inspiration monday – the day the music died

Thank you to BeKindRewrite as always the Inspiration Monday prompts are wonderful.

This one’s a little weird, but oh well. The purpose of scribbling is to get stuff like this out of my system.

Lillian’s Song

 Fingers glided across the keys, not pressing, just stroking. No sound escaping. Running the length of her beloved instrument. Jane played through her scales again and tested the keys one more time. She inspected the yellowed sheet music she had insisted that she write. She never needed it. But it was necessary now.

Just make it through, just once.

She stumbled over the opening measures haltingly, with stubborn fingers. Looking up she scanned the piece again. It stretched before her endlessly, an impossible task that had to be done. But it wasn’t impossible. She had taught her how. She could make it through.

Two lines. One of her knuckles cracked. She stopped in embarrassment and lost her place.

Three lines. She half expected something to go wrong. It always went wrong. Stop thinking so hard! She scolded herself as a sour note erupted from the piano. Lose yourself in the music.

Jane focused on the melody. Her melody. Floating through the air while she pressed black and white. Beautiful. Now the harmony. Lose yourself. Melodies and harmonies didn’t matter here. Just play. Her ghost whispered softly, hiding in the notes.

Lillian. She’d come back. For a moment anyway.

Keep playing.

I will, don’t leave me. Jane tripped another note. The music broke. Lillian flickered and disappeared. No!

She played more carefully. Smoothed out the song into a slower, more controlled rhythm.

Lillian was back. Smiling. Willing her to continue.

Don’t leave again.

Keep playing.

She did. The pages turned, fluttering against her hand with every turn. She reached the final lines. They slipped out before they could be stopped. For Lillian.

Stay.

No.

Why?

The music is dead here. 

Resistance

This is the prologue and some of the first chapter of a longer piece that I’m writing. I won’t call it a book, but you never know. Originally inspired by Inspiration Monday and the prompt Patchwork People.

* * * * *

Flames are telling. They have an amazing gift, the ability to rake burning fingers across someone’s world and strip it of all that is unnecessary. Family, friends, home, appearances, health. They take it all from whoever they can touch. And last night, they touched me.

You’d think I hate them. But I don’t. They were beautiful. Outstretched fingers licked over my hands, arms and later, face. Burning away every part of me that wasn’t needed. Searing away my features and melting the skin away. The flames swallowed me into their warm embrace and crowned me a fire goddess. Intense agony followed and I let the fire take me from its brilliant light into blackness.

Everything was gone.

~*~

B-e-e-p. The white line traced across the screen. My eyes followed it’s bumpy path up and down on the screen. Peaking when my heart thudded in my chest. Falling and bottoming out between each beat. An endless pattern of mountains. I found if I wiggled a little bit the peaks were closer together, and if I took a couple of deep breaths, then stopped breathing altogether, the mountains spread apart. That’s when I knew. The most beautiful, mesmerizing thing in the world, was white lines.

Waves. Up and down, rising and falling. Floating in a never ending pattern. A beautiful pattern. One I wanted to follow. White waves offering to drag me under and relieve the burning feeling of melted flesh on my body. I wanted it to go away. Why was I still burning?

Fingers ran up and down my arms, tracing the lines of stitches and scars. The patchwork of skin on my arms, on my entire body, was me; blanketed in pieces of pure white skin, inflamed red burns, and melted spots they couldn’t repair that showed little pieces of my muscles. My mum used to tell me stories about patchwork people. I didn’t think she meant this though. What I’d become was a disgusting mutated form of what she once described. I was just pieces sewn together, a life they decided to spare.

The parts of my face that weren’t paralyzed moved into an expression of disgust. Then the thought crossed my mind. If I was grossed out by myself, was the rest of the world just as repulsed?

A person came in wearing a white coat while I was thinking. I looked at her and decided who I would make her be. Gray pants. Her hair up in a tight bun. I decided she was too neat and tidy. She looked like a picture standing in front of me, instead of a person. She scared me. People aren’t supposed to be perfect. Only bad people look perfect.

By the time she finished her greeting and told me why she was in the room–to get a blood sample from me–I had decided that she wasn’t real. Either that or she was some sort of demon. Sent by the flames because they wanted me back. But that was too far fetched wasn’t it? I wasn’t a lunatic, right?

Her needles pinched in my arm and she began drawing it back, taking away my blood for herself in a vial of crimson. If my face would have moved I would have glared at her. Or if I had a voice maybe I would have yelled. But I didn’t have a voice. No words came when I wanted to speak, and I couldn’t move my face. I didn’t know why. I just, couldn’t.

The fire-spies took my voice away. I realized. That must have been their name too. It popped into my head so naturally, following the new voices and friends that made their way into various corners of my mind suddenly.

Is this what its like to be crazy? I asked them.

No, you aren’t crazy. Not yet.

The Journey

A piece for both Sunday Picture Press and Inspiration Monday. Because I am a terribly lazy person and didn’t submit an individual piece for each.

~

In and out of time, sailing the stars. Nothing meeting everything. Galaxies and their histories floated by without a second thought. Information to be learned, but never kept.

Keeping information here was considered greed. Here no one took their findings back with them. Only death waited for those who ferreted away information. Death and his horse were ever-present to punish those who try to steal away the precious secrets of the universe. They were the things better left unsaid and unknown.

So they said to keep wandering. Through space and time into the next leg of the journey. The forest path that had to be travelled. Past creeks, hollows, branches, animals; whatever they might have been, they continued. Never stop.

The path ran past a terrible place. Nightmares slipped through the barriers of minds to lurk here. Each one to be faced. None of them to be left undreamt. They were created, like fear, only to haunt mankind. All of them. Every single one finds its home here, in the voyage of the undead.

Paths wound into tunnels, running into avenues of white. White walls, white doors, the ones that cast a blue shadow. Each door whispered. Calling promises of truth and home.

The command came. Pick the door. Each hesitated on his chosen handle. Gave it a slow turn. Then cracked it open and allowed light to flood in. Shouts to ring through the alley when loved ones recognized their long awaited friends and families. Long awaited in their return.

A New, Nameless Piece

This piece is kind of unfinished, but as of right now I have no idea how long it will be so I thought it might be fun to post.

_ _ _ _ _

The pristine green uniform and cold lifeless eyes of the man before me are so terrifying I swear that every time he looks at me my blood curdles more. Not one single pleat or fold of him is out of place. The other girls around me tremble under his gaze. I meet it head on with a mocking challenge in my eyes. You don’t scare me.

I wish I could tell him so aloud. Make him realize that he will never break me so it would be pointless to try. I want to tell him that he doesn’t own me. That he never will.

His eyes fall on me, I stare harder. Some people say I have a piercing gaze. A few tell me that I make people uncomfortable because they can’t hide from me. Maybe he’ll be uncomfortable under my stare too. I hope so. He deserves it.

The flicker of recognition crosses his eyes. I am defying him. He knows it, he will not let my act go unpunished. But now is not the time. He has orders to follow and a schedule to keep. I’m just an annoying fly that can be killed off in his spare time. I suspect that he is the type who captures a fly and rips its wings off just for fun.

He snaps his fingers, orders his men to take us onward. They herd us into a room and we all undress. Others around me cover their bare breast in a silly attempt to hide behind modesty. Do they really think these soldiers deem us worthy of covetous stares? They thing we aren’t worth the ground they tread on. We are here to rot in living hell.

They make us file through a cold looking metal door. Overhead I can see sprinklers of some sort. We are about to have a luxury. Cold water pours over us and we rush to let it soak us. There is no telling when we can shower again.

The water turns off much too soon, leaving only a hollow drip to fall on the floor. Girls rush off to find their clothes and pick up any extras they can find.

My things are stashed away in the corner so I can ignore them. I don’t bother running since I’m not going to end up with anything extra. I’m glad now, that Mrs. Forestier made me wear all my warmest clothes. I’ve lost some, but with my regular shirt underneath Pierce’s winter shirt and both my pairs of leggins, there’s no danger I’ll freeze.

Dressed, I find my boots–Pierce’s from when he was younger, but much thicker than anyone else’s–and pull them on. Really they’re a little big for me, but I stuffed them with cloth so they fit alright.

The girls who have finished dressing are lining up for registration. The man askes name, age and type of offense then hands each girl a paper. A guard pats us down and one by one we go into our new life through another metal door. This one is a lot more frightening. It seems to whisper to me, You will never come out.

When I step through into the dim room I have to blink to see where I am. Before I can really get an idea what the place is like, a soldier grabs my arm. I think about protesting but they’re all protesting. I won’t be lowered to that level. So I allow him to take me aside and tattoo the numbers on my arm. The numbers on my forgotten paper. The numbers that mean I’ve rebelled against the empire.

Every single spot the needle pricks stings as it embeds in my arm. By the time he finishes my arm is blotched red. I glare at him. How dare he make me only a number to them? How dare he add me to their list of prisoners, waiting to die and with no name?

I am not who he says. My name is not just a number. I will never be 114283.

The musicians room

Do you remember the writers room way back when? Well here is the long awaited (Not really) sequel to one of my favorite scribbles. hope you enjoy.

The Musicians Room

The most notable aspect of the room was the clutter. Although most would call it cluttered, the owner would say it just random objects in useful locations.

For example, the clothes belong on the floor because the hamper is under the keyboard, and too full for anything more. The harmonica simply has to go on top of the dresser because if it didn’t, where would the other 11 harmonicas go? Music books obviously belong under the speakers in the corner, so that they will hold the speakers up to be heard better. Everybody knows that microphones need to be kept on the ever growing pile of paper that is always on hand, just in case the new tune pops in to head. And where else could a guitar go but leaning on the wall right next to the bed? Violins, obviously  belong by the wall next to the window because—because… Because that is the only open area space.

Most of the floor is covered in picks, capos, sheet music and cds, because if they weren’t how would he ever be able to find them? But that’s not the only thing that makes this room say, a musician lives here. Everything from the overbooked calendar on the wall right next to the Mumford and Sons poster,  to the recording software and ipods, make the owners profession clear.

But even though there are Cds in every location where there isn’t a living necessity or instrument, which some would say are a living necessity, this room is still useful. No, It can still make beautiful renditions of Moonlight sonata, all 15 minutes of it. Even though there is no room for walking, it can still have Spanish guitar ringing out the window. Who says, that even though the laundry hasn’t been done for much longer that you want to know about, that it can’t sound like bill Clinton whipped out his ol’ sax?

Actually lots of people say that. But that doesn’t make it true. Because who care what the world says? Not him, because this is the musicians room.

Inspiration Monday XXII

Wow, it’s been awhile. Between crazy vacations, youth camps, VBS and all that fun stuff in my summer, I’ve managed to add a ton to my book even past some pretty strange writing problems. Unfortunately all of this adds up to very few scribbles and even fewer prompt scribbles, which makes me very sad. But I’m back, at least for this time, so here’s my inspiration monday! Read up!

* * * * *

“Don’t let them find me.” Her torn dress barely covers her skinny, abused body; but I am more surprised by the line of numbers on her forearm. The ones that say she’s not just another desperate girl off the street, she’s a slave, probably a runaway. Her eyes are dark like the night sky, deep blue and speaking volumes beyond just what she says.

I stare down at those pleading eyes, wondering if I could really help their owner. Would I regret it if I didn’t? God, what if I didn’t want to help the stupid girl? Did anyone ever consider that I didn’t feel like helping her? Of course not. No one ever thinks what I might want. “Why?”

That question catches her off guard. She hasn’t considered that I might now want to be of service. Just like no one else has ever considered that I don’t want to live on their terms. I don’t want to be polite. I don’t want to not be selfish. I want to live my freaking life already!

The eyes find mine and meet my gaze steadily, clear and blue, deep like the sea. “Please, just this once?”

“No.” I keep walking down the alley.

I can practically feel the fleas when she grabs me again. I shake her off my jacket, and keep walking forward. Her begging voice, ragged and broken, slows me for a second, “Please I beg of you just help me for a second. Don’t let them find me again.”

Frustrated, I turn and snap at her. “Why would I break the law for you?! A runaway slave who has nothing to offer me at all, what purpose is there for me to risk imprisonment?”

“There is none, my lord.” She admits, casting her eyes to the ground timidly.

“Good, now we’re clear. Deal with your own problem, I have enough of my own.”

She slips off down the next alley and I continue my way, until another stops me. This one a man in nice clothing, carrying a crop and a heavy purse of gold. He stops and surveys me, then asks in a hurry, “Have you seen a girl wander by? Brown, scraggly hair, blue eyes, pretty scrawny with a tattoo on her forearm?”

One look at his purse and I stop, holding his gaze steadily, “What are you willing to pay for information?”

He mutters a frustrated curse about killing the girl when he finds her, then pulls out his purse, “Ten gold.”

“Fifteen.”

“Deal.”

“She just walked by, headed that way.” I take the gold from him and watch as he stomps away to give her what she’s earned.

What do I care? I’m off to enjoy a drink now that I’ve got some coins to spare.