Prompt: Shuffle and Write

Posted: March 3, 2012 in Writing
Tags: , , , , ,

Hey, guys! I know I don’t usually post on Saturdays, but I figured I’d do something a wee bit different. I saw Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction challenge and decided to give it a go. The challenge is to hit shuffle on your favorite music player, then take the title of the song and use it as the title of your story. It’s up to you if you want to use the actual song as inspiration, too. No more than 1000 words.

So, let’s see how it goes. Maybe I’ll post some more stuff as it comes to me. Tell me what you think. (Sorry, it’s a little depressing.)

I got “Say Anything” by Good Charlotte. You can listen to it here.

Say Anything

Ring. Ring. Ring.

I sat on the floor of the living room and leaned against the wall, closing my eyes. The walls were too bright, too white. I contemplated painting them black. But Julia wouldn’t like that if – when – she moved back in.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

I heard the microwave ding, but I didn’t bother going to get today’s sore excuse for lunch. I wasn’t hungry. Eating was a habit and nothing more. Just like living.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

A crackle on the other end. The ringing stopped. My head snapped up and I held my breath.

“I told you to stop calling me, Billy.”

“You picked up.” I tried to control the awe, doubt, and wonder that had crept into my voice.

She didn’t speak. I could hear muted voices in the background, the clinking of dishes, the muffled sound of a TV.

“Julia,” I breathed. I knew she’d catch the hint of a smile in my voice, but I didn’t care. There was so much I wanted to say, but I couldn’t articulate any of it. “Julia.”

“What do you want?”

“To talk.”

“I’m done talking. I told you that last week.” The sounds faded from the background and I heard the click of a door, followed by the squeak of a bed as she sat down on it.

I swallowed the softball-sized lump that had suddenly risen in my throat. I ignored the pain it caused. I tried to ignore the anger, too, but that one was a little harder.

“We’ll never get through this if we don’t talk about it.” My clenched teeth made the words sound strangled and helpless.

There was no noise from the other end. I checked the face of my phone to make sure we were still connected. We were. Thank God.

“We used to be best friends, you know,” I said.

“We used to be.” The hint of sadness in her voice brought tears to my eyes, but I could tell it didn’t mean anything to her anymore. I didn’t mean anything to her anymore.

“Please, Julia. Please don’t leave. We can get through this, just like we did before.”

“How many times are we going to do this before we realize that it’s not going to work?”

“As many times as it takes to realize it will,” I snapped. Deep breath, I told myself. “Relationships are hard. You have to put a lot of work into them.”

“I have, Billy. I’ve put a lot of work into our relationship, but sometimes you have to know when to call it quits.”

“So, you’re giving up then?”

“No,” she said. She paused, and I could tell she was trying to come up with the right words for what she wanted to say next. My gut clenched. “No, this is me moving on. For our sake, I’m moving on.”

“Julia, please,” I begged. “Please, don’t say that. I love you. You know that, right? I love you so much. Please don’t talk like that. I’ll do whatever it takes. Just don’t give up on us. Please.”

Silence. The kind that roars in your ears and makes it feel like the world is imploding. The kind that makes you realize that nothing is going to change and that there’s no point in trying any more. No point in trying at all.

“Say something, Julia,” I whispered. I felt my heart ripping in desperation.

A sigh. “What do you want me to say?”

“I don’t know. Anything. Just say anything.”

  1. ddog13 says:

    Woah. That was deep. Very well written. Nice job 🙂

  2. smcgee30 says:

    Nicely done. It read well and flowed from beginning to end.

  3. alberta ross says:

    oh like that – very good – challenge sounds interesting as well – thanks for post

  4. […] Prompt: Shuffle and Write […]

  5. BJ Kerry says:

    That was lovely. Really well done.

  6. Jim Franklin says:

    Beautiful, sad and a very good use of the song title for the last words.


  7. oldestgenxer says:

    Anyone who has been in love–and been hurt–knows these feelings. Its the stuff assholes write poetry about. I’m not judging; I’ve done it also.
    Good story.

  8. edrevets says:

    Reality doesn’t get any more real than fiction.

  9. I especially liked ‘the kind that makes you feel like your world is imploding.’
    Good story!

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