Monday, May 26, 2014


Happy, happy day! And welcome back! I'm so glad you could join in the fun today. I hope the prompt proves inspiring for you. I can't wait to read your stories. So get to it already! :)

If you need to read the full version of the rules, go here. Otherwise, here's the short version:

1. Up to 500 words
2. Keep it clean (nothing rated R or above)
3. Start with the given first sentence.
4. Optional Special Challenge
5. Include: Twitter/email, word count, Special Challenge accepted
6. The challenge is open for 24 hours on Tuesday EST

Oh, and feel free to change pronouns, punctuation, tense, and anything in brackets to fit the story/pov/tone. I'm not going to be TOO picky... Our judge however...

Our Judge today is Kate Julicher 
also known as @KateJulicher. Read her winning tale from last week here!

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #47 is:

Sometimes it seems like whoever's arranging the soundtrack to my life is watching the wrong thing.

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Include a Billy Joel song reference: lyrics, title, whatever.



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  3. Special Challenge accepted - 495 words

    “Sometimes it seems like whoever's arranging the soundtrack to my life is watching the wrong thing.”

    “Do you really think that?” I looked up at Holly, my interest piqued. “I get that too. All the time. Currently the tune playing through my head’s some sort of endless Mariachi music. It’s been stuck on that for two weeks and it’s definitely getting old.” I closed my eyes and tuned into it for a moment, willing it to stop. Or at least change to another track. “What’ve you got?”

    My friend frowned, listlessly stirring her cream into her coffee and looking nearly as tired as I felt. “I’ve currently got Billy Joel and ‘Uptown Girl,’” she began. “Although I’ve also had ‘River of Dreams’ for half the day. But it’s never complete tracks. Just random sections intermixed with Madonna’s ‘American Pie.’” She shot an agitated look up toward the metal ceiling where we all imagined the Playlisters lived. “The Madonna track’s a new addition today. But it’s never the verses; it’s always the choruses looping round and around all the time.”

    “That must be awful. I thought I had it bad.”

    We both shuddered, both thinking of how it used to be before the Governors decreed that mental sound-tracking would be a cool idea, suggesting it would reduce public dissatisfaction overnight. “Just like being a Hollywood film-star in a screenplay of your life.” That was the way they sold it to us. And we voted it in. Almost unanimously. Or at least that was what they told us.

    That was three months ago and now everything had gone horribly wrong. Of course it hadn’t helped when the ‘Keep our Minds Quiet’ protesters had sabotaged the transmitter pylons, saying it was a way of introducing mind-control, but at least we’d had a regularly changing soundtrack all the time. Instead of this.

    “So what can we do? Do you know anyone upstairs who can speak to a Playlister? You being a Government officer and all?”

    I gave Holly a long measured look, then looked quickly around. “I shouldn’t say this,” I said, warily shaking my head. “But I’ve heard the Governors are organising an attack to seize control back. Some time real soon.”

    There was a sudden muted thud and the table between us shuddered, the surface of Holly’s coffee rippling from the concussion.

    And then the music stopped.

    “Thank goodness for that!” Holly blew out a long breath, closed her eyes and slumped back into her chair. “Now what? Are we back to how we were before?”

    “I’m not sure,” I said, counting out the seconds under my breath. “I think there’s an auto-restart sequence. It could come back in a few seconds. In three, two, one…”

    The background carrier tone returned, swelling to full volume. One single high-pitched tone. Non-stop. Endlessly.

  4. Ear Worms From Hell

    Sometimes it seems like whoever's arranging the soundtrack to my life is watching the wrong thing. They also possess a very twisted sense of humor. Have you ever had the "Jaws Theme" playing in the background when you're taking a dip in the ocean? Not funny! The music is not just... wrong, it is a hundred and eighty degrees wrong! For example: if I'm trying to romance a girl I hear Sousa's marches. If I'm down its disco. Happy moods garner the blues. Serious gets comic and vice versa. If I'm trying to relax its either hauntingly creepy or brain blasting techno pop, you get the picture.

    It has caused me to lose jobs and girlfriends, sooner or later I get dumped or fired. Sometimes both things have happened at once. The problem is that occasionally I just have to sing along with the current tune. The very worst time was February of 2013. "Uptown Girl" got stuck in my head on auto replay. That's 28 days; 672 hours; 40,320 minutes; or 2,419,200 seconds. I almost screamed. It was pure torture!

    I've spent a large fortune on health care, been to every kind of ear and brain specialist in existence. I've had so many CAT scans and MRI's that the technicians are all on a first name basis with me. I've popped so many different pills that I could open a small pharmacy with the leftovers. I've gone through psychiatrists like popcorn. They all scratch their heads in bafflement and give up. None of them have been able to help a bit.

    My friend Bill who is a practising Buddhist came up with the explanation that makes the most sense. He says that its karmic justice for the sins of my previous lives. One thing's for sure, I'm not setting one foot wrong in this life!

    306 words
    Special Challenge Accepted

  5. iPod Roulette

    Sometimes it seems like whoever's arranging the soundtrack to my life is watching the wrong thing. I sat on my bed with my report card in hand wondering what my dad would say. As if to mock me, the headphones draped around my neck started pulsing “Well my heartbeat is running wild-”

    “I’m not a problem child!” I shouted at my iPod as I hit the next button. “Geez, can’t you give me some encouragement or something? I’m about to be fed to the lions!”

    Well my soul checked out missing as I sat listening
    To the hours and minutes tickin' away
    Yeah just sittin' around waitin' for my life

    That track got skipped, too. I yanked my headphones off and threw them across the room. The crash brought in my mom.

    “Kelsi! When did you get home from school?” She stood in the doorway with a mixing bowl propped on her hip. “Do you want a snack?”

    I got up and retrieved my headphones. They immediately went around my neck again and I crawled back onto my bed to save my report card from Mom’s prying eyes.

    “No thanks,” I muttered.

    “Oh, is that your report card? How’d you do?”

    The headphones went back on. Mom sighed and left.

    I don’t know how long I sat there skipping music tracks, returning to a skipped song to listen to it in full, and forming what I would say to dad when he got home. Eventually the front door rattled as keys unlocked it and Dad’s voice echoed in the hall.

    “I’m home!”

    “Welcome home!” Mom’s voice echoed next as she rushed to the front door. Even the smoosh was audible. Yuck. Up went the volume.

    “Kelsi home yet?”

    Whispering. Great. I rolled over on my stomach and waited for the onslaught. Good Day Sunshine blared away in my ears. I gave up trying to match the music with my mood.

    “Report card today, isn’t it, Kels?” I looked up and saw Dad leaning against my doorframe.

    “Yeah.” I handed it to him when he stretched his hand out for it. His brows furrowed as he studied it. Uh oh.

    “My English teacher is retarded.”

    “Is that why you have a D?”

    We drown our doubts in dry champagne
    And soothe our souls with fine cocaine
    I don't know why I even care
    We'll get so high and get nowhere

    “Ok, I get it, I’m a drunk loser!” I realized a little too late that Dad would take that personally.

    “What did you say, young lady?”

    “I wasn’t talking to you,” I mumbled.

    “Oh, is there someone else asking you about these low grades?”

    Sarcasm. Great, I was in trouble.

    I don’t want to be your beast of burden...”

    “Shut up!” Oops. Dad’s face went livid.

    I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know where I’ma gonna go when the volcano blows.

    Oh great, my iPod was finally on the right track.

    Word Count: 492
    Special Challenge included

  6. Sometimes it seems like whoever’s arranging the soundtrack to my life is watching the wrong thing. Like today. This morning, the alarm went off, I got up like always, and staggered downstairs. I turned on the morning news, and started feeding the cats, as I mumbled under my breath, “Don’t fall over. Don’t fall over. Wobble, but don’t fall down.”

    And the news was playing that stupid song about being happy. You know, “Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof. Because I’m happy.” Yeah. That one. I turned the friggin’ TV off.

    Then there was my drive to work, in rush hour, along with zillions of perfect strangers. We sat there watching the police direct traffic as the fire trucks drowned the big Dodge Caravan that was burning itself to dust. And we all hopped on our phones, and called work to explain we were late because of it.

    And the radio station was playing that James Gang song, “Cruising down the highway in my fine machine, lead pipes really singing, the engine sounds real mean.” I growled, and turned the damn thing off.

    I went to the gym, and did my workout. I was sweating so much my t-shirt stuck to me. I thought my arms were going to fall off. They’d reached that point where they shake from exhaustion.

    And the radio at the gym sang out, “Ooh, that’s why I’m easy. I’m easy like sunday morning.” All I could do was shake my head.

    When I got home, I plunked my Taco Bell Burrito Supreme and giant Mountain Dew Baja Blast on the table, and turned on the news, to be greeted by another story describing how fast food makes you fat, clogs your arteries, and kills you.

    It was one of those days. And that night I went to bed, and couldn’t sleep until the Brad Paisley concert ended at 11:00. The drums and bass guitars kept vibrating the painting on the wall above the bed.

    Yeah. My life and it’s soundtrack are totally wrong for each other. I really should talk to whoever’s in charge of life, and let them know how screwed up the soundtrack is.

    365 Words

  7. The 365 Days of Christmas

    Sometimes it seems like whoever's arranging the soundtrack to my life is watching the wrong thing.

    During our final spring blizzard I did not hear "Let it snow" once, much less all three times.

    Half way through the commute I turn off my radio to sing "strings of street lights, even stop lights, blink a bright red and green."

    We were over at a friend’s house for a barbeque and bonfire and Tom ribbed me for humming Sleigh Ride, but I insisted it was applicable "It will be the perfect ending to a perfect day. We'll be singing the songs we love to sing without a single stop, at the fireplace while we watch the chestnuts pop" He insisted that I stop.

    I offered to compromise and started singing Frozen instead. "Bees that buzz, kids’ll blow dandelion fuzz, and I'll be doing whatever snow does in summer." He vetoed that completely.

    So I didn't compromise.

    When he stretched out on a lawn chair and fell asleep, I borrowed red nail polish from the hostess, painted a little on the tip of his nose, and openly sang Rudolph for the remainder of the evening.

    On Memorial Day, visiting the cemetery with Grandmother, I stood quietly at the grave of the veteran uncle I never met. But the entire time could only think "God rest ye merry gentleman, let nothing you dismay. Remember Christ or savior was born on Christmas day, to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray. Oh tidings of comfort and Joy"

    Lately I have been changing the words of songs in a desperate attempt to make them fit. "O Shenandoah" has become "O Tannenbaum, I long to see you..."

    "Last Christmas" has unfortunately morphed to "Last summer I gave you my heart but the very next day you gave it away. This year to save me from tears, I'll give it to someone special." I can't stand that song! But Tom is definitely special, he puts up with a mess of things from me, so it works.

    As I climbed into his truck to go out for dinner the other night he shot me a rascally smile. "I found your song." He told me, waiting until I was buckled and settled in next to him to hit play. Through the speaker came Cindy Lou Who's adorable voice "Where are you Christmas? Why can't I find you? Why have you gone away?" He was hardly surprised by my squeal of delight. Maybe he is not such a scrooge after all.

    He did not even stop me from singing “O Holy Night” when we hiked out to the lake to watch the meteors. “The stars are brightly shining, it is the night of our dear saviors birth. Long lay the world, in sin and error pining, till he appeared and the soul felt its worth. ”

    Honestly soundtrack setter, isn't it obvious?
    "I need a little snappy happy ever after, I need a little Christmas now!"

    word count: 500