Wednesday April 13th, 2011

The exercise:

The Rolling Stones have sung many a song. Here's 195 of them. Pick one and write something based on it - not the lyrics, just the song title.

The Canucks got off to a good start tonight, winning the first game in their series by a score of two to nadda. Three more wins and Chicago is finally in their rearview.

Mine:


The woman behind the desk didn't bother to write down any of the information I gave her. She just looked at my driver's license for a moment before handing it back, then did the same with my credit card. After staring off into space for a minute she grabbed a room key off the wall behind her without looking and slid it across to me.

Well, if she didn't want to bother with paperwork that was fine with me.

I carried my overnight bag along the narrow second floor balcony as the sun was swallowed by the horizon. I was too busy admiring the red and orange clouds to notice the strange names on the doors of the rooms I passed.

The woman had said mine was the last room, so that's where I stopped and put down my bag. As I fished around in my pocket for the key, I looked up to see which room I had been given.

"Childhood?"

I barely had time to wonder what sort of strange naming conventions the place had before the door was pulled open from the inside. Shaking my head to clear the cobwebs, I was about to apologize for disturbing the occupant.

But that was when I realized I was looking down at myself, aged seven.

"Seven and a half," I corrected myself before stepping aside and waving me into the room.

4 Comments:

morganna said...

2000 Light Years from Home
---------------
The rocket ship slowed down around another sun. 'Which one is this, Katie?' asked Tom.

'Oh, I don't know,' she answered peevishly. 'We're 2000 light years from home, we can't find a planet suitable for a colony, and you want to know which sun it is?'

'Never mind, I figured it out,' Tom replied. 'Only thing is, we ought to be seeing a planet right about here.'

'How could all the surveys be wrong?' Katie demanded.

'Maybe they weren't wrong,' Tom said. 'Maybe something is happening to the planets.'

Just then, an explosion rocked the ship.

Greg said...

Go Canucks! This is a best of seven tournament isn't it?

@Morganna: I like yours, but it feels like it ends a little abruptly, I'd quite like to know what's causing the explosions!

@Marc: The memory motel sounds fascinating, especially if you meet some or all of your memories when staying there! It seems like an idea you should develop!

Suzie Q
She only became Shanghai Suzie after she helped rob the bank, though the two men she left behind swore to the gallows that she'd planned the whole thing. Before then, she was just Suzie Q.

"Do you, Suzie Q, take this man--" drawled the priest, pausing every third word to spit tobacco juice.
"Of course I do, honey," she said, smiling at the groom and batting her eyelashes. She was stood on the non-spitting side of the priest as she intended to get a few more weddings out of her dress before she had to turn in into dusters. "And Jordie here does too, don't you, darlin'?"
"Ah say!" came a voice from the back of the almost-empty church. "That woman can't marry my son! She's lower than a low-life."
The priest never even paused, well aware that Suzie was carrying a petite pistol with pearl-inlaid grip, mostly concealed by the dress.
"I do declare, you be man and wife," he said, "In sickness and in wealth, till comprehension you do sever."
"Ah said, wait!" came the voice from the back of the church again.
"Ma?" said the groom, staggering a little. The priest took the opportunity to flee to the vestry.
"Mother-in-law?" Suzie Q's voice was sultry and sweet, but she was already hurrying up the aisle.
"Ah ain't no mother-in-law to you, girl," said the voice, and then stopped abruptly. There was the sound of flesh striking flesh, and a heavier sound, as of someone falling to the floor.
"Ma?" said the groom again, shaking his head.
"Well lookee here," said Suzie, mostly to herself. "A mother and son murder suicide pact in a church. Now ain't that a distressing thing for a bride!"
"Ma?" said the groom for the last time, and the priest in the vestry put his fingers in his ears and pretended he was a long, long way away.

Heather said...

Marc- I wouldn't want to stay in that hotel. I am much happier living in the present with occasional trips to the future.

Morganna- What an interesting take on the prompt! I, too, a curious as to what is causing the explosions.

Greg- Love the southern drawl of the mother! Not sure that Suzie's dress is going to be usable again though. Unless it wasn't white.

195 songs is far too many to choose from. I asked a friend to pick her favorite letter. I should have known better. There was only one entry under "V".
--------
Ventilator Blues

I lay here. Dying. Wishing to be dead. Electrical pulses run through the wiring and into the machine that forces little gusts of wind into my aching lungs. I wonder how much longer this purgatory will last. I hear them discussing it as if I am not in the room. As if I were already dead.

My daughter starts. She's always been the rule setter. The go-getter. The decision maker. "We have to decide what is in her best interest. Not ours," she says. Her breath catches and I wish my fake breath could catch on the plastic sides of the tube. It never does. It remains a perfect rhythm of in and out.

"You make it sound like she is a child incapable of making her own decisions." It's my son. Always the defender of mankind. The one to stick up for people. To respect their choices. A man of compassion and deep empathy. We've talked about my inevitable death.

"Alexander...." I can hear my sweet Eve getting ready to reason with him. She'll talk about life. How there is more than one path we must follow and how I am ready to go. She'll argue that I want quality, not quantity. We've had this conversation many, many times.

They will both be right. They just won't see that they are fighting for the same thing from opposite corners. Not for too long of a time. "Just pull the plug!" I want to scream. Release me from my confines. Let me float through the blues and prepare a place for you. Let me go!

Marc said...

Morganna - intriguing start. I too would like to see what comes next.

Greg - yeah, each round is best of seven.

That made me very happy. I think Suzie is a great character - I hope she stays with the gang until, or very near, the end.

Heather - me too. The present is much happier than most of the past.

I think you did great with the song title you were 'stuck' with. I particularly liked the way the kids were described.