Thursday September 6th, 2012

The exercise:

It is Random CD Prompt time again! So go find a song as randomly as you like and use its first line as your own (credit goes where it is due, as always). From there, go where your imagination takes you, be it poetry or prose.

I tend to avoid resorting to this prompt when I'm struggling to come up with something new, and then before I know it months have passed since the last time I brushed it off. So in my desire to avoid overusing it, I end up using it less than I'd like. I shall find a balance eventually.

The song I ended up using was discovered while listening to The Fox online - it was the second or third song to come on after I started the player, I laughed when I recognized it, and it was pretty much game over at that point.

Mine:

Welcome To The Jungle - Guns N Roses

"Welcome to the jungle."

I studied the speaker for a moment, trying to determine whether or not he was serious. As best I could tell, he was. Of course he was.

"I'm not certain that this really qualifies," I said as I returned my gaze to our surroundings. That was putting it as mildly as I could manage without risking the loss of my lunch.

"I do not understand."

"You...?" I found myself, not for the first time that week, struggling to find the right words. "Well, it just seems like there should be... more of it."

"This is all that remained when our crews arrived. I can assure you that everything that could be saved, was."

"Fair enough." I cleared my throat, the intensity of his gaze making me uncomfortable. I wondered if I'd ever get used to being watched by those eyes. "I know that jungles don't exist where you come from, but in Earth terms... this doesn't cut it."

"Then what would you humans call this?"

"This," I said with a weak wave of my hand, "is just a tree."

7 Comments:

Greg said...

Heh, one tree left and it's supposed to be a jungle... that's some serious logging and clearing you've got going on in your story. The anonymity of the narrators works rather well in this piece, with the back-and-forth between the voices managing the tension nicely. And – well, it's Guns'n'Roses :)

Some nights (by Fun.)

Some night I stay up, cashing in my bad luck. There's a little place, in the back alleys of the bad streets, where one of the ex-tooth fairies runs a counter (if you know what you're looking for) where she'll take up your bad luck and pay you a small price for it. It's not like I want to go there, it's not like I want to give any of my luck up, but sometimes I just need the money.
I asked her once what she did with the bad luck, and she laid her hand on her pliers, just a physical reminder that she doesn't like to be messed with, and told me that she bottled it and sold it on.
"It's like this," she said, her voice squeaky like she'd been at the Helium. "Hits are dangerous, assassins are expensive. Buy a little bad-luck-in-a-bottle and slip it into their drink and let them take of themselves."
I nodded, a little taken aback.
"You look thirsty,..." she said appraisingly.

Cathryn Leigh said...

@Marc - I have to echo greg's thoughts here - one tree = a jungle, I'm with the earth man and his sentaments. *grins*

@Greg - ut oh... better leave before you get that drink... but what an interesting way to take care of someone...

And from me we have: "Evergreen (Love Theme From "a Star Is Born")" Performed by Barbra Streisand - #4 song from 1977 (because I was born in April of 1977)

random Song Prompt

Love, soft as an easy chair,

Baby smiling in the air...

Angelica chuckled as she lifted her giggling son once more into the air. She could spout all the nonsense she wanted right now and Angel wouldn’t care in the slightest.

At some point Angelica knew she’d have to make sense or her son would never be able to understand the world. Not that the world would ever understand him.

It didn’t really matter to Angelica, as she suddenly clutched the child to her breast. He started to whimper and root around. She hushed him with a breast, and then listened intently to the sounds around her.

They’d made too much noise.

She’d have to move on again.

She looked at the nursing child, wondering if his life wouldn’t be better lived with someone else as his mother.

writebite said...

Time to Say Goodbye - Song prompt - dwp

"Quondo sona sola - Time to say goodbye..." (performed by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli).

You held her hand and, as the last breath left her body, a single tear fell down your cheek. You stood up, bent over and kissed her forehead. As you left the hospital room, you glanced back one more time, whispering goodbye, as you silently closed the door.

There were funeral arrangements to be made, after the hopsital discharged the body. There were calls to make. She'd left a list of people to contact amongst her funeral requests. She wanted it to be kept small and simple, a civil service, no churches for her. She had one song she wanted played at the appropriate moment, "You'll know when," she told you, long ago. 

The funeral parlour was fuller than you'd imagined. You never knew she had this many friends. Old clients attended. Aquaintances came from the village, too, shopkeepers to whom she'd been friendly over the years, faithfully giving them her money despite the bigger supermarkets beckoning her cents. There were no flowers, she was allergic to them. No matter now, but still... one honours the wishes of the dead.
Words were spoken, the casket was poised, ready to recede... the strains of two angels rang out, singing in Italian, and as the coffin receded behind the curtain the choristers joined in the last strains, singing "Time to say goodbye..". Sure, it was a cliche by now, but no less fitting for that.
Her spirit soared on the last notes, reaching upward; she looked down, approving of the funeral she herself had arranged many years ago.

Now, all is quiet, How you long to hear her speak, but you can only hear her voice on old videos of home movies. But what she wrote every day of her life, you could still read, it is not over yet. But you never read her works. Few did in this world, but she wrote anyway. Such pearls she sprinkled amongst the literate! If only you knew! 
It was not too late. You could never again hear her speak the words but you could read them, if only you know where to look. For that, at least, those words are perennial, there were no last stanzas, no sign of this day coming as a forewarning. She wrote as though every day was a new adventure. 
Pity you didn't know that sooner about her...
Now where to look... the internet? The bookshelf? Amongst her friends? Who has copies of her work? Now it is a mission of yours to find them and read, absorb, know...but where?

If only the dead could speak...

Aholiab said...

Marc, this is my first time to try a prompt like this. Tonight my wife wanted an album by Train, so I picked one of the songs that I'd never heard before - When the Fog Rolls In.

As I read yours, I was imagining maybe an oasis in the middle of a desert. Then suddenly it was a single tree and it was a perfect twist to the conversation leading up to it. Nice.

Greg - .fun is one of the groups whose songs will stick in my head all day long. Now I will have your story stuck there as well! Very imaginative profession for an ex-tooth fairy. I could see this being part of a much larger story with all of the characters in the village having their own little secrets.

writebite, your story had me choking up before I was halfway through it. Very moving, very believable... makes me want to be sure to savor others' writings while I can.


Song prompt

Train - When the Fog Rolls In

Driving over the bridge to give you my keys, I remember the first time that I saw it. The wooden planks had appeared so rickety; the iron beams had looked half rusted through. Yet after a decade of wind and rain, heat and cold, floods and droughts, it seems as unchanging as the mountains that surround it. I have crossed it so many times that it seems ridiculous that I could ever have doubted its strength and stability.

I glance at the radio, knowing that it will turn to static just as I reach the center point of the crossing. I suppose there is too much steel surrounding me at that point, absorbing all of the signal.

Does steel really absorb the radio signals? Is that what has strengthened the bridge over the years? Hundreds of hours of hard rock pouring from the atmosphere, soaking into the metallic matrix, making it rigid and strong. Years of orchestral symphonies oozing into the pores of the steel lattice, sealing it from the weather. Decades of country crooning spilling from the airwaves, splashing on the wooden roadway, preventing the rot and decay that would normally destroy its integrity.

It seems a small price to pay. Two minutes of static as I cross the ancient structure, so that it remains firm and strong, ready to bring me to you.

Dawn M. Hamsher said...

Miriam - Norah Jones

"Miriam, that's such a pretty name."

The words sounded like thick honey coming out of Miss Andreus's mouth. She walked over and placed a beautiful hand on my shoulder. All my anxiety fell away as I looked up at her smiling face.

I was going to like my new classroom.

writebite said...

Aholiab... cheers! and keep on writing, folks...

Marc said...

Greg - haha, too funny. I was considering using that song for mine but I couldn't find a path for that first line to follow.

And now I'm glad I left it for you, as that's a very fun little piece. Seems like a fun world to play in :)

Cathryn - intriguing scene you've set for us. I wouldn't mind reading more about these two!

Writebite - wonderful details in your story, they really add an air of authenticity to it. Very nicely done.

Aholiab - ah, I do hope you enjoyed it as this is one of my favorite excercises.

Love the musings on the strength and longevity of the bridge. And that's a great final paragraph too.

Dawn - short and sweet, I like it :)