Flash Fiction Challenge: Song Shuffle, Part II

Last week’s challenge — “Tell a story in five sentences” — is all tied up and cinched with a bow. Those looking for a winner to that challenge, keep your eyes peeled on that blog post. I’ll announce at some point today. It’s a toughie, as usual, because, fuckadang, so many good options.

I loved this challenge so much, I’m bringing it back a second time.

As they say, second verse, same as the first.

Here we go:

Go to Your Favorite Music Player. Dig out your digital music collection.

Maybe this is iTunes or Spotify, or use Pandora if you’d rather go that way.

Hit SHUFFLE, then “Play.”

Translation: pull up a random song.

The title to this song is the title to your story.

Use the song for inspiration, too, if you feel so inclined.

Word count is the full-bore double-barrel 1000 words, as usual.

You’ve got a week. Get your stories in by noon EST, March 9th. Just to be a little bit of a dick, I’m going to close the comments after that point — I don’t set a deadline for gits and shiggles, after all.

Post at your blog. Link back. You know the drill.

Now queue up some tunes and get thee to some wordsmithy.

64 comments

  • I had a great idea for a story, and I decided that one way or another, whatever song came up on my shuffle, I would find a way to work them together.
    The song that came up was from The Who’s album Quadrophenia, “Cut My Hair.”
    So I did that instead. Sometimes I’m a literalist.

  • OK — my first one. The song I got was Paris, 1919 by John Cale:

    It is the City of Lights. At night, the Eiffel Tower is a beautiful blaze of individual spots against the blue-black sky, surrounded by the softer glowing jewel of the city itself. Street lamps illuminate dark passages and crowded streets, lighting the way for lovers and friends, marking the paths to adventure, to romance, to wine and pastries and joie de vivre. Pinpricks of dreams, vast golden clouds of shimmering mist, burning beacons of life.

    And more than life. And less.

    It is a mistake to think it was born of electricity. Yes, Edison’s invention added more, changed the light and enhanced the glow, but before him, it was the gas lights, and before that, the torchieres raw fire. But there were others even before that. It has always been the city of lights; there gleaming has been there for centuries, in one way or another.

    The Place de Greve, for example, always had a glow. It was not an incandescence. The lights didn’t so much illuminate the dark; rather, they accentuated it. The lights were shallow, dim. They had no spark — or, rather, they were the last breath of a spark, like the afterglow of a candle flame just after it is extinguished, when the flame is still reflected in your own eyes. It was a shadow of light, a negative after-image burned not just on the retinas but in the air itself. Those lights, sickly yellow or barely white, are remnants, will o’wisps of the executed, one last, desperate visual cry of the condemned dead.

    The Ile de la Cite is the heart of Paris and its light has always been there. It was the light of the Parisii, the light that brought the Romans, the Merovingians, the Vikings. The light of the Ile is proprietary. It covets. It captures. It is the light that shifts and shimmers and works its way into the smallest cracks and fissures of heart and brain and bone. It possesses and tricks and adores, until you can believe it is your light, yours in a way no one else can know, will ever know. The Ile light is what can make anyone feel at home in Paris, and therefore lost anywhere else. It loves you, this light, and as they say, love conquers all.

    The lights of the Siene are memories of the melusine. Whether there are any left is difficult to say. Legend sent them off to Avalon long ago, banished by the hearts of fickle men who couldn’t keep their promises to their fae wives, and everyone knows the far are not forgiving. But the Seine shimmers with remembrance of sunlight glinting off scales of emerald and sapphire, and precious metal shades of long, flowing hair. The people of the Ardennes claim the lights live again once every seven years, when the lights of the water coalesce into the shape of impossible, beautiful women beneath the surface. And if you look closely when one of them smiles, you can just catch a bright spark of gold between her lips, a key she holds in her mouth. The one who can claim it claims her. But years have past — seven and seven and seventy times seven and more — and now the only golden sparks in the midnight Seine are the reflections of headlights and the bright lights of the waterside cafes.

  • Uh Oh. Looks like mine might have fucked off… just in case, here it is again. It was inspired by John Cale’s “Paris, 1919.”

    It is the City of Lights. At night, the Eiffel Tower is a beautiful blaze of individual spots against the blue-black sky, surrounded by the softer glowing jewel of the city itself. Street lamps illuminate dark passages and crowded streets, lighting the way for lovers and friends, marking the paths to adventure, to romance, to wine and pastries and joie de vivre. Pinpricks of dreams, vast golden clouds of shimmering mist, burning beacons of life.

    And more than life. And less.

    It is a mistake to think it was born of electricity. Yes, Edison’s invention added more, changed the light and enhanced the glow, but before him, it was the gas lights, and before that, the torchieres raw fire. But there were others even before that. It has always been the city of lights; there gleaming has been there for centuries, in one way or another.

    The Place de Greve, for example, always had a glow. It was not an incandescence. The lights didn’t so much illuminate the dark; rather, they accentuated it. The lights were shallow, dim. They had no spark — or, rather, they were the last breath of a spark, like the afterglow of a candle flame just after it is extinguished, when the flame is still reflected in your own eyes. It was a shadow of light, a negative after-image burned not just on the retinas but in the air itself. Those lights, sickly yellow or barely white, are remnants, will o’wisps of the executed, one last, desperate visual cry of the condemned dead.

    The Ile de la Cite is the heart of Paris and its light has always been there. It was the light of the Parisii, the light that brought the Romans, the Merovingians, the Vikings. The light of the Ile is proprietary. It covets. It captures. It is the light that shifts and shimmers and works its way into the smallest cracks and fissures of heart and brain and bone. It possesses and tricks and adores, until you can believe it is your light, yours in a way no one else can know, will ever know. The Ile light is what can make anyone feel at home in Paris, and therefore lost anywhere else. It loves you, this light, and as they say, love conquers all.

    The lights of the Siene are memories of the melusine. Whether there are any left is difficult to say. Legend sent them off to Avalon long ago, banished by the hearts of fickle men who couldn’t keep their promises to their fae wives, and everyone knows the far are not forgiving. But the Seine shimmers with remembrance of sunlight glinting off scales of emerald and sapphire, and precious metal shades of long, flowing hair. The people of the Ardennes claim the lights live again once every seven years, when the lights of the water coalesce into the shape of impossible, beautiful women beneath the surface. And if you look closely when one of them smiles, you can just catch a bright spark of gold between her lips, a key she holds in her mouth. The one who can claim it claims her. But years have past — seven and seven and seventy times seven and more — and now the only golden sparks in the midnight Seine are the reflections of headlights and the bright lights of the waterside cafes.

  • I leave comments where the blog allows it, but some of the sites seem to swallow my comments and they disappear.
    All the stories on this site are (awesome, terrific, incredible) what’s a word for great that isn’t overused?
    Really good stories!!!

Speak Your Mind, Word-Nerds