Monday October 21st, 2013

The exercise:

It's been a couple months since last time, so let's have another go at the random CD prompt - choose a song as randomly as you like and use its first line as your own, be it in poetry or prose. Credit where it's due, as it always is.

Tomorrow I just need to put together two local orders, as well as a restaurant order. And that's it. No 8 or 9 produce boxes, no working on Wednesday in order to supply the restaurant with what they need.

I'm rather looking forward to it.

Mine:

Don't Know Why by Norah Jones

I waited 'til I saw the sun before waking the others. They were upset with me at first, grumbling and pushing me away. But slowly they realized that their faces were being warmed by something other than a campfire. That they could see farther into the woods surrounding us than the handful of feet we had grown accustomed to.

Understanding dawned upon them like the sun upon the land.

"Is it over?" someone asked, his voice hoarse but his words scented with a blossom of hope.

I wanted to tell him that it was. That normality was returning to us. That the aftermath of the bombs could be left behind, allowing us to go back. To the city, to our jobs, to our families. But I couldn't tell him that.

For the truth was... it had only just begun.

8 Comments:

Greg said...

It sounds like you've almost got a relaxing week this week! No doubt you'll find eight hundred tasks that need doing around the house though, like building another storey onto your deck, or digging a root cellar for fun :)
I start work at the new job tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to it, but I'm a little apprehensive also. And did I tell you yet that my dog is pregnant? She's got three weeks left to go, so that should be an experience too!
I love how your story gets progressively bleaker; right at the start there's a suggestion that there's hope here and things will only get better, but by the end it's all been washed away. Wonderfully pessimistic!

Muse – Plug in Baby
I've exposed your lies baby, all of them. The papers have a USB thumb-drive with all the details on, and my lawyers have hard-copies of the lot. Including the pictures, and I got some funny looks down at the print-shop, I can tell you. By the time you get this, I'll be gone.
I screwed the paper up and dropped in on to the kitchen counter. I wasn't annoyed, or even alarmed. When I came here four years ago I'd needed a new identity, so I took a wander in the local graveyard and, shall we say borrowed a name and a date of birth for myself from some poor little dead child. Some might call it identity theft, but I think of it as giving that identity a chance to live that it never otherwise got. Can that be so wrong?
So I'll do it again, I'll move on. Your documents and pictures are only from the last four years, and those acts and actions belong to little John Walker who died when he was six. Quite an achievement for such a litlte kid.
But before I leave...
I turned to the woman tied to the chair, her arms straining uselessly at the ropes, her mouth working behind the sports sock from the laundry that I'd gagged her with.
"You've been very clever," I said. "But you didn't leave early enough did you?"
She tried to say something, but it was as muffled as her earlier screams.
I took the matches out of the kitchen drawer and opened the door to the living room. It took four goes, but eventually the couch caught fire.
"See you," I said. "The fire deparment reckon that the fumes from these kinds of furnishings will kill you before the fire does. Let's hope they're right, hey?"
I blew her a kiss as I left.

MosesMalone said...

Party Up by DMX

“Y'all gon' make me lose my mind up in HERE, up in here, so lets settle down, get your coats and shoes on, and get to school. Mommy’s losing her cool.” A quote from just a regular old badass mom who wants to beat the rush in the drop off line.

15 years later…

“Hey, Mom.” Son
“Hey, Bud! How’s it going?” Mom
“Good. Sorry I didn’t call since I got here. I have this one acquisitions class that’s kinda tough and the professor gives these 3 question quizzes that are supposed to be easy. You get a 66 if you get one wrong. It’s fine. I’m doing fine. It’s just hard I guess. Listen, that’s not why I’m calling. I have a reason.” Son
“Oh? Is everything alright?” Mom
“Yeah, everything’s fine. I know you don’t want me partying too much, and I’m not. But I went to a house party yesterday.” Son
“Ummm hmm.” Mom
“Right, so you know how you always said that thing to us when we were running late? That Ya’ll gon’ make me lose my mind thing?” Son
“Ummm hmm.” Mom
“Why did you say that?” Son
“Why did a mother of 3 kids say Y'all gon' make me lose my mind up in HERE, up in here? You want to know why I said that?” Mom
“Ok, I get why you said it. Where did that come from? Is it like when you tell us that we’re full of soup because Mamie said that to you even though it’s seriously the dumbest thing ever?” Son
“You really think my mom quoted DMX lyrics to her 6 Catholic children? She was more of a Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon fan to be honest.” Mom
“Mom! You quoted DMX to us?” Son
“What part is bothering you? That I knew DMX songs or that I quoted him to you kids.” Mom
“But you were head of the PTA! You checked our breath and smelled our clothes when we came home. You ran marathons... for fun. Do you know how many times I watched the Parent Trap with you? Where in all your suburbia living, pearl earring wearing, suburban driving, booster club president volunteering did you find time to listen to DMX?” Son
“What exactly happened at this party?” Mom
“Nothing it was just a party.” Son
“Right, well one day these college days will be your past. One day, you will be dropping kids off at Sunday School, delivering baked goods to the school fair, reading Dr. Seuss to sick kids at the hospital and classrooms full of snotty little kids, and being an all together badass dad. One day, you might go for a run to blow up some steam because despite what you think, these beautiful little homeboys you created with your irritatingly perfect spouse just doesn’t do it for you at 11:30 in the morning. One day while you are trying to be a perfect example for your 11 year old son who’s itching to get expelled, you might be exhausted by perfection. You might need to blast some DMX and other angry gangsta rappers to get out your frustrations with AP English and Mathletes carpools. One day you will have a past that includes party music that you miss dancing to and makes you feel good. Maybe you’ll watch the Parent Trap for a stress reducer. I don’t. DMX does it for me. ” Mom
“It’s like I don’t even know you, Ma.” Son
“You know the ‘Mom’ me, Kid. You aren’t going to know my college me anymore than I’m going to know your college you. Cool?” Mom
“Cool.” Son

Aholiab said...

A glimpse into the universe of "Invisible" - my next NaNoWriMo novel.


CĂ©line Dion - My Heart Will Go On

“Every night in my dreams
I see you, I feel you,
That is how I know you go on.”

The credits began to roll and the lights started to come up as Celine Dion’s soaring rendition of “My Heart Will Go On” filled the theater. Calissoria waited a few moments to reach for his girlfriend’s hand as she dabbed her tears away. If he were truly honest, he would have admitted that he had shed a few as well, but had hidden the fact by choking on a popcorn kernel.

Together they rose and began to edge to the exits with the rest of the Transparents. “That’s definitely one thing that the Opaques do right,” he said to her. “Movies just don’t seem to be our thing. Name one famous ‘Parent actor.”

She laughed at his joke. “You’re right. It’s just hard to sit through two hours of invisible sword fights, invisible car chases, and invisible love scenes. They seem to have an advantage, since they can actually have their photographs taken!”

They both waved their right wrists at the usher as they left the theater so he could see their bracelets. He clicked the mechanical counter for each of them and nodded to where he supposed their faces were. It all seemed a little silly, but it was a protocol that worked in villages where both societies mixed. A floating bracelet indicated where a Transparent was walking, and it made things easier for everyone.

There were always exceptions though: those who had non-carry permits, and those who were criminals.

Marc said...

Greg - good luck with the new job! I hope it works out wonderfully for you.

And I shall look forward to puppy pictures :D

Wonderfully creepy scene. Sort of want to know where our narrator goes next, but also sort of don't.

Mo - haha, excellent. This reminds me, have you seen the history of rap videos with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake? They're friggin' great, though I think part 2 is my favorite.

Aholiab - I continue to find this world fascinating. Great work, honestly.

MosesMalone said...

Yes! I love History of Rap! 2 might be my favorite too because it has this DMX song and Let Me Clear MyThroat by DJ Kool.

writebite said...

The Scientist

We sat in "that" restaurant, waiting for our simple but nourishing meal. The breeze directly off the water was refreshing, like a breath of fresh air that hadn't been on Earth before.
We talked about you.
Because since we'd had "words", this restaurant will always remind me of you.
You didn't like it.
I said, "I never understood his attitude. We weren't brought up like that; what was he trying to prove?"
We agreed, then and there, to always remember the "old you", the one we understood, idolised, even. You were our hero back then.
It all crumbled when you moved away, moving us all out of you life as easily as used furniture.
Well, old memories are sometimes better than recent ones, so those are the ones I will cherish, now.

We came home. I got busy in the kitchen, madly baking to stock up. It's a kind of therapy. I know the recipe off by heart; I go on autopilot.
The phone's music was set to shuffle.
There it was, again - your song, "Never Walk Alone".
I quit stirring and listened.
And felt.
The waves of soft joy rose up in me, from my heart, spilling outwards, all over, to my toes. I saw you again, as I remembered you: smiling, happy, well.
After a lifetime of doubt you know, now, that we do not walk alone, that someone always has our back. Maybe you have mine, now.
After that song came another - Black Magic Woman - hmm, I'd always felt you became bewitched by her, and that's why you changed. But that's only my own humble opinion being reflected, here. It could be wrong.

And then came the "sorries" again, well, just in case I'd forgotten those you offered me last week. Or may be just so I knew it was you... three more songs with the word "sorry" in them...this one was special:

Because I am the scientist...

A song by Coldplay...

"The Scientist"

Come up to meet you, tell you I'm sorry
You don't know how lovely you are
I had to find you, tell you I need you
Tell you I'll set you apart

Tell me your secrets and ask me your questions
Oh let's go back to the start
Running in circles, coming in tails
Heads on a science apart

Nobody said it was easy
It's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Oh, take me back to the start.

I was just guessing at numbers and figures
Pulling your puzzles apart
Questions of science, science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart

Tell me you love me, come back and haunt me
Oh and I rush to the start
Running in circles, chasing our tails
Coming back as we are

Nobody said it was easy
Oh it's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be so hard
I'm going back to the start

Ooooohhhhhhh [4x]"

(Thanks to Raluca Dana, Anastasia, Charlie, Sage, Guy Mountford for correcting these lyrics, lyrics repeated here by azlyrics.com)

Marc said...

Writebite - beautifully written. That song remains a favorite of mine, by the way.

writebite said...

cheers. think i've finally resolved me recent grief ;) here...