momebie: (X-Men Charles/Erik leaving)
[personal profile] momebie
So there's this blog I should follow and constantly forget about. People link me to posts on it all the time and every time I see one I think 'oh, that's clever and amusing, I should follow him'...and then I don't. Because I'm me. BUT, via a post this morning on [ profile] getyourwordsout I now know that he does flash fiction prompts every Friday, which is AWESOME. This week's was based on the old 'put your ipod on shuffle and name the story after the song that comes up' bit, so I felt compelled to play along. This is what I came up with. I'm not going to post it back to his blog, but it's part of that one story about the girl who can burst into birds, so I'll put it here with no shame at all.

Brother (Live from the Virgin Megastore in NYC)

It was seven in the evening in Colorado Springs and she hadn’t slept more than four hours in the past three days. The exhaustion was starting to get to her. Across the country, in a city that never slept it was already nine in the evening. Taylor sat down on one of the lonely swings in the school play yard and pulled her phone from the pocket of her hoodie. The pool of orange light at her feet made her feel like she was on stage. The cold mixed with the pre-show jitters caused her teeth to chatter and fingers to shake as she searched through the call log for her brother’s number.

Cody picked up on the third ring. “Hey,” he said. His voice sounded rough. He’d started smoking again no doubt. The greeting itself was almost swallowed whole by the angry guitar and cacophony of voices coming across the line around it.

“Where are you?” It was the first question she asked him every time she called.

When he was in a good mood he made a guessing game of it, giving her details about the space and the people in it and making her guess. On this night he merely grunted and said, “Some club. A friend is playing.”

“You’ve made friends?” She smiled, in spite of mild panic that had been threatening to overtake her all day. In the Springs Cody had barely even talked to his peers let alone gotten close enough to any of them to call them friends.

“No, you know what I mean. People I don’t hate.”

“Progress nonetheless,” she said. Last time they’d spoken his aloneness had been getting to him. Not that he would have admitted it, which was as much born of stubbornness as it was any altruistic need to keep her from worrying.

“Uh huh.” The guitar noise stopped and there was a loud surge of voices and whistles and hand claps that faded into the familiar drone of bass over a loudspeaker. “What do you want, Tee?”

“I just wanted to hear your voice.”

“If you wanted to hear my voice you’d simply play back any of the hundred voice mails I’m certain you save on your phone when I leave them. I think you wanted to hear your voice.”

“That must make two of us, then.” He didn’t answer. Taylor dragged the toe of her tennis shoe through the sand as she slowly swung back and forth. A low, whistling moan rose up around her as the wind picked up and whipped in and out of the residential streets surrounding the school. “Come home,” she said.

“Tee....” His voice trailed off, colored at the edges by a longing for home she knew he refused to allow himself to identify.

She knew that one day--possibly one day soon--she was going to burst into birds in front of her parents. Taylor wasn’t positive, but she figured that if a parent had a daughter that was a bona fide freak, then having a son who happened to merely be gay wouldn’t be that big of a deal. It’s not as if either of them could control their impulses. She wished her compulsion was at least linked to something like love or lust. Instead it was depression and stress and fear that goaded her on.

She took a deep breath, the cold air expanding in her lungs and making her feel cooler with each successive pull. “Cody, it’s Hunt.”

“What about him?”

“He saw me. He saw it happen.”

“Did it scare him?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “He wasn’t there when I pulled back together. He’s--” Before she could get it out the exhaustion pulling at her edges gave one final, harsh tug and set her free.

The phone landed face up in the sand, and while most of her circle and dove in formation around the play yard a part of her left foot perched on the edge of it, cocking its head and listening as Cody said her name again and again, trying to bring her back down.

And for those of you NOT familiar with Murder By Death, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!? this is the song I named the piece after. (No, really, sometimes I want to kiss [ profile] sweetnovicane on the mouth for introducing me to their music.)

Date: 2012-01-07 03:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is brilliant. When you mentioned the bird girl idea I wasn't sure what you'd do with it, and I love how you've played the concept. Multi-layered and subtle and really well-written, and I utterly adore that last powerful line. :)

Date: 2012-01-07 05:40 pm (UTC)
ext_289215: (Angel Sanctuary setsuna torn)
From: [identity profile]
I'm still not sure what to do with it! I wanted to make it creepy and strange, but the more I think about her the more I think I should try and make it more YA-ish? If not really YA then about a younger woman and the fall out and everything. I'm not really a person who is interested in writing YA though, so we'll see where it goes. But I like her brother. I think I'll keep him!


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