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Thread: The Blues

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Nov 2008

    The Blues

    i know its a bit of a cliche but i really love writing stories like this. this was a story inspired by a recent downfall in life crossed with looming end of year exams. I wrote this for my teacher then modified it for a story competition i didn't enter so its a bit rough and not the way i really wanted it to be, i'll re write it and make huge changes to make it better, this is just a semi-draft i suppose but i hope you enjoy it!

    The Blues

    Again the wind picked up, slicing through the air and wrapping around my body. As it hits my body I feel cold, and it’s not just from the wind.
    I sit here by myself, on the hard steel bench. I’ve been waiting for the bus to freedom. It’ll come. Sure it’s just around the corner, anytime soon I’ll see the headlights food the black road and hear the heavy rumble of its old engine. But until then I am helpless. Open to the weather of this cold winter night. The walls of the bus shelter doing little to block out the icy southerly wind, it was till better than nothing.

    It had been over a week since I had left hell I had for a home. Dad too busy drinking himself to death, and mum well half the town know she sleeps around. I don’t even want to mention the pain my girlfriend caused... I guess living in a neighbourhood were someone on every corner is either selling themselves or selling drugs isn’t a neighbourhood, it’s a nightmare.

    I looked across the road. A broken bottle lying shattered and ruined in the gutter, the streetlamp casting a dim amber light through its rich amber glass. Too many times had I seen broken bottles, too many times had I seen my parents fighting, beaten or depressed and before it could catch on to me, I had to leave. I didn’t tell anyone or leave a note. I packed a bag full of clothes grabbed the money I had hidden in my room (earned by a decent job) and walked out that door. My wallet in one pocket and my harmonica in the other, that’s me baby, off to FREEDOM.

    Finally I heard the bus. I saw the lights of the bus flood the road. Illuminating the desolate and decrepit neighbourhood. The lights were bright and it hurt my eyes to look into the light they give off. It was as if they weren’t lights at all, but rather eyes, eyes that hurt to look at because they showed the pain in yourself. The bus slowed down and stopped, the engine still idling with a smooth rhythmic drone. The door slid open as if it was oiled just minutes ago, no squeaks, no screech. I looked at the old bus, it had to be the nicest one in town. No graffiti up the side, no scratches, all the glass windows still in tact. I hadn’t seen a bus this nice in years, the paint still looked fresh. The bus looked fresh, as if it had just rolled off the production line 15 minutes ago. A faint scent was drifting down the stairs, teasing my nostrils, and seeming to draw me into the bus.

    “You gonna stand there all night boy, or you coming on the ride to save your life?” The driver asked, drawing my attention away from the bus.

    I lifted my left leg and placed it on the first step, this was it the ride to freedom. I looked at the driver, he had an old tired face but his eyes looked so fiery and wild.

    “This isn’t the bus to where you think freedom lies,” The driver spoke softly “this bus knows where the blues takes you, and it knows where you need to go.”

    I climbed into the bus, unsure of what the driver really meant Was the bus I played for right?

    The driver laughed as he watched the confusion roll over my face, “Boy you’ve got your ticket as I have mine, trust me this is your bus.”

    I pulled the thin slip of paper from my wallet and placed it in his hand. Was he going to take my ticket to freedom and kick me off the bus?

    “Boy that ain’t no ticket, I’m talking bout that blues harp you got in your pocket. Show it to me boy and I’ll see if you’re worthy of a ride”

    Hesitantly I pulled the harmonica from my pocket. It was the first thing I ever bought, so long ago now but still it shined. I remember my father took me into the music store, he was looking for an album. I looked at the nick knacks beneath the shelf. All the new guitar tuners and polishing kits looking perfect on display, but in the back corner their sat the object. A few inches long and about an inch wide. It was a harmonica. It sat in the darkest corner but it sparkled, seeming to wink at me. A little voice inside the cabinet called out, “Hey man, can you dig the blues? Yeah baby you can, come on man I see it in you, your one hip alley cat my man but without me your like an ice cream cone without the ice cream, baddddd…” it trailed off when my father placed his hands on my shoulders. I looked back at it the little sign advertising it said: ‘$30 BRAND NEW MODEL, HOHNER BLUES HARMONICA, NO OTHER HARPS HAVE THE QUALITY, NO OTHER HARPS CAN MATCH THE SOUND’ I knew I had to have it, and I knew I had the money (I was saving up for a new bike). I looked up at the scruffy teenager behind the desk. My father was gently pressing me away and towards the door.

    “Hey mister, I want to buy that harmonica” the words fell from my mouth before I knew it. Behind me my father started to protest saying what about the bike? The bike, what bike I thought. The teenager ignored my father as well and opened the counter from the back. My body had a mind of its own, I could see myself puling my wallet out of my pocket, laying the cash on the counter, taking the harmonica from the teenagers hand, and walking away from my father and out of the store.

    I snapped out of my day dream and looked at the harmonica, still shining, not a scratch or the faintest speck of grime. I looked from my hand to the driver who still had his hand out waiting. What if he steals it? What if he breaks it? What if he plays it and ruins the reeds?

    “Funny thing harmonicas,” the driver said, it was like he was answering my thoughts, “only your spit goes into it but it ain’t just your sound, that comes out”. He reached up and gently grasped the harmonica. “See harmonicas choose their player and sometimes fate brings them together and only when the right harmonica and the right player play will it result in the blues. I know you haven’t found your sound yet, you’ve just been playing what the audience wants to hear, I can tell ‘cause your harps still shinnin’. I can’t say that’s bad but its not what your soul wants, your soul needs to let them blues out.”

    I looked into the drivers’ eyes; they had lost all their fieriness and were now the eyes of an old long forgotten man. I looked at the side mirror and could see myself (it was if the bus wanted me to see myself, to see my eyes) and sure enough my eyes were the same.

    “These ain’t sad eyes you see boy, they ain’t old eyes either. The eyes show the soul. Eyes don’t lie. When you see a man with the blues smiling, his eyes ain’t smiling. You have earned your ticket to freedom, I guess you have joined the club of the ‘blues’. Take a seat my friend, play that harp and maybe some of those blues will pass the time, let’s let this old bus take you where you need to go”

    copyright Jack Dew 2008

  2. #2
    Registered User mmaria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Lively dialogues and pictures of someone's turning points in, not very happy, life, but with good prospects for expected freedom. I enjoyed it.

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