Prompt: Story about the color blue in 150 words or less.
Word Count: 150
Blue eyes that sometimes look gray. There are fourteen people she might have given them to, but they only passed to me. We were alone since the beginning – but it’s okay. She is more than a grandmother. We are each other’s worlds and blue is our color.
Crocheting a blue scarf. Road trips in a dirty blue van. Gathering wisps of blue raspberry cotton candy. Blue walls of the only house I feel safe in. Striped-blue shirt stained with snow cone syrup and tears. Our blue eyes combing the sky and wishing she could live forever – or at least a little bit longer.
Until she is gone. A blue tinge to her cheeks. Her body closed inside a blue casket. Carnations dyed blue and wilting on a mound of dirt.
Then there is no longer any color at all – even for black, some light must exist. And there is nothingness.
Glimpse of Disobedience
Prompt: Tell a story from your life in 91 words or less.
Word Count: 83
The members are gathered in a room and told to imagine we are on an airplane. The lights flicker, banging noises are heard, and the elder enters. He says we have all died. He leads us to a dark gymnasium where I am wrenched from my mother and forced to cower alone in the darkness. People wail and cry around me.
A booming voice: “This is eternity if you do not obey and follow the prophet.”
I am too terrified not to comply.
Prompt: A work of fiction relating to music in 750 words or less.
Word Count: 524
When he heard the music, the delicate notes almost brought his grandmother back to him. More so even than when he wrote about her and felt that closeness in recapturing thousands of memories they had shared and fabricating more they could never have. The melodies ran to his core and formed a web over the place she had left. For a few minutes, he could be whole again.
He set the little speaker on the bronze plaque beside her name. The neatly clipped grass moved in the breeze, breathing the spicy odor of chrysanthemums over his face. Except for the rustling leaves, it was silent until he pressed play.
The sounds of the symphony carried her with them. He saw her smile and heard the low hum of her voice. If he kept his head turned to the left, he could picture her sitting beside him. Or perhaps she was behind him, because he could feel her hands squeeze his shoulders.
The first time he heard Handel, he hadn’t needed to suspend reality to imagine his grandmother wasn’t dead. She had insisted on watching the live broadcast – sparing a few minutes on the most genuine thing there had ever been.
She put aside her crocheting, and he had crawled into the beige chair to sit with her. Five people walked across the stage in front of a choir and orchestra, and she named them – Soprano, Mezzo, Tenor, Bass, and Conductor. These had been strange names for dull people at a boring performance; however, it would only be a ten-minute departure from the norm.
But some element held him captivated for the two-hour duration. The camera panned over the orchestra as they played in unison. The bows of stringed instruments pulled in the same direction, to the identical length, and at equal speed. The consonant finger placement of brass and woodwinds. Two musicians tensed together as they struck the large drums in back with the same strength. From every section a different sound, but together it was harmony in both melody and visual performance. Each piece fit so flawlessly; the music was overwhelming in its perfection.
The lack of dissonance was nearly as comforting as sitting close to his grandmother and having her arms around him. He had a similar feeling – a fullness in the upper portion of his chest like his lungs were to capacity and he was hanging in that delicious complete moment before expelling the air. And safety. Classical music always fulfilled his expectations with its predictive resonance. It was lovely patterned latticework overlaying chaos. He could rely on a symphony like he could rely on his grandmother and the love she had for him.
He supposed he still had that. The feeling he got when he listened to Handel was accompanied by pangs of loss, but it was almost the same as having her back. He hugged his knees to his chest to listen and manufacture what he would never reclaim but always long for.
The stalwart device looped the music as long as it could, and until the batteries were exhausted, he didn’t feel so alone.