I spent 2+ days struggling with a short story that did not want to come out. I started a few times, but the words didn’t flow, and those that did were not very good. Then, I hit on my soundtrack song. I guess this song hits a particular creative note with me, as I have written more words to this song than any others. This time, I wrote my entire short story to the one song, played on a loop. As soon as I heard it, I remembered how easily the words flowed before. The main character, and the plot line of my current work-in-progress also came while watching the video.
Granted, the story is only 2,288 words, but still. That’s a long time to listen to one song. Interestingly, once I was done, I found myself singing the song, still not tired of it. Perhaps, like movies, each of us has a soundtrack, and it is up to us to find it. This must be the start of mine.
I’m glad I found it, since I’m now 4 stories into my goal of 11. Still behind schedule, but I like the work so far. I anticipate this being a 35,000-word collection (around 100 pages). Not very long, perhaps a novella’s worth of stories. Enough for 99 cents or less, right? The story is raw, and will need much work in editing, but it is out now, and as Shrek says, better out than in.
So, here’s a sampling. I’d be curious to know if the words fit the soundtrack. Somehow, they never do to me. But I am not the proper judge.
Her flesh she has painted with alabaster strokes, and now offers the skin to wary strangers. “Whitewash my picket flesh,” she says. Her smile is dark, and tense, like a cobra set to strike. The men, drudging past in Sawyeresque obedience, will comply, one by sorry one.
It is ten o’clock, and now, she is fully alert, though far from sated. The first hit of the day – one that would kill most – is but a morning cup of coffee to Katie. Now, the early tracks behind her, it is time for breakfast. It is time for juice.
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” she says aloud. Her voice is rich – Dietrich deep and Monroe lush. It is her siren’s song, and few men have had the wisdom to steer clear of her shoals. One passes by, dark suited, oxford wearing, eyes directed forward, and with a steady pace. She smiles at him, standing in the shadows. She sees only the tailored suit, made from the finest wool.
He glances back and hesitates half a step. Her recalcitrant suitor pulls away his eyes, absently fingers the ring on his left hand, and quickens his pace. “Come back soon, baby,” she purrs, calling after him. Again he hesitates, before moving once again, almost at a trot. He is a Good Man, and good little husbands run home to their wives. Nervous, is-this-the-day-I-stop-and-cheat types often stray too close to the District where Katie works. There are no businesses here, and a man with a suit has but one purpose in mind. He will return, and when he does, his ship will run aground in her shallows. A ragged shell of her former self is still a song few men can resist.
Still, he has affected her as much as she surely affected him. She could smell the juice on him. It is a figment, she knows, but it puts the taste in her mind again. Her loins dampen at the thought of her next hit. If all she need promise is sex to get it, no matter. Sex is but illusion; the juice is love. The juice is her climax.
How about you? What’s your soundtrack like?
By the way, The Juice & Other Lies is the working title of the short story collection. (I’m debating whether it should be Crazy Magnet & Other Stories.)