Arrangements

Standard

arrangements

We used to think differently. That was beaten out of us.

Listen…

The notes played, flowing along the aural pathways. Twenty-nine Beats headphones plugged in, the varying colors echoing the twenty-nine varying mindsets. Eyes closed, some feet tapping along, some adding percussive finger drumsticks, some rocking, some swaying, others sitting still. One had to remind herself to breathe a couple of times.

When the last of the notes trailed off, with a slight reverb, heavy on the base line, the twenty-nine opened their eyes. There was a quiet expectation amongst them, knowing what was expected. They picked up their stylus’s and turned their attention to their tablet screens,

Some began immediately, taking apart the score in their heads as they listened to it. Others had to sit and ruminate over the chord structure, the rests, the tempo, and decide what would be acceptable to change.

Only one put the stylus down and flipped the music on again: the one who had to remind herself to breathe. She closed her eyes and let her hands drift up and down, tracing the patterns, the highs, the lows, the fervor. Most ignored her; those closest to her gritted their teeth, forcing themselves to focus, used to her behavior.

The day passed. Some of the twenty-nine gave up, tears streaming or fists clashing on the door frame as the exited the room. Others, sweat drenched, struggled along, searching for the key to breaking down the music into symbols, and creating something different from the foundation. They, too, gave up, one by one.

The one who had to remind herself to breathe, the one who listened again and again, conducting the empty space in front of her, was not one of those who left. By the time evening fell she had worked non-stop, erasing whole passages, coming at her composition from one angle, only to pick up a phrase that would cause her to rethink all she had done.  She did this into the early hours of the next day.

The moderator, who had left at midnight, came into the room at eight a.m., noticing that only five of the twenty-nine were left. He plugged in at each station and listened to what they had done. He neither smiled nor frowned at any piece, just closed his eyes, taking in what was accomplished, and then dismissed each .with a sharp wave of his left hand.

The four stood by the door, silent, watching as the moderator plug in, all waiting with their own bated breath. He listened as he had with the others, yet there was something different in his manner. His composure changed, head starting to tilt up, his right hand rising to the headphones, taking them off, as his left hand pulled out the plug.

Her arrangement enveloped the room, the speakers deftly picking up the nuances, the changes in tempo, the soaring heights and depths re-imagined. All in the room listened, the others enraptured, the moderator still as stone, and the arranger lost in her crafting.

The moderator opened his eyes, fixed them on her, and with a nod of his head towards the door, he left with her following.

She was expelled later that morning. Nothing officially was said about the why, or where she went. We were discouraged to talk about her, but the four who had stayed behind quietly passed around what they heard  in the hall, the sublime composition, the emotional contact and harmonics. In one fell swoop, these four were also expelled unexpectedly.

We were not allowed to discuss what had happened; fear of harsh reprisal prevented this. The music program was overhauled, and the next time we came together, we twenty-four, we listened to the music played for us again.

We didn’t change a thing.

Après moi, le déluge

Standard

408355_358214234205272_231409986885698_1539126_1318886564_n

It began, or rather, ended, with an email. A “Dear John” squeezing of his heart, rendering him into a lumpish mass, slumped over the steering wheel of his car. Hugh had just pulled up to his office, parked, took out his cell, and read the words that left him in pain.

Not a good start to the day,

Looking at the front door of the building, watching others stride, slink or glide in, Hugh was ignored. It was a state of being he had grown accustomed to. Finally, realizing he had not turned the car off, Hugh killed the engine. It clanked to a halt. Hugh and the car were frozen in silence, frozen in movement. Hugh heaved himself out of the car after a few minutes, the cold weather of a long winter hitting him. Before he shut the door, he reached back in, turning off the knob to the heater like she always had reminded him to do. Cursing silently, Hugh backed out of the car, clicked the locks, and slammed the door, wincing at the sound.

His sweater and parka had gotten bunched up on his ride into work. He pulled both down, adjusting one thing after another, standing facing his car, staring at nothing of any real notice. It wasn’t until his breath hurt from the cold did he decide to go indoors.

The day was as horrible as Hugh thought it would be as he trudged inside.  The morning’s message was not something he could really separate from the day. He carried these dismissive words in his entire being, and others saw it in the way Hugh walked slumped over, talked in a low volume monotone. When someone would catch his eyes, they saw liquid glistening, brimming just above the lashes.

Zoll Douane (SIGNS: #AtoZChallenge)

Standard

Zoll DuaneIt was unbelievable to him, to be able to pass over the border, to be waved through with such freedom. Just a few months had passed, and the changes…a month ago, he just expected every next second would be his last. Now, this!

He had gained some of his weight and strength back, again something he thought would never happen. Proving his worth by being able to speak so many languages, he had worked hard, helping others like himself who had been so lost.

The border far behind him now, he stopped at the crest of the hill.

Home.
Home!

**************************************

For the April 2014 A to Z Blog Challenge, you will find a story a day (except Sundays) from me. A to Z: Staring with A on Tuesday, April 1st and ending with Z on Wednesday, April 30th.

Signs is my theme for this year’s outing. Road signs, building signs, warning signs…Signs alert us to a multitude of messages. My plan is to use the alphabet through Signage, but not to stick to what the sign was originally intended to convey. So, the genre of story writing, and styles, of the posts will vary as my mood and interpretation sees fit. Possibly a poem or two. We’ll see.

I’m also trying something more of a challenge: each post will be a Drabble. A Drabble is 100 Words Exactly.

Hope you enjoy the stories.

Yield (SIGNS: #AtoZChallenge)

Standard

YieldWhat they had on their table was the bounty from their small garden. It was just enough for the two of them.

Helen took a red tomato, biting into it. She closed her eyes and smiled as she chewed, letting out a small “mmmmm”, throaty, deep.

Jim watched her, noticing red juice drip out of the corner of her mouth; Helen’s tongue reaching out to lap it up as it started to wander down. He reached for her hand, pulled it close, and took a healthy bite of the fruit as well.

They shared the tomato to the last bite.

**************************************

For the April 2014 A to Z Blog Challenge, you will find a story a day (except Sundays) from me. A to Z: Staring with A on Tuesday, April 1st and ending with Z on Wednesday, April 30th.

Signs is my theme for this year’s outing. Road signs, building signs, warning signs…Signs alert us to a multitude of messages. My plan is to use the alphabet through Signage, but not to stick to what the sign was originally intended to convey. So, the genre of story writing, and styles, of the posts will vary as my mood and interpretation sees fit. Possibly a poem or two. We’ll see.

I’m also trying something more of a challenge: each post will be a Drabble. A Drabble is 100 Words Exactly.

Hope you enjoy the stories.

X-ing (SIGNS: #AtoZChallenge)

Standard

X IngYakov’s smile was huge. He had made it through the trip, crushed and bruised in places he didn’t even know he could be crushed and bruised. Here he was: Ellis Island, America! Instead of being pushed and shoved, he and only a few others were in a private enclosure. He had forgotten how good it felt, having some room around him to move.

The man in the white coat who asked him a lot of questions put a nice big X on his lapel.

“The Village Idiot, they called me!” he said out loud. IF they could see me now.

 

**********************

For the April 2014 A to Z Blog Challenge, you will find a story a day (except Sundays) from me. A to Z: Staring with A on Tuesday, April 1st and ending with Z on Wednesday, April 30th.

Signs is my theme for this year’s outing. Road signs, building signs, warning signs…Signs alert us to a multitude of messages. My plan is to use the alphabet through Signage, but not to stick to what the sign was originally intended to convey. So, the genre of story writing, and styles, of the posts will vary as my mood and interpretation sees fit. Possibly a poem or two. We’ll see.

I’m also trying something more of a challenge: each post will be a Drabble. A Drabble is 100 Words Exactly.

Hope you enjoy the stories.

Winding Road (SIGNS: #AtoZChallenge)

Standard

Winding RoadDave wanted to be a scientist: his first memory of wanting to be anything. He finagled his parents into getting all the science toys the local toy store carried. He made volcanoes, looked at bugs with a magnifying glass, put things on slides under his microscope. He mixed things together and took things apart.

Letting that go after the last disastrous school science fair, he tried on so many different ideas…all the time his father pushing him to work on his math, become a CPA.

Dave grew up. Had jobs. His life mixed things up. He put it all together.

**************************************

For the April 2014 A to Z Blog Challenge, you will find a story a day (except Sundays) from me. A to Z: Staring with A on Tuesday, April 1st and ending with Z on Wednesday, April 30th.

Signs is my theme for this year’s outing. Road signs, building signs, warning signs…Signs alert us to a multitude of messages. My plan is to use the alphabet through Signage, but not to stick to what the sign was originally intended to convey. So, the genre of story writing, and styles, of the posts will vary as my mood and interpretation sees fit. Possibly a poem or two. We’ll see.

I’m also trying something more of a challenge: each post will be a Drabble. A Drabble is 100 Words Exactly.

Hope you enjoy the stories.

Viewing Area (SIGNS: #AtoZChallenge)

Standard

Viewing AreaSo, they stood behind the glass wall that reflected blues and pinks. The grandparents held each others hands, looking for their grandchild. Most were sleeping, clenched in their blankets. Some mouths were open, their noise filtered.

“Is that her?” she asked, doing her best to read the names.

“Put on your glasses, silly. No…third row, second one in.”

She did, shoulders relaxing, a smile opening, tasting the salty streak that was coming down.

Their son came up behind them. He watched the two of them for a moment, then joined them at the glass, resting his head upon it, staring.

*********************************************************

For the April 2014 A to Z Blog Challenge, you will find a story a day (except Sundays) from me. A to Z: Staring with A on Tuesday, April 1st and ending with Z on Wednesday, April 30th.

Signs is my theme for this year’s outing. Road signs, building signs, warning signs…Signs alert us to a multitude of messages. My plan is to use the alphabet through Signage, but not to stick to what the sign was originally intended to convey. So, the genre of story writing, and styles, of the posts will vary as my mood and interpretation sees fit. Possibly a poem or two. We’ll see.

I’m also trying something more of a challenge: each post will be a Drabble. A Drabble is 100 Words Exactly.

Hope you enjoy the stories.

Utility Work Ahead (SIGNS: #AtoZChallenge)

Standard

Utility Work AheadWith the lightening streaking overhead, Igor sent the apparatus up through the skylight. He was glad he remembered to open it; cleaning all that glass…no fun. No, not fun at all.

He pulled the next lever; the water from the river sluiced through the pipes, putting the spinning wheel in motion. It picked up speed as the water gushed through.

Igor tugged that chain, pushed buttons, and the humming current was infused into the very air itself. The storm reached a fever pitch, and Igor cackled along with the thunderous sound.

It was done.

The coffee was very good.

**************************************************

 


Check out other bloggers in the A to Z Challenge.

26 posts during the month of April, every day but Sundays.

My theme is SIGNS, and I’m interpreting them in Drabble (100 words exactly) form.

Enjoy!

 

Tow-Away Zone (SIGNS: #AtoZChallenge)

Standard

Tow Away ZoneThis isn’t about just one group of people. You could affix about any religious affiliation, or race, or political/social upbringing. None of that really matters, in the long run, for they all share something in common:

They were among the displaced, those left alive, and their being shunted about was devastating to many of their souls.

Carted, hauled, boxed in, taken away…they were forced out of the life they were born to, facing the hatred that earned them the eventual label of Other.

Some banded together, as best they could, even in the worst of times.

They would always remember.

************************************************

 


Check out other bloggers in the A to Z Challenge.

26 posts during the month of April, every day but Sundays.

My theme is SIGNS, and I’m interpreting them in Drabble (100 words exactly) form.

Enjoy!

 

Slow Children (SIGNS: #AtoZChallenge)

Standard

Slow Children“Adagio!” Mr. James yelled to the seventh grade orchestra. “This is not a race; not a competition!  There is no prize for finishing this first. Slowly…slowly…let your instruments blend into each other.”

Connor fought the yawn that was coming; he knew if James saw it he’d blow up. All Connor wanted to do was get the piece over with and go home. He knew this piece, inside and out.. He was just bored with the whole thing.

Connor began to play the piece, so slowly he thought he would scream.

“That’s how it’s done! Again, everyone!” Mr. James cheerfully cried.

************************************************

 


Check out other bloggers in the A to Z Challenge.

26 posts during the month of April, every day but Sundays.

My theme is SIGNS, and I’m interpreting them in Drabble (100 words exactly) form.

Enjoy!