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25 October 2013 @ 11:36 pm
Original Fiction: "Songs Like Ghosts"  
Title: Songs Like Ghosts
Fandom: Original Fiction
Author: HalfshellVenus
Rating: G
Summary: Roads not taken.
Author's Notes: For writers_choice and writerverse, and the prompt of "Radio."

x-x-x-x-x-x

Driving along the highway, past some could've-been place we used to know, the tinny sounds of sad songs rise up like ghosts in the heat inside the car. It's a Saturday afternoon, and it could be any one of a hundred. They never really change.

We never did make it out of here, out of this life that had nothing left to keep us. We didn't dream big enough to get loose of the sense that moving ahead was akin to betrayal, like leaving farmland in the middle of a drought when better years might be waiting ahead.

"Jenny," Dwayne says, "it's not too late. We could leave tomorrow."

But these are the regrets I know. Mama dying or my sisters growing up without me?

If that ever happened, those regrets might just swallow me whole.


------ fin ------

 
 
 
cindytsuki_no_bara on October 26th, 2013 05:12 pm (UTC)
the first couple lines sound like song lyrics. and this is so sad, but it has some logic to it - you might really want to leave, and know you might stagnate if you stay, but you still have very valid reasons (you love your mom, your sisters) for not going.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 27th, 2013 06:33 am (UTC)
Sometimes people get trapped in places they don't really want to be, and then it becomes too late to leave. Striking out on your own at 20 is one thing, but if you wait another 15-20 years then a whole new cycle of life comes around that may only make the decision harder.
Meep: wide open skiesmeepalicious on October 27th, 2013 02:14 am (UTC)
The melancholy in this is almost overwhelming. It's beautifully done, the desire to escape against the loyalty to home and family. There's a sense that they're trapped by love as much as duty, which makes it even harder to escape, but it's preventing them from living their own lives and chasing their own dreams. Neither option is a good one…
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 27th, 2013 06:39 am (UTC)
There's a sense that they're trapped by love as much as duty, which makes it even harder to escape
That's completely true-- the combination of the two makes for a very solid prison, where self-doubts are the only things that ever get free. But I think the saddest thing in all of this is that we understand, and we know why it seems there's only one choice to make.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
Silver: Dogsi_love_freddie on October 27th, 2013 07:42 pm (UTC)
I liked this - it's very sad. You do a good job of painting strong emotion in a very small amount of words.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Bookshalfshellvenus on October 31st, 2013 01:05 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I think that's my drabble background coming through. Sometimes, my short stories are surprisingly dense in terms of the emotion/action in them. I thought this one would become longer, but it turned out that it was always intended to be very short.

Thanks for reading!
foxraferfoxrafer on November 14th, 2013 11:15 pm (UTC)
There's a definite sense of feeling stuck, the days running together, not feeling like she can leave even if she wants to. It's a very relatable piece, with the character feeling bound to a place where she can't see a future for herself and yet she feels it would be too big of a personal sacrifice for her to leave her family. The sadness of the situation is conveyed very well.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 15th, 2013 06:51 am (UTC)
with the character feeling bound to a place where she can't see a future for herself and yet she feels it would be too big of a personal sacrifice for her to leave her family.
Thank you-- I really wanted to capture that sense of her being stuck and yet being at war with herself over the fact that leaving might come at far too high a cost.

Thanks for reading and commenting!