Music in words is a new category that blends music and writing together. I took a song I love and used it as a writing prompt for a short piece of writing.
Don’t Look Back
The soft splatter of raindrops and classical music hummed its way around the mansion. Damien looked up from the low wall that separated the Cavern estate from the sidewalk. Soft pink hues across the sky were fading as the moon’s silhouette emerged from the clouds.
It was almost time. Damien scanned the grass for pebbles and gathered them in his palm. Looking up, he saw Casey pacing in her room—he assumed she was in her room. He’d never been in there before, so he could only imagine it: a pair of black skater slip-ons beside a king-sized bed, a colorful duvet tossed on top of white bed sheets, lots of notebooks and art materials. She disappeared from view and he visualized her falling stomach first on her bed, legs swinging in the air as she rested her head on a pillow. A sketchpad was within her reach.
He stared at the biggest pebble he could find before mustering up courage to do what he thought only belonged in movies.
Another almost hit the tree that kissed Casey’s window.
His stack was reaching its limit. A few had hit the tree’s branches, bark and leaves.
How was he supposed to contact her? His phone had died earlier, and him being the tech-resistant person he was, forgot to charge it the night before.
Damien had gathered a second batch of pebbles from the ground when Casey’s alert eyes scanned the area. They narrowed as she spotted him. She pushed her window open. Too late. He’d thrown another, and she had to dodge it.
“SHH! SHH! SHH! What the hell are you doing?” She shouted with irritation.
“Psst. Case! Come on!” He’d come on an important mission.
“I can’t. My parents will go into a fit of hysteria!”
“They’ll survive. Besides, when are you going to embrace your youth?”
“Damien, you are such a bad influence.” Casey laughed.
“Won’t you give fun a chance?” He pouted.
“I want to. You of all people know much I want to support my favorite local band.”
“But?” He knew he was being pesky.
“My parents. That’s why.”
“Don’t be a kill joy. You must be present at Anarchy’s historic event. We’ve landed a good gig, finally!
How can you stand being locked up in your mansion killing time by listening to your parents’ music? Not that I have anything against classical music, but you get my point.”
“I’m sorry, Damien,” Casey’s face dripped with misery and regret. She left her window.
What would it take to show her how serious he was? He’d debated on throwing more pebbles, but wanted to avoid pushing her buttons. The light drizzle had gotten harder, and Damien had to put on his hoodie as he leaned on a lamp post. He wasn’t leaving without her.
After about ten minutes, he saw Casey peeping out her window. She stared at him before popping her head outside.
“I’m not going to leave until you come,” were the first words that came flying from Damien’s mouth.
“You’ll miss your show.”
“I won’t because you will come with me.”
“Damieeen,” Casey half-whined, but then smiled. “You know I would love to, but I can’t.”
“You can. Now, come on, let’s go. The show starts in an hour.” He was tapping his invisible watch.
“If I get caught sneaking out, I’ll be in humongous trouble.”
“We –well, I can’t play the show without you.” He didn’t want her to get into trouble, but he needed her at the show.
She sighed loud.
“Casey? Honey, are you there?” Her mother’s voice boomed from the hallway.
Damien instinctively ducked.
Casey gave Damien a sorrowful look, mouthed him to wait, and then closed the window.
Was it over before it even began? Had he gotten her into trouble?
He peeked from behind the tree, and saw her approaching the window.
Casey opened the glass, and whispered, “Fifteen minutes.”
Damien punched the air with triumph.
Pop music blared from her room. About ten minutes later, Casey emerged in a black glittered dress. She pulled her rubber band out demolishing her neatly pony-tailed hair, bringing it into a curly heap of waves. She gently slid the glass away from its lock, and called out to Damien, who sat back against a tree.
She was beautiful. He wanted to tell her that.
“Damien!” She shouted above the music.
He had a crooked smile plastered on his face.
There was a wall that separated him from going any nearer, but he saw that the tree was in a strategic location—a bridge between them.
“You ready?” he whispered.
“I’ve never jumped out a window before.” Casey’s voice quivered. Her face was pale.
“What about that tree? You can climb onto that thick branch, and make your way down here.”
She swung one leg over the window and he noticed that she paired black Vans with her dress. Casey was now sitting on her window ledge hopping on to the nearest thick branch.
Halfway down the tree, she froze. “I can’t go any further.”
“You’ll have to jump.”
“You’re four meters away from the ground.”
“I can’t.” She squeezed her eyes and hugged the tree.
“Yes, you can. I’m going to countdown. Jump on one. Don’t worry. I’ll catch you.”
“I know you will, but—” she couldn’t bring herself to say it, but Damien knew she was terrified of falling.
Casey’s right leg went over the branch.
She took a deep breath, and closed her eyes.
Cold air brushed against Damien’s arms before he felt the impact. His strong, lean arms held her.
“You can open your eyes now,” Damien said.
She was trembling; he could feel every inch of her shaking.
“It’s alright.” Damien whispered. “You’re aliiive!”
The way he delivered the last word sent Casey into a fit of giggles. Her eyes flashed open, and he realized he was still holding her. She stopped giggling. Her laughter was replaced with a hearty grin.
“You can put me down now, Superman.”
Damien chuckled at that, and slowly let her stand on her two feet.
She felt wobbly for a few seconds, but refused to let Damien carry her again. “Next time I’m risking the stairs. I don’t care if anyone catches me anymore. That was terrifying.”
“Then you should have just told me you’d take the stairs.” He teased.
She rolled her eyes.
“Come on, my car’s in the next street.”
“You really hid yourself well, didn’t you?”
“I didn’t want your parents to get a clue that you were breaking their rules.”
They walked towards a red Audi. Casey let out a low whistle. “Nice ride.”
“I owe it all to Mr. Stone. Were it not for his generosity, we would not be arriving in style,” Damien replied with a British accent.
“I must see to it that we thank him, then.”
Damien opened the passenger’s door and held it out for Casey.
“Such a gentleman.”
“Only for you.”
Damien smiled like crazy as he closed the door.
Once in the driver’s seat, he set the keys into ignition. The engine roared to life, and then hummed into a cadence of whispers.
As they drove, Damien rolled down the windows. The breeze was calling out to them; singing a song, luring them to their freedom.
“I’m glad you decided to come,” Damien said. His eyes were glued to the road.
“Me too,” Casey whispered back.
She stuck her head out, held her arms up high and laughed.
“I feel so carefree,” she said glancing at Damien.
He was looking at her that exact moment and smiled back.
Note: Music-in-words is a category I’ve toyed with for years. It’s my attempt at blending creative writing with music–two things I absolutely love. In a way, it’s also like a writing prompt: I pick a song that triggers my imagination to go haywire. That’s actually how this little snippet of a bigger story came to be.
I encourage you to use music to fuel your creativity. What emotion does a song evoke when you listen to it? Does it trigger a little film in your head? Use the hash tag ?#?musicinwords? and tag me! Would love to see your pieces 🙂