Thursday May 5th, 2016

The exercise:

It's been awhile since last time, so let us return to the Random CD prompt.

Pick a song as randomly as you like, use its first line as your own, and take it from there. Credit where it's due, of course.

I'm heading back to the bakery tomorrow morning. My voice isn't 100% yet, but it's close enough. And maybe with another night of sleep it'll come the rest of the way back.

Mine:

Cucurucu by Nick Mulvey

Softly, in the evening dusk, a woman is singing to me. At least, I think she is. We don't speak the same language, so I can't be certain. Maybe she's just singing to herself. A song she heard on the radio in the afternoon that won't get out of her head. She doesn't seem irritated though. She looks content, with that small smile on her lips that vanishes behind her long hair every time she bends to wash a table with long, slow circles of her slender arm. The cloth in her hand doesn't seem to be gripped very tightly but she has yet to adjust her hold on it.

I want to get her attention, ask what the song is about. But I also don't want to interrupt. The heat of the day is rapidly departing and the cool air is soothing. Her voice is almost hypnotizing. I know I have an early morning meeting tomorrow but I don't want to get up, don't wish to break this spell she's casting over me.

And what if she is singing to me? She's young and beautiful and exotic and I'm a world away from home. It's not like my marriage is a happy one. It's not like anyone would miss me if I never returned. Work would have a warm body in my seat before I hung up the phone after telling them I'm done with this miserable job.

Well, not so miserable that it doesn't require trips like this one to warm, magical islands in the sun two or three times per year. Though this is definitely the first time I've had a local girl sing to me as the stars began to appear high above us.

I look down and am reminded of my bulging belly and pale, hairy legs. My scrawny, hairy arms. The sweat pooling in places I'd rather it didn't. I remember all the young local boys around her age I've seen the last few days, how athletic and smooth and potent they all seem.

Yeah, she's not singing to me.

But nobody here can tell me she's not. So I might as well stay a while longer and let this daydream live on. Maybe for another drink in the bar across the way. The bar filled with young men who could break my face without breaking a sweat.

Yeah, she's not singing to me.

I should get back to my hotel before she's forced to ask me to leave her cafe in broken English. Let's just avoid that awkward departure, shall we? I should call my wife, make sure she hasn't forgotten about me. Remind her that I'll be back in three days.

Because this young beauty can't possibly be singing to me.

2 Comments:

Greg said...


Well, it sounds like you're on the mend and hopefully the bakery won't be stressful :) Glad to hear you're better!
I like your story more than I like the original song! I particularly like the wishfulness that you've captured, and the idea of memories being pushed aside by reality, and the way the story grows to its conclusion. It's very nicely done :)

The man who lost his soul by Until June

"Growing up I found the life that I knew overshadowed by anger in the clutch of abuse. Rage was a dark-red monster that woke inside me and grew, rising up to spread throughout my body, to fill in my arms and legs, send blood pounding through my skull and my breath panting from my lungs. There was a charnel smell around me all the time and my eyes blackened first with hatred and then with unrelenting loathing for the world. My nails thickened and blackened, my skin coarsened and wiry dark hair grew from everywhere, and when the moon rose, I howled my pain and torment for the world to hear.
They called me Wolfe."
Miss Hood tapped a pen against the side of her notepad; she hadn't taken a single note while the man on the couch was talking. The silence dragged out like a man waiting to hear if the poison he's fed his wife has taken effect yet.
"I killed people," said Wolfe eventually.
"I was a bad man," he said a minute later. There was a note of petulance in his voice now.
"I'm the big bad Wolfe!" He sat up, glaring at Miss Hood.

"You're not," she said. She set the pen and notepad down on an occasional table made of mahogany and crossed her legs. Sheer silk stockings, creamy and pure, showed off the elegant curve of her muscular calves and her red crinoline dress folded itself around her thighs. "I killed Wolfe fourteen months ago, and I can prove it if I have to." She held a hand up to forestall the man who was opening his mouth, his pudgy brown face contorting in anger. "You, however, are the thirty-third person to turn up here to tell me that he is Wolfe, and you have a lot of Wolfe's memories."
"I'm Wolfe," said the man on the chaise longue, though he sounded uncertain now. "I'm Wolfe!" he reasserted. "You have to kill me!"
"And that's just it," said Miss Hood calmly. "I don't. But I think Wolfe wants me to kill you. At least one of you, and I'm sure that he's got a plan all tied into this as well, and I'm going to find out what it is." She suddenly stood up and moved sideways, resting her arm on the mantlepiece above the fire as though she'd always been stood there, while the middle-aged businessman claiming to be Wolfe leapt onto the chair where she'd been sitting and drove a penknife into the back of seat.
"That's pathetic," said Miss Hood. "Number eleven tried to shoot me with an Uzi, and number fourteen tried to burn the whole office down. You're trying to stab me with a penknife. Is it poisoned perhaps?"
The man sagged, bags appearing under his eyes and wrinkles aging his face.
"Where am I?" he asked. He pushed himself up, but his legs collapsed from under him and he slumped to the floor. He gurgled.
Miss Hood sighed and conjured a mobile phone from her pocket. "Indigo Clean Firm and Office services? I've got some more wetwork for you...."


Marc said...

Greg - thanks for the kind words on mine :)

Oh my goodness, it has been far too long since we've heard from Miss Hood! And this is a fascinating entry, for many reasons. Not the least of which is making me wonder what, exactly, is Wolfe up to?

Thank you!