Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go. ~ E. L. Doctorow

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Musical Muse Prompt

I receive emails from the Writer's Digest blog, Promptly, every couple of days. Using music lyrics to produce a few hundred words was yesterday's prompt. It hoped to inspire the writer by asking them to choose two favorite songs. Pick a line from the chorus of one song, and a line from the chorus of the other song and integrate into their scene.

I was really excited by the prompt because I love music lyrics. The song writers always seem to say exactly what I'm feeling when I've gone mute. The words evoke strong emotional responses from me. So, why not take advantage of the writing exercise and put the strong emotional responses down in a short scene, giving my thoughts a voice.

Alexi Murdoch's "Wait" and Florence and The Machine's "Heavy in Your Arms" and "You've Got the Love" are the three songs I chose (two songs weren't enough). I started the scene with "If I can’t be, all that I could be", used "I'm so heavy, heavy, heavy in your arms" right before the end, and concluded the scene with "You’ve got the love I need to see me through." I changed the lyrics around a bit to fit the scene, but I think the emotion is still intact. Let me know what you think.

Silent Fear

If I can’t be, all that I could be, would you still love me, she thought as she watched him sleep. Something was always missing, constantly nagging her. She wanted to talk about the insanity drowning her. Her quick, shallow breaths woke him.

“Are you alright?” he asked, turning to face her.

“I can’t sleep.”

“What’s on your mind?”

Biting the tip of her thumb, she shook her head afraid to tell him. Her chest got tighter, knowing something needed to be said, but couldn't find the courage. What if my words chase him away?

“Talk to me.”

“I’m overwhelmed.”

Overwhelmed by all the choices she faced everyday. What am I going to do with my life? She left her last job with no intention of ever going back. Eager to move forward, she bit off more than she could handle.

“By what?”

Shaking her head, pushing the sheets away, she got out of the bed. He followed as she walked into the living room and sat on the couch.

“Amy, you have to talk to me. I can’t help you if I don’t know what’s going on.”

She wanted to tell him she felt powerless. Everything was hitting her so fast, and she couldn’t keep up or catch her breath. Succumbing to doubts of success made her want to disappear. She squeezed his hand unsure if he would stay with her if she didn’t amount to anything.

“I can’t do this?”

“Do what? Please talk to me.”

“Dan, I can’t breathe. I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“Well, you aren’t going to get passed this if you aren’t willing to talk about it.”

Her thoughts chaotically ran around her mind, moving too fast to be spoken. She feared her meltdowns were starting to weigh on him. Any sane man would get fed up with this weakness and leave. I rely on him for so much, but how long will it last?

“I’m afraid I’m going to lose you.”

“Why?”

“Because my life is such a mess and I can’t get my shit together. I’m afraid my depression is going to wear you out and you’ll leave.”

She turned her back to him, afraid to see his face. She dropped his hand, stood up from the couch and moved to the window. He got up and stood behind her as she watched the flag waving in the night wind. Out of frustration, he grabbed her shoulder so he could see her face as he spoke to her.

“Number one, stop running away from me. How can I be there for you, if you won’t let me?”

“I’m so scared. I feel myself falling.”

“Grab onto me.”

“But . . . I feel so heavy in your arms.”

“I can handle it, just hold on.”

She looked at him, tears filling her eyes. I don’t know if I can hold it together anymore.

“When will this get easier?”

The tears finally fell down her face as she crumbled into him. His strong embrace made her feel safe, like nothing could wound her. She wanted to stay there forever.

“I don’t think it gets easier. You just eventually get stronger.”

Looking up through her tears, she kissed him hard. You’ve got the love I need to see me through this.




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