Wake Up Where?

In Fiction, Writing on May 18, 2012 at 8:20 am

“What song is this?” I ask, but the big man only smiles. His ukulele, playfully played, turns one chord over into the next.

The sun is strong here. The land spills eastward in emerald slopes to a line of trees, where colors stripe the overhanging mist and mourning doves call from the shade.

I remember nothing from before but I am not sad, only calm, and when I see a movement at the tree line, a figure slowly walking, I start downhill.

The big man sings and the mournful birds echo his melody.

It is a good song.


This story is my response Madison Woods Friday Fictioneers prompt (the picture, from her blog, is the prompt). Check out the other stories (including Madison’s) and submit your own on the comments page!

Feedback and other stories welcome below! Please feel free to check out some of my other fiction — I’d love the feedback!

  1. I get the sense of a “Pied Piper” style story here, as if this person is mesmerised by, and forced to follow, the music. I’m likely very wrong, but that’s my take. I enjoyed it.

    Mine’s this-a-way:

    • Thanks Gary – no reading is the wrong one right? There have been a few different interpretations of what song I meant, too, ha so it’s all good. Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. I like this. I’m not sure where he is, but I like that I can make that decision myself. Either way, I like that he’s happy where he is 🙂 Here’s my try: http://theforgottenwife.com/2012/05/17/friday-fictioneers-2/

  3. Nature in tune with the old man’s ukelele as even the mournful birds echio his melody. Lovely. Mine is here: http://readinpleasure.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/friday-fictioneers-sinking-low/

  4. and all of a sudden I was humming Country Road….I don’t know why, maybe because “life is old here” rhymed with “the sun is strong here”. Lovely piece 🙂


    • I was trying to think of how to get a song into someone’s head and keep it there as they read, so glad that worked! Had a different song in mind, ha, but I’ll take it. Thanks for reading!

      • was a pleasure to read 🙂 lookin’ forward to another next fri!

  5. You gave me a sense of heaven here, Pinion, and I enjoyed it – it felt peaceful and contented. My only hesitation is over the repetition of “mournful” in the penultimate line. I think having told us they were mourning doves, I’d have preferred you to give us a slightly brighter adjective in this line.

    I’m over here: http://elmowrites.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/friday-fiction-the-lie-of-the-land/

    • Thanks elmo – I wanted to make it uplifting without being too saccharine, so I’m glad you liked the tone. I hear you on that line and ‘mournful’ – I wanted to try to echo an earlier part of the story and I think maybe I could have made a better choice. Thanks for the thoughtful feedback, I really appreciate it!

  6. Several emotions here and a mystery as well. I like the imagery and am curious about the song….

  7. I read this with pictures appearing in my mind of how your story would look (like in a Sandman comic). I liked the repetition of the big man and the mournful birds as it led me, in the end, to conclude that he was off to heaven, the personification of Neil Gaiman’s Death leading him down that hill. I really enjoyed reading and visualising this 🙂

    • Thanks – I’ve got a lot of respect for Neil Gaiman so I appreciate the comment! I really enjoyed yours too (as always, I’m already looking forward to next time)

  8. Great post! I can see we were on a similar wave length, yours went a step further.

  9. i get a sense he’s passed on. he doesn’t need to know the past anymore, only the present/future. things will be all good.


  10. It’s a nice snapshot. The doubling back does bring more attention to the writing, but I like the parallel of the beginning and end.

  11. Cool…A very evocative piece, well done yet again

  12. First thought was, “oh, I love this’. I love the big man singing and joining the unnamed figure at the edge of the woods. Loved it.


  13. As I was reading this I thought of the song ‘over the rainbow’ played on the ukulele. Great piece of writing, but one thing, “…playfully played.” I think ‘playfully’ needs to be another word.

  14. I like the ambiguous enndig but I also like everything that came before it, too, As for my take, I see it as a loss, but not in the sense of an end of the world prediction. I believe Estelle is breaking the news to Margaret of the end of their shared talent, as if Estelle is growing up and moving on. In any event, it’s rich.

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