Monday March 12th, 2012

The exercise:

It's been less than a month since last time, but I felt inspired to bring around the first line prompt again.

So take the opening line I provide and then go with it where you will, be it poetry or prose. Ready? Here we go:

There's a ghost wind blowing...


There's a ghost wind blowin',
Givin' voices to the trees;
I can hear them talkin',
Yeah they're talkin' to me.

George is in the cherry,
Old Rosie's in the pine,
Wishin' they got married
When they still had the time.

The willow is cryin',
Must be my Grandma Sue -
Spent her whole life lyin'
To save a face or two.

The ash is dear Andrew,
Callin' out for a smoke,
And sweet gentle Matthew,
Well surely he's the oak.

The ghost wind keeps blowin',
Givin' voices to these trees;
Please don't you stop talkin',
Yeah keep talkin' to me.


Greg said...

Oh wow, there's a great voice in that poem; I can heard the acoustic guitar and the soft clink of beer glasses from the audience in the bar as the singer growls away....
I rather like the willow, I think; I'm sure I've known people like that.


There's a ghost wind blowing.... Tiny grey clouds, too transparent to be real, scud across the sky. There's a smell of something acrid in the air, almost hiding the scent of rain on the way. The birds are sitting up in the trees and on the edges and ledges of buildings, and you can tell that they're waiting for something. And that they don't like flying in the ghost wind.
The bus comes to a halt a full fifty feet short of the stop, its brakes screeching and the tyres leaving black marks on the road behind it. The doors hiss open like a dying man reluctantly giving up his last breath, and people stumble out, rubbing at their eyes, choking and crying. The ghost wind picks up a little, swirling around them, tugging at sleeves, collars and skirts, misdirecting them away from the safety of the pavement and out into the traffic.
More cars screech to a halt, horns start blaring and people lean out of windows to shout abuse. As the anger and confusion rise, so does the wind, raging up in moments from a nagging breeze to an incipient gale. I step back into a doorway and brace myself. The ghost wind is feeding now, and growing into a tornado.
Then the door behind me opens.

writebite said...

The Ghost Wind

A vortex opened up. Black shadows gathered - these were all the negative thoughts of the frightened people, gathered up into the ether. 
Buoyed by the intensity, the ghost wind blew life into the shadows and they surged upward, dragging the souls of the dead with them. Blackness moved and sought to feed on the fears of folks wandering the streets at this late hour. The visions struck terrors into their hearts. Blackness swelled, feeding on itself.
The ghost wind roared.
“We need a hero to close the vortex, to stop the encroaching nothingness,” it seemed to whisper.
The One amongst them heard the whisper, heeding the call.

Iron Bess said...

Woot-woot, internet working this morning.

There's a ghost wind blowing and it’s filled with dust, and the sound of the wailing dead, Sage thought. She pulled her goggles down over her eyes, cinched her pack tighter then headed into the maelstrom. She had been travelling now for almost three weeks and hadn’t seen even a sign of another human being anywhere. Only the wailing of the dead was keeping her company. Two nights ago she had walked into a small town an old sign still hanging from the post proclaimed it to be East Braintree. Funny that, she did not remember going through a West Braintree on the long road here.

She had spent the night in what looked like a house transported here straight from England, a faded sign on the front proclaimed that it had been a B&B. The door was locked, a good sign, and when she had jimmied it she had found pay dirt. The cupboards still held their treasures of canned goods, in fact so many that Sage didn’t have the room to pack it all. She had contemplated staying a few days, just to rest up, and take in the sustenance they promised, but this morning had decided to keep moving. Even better than the food were the bottles of water covered in dust but sealed and unbroken neatly lined up in the pantry. Fed and hydrated, she felt better than she had in years.

An old fashioned three wheeled bicycle in the garage with a large basket on the front and back had been the last miraculous gift. When she pumped up the tires it was ready to go. Forty kilometers later she had, had to abandon it when she came across a deep wash cut into the land. It looked as if a large giant had sliced the ground open with a machete. It had taken the rest of the afternoon to climb down and then back up onto the other side. Sage made camp in a small copse of trees growing in a divot, the only green, in the endless flat barren terrain, the wind and wailing had kept her company all night soothing her into a peaceful sleep.

Putting one step in front of the other she plodded on, moving ever east, spurred only by her dreams and desires.

Iron Bess said...

Love your poem Marc.

Cathryn Leigh said...

@Marc – I love the feel of your poem, nostalgic and content.

@Greg – chilling... I half expected smoke to be spewing from the inside of the bus.

@Writebrite – Ahhh the call for a Hero, may there always be one to head it. :}

@Iron Bess – East Braintree *giggles* OH Boston how art thou? But I wonder where she’s going. And what happened...

Ghost Wind

There's a ghost wind blowing
Gentle and sublime
There's a ghost wind blowing
Whispering a line

Verse 1
It all began to happen
Down at the railroad track
Henry said he was going
But he never did come back

Mary she was waiting
All the year long through
All of us we’re hoping
His promise would turn true


Verse 2
A year was long past
We waited one more day
Then we went a traipsing
Along Henry’s way

Cross the double junction
And along down the track
Mary was leading
Never looking back


The train was sitting at the station
Just as it had been long a ago
And the ghost wind was blowing...

There's a ghost wind blowing
Gentle and sublime
There's a ghost wind blowing
Whispering a line

Final Verse
We heard Henry calling
Down along the line
‘Won’t Ya’ll come in?”
“The weather it is fine.”

There's a ghost wind blowing
With Mary on the line
There's a ghost wind blowing
She and Henry are just fine.

Chris said...

I hope you don't mind, I enjoyed this exercise and I wanted to give credit where credit is due so I mentioned your blog(with address) in my blog.

Here is what I came up with...

There is a ghost wind blowing on an otherwise still, dead night. It comes with no howl. No rustling of the leaves. No sign of its presence at all. None except the soul shaking chill it sends up his spine as he embraces her with every fiber of his being. He refuses to let go, knowing it is going to be the last time he ever holds her. His body shakes as she gently pulls away to place a soft kiss upon his lips. The shaking of his body explodes into a searing emotional pain throughout his entire essence. She continues to pull away and the only thing he can do is lean forward in hopes to prolong the inevitable. As the union of their lips break, so does his spirit. She backs away without a word, only a single tear running down her cheek. He feels as if he should cry too. He wants to cry! But he can't! That chill that shot up his spin in some way must have frozen his heart. Locking him in that moment for what felt to be all eternity. She continued to step back, fading into the darkness. Their eyes never left each other, until that final moment came and she was gone from his sight, and his world, forever. He still couldn't move, couldn't think, couldn't feel. What was he to do? She wasn't only his life, she was his being. She was everything that made him who he was. He couldn't go on without her so he made the choice not to fight the coldness. He simply stood there, motionless, not thinking, until the darkness surrounded his body as well, being absorbed into nothingness by the vast unknown.

Krystin Scott said...

I kinda like these starters, it's the continuations prompts that are the most difficult IMHO.

“There’s a ghost wind blowing.” Seraphina said to herself as she stood on her decaying porch looking out at the turbulent twilight sky. An icy breeze spawned and picked up momentum, howling and whistling its way through the ancient oak trees. As she studied the swift movement of the gray clouds overhead, the thick black curls of her hair lifted and twisted wildly. The tasseled ends of her shawl and the hem of her flamboyant gypsy-like dress flapped violently against her back and legs as the gusts grew in ferocity. The foretelling signs did not bode well. Seraphina sniffed the air; the current carried on it the scent of damp earth. Quickly she turned her back on the scene, briskly walking into her small chalet and closing the door behind her. She hurried to the windows intent on closing the shutters before the rain began to fall. The mist had arrived before she’d even managed to secure the first of the windows and tendrils of a dense fog were crawling ever closer.

She ran to the second window and froze, paralyzed with fear; all she could do was watch as the four riders galloped into visibility one after the other. The Victor passed the window first on a strong white horse, bow in hand and crown planted firmly upon his head. The second rider appeared to be a bloodthirsty brute. He carried a large sword and was battle ready, his headstrong mount, a fiery red. A scale swung in the hands of the rider of the thin black horse, he spoke but its words were inaudible over the rushing of the winds. The riders paid her no attention, they kept moving, pushing onward toward some unknown destination.

Panic set in and Seraphina willed herself to move but her feet wouldn’t budge. She tried to gain control of her wits, to look away but she was bewitched and could not turn. Her heart beat hard and fast in her chest, her breathing quickened and neared hyperventilation as the fourth and final rider came into view. Slowly the emaciated pale green horse and skeletal rider reached the window.

The horse stopped and Death turned his skull to face Seraphina through the glass-less window. She looked into the deep black void of his eyeless sockets and was mortally terrified, her legs buckled as her heart burst in her chest. She crumpled and fell to the floor where she lay dying of fright. Death turned and continued riding on the fog, following his brethren through the isolated wood. Moments later the spirit of Seraphina rose and took to the winds howling and whistling her way through the ancient oak trees.

Aholiab said...

There's a ghost wind blowing...

James looked out the window at the trees swaying in the light spring breeze. There was nothing ghostly about the trees, or the wind, or even the rustling sounds that the leaves were making as they danced in the sunlight. The only ghostly thing he could see was old Mrs. Chadwick, sitting at the front of the classroom waiting for her clever prodigies to pen a one page tome beginning with the phrase on the chalkboard.

There's a ghost wind blowing...

Maybe if he played with the words a little, re-arranged them, looked for puns. Well, puns that would be acceptable to a ninety-year old sophomore English teacher. She probably wasn’t really ninety years old, but she didn’t have any tattoos like the algebra teacher, and she didn’t have a nose ring like the French teacher, so she had to be ancient.

They’re a going wind bowling...

Bowling might be a reasonable play on words, but what in the world was “wind bowling”? At least he had a choice of “there’s” to choose from. Ghost, coast, goats, goest. Maybe he could emulate Shakespeare.

There goest a wind, blowing... blah, blah, blah.

What about the ellipsis? So much could be hidden or hinted with those three magical dots. They were like bullet holes punching through the fabric of the assignment and letting his imagination ooze through. Ok, now he was going too far with the metaphor, or simile, or was that a participle. Who cares when those three dots just might free him from the tedium of a full-page essay. The assignment was a page of prose or a poem, and everyone in the class would choose the essay... unless they noticed the ellipsis.

There’s a ghost wind blowing in Nantucket,
Chilling men’s blood by the bucket.
It howls at the moon,
Then spies a small loon,
And cries, “With one breath I will pluck it!”

Marc said...

Greg - thanks very much :)

Fantastic descriptions and imagery in your scene - I would love to see that continued!

Writebite - more great descriptions and vivid imagery, with an intriguing ending to boot :)

Iron Bess - *fist pump*

Wonderfully haunting, post-apocalyptic scene. Brought to mind thoughts of The Road, by Cormac McCarthy.

And thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed mine :)

Cathryn - beautiful and haunting. Might be my favorite of all the things you've written here.

Chris - hello and welcome to the blog!

I don't mind in the least - what you write belongs to you. Though of course I do appreciate the link :)

Heart breaking scene, full of great imagery. Thank you for sharing that with us.

Krystin - yeah, the continuations can be a bit tricky, depending on what other people write.

You really carried the tension all the way through that piece, ratcheting it up as you went. Love that concluding image as well.

Aholiab - you've got me curious about wind bowling as well now :P

Great progression, it felt very natural. Not to mention that pitch perfect ending!