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Thread: The Song of Our Times

  1. #1
    Never Again
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Stumptown, Oregon

    The Song of Our Times

    i first posted this on the personal poetry site but then realized that it would be better served on the short story forum, so here it is, questions and comments are much needed.

    The Song of Our Times

    The whip crack of his heels echoes through the crowd, whirling amongst the clatter of a full house. Myriads of people are jarring together. Their heads and shoulders spiked and glistening, and the metal adornments cut a gleaming contrast to the black faded clothing. Coated with spray painted and patches the rough hewn effigies of drug corrupted idols betray their loyalty. This testament in modern art colors speaks to the mind of both their denial of the mundane common society and their allegiance to the banner of hedonistic anarchy. All the patches are unique save one. The unity in this room is completed by the choppy urban stencil that reads: “Fredrik Hayes” and stage lights and smoke set a perfect tone of light for this rare appearance of unity. This chaotic union stretches the hall, running together from person to person, meshing together in a stream until it hits the stage. A god stands fearless on the cowboy boots that elevate him above the masses. Leather straps sewn to iron rings, mismatched thread, and fading patches tell the tale of a road run life. His tight black pants curve up along the contours of his lean legs, the tears untouched, the rips unsewn. A silver sprayed effigy of a past revolutionary ripples beneath his leather jacket. This cowhide proclamation declares his allegiance to no one. His arm shoots high and alone above the roaring crowd. Their screams intensify as he speaks with a rough edged voice. He rebels against everyone by listening only to the gnarled notes that have guided him since his lonely childhood. His bass guitar scarred with a thousand battles swings down across his legs as it peels once more into sonic war. Slow, piercing groans start up the song, impatient growls of a beast newly awakened and fiercely hungry thrum in the night air. Drums beat, threading a tattoo of violence and angst in amongst the deep thunder of an electronic roar. The guitar starts up, a solo lightning that peels through the audience, fast and dangerous in its audio duels with the singer. The lyrics scream out, charged and in your face with their brutal, uncontrolled honesty. The high pitched wail of a heart-wrung scream spirals into the night. Chaotic waves of desperation driven by the drums and soaring into the sky with the jangling footsteps of the guitar’s frenzied dance---pulsing with the tumultuous scream of the crowd…
    …a crowd that mirrors the sashaying sway of the jazz dance floor in its intensity. A heavyset man jangles on the piano, the jazzy uplifting notes plank out from his fingers and onto a corduroy road over day to day worries. The wailing harmonica laces in with the mournful hum of a saxophone as sorrow spins tunes into a world of sound--- inked by the lacy drum taps and colored by the pianist James King. The gravelly glass-throated proclamation of blue jazz band curls out from his lips, brassy emanations that reverberate through the moaning crowd of sensual ecstasy. Blue thought pervades the senses, from the sapphire smoke curling and twisting from fingers to the spiraling motions of conversation. The click of gleaming black heels and the swish of taffeta dresses speaks to flashing eyes. Eyes that flicker up above the crowd to James, his dark skin glows with exertion and his bright white teeth flash in perfect harmony with the worlds of words he spins from his lips. His Complete confidance radiates from his gaze as he rules the six bars of musical escape. This smile, a smirk almost in its self absorption hovers on his lips…
    That selfsame smile floats on the lips of Fredrik Hayes as he walks off stage, and out into the night air. The fading screams of the crowd hold no appeal to him, their desperate pleas for an encore lost to his mind. He walks out to the call of the fragrant night air and the airy jangles of a far off jazz trio. That smile hears the farewell cries of his band and twists in cynical amusement that as he walks off into the night, turning his back on a way of life that has consumed him for nearly twenty years. A faint smile quivers on his lips, one red slash of emotion that opens slightly for the next cigarette. Blue grey fumes release wafts away into the night sky…
    Where James looks up, the windows to the heavens show only the starlit sky. He looks back down, the twinkling notes of the final score patter to a stop, and his deep voice draws out the final note of this song. The snares tap into silence, their voices ending where the saxophone takes over, and its brassy moan quivering amongst the fumes and into the hearts, its final note drawn out in the blue grey emotion of jazz. Patters of applause scatter the auditorium as the crowd drifts away, leaving only the band on the stage, their tired chatting wafting amongst the rafters of the near-abandoned room. The only other sound comes from the ragged heel taps as a dark figure enters the room…
    Unnoticed by the band, Fredrik Hayes lounges in one of the upturned chairs. His unkempt hair draws spiky silhouettes on the wall, and his bass guitar gleams with black lacquer, the liquid light flowing down its length, pooling around the battle scars on its face and dripping to a soft reflection on the floor. Fredrik’s smile curves down almost imperceptibly as the conversation on stage grow edged. The once casual conversation is sharpened with the darting accusations that tear friendships apart. Their instruments now packed, the band storms off, leaving the pianist, James King slumped on the bench, his large frame hunched as he lights another cigarette.
    James slams his large hands against the keys, the discordant thunder echoing with his anger around the silent concert hall. His dark eyes gleam with despair and his cheeks are sucked in as he draws out his anger, blowing it with his smoke across the liquid black top of his grand piano. Hearing a scuff, his eyes dart to the other end of the stage, where the dark stranger stands, his bass guitar slung across his lap, his eyes flash blue under the hooded brows, his teeth piercing the gloom with a smile, arrogant, and certain in their invitation to James.
    Fredrik looks down at the pianist, his lips pull tight, and his hand dramatically falls to his bass. He draws out a solitary chord, one single thrum of deep, drawn out reverberations emanating in the smoky air. The low octave growls of music growing in strength, multiple chords tumbling darkly over each other. Their deep strength draws out the dark cerulean power of the ocean as they slowly speed up, threatening to overpower James, dark notes flashing alone in the vibrating air. Original notes are forgotten as the new chords return sevenfold with a rhythmic offbeat funky life that fills the mind with swirling colors. “Plink” the single note drops like the footstep that comes before an avalanche. The high jangling sound of jazz as it was meant to be played tumbles out into the air with the bass thunder echoing before the lighting-fast piano. Dark clouds brew in the eyes of these men, their heads turned up to the sky, their minds spiraling towards the heavens with the music they weave. The sonic patterns travel along the weft of this new woven song with growing intensity before they coast to a crawl, the deep rumble of the bass rolls down to its heady finally, reverberations climbing the octaves until they reach the top, slowing into riffs that meander the low plunks of the piano as James growls out this mournful song. His low silky voice pierces the deep sea rhythms of Fredrik’s bass. James’s low gravelly tones speak to the empty room of love and war, the sad footnotes on a gravestone, and the numbers on a dead mans arms. He whispers urgently to the silent, warning them to take heed. His voice grows until the words of language can bear his grief no more and he cries. Tears run down his cheeks as he sings of the past. Salty expressions of joy and sorrow that are mirrored in Fredrik’s face as together they loose their pain wholly into the reverberating chords and harmonies of a heart strings pluck. Slowly the song crawls to a stop, Fredrik’s bass echoes amongst the final plaintive sobs of James’s song. They nod to each other in understanding, the tear streaks painting jagged pictures along their cheeks as they turn to go. They walk away from each other, in step, and out of tune, their heels snapping amongst the ghostly sounds of the end of their song.

  2. #2
    Beautifully written story, i would certainly call it poetic prose.
    Last edited by millymichaelson; 02-21-2010 at 08:31 PM.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    nice love it keep up writing good stuff like this one

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