If you’ve read my AUPQ response before, you might remember that music is a very big part of my writing process. Songs can stick in my mind for a long time and entire novels can be built off a single lyric or the vibes of a melody. I also like to put together playlists that form the “soundtracks” for my books, and keep those songs on loop while I write to help keep me in the zone!
Sometimes when I come across a song/lyric/melody that inspires me, I do a little writing exercise and cobble together a short bit of fiction based on that bit of music. I find that it’s good practise for craft and can also be a good way to help overcome writers block.
Here are three lyric quotes that I think are particularly good fantasy prompts, accompanied by the corresponding short fiction that I’ve written 🙂
I stare at them, prostrating at my feet, with hope and fear entwined in their trembling voices as they speak of their grievances. A stolen cow, a flooded field, a dying child. They think I can save them, with my gilded crown and opulent silks – but how can I save anyone when I can’t even free myself. “I am not her,” I scream, yet no words escape from my lips.
(An old piece that I wrote many years ago!)
The drops of rain landed in puddles at his feet, somewhat reminiscent of the continuous streams of tears falling from the pair of crazed brown eyes that pierced through the hazy depths of his memories. She had been crying for help, for salvation from a never-ending hell of bright lights, fake smiles and night after night of cruel laughter.
But no one ever came.
Key made his way slowly through the dark alleys, retracing a familiar path he had once walked down so many times before, eyes darting back and forth furtively to make sure that no one else was around. He had no reason to be so frightened. The path was long forgotten, and those that once knew the way were gone. The walls of the alleyways came abruptly to an end and he stepped into a large clearing. It was empty now, with only patches of scorched earth to remind the accidental passer-by of what might have once stood there.
Something glistened in a corner. A long mirror leaning against a tall oak tree, its once pristine surface now splintered into a dozen shards, each reflecting its own bit of light from the street lamps above. As he walked towards the mirror, the faces on the other side became clearer and clearer.
The mirror had not always been alone.
Once upon a time it lived on a dusty wall among many companions of all shapes and sizes. An eclectic mix that reflected the oddities of the people that added them to this collection. The ringmaster liked those with ornate gold frames emblazoned with jewels like the shades of the rainbow. The clown with the wide smile and sad eyes owned the round ones with the square frames that never seemed to fit. The trapeze twins had two of every kind – shape was of no concern to them. The contortionist lady liked hers to be of the most unexpected shapes, invading every nook and cranny that one might never expect to find a mirror.
They loved the mirrors because they gave the illusion that there was another world on the other side that they might one day escape into.
He had tried counting the mirrors before, but each time he would lose count and end up with a wildly different number. Over the years, the mirrors kept increasing, their arrangements ever-changing, but there was always one mirror that drew him back again and again.
It was a long, rectangular mirror with a dull silver frame, devoid of the embellishments surrounding all its sisters and brothers – and it belonged to her.
The girl in the cage.
I wonder if people ever spend time thinking about what the end of the world would look like. A pyroclastic cloud of ash accompanied by scorching lava, perhaps. Or a tsunami wave taller than the Empire State Building, yawning as it heaves its heavy body back down to earth.
I bet they never imagined it would begin with a single whistle – because neither did I.
If you want to give it a shot and come up with your own little flash fiction pieces based on the three quotes, go ahead and share it with us below!
Amber is a PitchWars ’20 alum and a Wattpad Creator. One of her Wattpad novels, The Cutting Edge, has recently been adapted for television and is streaming on meWATCH. She is represented by Meg Davis at The Ki Agency.