In case you missed last Monday, Myra McEntire and I are doing a series of interconnected short stories (make sure you click the link and go read hers! But then come back). We both start with the same prompt. Can you guess this week’s inspiration?
Details and Part One: HERE.
Now onto Part TWO!
“It started with a story.”
“Doesn’t everything?” said Goldilocks.
I looked down at my hands, at the ribbon of scars across the backs of my fingers. And then I started.
There once was a boy and a steel guitar.
The boy sat on a stool in the middle of a stage, under a single light, in a quiet club, where everyone waited for the song to start.
And it did. And it was beautiful. One of those songs made up of simple chords that somehow, strung together, transform themselves into something…more. Glasses stopped clinking. People stopped whispering. The whole room stopped, pinned beneath the melody.
And the boy smiled, dark and beautiful as the song.
There once was a girl and she was lost.
Right in the middle of life, she had simply wandered off her path and ended up lost. Until she heard him play. She closed her eyes in the middle of the club and listened and imagined she could see a path, simple as stone laid out for her. And so she followed the boy, not just to the end of the song but after.
She let him lead her away.
But he was bad. And bad got worse as the nights wore on. And then, somewhere between songs, the girl started to fear that she was still lost. More lost even than she’d been in the club.
She tried to leave. But every time, he played for her, and drew her back. Simple, sharp chords that tied her to him, steel strings that cut into her and hurt but held her fast just the same.
One day she tried again, and again he played. But the girl was clever now, and plugged her ears under her long dark hair, and when he played she didn’t hear it. She thought she was free.
But when the music didn’t work, the boy broke the guitar, and then he tried to break the girl. They made a new song of their struggle, of breaking glass and screams and bodies pushed against walls. The girl fell hard beside the broken steel guitar, and grabbed one of the strings, snapped free by the force of it hitting the ground.
And when the boy came at her again she begged him to stop. She told him she was wrong, and she was sorry, and she loved him. His smile flickered sharply as he wiped blood from his cheek, and turned away. The girl pushed herself up, and wrapped her arms around his shoulders, and whispered words that only the two of them would ever hear. And then she pulled the steel string around his throat.
I examined my hands, fingers now curled around the bars of the cell, and admired the scars.
The girl across the aisle, the one with the red headband, leaned forward. “Wow,” she said. “That must have been a really pretty song.”
That’s the end of Installment/Segment/Chapter 2!
Thoughts? Rotten tomatoes? Questions? Can you tell what this week’s theme was? Regardless, leave a comment! Say something! Even if it’s “this blows” or “Hi!” Because as Myra put it so well “comments salvage my neuroses”.