures. It was the best thing about him, in her opinion. He could laugh it off anytime he wanted.

    The phone rang out of the blue. Fatima grabbed hold of Farooq as Ali got up to attend the phone call. He picked up the receiver, his gaze divided between his 8-year-old sister-in-law and the clock, which read 5 pm. He then directed his hearing to the phone call.

    “Hello. May I speak to Mr. Hussain?”
    “Yes, this is me.”
    “This is Sergeant Walters speaking. Mr. Hussain, your recruitment in the Afghani mission has been readjusted.”
    A fountain of joy burst forth in his heart. His eyes were eluded with tears as he cried out in appreciation.
    “Oh, thank you, sir. Yes, thank you indeed.”
    “However-“
    The sergeant’s diplomatic voice came up. Ali realized that there was a big catch in the concession.
    “You will have to administer the Jane Austen Convention downtown, Tuesday. In aid to civil power, you see. Report to your battalion officer by tomorrow and he will guide you through the details.”

    Ali murmured a brief farewell and hung up the receiver. Despite the good news, he had a gut feeling that the Sergeant had not mentioned something to him. Something dreadful.

    “Who was it, dear?”
    “The sergeant.”
    There was no life in his voice. Fatima curled up the quilt, frightened.
    “Really?! What did he say?”
    “He said he had readjusted my recruitment in the Afghani army.”
    Her smile immediately became prominent. She hugged her husband lovingly, her buoyancy having no limit.
    “Oh, thank God! Alhamdullilah [Praise be to God]! I knew, one day, us Muslims would be respected for our religious values.”

    Fatima failed to notice Ali’s disillusionment. He was an optimist, but sometimes his sixth sense got the better of him. He unwillingly returned the hug, still unsure. What was the mission going to be like?


    Ali could hibernate and no one would die. He drowsily eyed the security alarms which were scattered like beans all over the place. He scratched his head; his black hair seemed to wither every time he did so.

    He finally kicked the floor lightly and eyed the young girl who came in, wearing a beautiful tank top with a frilled skirt. The innocent creature eyed him briefly as he smiled and waved at her. The girl was immediately impressed by the undercover army man and tugged her mother’s shirt.

    “Mommy, mommy, look – a guardian angel.”
    Guardian angel! Ali thought and looked down at his white suit, with a yellow rose in his breast pocket. Well, maybe the girl wasn’t too wrong about his identity. The mother of the girl shyly approached the young man with an apology.

    “Sir, forgive the girl. She is young.”
    “I actually appreciate her imagination. God bless her.”
    Ali immediately replied, patting the girl’s head.
    “I take it that you are a fond of Jane Austen?”

    The woman seemed insecure, frightened and enthralled at the same time. She muttered a melodious collection of words which made no particular sense.
    “Well…just to dwell…not in the least am I a fan…just, you know, the ways…”
    “I suppose so.”
    Ali grinned, modestly lowering his gaze as the woman tried to make eye contact with him. The woman was interested in knowing more about him, but Ali was least bothered. The woman realized that and bid farewell.
    “Thank you, sorry for the trouble.”

    Ali wouldn’t ask irrelevant questions from unknown women, but the only purpose behind the question was her apparel. He was somewhat apprehended by her head scarf, usually which Muslim women would wear. Then again: he was undercover. It was his job.

    An electrical signal echoed in his ears as his army gadgets vibrated. Some uninvited guest had entered the convention.

    Ali waded through the crowd, following the radar. The bomber had somehow ditched the jamming system, which was almost impossible, in Ali’s opinion. Ali found himself as the only army soldier who made it. The others, though were told to him by his officer, as deployed here, were clumsy and there was no sign of them. Ali pulled out a gun and slowly approached the bomber.

    His hand sweated in combined emotions of tension and fright. His clammy fingers stumbled over each other, his muscular coordination suddenly going haywire. His valiant and chivalrous self took a while to expose itself, but by the time it did he had grabbed hold of the terrorist. Without more ado, he placed the gun at his shoulder. Then, a shock he had been somewhat prepared for, hit him.

    “Allah-u-akbar [God is great]!”
    The man cried, his movements delayed. He attempted to pull the string of the bomb he had tied to his stomach. Ali dropped the gun but managed to stop the man from pulling the string.
    “Stop! Please, in the name of Allah, don’t.”

    Where Ali now stood was a complicated stance. Where he was a patriotic solider, he was a devout servant of God. Where he was a benefactor to humanity – he was desperate to change his fellow countrymen’s opinion about his kind. Right now, all his ambitions and passions flooded his senses. His cerebellum was swelled up as he tried to contain his identity in his own soul.

    “How would you know the value of the word, Allah? You are nothing but a filthy infidel.”
    “Allah is my Lord, and so is He yours. Isn’t that enough proof for you about my intentions?”
    Ali caressed the man’s back, trying to calm him down. But the man was unconvinced.
    “Then why do you side with the Non-Muslims?”
    “Because they are right.”
    “Right! Right!! Right!!!”
    The man screamed, gaining some audience in turn. Ali pulled him to a side where no one could hear them.

    “Right they are, when they pay you big bucks for doing their job. Right there are, my brother. But when they pay you for being a Muslim – they work in a different manner.”
    The man criticized, his eyes full of hate and spite. Ali could relate to him in a lesser degree, but did not want to further heat him up.
    “But you cannot generalize your contempt. These people – they are innocent.”
    Ali persuasively argued, but the man was an equal.
    “They all are alike. All of them are programmed to ruin us. All of them.”
    Ali wanted to give a reply, but the man cut him short.
    “My family was annihilated because of them. My two daughters were molested. My wife was kidnapped. My parents were burned alive in the fires they cast. Why do you argue for them?”

    “Because-“
    Ali raised his voice, unable to find a better way to catch his attention.
    “Because, if they all were the same, there would be no converts to Islam. None at all.”
    The man seemed to listen with timidity this time.
    “Because, if we all were to bombard them, we all would be going to hell. Why, tell me, brother-“
    He finished his plea in complete agitation.
    “You make bloodshed a part of Muslim heritage? My heritage is Islam, brother, and so is yours. Why do you stain it with blood? WHY?”
    Ali gasped, his face red with anger while his hands were damp with sweat dripping from them. The man had no answer.

    Ali withdrew, unable to recognize the feelings emerging in his heart. All patriotic feelings had faded away.
    “But you are not the only one, brother. Someone else also makes bloodshed a part of my heritage. And even worse – I let them make it.”


    Sergeant Walters smiled at Ali who stood straight, like a determined soldier.
    “You did a great job, Mr. Hussain. No bombing took place, as we had been warned. But, there were no deaths reported either, I’m afraid.”
    “Isn’t that a good thing, sir?”
    “Would have been, under normal circumstances. But you see – this means that the terrorist is still on the loose. When he should have been eliminated.”
    “Maybe-“
    Ali coyly toyed with his idea, not knowing whether the Sergeant would like it.
    “There wasn’t a bomber after all.”
    “I’d doubt that. The espionage was so sure of it.”

    The sergeant relaxed his shoulders suddenly, looking straight towards Ali.
    “Surely, you’d know about him.”
    The remark was intended as a joke, but Ali had been waiting for the conversation to become lopsided anyhow.
    “Which reminds me of something, sir. I wish to resign, sir.”
    Ali swiftly placed his resignation letter on the desk. The man’s eyes widened as he received the news of the day.

    “But, but…Mr. Hussain, why?”
    Ali smiled, with a tint of serenity in his expression.
    “I’d like to keep my heritage, mine.”
    With that, the young Muslim departed.

    [Another head hangs lowly,
    Child is slowly taken.
    And the violence caused such silence,
    Who are we mistaken?

    But you see, it's not me, it's not my family.
    In your head, in your head they are fighting,
    With their tanks and their bombs,
    And their bombs and their guns.
    In your head, in your head, they are crying...

    In your head, in your head,
    Zombie, zombie, zombie,
    Hey, hey, hey. What's in your head,
    In your head,
    Zombie, zombie, zombie?
    Hey, hey, hey, hey, oh, dou, dou, dou, dou, dou...

    Another mother's breakin',
    Heart is taking over.
    When the vi'lence causes silence,
    We must be mistaken.

    It's the same old theme since nineteen-sixteen.
    In your head, in your head they're still fighting,
    With their tanks and their bombs,
    And their bombs and their guns.
    In your head, in your head, they are dying...

    In your head, in your head,
    Zombie, zombie, zombie,
    Hey, hey, hey. What's in your head,
    In your head,
    Zombie, zombie, zombie?
    Hey, hey, hey, hey, oh, oh, oh,
    Oh, oh, oh, oh, hey, oh, ya, ya-a... ]
     
  15. Owen
    Offline

    Owen New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
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    Location:
    Oldham, Lancashire
    LIFE IS A LEMON AND I WANT MY MONEY BACK

    A very short story based on the musical talent of Meat Loaf

    “What was that supposed to be?” asked the resurrected. He’d been waiting in the white room for what felt like eternity before the man in the black suit came through the door, and his annoyance levels had been growing.
    “Your life. The life you chose.”
    “It was boring. All I did was make speeches and sign stuff.”
    “It was not to your satisfaction?” The man in the black suit checked his clipboard. “It was the life that you requested. ‘The most evil man in history’ is what you asked for.”
    “Yeah, but come on! What a dullard! And his wife! Jesus, what an ugly woman!” the resurrected pulled a disgusted face at the memories of their nights together. “He didn’t even kill anyone. Not personally, anyway.”
    “He was responsible for the deaths of 2 billion people,” said the man in the black suit. “He destroyed an entire continent and irradiated 60% of the planet. How much more evil do you want?”
    “But he never saw any of it! He was always safe, thousands of miles away from the action. I wanted to see it, y’know. I wanted to hold the knife as it slipped into someone’s gut. I wanted to shoot someone in the head, not condemn a country with the wave of a pen!”
    “Perhaps you should have been clearer in your request then, sir.”
    “I paid good money for that life. It was so not worth it! He was a mediocre man with no ambition of his own. He had the charisma of a fart on Boxing Day and the intelligence of a cactus, so excuse me if I think I was a little misled!”
    “There’s no need to get irate, sir. We want to make sure that you have the experience that you desire, but the choice of life is yours. We do not make the decision for you.”
    “Bull****. I want my money back.”
    “All transactions are final, sir. If you would like to read the terms and conditions of your reincarnation it may make it clearer.”
    “I don’t care about terms and conditions! You have a responsibility to make sure that I am happy with the life that I receive. I’m not happy, and I want compensation.” The resurrected sat down on the white sofa and folded his arms.
    “We would,” said the man in the black suit, “be willing to give you a discount on your next life.”
    “How much?”
    “Ten per cent?”
    “Twenty.”
    “Fifteen. That’s it. No more.”
    “Alright, but the next one had better be more interesting.”
    “If you are unhappy with the services that we provide at Reincarnate PLC then there is always an alternative.”
    “What, real life? No way. I’d rather die.”
    “That would be the final alternative.”
    “Funny. So what have you got for me?”
    “Well, you want to be evil.”
    “Really evil.”
    “And you want to kill people. Hands on.”
    “Yeah,” the resurrected was getting more excited.
    “What about a serial killer?”
    “Sounds good.”
    “Known or unknown?”
    “Known. I don’t want to be some Joey Nobody.”
    “Hmm, any preference of time?”
    “Somewhen with TV. Preferably before my last incarnation.”
    “Pre 21st century then. Let’s see,” the man in the black suit stared at the ceiling for a few moments, and began to smile. “I think I have the perfect life for you.”
    The resurrected leant forward, eager to hear of his new, discounted, life.
     
  16. TheOnly13
    Offline

    TheOnly13 Senior Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Illadelphia
    Every Day Is Exactly The Same

    I believe I can see the future…
    Cause I repeat the same routine,

    So sat Damien Rychis, holding a small four-blade Gillette Fusion in his left hand, with his right extended alongside his legs. His eyes were wide, fixated orbs on the blade, watching it as if it would come to life and make its own movements.

    I think I used to have a purpose
    Then again, that might’ve been a dream…

    His eyes trailed off as they gazed into the white walls, thinking of tomorrow night’s big game against the school’s biggest rival, Duke. His fingertips tingled as he thought he could almost feel the smoothness of the basketball, and in his mind he saw the ball circling around the rim and falling into the basket. It was a simple shot like that, the one he never took, that could make all the difference.

    I think I used to have a voice
    Now I never make a sound…

    And yet, why would it? In fact, what was it even worth? They all knew he’d become a nothing, a nobody, and because of it they decided he wasn’t even worth a chance. Ever since that one day, and that one moment, he’d become the person that everyone wanted to distance themselves from. And Damien Rychis couldn’t find the words inside himself to express the need for them now was more than he ever needed anything before. He could never tell his coach that being out, beyond the perimeter of the three point line with the ball and the game in his hands, was all he needed to overcome his tragedy.

    I just do what I’ve been told,
    I really don’t want… them to come around…

    The dreams held him at night and gave him the voice that he could never have with his eyes open. They spoke to him with ecstasy in their voices, and held out hands offering warmth and love. Damien’s own eyes were entranced in theirs, and as he watched what they told him to do, he found a grin that he hadn’t had in a long time.

    I can feel their eyes are watching…
    In case I lose myself again…

    He dragged the razor across his right wrist and gasped with some kind of invigoration as his arm split open and blood rushed out. There was no turning back now. He’d done what they’d asked of him, and he would never let himself fall short of that. His entire body started twitching, and his trance from staring at the wall and thinking of the basketball were gone. Inside his mind were turbulent thoughts, and his eyes had lost the vision they’d once held.

    Sometimes I think I’m happy here,
    Sometimes, yet I still pretend…

    And he was holding his arm protectively now, cursing at the image reflecting at him in the mirror. He watched the image smiling, and laughing, as he stood screaming with everything he had. Tears began to drip from his open eyes, just as the blood had flown so freely. Yet nothing gave him such an invigoration.

    I can’t remember how this got started,
    But I can tell you exactly how it will end…

    And he promised himself, that no matter what the dreams spoke in his ear, he’d never listen. It was his night. He was going to drop the winning shot of the game tonight. He was going to be the one to bring him the big victory over North Carolina’s biggest rival. And he swore to himself, he was going to make amends with every demon that was lurking inside of his mind.

    I'm writing on a little piece of paper…

    But as he stood and stared in the mirror, his own image faded. The basketball jersey had burned off, and he watched as his flesh was being burnt. His eyes swelled with tears and he began slamming his fists against the glass, screaming for his own ‘self’ to come back to him.

    I'm hoping someday you might find…

    And he was back on his bed, with the razorblade on his left, and a pen and pad in his two hands. He held the pad in his shaking right hand, and started trying to write with his left, even though he knew how sloppy the words would come out. Tears began staining the yellow paper and causing blotches in the ink. His words inside of his head were all so jumbled, and he had no idea how to rightfully express his thoughts. He swore inside himself, that someone had to understand…

    Well I'll hide it behind something,
    They won't look behind…

    But the nightmares could never find it. He could never let them.

    I'm still inside here…

    And he just wanted to regain control, even though he knew it was no longer possible…

    A little bit comes bleeding through…

    And as the tears and blood fell like raindrops on the yellow paper, so did the remains of a troubled young man. The words scrawled across the page told the story of one young Damien Rychis, who’d felt his soul being sucked away by demons that no human could ever withstand.

    I wish this could have been any other way…
    But I just don't know, I don't know what else I can do!

    And he crumbled up the yellow piece of paper and slammed it into his computer desk drawer, wishing for someone to come across it and finally understand. He grasped the razor firmly in his right hand, and the shaking stopped. He closed out all the voices in his mind and screamed loudly.

    “And Damien Rychis, with the three-pointer in the last seconds of Overtime, to end the game! Damien Rychis just put North Carolina into the NCAA Tournament!”

    And the dreams would never let him escape their grasp.


    **Song used is "Every Day is Exactly The Same" by Nine Inch Nails.**
     
  17. Baywriter
    Offline

    Baywriter Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
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    814
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    Location:
    Toronto
    Sleep

    Word Count: 638

    Song: Sleep by Eric Whitacre

    Here's the link:


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhCS7etNEbU&feature=related

    I highly recommend that you listen to the song to get the full effect of the piece.

    I heard my blood crying and I let my forehead hit the mirror, my breath laboring through my bitten lips as I glanced down at my arm. It was draped in scarlet velvet that streamed over my wrists like the wet sky that pattered my window outside. Placing my blade on the sink, I let myself fall to my knees, the cool tile floor kissing my skin bitterly. The pain, it was beautiful, two stars making love against the navy sheet of night, flames slapping my flesh feverishly. I was dying. I was glad.

    “**** it . . . **** all this . . .” I muttered unevenly, my head falling back. Dead, he was dead, asleep beneath tilled ground, taken by shadows. My breath stopped with his, and I knew it was time suffocate. Because it was yesterday—yesterday he was alive, writing my Christmas card, grabbing his gun. I stopped myself. “I can’t think about it,” I stammered out, my body quaking furiously. “I just need to sleep.”

    Sleep. I couldn’t stifle my laughter. ****ing euphemisms. Pretty words meant nothing to the splintered soul, nothing but pain, just like everything else. My father was dead, and I couldn’t run from it. My head felt numb as I let my body slink to the floor, tracing my fingertips over the surface. Round and round. Just like everything else. There was no end to this brutal “circle of life,” so sturdy, without a crack. The Lion King made it look so damn easy.

    “Dad . . .” My voice was soft, eaten by tears. I buried my hands in between the dark strands of my hair, blood clutching it, and my fists began to clench. “Are you happy now? Goddamn it, Dad!” I grimaced. My wrist was throbbing, and the noises—those somber death songs—were at my ear. In that moment, I could remember everything, the letter written in eye-rain:

    Daddy,​


    I’ve been sitting here for the longest time just trying to muster the strength to write that first word. “Daddy.” Yes, I’m your daughter. I’m not really sure if you actually understand that. I’ll be frank. You had sex with my MOTHER, and then I came along. But I am your lover. Remember those nights of passion? I let you **** me senselessly when Mom wasn’t around. I am your client. Oh, the drugs were so good. I couldn’t get enough. High after high. So good. But I am your daughter, DADDY.​


    There were twelve pages of cold screaming, but I wanted them back. I wanted to scream again: “I’m sorry! I take it all back! I didn’t mean it! I didn’t mean to . . . I never wanted you to die! Please! I’m so sorry!” But my voice was still echoing, and ink was still spilling from my lips. The words I carved that day were still breathing. My father was still dead.

    But it wasn’t that bad before he was gone. I could remember the way he’d gently kiss my neck, my back pressed against his chest; and it was beautiful, so twisted, so disgusting, and so glorious. I let myself justify our sins, so why did I suddenly fight? I could’ve lived—he could’ve lived. But the minute I fought back, he decided he was too goddamn weak to stick it out.

    “What the ****?” I screamed between teary gasps. “What the hell is your problem? I would’ve lived for you! I would’ve . . . Just let me take it back now!” I felt my voice growing weaker, and my vision began to cloud. I watched the blood on the floor blur into a dark blanket, smothering my body, fading, and fading some more. It was slow, but I let myself enjoy every second of it, the lullaby of my surrender to sleep.
     
  18. Alice in Wonderland
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    Alice in Wonderland Contributing Member

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    Location:
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    Blue - A short fictional piece by Alice In Wonderland.
    Words: 867
    Inspired by: Blue - Cowboy Bebop OST - Mai Yamane


    Beep...

    ...

    Beep...

    ...

    Beep...

    ...

    ...

    ...

    The room around me became slowly blurred, like the horizon in a gentle rain. My eye were becoming hard to keep open and my breathing troubled, as if a cat were sitting on my chest so it could tug my eyelids closed. It was as if my whole body was beginning to shut down. My heart missed a beat now and then, slowing so it was almost undetectable by the machine they had me plugged into. Finally I gave up the fight to stay conscious and everything turned black.

    ...

    A breath amongst silence shatters the still air, and my eyes are open. It feels as though I am being suspended on invisible strings. Everything in the room has a soft blue tint to it, as if I were underwater. It feels strange to describe it like that as I’ve never been underwater. Yet... I know that this is what it looks like. I’ve never heard the word ‘ephemeral’ but now I know what it means. I’ve never smelled the scent of a beautiful bouquet of flowers and in an unbelievable way... I can smell that exact scent right now, suspended on these wires, hovering over myself.

    ...

    Looking down into the bed, the pale face of the girl that used to be me almost blends in with the sheets. The porcelain white sheets. Her eyes are closed most of the way but there is a glimmer of moistness there under her lashes. Her ebony hair splays across the pillow like a cascading waterfall of liquid lace. She is perfection. The perfection she could never be in life.

    To my left, as I turn my head, the door has burst open. However, its ghost stays closed; a translucent wall of ethereal energy. Several people in white and blue uniforms came through the door, slowing down until they were frozen in mid-run. Ribbon-like streams seemed to flow off them, showing the direction they’d come in. Their faces all looked scared, frightened, shocked. Their expressions began to melt away until a flat surface was left behind.

    The strings holding me up were yanked and my floating body was heaved onto its back.

    ...

    Looking up to the ceiling, I find that there is in fact not a ceiling at all but a slowly forming hole. The paint begins to peel away, then the plaster beneath that, then bricks and wooden boards and finally the tiles from the room above. My body slowly begins to float higher, the strings that hold me keeping me perfectly balanced; perfectly safe. The ceiling of the next room begins to melt away, disintegrating before my eyes yet leaving no rubble. I float higher and higher. Through the Emergency Ward. Through the Maternity Ward. Through the Psychiatric ward. Up and up until there are no more wards to go through. Levitating over the grey roof of the tall building; over the hole. If I looked down through it, I could see the gentle ethereal replacements of each level.

    I close my eyes, feeling a gentle wind caress my gowned body. It begins to spin my body slowly and the invisible strings twist around one another. Behind my eyelids there is a glow that illuminates the blood vessels to make the light seem a reddish colour. My eyes open of their own will and I am struck by the brightness of the sky above. The beautiful blue and vibrant endlessness, filled with cawing birds and soft, fluffy clouds. The light is not coming from the sun. The sun seems to have disappeared in the wake of this illuminating, all knowing light. Being in its presence makes my heart ache and my brain feel clear of all thought. All I know is that I feel loved and calm, yet I become aware of everything. Every bit of trivial knowledge that people wouldn’t trouble themselves with. Every emotion known to human or animal. Every molecule around me has a texture, taste and colour.

    ...

    I am free.

    ...

    Beep...

    A sudden harsh pull on the strings jolts my body, drawing me downwards. Another set of strings seems to appear. The second set is attaching me to my old body. Another jolt is sent through my body and I dip lower, away from the freedom of the beautiful light. Down through the roof of the building. The roof begins to rebuild itself as I am forced down through the next floor.

    ...

    Beep...

    I don’t want to go back! Let me go back to the light! I want to be free from my shackles, free to be perfect! No matter how much I try to struggle against these horrible second strings I can’t. My body seems paralysed.

    Beep...

    I am tugged violently back into the body that once housed me, the perfection gone. The life is forced back into me.

    A breath amongst silence shattered the still air, and my eyes are open.

    Beep...

    Beep...

    Beep...

    The faces of doctors, nurses and family are all looking down at me. It seems they are expecting me to say something. Everyone looks so relieved it’s almost unbearable. I can barely remember dosing off...
     
  19. bamXkasey
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    bamXkasey Member

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    All these things I hate- Bullet for my Valentine

    628 words

    He had been ignoring me all week. Acting like I wasn’t there. Pretending that he hadn’t put a promise ring on my finger. Relationships take commitment. They take honesty. Mostly, it takes two. Right now, I had myself, a useless piece of silver, and a broken heart. To big of a gash for a band-aid or Ben and Jerry’s to fix.

    I let my tears drip on the paper, smudging the ink used to write this letter. This is the last time, the last time I say goodbye to you. Things happened and I don’t really know why. I feel like my hearts being torn apart, my dreams of you and me being broke at the seams. Just go away, I don’t deserve this! Hide away, feel my pain. After this letter you’ll be feeling like me!
    “What’s going on? It never used to be like this! What happened to the old us?”

    He didn’t know what to say, my tears shocked him. He looked like he was clueless. I had kept my feelings in to long. It was time to let them loose, before I snapped in two. “I don’t get it! I used to be so happy… I’m not now.” My lip began to tremble, I started to walk away, trying to leave my feelings behind. When his big hands stopped me, gently grabbing onto my arm. They felt like fire, burning into my skin. An unwanted touch that surprised me.

    “Don’t go,” he said. “I can… we can make this work. Believe me--”

    I shrugged his hand off. Looking into his almond brown eyes I told the only truth I was willing to say. “I’m done believing.”

    Don’t you wish your heart didn’t stay on your sleeve? Don’t you wish you made things easier to believe? It’s too late now, the crumbling is over. Go crawl in a hole, and rock yourself back and forth. Runaway, find that same place. It’s the best place to be when your feeling like me!

    My heels tapped on the concrete, and my tears fogged my vision. I kept hearing, “It won’t be the same, just don’t leave me this way.” They were just more lies to add to the already overflowing pile. I was sick and tired of the bull, it was time I let it all go away.

    Keeping my head down, and my hands wrapped around my body for support, I stumbled away. Letting my mind drift to a place that would keep it sane, where I couldn’t hear the lies anymore. Where I could find the peace and the will to one last time tell the boy of my once beloved dreams goodbye.

    I’m not feeling this situation. I’m done trying to stay sane. Day after day the noise ringing in my ear, telling me you were no good. If only I would have listened, if only I would have taken myself away. What do I have to show now? I silver promise ring flushed down the toilet. A heart that needs mending. A single nobody on edge, ready to snap at any moment. Sound fun? Think again. It’s funny how all the things I once loved surrounded me, now I’m surrounded by hate. I just wrote this too tell you, one word. One word that turned into hundreds. Goodbye.

    Sealing the letter in an envelope laying it on my pillow. I kissed it, leaving a pink lip imprint. It’s the only thing he’d have left.

    I picked up the handgun, cold and loaded. Swallowing one last time, and pulling the trigger. This really would be my last goodbye.
     
  20. ecanusia16
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    ecanusia16 Member

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    VOICES
    Inspired by Why Georgia – John Mayer
    (717 words)

    I must drown myself tonight, Johnny… Please do the honors… was the first thought that lay upon me a second I realized my heart hasn’t stopped.

    His guitars flood my head with unwarranted smiles. His voice soothed out the nerves and anxiety.

    Hmm-hm—hmm… I am driving up in ‘85…

    Right there, listening to soft grasp of his voice on my ear, I did drown slowly, surely… and soon enough I was humming to his tune.

    ‘Cos I— wonder sometimes about the outcome… Am I living it right…? Why, why Georgia why...

    Thanks. I breathed a little gratitude and blessed the strings of the man’s guitar. Thanks to him I wouldn’t cry.

    My room was splattered with the remnants of a hurricane. Sponges, chalk, paint everywhere. I could clean it up later, of course. It didn’t bother me a bit. It was the canvas that was a complete piece of sh**. There was no way to clean it anymore. I guess I should keep it.

    I turned the volume of my earphones up and covered up the canvas. In the middle of Johnny’s soliloquy I found myself singing too damn loud. Music was at its peak. The twitch of my body followed the pluck of acoustic strings. WHY. WHY GEORGIA WHY.

    Mayer’s voice wasn’t loud enough it seemed. It needed help. For inside my head was a rattle of a maddening whisper. Something I didn’t want to hear. For Johnny’s pleasures and mine, I wanted the voice to shut up. RENT A ROOM AND I FILLED THE SPACE WITH WOODEN PLACES TO SHUT UP MAKE IT FEEL LIKE HOME SHUT UP. SHUT UP.

    My head was swaying to the beat and everything was swimmy in my eyes. I longed to tell the voice it was wrong. I rock. I’m great. I have talent. The talent is there. You just don’t see it. Nope. And that’s your loss. Your loss. NO. SO WHAT, SO I GOTTA SMILE ON ME.

    Don’t you dare believe me… when I say I got it down…

    There was a staunch belief in this mind that my hands meant something great. I believe it. I want to. I need to.

    It might be a quarter life crisis – but believing doesn’t make it true – just a-stirring in my soul

    I laughed at the voice. It was a laugh you need to do in a state of utter pittance. Laugh. Sing. Be merry. Sadness looms dangerously behind it, but that’s what music is for. That’s what laughter is for. The bitterness is something smooth… And cold… And clean. It harrows through my neck slick when its supposed to be chopping late dinner meatloaf. My head continued to sway energetically with the handsome beat of the music. I could feel the warring pricks at my eye but NO. WHY. WHY. WHY GEORGIA WHY. You’re indulgent—too indulgent with yourself.

    Either way, I— wonder someti—mes about the outcome

    Too indulgent. Too indulgent. You believe, but they don’t—he doesn’t.

    IS NO REASON NOT TO ASK YOURSELF—IF YOU’RE LIVING IT RIGHT

    He doesn’t.

    Floating notes and chords flash and gone. Fade. Fade. The song ends. My knees crumbled with a sudden loss of device and the seconds of silence sired into the rusty screws of my happiness. A new song starts. But it drowns in my head by itself. Silently, I waited for the tears to come, and they didn’t. I realized then I was begging it, willing myself to cry. Grace my eyes with the salty flints of pain. I welcome you. But I didn’t cry. All I did was stare in blankness, breathing the merciless silence like a drug. Oh, what fun to watch your heart beat and wonder why it does what it does. People take it for granted. But I don’t. Not now. Not ever.

    The voice continued to talk to me.

    I’m supposed to believe you. Your talent and your passion—but it’s hard—I hope you know that I am the voice of reason and car with the old rags outside. Hurry, son. I’ve got work to do.

    I stood up with a surprising ease of default. Inside, my heart kept on beating with the soundless tune of chords unstrung.

    I hope you know why… his voice reminded.

    Yeah. I know.
     
  21. Cyprienne
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    Cyprienne New Member

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    Mountaintops - 869 words
    Based off of (and using some lyrics from) the song 'Beloved' by Minnie Driver.

    The woman rested her chin in her hand, let her gaze wander over the sun-kissed mountaintops in the distance. The dying light silhouetted her sombre form, enveloping her in a sort of halo. Her normally coal black hair glowed a warm chestnut, giving her face a more welcoming look. Her sharp, angular features contrasted with the soft curves of her body, and the gentle lilt of her voice. She often sat here on her porch, looking out over the seemingly endless plains of her home, contemplating.

    A man came out of the house, sat beside her, wrapped an arm around her shoulders. She leaned into him, moving closer along the bench.

    “Sometimes I wonder what we’re doing out here, Jackie,” he murmured, rubbing his hand over her arm. “It’s so peaceful, but so unsettled at the same time. Like the land wants to get up and do something but doesn’t know where to start.”

    “Mm,” she agreed. “It’s a restless place, Cedric. I figure that’s why it’s accepted us so easily.” She turned to look at him, her eyes smiling. “We’ve always wanted something more. We’re just too used to this place, I guess. Can’t do anything worth noticing here.” She began to sing a little tune, a melody she learnt long ago from an old homeless woman.

    He laughed quietly. “You know, we really could make it big if we’d just get away from this house once in a while. Your voice still gives me butterflies, just like the first time I heard you singing. You remember, don’t you?”

    She nodded. She was singing that song now, crooning it as she stroked the hand that wasn’t around her.

    I wake up with my soul on fire

    I’m swimming in my heart’s desire
    Not drowning in somebody’s wake
    Not smiling for somebody’s sake
    Why don’t you just stay here, in the sun?
    Beats me why you disappear, honey
    Ain’t I your beloved one?

    He kissed the top of her head, caressing her cheek as he hummed the harmony. The song wasn’t a duet, but he had a gift for weaving notes together, for knowing how to match them, make them flow like honey. They rocked gently as the song brought them back to a time before the little farmhouse, before the long stretches of land and rock.
    --
    She was younger, her face still sharp, though with fewer lines about the eyes. She was not a frequent laugher then. She walked through the centre of a dusty old town, a town that paid little attention to culture, caring only for drink and camaraderie. She didn’t belong in that town, had known so since she was five and heard a country song on the radio. She had once asked for singing lessons, was answered that there were no singing teachers in the town and that no one bothered with that sort of thing anyway.

    She was wandering, as she often did, just to pass the time between school days and sewing circle meetings, both of which were mandatory and both of which she despised. She hated the social conventions of her home, all the expectations of a young lady. She couldn’t sew to save her life, yet she was there, week after week, endlessly embroidering while the village girls chattered incessantly over petty things.

    He was a lonely bard, of about the same age, wandering from town to town. Songs fed him, music sustained him. Sometimes they laughed when he called himself a bard, but he thought the medieval profession suited his lifestyle. He travelled constantly, sang and played guitar in taverns to earn a few coins to keep him alive. It was not a dull existence, but it was a rather unsatisfying one. He always hoped that someone would hear him and offer him a contract, or at the very least a solid job.

    That night he was wandering as well, through the dusty town. His trained eyes searched the buildings for a sign of firelight, of merriment that usually indicated a place for drink. He roamed for some twenty minutes and still found no tavern, pub, or bar. He was packing up his guitar for another long journey along the road when a sweet sound reached his ears.

    The late light of the desert made the mountains a silhouette

    As curved as a woman’s side
    As far off as I feel inside
    This gravity, it’s heavier than my fear
    It pulls me to a new conclusion
    The light of you’s the weight that keeps me here

    He nearly dropped his guitar when she had finished the verse and the sound died away. He lingered a moment, hoping the music would begin again, but all was silent. He took a few steps back into the town, feeling like a drunken man with lead tied to his feet. All he wanted was to stand still and let the song flow over his ears.

    My beloved

    My beloved
    My beloved one

    He was off before the end of the verse, clutching the instrument to his chest as he followed the sound. He rounded a corner and nearly knocked into the source of the beautiful sound. She smiled demurely, and he was lost.
     
  22. Suomyno
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    Suomyno Member

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    Screams in the night, based on Janie's got a gun-Aerosmith
    Word count: 752

    The disheartened silence of the night was punctured by a thunderous, resonating crack and a muffled thud, heavy with finality. It hung in a stiff stillness, cumbersome and alone, for an immeasurable amount of time before the orchestra of screams began to play.
    This would be the last time the neighbourhood would wake to such heartbreaking, soul-destroying screams in the night. This would be the first time in fourteen years the neighbourhood would react instead of thoughtlessly turning over in bed.

    Some say the guilty one is not the one who commits the sin, but the one who causes the darkness. Darkness has great strength- the power to distort reality into nightmare. The power to feed lasting, life consuming fears. Darkness has the power to end lives and shatter souls. The most familiar of things can become distorted by shadows and fear- no longer familiar and innocent but haunting and grotesque. This was true for Janie’s bedroom. Murky, haunting images were cast across her ceiling, demons left to lurk in corners.
    Janie still had a healthy fear of the dark- a fear she had dragged throughout her lifetime. Despite what she had been told, she knew monsters were real. Demons lived and no amount of trying to be good could keep them away. Hell existed and drew helpless victims into the depths and left them to rot in sorrow and regret. Janie had felt Hell- she had succumbed to its dark and numbing cold, letting it tear her apart. She was drowning in a downpour of tears and terror. It came to the point where even the lightning and the thunder knew that someone had to stop the rain.
    Perhaps the most painful of all the facts was that her supposed loved one had turned out to be the devil. Early on she understood the fact but she could never come to terms with the reality of it. She needed to believe, so desperately, that her father was her loving protector, not the perverse beast for whom trees curled away from the window in fear, for whom the floor cracked with terror and dread. Similar to the cracking that whispered in the silence that night.
    Time collapsed in on itself, and once again she became the helpless three year old believing that she had brought it upon herself and deserved it. The three year old who believed that to tell was to condemn herself to death.

    Police car wails cut through the silence like the flashing lights cut through the darkness. Never had the darkness and fog come at such an appropriate time. Familiar yellow tape encircled the scene and bound itself around Mrs. Yates’ heart. It clung too tightly, and yet she needed it tighter in order to hold her together.
    The demeanour of the police and paramedics told all; she had lost her daughter and her husband but how and why, the whole story, was unsure. It lay in shattered pieces they were unable to piece together. Only time and a close eye would give the full story.
    Crimson liquid, dark and thick, settled on the pavement around the large corpse. It had been spilt in five words that told a whole story.
    IOU. My debt is repaid.

    Janie thought of tomb stones. A summary of a life lived, a story told… a fate sealed.
    He sealed my fate… I can seal his. Nothing is more permanent than bloodshed.
    Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. While she could not kill him the way he had killed her, so slow and painful, she could settle for second best: death of the body.
    Hellfire licked at her doorway as it always did. Routine would be his undoing.
    The role reversal took mere seconds. A dark shadow loomed threateningly over a cowering, helpless figure. The attacker felt the rush of adrenaline, the rush of having power. A drug, filling and infatuating her mind. She had a life in her hands. Thread by thread she would unravel and destroy it.
    The barrel gleamed darkly in the moonlight and let out a deep, metal grinding breath.

    Janie was right.
    Monsters are real. They live inside us, and sometimes they win.
    In a stiff stillness, cumbersome and alone, Janie did not scream. Instead she let her monster win. He whispered into the night, having the final word.
    Now, darlin’, it ain’t right. Was it daddy’s cradle robbing that made you scream at night?
     
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