This is my first attempt at actually linking the song used, making it integral to the story itself. I’m not too sure how well it worked – please let me know your thoughts.

Standing at the fork, he stared resolutely into each direction, attempting to discern the good choice from the bad.

After all, that’s the way it always worked with this tired cliché, wasn’t it? One direction would surely lead to paradise, the other, to certain death. Which was which this time, he wondered. And more importantly, which was the more preferred of the two?

His teeth clamped down hard on the spare reed that sprang jauntily from his lip as he considered his options. It in itself being a mere passenger, provided no help in guiding him towards a decision as to which path he should choose.

He was confident that simply turning tail and going back was not an option. All the stories that needed to be told there had already been. All the experience, knowledge and adoration to be garnered from that place and time, had long ago been harvested. No, “back” was now a tapped out tired, “used to be.” No more real anymore than the hair that was now vacant from his glistening head.

Caressing his weapon of choice, he somewhat nervously wiped the sweat from his brow, while acknowledging that not moving in either direction would only serve to guarantee his fate. They were watching, and would sooner – rather than later – pounce upon one who was idle. Especially if they felt that he was weak or undecided.

Sucking in what could very well have been the last gasp of air he would ever enjoy, he shrugged the shiver from his spine as he boldly strode off towards the right, only to stop several feet in, as he unexpectedly recalled an old song he used to know. Tracing back his steps, he then double-timed down towards the leftwards path, smiling treacherously as he hummed along…

My apologies for the video, much like my story, this was the one chosen of the only two versions – both poor representatives of the song – available for play in the U.S. Smart move, record label marketing department.

18 thoughts on “Playgrounds.

      • Nope. I like a good driving beat, but the vocalist sounds nasal and kind of tepid-punk to me. I actually really, really like the way the song plays over that A-ha video, though. A-ha grosses me out, almost as much as saccharine 80’s “artistic” videos. They needed more smashing. :-)

  1. I think I would have to like the song first to understand it better. Music is like clothing, depending on my mood I will or won’t want to put it on. This song makes it hard for me to listen to it; therefore, hard to know how well it integrates into the story.

    The reed in his mouth suggests he is a musician, the other words suggest he is a killer (or prey). “They” are not clearly defined and as a result leave me wondering who is after him, and why.

    I love this section best:
    “All the experience, knowledge and adoration to be garnered from that place and time, had long ago been harvested. No, “back” was now a tapped out tired, “used to be.” No more real anymore than the hair that was now vacant from his glistening head.”

    • Thanks for your feedback k~ I appreciate it!

      I was anticipating that the song wouldn’t be welcome by all, but was wondering if it would still hold interest, based on the post before it. And the reed I had envisioned was of the weed or straw variety – I just didn’t think either of the latter two names had the right feel. I’ll need to watch that next time, to make sure the reader sees the same thing as I.

      • I am sure that the song held interest for most people :-) Interesting to switch gears from the reed of a musician, to the reed of a straw variety; it changes the picture in my head quite a bit to see the shift.

        Always a good write from you though t~

  2. i actually think the video with it is awesome, but i agree with the well worded ‘tepid-punk’, musically.
    i thought that your story had a kind of two paths diverged / crossroads devil kind of mash up feel that i really enjoyed, but i also agree with k that a little more clarity would’ve given better imagery. that being said, i very much enjoy the way that you write, and it definitely reads as ‘you’

    • Much thanks!

      Yes, next time I’ll focus on fleshing the story out more (I had left it intentionally vague, so as it could be applicable to any number of scenarios, but in retrospect, I guess I left the field a little too open.) I am thrilled, however, that my “voice” came through despite that =)

  3. I sense a change in this story, a change in direction (no pun intended), a change in the place from which you tell your stories. I can’t put my finger on it. The voice is a bit different, a bit tentative. It may be me, since I am in a change-up place. I may be hearing things that aren’t there. :-)

That's my two cents. Now, tell me what you think...

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