Other stories for this prompt

My singing was awful. Didn't matter as the audience were drunk, I could see Lorna sticking her tongue down John's throat as the light swept over the audience. They didn't seem to care that anyone might notice and tell John's wife in a text during the interval. After my horrendous attempt at Billy Holiday I heard a voice in my ear, it was a child asking me to talk to someone called Betty who had red hair, an addiction to pickled eggs and had three cats called Tom, Dick and Harry.

She was sitting in the last row and only...

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The lights dimmed. Mary-Rose, in her black-and-white jail-striped dress entered the stage from the left. My left, not hers. I held my icy drink in my hand, legs crossed as I watched her nervously center herself behind the microphone. New Orleans was new to us, but they may have been a good thing, since we were the unknowns of the crowd. My manager Vinny got her the gig, after she promised that no one would start booing or throwing things at the stage. Normally I worked behind the swinging kitchen doors, but tonight, I was a VIP, front row to...

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She sang. Her beautiful voice rang out through the dense smoke in the room, pushing out into the ears, minds and hearts of the patrons. The band began to play, their music swinging through the air.

Feet began to tap, then arms started rising, and before they knew it - they were dancing, without a care in the world. Moving to and fro. Gliding across the floor. Sliding up and down. No one danced consistently. This was their show, they were going to perform how they wanted to.

A saxophone pierced through the rest of the instruments, blurting out a...

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that's my sister
o, she was a riot, she was
Always with the arms
it was natural, ya know
used them to talk-
but you gave her a sip of alcohol-
o girl
Wam Wam-
even my brothers would avoid standing too close
i've had many bruises over the years due to a night on the town with that girl

.. now, not that she'd fight-
just scream and laugh and ..Punch your shoulder instead of slapping it

"she's singing in this photo though, correct mrs. Neel"

o, well, yes of course she's singing, boy.

she had a beautiful...

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By Jane Jones

He was late again. This had happened a lot over the past month and tonight she was determined to find out why.

She had been busy all day clearing out his wardrobe. He never did this and sometimes it annoyed her so she did it for him and it was beans on toast for his dinner. She hated doing him beans on toast as she always thought it was not a proper dinner but tonight she just wanted to make him happy so beans on toast it was going to be.
She poured herself another glass...

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He hadn't wanted the light there.

She had insisted - there was light on her, light on her voice, lifting her up, letting them all see her. He was playing too (had a solo during one of the songs, actually) so why shouldn't they see him?

He'd tried to protest that it wasn't traditional, and she'd just given him one of those looks, the one that made him certain that if ever (...when) she did get signed the record label wouldn't be able to force her into one of those moulds they seemed so fond of.

He'd stood his ground,...

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There was a stage. A microphone. A guy with a guitar and another at a piano. One spotlight trying to mark out everything up there and missing the edges. And that was it. If the audience in the jazz bar had been expecting anything more, anything grander or, well, jazzier, they were disappointed. Most were. It was a good place to be disappointed in.

It was a good place to spend money when it had nowhere else to be spent too. That’s mostly what these people were doing. Spending money that they didn’t know what else to do with. Spending...

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The spotlight found her and then stayed still. Beneath it she trembled. Curled inwards. And then, becoming aware of her audience, the room of eyes watching her, she stretched out her arms, opened her mouth, and started to perform.

At first it was a slow dance, with the words of the song low and soft, gentle as a whisper. And then, as her confidence grew, as she started to enjoy it and believe in her ability, believe that these people actually wanted to watch and hear her, she started to speed up and the song became almost wild, a celebration...

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An aura surrounded her.

He couldn't describe it, couldn't explain it, couldn't put it into words. It was beauty.

She raised her hands, opened her mouth, flexed her diaphragm, and completely, irrevocably drew him into herself.

Her song permeated him, and the light that bounced off of her transformed his eyes into bodiless, empty receptors: everything else faded, his body, his chair, his table. There was only the Vision.

Then the song ended, and he was left floating in the smooth, absent, come-down buzz of the empty amplifiers.

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She sang like a ghost in a fog.
Dew on the saxophones,
Rain on the drum kit.

The napkin read,
"Remember, it's the 1900's."

It was always almost dawn,
never fully light.

The fog never lifted,
the ghost always whispered.

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About the prompt

Originally displayed on:
June 07, 2011


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