Writing Prompt: Country Lullaby

May 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s Rapture tomorrow, eh? It’s our last night on Earth, eh? I think we should fall asleep to a fantastic lullaby, in that case. Think about it: what would you want to be the last thing you ever heard. You could pick a song or a sound or a voice. Ah, good thoughts, aren’t they?

Okay, now let’s get to the prompt. I heard from a friend, in my recent “studies”, that drunk people yelling is the Czech lullaby. She also told me I probably wouldn’t have to worry about it because of the hostel I’m going to be staying at, but nevertheless, it got me inspired. I hope it’ll do the same for you.

The prompt is to think of a place-specific lullaby. Would that be a sound, a song that fits the town/city/country? Go big, go small. Maybe there are different lullabies for different rooms in your house. Maybe one sound lulls the whole world to sleep. While we’re busy thinking of our last night on Earth, let’s get some writing done.

Here’s my response:

Czech Lullaby

The night is darker in cobblestone cracks. I leak into them with every step. I think I heard someone say something about prom night when my big toe got lost in the crack and I say to her,

“I can’t go to prom without all my toes.”

She takes my hair in her hands and braids it, tight to my scalp. Her fingers press into the soft spots in my skull where I am still a newborn, haven’t learned how to hold my liquor, the places that make me wobble when I walk over Stone Bridge.

“I’ll take you,” she says, pushing her hand into my shirt and squeezing. I leak completely into the crack and stay there, looking up at the clouds that are ugly and smoggish.

“You’re ugly,” I say. She can hear me, even from inside the crack, but I think my voice echoes out into tangled tones. She gives up on translating street talk and walks away to the next pub.

When I look down to the bottom of the crack, I see that I’m not alone.

“You’re stepping on my foot,” the girl says, the one that is laying on the bottom of the crack in the cobblestone. I pick up my foot quickly, like she bit it through my yellow leather shoe. I don’t know why I am dressed the way I am.

“I’m sorry,” I tell her about the way I am dressed. She leans forward and says,

“Can you help me?”

Of course that’s what she says. She is dressed in crocheted white, holes around her nipples and her belly button and the freckles that make a line like Orion’s belt across her stomach. Of course she needs help.

“Yeah, sure,” I say. Now I’m starting to slur. Is there something in the air down here? .

“My cat is lost,” she says. She walks away from me and I sit up so that my chin can see over the top of the crack. I put my palms up and pull myself up and walk again on the cobblestone, trying to find my date because the clock tower says it’s close to midnight and I might turn into an air conditioner soon.

Sooner than I thought, sooner than I thought, I am laying in my bed and I am an air conditioner. I can hear myself whirring. I can hear her cat, on my chest. Whir, whir, and I put my fingers behind its ears.

“Who are you?” she asks. She is sitting on the floor next to the bed. It’s not my bed. This girl has purple eyes. I reach up and my hair is still braided.

“I’m fuckin’ sorry,” I say. I throw off her blanket and pull my pants on and stumble out the door frame. The knob won’t turn on the front door. I turn around and she is looking at me.

“Let me out,” I say.

“I am so glad that I found you, pretty kitty.”

Remember to put your own responses in the comments (or link back from your blog). Happy writing!


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