“Future” by Paramore Inspires Audrey

The Heap

It was the boy with dark hair.

Helena stopped and dropped to the ground. Her hand slid into something slimy and she had to bite her tongue to keep from screaming. She could hear his feet kicking cans out of the way as he headed toward the rusted blue truck. She held her breath as he passed close, but he didn’t notice her; she was just another piece of trash, all dirty and discarded. Helena stayed where she was until she heard the squeaky hinges of the truck door before jumping up and bolting to the far side of the Heap.

She skidded to a halt in front of her box and looked over her shoulder, but there was no movement behind her. She ducked behind the faded denim flap that served as her door and squatted in the semi-darkness. Helena examined the key. It was metal, warm from being held in her sweaty palm as she ran. There didn’t seem to be anything special about it. She felt around the floor of the box until she found some fishing line and pulled it through a hole on the key. She tied the line around her neck and let the key fall under her shirt. Derrick had probably seen her at the truck. If she lost her prize now, he would kill her for sure.

Peter slammed the truck door shut and listened to the tinkle of rusted pieces falling off. It sounded almost like rain, or what he remembered rain sounding like. He leaned back over the worn leather of the front seat to glance in the back of the cab. He added a half full bottle of water to the pile. It was all he had found today. His rat stopped digging in its newspaper bedding to watch the bottle teeter for a moment before falling to the floor and rolling under the front seat. Peter sighed and slipped to the floor to retrieve the bottle. His hair fell into his eyes and he had to push it back a couple of times before he spotted the bottle. He reached for it and was just able to get it rolling toward the front of the cab with the tips of his fingers. He grasped the bottle in one hand and ran his other hand under the seat searching for the key.

It was gone.

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“Future” by Paramore Inspires Anne

The Diviner’s Club

Paul clutches the velvety smooth white card in his hand, marvelling at how a thick piece of paper could be the key to his future. He traces a thumb over the gold embossed script and reads for the thousandth time:

The Diviner’s Club requests the presence of
Master Paul Kent
on Saturday evening, the tenth of November,
eighteen eighty-eight at eight o’clock.
16 Cheapside, London, England.

Minutes after they’d left Eton’s grounds, Samuel, in charge of everything since they were thirteen, made Paul change from his King’s Scholar robes into a costume he’d nicked from the playhouse cupboards. “Wouldn’t want to look like a couple of toffs, would we?” The wool itched against the skin at Paul’s throat and wrists. And deep inside he knew he wasn’t a toff to begin with, not even close. He’d needled Samuel for almost the entire carriage ride from Eton to London. Seven hours of begging and pleading, as Samuel laughed and changed the subject.

“We’ve three minutes until the doors open,” Samuel says, tucking his pocket watch beneath a poorly patched overcoat from a production of Othello. The coat would stand out on anyone else, but it hangs on Samuel’s impeccable frame. The watch costs almost as much as Paul’s father makes in a year. “What would the birthday chap like to do in the meantime?”

Paul stands in London, in front of number 16 on his sixteenth birthday, and he remains still and silent. He presses his lips tightly together. Carts and horses jostle each other in the overcrowded streets behind him, children and cats race down alleyways, and smoke rises up from chimneys. Paul likens his reaction to an over stimulated cat, not knowing where to look next. The stillness is broken as he fiddles with the baker boy’s brim. Pulls it down on his brow, pushes it up. Down. Up. Down. Samuel swats his nervous hand from touching the scratchy fabric again.

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“Future” by Paramore Inspires Jen

Unlocked

In my eighteen years of life, I’ve learned that most of it is about getting in. Everybody wants to be on the inside. In high school it’s about popularity, and who gets to hold hands and other things with the cutest jock or doe eyed knock-off ten-seconds-to-knocked-up-barbie. I got out of there without getting a disease or a child.

College is all about getting in. Whether it’s Ivy League or someone’s pants. I shot for the former and landed in a respectable school that wasn’t necessarily Ivy League, but there were a lot of ivy covered buildings, so I figured that had to count for something. I was there to find something elusive and highly regarded. Something you didn’t find in anyone’s pants. They called it a future. And somehow they told me I’d find it in rooms full of kids making decisions bigger than eighteen years on Earth. Heavy decisions, ones that sounded like things grown ups would do. They told us we were grown ups. They lied.

I was not grown the nights I spilled my guts to a girl with eyes that changed color like dusk and realized I was never going to be one for jocks or barbies. She was trimmed in ink lines and her voice was like waves on waves on waves, full of lulling clarity. She hummed notes of songs I knew when I was little, and they sounded like promises falling from her perfect smile. I’d never wanted harmonies, but I wanted them with her. Her lips tasted like sugar and rain and we twined together for five weeks before her eyes turned dark.

She pressed a key into my palm and whispered my name, “Shy.”

“Yes?” My lips were at her ear, and she shivered in the dark.

“What do you want?”

“I want the future,” I told her.

“Sure,” she said, “then you’ll have it.”

She raised the key to her lips and pressed it to them. It glowed for a moment, all embers.

She curled my fingers around it and she was gone in an instant, fast as a summer storm. My skin burned where her eyes had held it, but I still held that key hot and heavy in my hand.

It works on every single lock.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Stay tuned for extra content this week from Julie. Check out Anne’s answer to this prompt next Monday.

Jen’s No Rules Friday

Happy Friday everyone! Today I would like to give you all the gift of music. National Novel Writing Month is creeping up on us, and it is important to stockpile a few solid playlists to get us through thousands of words.  The following are some of my favorite writing jams.

1. Lights, by Ellie Goulding, the Bassnectar Remix.  Caution: This is Dubstep, and I probably wrote the back half of my completes manuscript to this song. It’s a lot of bass and the feel of falling, and perfect for in-the-zone writing.

2. I Was Wrong, by Sleeperstar. Our lovely Anne introduced me to the band and I think I asked her 17 times how to loop it on youtube to use for writing. Thankfully she obliged because this song on repeat is so pretty that you won’t be able to stop.

3. Rain, by Klaypex. Loud and messy and pretty. Great for fast paced moments.

4. Boy with a Coin, by Iron and Wine. This song makes me so nostalgic sometimes I can’t stand it, but its consistent and pretty and a little exotic somehow. Perfect for concentration when a scene demands quiet.

5. Between Two Points, by The Glitch Mob. The vocals in this are full of wanting, great for writing kisses.

6. Smarter, by Eisley. This vocals in this gem are the kind that look back. It’s clever and complex and has really nice imagery that goes along with conflict nicely. It’s the aftermath, the rebuild.

7. Future, by Paramore. Not only are the vocals soft and sure and gorgeous, the instrumental build is perfect for powering through words.

8. Dark Come Soon, by Tegan and Sara. Good for the dark and twisty parts.

9. My Love, by Sia. I doubt this needs explanation. Use it for the squishy heart writing. Is that a thing? I made it a thing.

10. Let it Be, by Blackmill.  This is my current favorite to stick on repeat with a good pair of headphones. Perfect balance of strong, soft vocals with a electronic foundation. It’s all heavy and wandering. I could listen to it forever.

My top ten is full of bass and lyrics that want. The key to good writing music is power, whether it’s heavy or light. I would love to know what your favorite writing songs are. I hope these can inspire and get you through those next thousand words over and over again.