• THE
    Writing Prompt
    Boot Camp

    Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and get the Writing Prompt Boot Camp download.

Terrible Musician

Categories: Creative Writing Prompts Tags: creative writing exercises, creative writing prompts, writing prompt.

You’ve just been to the worst concert of your life. Afterward, you head to a bar with friends and start drowning your disgust. Moments later, the musician (or musicians) shows up. You decide to confront the musician about the lousy performance and ask for your money back. The musician suggests a different approach to repaying you. Write what happens.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

Want more creative writing prompts? Consider:
The Writer’s Book of Matches

 

 

You might also like:

  • Print Circulation Form

    Did you love this article? Subscribe Today & Save 58%

88 Responses to Terrible Musician

  1. vtg2260 says:

    “Two Tickets to Paradise my ass” was the comment I overheard from the fortyish man to either his date or his wife, as they too were smashed in behind me as the queues through the exits had stalled. I turned my head and looked right into the face of a guy I could have graduated high school with but for the lack of a southern drawl. “Ya know,” looking back at him and his friend, “I wasted a dime bag of pretty good skunk back in “79” for tickets to his show in Little Rock and you would think that once would have been enough. But noooo, my girlfriends just had to see him” I spoke out loud, to not only the couple, but to anyone within the sound of my voice. The woman to my left, who was trying to keep her half finished beer from spilling all over the front of her blouse by holding it over her head, looked me straight in the eye and stated, “Right and didn’t he use to be a lot cuter or something?”

    “Cute I don’t remember, top billing I do and the warm up was a hell of a lot better than this wanna be who should have stayed a cop.”

    This of course brought a chuckle from a number of other suckers who on the power of two top ten’s an eon ago and a lot of over play on the local classic rock stations, had also shelled out $45.00 a person to see what was now the shell of a has been pop star. “All I know is that I’m heading for a burger and a beer and those girls better be at the car when I get there.” Those closest to me nodded in agreement as the line finally started moving.

    Thankfully the girls were waiting for me by the car with what l took to be faces of “ok you told us so” written all over them. I pushed the remote as Sue called, “shotgun” and grabbed the front passenger door while Sharron smirked and crawled into the back seat. “I’m getting a drink if you ladies care to go? And by the way, where in the hell were you two?” Sharron smirked from the back seat as she leaned up between Sue and I and said; “Yeah Sue, tell her where you were – I dare you.” Sue, now sitting in the front bucket was fiddling with her seat belt. I leaned over and asked, “now what?” Sue looked up at me with her pot reddened eyes and said’ “I’ve got a date in an hour or so.” “Oh hell no you don’t Sue, we’re going home with or without you.”

    “Ahh come on Vicky, we got back stage and you won’t believe who we met” and with that Sharron let out a snort, “Yeah, Vickster, you’ll never guess this one.” I stopped trying to put the key into the ignition and looked from the backseat to the front, “O hell no Sue” I blurted out and at that Sharron screams through who laughter “you told us he was an old rock whore and now Sue’s gonna get your money back!”

  2. Emma says:

    Pounding, deafening and never-ending. Three words to describe the gig that Glyn had been forced to endure for the past two and a half hours. The ‘music’ finally came to a sudden end, as if a fellow sufferer had pulled the plug of the horrendous racket. Glyn couldn’t get out of there quick enough. Not waiting to hear his friends’ comments on the show, he made a run for it, a few others in tow, also with desperate expressions upon their faces.

    Glyn made it as far as the bar in the lobby and had already downed two pints and three shots by the time his friends found him. They joined him, not wanting to cut their night short and continue having a great night. After all, they had loved the electric sound of the band, Scream Scheme. Glyn’s friends tried to keep up but the more they drank, the more he drank. Before long, the barmaid was refusing to serve any of them.

    “S’not f-fair! My mon-ey ish good ‘ere shhtill.” Glyn slurred. In a suddent drunken rage, he pushed the barmaid from behind the counter and she as good as flew across the bar and onto the floor, banging her head hard on the metal bar frame.
    Despite his friends’ efforts, Glyn managed to break free and ran around the bar, away from the security guard, now trying anything to get his hands on the suddenly aggressive and evasive Glyn.

    “Jennie!” called a voice from the far end of the lobby, not yet noticing the scene in front of him.
    Realising Jennie must be the barmaid and the disembodied voice had come from Kit, the lead singer of Scream Scheme, Glyn’s friends started to panic. They had two choices: stay and help their idiotic friend, or get the hell out of there. They weren’t about to wait around to find out if Kit’s reputation was true – choice number two it was.

    “Where’s Jennie?!” Kit snarled, staring at Glyn. He had finally come to a halt after seeing his friends run out of the door.
    Kit took one look at where the security guards eyes were facing and lunged towards the other security guard, who had been cradling Jennie all along.
    “Get your hands off of her!” Kit yelled.
    On approaching Jennie, he noticed the blood pouring out of a wound on the back of her head. He instinctively pulled his t-shirt over his head and pushed the cloth hard against his girlfriend’s head. He pulled his mobile out of his pocket and called 999. Kit beckoned the security guard, who was previously holding Jennie, to take up his earlier position. Letting go of Jennie, the darkness returned to his eyes and he turned his gaze towards Glyn.

    Still completely inebriated, Glyn was not aware of the situation at hand and stumbled towards Kit with an arm outstretched.
    “You! You c-call yourself a moosishon?! That was… Terrib-ble moosik. I w-want mo-ney back… Back now!” Almost loosing control of his gag reflex, Glyn doubled over.
    As Glyn regained composure, he realised Kit was now towering above him. Fear hit the bottom his stomach and threatened to be released all over the musician’s shoes.
    Kit glimpsed Glyn’s wallet out of the corner of his eye. He pulled it into reach with his foot and picked it up off of the ground. After fiddling around with it, he shoved it back in Glyn’s hands.

    “Ambulance. Where is she?” a man and woman dressed head to toe in green ran at full speed thought the front door of the venue.
    Kit ushered them through to where Jennie was slumped against the inside of the bar. After establishing the state of the barmaid’s condition, the paramedics put Jennie onto a stretcher that one of them had retrieved from the ambulance and carried her out of the building.

    Kit explained to them that he would meet them there and go in his car, so he would have a means of taking Jennie home, he hoped. Just as he was about to leave the venue, following the paramedics, Kit turned to Glyn and smirked. He clenched his hand around the pink piece of plastic in his pocket.

    *
    Pounding, deafening and never-ending – Glyn’s headache as he awoke on his bedroom floor. How he got back into his bedroom, he cannot remember, nor what happened last night whilst he was in an alcohol-induced stupor. Where fear had been the night before, dread now laid at the pit of his stomach. Something had happened last night, he knew it. But what?

    Glyn scrambled for his phone, which was laid by his bedroom door. Next to it was his wallet, he quickly checked to make sure he hadn’t lost any of his bankcards. All three bankcards were there… but there was something missing, Glyn just couldn’t think what. Everything had its place in Glyn’s wallet; so one empty space was worrying.

    *
    Days passed and Glyn became a cowering wreck. That missing space in his wallet was his driving license. Whatever happened that night, someone stole his driving license. Whoever took it was specifically after his identity; Glyn had over £50 in his wallet that night. He had thought over and over, why would any one need his I.D? His address. His driving license had his address clearly written on it. For the last week, Glyn had a sneaking suspicion that someone was watching him, the feeling of not being alone.

    *
    “Kit, where am I?” Jennie muttered, her head spinning and her surroundings out of focus.
    “You’re in the hospital Jennie, it’s nothing to worry about though, you just had a bit of an accident.” Kit soothed.
    “Yes… in the bar” Jennie mumbled, still feeling woozy.
    “You… you remember? Do you know who did this to you?” Kit became desperate, he didn’t expect her to remember a thing – the doctor had said she suffered a nasty blow that would probably cause memory loss for at least 24 hours, possibly more.
    “… drunk man… had too many… I said no more… he pushed me…” with that, Jennie fell fast asleep.
    Seething, Kit brought himself to his feet. He had needed that confirmation from Jennie, but he hadn’t been expecting to get it for at least a few days. It was time to make a phone call. Kit clicked open his phone and dialed.
    “Change of plan… it’s confirmed, do it as soon as you can.” Kit clicked the phone closed and re-took up his seat next to Jennie.

    *
    Glyn’s paranoia had worsened. He tried to stay out of his home as long as he could in a day, petrified of going back, petrified of who might be lurking around the corner. Little snippets of that night had come back to Glyn in the week that had gone by. He remembered a girl lying on the ground, blood pouring out of her head. He remembered sirens. He remembered the fear. He knew that what happened to that girl had been something to do with him, but he couldn’t remember the details. He hoped she was ok, he didn’t recognise her, but he wouldn’t wish ill on anyone.
    Glyn knew he was a bad drunk, he had been sober for 3 years because of this. Why that night did he decide to have a drink, or drinks plural. It wasn’t just one drink that made his head feel like it had been used as a tennis ball by Andy Murray.
    It was almost midnight. Glyn needed to go home, he had work in the morning. He pulled up outside his flat, secured his car and made a run for the front door.

    Glyn doesn’t remember what happened next. The pain searing from the back of his head woke him up. He put his hand to his head and felt something wet and warm. He winced. The pain was unbearable. He couldn’t see his hand but if he could, he knew what he would see. He’d been hit, just like the girl in his memory from that night. He wished more than anything he could remember what happened. He racked his brain, trying to remember. One more image came into his mind. A face. A familiar face. The lead singer from Scream Scheme. He remembered looking into his dark eyes, the fear that they made him feel. Glyn had heard many stories about Kit, none of which he believed to be true.
    Clunk, clunk. Glyn heard heavy footsteps coming towards him. He couldn’t see who it was but he could feel a presence looming over him. The stranger grabbed him. Glyn struggled to free himself. He failed. He was pulled and dragged. Scraped and scuffed. Glyn was weak; he could do nothing to prevent it. The stranger tied him up, both his hands and his feet unable to move. Clunk clunk. The footsteps faded away and the stranger was gone.
    Bzzzzzzzzzzzz. With a flash and a loud electrical buzz, the offensive lights shone bright. Glyn could see everything. The blood. Lots of blood. The people, hunched over, thin and deathly pale but still holding on. Glyn shouted, tried to wake them. No one stirred. Glyn became hysterical, started to panic. Air was catching in his lungs, unable to breathe. Looking around him, seeing what was in store, he used all the energy he had left to try and pull out of the ties. His injury got the better of him, the blood loss too extreme, his energy spent. The room faded. Darkness engulfed him.

  3. mgd says:

    “I could get better shit from a public toilet and at a fraction of the ticket price.”

    The words are out of my mouth before I can stop them and then hands are pulling me towards the exit. I stumble out of the bar into hazy night, where the glow from the streetlamps dazes me.

    I assume that the group of four or five around me are my friends, so I start to ask, “What was that ab -?”

    “This is what you wanted, isn’t it? Payback.”

    I hear the anger and hostility in the speaker’s voice and I don’t understand.

    Then the first blow lands, and I do.

  4. lmoses2011 says:

    Hi I’ve been trying to post my story but it’s not allowing me too. can someone offer some assistance?

  5. lmoses2011 says:

    I sigh looking into my glass of beer. My sixth glass actually. I should have known better, the combination of my best friend Tulle and a band named “Squid Testicles” had nothing but pain and horror written all over it. That was the worst show I’d ever been to, it was bizarre and extremely uncomfortable and the projectile vomiting didn’t help.

    I hear a happy shriek and I look up to see Tulle dancing with a guy who I was pretty sure was Charles Manson’s older, creepier brother. Tulle thought the show was “edgy and experimental”. She also believes in aliens and that the government created AIDS.

    A tinkle at the bars entrance draws my attention. As the doors open I idly wonder who would be coming into this shit bar at two in the morning.

    The guy who entered is huge at least 6’4”, heavily muscles with a thick auburn beard and hair down to hi shoulders. He’s dressed pretty simply in a jeans and T-shirt and heavy combat boots. The t-shirt has two words written on it “The Truth”. If I didn’t know better I would be attracted to his earthy lumberjack-ness , but I do know better because our friendly neighborhood lumberjack is none other than the lead singer of “Squid Testicles” which he ate as part of the show by the way.

    I look at him as he looks around the bar like a snake in a rat buffet. Behind him are the rest of the members of his “band” all in varying stages of meth addiction, not a steady hand or fully toothed mouth to be found in the lot of them.

    I decide right then to confront him. Not something I would normally do but that sixth beer had definitely upped my courage, plus I’d paid $100.00 for tickets to that stupid show. I stand and my knee cracks slightly. I make my way to Mr. Testicles walking past Tulle without saying a word. I reach in front of him and look up. At 5’10” I don’t normally feel small but this guy makes me feel like Thumbelina.

    “Hey buddy,” I say as I poke him in the chest

    “That was the worst show ever; you owe me a hundred dollars.”

    I stick out my hand pleased to see that it doesn’t shake. He stares at me without saying a word. He has the most amazing green eyes. I begin to get the feeling that this is a bad idea but still try to state my case.

    “I mean you didn’t even play instruments!”

    He continues to look at me. All liquid courage gone I begin to turn away.

    “Wait.” He grabs my arm.

    “I’ll pay you back. But not in money.” He hands me a card.

    “Two free classes in my seminar. Worth more than a hundred dollars any day.”

    He turns and walks out. I look down at the card.

    Landon James
    Motivational Speaker
    Breaking the Shackles of Normalcy
    Since 1806

  6. lmoses2011 says:

    I sigh looking into my glass of beer. My sixth glass if you wanted to get exact with it. I should have known better, the combination of my best friend tulle and a band named “Squid Testicles” had nothing but pain and horror written all over it. That was the worst show I’d ever been to, it was bizarre and extremely uncomfortable and the projectile vomiting didn’t help.

    I hear a happy shriek and I look up to see Tulle dancing with a guy who I was pretty sure was Charles Manson’s older, creepier brother. Tulle thought the show was “edgy and experimental”. She also believes in aliens and that the government created AIDS.

    A tinkle at the bars entrance draws my attention. As the doors open I idly wonder who would be coming into this shit bar at two in the morning.

    The guy who entered is huge at least 6’4”, heavily muscles with a thick auburn beard and hair down to hi shoulders. He’s dressed pretty simply in a jeans and T-shirt and heavy combat boots. The t-shirt has two words written on it “The Truth”. If I didn’t know better I would be attracted to his earthy lumberjack-ness , but I do know better because our friendly neighborhood lumberjack is none other than the lead singer of “Squid Testicles” which he ate as part of the show by the way.

    I look at him through as he looks around the bar like a snake in a rat buffet. Behind him are the rest of the members of his “band” all in varying stages of meth addiction, not a steady hand or fully toothed mouth to be found in the lot of them.

    I decide right then to confront him. Not something I would normally do bit that sixth beer had definitely upped my courage, plus I’d paid for tickets to that stupid show.I make my way to Mr. Testicles walking past Tulle without saying a word. I reach in front of him and look up. At 5’10” I don’t normally feel small but this guy makes me feel like Thumbelina.

    “Hey buddy,” I say as I poke him in the chest

    “That was the worst show ever; you owe me a hundred dollars.”

    I stick out my hand pleased to see that it doesn’t shake. He stares at me without saying a word. He has the most amazing green eyes. I begin to get the feeling that this is a bad idea but still try to state my case.

    “I mean you didn’t even play instruments!”

    He continues to look at me. All my liquid courage gone I begin to turn away.

    “Wait.” He grabs my arm.

    “I’ll pay you back. But not in money.” He hands me a card.

    “Two free classes in my seminar. Worth more than a hundred dollars any day.”

    He turns and walks out. I look down at the card.

    Landon James
    Motivational Speaker
    Breaking the Shackles of Normalcy
    Since 1806

  7. lmoses2011 says:

    I sigh looking into my glass of beer. My sixth glass if you wanted to get exact with it. I should have known better, the combination of my best friend tulle and a band named “Squid Testicles” had nothing but pain and horror written all over it. That was the worst show I’d ever been to, it was bizarre and extremely uncomfortable and the projectile vomiting didn’t help.

    I hear a happy shriek and I look up to see Tulle dancing with a guy who I was pretty sure was Charles Manson’s older, creepier brother. Tulle thought the show was “edgy and experimental”. She also believes in aliens and that the government created AIDS.

    A tinkle at the bars entrance draws my attention. As the doors open I idly wonder who would be coming into this shit bar at two in the morning.

    The guy who entered is huge at least 6’4”, heavily muscles with a thick auburn beard and hair down to hi shoulders. He’s dressed pretty simply in a jeans and T-shirt and heavy combat boots. The t-shirt has two words written on it “The Truth”. If I didn’t know better I would be attracted to his earthy lumberjack-ness , but I do know better because our friendly neighborhood lumberjack is none other than the lead singer of “Squid Testicles” which he ate as part of the show by the way.

    I look at him through slit eyes as he looks around the bar like a snake in a rat buffet. Behind him are the rest of the members of his “band” all in varying stages of meth addiction, not a steady hand or fully toothed mouth to be found in the lot of them.

    I decide right then to confront him. Not something I would normally do bit that sixth beer had definitely upped my courage, plus I’d paid $100.00 for tickets to that stupid show. I stand and my knee cracks slightly. I make my way to Mr. Testicles walking past Tulle without saying a word. I reach in front of him and look up. At 5’10” I don’t normally feel small but this guy makes me feel like Thumbelina.

    “Hey buddy,” I say as I poke him in the chest

    “That was the worst show ever; you owe me a hundred dollars.”

    I stick out my hand and am please to see that it doesn’t shake. He stares at me without saying a word. He has the most amazing green eyes. I begin to get the feeling that this is a bad idea but still try to state my case.

    “I mean you didn’t even play instruments!”

    He continues to look at me. All my liquid courage gone I begin to turn away.

    “Wait.” He grabs my arm.

    “I’ll pay you back. But not in money.” He hands me a card.

    “Two free classes in my seminar. Worth more than a hundred dollars any day.”

    He turns and walks out. I look down at the card.

    Landon James
    Motivational Speaker
    Breaking the Shackles of Normalcy
    Since 1806

    *Please note that this is my first post here ever and I would LOVE some feedback*

  8. poet says:

    “If you think you can do a better job than we did, be my guest, if not fuck off asshole!”
    As he (the singer) walked away I felt even more ripped off not only did they steal my money by sucking, but he insulted me in front of my friends, I knew this would not end peacefully.
    “Hey look man I paid good money to see you and you sucked ass, you ass monkey, now give me back my ten bucks or I’m gonna whoop your ass right here and now!”
    Just as I finished my threat he swung and hit me with an upper cut to my nose. I felt nothing at first, then when I realized I was laying on the ground I felt a panic that I’d never known before it started on my toes then ran the length of my body I was frozen with fear and I screamed at the top of my lungs, but nobody looked.
    The one thing that kept running through my mind was why am I looking at myself laying there, and why are people freaking out?
    “I’m having an out of body experience, yeah I wrote a paper on this in high school.” i said out loud and began to laugh.
    Remembering my research I realized most OBE last for a few minutes, and I felt my heartbeat slowing and a feeling of relief.

  9. JRSimmang says:

    I had the taste of something like cherries and disgust riding in the back of my throat ever since Stan Cooper and the Rag Dolls walked off stage.
    “Let’s get a beer. I think that’s the only thing that can wash this disappointment out of my system.”
    “Rudy’s?” Wallace was my best friend.
    “Yes.”
    We pulled into Rudy’s, a small kick-back down on the corner of Dark and Phillis. Ron, the bartender, recognized us and shooed a couple twenty-somethings from our stools.
    “Evening boys. Uze?” He said only the first syllable of ‘usually.’ That’s the kind of guy he was.
    Wallace and I responded in unison.
    “Wow. I’m still not over it. That show was shit!”
    “Poor Stan. He used to have something. Now…”
    We got our beers and swilled them down quickly. We sat for another 45 minutes, just swallowing back the worst performance of our lives.
    “A tall one, please.” Stan Cooper, the singer we saw just a few hours ago, sidled up to the bar and planted his rear on the barstool a couple down from us.
    “How was the show, Stan.”
    “Man, it wasn’t my night.”
    “I’ll say,” I said a little too loudly. I get loud when I’m drunk.
    Stan looked over to me. I was expecting fuming anger, some red flame dancing behind his eyes, some sort of clawed vigor seething from his pores.
    Nope.
    Instead, he hung his head and sighed a deep sigh that rocked the head of his beer. “I know. I know what you’re thinking. ‘Man, Stan Cooper used to have it.’ Well,” and he sighed again, “you’d be right.”
    “Man,” Wallace leaned over and whispered to me. “Should we, you know, like, buy him a beer?”
    “I guess. It’s pretty pathetic.” I spoke up. “Hey Stan, can I-”
    “Let me make it up to you.”
    “-buy you… What?”
    “Let me make it up to you.”
    I wasn’t used to having rock stars offer to make amends. “Uhh, okay.”
    He slinked off his stool and lopped over to me. There was something strange in his movement, almost as if his body was moving independently of his mind. His skin was having a hard time keeping up with his muscles. “It’s been so long.”
    I started to stand. “Woah, man. Not really what I had in mind.”
    Wallace started to laugh.
    Stan stumbled forward and reached out for me.
    Then, I could see the center of the universe.
    The cool chill of the expansion of space pressed on my naked flesh as I was catapulted toward the abyss. The bleak nothingness and vivid occupation of all thoughts flooded through my skull.
    And just when I thought my mind would implode.
    Just when I thought my body would unshackle and shatter.
    That’s when my eyes refocused.
    Stan was gone.
    Wallace was grinning stupidly.
    Beer was frozed in mid air as it tumbled from a tap.
    The fly on the wall stood motionless.
    I was in control.
    I was the universe.

  10. James Baard says:

    Walking over to this so called “musician” my mind was racing to find something, anything, to accurately describe my disapproval which grew to anger as I came closer to confronting this person. When I finally arrived at where this man came to sit, I said, “How dare you disgrace this country by making such a mockery of the Cold War to have written such terrible music, or was it a task that was beyond you? How dare you call yourself a musician?! I want you to personally refund my money for having to listen to your music.” Sure, I was thinking it was a bit absurd to write a musical about the Cold War at all, but I wasn’t going to let him know that, he should have made it happen. However, upon hearing this, he finally looked up at me. Drank his whiskey on the rocks in one gulp and asked me, “Have you ever heard of a place called Diego Garcia?” This only made me more angry, because I was expecting more reaction, some sort of defensive “fuck you buddy” or anything but what he said. I didn’t answer his question at first, but after a long pause I realized he wasn’t going to elaborate any further, as he continued on to his second glass, with a third in wait. “That’s it?! Whatever the hell it is it must be where you are from you ungrateful immigrant! Do all people from this Garcia place or whatever Hate America?!”. Now satisfied that this would evoke the reaction I was looking for, if he isn’t insulted by my displeasure with his music he would certainly get angry about my insult. Instead, he simply reached into his pocket, placed money on the table to pay his tab, handed me forty dollars, stood up as he gulped down his third Whiskey, placed his hand on my shoulder, and looking me dead in the eye said, “In fact they serve America… every last one of them”. With that, he left the bar and I was inexplicably shocked by the experience, stunned yet satisfied since he refunded my money with interest.
    I returned to my seat at the bar, feeling accomplished in what had happened, even if he didn’t express insult or anger with what I said, I was financially ahead. However, I still couldn’t make sense of what he did say. “He must have been drunk before arriving here”, I thought, “that would explain the terrible music at least”. No matter how much I drank that night, I couldn’t forget “Diego Garcia”, and as my anger slipped away with every passing beer, I genuinely became curios to find out what it was. I later looked up the two words and couldn’t find anything apart from information about some British military base in the Indian Ocean. Then I discovered that the native inhabitants had been deported from the Island during the Cold War and were legally denied their right to return home in 2008.

  11. JWLaviguer says:

    Didn’t we already do this prompt?

    • penney says:

      Yes, August 7, 2012. You should read all of these post to get a better informed feel of the situation. Write or don’t write, some have made other prompt ideas and gone with it, others are making second attempts. Some are getting nasty toward others about it and others are just moving on. Enter with caution. A new prompt will be posted by tomorrow morning. Have a very nice day.

    • Holy cow! I can’t believe I accidentally reused a prompt. I have a big list of ones that I’d put together forever ago and it looks like I forgot to mark it as used. Sorry about that. I promise a brand new one tomorrow.

      -Brian
      Online Editor

      • slayerdan says:

        Brian Im not sure it was the exact same prompt, but might have been. It was close enough I just pasted my original one. Its all good either way. Cheers. :)

      • Philosopher says:

        Well “The Writer’s Book of Matches” does suggest reusing prompts with a slight change such as “write from a different character’s perspective”, “switch from 1st to 3rd person”, “change character’s gender”, “change from past to present tense” etc…

  12. MelBilly says:

    Walking out of the concert, I tuned out my co-worker by imagining the final sounds she would make after I wrapped my shaking hands around her windpipe. Finally, as we poured out of the arena gate, I stopped. “What the F*** did you expect? Please, tell me what was going to be different in your head? And tell me as you drive me to a B-A-A-A-A-R!!! As I paid nine dollars for a draft beer which a young, bouncing, screaming young lady spilled all over me!”

    She looked a little upset, but did as I asked and quickly got us through the parking lots and en route to what I prayed would be 20 decently priced beers.

    To bring you quickly up to speed on tonight’s situation: I love my co-worker. We work at a busy bar and we make far more money that we should based on merit, quality, looks or any other assessment criteria. Tonight, even after the bender that set some local records that I instigated the night before, I accompanied her to a concert that I knew would, at the very least, magnify my hangover. What I didn’t count on was just how much magnification the other concertees would add to this already obnoxious scene or that fact that at nine dollars a beer, all of which I would wear instead of ingest, my hands would be shaking and vomit would slowly creep up the back of my throat the entire time.

    Moving on. Coworker (as we will refer to her from this point on) drives us back to our West Hollywood Hotel and assures me that beers are on her. We park, head immediately to the overpriced hotel bar, and I order two Budweiser bottles and two Fireballs. I then smack my sweetheart, reminding her that she is sooooo paying for the rest of this night.

    After slamming both shots and one beer, I actually take a look around. This place is awesome! Clean with good looking patrons and a room a short stumble away. It was relatively early and I thought I might ligten up on co-worker and make something of this night afterall.

    Just then a very attractive brunette with very long legs caught my eye. When she walked up to the bar to order a drink I damn near died. It was the ‘performer’ from the concert! What to do? There was only one thing to do. This bitch was going in.

    “Excuse me,” I say, not too politely and a little too loud for my proximity. She turns, faces me and stares a (not suprisingly) blank stare. ” I attended your show this evening. I was fighting off a gnarly hangover upon arrival. I was fighting off the urge to committ hate crimes on your fans on the way out. I would like my money back, but as I am sure that is not an option, I would settle for an explanation of why the F*** I hear that goddamned song once during your three song set and then three additional times for the encore? Who does that? We all know that you only have ONE HIT! Why would you acutally be as heinous as to play it THREE TIMES ( I am now spitting as I scream) for the encore! WHY????”

    She turns from the bar, giving me her full attention. I didn’t know if I should brace myself for a good slapping or lean in to hear what she may say. She was very pretty, which make me want to stab her a few less times.

    “Recent statistics have shown that my target audience are young girls who enjoy shopping, drinking excessively and screaming along to my song. They also have a large disposeable income which they will spend on overpriced t-shirts, overpriced tickets and again and again and again playing my song on any jukebox they can find. Which is why I am usually on the ‘Top Plays’ no matter the bar. ”

    “Uh-huh,” I say. Is this broad actually this bright? Carly Rae Jepsen is some kind of brilliance? That song wasn’t accidental? ‘Call Me Maybe’ was a well executed, plotted, and even calculated success? WTF?

    “Additionally,” she continued, ” My research has shown me that my average fan, upon consuming alcohol, will play my song on a juke box a minimum of four times in thier visit. Knowing this, and the amount that I charged these loyal fans for their ticket, and maybe because, as you so kindly pointed out, I have only three songs, I found it fitting that the encore be exactly what they wanted. And judging my their screams and smiles, I have just put on another very successful show. We just added a date to our tour. If you had the same foresight and business acumen, you may not be standing here, reeking of last night’s booze, being mean.”

    My mind was reeling, hands again shaking and I was super pissed. Before this encounter I could at least take comfort in the fact that I wasn’t a dick-sucking, sell out, bimbo singing a lame song. Now it seems as if I am the dummy – and I have just been insulted by the aforementioned bimbo! Smelly! Poor! I did what any person overly arrogant about thier positon in life would- I dumped my poor people’s beer all over her pretty little head.

    To my horror, sparks immediately came arcing off of her face and eyes. Smoke followed and after some very strange noises, she froze. Coworker finally returned from the bathroom, and started yelling. Thank goodness I’d been practicing the drowning out of her voice. Then a lot happened at once. Several people, some of whom had came in with Ms. Jepsen started to encircle her still figure. One man demanded to know what I had done, aggressively shaking my shoulders, yelling spitting and snarling. The music, of course stopped. My coworker continued yelling. Every direction I looked I saw lauging and pointing. In my mind I heard that one line from ‘Carrie.’ Adding insult, ‘Call me Maybe’ came on the juke box. Even in the chaos that was ensuing, I noticed that the man who was still shaking me was hard to understand. I also realized that there was still justice in this world and Carlie Rae Jepson had short circuited because she was a robot and not a genious. As I refocused, to my absolute horror I recognized my assailant- Si! That sonofabitch! I had hopefully just exposed one faker of a pop star; although, relying on her fan base to absorb this as fact is a bit of a leap of faith. I would go two for two. I quickly grabbed Coworker’s Cosmoish beverage and threw it all over Si. “Gangnam Style Suuuuuuucks!,” I think I screamed as I avenged our world of another pop sensation. He corrected my pronunciation of his hit song and then everything went black. ” And I woke up here.”

    ” And now that you have heard the explanation, your Honor, you can see that my clint was simply trying to do the public a service and in no way meant to harm Si or his Robot Pop Star Girlfriend/Creation. We would like to ask that they sentence be reduced to time served and a minimal amount of community service…..”

  13. mcrosbie says:

    Hello, I attended your musical performance this evening. Being a musician myself, I feel that I did not get my fair money’s worth this evening. The pianist played some obvious wrong notes and the rest of the ensemble were not playing in unison. I request that you refund me 50% of the ticket price. If I were you, I would put in a lot more time practicing and seek out the guidance of a professional musician educated at a reputable music school to get your “act together” for future performances. How can I get my refund?

  14. handyman43127 says:

    SlayerDan

    It’s amazing what a little friendly rivalry can accomplish. I wish the entire world could follow suit and resolve conflict with words. I think we tapped into the passion that produces good writing and in the process convinced Penny that this rivalry is much more vile than it actually is. I have lost no sleep over our discussions and in fact have enjoyed writing this week more than I have for along time. Keep up the good work and Slay on friend.

    • slayerdan says:

      Lol…agreed good sir. Agreed.

      • penney says:

        Good one guys, I guess I hit my head falling last week. As I said before, good writing, and yes, convincing but not “vile”, more childish and less positively constructive. Slayerdan, no feedback on my actual writing question? Maybe I didn’t word it well enough to understand, sorry. Have a nice day, I mean it

        • slayerdan says:

          Penney—-I doubt there is much you can word wrong I still couldnt get. One of my M.A.s is in Literature and I have read the obscure to the famous—-its all good. I get your point, but I was taught 200% differently—dialogue is dialogue, and whether the reader can grasp it or not, even the most educated of people do not always observe the rules of grammar when speaking. In the context of that story, that guy was hanging with his friends after a botched rock show. Absolutely no reason to expect he would have appropriate speak when delaing w his buddies, or an arrogant, intoxicated musician. My “buddyspeak” is different than what I would write and to a head, about every one I know is much more relaxed with their talk when w friends. I am cool w you guys reading and offerein perspective, but if you read my other submissionsfrom over the last year +, you would see I try to make each character with their own nuances, rules of the word be damned. I want them to be different and a slave to the small differences. It worked when I was published and worked when I sold my stories, so I see no reason to change now. As for my critiques—I never, ever mean harm to anyone. As in my practice, I am blunt and to the point. True, some people have issue with that approach, but life has proven to me the straight approach is better than the soft. I am sure I am one of the few people here that reads EVERY submission each week. Everyone. It may take me a couple of days, but i read them all. The fact I do not comment on them all is testament that I am able to bite my tongue. I was certain handyman got the fact I was ribbing him and he gave as good as he got—and I respect that to the nth degree. Our words formed a bond of anonymity we both can appreciate. I do appreciate your words, whether or not I agree with your points on how I write or offer criticism. However, I do not feel you are the appointed police of the boards, especially when there was no true issue and any words–in jest or not–were never directed to you. Once again–not meant to sound like an a** there, just the truth. I look forward to yours–and all the others–submissions this week and weeks to come.–SD

          • penney says:

            Thank you. I had sensed your level of education and most of the time, if I find a question with someones story it is to learn from it. If you or anyone disagrees, it is the reasoning given that I hope to glean a lesson from. You have helped me.

  15. JamesSweatt says:

    “You guys sucked. I shouldn’t have to pay to listen to such an awful performance.”

    The lead singer answered, “I shouldn’t have to drink next to someone like you, but such is life.”

    “I’m serious. Can’t you admit you messed up?”

    “Yeah, I messed up when I walked in this bar. I messed up when I chose this spot at the bar. I messed up when I got involved in this conversation. I should have just shot you a go-to-hell look, downed my drink, and left.”

    “Hey, I’m not trying to be rude–just brutally honest. The band was good, but your singing was . . . well, not so much.”

    “Look, I’m sorry. I’ll pay for you and your friends to drink. Or, if you haven’t eaten yet, you can come with us and eat a bite. Or we can go outside, I’ll kick your ass, and when you recover you can tell me I sucked at that, too.”

    The drummer leaned over and said something into my ear.

    Did I hear that right? I can’t believe they even went on with the concert. They should have canceled. Of course, that would have been on very short notice.

    I was silent for a bit. I don’t remember what else I said at the bar, but I know it was harmless small talk. I didn’t bring up the lead singer’s horrible performance again. Considering, it was a wonder he could perform at all. Most people would not have been able to.

    We accepted a repeated invitation to join the band for dinner. We had loads of laughs in spite of the underlying mood at the large, round table.

    At one point, after a few more drinks, the lead singer brought up the subject of his sub-par performance again. He started to apologize to me, but I cut him off.

    “Your apologies suck like your singing.”

    The table roared and there were back-slaps all around.

    My friends and I have been following the band ever since. They have some killer original stuff. And the lead singer is actually quite good.

    And we always eat with the band afterwards.

  16. catbr says:

    Reluctantly Meredith accepted her friend Jane’s invitation to go to a Rolling Stones concert. It just so happened that Jane’s boyfriend couldn’t go because he came down with the flu.

    “It’s going to be a blast. Just you wait and see. I seen them 10 years ago and it was just the best concert I’d ever seen.” Jane was hardly able to contain her excitement.

    “To be honest with you Jane I was never a big fan. But I don’t have any plans that night so what the heck, count me in.” Meredith said.

    They had arrived just on time for the concert. Meredith tried to back out at the last minute and Jane had to convince her to go. Then the lights were dimmed and the band shuffled onto the stage. All that was missing were their walkers to assist them to their places. The band started playing to pump up the crowd for the star, Mick Jagger. He finally appeared with his big lips leading the way, looking a little shaky, probably from arthritis or hip replacement surgery.

    “Holy shit. These guys look like they had to get a day-pass from their nursing home to perform tonight.” Meredith observed out loud to Jane, staring at the deep crevices in their faces.

    “Shh. It’s starting.”

    Mick was trying to do his wiggling around and prancing on stage that he was so famous for when he was younger but instead it looked like he was limping and in pain. When he started to sing he couldn’t hold a note and he sang off key. Meredith put up with this for exactly 3 numbers.

    “Jane you can’t really be enjoying this. I’m starting to get a bad headache. Let’s get out of here and get something to drink.”

    “Yeah I agree. Let’s go.” said Jane.

    After a couple of hours at the local bar who walks in but Mick Jagger and some of the band members and roadies. Meredith by this time was somewhat intoxicated and decided to go over to try to get her friend’s money back for the tickets.

    “Hello luvy. What can I do for you?” Mick, always assuming all the ladies are in love with him, said through his thick lips.

    “Your concert and your singing really sucked. Not only that but the band was off key too. How about a refund for my friend over there. She was too shy to come over herself, so I thought I’d do her the favour. What do you say luvy, hmm?” Meredith said sarcastically batting her eyelashes at Mick. Everybody sitting within earshot started to laugh.

    “Sorry you didn’t like the show. Hey I’ve got an idea, I’ll give you and your friend some free passes for the next concert. Maybe you two could come back stage after the concert too.”

    This guy never gives up thought Meredith. “Sorry Mickey, totally unacceptable. I doubt that your singing is going to improve that much. Why don’t you guys just call it quits. Face it, you’re all washed up, a has been, ready to be put out to pasture.” By now, even the people sitting at the table with Mick were laughing at him. He was beginning to look a little embarassed over the scene Meredith was creating. Soon he exited out the back door with his entourage in tow. Meredith returned to her table.

    “See Jane, I told you I was never a big fan of theirs. Sorry I couldn’t get you your money back. They really do stink, don’t they?” With her hair out of place and her glasses sitting crooked on her face, Meredith plunked down onto her chair.

  17. Delph says:

    The evening had just turned from bad to worse. I had just insulted the lead singer of my, formally-as-of-tonight, favourite band.
    Jessica gasped at my lack of diplomacy while everyone else in the booth fell silent. They were all staring at me in astonishment. Talk about awkward… Me and my big mouth…
    Jessica giggled nervously. “She does not mean it.”
    “Oh, but I do.” I replied testily, “This was the worst performance I ever had the misfortune to see in my life. In fact, I think I am untitled to a complete refund.”
    I turned squarely and raised a brow at James Goldrich, personified rock God of the year. It was obvious to me that the only reason this guy had made a name for himself was because of his physique. He has no talent, I thought with disgust, he is just another pretty face. What a waste of hard earned money and time. “I’m sorry to say but I am very disappointed. I think you gave a poor performance, Mr. Goldrich. I am not sure you even know how to sing.”
    Jessica hissed and sent her elbow flying into my ribs. “What are you doing, Amy? You’re being rude.”
    “I think we should order another round.” Matt interjected, in a vain attempt to reorient the conversation toward safer grounds.
    I ignored them. And, the pain inflicted by my best friend. I expected James to stand up and leave. I’m sure it wasn’t every day he was confronted with a less than happy fan. To my knowledge, people who felt insulted could react two ways: either by running away or delving straight into the confrontation, escalating it out of proportion. I was hoping for the first reaction.
    James Goldrich was staring at me with an unfathomable expression. Lionel, the guitarist, barely containing his anger, muttered “I don’t have to listen to this shit”, stood up and joined other band members at the bar.
    “You are very forward.” Goldrich finally said, “I’m sorry you did not enjoy the show but unfortunately I cannot repay you. It does not work that way.”
    “I could send a complaint to the Consumer’s board.” I told him sweetly, my mind infused with too much alcohol to let go of the argument.
    A hint of amusement showed in his eyes. “Tell you what,” He said.” What do you say I invite you and your friends to a private concert, tomorrow night? This way I can prove to you I know how to sing.”
    I was about to refuse his offer, unwilling to subject myself to a second fiasco, when I caught the look of anticipation and excitement on Jess and Matt’s faces. I sighed inwardly. I was in enough trouble with them as it was. They would never forgive me for passing this opportunity.
    “All right”, I said reluctantly, “But you have to provide food and booze too.”
    He grinned, showing straight white teeth and dimples in both cheeks, “It’s a date, then.”

  18. lylictyme says:

    Freddie confesses his pre show inspiration falls limp behind the blinding spotlights of stardom and worsens upon hearing the bellowing screams of the estrogen saturated montage before him. Chin down and embarrassed, he popped open like a beer cap under pressure. “They undulate & grope me with desire. I’m just not into women, I’ve tried, just can’t get away from them in this biz!” “All I ever wanted from my music was to get to the places only music can take me” I want to transcend. I wouldn’t mind it if women met me there!
    He suggests a walk along the Seine. Intrigued, I accept.
    Freddie grabs my hand, offers me his coat. I accept impressed with his sensitivity. He begins to sing. The voice I hear is flawless, far from the cacophony of screaming I heard on stage, it was nearly ethereal.
    Our souls married that night, in that place over the rainbow, where only music can take you. The justice overseeing the ceremony was the peace.
    We harmonized until the sun rose.
    Parting was akin to sawing off my foot with a butter knife. My wife will never understand as we have never visited that place Ore’ yonder, over that musical rainbow! Gigi Greene

  19. Dud says:

    “Steve, let’s leave the car in the lot,” my good friend Jack said calmly, “and grab a cab to the sports bar, ok?” “That’s an affirmative,” I replied. “What’s this?” cried Jack. Jack stared at me incredulously and queried, “No story about your uncle and the King? You always tell that story after we hit a less-than-stellar concert.” Pausing, I smiled and said, “I don’t feel the need to talk about my uncle’s version of Elvis’s nineteen seventy-something concert. But, I bet Elvis doing karate five minutes into that concert would’ve been thirty times more entertaining than tonight’s debacle. His white suit would’ve been better…” Jack interrupting me much to my delight, “Okay, okay Stevie-boy, let’s have quiet time until we have some Coronas in front of us!” “Roger that, Jackie.”
    “Two Coronas and two shots of Goldschlager, por favor,” I obnoxiously requested from my favorite bartender Mike. “What’d I tell you, Steve?” Mike asked stoically. “What, buddy?” I feigned. “I forbade, yes I forbade, I love that word. I forbade you from using the expression ‘por favor’ in this bar two weeks ago.” “Sorry, Mike,” I replied somewhat apologetically, “but Jackie-boy and I just had a terrible time at the concert. Horrendous.”
    “Gotcha, Steve. You’re a good tipper so I’ll let it go and I’m going to show my generosity: next round on me.”
    “Thanks, Mike,” Jack and I chimed.
    Approximately forty minutes later, Jack, Mike and I discussed why we liked 21 Jump Street, the television show more than the movie version. We had just gotten into Johnny Depp’s character versus Richard Grieco’s when the man of the hour walked in. My man. The man who USED to write the songs that the entire world sang. Back when he put in a solid effort. “Barry Manilow, my man,” I screached, “how are you tonight?”
    Barry quickly walked by me with his entourage, and I could swear he whispered, “Good evening.” Jack tapping my shoulder, “Barry and his crew in this sports bar? What are the odds? Why would he be here?” Mike stated matter-of-factly, “Mr. Manilow comes in here whenever he plays down the road. Great guy. Great tipper. Loves our wings. Says they’re the best he’s ever tasted. So, Steve? Don’t disturb him! I like you guys, but Mr. Manilow has first priority here. I should kick you out of here for yelling out his name.” “But, Mike, his show was atrocious tonight. I like the guy but come on; put a little effort into it.” “Shut up, Steve! I say that respectfully, believe it or not. Don’t make another scene!” “Hey Mike,” Jack said, “I’ll keep an eye on Steve. No ruckus here.” As the hour went into two, I’d had enough. “I could love you, build my world around you, never leave you…” I yelled in my best, albeit crackling, Barry Manilow impression. “Be quiet, Steve!” yelled Jack. Luckily, Mike was in the back and didn’t see Barry approach me with a bodyguard. “What’s the problem, partner?” Barry asked. “No offense, Bar…Mr. Manilow, but your show was garbage tonight. My friend Jack, here, and I love your tunes but tonight was a joke.” Barry was about to speak, paused, and replied, to my surprise, “You’re right, partner. I apologize. I attempted to put on my usual show but I couldn’t get it going. I wish I had an excuse.” Quietly, I said, “Well, Mr. Manilow, and I’m just spitballing here, but can I get my dough back? Jack, too?” “What’s your name, partner?” Barry inquired. “Steve, B…, uh Mr. Manilow.” “Call me, Barry, ok partner?” “Sure, if you’ll eight-six the ‘partner’ and call me Steve.” “Okay, Steve, let me make this up to both of you.” “Thanks, Barry, so we’ll get the cash?” Jack looked at me sternly and finally said, “If we could, sir, Barry, that’d be most appreciated.” “Guys,” Barry sighed, “I’m running credit heavy and cash poor tonight. Let me think, here. Are you guys married to or good friends with any women named Mandy?” “Not me, Barry,” I replied, “my wife’s name is Lauren. Jack said, “I dated a Molly four years ago. I’m currently dating a woman named Paulette.” “Why didn’t they go to the show?” Barry inquired. “Actually, I’m glad you didn’t bring them. But, normally, my shows don’t bring just guys.” “Stevie and I are secure enough in our manhood, Barry,” Jack stated proudly, “and we think you’re cool. Tonight was for the guys. It’s that simple.” Barry stared at us for a minute and replied, “Okay, let’s forget about that for a minute. Can I pay you back by singing a version of ‘Mandy’ to Lauren and Paulette? It’ll go something like this, ‘I could love Lauren, build my world around Paulette…’”
    “Barry, you’re great!” I screamed. Jack added simply, “Thank you, sir.” “Jack and I are bigger fans than our better halves but they’ll be thrilled with your song.” Jack, Barry and I, under close scrutiny of Barry’s bodyguard, did the guys’ hug-thing. I then turned to Mike, who’d been eyeing me intently since coming back. “Mikey, three Coronas and three shots of Goldschlager outta respect to the man with the golden voice.”

  20. Ted says:

    The Unknowns
    by
    Ted K.

    Doug gasped when he turned to the entertainment section of the Sunday paper, “Reunion tour-The Unknowns.”
    He called Mitch, “Whatever you’re doing, drop it.”
    “Why?”
    “Two words, The Unknowns.”
    “The Unknowns? They’re still around?”
    “Reunion tour, at the Eclipse,” Doug answered, “first show of the tour, and we’re gonna’ see it.”
    Doug and Mitch arrived at the Eclipse by 6:30. Showtime was 7:30. They sat in the front row. More fans filed in, and at 7:30, with an explosion of guitar work, The Unknowns began their performance.
    The crowd stood and pumped their fists to the rhythm. The bass, the lead guitar, the drums; they were excellent. “Cool,” Mitch shouted to Doug, “instrumental first.”
    The crowd roared. Sid Stevens, the lead singer, stepped into view. The band riffed into “Rainfall,” the hit that had made the band. Sid began to sing.
    “What’s that noise?” Mitch asked.
    “I think that’s Sid.” It was. The once powerful voice of Sid Stevens had become piercing and off-key. His voice cracked, croaked, and screeched. Fans began holding their ears.
    “My ears feel like their bleeding,” Doug said. The screeching continued. The crowd booed. Doug and Mitch left the show early and went to Mel’s bar. They talked about old times for several hours.
    “At least Sid gave us good memories; I just wish he’d left them alone.” Mitch said.
    “You know what Mitch?” Doug said, clapping the guy beside him on the back, thinking it was Mitch. “Wha―your not Mitch, your Sid Stevens.” Sid ignored him, grabbed a beer, and walked away. Doug frowned and began following him, “Hey, I want my money back.”
    A man tugged at Doug’s shirt sleeve. “He can’t hear you.”
    Doug turned, a short man with thick glasses stared at him.
    “Sid Stevens, he can’t hear you, he can’t hear anybody, he’s deaf, too many concerts.”
    “I want my money back.”
    “They’re broke.”
    “How do you know?”
    “I’m the sound guy. They really are broke, this tour was a last ditch effort, and I don’t need to tell you what happened.”
    “Stay here,” Doug said. He returned a few minutes later, “give these to Sid, I’m an audiologist, they’re hearing aids, my donation to the world of rock music.”
    A few weeks later Doug was out jogging. As he passed a park bench, he noticed the sound guy and three elderly gentlemen sitting with him―the lead guitarist, bass player, and the drummer.
    “Aren’t you The Unknowns? I thought you were playing Cleveland tonight. The reviews said Sid’s never sang better. What are you doing here?”
    “Typical Sid,” the drummer replied, “after you gave him those hearing aids, he got all full of himself and fired us.”
    “I never thought he’d―”
    “He’ll be back,” said the bass player. They all began laughing uncontrollably.
    “How do you know?”
    The lead guitarist, choking back tears of joy, stretched out his hand. “I’ve got something he needs.” Two shiny discs rested in his palm, “Batteries.”

    497 words

  21. Icabu says:

    Excerpt from article in music’s premier magazine, No Moss.

    ‘No Moss’ Magazine: Is this Warlord’s final tour?

    Warlord Drummer: We won’t be headlining any more tours, but, if you’re lucky, you might catch us at your favorite club.

    ‘No Moss’ Magazine: So the band is going to play at smaller venues. That will create quite the havoc.

    Warlord Drummer: Unannounced, of course. Just hanging out, playing a few tunes. Like in the old days.

    ‘No Moss’ Magazine: Certainly Warlord isn’t going back to its roots.

    Warlord Drummer: (laughing) Only so far back.

    ‘No Moss’ Magazine: Tell me about the switch that brought Warlord into the forefront of the metal music scene. I’ve heard you were instrumental in that change.

    Warlord Drummer: (laughing) My friends and I, we had our own club band, had just seen one of the worst Warlord concerts ever. While lamenting the waste of our meager funds over a few cold ones at a nearby bar, in walks three members of Warlord.

    ‘No Moss’ Magazine: Minus Billy, their drummer then, of course.

    Warlord Drummer: Of course, he was back at their hotel drowning his sorrows, as usual. I have, had even then, such respect for the talents of the core of the band – guitar, singer, bass. They wrote the music and lyrics which are still classics today. They just couldn’t perform live with that drummer and the awful keyboardist. The studio could fix the mess enough for them to sell albums, but live was a different matter.

    ‘No Moss’ Magazine: So how did you get them to ditch Billy and the keyboardist – don’t recall his name …

    Warlord Drummer: I called out for them to join us – and they did. I told them how great their music and lyrics were. Then I demanded my money back from the concert because they knew what the problems with the band were and refused to correct them.

    ‘No Moss’ Magazine: And … ?

    Warlord Drummer: (laughing) They got pissed off. Said if I knew so much then they’d give me a refund if I could prove my points. I was ready for this – our gear was set up on the bar’s tiny stage. Nothing as fancy as Warlord was used to, but adequate. I challenged them to play three of their songs with me on sticks.

    ‘No Moss’ Magazine: That’s all it took?

    Warlord Drummer: As the old adage states: show, don’t tell.

  22. MrsS2011 says:

    “Hey, Gerry!” I yelled over the music. “Your performance was terrible tonight. Masterful Rock Stars blew it big time. I want my money back.”

    “Look,” Gerry began, “I am sorry our performance was terrible, but I cannot give you back your money.”

    Angry, I asked, “Why not? Fans should not have had to experience that dreadful performance. You were stumbling around on stage and acted like you did not know the words to your own songs! The drummer, Louis, couldn’t keep the beat worth crap. I want my money back.”

    Other concert goers chimed in agreement that they also felt that the band should return the money. “Hey, hey,” Louis said, “It wasn’t my fault I couldn’t carry the beat. My drum set was put together backwards, and I had no time to correct it. Besides, Jimmy was the one who couldn’t play guitar to save his life tonight.”

    Then, Gerry, Louis, and Jimmy began arguing over who contributed the distasteful performance. The fans, enraged because nothing was being resolved began rioting in the bar. Tables were being knocked over, and chairs were being thrown. The barkeep tried to settle everyone down, but to no avail. I pulled Gerry aside.

    “Gerry, your performance tonight was terrible. The whole band was terrible,” I said. We looked around. “What are you going to do about this mess?”

    Gerry looked at me, astonished, and said, “What do you mean what am I going to do? You started this.”

    “No, your lousy performance started this. You and your band need to fix it.”

    Gerry thought for a moment, and then, he whistled, “Hey, everybody! Calm down. Let me speak with my band mates and see what we can do to correct this mess.”

    Gerry, Louis, and Jimmy privately discussed the issue at hand while the customers helped Jack, the barkeep, straighten the mess. After about fifteen minutes, Gerry called the room to order. “First, our band, Masterful Rock Stars, would like to apologize for our horrible performance. We can stand here and make a million excuses, but we won’t. We were irresponsible and unprofessional tonight. So, to make it up to all our fans visiting this bar tonight, we are going to perform until the bar closes. We hope it is better than earlier, and if not, we are sweetening the deal by giving you all autographed t-shirts.”

    The crowd began to cheer. Gerry looked at me, “How was that for a fix?”

    I laughed, “It is perfect. Just don’t screw up this performance, too.”

    Gerry winked, “As for you, for helping us realize that we need to respect the fans that spend their hard earned money on our concerts, we will be signing my guitar to give to you.”

    With a wide grin, I thanked Gerry. Masterful Rock Stars performed the night away, and their fans were happy.

  23. slayerdan says:

    December 12, 1970 New Orleans

    “ You are so right my good man, it was a terrible show,” came the smooth, nonchalant answer to Jeffs tirade. He and his friends had spent a lot of money to drive from California to New Orleans to see the show. They were quite surprised to see a bloated, unshaven mess take the stage. Obviously tripping on something, the show came to a crashing halt when he slammed the microphone stand through the stage.

    And now his hairy ass sat in front of them, all cool and calm, like it was no big deal. Obviously Jeffs little chest pounding did little to stir his drug impaired senses. “Me and my friends here are out a couple hundred bucks because of you,” Jeff said, referencing his friends, Big Sal and Steve, that stood on either side of him,” and maybe since your hippy ass doesn’t seem to care, maybe I should put you through the bar like you did the microphone through the stage,” Jeff finished, his voice showing his anger.

    Jim, the singer, laughed a slow, haughty laugh and replied,” calm down man, it happens. Let me buy you and your friends a drink,” he offered, already calling the bartender over to place that same order.

    The air was chilly but not overly so and the hole in the wall pub had only a smattering of regulars in it. There were a couple of guys at a small back table smoking weed that permeated the entire place and the Yardbirds warbled on a small radio behind the bar. The bartender made it over to Jim. “ What can I get for you Jimmy boy? Where’s Pam tonight?”.

    Running his fingers through his shaggy haired face, he replied slowly,” Pam is…away. I need drinks for me and my new friends here,” he said, casually pointing at Jeff, Sal, and Steve.

    “He’s really messed up Jeff,” Steve said, actually to both of his friends.

    “Yeah, he’s seriously tripping on something, it’s a wonder he can sit there, much less perform on a stage,” Sal followed up.

    “What can I get for you guys?” the bartender asked.

    Jeff stared at Jim, his long time musical idol, and felt his anger over the night turn to pity. “Beers, just beers,” he replied. Jim looked up, meeting the gaze of Jeff. He managed a halfhearted smile as he took a drag off a cigarette. “Been riding on the storm awhile it seems, Mr. Morrison,” Jeff said, not fully sure what he meant.

    “Like a dog without a bone man…like a dog without a bone,” Jim trailed off, his glazed eyes a million miles away at that moment. “Riders on the storm….has a good ring to it….,” he muttered, before slumping onto the bar. He was out.

    If he ever truly was there.

    Jeff looked at Sal and Steve, and without a word between them, they exited into the chilly New Orleans night, each pondering the scene they had just left behind.

    And the illusion that had been their idol.

    • handyman43127 says:

      I had hoped that I would be able to overlook the personal attack that you felt justified in levying against me with the assumption you have that I am still in high school and still learning proper grammar, and with much effort I would make progress in the future. I find it amazing that you found a typo at the end of my story to base your assumptions on. So with that said I will critique your story and try to keep it about the story and not personal. In a sentence you say “And now his hairy ass sat in front of them, all cool and calm, like it was no big deal.” Really how can an ass be cool and still remain Calm in such adversity? I’d hate to even imagine what the ass would have done if it were pissed! Also you said “me and my friends,” if you are so proper and in complete command of the English language should it have not read my friends and I? Honestly using some of the phrases you use in the story, honestly “my good man” in my opinion “it was a terrible show.” If this work is the future of literature I’m going to train to become a plumber because there will be a shortage. I could not bring myself to read beyond the second paragraph, even after several attempts!

      • slayerdan says:

        Best laugh in awhile. I do appreciate it. Whatever your profession, if your skin is that thin, writing is def not a good area for you. It was all tongue in cheek, if you took it all personal, then thats on you. Feel free to eviscerate everything I post on here if that helps your wounds heal from some simple ribbing. I have been here a year and I have gotten plenty of positve feedback from the contributors here that do matter, so its all good. Really, it is. I was having a slow day here at work and just checking things and I do appreciate the laugh. Here is looking forward to future critiques…cheers.

        • slayerdan says:

          I forgot—-the “me and my friends” line was based on character dialogue–whether or not I have a mastery the character does not, he can say anyhting he wishes, anyway he wishes.

          • handyman43127 says:

            Reading your response I wonder who’s skin is really thin? I am so glad that you have found positive feedback over the year that you have been here, I’m sure that it feeds the over-inflated ego that has clouded your judgement. I understand that for you it was all tongue and cheek, how else could you have answered to my critique without again attacking me and reminding me “who really matters.” I only wish you could see beyond yourself and see that even you have room for improvement. You said you can write even about a thimble, well, lets see it, after all this is about the thimble isn’t it? I only wrote to you’r prompt. Write something better than I did and I will have to shut my mouth. This is a challenge to see what you are really made of. I did it off of the cuff, no editing but you have all the time you need.

          • penney says:

            Wow, wow. Gentlemen? I am sorry that all gloves seem to be off between the two of you. I have been away a few days and am amazed that venting on my part, chosen to air in the wrong medium seems to have escalated to this point. I believe there is a forum that best suits this dirty laundry. Slayerdan, you seem to write well enough to ruffle feathers, your ability to write sarcasm, and snide under-the-cuff remarks to test ones temper is really good. Nice job.

            Handyman, try to let it slide like runny shit on a hot day. For someone(Slayerdan) who complained about people complaining, it sounds like he is just trying to get a rise. Creative criticism is usually to be learned from and if necessary banter about. This crap isn’t. Move on.

            Slayerdan, on a more creative note, my quandary is legitimately about your claim about the dialogue thing. I am aware that journalism has more rules on quality of writing then fiction etc. but, there are standards that writing correctly should take precedence to quoting accents/dialogues. Especially, if the reader may not understand it or there is a possibility of problems with flow. Some here are not into actual proofreading, editing, and feedback for learning so they wont comment on a possible issue with flow but for those few that do, we’ve been told to avoid what you did. Good try, and an enjoyable read. No horrible logistic problems seen.

            Gentlemen, please have a nice evening. Hope to read more.

    • JB says:

      I really loved this, but mostly starting with the paragraph that begins, “Jim, the singer, laughed..”– although I think there might be think a better construction of that sentence, if you don’t mind a suggestion . Example: “Jim, the singer, laughed with an unmistakable tone of haughtiness. He turned around on his bar stool, and faced us. “Calm down, man. It happens.” He looked down at his empty glass. “Let me buy you and your friends a drink,” Before we could answer, he was already callling over the bartender.

      The other suggestion would be where he says, “Riders on the Storm.” I think it would be more effective to leave that out. Just go from “…a million miles away at that moment.” to your line “If he ever truly was there.” I think that would be even more haunting than it is is now, which is wonderful!!!

      As fo the first couple of paragraphs–the reason I didn’t like those as well is because they seem more, for lack of a better word–immature–that the rest of the writing. You have set such a tone in the latter part that reveals emotions in a more advanced, layered method. The first part is certainly not bad, please understand–I just think it could be written in a style that better matches the latter part of this entry. (If you want to know what I am talking about, I will share exmaples– but I think I have said enough!!) I hope you don’t mind the comments, but I happen to thrive on constructive criticism myself!

      Keep up the good work!

  24. WV Jim says:

    “I guess you’re just outta luck.”

    “What do you mean, out of luck?” I couldn’t believe my ears.

    “You’re talking to the wrong guy…you didn’t buy your ticket from me.”

    He went back to drinking his beer, ignoring me. But I wasn’t going to put up with it.

    “I saved up for two months to rent that fleabag hotel room. Me and my buddies pooled gas money, and I’m sitting here drinking this,” and I held up the bottle of Schlitz, “just to see a Frank Golden concert. I want my money back.”

    He barely acknowledged me.

    I could feel my anger blowing up inside of me. “You suck!”

    He just stood there, nursing his beer. I could tell he was getting mad. And personally, I didn’t care. He took the last draw off of his bottle and glanced at me with a look of dismissal.

    “Dude, listen…I don’t owe you any money, believe me. You shelled out bucks for a concert, you heard a concert, you got what you paid for. But,” and he signaled to the bartender to bring him his tab, “here’s what I’ll do. If you leave me the hell alone, I’ll autograph your tee shirt.”

    I didn’t expect that. I don’t know what I expected, really, but it sure wasn’t a Frank Golden autograph I could sell on the internet, then pay for the fleabag room, my share of gas, the greasy food I’d eaten and the ticket to his god awful show.

    “Sure!” I said like a teenager at a Justin Bieber concert. I turned to my friends and yelled, “Give me a pen!” and one was produced.

    I gave him the pen, held out my shirt and said, “Make it out to ‘My best friend Jim’, and then sign it.”

    I looked down as he wrote what I wanted, and as he signed his name I yelled, “Drinks are on me!”

    He put the pen on the bar, gave me one last glance, and walked out of the place. I didn’t care. I had his autograph, an autograph bound to bring enough money to forget his terrible concert.

    As we were halfway through our beers, one of the patrons sitting at a table near the bar walked up and put his empty bottle on the bar, then looked down at my tee shirt.

    “Beast friend?” he queried.

    Blood rushed from my head as I looked down, and realized that was exactly what it said. ‘My beast friend, Jim.’ Then I looked closer and saw it was signed by ‘Hank Golden’. Not Frank…Hank.

    “Who in the hell is Hank Golden?” I yelled to no one in particular.

    The bartender spoke up and said, “Hank is Frank’s twin brother. Hank can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but he comes in here after every one of Frank’s shows and picks up a woman or two.”

    As the bartender walked away, I could hear him say, “And I’ve never seen him leave this place any happier.”

  25. douglangille says:

    ** I’ve tried to weave together a yarn connecting this with the last two prompts. This might not make any sense without: Mad Scientist and Missing Pants **

    “Eyes, ears, mouth or nose?”

    I’m still half out of it. My neck hurts from the needle. My arms and legs hurt from the straps. My head pounds and my chest feels tight as my heart races, powered by the adrenaline and what ever they doped me with. Man, I’m completely freaked out.

    I still don’t understand the question being asked by this freaky doctor. I look around – anywhere but at this guy – for some grounding point of reference.

    I catch a flash of leg. The nurse! Why can’t I take my mind off her. My subconscious keeps seeking her out amid the madness of the situation.

    The nurse. The hot bar keep from earlier. Did she tell me her name? Damn it! It’s still all so muddy. I keep mixing their faces together. My drug-addled brain wants them to be the same person. Maybe they are.

    When I close my eyes to stop the world from spinning, it’s not their morphed face I see. It all blurs and blends them in to this torch singer’s face from many years ago – much younger, prettier.

    The songbird of my memory was either drunk or high when I last saw her. I don’t normally go for love-lost blues music, but she was easy on the eyes with a mesmerizing deep sultry voice that captivated. The lounge where she regularly sang was my Thursday night haunt in my binge drinking days.

    That last night she was off her game, sand off-key, slurred her words and stumbled. It was painful to bear witness and she mercifully ended early.

    When the techno beat started up to fill the void, I bailed and headed across the street to the sports bar and caught up with the crew from work watching the fights.

    I ordered a pair of tequila shots and a beer to bring my buzz back. Hell, any excuse, right?

    She was still pretty effed up when she came in but seemed a little more in control. With my belly hot with poison, I approached her and offered to buy her a drink if she wouldn’t sing like that again or that she should by the bar a round in compensation for a lousy performance. It was nonsensical and mean-spirited of course, but in those days I didn’t give a shit what people thought of me. I expected a retort or a slap. I was itching for an excuse to argue and fight. Whisky and tequila don’t improve my temperament much.

    She laughed. Full and genuine, with neither spite nor sarcasm. I didn’t expect that. It set me off guard. I took a moment to look at her a little more closely. She was disheveled and had bruises on both arms. She was trembling. Her eyes were fiery and confident now but it was obvious that she had been crying not to long ago.

    If I had to name her emotional state, I’d peg it for anger. No, fury.

    She said she’d repay my night and then some if I would help her with a little problem.

    I didn’t know her and she didn’t know me. That must have fit her needs just fine. I still don’t know why I agreed to what would push my drunken decent to utter madness.

    I’d like to say that was when I gave up drinking. I’d like to –

    “Time’s up.”

    The doctor interrupted my untimely wool-gathering and brought me sharply back to the present and my current peril.

    “What is your choice? Which to enhance and which to diminish?”

  26. wanderwr8ter says:

    If anyone doesn’t mind, how about this as a writing prompt?

    Write about a character with an unusual fear, and place her/him in a situation where they have to overcome it.

  27. C.J. Evershade says:

    Prompts that extend beyond one sentence are either too specific or too limited; both instances drown any chance for creative expression. A great writing prompt should place you in front of a door…not open the door, throw you in, walk you to a dock, board you on a ship, place you on the deck and introduce you to a tall woman named Estelle. In fact, a great writing prompt should not even have a door; it should position you in a blank room…I should decide on the door’s existence.

    • handyman43127 says:

      What is this pick on Brian night? There should be a whimper before the full blown wine! Come on guys and girls take the information you are given and use those creative juices to create your own expressive creation. I know you can! what are you gonna do tell a publisher your not interested because they want something specific that exists beyond a “blank room.”

      • C.J. Evershade says:

        I’m simply stating that a specific prompt limits creative capacity. I do think there have been plenty of excellent prompts. I’m just trying to explain my opinion on why activity tends to decrease on certain prompt types. I certainly apologize if it was overly blunt.

        • handyman43127 says:

          It is just everyone jumped on the complain band wagon tonight, I don’t think you were overly blunt and I certainly expect no apology. I think it is much harder to write to specific specks and still be able to insert ones own creativity. I enjoy the challenge and grow with each prompt. I suppose as a new-be to writing I am not so sensitive to being limited in expressing only my ideas when it comes to creative expressionism. Take care and best wishes C.J.

          • penney says:

            C.J.,
            I have already apologized for my Non-Brian enhanced attitude. I have not read a single complaint against him, today. This concern for other options is not new or sudden, it has been growing since well before Thanksgiving. I would not be surprised if Brian, whoever and where ever, he may be, is laughing at this whole thing. Input and option along with complaints or displeasure is how editors figure out where to improve their rag. This is what this sight is for. Prompts come in several forms whether detailed or just a single word. You are right to express as are they. Everything is just more writing in order to get better. Look at the creative expressionism already happening today.

        • slayerdan says:

          I am not here to bash, but having been a more than regular contributor since late 2011, I noticed a few things. First–there was an influx of “new” people last year that I feel hampered the site a bit. Not to bash new writers–but they didnt adhere to the spirit of the site—word limits be damned and atrocious grammar. That was a segue into the holidays, and I admit, the holiday themed prompts were not my favorite and we went from 300+ posts a week to barely double digits. Many of the regs disappeared. Problem arise when people feel the need to point this out constantly. You dont like the prompts? Do like I did–JUST DONT WRITE THAT WEEK. Write on your own, the net has a tad under 100 billion topics you can write on if you still need the practice–just google. With that being said—and as Ive said plenty of times before–the prompt is a diving board, nothing more. Where you jump off and how you jump off is up to you. One sentence is too limiting? What is needed? A paragraph? A short story? A bulleted how to? If you guys wanna give me a prompt that starts ” You see a thimble” I promise you I can take it somewhere. I miss the regular contributions by several people and I hope they come back, but if you cant dig the prompts, skip em. If you cant be constructive–hush. Its a free site that offers a bit of fun. This isnt directed at anyone and I didnt mean to rant, but aproach it with some sense.

          • handyman43127 says:

            I AM TO THIMBLE, AS THIMBLE IS TOO ME!

            Having come as an afterthought never really had any effect on what the important function I performed was to me. I always understood that I came afterwards, the new guy, not really the important part or the main function of the grand design of the designer. At times I have struggled with a burden of emotions that speak of times that I have been a burden to the main body, the real function. However I have maintained my place, stayed true to the convictions that I have allowed to form my being. I have withstood the slayer of dreams and those that would do away with me simply because I may slow the process in our creation. I started as one and now there are many of us, we will no longer be thought of as a burden. We are the dimples that adorn the thimble, we give it beauty as well as functionality. We hold the needle to the shield that we are apart of.

          • slayerdan says:

            Handyman-Nice effort. And it is a part of…..not apart of. But good effort. If you keep practicing, I am sure as you exit high school at some point your skill level will improve. Keep chugging forward, I love it. :)

          • penney says:

            Not nearly as deep as Handyman’s(kudos) but Slayerdan seemed to inspire. I don’t think I complained, and I have skipped several prompts(very quietly). I had more of a question or maybe a confusion to settle with others help. As I said before this a place to learn, how can one do that without questioning? I am sorry some don’t like it when the boat rocks, it doesn’t always mean impending drowning.

            The Thimble
            By Penney W.

            Never for granted are opposable thumbs and figures to strum. I hate the torture to my forefinger and thumb. That damned needle keeps getting in the way, so they constructed armor to carry the weight but, now they’ve made it the fool decorated like a damned poodle. My Thimble, a piece of honored armor against impaling sharpness now looks like someone’s jewel. Through stitch and thin this shield has been my friend. I’ve shed blood before it found my fingertip.

            Now my Thimble sits along side its brothers in arms like trophies in a little display cabinet. There are the ones honoring the 48 states, a porcelain prissy that is useless, engraved animal headdresses, some plastic, some perverted and twisted, but the one used the most was the one passed through stitches and gashes.

            Fear not little helmet for the finger, your place is not on that high precipice. A sock, a hole, a cuff to repair, this call to arms the needle has blared. On guard young man did not your mother take care to teach you the use of thread, needle, and finger to never be bear?

  28. handyman43127 says:

    THAT DOG WON’T HUNT

    The two hours of bitching that we had to endure by our designated driver was only tempered by the massive amount of beers and shots we consumed along the way. Who ever heard of going to a Hank Williams JR. concert without a good buzz on. Anyway we where at the stadium and it was a sell out crowd.

    Front row seats on the grass only a few feet away from center stage. “This is going to be outstanding” I yelled at Mike trying to be heard above the crowd that was growing restless at the delay.

    Suddenly the lights went dim and music started playing, “Hail To The Chief, what’s that shit all about?” I asked Mike who looked just about as puzzled as I felt. Soon our question was answered, out came Hank with an Indian head dress on and smoking a peace pipe. “I bet I know what’s in there Mike.” I said knowingly.

    As the band began playing A Country Boy Can Survive Hank stumbled and fell flat on his face. The crowd went ghostly silent and all that could be heard was the sound of Hanks guitar bouncing across the stage and an occasional pluck of the strings before coming to rest just inches from my feet.

    Picking up the guitar I hurried and placed it on the edge of the stage, as I stood there watching the band members set Hank in a chair I overheard one say “not again” and another say “yea this outta be a good one.”

    The band played good but Hank, what a disaster. Hank was singing out of key, forgetting words and making up new ones as he slurred his way through. I had never heard such noise come from the human vocal chords. This crap is terrible I was thinking to myself.

    I turned to Mike and said “wanna get out of here and go find a cold-one?”

    “Just what I was thinking” he said as he turned and started walking, I right behind him.

    Sitting at the bar only a block from the concert Mike and I were three beers in and still complaining about the hundred dollars we spent between us for tickets not to mention the payment to the designated driver we had to make when we got home, and we were sure he was gonna be pissed when we returned to the van late, when in walks Hank a girl on each arm.

    I stepped in front of him and demanded our money back. Remaining quiet for only a moment Hank finally blurted out, with a beer belch at the end, “I have a deal for you,” another belch, longer this time. “Do you hunt?” I nodded my head yes. “Well then I’ve got just the dog for you, I paid a lot of money for it, problem is I live in the mountains and we get a-lot of snow and that short legged male dog won’t go outside when there’s snow on the ground, can’t say I blame him, I wouldn’t want mine dragging in the snow either, deal?”

    I shook my head yes.

    • penney says:

      Good story, nice job. Your use of conversation is smooth, flowing and has good use of transitions. Hope he doesn’t slip and fall. By the way, don’t know about Hank’s dogs, but mine piss off the edge of the back porch just seeing frost on the ground. Oh, crap! I told them to shake before running in, maybe that’s why I slipped and fell this morning.

      • handyman43127 says:

        Thank you Penny, I do love your sense of humor!

        • handyman43127 says:

          Penny I hope you took no offense to my response to the prompt you offered below, I was just having fun. How about this? The penny that dreamed of being a snowflake left the warmth of her owners pocket to join the millions of other dreamers at the edge of the sky. Soon she realized she was surrounded and all alone at the same time,different than all the others. Continuing her frosty flight she was enjoying the feeling of floating weightless through the calm and chilly atmosphere. Looking across the land that lay below her frigid feet she suddenly realized she would soon be just another flake among the millions that had already taken the trip and fell upon the porch, a blanket of white only to be trampled upon under men’s feet. Oh how penny dreamed of being in the warmth of a pocket!

          • penney says:

            It’s all cool ;) But I love this! Metaphor, sarcasm, poetry, coincidence, whatever fed your imagination for this short but sweet bit, I think you hit it. Beautiful. Hank was good too.

    • JB says:

      Really like this!! Captures the flavor of Hank very well! You built a good, believeable scene, which is the central point of this prompt, I feel! One thing I wanted to mention–there are some punctuation and spelling errors that would be good to correct–and here’s why. It’s not to be picky, I promise. Punctuation helps the reader hear the line in his head as you mean it to be heard. A comma or period in the right place–avoiding a run-on sentence–can really help your reader get the feel of the tone you are trying to create without them having to work at it. Spelling errors are just distractions, that’s all. Hope you don’t mind the suggestions!

  29. DMelde says:

    ##I agree with Penney. This prompt feels too familiar to another prompt we did not so long ago. So I did Penney’s prompt instead. I hope you don’t mind Brian. :) ##
    Here is Penney’s prompt –
    The writer’s creativity was blocked like the Hoover Dam. When he noticed through the window, snow falling for first time this season. As he sat there staring at the snowdrops, each one came into microscopic prospective. Huge snowflakes floated around him until he realized he was a one of the flakes. Tell happens to the man who became a snowflake.
    —————————————————–
    Christopher sat and gazed out the window at the half-acre pond. It would be frozen soon and he could already see the white rings of frost around its outer edges. He thought of the dam that held back the pond’s water and it reminded him of the barrier in his mind that held back his creativity and words. What was his dam made of? Why was it so hard for him to write? He stared at the blank page before him and he let his mind wander.

    He thought of when he was a child and how much he used to love this time of year. He searched for the feeling of anticipation that he always got as he waited for the pond to freeze before he could go skating, but the feeling wasn’t there. He thought about his childhood friends, grown up now and long since gone, and how much he used to enjoy skating with them.

    In some ways the years had been kind to Christopher. He got to live in the house where he grew up; surrounded by the same woods he used to play in, alongside the half-acre pond. He was in good health and he made a comfortable living writing fiction novels, mainly mysteries. He lived alone, and in that respect the years had treated him badly. His wife was gone, as was their newborn daughter. He would never see them again, but he could see their markers clearly from his bedroom window; plain white crosses that stood out starkly against the brown winter landscape. His pain at their loss could never soften as the landscape turned white with snow, and as it softened his sight of their crosses.

    He looked up from his blank page and stared back out the window. His mouth opened slightly as he saw the first snowfall of the season. There was no wind to speak of and the snowflakes fell gently in a swaying back and forth motion. He gazed, mesmerized by the sight of countless snowflakes, each one falling as if with a hidden purpose. His body felt the rhythm of their descent, and in his mind’s eye he saw each individual snowflake as it fell, each one unique, and he himself felt like he was falling beside them. Among the countless snowflakes falling he saw two of them clinging together. “Mother and child.” Christopher thought as he floated with them and with that clear thought the dam inside of him burst, outpouring feelings he had bottled up for too long. He wept openly for the first time since his wife and daughter had died, and with the outburst came release.

    Afterwards he sat quietly as the pain receded. He knew he would never be the same as before, but he thought, maybe life is still worth living. Rising, Christopher put on his hat and coat, and for the first time in a very long time, he went outside into the world.

    • penney says:

      I am honored by you use of this prompt idea, thank you. I liked this story very much. Would never had thought such emotion would emerge from it. Your detail of the snowflakes was done well. The rings of frost around the pond were right on. There was a moment in the third paragraph that maybe could flow a little better but with my typo’s and spelling errors in just writing the prompt, yours is fine. Pleasant.

  30. Glenda Smith-Ketchuck says:

    So there we were. Stuck in this dive of a bar when we walked out of the concert before it was over. I pulled the crumpled ticket out of my front pocket and tossed it in the trash can by the door as I went into the bathroom. I had refrained from going to the restroom at the concert because I hadn’t wanted to miss any of the show. What a mistake! My stomach was tied in knots, plus it had costed me fifteen dollars to sit in a seat that smelled of beer and vomit. Patrons of an earlier show, I presumed. Same band, no doubt.
    As I sat in relief on the loo, my ears tuned into a conversation I could hear in the next stall. It was obvious the young woman was speaking to her agent by cell phone,
    “You get me another gig in this hick town and you’re fired!” I could hardly believe my ears! It was the vocalist of that terrible group that caused us all to walk out! I listened to the conversation, trying to contrive a conversation in my head that would convince her to give me my fifteen dollars back. After cancelling the first idea which was to simply kill her for being so crappy, I decided to wing it when I heard her toilet flush. I scrambled into my composure and flushed. Heading out of the stall and to the sink to was up, we nearly collided,
    “Oh my gosh! Aren’t you… ?” I pretended not to remember her idiotic name.

    “Yes,” the tall redhead swung her waist-length hair in Cher-like fashion, “I am SHE!” Right. She couldn’t even bring herself to say it.

    “That’s right,” my voice rolled out in sarcasm, “You are Dwinifer. Like Jennifer, but not,” I felt rage burning the back of my neck, “You know you guys are awful! I spent fifteen dollars on a seat that smelled like puke. Now I know why!”

    “Sorry you are so ‘difficult’ to please,” her words were like a slap in the face as she didn’t even look up from her hand-washing, “If it would make you feel better, I’d reach in my purse and give you your stinking money back! But I won’t!” And Dwinifer finally looked at me in the mirror. She smiled just as the heat on the back of my neck exploded into my head.

    In an instant, my hand was on the back of her stiff red hair and her forehead was plowed into the mirror with a “smack!” Like a tall redwood being felled, Dwinifer hit the floor. I reached down and calmly lifted her purse off her arm,

    “Hmmm. Things don’t seem so ‘difficult’ now!” I smiled sweetly at the expressionless face and pushed her glaring eyes closed.
    ~

  31. penney says:

    This is terribly similar to the August 7, 2012 WD Prompt “Terrible Concert”. Is there another book of prompt ideas to pull from this year? Hmm. It just hit me hit me. Your in the local Goodwill trying on some clothes or shoes when you’re mysteriously transported through a vision of the previous owners last moments in that item…what do you see?

    Or maybe we should all write a prompt idea for WD to use this year. I’m sorry, I’m a little grouchy as I just slipped and fell on my icy back porch. By the way, your legs don’t naturally bend that way. FUCK!!! That hurt! The bruise on my ass hurts already. Why is it that ones pride hurts just “ass” bad as the actual bruises forming, and no one was here to see it? God must had to have been there cause I realize my knee could have snapped. Thank you God and by the way everyone an icy area….BE CAREFUL!!!!

    • oceanjewel says:

      I was thinking the same thing. I remember that prompt and wrote it already. I came back here recently for inspiration since it really did help me the last time I needed it but I am not really feeling these prompts lately. It seems that since around the holidays there have been less and less people here. I am not entirely sure why but for me I just noticed some of the prompts were list why you are thankful or write your new year’s resolutions, etc. Ok, but for me that just feels much less creative than some of the prompts I had seen here. I understand this is a free site. I just wish we could get back to some new and thought provoking prompts.
      Sorry to hear of your fall. This is why I have never been a fan of winter. And as I sit here with my own pain (back issues) I worry about the next snow. Looking forward to spring and possibly some brand new prompts:)

      • penney says:

        Thank you. So, do you have a prompt idea? Like: The writer’s creativity was blocked like the Hoover Dam. When he noticed through the window, snow falling for first time this season. As he sat there staring at the snowdrops, each one came into microscopic prospective. Huge snowflakes floated around him until he realized he was a one of the flakes. Tell happens to the man who became a snowflake.

        • Birdee0809 says:

          Hi Penney! So sorry you fell down, that sucks when it happens.

          I agree with all of you, this prompt is very similar to others. I have a writing prompt app on my phone but wanted to make sure it was okay to share them here first.

          We also might think about forming a writing group here on WD.

          Brian, can you please let us know if it’s okay/not okay to use the app for some prompts?

          Thanks!
          Birdee

        • oceanjewel says:

          Interesting idea. I would have to give a little thought to a writing prompt before giving any input. I liked the idea Birdee0809 had about forming a writer’s group. How would we go about doing that?

        • handyman43127 says:

          Tell what happens to the man that becomes a snowflake, he falls on the porch and busts his icy ass!

          • penney says:

            HAHA! Nice one, I was thinking he actual would know what it’s like to be Superman’s hideout. or even better a bug in a jar when he realizes he is a flake in a snow globe falling outside the window of a mini version of his own house.

    • DRoberts says:

      Hi Penney,

      I’ve noticed that a lot of the prompts seem to revolve around parties, drinking and as you noted concerts, and bars. It seems repetitious and boring quite frankly. I think that might be why some of the writers may have disappeared from this weekly prompt excercise. Many who offered valuable feedback and great stories. There use to be over 200 responses with a lot of feedback and communication between the writers. Now the responses are in the double digits with no feedback given.
      I hope your back gets better.

      • penney says:

        Thank you, I’m just bruised up. As for the old clan of writers(and the new ones too), it seems with the drop of the old style community forums/personal pages via WD, many things went to hell in a hand basket. If we don’t dispair, we could bring this thing back to life. Even if it’s through a little rebellion here, with a friendly gather as this turned out to be. Just tossing out ideas.

    • MCKEVIN says:

      Here’s my idea…Brian some of your earlier prompts (Go back to the beginning) were very good. I guess you were just getting started and there weren’t alot of responses. . Any who, some of them are quite good and I think are worth a remix and a repost. Just my two cents….Ditto your thanks Penny…

    • DMelde says:

      I’m sorry to hear of you fall. I agree with you Penney, this is very familiar. I was going to skip this week altogether and then you put a prompt out there, which I liked, so I wrote to your prompt instead. I hope you don’t mind Brian. I just needed something different.

      • penney says:

        That’s great and part of my point. If the prompt seems a mundane repeat of checklisting your feelings or a resent rehash then toss one out there that hits you better and see if anyone else wants to add a hit. Can’t wait to read it.

        • penney says:

          By the way if there are some newcomers, the more the marry. We love new ideas. If you haven’t had an opportunity to try the “Bad Musician/Bad Concert” Prompts, there is nothing wrong with it, Please don’t get me wrong. Come one, come all…I am not boycotting the old prompts. Some of us just need new inspiration to learn from.

  32. casmick72 says:

    “My ears are bleeding! Let’s get the fuck out of here!” I scream to Jackie over the screeching guitars and off key singer. Running for the exit, I trip over a few cords and wires lying on the floor of the bar. My left knee hits the floor before I am able to catch myself. Limping on my wounded pride and knee I right myself and fast track to the door.

    “Wow, W.F.T!?” Jackie exclaims as we stumble out the door. “I don’t know; you tell me. You were the one who suggested seeing Choice Leaf tonight. I spent $50 bucks on that ticket!” I bark with little disguising the disgust. “Ok, you got me. I just thought the band’s name sounded really cool.” Jackie shrugs as an apology. “Let me make it up to you. First round is on me!”

    Luckily our favor bar is only a few blocks away. The frigid temperature forces us to walk with our heads tucked into our zippered jackets and hands deep into our pockets. “Dammit, it’s cold. Remind me why we haven’t moved to Florida yet.” I mumble through my jacket.

    The welcoming aroma of illegal cigars and expensive booze smacks me in the face like a sexually harassed woman. Jackie shrugs off his coat while I keep mine on for a few minutes more hoping to get some feeling back into my hands. Ordering a couple of shots of Glenlivet, Jackie and I sit at the far end of the bar near the pool tables. Because of the weather the crowd tonight is sparse. A few three-martini salesmen sit at a corner table reminiscing about past golf games and flings with the office secretary. A drowsing old man sits at the other end of the bar nursing a Yuengling.

    Leaning back with elbows on the bar Jackie and I sip our Scotch and watch the big screen TV across the room. “I wonder if we can request our money back” I contemplate out loud. “I mean, we didn’t even stay for half an hour. Seriously, we can’t be the only ones thinking it.”

    Before Jackie can respond the front door swings open followed by a gust of freezing air. The band members of Choice Leaf file dejectedly into the bar. As a surge of boldness courses through me I rehearse in my head how to express to the band what I really think of their playing.

    Pulling together my courage, I walk up to the singer and blurt out “You guys suck! I want my money back”. The tall blonde singer looking a bit sad says “Sorry dude, but all the proceeds went to the bar and our agent. This was our first gig.” Shaking my head I exclaim “Obviously!”

    Acting like he once modeled underwear the singer invitingly puts his arm around my shoulders. “Look, we don’t have the money, but we are touring for a few weeks. Come with us and party. Our next stop is Miami.”

  33. gypsy2601 says:

    He slowly takes my cold drink out of my hand, and places it back on the bar. He then fills my empty hand with his, and slowly leads me out of the bar, down the sidewalk, to his tour bus parked in the distance.

    “Do you think you can just take me anywhere you want, and it’s ok with me?!”, I demand, actually waiting for an answer.
    He smirks at me, holds my hand a little firmer, and speeds up the pace.

    We arrive to the bus, where he promptly puts in the secret code. He flings open the door, and throws my arm to the stairs, letting go of my hand, crashing my feet on board, quickly. It is dark and chilly, with only a distant light towards the back. He slams the door closed behind us, then works his way past me, slightly grazing my waist with his hands.

    He finally speaks: “It should be in the back”.

    I wonder, ‘*what* should be in the back? My money that took me over a days worth of slaving at my day job, just to come out tonight to feel cheated out of being entertained?’.

    I follow him to the back lounge of his bus. I, seriously, take a quick overview of the small lounge, hoping to find a stack of bills, and some change, with my name on it! Not immediately seeing this, I turn to him, sitting in the corner, tuning his guitar.

    “What is your name?” He asks.
    “Nicole”

    He continues, “Nicole, I do apologize for my performance tonight. I’ve recently been fighting a rare strain of the flu, and have lost much of my energy. And, although my passion and heart was truly present, my vocals were unable to deliver to you the sound I’m sure you had built up in your mind for months, and expected”.

    I clear my throat, and manage to get one word out, “Years”.

    His head tilts to the side, and his fingers stop on his strings. “Years? Oh Nicole…”
    “Please sit”, he continues.
    “May I please play my songs to you now? Your request! Any song you want!”

    My now softening heart suggests otherwise, “I’m sure you should be resting your voice”.

    He slowly smiles, looking directly in to my eyes, “In this intimate of a setting, I will be able to deliver the words to you with only a fraction of the energy that it took for my voice to fill the theater I just played in. I only need to make sure one person hears me. Though, perhaps you should sit a little closer”, as he taps the maroon cushion next to him.

    By this time, I am completely in the moment, and move next to him without hesitation.

    “Shall I start from the top?”, he suggests.
    “Sounds good!”, I say. Though my new attitude and thoughts suggest he could be singing the phone book, and I would be equally as happy.

    30 seconds in to the first song, my cell phone, gripped in my left hand this entire time, half out of fear, vibrates. Oh, my friend I left at the bar, I forgot existed, texts: Where did he take you? R U ok? R U getting ur $ back??

    He smirks, as he sings to me, as I text her back: I’m fine. Safe. Yes, don’t worry, am getting mine.

  34. Roshambo7 says:

    “Man that shit was the worst,” Ricky said to his friends emphasizing worst.
    “Well Tyler’s the one who said it would be a killer show not me!” replied Evan sharply.
    “Yeah cause I’m friggin psychic or something so I tricked you guys into wasting forty bucks on the show” Tyler countered.
    “Cause no one could have guessed a band named Blood Circlet would have sucked so much ass” Evan said shoving Tyler off the sidewalk.
    “Whatevs, let’s just get shitty and forget this whole thing” suggested Tyler
    “Hell yeah!” came the reply from Ricky and Evan.
    Walking into the bar, still talking about how lame the show was, they sat down at the bar and ordered a few rounds. A little while later when they were fairly inebriated the band Blood Circlet showed up and confronted them.
    “Word has it that you three punks been talkin shit about us!” bellowed the tallest one with tattoo sleeves on his skinny arms.
    “Yeah what the hell is your problem?” said the one to Skinny’s right who had more than a few piercings on his face and ears.
    Tyler stood up and poked a finger in the skinny one’s chest and said “Well if you guys didn’t suck shit we wouldn’t be bitchin’ now would we?” Tyler was always more vulgar after a few beers.
    “Whatsh goin on here fellas?’’ asked Evan tripping off his stool.
    “You three punks think you can rock harder than we can?” said the shortest band member.
    “My gramma rocks harder than you three bitches on her bingo nights!” argued Ricky leaving a group of girls.
    “Alright then, since you three are so cool why don’t we have a little contest?”
    “You’re on…ladies!” Tyler added the last part with a bit of superiority.
    “Ok how ‘bout we have a concert tomorrow night and whoever gets the place rocking harder wins?” asked the skinny one.
    The three friends just nodded and shook the other’s hands and left. Once the friends got back to their van they pulled out their instruments.
    “They have no idea what they’ve done do they?” asked Evan
    “Not a friggin clue” replied Tyler replied.
    The next night at the bar Blood Circlet went on first and did noticeably better than the other night and actually had a half decent show.
    “Top that ya pussies” said the skinny one.
    “Ok” came the reply from Tyler clearly unfazed by the intimidation attempt.
    Once on the stage they set up their gear and tuned their instruments and Tyler approached the microphone and said “We don’t really have a name but we ran into the bitches that were just up here and long story short we are gonna blow all your minds”.
    They played legendary songs like Exodus’s Toxic Waltz, Metallica’s Seek and Destroy, and a plethora of other thrash songs. The three friends had the place going like a madhouse, mosh pits from wall to wall people doing stage dives and swinging from the rafters. Blood Circlet must have left when no one was looking because they weren’t there after the friends were done.

  35. gypsy2601 says:

    I’ve just told this cocky musician that his show sucked, and he’s emotionless.

    He slowly takes my cold drink out of my hand, and places it back on the bar. He then fills my empty hand with his, and slowly leads me out of the bar, down the sidewalk, to his tour bus parked in the distance.

    “Do you think you can just take me anywhere you want, and it’s ok with me?!”, I demand, actually waiting for an answer.
    He smirks at me, holds my hand a little firmer, and speeds up the pace.

    We arrive to the bus, where he promptly puts in the secret code. He flings open the door, and throws my arm to the stairs, letting go of my hand, crashing my feet on board, quickly. It is dark and chilly, with only a distant light towards the back. He slams the door closed behind us, then works his way past me, slightly grazing my waist with his hands.

    He finally speaks: “It should be in the back”.

    I wonder, ‘*what* should be in the back? My money that took me over a days worth of slaving at my day job, just to come out tonight to feel cheated out of being entertained?’.

    I follow him to the back lounge of his bus. I, seriously, take a quick overview of the small lounge, hoping to find a stack of bills, and some change, with my name on it! Not immediately seeing this, I turn to him, sitting in the corner, tuning his guitar.

    “What is your name?” He asks.
    “Nicole”

    He continues, “Nicole, I do apologize for my performance tonight. I’ve recently been fighting a rare strain of the flu, and have lost much of my energy. And, although my passion and heart was truly present, my vocals were unable to deliver to you the sound I’m sure you had built up in your mind for months, and expected”.

    I clear my throat, and manage to get one word out, “Years”.

    His head tilts to the side, and his fingers stop on his strings. “Years? Oh Nicole…”
    “Please sit”, he continues.
    “May I please play my songs to you now? Your request! Any song you want!”

    My now softening heart suggests otherwise, “I’m sure you should be resting your voice”.

    He slowly smiles, looking directly in to my eyes, “In this intimate of a setting, I will be able to deliver the words to you with only a fraction of the energy that it took for my voice to fill the theater I just played in. I only need to make sure one person hears me. Though, perhaps you should sit a little closer”, as he taps the maroon cushion next to him.

    By this time, I am completely in the moment, and move next to him without hesitation.

    “Shall I start from the top?”, he suggests.
    “Sounds good!”, I say. Though my new attitude and thoughts suggest he could be singing the phone book, and I would be equally as happy.

    30 seconds in to the first song, my cell phone, gripped in my left hand this entire time, half out of fear, vibrates. Oh, my friend I left at the bar, I forgot existed, texts: Where did he take you? R U ok? R U getting ur $ back??

    He smirks, as he sings to me, as I text her back: I’m fine. Safe. Yes, don’t worry, am getting mine.

Leave a Reply