Welcome back! You all seemed to very much enjoy our ghostly piano playing hands. Some of you even contacted me via Twitter to say that it inspired a longer story in your head. I’m so excited to hear that! DeJean Smith didn’t have an easy job of it, that’s for sure!
Charles W. Jones (@ChuckWesJ): I felt like I was in a whirlwind when I read this—I could feel the atmosphere created and as someone who used to stand on the screened-in porch with my dad as we watched storms roll by, this one touched my heart in a special way. I wanted to know more about the woman dancing in the rain!
Ryan Strohman (@RAStrohman): I was immediately pulled in as the demon creeps into the room. I could smell sulfur and the cold clammy air as evil approaches the innocent girl. And then, when the demon was cast out, it was a great shock. Any story that can evoke so many reactions in only 100 words must come from a true talent.
Best Use of Prompt
Stacy Bennett Hoyt (@RowanWolf66): It’s hard to get an entire story in 100 words. Often, the scene played out is just a little piece of the action forcing the reader to fill in the blanks. No need to with Stacy’s entry. Julia and Billy’s rocky relationship is laid out before you but only the reader realizes the special gift Billy has been given with his own personal ghostly muse. I loved it immediately.
“You’re canceling our date, again?” Julia’s voice landed somewhere between hurt and fury.
“There’s a new song in my head.”
“Can’t it wait?”
“You know my muse doesn’t work that way, Jules.”
“Your muse, huh? Is it that chick from Starbucks?”
“Sweetie,” he smiled. “It’s nothing like that.”
Unconvinced, she lingered, fiddling with the toy piano on his bookshelf.
“Stop that!” His vehemence startled and hurt her.
“It’s her or me, Billy.” No reply.
The front door slammed, but he could only stare at the antique toy and the ghostly hands that plunked out a melody only he could hear.
Susan Warren Utley (@SusanUtley): Holy cow. First, this is a complete story—the scene is set, we get the background of the characters. I can smell the cigarettes and hear the grind of the metronome (something I always HATED when I took piano lessons). And then, the carefree throw-away sentiment of the narrator and the click, click, click reminds me of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories which I loved in high school. So, congratulations, Susan!
Day after day, hour after hour, to the clicking sound of the metronome, I’d play for Mother while she drank her scotch and chain smoked her cigarettes. “I could have been a star if you hadn’t come along,” she would always say.
And when she was good and drunk, she’d shove me aside and begin to play. “You have no talent. One day you’ll put me in an early grave.”
So one day, I did.
Mother is buried in the backyard and sometimes I swear I still hear the click, click, click of the bloody metronome six feet under.
Congrats to our winners! Since both our Overall Winner and our Best Use of Prompt Winner have both judged very recently, I thought I might step in as judge and jury next week. *rubs hands evilly* So make sure you bring your macabre sense of humor next week; you’ll need it! Have a great week all!