Today, I’m excited to introduce you to the first set of stories created from song lyrics. I provided the writing prompt for writers to search their favorite lyrics and base a story on it. These lyrics may or may not be their favorites, but they’re definitely impressive.
I’ve placed the video before the story, so you can listen and get a sense of the song. This will provide a deeper understanding of the story. I’ll be kicking off these stories with one of my own.
Death is a curious thing that I can’t wait to meet. A mind stronger than youth, but disease has feasted on my body. I can feel the weight lifting. It won’t be long. Crippled to a hospital bed, tubes pumping impractical substances that only delay the inevitable, I can’t help crying. Have you been watching me? Don’t worry, love, I can take it. The tears are mostly about my incredibly harsh loss of a wandering woman. A woman built on love, not principles—a vagabond, who made every new place an inner mystical journey. As the wind plays music in the trees, and the sea washes away troubles, you settled into my heart, making it home. Our love has transcended generations and rebirths—carved in history.
I hope you’ve been listening to me. My conversations with you have turned a few heads. Ha! The staff thinks I’m losing my mind, but they don’t realize I lost it when you drifted off to sleep, never to wake again. That cold, gray sky morning broke off hope and happiness. I shook and begged you to stay…and then I shook and begged you to take me with you. In a world of possibilities, I wanted to follow my wayfarer into unknown darkness because we were each other’s fuel, our minds and hearts mutually dependent. We existed for no one other than ourselves. We bobbed in our endless ocean of love, meeting all kinds of characters, and resting our weary feet wherever we might be. You were my catalyst, and I yours.
In the old days, the world seemed so small. Our souls’ jazzy rhythm was a constant improvisation of heartbeats skipped and breaths catching. Adventures galore! Waterfalls gave us baths and forests sheltered us from the greedy. We went from one place to another, performing odd jobs to nourish us. Remember when I played cards on the streets of Baton Rouge, shuffling and calling, accumulating a dollar here and there, as you danced around the streets. It wasn’t until you became pregnant when we decided to settle down. But it didn’t last. When you lost the baby, we felt it was a sign to move on, sleeping under cardboard tents, and eating garbage from nearby restaurant bins. While it sounded unappealing, the freedom to drift with the wind won us over.
We aged and our traveling feet needed planting. Near Rio Grande, I found a job as a stock boy in a local store. You waitressed at a diner, your dreadlocks, smile, and ruddy cheeks became a popular fixture. Our apartment door was unbalanced, similar to the way we lived.
When I’m not reminiscing with you, I dive into a recurring dream I have almost every night. In more ways than I can list, it soothes the pain. Here’s how the dream goes.
Two souls destined to be together, that’s you and I, we sail on the wide-open sea. It’s only us wrapped in each other’s arms, the lapping of the waves against the sides of the boat, high pitch calls from the seagulls. The smell of salt water and marine life clings to our hair and skin, and when we lean in close, we can hear the cries of sailors who lost their lives at sea. In the distance, a foghorn blows, signaling us home.
You’re already there, but make room for me next to you because I’ll be coming home today. Once I do, we’ll float for eternity, wandering the great expanse of the afterlife.
Denise Baer is a bestselling author among family and friends. Since it’s important to be prepared, she’s already made space on a shelf for her future Pulitzer Prize medal. Denise is a blogger, poet, and multi-genre author of two published books: Net Switch and Fogged Up Fairy Tale.
A native of Chicago, she currently resides in Germany with her husband and spoiled fur-baby, Shakespeare. To learn more about her, please visit her author website.
The table was spread with a checked cloth that looked like fabric but was too shiny to be so, easily wiped clean, of all the things that had hurt us over our years together. John looked into my eyes trying to rekindle a love that had vanished long ago for me. Too many hurts, too many silences, too much damage done. Once I had found him handsome and charming, he was not a bad man and had looked after me when I needed him.
Once I thought him the man of my dreams and in a way, he was as he was always there for me, when hurt he would comfort me, when ill he would look after me, when tired he would send me to bed and tuck me in with a loving kiss. I often ignored his needs and he never complained, not once. He had set his whole life upon me and treated me as well as any man could, better than most men would and that was his downfall. I was not worth his care and respect, I was not worth his comfort and solace and his never-ending love. I appreciated all that he did for me. He worked hard and made all the money, he looked after me in every way possible. Appreciation is not love.
I sat at home thinking of far off things, beautiful places, perfect sunsets and all the things I was missing whilst with my loving husband.
We lived in a quiet spot at the end of a tumultuous sea loch in Tayvallich, a small village in the Western Highlands of Scotland, a sheltered bay fed by a fast-flowing river. John, my husband, liked to sit there in the evening watching the river pass by. He would find a rock or fallen tree to sit upon and watch the river surge into the sea. Occasionally when I could hold back my revulsion of him and the hate I had boiling up inside I would accompany him down to the riverside. Sit beside him and imagine him swept away in the fast flowing spate stream. At times, I imagined holding him under the water, my arms stretched to their full length, strangling him, watching as the last air burst from his mouth but that was only imagination.
I told him once about my dark thoughts, how I would love to have an affair, to be tortured and hurt but he just held me close, hugged me tightly and took me to the doctors. He arranged and paid for me to see a psychologist despite the fact he had to work so much overtime for us to afford it, and she was nice and helpful but made no difference whatsoever, my rage did not come from my past, my childhood, my temper; it came from me.
We walked to the river one night, it was beautiful, chilly with a clear sky and an, almost, full moon shining in a sky filled with stars. He sat beside me and we held hands, talked of things passed and thought of our future together. Not once did he restrain me or suggest that our future may not happen because of me and my problems. He was a good man in all the ways that a man should be.
He cared for me, loved me, looked after me and took care of me, but that was not enough for me. I wanted more, I always wanted more, would always want more and so when we saw the otters, a pair with a gaggle of young ones around them I knew what I was doing when I walked into the river. I knew the sand beneath the river would be soft and sinuous, shifting with the rivers current and flow. The water filled my boots and the added weight drew me under and swept me with the current out into the sea.
John dove into the river again and again looking for me as the spate river, fast and sure swept me out into the bay. He was exhausted searching for me, searching the river bed, the rushes at the edges and the bay when the police and ambulance arrived and forced him to stop before he was also lost. He loved me you know. It was my last thought as salt water filled my lungs and took me from this world.
I was never good enough for him.
Raymond Walker is the award winning author of fourteen novels, many compendiums of short stories and two books of poetry (though he hates to admit to them). He is a guitar player, songwriter, father (of two cool kids), an occasional philosopher, political thinker, aesthete and imagine-er of the ethereal and unusual. He was born in 1962 and raised in Argyll, Scotland, before moving to Edinburgh to attend university.
His love of the countryside, forests, mountains and the relics of his native Scotland are reflected deeply in his writing. His tales echo the dark past and history, the unknown places and wonders of Scotland at the point where reality dips into fantasy until nothing is quite as it seems. To learn more about him, please visit his author website.
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Stories, lyrics, and music,