Reverse Soundtrackin’!

Reverse Soundtrackin'

Over the last few days, the Creative Writing students have started to contemplate the notion of reverse-engineering soundtracks. What does that mean? Well, rather than finding music to fit a preexisting story, the experiment calls for music to shape the writing at hand! The writers then reflect upon their work, analyzing the ways in which the music has proven influential.

If you are counted amongst the Creative Writing ranks, click the link and prepare for an exercise in the art of reverse soundtrackin’!


THE TASK: You are going to run through a practice session of the reverse soundtrack assignment! Below you will find a list of songs with corresponding YouTube links. During the time in the writing lab, you will use ONE (1) of these songs as the fuel for a micro-reverse soundtrack.

Using the “Leave a Reply” feature at the bottom of the page, you will submit the following components:

A) The name of the song used.
B) A short story inspired by the song.
C) A brief explanation of how the writing was influenced by the song.

[Reverse Soundtrack Rubric: HERE]


In the Meantime (Spacehog)

Heroes (David Bowie)

The Wire (HAIM)

The Day the World Went Away (Nine Inch Nails)

When the Levee Breaks (Led Zeppelin)

Changes (Tupac Shakur)

46 thoughts on “Reverse Soundtrackin’!

  1. Out in the streets they all lined up, armed with bats, chains and makeshift guns. Teenagers, men, boys, women a sea of people willing to resist the tyranny they have endured for so long. Across, the Home-Guard soldiers, gas masks on, guns at the ready, tanks waiting to tread over the fallen. This was what they had been preparing for, a fight for the heart of the city. The crowd started to shout, banging on trash cans, firing shots in the air. Then a ripple formed in their ranks. A masked figure walked forward out of the carnage of the rioters. He bore a lifeless mask with hollowed eyes, and carried an armory of weaponry on his body.
    “My brothers! My Sisters! My fellow human beings! No longer shall we be banished to the dark! No longer shall we tremble at the sounds of marching feet on the streets! No longer shall innocent blood be spilled! No! Today, we take the fight to them! We make them tremble at the sound of our liberation! We make them hide from our mighty hand! And although many of you may not live through today, know this! IF ONE OF US FALLS, TAKE TEN OF THEM WITH YOU! For this will forever mark their day of infamy, and if we do not succeed, make them never forget what we did here! FOR YOUR HOMES! FOR YOUR FAMILIES! FOR OUR FREEDOM! KILL THEM ALL!” The crowd burst into an uproar, and swarmed straight into the Home-Guards lines. Shots were fired, knives punctured armor, nailed bats tore through metal helmets. Tank shots boomed, explosions illuminated the dark streets of the city. Screams could be heard for miles. Then….complete silence.

    My song was, “Wanna Fight,” by Cliff Martinez. The song gave a futuristic vibe, which gave me the idea of a futuristic regime, and with any regime, comes the resistance. The organ that punctured through out the song mad me think of a final battle, a classic street fight for the soul of a city. And the way it slowly ends and quietly drifts away reminded me of the end of the battle. And just like the night, the sounds of war disappear with the sunrise soon to come, whether or not the resistance won or not, is up to the reader to decide.

  2. Song Used: Forever by HAIM
    Short Story: A teenage girl sits in the corner of the Hall where her prom takes place. She is beautifully made up and styled but is far too shy to put herself out there and have fun. Her gaze is set upon a handsome boy who is currently dancing with a group of people as she silently wishes she had the courage to go out there. Feelings of low self esteem and anxiety plague her as the music playing urges her to get on the dance floor. She gradually gets up from her seat and slowly makes her way to the dance floor. The fast tempo beat inspires her to dance and garners the attention of the boy. He happily motions her over to the group of dancing people, as she blushes and runs over.
    Inspiration: The lyrics have themes of unrequited feelings, and trying to move on in life through a tough time, as well as a beat that can be danced to in a prom scenario.

  3. Sound of da Police

    Boom box beating, the party is definitely hopping. The gold fish is hopping, the parrot is talking, and the person in charge was definitely a commander in chief. The party was so outrageous, Justin Bieber was drag racing to get to it. WOOP WOOP came from outside the house. “That’s the sound of the police” said Andrew. BOOM BOOM the door knocked down. The police storm in, fully geared in vests and riot gear. “We have a warrant for your arrest Mr. Harding.” the police scream at every person in the building. Warren Harding was there, with the refusal to give in. Harding ran out the back door. The Police storm through the house and arrest everyone in the house for illegally being American Citizens. WOOP the cops brought em’ back to the police station, charging them all with fake crimes and real bruises.
    The chase continued to catch Harding every day after for the next 94 years. Every day they charge people of bogus crimes. They though by now Harding was dead, that was until yesterday. WOOP WOOP the sound of the police, pulling over an old 1868 Ford Mustang, which was really just a horse and carriage. The police take their actions to the next level and swarm the cart and steal the horses. In it was Harding, arrested for running a red light, 96 years ago. THE END

    I got inspiration for the fact that the sound of da police was in it several times and it really stuck with me. On top of that you have the fact that the cops were arresting everybody in the song and they had negative feedback from KRS One. I also got inspiration from HISTORY.


  4. the song Forever (HAIM). just reminds me of summer and all the good times i had, also the beat just makes you smile and want to dance. it automatically puts you in a good mood, makes you want to go to the beach with all your friends and just party. All the good memories you have this song just reminds you of all of them and you forget about all the bad ones.

  5. Forever by HAIM

    Holly was in the diner alone. It was a rainy Sunday night. She usually goes to the diner by herself every other Sunday night for dinner because the memories she had when she was younger makes her happy. But this Sunday was not like any other Sunday. Today, he was there. Not just any he, but the he who broke Holly’s heart almost five years ago. That diner was were they had their first date, where they would go after school sometimes, or even just for a milkshake after the movies. But why? Why after five years of not any sort of communication he was there? Holly buried her face into her hands to fight back the tears. All the memories of her past relationship was getting to her. All these thoughts of him were drowning her brain. “Why now? Why are you still in my memory? Do you even remember me?” she thought to herself. Holly picked her head up and looked over to his direction only to find that he was gone. There he went, walking slowly down the sidewalk in the pouring rain, not even noticing her.

    the song relates to the story because a part of the lyrics it says “go get out of my memory.” and ” remember trying to stay together.” To me the lyrics refer to a break up and she cant get him out her head and she wonders if he thinks about her or tried to make the relationship work.

  6. A.) The song that I chose was I’ve Got a Name by Jim Croce.

    B.) Jeff was cruising down the highway in a cherry red convertible. His Ray Bans were reflected the sunlight and the fedora on his head was for fashion. Jeff was on a soul searching trip with an unknown destination. As he drove he realized that life’s not as bad as he thinks; he is alive and free. He wanted to share his life with someone special but didn’t have anyone in his life at the moment. Jeff pulled of the highway onto a rest stop to get some food and gas. As he devoured his second “Big Mac” from McDonald’s, he saw a women with blonde hair and an infectious smile. He thought to himself man would I be lucky to have her as my girl. Jeff smiled at her and she gave him a slight wave. He went to go put some much needed gas in the convertible when the blonde haired women tapped him on the shoulder. Before Jeff could speak the smiling girl said hi I’m Sally! Jeff replied with a casual hey. As the two talked they realized they had a lot in common. Sally asked to come on Jeff’s soul searching trip and he was very happy to have her join him. Jeff and Sally rode off into the sunset and began their soul searching trip together!

    C.) The lyrics of I’ve Got a Name by Jim Croce influenced my short story by giving me fabulous ideas about what to write. Croce expresses in his song that he is looking for someone to share his life with. I got the idea of Jeff meeting Sally from this. Also Croce often refers to driving down the highway so I saw it fit that Jeff and later Sally were driving down the highway. As I listened to I’ve Got a Name it helped me imagine what this song would look like if it was a real life event.

  7. Sound Of Da Police

    I can’t breathe. I can barely even think straight. Am I seriously doing this? This is insane! If I get caught, I’ll be banned from football for the rest of the year. But how on earth could I get caught? I mean Jamie does it all the time, and he’s never been caught. And anyway, it was his idea. He’s paying. There’s nothing connecting me to this. We’ll just go back to his house, smoke a bit, and then it’s over.

    Wait, what else is he getting? Seriously? That’s way more than I can handle. I’d drop dead the second I inhale any of that. Oh my God. Oh my God. What if coach gives us a surprise test on Monday? What if my parents smell it on me?

    Does Jamie even know these guys that well? It seems like they’ve met here before. Is this their usual spot? Maybe that’s why Jamie likes this club the most. Did everyone else go home already? How is it that I’m the only one left?



    No. No. no. no no …

    Where should I go? Did Jamie start running too? I should meet him back at the car. No, the police will be there. No, they couldn’t know which one’s our car, could they? Did someone find out, are they looking for us specifically?

    There’s no way I can keep this up, my heart was racing before I even took off. I hope Jamie isn’t pissed I left him. God, my feet hurt. I never thought this would happen to me. God . . .

    The blue and red lights. Flashing off the sides of the brick walls. They’re right behind me.

    Goodbye, football.


    The song talks more about someone who is familiar with the sound of cop cars trailing them, so I thought of someone who had never experienced it before. Someone who is feeling that fresh terror of being caught that they’ve never felt to this extent. The things they risk are higher in value, and the split-second decisions made and thoughts someone in that situation has tells a lot about what kind of person they are and what’s important to them.

  8. A.) Led Zeppelin- When the Levee Breaks

    B.) Here is the girl, wandering. The sun beats down, immeasurably hot, onto her back, but after thirteen years spent living with the merciless heat of Texas, she likes to think that she and the sun have become grudging allies. She knows of nothing else.

    The blinking neon sign above the thrift shop buzzes and sparks. A tiny smile curls onto her lips as she sheds her denim jacket, deciding to change into something a little more her speed. The material was rough anyway. When she walks into the store, the owner sneers at her, a middle-aged man with a handlebar mustache and a cigar between his fingers. “Where’s your mom, pipsqueak?” he asks in a voice so condescending the girl thinks he must be blind not to see he shouldn’t mess with her.

    She doesn’t grace him with a reply. Instead she opts for the “outerwear” section, a collapsing rack that smells of mothballs, sparsely populated with secondhand jackets and sweaters. She trails her fingers along the shoulders of her options, stopping short when she feels the smooth planes of cracked leather beneath her fingertips. The jacket is a man’s, she knows, but she thinks it will fit her just fine. She shrugs it on and it reaches almost to her knees. Perfect. On her way out, she tosses a ten dollar bill at the man with the mustache and says, “Keep the change.”

    She only has one more errand to tend to today. A low rumble had started up in her stomach, so she heads east to her favorite gas station. Winds her way through the tanks once she gets there until she’s nudging the convenience shop’s door open with her boot. A bell dings above her head.

    “Always a pleasure, Grace,” the owner, a wrinkled blonde, greets without tearing her eyes from her soaps. An old, fat TV is perched precariously near the edge of her desk, occupied jointly by her feet and a beer. It’s the prehistoric kind, with the Cathode tube, and a screen partially filled by static. Grace helps herself to a banana and a Diet Coke, gives the old woman a two-fingered salute, and is on her way. The bell dings once more.

    The sun is starting to set on the desert highway, blazing low and orange on the horizon. A day well spent. The girl knocks her sunglasses back down over her eyes and sets off, whistling a tuneless melody through her teeth.

    C.) When the Levee Breaks immediately put a scene in my head– someone in a leather jacket wandering through a desert highway. At first I pictured a rough-and-tumble type dude, but then I decided that a rough-and-tumble thirteen-year-old girl would be much more interesting. I can easily imagine Grace humming When the Levee Breaks as she meanders through life. Badass classic rock songs inspire a badass character, and what’s more badass than a hardcore tween wandering aimlessly through the Texan desert, collecting leather jackets and bananas?

  9. “Wanna Fight” by Cliff Martinez

    She was dressed in a tight black body suit, hair pulled back into a tight bun and a gun strapped to her thigh. The hallway was black as the night and was completely silent. Way too silent. She snuck along the cold wall made of concrete and tried to stay close to the ground in case something were to happen. She didn’t know what that something was yet, but something about this place didn’t feel right, and it was creeping her out.
    She could hear her own heartbeat pounding in her chest as she continued to make her way through the building towards the eerie light in the distance. That’s where He was. She didn’t want to meet Him, just steal the information and go because if she was found, she had to kill Him. Her hand traced the outline of a place where a railing used to be as she tiptoed up a flight of stairs toward the light. She reached the door and put her hand on the knob.
    But she hesitated.
    There was information in this room that could change the fate of the human race forever. And it was all up to her to retrieve it. Not only that; if she failed she would be discharged from the SSO (Secret Spy Organization). The stakes were high–the tension was growing.
    But she had to do this. Backing out now would put her whole career on the line. Her pride, her reputation, they would be ruined. “Keep it together, Katherine,” she thought.
    She took a deep breath and slipped through the door.
    As soon as she got to the other side she whipped out her gun and pointed it at…no one. The room was empty. She was smarter than this though, so she took a pair of ultraviolet sunglasses out of her backpack and put them on, seeing thousands of tiny laser beams. Knowing setting one of these off would trigger an alarm, she took out her sticky gloves, jumped up, and stuck to the ceiling. Like doing the monkey bars, she quickly made her way over to the computer and dropped down onto the desk it was on. She opened the disc drive and couldn’t help but smile when her hand grasped the precious information they had been looking for for a long time. Putting it in her back pocket, she climbed up to the ceiling again and soon found herself back in the hallway where she came in.
    Taking one last glance at the door, she grinned and ran into the darkness.

    This song inspired the story by its eerie sounds and dark sounding mood. It reminded me of something out of a spy movie, so that’s where most of the story came from. There was also no real climax to the song, only a building of tension, so I didn’t write an intense fight scene in the story. The song ended without a big bang or any sort of struggle, so the spy mission was a success. I wrote the story so the character would get really tense and creeped out, which is how I felt while listening to the song. Also, there was a sense of mystery in the song, so the characters did not have names and the building where it takes place is really dark, so the reader doesn’t really know where the story is happening.

  10. A) “When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin

    B) I was running, fast, for my life. I had used up all my second chances and if I got caught this time I was done for it. Thinking back to ten minutes ago I probably should not have broken into the gas station and stole a pack of cigarettes. However, it was too late now. It was too late to think about “being a good person” or fixing all my mistakes and becoming a chemistry professor. I had accepted the reality of the situation, or I was about to as the cop cruisers surrounded me.

    There was no point in resisting. I had tried and all that had gotten me was a bloody leg and a broken arm. The police officer, Hank, slowly approached me with his gun out and snapped the hand cuffs on me. They did not even need to tell me where I was going. I already knew.

    I had visited my father and my mother, before their passing, there. My brother had a short stint in their rehab facility, but tried to flee and is currently residing in the state jail. I grew up with my nana and papa in their apartment in a elderly community. My nana had always said, ” Davis you will never end up like them. You are different.”

    When I left their house in the middle of the night with five packs of my grandfather’s cigarettes. I vowed that I would never go back because I could not face their disappointment. I had turned out like all the rest, spiraling downward into the world of drugs and violence.

    I had never wanted to become my father or my brother. I had seen their transformations from loving and caring family members to depressed, removed and violent drug lords. Upon seeing this I swore that I would never do that to my family or myself. But, the apple never falls far from the tree.

    I had dated a nice girl, Alicia, from an affluent town a couple miles from where I lived. But whenever I saw her perfect family, she had two brothers and a mom and dad, I felt worse and worse about my situation. One night at a party I got drunk and had a cigarette. The next thing I knew I had broken up with Alicia and started hanging out with my brothers old friends. I was popular and they knew me as Chris’s younger brother. Soon we would steal, gamble and drink on a daily basis.

    All these events led up to my final arrest before entering the detention center. The police informed me that I would be in the juvenile detention area and would be seeing a therapist everyday. Some life, I thought. But, I deserved whatever was coming to me, whether I liked it or not.

    C) I chose “When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin to inspire my story, I think that the title as well as the lyrics and beat fit my story. It is a rock and roll song about everything falling apart. Davis is experiencing his “levee breaking” when he is arrested. He is rebellious and dangerous and is the song personified. When I heard the song I thought of a kid spiraling down a bad path. In the refrain, Zeppelin says “going down now” which is exactly what Davis is doing. It is a classic rock and roll song that makes me think of a high speed chase and it is enhanced by the guitar.

  11. I’ve Got A Name- Jim Croce

    It’s September 1st and Johnny’s bags are packed. He’s ready to hit the open road. Before he leaves, his father is there to send him off with advice. Like Laertes and Polonius, besides the whole controlling crazy father sort of deal. Once they finish packing the car, Johnny’s father drives him off to school. They do not speak the entire car ride, but they don’t have to. They’re so close, they’ve said how they feel, they know how they feel. No amount of small talk is necessary, it’s a comfortable and understood feeling. It’s a course of action, between two pivotal points in Johnny’s life. He’s sharing this moment with his dad, who once hid his dreams, but he will not do the same as his father. What he will do the same as his father is keep his name, and stay true to who he is. No matter who he will become, he will remember where he is from.

    What inspired my story was the good vibes it gave off. I thought that it was telling a story between transition in ones life and the choices they will make when taking action. It is strung along with advice and how to go about the journey he is about to take off on. It’s not about something ending, but hopeful and happy for what is to come, and I think that my story depicts the message of the song.

  12. A.) I’ve Got a Name- Jim Croce

    B.)*All this is written in someone’s journal*
    05/12/14: High school is over now. And to be honest, I’m pretty happy high school is over because I hated it. I wasn’t one of the losers, but I also wasn’t very popular. I just felt invisible because I fitted so well into the “average kids” category that there was nothing special for anyone to notice about me. But all of that is over now, and it is time for me to start fresh. To make a name for myself out there. I was accepted to college but I decided to take a gap year because wanted to go traveling instead, and get a sense of the entire world. First stop: Switzerland.
    06/03/14: My plane has just taken off! I am so excited. I’ve never been anywhere out of the states before and for Switzerland to be my first country I visit, that’s pretty awesome
    06/04/14: Unfortunately still on the plane. We’re only three hours in but since its a new day now, it feels like much longer. I can’t help but think about what all of my other friends are doing now. Originally, I was going to go to Switzerland with a bunch of my friends but they opted out last minute so they could make sure they had everything they needed ready for when they were going to leave for college. I feel like if I went to college I would just feel stuck. I mean, I don’t even know what I want to study anyways, so wouldn’t it be a waste? I know a lot of people are just going, to go. I feel like if you do that, you’re just letting all other experiences that could be way more exciting, and better, pass you by. It’s like they’re just going to college because that’s what the norm is. Well, I don’t want to let any bit of excitement pass me by so I think I’ll leave all my worrying behind until I get back. Good bye for now!

    C.) The song sounded like the guy just wanted to get out of town and make a name for himself. It seems like he does’t want to miss out on any opportunity he has to experience new things, and unlike others he knows (his father), he’s going to act on that and do something with his life. So, that’s what this story is about. The main character is just saying how they aren’t going to go to college if that’s not what they really want to do, but they are going to experience things that are worth while for them. The main character is just trying to get the most out of life, and their way of doing that is traveling.

  13. The side rods of the mighty locomotive clanked rhythmically as she pounded her way up the grade, a great column of smoke and steam rose high into the July sky. Her deep whistle sounded as flanges squealed around corners and flat spots slammed the track into the ground. Animals and people alike scattered at the sound of her approach. In her cab the engineer sat coolly at the throttle, guiding his mighty beast through the heart of Appalachia.
    That particular July morning I stood waiting on platform at the station. The smoke in the distance told me she wasn’t far. The crew, who had occupied the platform with me, started to ready themselves. Her whistle sounded four deep, sorrowful blasts that shook the hills: two longs, a shot, and a long. She came into view now the, monstrous 2-8-8-4, the last hurrah of the big steam of Coal Country. She was slowing but working no easier. The beast still had to drag her tail with her and a long tail it was. Behind her stretched a mile of loaded, black, forty foot hoppers, each over flowing with that solid black gold.
    She crossed the bridge before the station, still slowing. Now the ground began to shake. Her bell clanged as her front coupler slid by, an open fist, ready to choke anything that got in her way. She continued to pass, her first set of side rods began their journey past my face. Her 64″ drivers stood tall above my head. She continued to pass, slowing to a stop after 65′ of engine put her cab next to me. I could see the engineer in the cab setting the brakes. Him and his fireman climbed down and the new crew climbed on after a brief exchange. After two low blasts from the whistle that shattered my ears, all of her 115056 lbs of tractive effort was put to work getting her self and her train moving again. The sanders were on and the cylinder cocks were open. Steam shout out of the locomotive, her bell clanged steadily and she set off once more. She rolled like thunder out of town, leaving only ashes in the trees.

  14. A)
    Jim Croce – I Got a Name

    Jim was driving down the highway. He was about six feet tall with dark black hair, with a slight summer tan. He was about another hour from his destination, a mountain home on the water in Maryland. No one was living there and no one was going with him. He took the time off work saying it was his vacation, but that wasn’t true and he knew it. In true he was just trying to get away from himself and from his home town on the coast of North Carolina. So, he packed his ’67 Chevy with enough food to last him the week and was on his way. A few weeks ago an old friend bitterly told him he should spend some time trying to change the way he thinks. Jim didn’t understand what he had done wrong, he had told his friend that he thought that he was stupid for leaving his well-paying job so that he could persue a new career. When he explained this to his friend, Howard, he became offended and told Jim that just because he was deciding to persure his dreams that Jim didn’t need to shoot him down because he was too afraid to chase his. So, Howard told him to take a trip and explore why it was exacly that he wouldn’t try to chase his dreams. And now Jim has arrived at his old mountain home and was unloading his truck and was going to spend the week rediscovering himself. And he would start by trying to play they old Guibson acoustic guitar that he forgot was here.

    The song helped me to create this story because when I listen to it all I can think of is a person trying to figure out who he is before the rest of his life goes and passes him by. So, that’s how I came up with the idea of the story and I used the lyric about the highway and put that in the opening of the story. And to me I feel that the song fits well with the story as a whole.

  15. A.) I’ve Got a Name (Jim Croce)


    Carver felt like the world had beat him up and left him on the side of the road. He’d spent years taking countless math classes trying to please his parents. Even after getting into a good school, the college that his parents had pushed him toward, he was still unhappy. Sitting on the edge of his bed with a high school diploma in one hand and his keys in the other, Carver had to make a decision. He could choose to continue on the path he was on and live a dreadfully boring life or he could go his own way, blaze a new path.

    Carver knew the if a decision had to be made, it couldn’t be done in his bedroom. The blank walls and clean desk aren’t able to give him the perspective he needs in order to make the right choice. He needed to get out of this small bedroom and out into the real world, because he needed to see what he would be getting himself into.

    So he left. He just got up and left his own graduation party. No one would miss him anyway. His parents had invited the majority of the neighborhood, so there were enough people to keep them busy during his absence.

    Despite the fact that he had just graduated, Carver still hadn’t gotten his license. His parents would not pay for the classes because in their minds, why drive when you had a perfectly good bike? Carver also had a hunch that they did not want him straying too far from the town that he knew so well, the town he grew up in. If he had a car, it could take him as far away as he wanted it to. A bicycle can only take him so far until he gets tired and calls one of them to pick him up.

    When Carver got to his garage to get his bike, he realized that there were others in there, too many people that would notice him and tell his parents that they had seen him leaving. He lingered by the garage doorway for a minute, trying to hear who was in there and what they were saying.

    The bits of conversation he picked up on let him know that it was two of his neighbors and his uncle in there. They were at first admiring his father’s old, classic car that he was going to be selling, but then the conversation switched topics.

    Carver heard his neighbors commenting on how sad it was that Carver’s dad had to sell the car. His uncle mentioned that it was a gift given from Carver’s grandfather to Carver’s father, an award for getting his first job. He went on to mention that Carver’s father, John, did not want to be a tax collector at first. His father had pushed him into it, only wanting the best for him. As he went on, Carver noticed how alike the two situations were. His father was pushing him to be an accountant, just like his grandfather had pushed him to be a tax collector.

    Carver’s uncle also went on to say how glad he was that he pursued his career as a musician, because although it was not the most stable job, it made him happier than anything else.

    Carver realized, that day by the garage door, that he couldn’t become an accountant. It wasn’t what he wanted to do, and it wasn’t something that he loved. If he was going to live and grow old, he was going to do it in an occupation that he loved.

    C.) This song made me think of someone who was on the path of changing their life. The lyrics sounded like there was a decision that was made, and the person who made the decision was happy with their choice to do something that they enjoyed. Carver had a tough decision to make, but he chose to do what made him happy. I can imagine him listening to the song, and thinking about how much he could relate to it.

  16. 1. Wanna Fight Cliff Martinez

    2. When she blinked, the pixels fizzled up in front of her. It was a dizzying plethora of black and neon and reflected light, a world unknown to herself and her worn hat and boots. She hefted her rifle. Spurs clinked against her heels as she hesitantly stepped off the platform. The others were fizzling up around her now: a ballerina, a robot, a buisnessman, grandmother, and an MMA fighter. But she did not turn to face them, instead she was propelled forward, knees bending againt her own free will.

    Clink, clink, clink, clink.

    The music qued up somewhere behing them. The air stirred. She heard a muted “wait!” before she spotted the tripwire, right after she stepped right through it. The air picked up, ruffling her hair, and knocking off her hat. She turned to her teammates then, the robot’s face was a dark screen flashing. Flashing only two words.

    “We’re screwed.”

    In the end, it was a wall of dark dark bodies occupied by pale pale faces that filled the relm and surrounded them. Its attempts to swallow the team, rip them apart into glowing shards were opposed with flashes of light and bursts of sound. Granny knocked arrows. The fighter smacked heads. The ballerina danced and twirled and soon the demons lay scattered on the ground around her. She started firing her rifle before she could think. Lights burst in front of her eyes as her comrades went down one by one, at least five times each. The demons sucked their life forces. Hearts appeared in the sky and then blinked out again. Finally, when she thought she had finally finished them, the Cowgirl blinked. More light flashed in her eyes.


    It was no use. She was alone. Her score was up, but her teammates were down. There was too many. She closed her eyes and opened them and closed them again and opened them and kept fighting. But they got her. They got her.

    When she closed her eyes for the final time, the lights flashed red. They shamed her with their pixelated litterature.


    3). This song reminded me of Tron, and Vampires, and of an old Western shootout. So I combined them all.

  17. 1) Wanna Fight- Cliff Martinez

    2) The sound of digital organs rang in her ears and when she opened her eyes, pixels fizzed up and around her. Theirs was a comatose world. A world of light. A world of neon and unoccupied spaces.

    Her spurs clanked against her heels when she dropped off the podium. The Cowgirl settled her hat forward on her head, shading her eyes from the neon glow of the Flickers above her. As she was hefting her rifle, the rest of the team finally fizzed into position. She didn’t look at them. Their job was not to acknowledge each other, but to run blindly together into the void.

    They jogged forward, as they always had. As they always will. From behind her she hears a muted “wait!” before she hits the trip wire. The Team barges on ahead, but they know it’s coming. They expect it.

    It was a wall of dark dark bodies occupied by pale pale faces. It was their glowing eyes, clawed hands, blood dripping from fangs. It was the flurry of excitement they all felt at the terror of their situation.

    The Cowgirl backed into her group, rifle raised. Granny notched an arrow. The Samurai gripped his katana. The Robot powered up his ray guns. Above their heads, the Flickers popped on.

    ” NO”

    There is a moment, as there is before every battle, of silence. Perfect stillness. One in which everyone is screaming what they do and do not want in their heads. The Cowgirl shivered at the looming wall. Maybe this time…


    She fired before she even knew what the Flickers said. She aimed and shot. Aimed and shot. Reloaded. Shot again. It was a chaotic flurry of flashing lights and bursting sound. The Flickers went on and off. Pink hearts flashed in the sky, and disappeared. One by one, all of her teammates left her. Until finally, she was alone, with a mass of vampire bodies around her. She looked up, the Realm was silent, but the Flickers in the sky said it all. Finally.


    3) This song really reminded me of Tron. But it also kinda reminded me of Vampires with its organ music. Finally, the middle part of the track also made me feel like I was in a Old Western style shootout, which inspired the cowgirl character. So I put them into a video game.

  18. A) Sound of da Police (KRS-ONE)

    B) I started to run down the street. Faster and faster, my feet were moving at an unbelievable speed. When i looked down i could see the black and white color of my sneakers moving quickly back and forth over the hard concrete that paved the sidewalk. Hard and out of breath i continued to run, now sprinting and heading toward the chain linked fence. I had no other decision but to somehow hop it and keep on running because stopping and surrendering to what was chasing after me was not an option. I looked 30 feet to my left and saw Marcus, my partner in crime, running parallel to me, escaping the same thing that was chasing me. I hopped the fence with so much ease due to the adrenaline that had filled my veins.
    The rush was exactly what i craved so much. Once out of sight of the police that once were on my back, i ditched the spray can and headed left towards Marcus who had done the same with his bottle, the only evidence left was the purple and orange spray paint that had rubbed off onto the palms of our hands. Now slowing down to a walk we were able to throw back our hoods and stroll back into the neighborhood we had came from.
    We called up Jason who had ditched at the sight of the police, but unlike us all he did was record the crime. Although a crime is what it was, we viewed it as more of a prank. A prank that would put our crew on top. Jason arrived and we reviewed the footage that he had captured and it was then that we were stopped again. There was a bang on the door loud enough to create silence throughout the whole house. Peering through the windows we could see the blue and red lights coming from the cop car that was parked directly outside of the house. Out the back door we ran, faster than the time before. With our hoods up and sneakers laced, all three of us now bolted on another get away to somewhere other than where we stood.
    C) When i listened to the song i immediately thought of someone who was darting away from some sort of crime. But not a crime that was massive because although the lyrics talked about the sounds of police coming, the beat wasn’t serious enough for a crime greater than the spray painting of a wannabe top crew. Once i had the main theme the rest of the detail was easy to right while listening to the beat.

  19. A.) “When the Levee Breaks”- Led Zeppelin

    B.) It’s always been a quiet town– quiet people walking around from building to building going about their morning routines like every other day. Old women gossip on the streets, children run around playing games, everyone is enjoying the new day in peaceful Silver, Nevada. The owner of the local saloon at the edge of town suddenly bursts through the door of his shop, screaming at the top of his lungs, “They’re coming!” The fear is evident in his blaring voice. He runs into the middle of the road to further warn the townspeople, his arms flailing rapidly. He then begins running but suddenly falls flat on his face. Only he doesn’t merely fall which is obvious by the spray of blood that erupts from his chest. Immediately after his limp body hits the ground, a large gang of horsemen obstructs the view down the road, surrounded by an ominous cloud of dust and gun-smoke. The riders then move about the town, shooting down men, ransacking houses, stealing goods, and terrorizing women. Just as one of the masked men reaches for a terrified woman, he is blown away with a shot from behind, causing the woman to shriek sharply followed by a long moment of silence as the rest of the gang turn around to see a group of Vigilantes of the town standing in the middle of the road where the others had rode in a short time ago. Without warning a flurry of gunfire from both sides sets the town into a cloud of smoke and noise.

    C.) I’ve heard this song many times, being a fan of classic rock music, but never had I tried to write to it. I found that when writing I got a totally different feel for the music than I had before. The various sounds and instruments employed made me think of an old western movie (perhaps starring Clint Eastwood) complete with a massive shootout scene.

  20. A) Led Zepplin, When the Levee Breaks

    B) “I stand here on in this line with other prisoners. The reason I’m here is simple.
    It’s because I’m different

    I’m a runner. Not a big deal you think. Well, you’d be wrong. I run illegal packages to underground fighters to help the freedom movement. Whether it be a hard drive or map, plans or blueprints, it doesn’t matter. I don’t ask what it holds, I just move it along. That’s what I do. Then one job went south real fast.

    I was transferring a package to the Lambda Resistance, a group of rebels and freedom fighters. As I’m running across the rooftops of the dystopian city I call home, a group of Sigmas show up. Sigmas are police runners who are trained to take us down. I immediately start looking for a way down and spot a building in near sight. I run and leap for the next building. I barley make it and hit the roof of the lower tower, rolling to stop injury. I turn around and look at the twenty foot gap I jump. Then I see three white figures sprint off the edge and jump. By the time I’m turned around and running they have landed. I do my best to get away, swinging on poles, climbing fences in a single bounds, and vaulting over obstacles, but it just isn’t enough. They slowly gain ground. After ten minutes I jump for another building. I slip on the fall and roll and land flat on my back. I try to get up but one of the Sigmas lands on my arm, crushing it with a loud crunch. I scream in pain and look up at the helmeted face. It stares back, the monster inside no longer human. It takes out its electrified baton and thawks me upside the head. It knocks me out cold. When I wake up, I’m in a truck with other prisoners. They take us out and line us up.

    I feel like this is the end. I stand here looking for a way to escape, but there isn’t one. The monsters unload a machine gun and it’s tripod. They start to mount it and make sure its ready to fire. They line us up, emotionless, and just stare back blankly at us. The gunner sits on the stool and grabs the machine gun. This is it. I start to wonder what was in that bag, not that it really matters. Was my life worth it for some blueprints, for a hard drive. Was it worth it? Will that hard drive lead them to success, or defeat? My time is short, and I only have one thought in my mind. A quote I read ling ago, from a long lost world:
    “The only way out, is through. You will get through. We all will” I mull it over in my head, but then in horror realize that the gunner is aiming the weapon. I know whats coming next. I hear a loud roar and then a bright flash as the weapon starts to spin up its barrels and begins to fire.

    Then, silence, darkness, and peace.

    C) In my story, the main characters dies for an unknown cause that he isn’t related to. His life was futile once the police showed up. But he kept fighting, and eventually died for his fight. This is what the song “When the Levee Breaks means to me. It shows that you should always fight for what you want. Because you might just succeed.

  21. A) Heroes-David Bowie

    B)David’s thick black hair flew gently. It was trying to stay upright and fighting off the furious wind at the same time. He was sitting on his black 1968 eighty-eight surrounded by all of his friends that were mostly perfectly put together. There was a petite blonde girl that had her hair blow dried to form a perfect bump on the front of her head. She had a white head band on that emphasized her hairs volume. There was a large male that had a red and white jock jacket on. His hair was shaved closely to his skull but he wasn’t completely bald. He had a small mole on his chin with two hairs coming out of it. All the rest of his friends closely modeled each other.
    I was sitting on my best friend, Quinn’s, blue 1967 Toronado. We were waiting for the outdoor movie to start. David kept fixing his hair, completely unaware that I was staring at him from across the parking lot.
    “Quinn, Wheres he from?” I said as i pointed to David.
    “ Kings county..” she said as she popped her gum between her lips.
    The movie started and everyone got into their cars. Halfway thru the movie everyone that was around David’s car started panicking. David left. They were searching everyone’s cars to make sure he didn’t ditch them to go hang out with people of higher respect. Quinn quickly noticed the look of panic on my face and gave me a look that said “I’m sure he’s fine.”
    My curfew was at 10:30 and it was almost 10:25 by the time we got into Quinns’ car and headed to my house. My parents were doing business all the way in Tennessee so I would be home by myself for about a week. When I opened my door Quinn gabbed my arm
    “I’ll call you in the morning” She whispered barely above a mouse and then sped off to the end of my street nearly hitting the pole in front of my neighbors house. I took a quick look at my house and then noticed something weird. A dark shadow in the window of my bedroom.

    C) David’s name came from the author of the song. Quinn came from the word “Queen” which is a lyric in the song ,but I modified it to fit as a girls name. “King” is another word in the song, hence Kings county (Which is in New York). I kind of got the 1960’s feel from this song and that’s why both of the cars mentioned are cars made in the 1960’s.

  22. A)Song- Changes

    B) I, Sarah, have officially graduated high school. As I was walk out the high school doors one last time, I start to remember all the times I spent in this place. It’s been a whole four years here,and my time here is already done. It feels like just yesterday I walked through these doors as a freshman. I’m off to start the first day of the rest of my life. I’ve already decided that tomorrow morning, I am leaving to move to California with my best friend JJ. We’ve decided that we both want to go far away for college and it’s best if we just left sooner rather than later and have to deal with all the goodbyes. In reality, goodbye is supposed to mean forever. It’s not supposed to be forever, I plan on coming back to see these people once again. I grew up surrounded by them my whole life! I am so ready for a change! JJ and I are both studying the same thing in college so what better to start a new beginning with your best friend in the whole world!
    As we leave for California, I see tears pouring down my mothers face. I am sad to leave her behind and leave everything behind. I’ve had a lot of good times here in my life, but I’ve also had a lot of bad times living here. My brother died when I was 10. I watched him die in a car accident, and I happened to be the only survivor. To this day I don’t understand why I was the only survivor but I guess that’s just the way it is. Having to go on after experiencing something that scary is hard and having to drive by the accident scene every once in a while and I can’t help but breakdown. I know my brother is in a good place now, but I miss him. I’m excited to get away from that and not have to be reminded about it every once in a while.
    No way, we just arrived at our knew apartment in California. It is so nice! It’s not home but home is where you are. I guess I can make this work. We have about two months off before we start college. So for two months, JJ and I get to enjoy each others company and hopefully explore the great state and meet new people.
    It’s been a month here in California, and I’ve never been so happy! I mean yeah I miss my old life, but this new beginning makes me feel alive. JJ, who was my best friend, is now my boyfriend and I think it’s the right choice to make. We have met some very nice people and our neighbors are very friendly. Every Friday night we go over each others places and order either pizza or Chinese food and play board games. It is a really fun time.On Sundays we go to the beach every week. We enjoy life and everything handed to us. Sometimes sitting on the beach and just watching the sunset is what I really enjoy the most.
    I’ve now officially lived here for a year. It’s been a great year, but there’s been a lot of changes. Things at home aren’t going to well for my family. It’s really hard for my mom to cope with the loss of my brother and the fact that I moved half way across the country. My father is sick in the hospital and my mom spends countless hours there. I wish there was something I could do about it, but obviously there isn’t. I feel sorry for her and him. Maybe this life style change of mine wasn’t the best idea in the world. Things change over time.
    It’s safe to say I’m going through changes.

    C) When I heard this song, I just automatically thought of someone going through major changes in there life regardless of the situation. It made me want to write about someone who was dealing with some major changes in her life. The music helped to enforce my thoughts more. If the music wasn’t playing,I would probably still be staring at a blank computer screen. It really helps top have music flowing through your head and take over your thoughts. Your mind is focused on whats going on in the song and it makes you just want to use your words and write whatever you want and nothing can stop you from writing.

  23. A.) Changes (Tupac Shakur)

    B.) James is sprinting down a side street holding a lady’s purse. Seconds later the police are on his heals commanding him to stop. James makes a quick left and hops over a fence. After running in and out of alleys for about a mile, the police finally catch up to him. James decides he has had enough running and throws the purse on the ground. James kneels down on the ground and raises his hands above his head. The police approach him and cuff him. When they finally get to the police station, James hears the police talking about him. “That’s James Sinclair! The police have been searching for him for over six months now. Can you believe he is only seventeen years old? He used to be a good kid until his mom died.” said the police officer. James turns around and replies, “Mind your own goddamn business!” The next day in court, James was charged for fifteen months for stealing over 2,000 dollars worth of merchandise in stores across the east coast.
    *Two years later*
    James Sinclair is sitting at the library at his local college with three of his friends. they are all studying for midterms nest week. James’ appearance has significantly changed in the past two years. He has also completely changed his lifestyle. Instead of stealing what he needs, he now works for it. He realized it was time to change.

    C.) This song influenced that short story because when I heard it I instantly thought of someone going through a lot of changes in their life. Someone starting off living a bad lifestyle and then something happens to them to make them change their lifestyle.

  24. Song: In The Meantime – Spacehog

    It was the day of the competition, the day when Stephanie would finally have her big chance to beat Caroline. Caroline had been beating her at all statewide competitions since fifth grade. They are surfers. They went to the same school and attended the same surf classes. They always had a rivalry because they both wanted to be the best at what they did and were passionate about it. Stephanie and Caroline both woke up the day of the competition knowing it was going to be a tough one. Although scared of defeat, they each had hope. Stephanie’s parents wanted her to win this so, hopefully, she could become a professional and maybe a surf teacher. Caroline’s parents wanted Caroline to win for the sake of beating Stephanie, because that is how things were in their family. It was obvious who the crowd wanted to win.
    At the time of the competition, Stephanie and Caroline arrived at the beach at the same time. Neither of them knew what to expect. The waves were beautiful that day, and perfect for the competition. The announcer told them both to stand with their boards near the shore and wait for their time to go out. Stephanie and Caroline did not look at each other. Before they knew it, the announcer rang the bell and it was time for her to get into the water. Stephanie watched Caroline catch her first wave of the day. She knew it was a good run, but she knew she could do better. Stephanie caught the very next wave. It certainly was not her best, but it was better than Caroline’s. She had 6 more minutes to catch the judges attention. She continued surfing and doing tricks until the bell rang and she slowly got out of the water. She had to sit and wait 10 minutes for the results to be tallied. She felt good about her performance, although she did not know if it was better than Caroline’s.
    After the 10 minutes was up, all competitors were asked to rise and stand by the judge’s table. Stephanie and Caroline were not the only competitors, but were clearly the best of the best. She stood there waiting with her eyes closed. Not long after she closed her eyes, she heard, “And first place, goes to number 3, Stephanie from Kaneohe, Hawaii!” She could not wrap her head around it. For the first time since 5th grade, she finally beat Caroline. She knew that she could definitely get that surf class job now. She shook all the competitors’ hands, even Caroline’s, and ran to the shore where her parents were patiently waiting for her. Stephanie was congratulated by almost everyone there! This was her last competition for a while, and she knew that she had another good shot at winning next time, too.

    The reason “In The Meantime” made me write this is not because of the lyrics, but the instruments. The very beginning reminded me of morning, almost like someone waking up. The noise in the background sounded like waves to me, which made me think of Hawaii. The waves and the morning sounds eventually led me to think about surfing and a competition. I also thought about the movie “Soul Surfer”, which ends with a big surfing competition in Hawaii.

  25. When the levee breaks

    “The shot echoed through the night. Dogs barked and their footsteps could be heard along the sated bayou ground. The dogs ran along the levee and caught up to the injured boar. The boar was still trying to stand it’s ground, hoping to escape alive. A second shot rang through the night. The bullet hit the animal’s head and caused a shower of blood. The limp body fell to the mud and twitched. The only thing left of the boar’s head was a shattered skull and one eyeball hanging from its connective tissue. I walked up to the dead boar’s body and kicked it. The dogs all surrounded me and started barking. Alright, I said. That’s enough. Get back to the car. The dogs started running back to the car. I grabbed the boar from his hind legs and dragged him back to the car. I knew that the smell of blood would attract the alligators and I had to act quick. I threw my prize in the back of the pickup truck and made sure that all the dogs were in the car and drove to the house. When I got there, Junior helped me tie the pig upside down to the tree and I went inside to grab my knife. Then the boy screamed for me. I didn’t know what was wrong so I came outside with my knife and my apron on. All I saw was giant leathery wings enveloping Junior and then it took off. Carried him way up in the sky, and then dropped him from, I reckon, 200 feet in the air. The boy had no chance in Hell. Come on man, you gotta believe me. There’s no way Junior could’ve died any other way! Did you see his body?! He looks like he’s been sat on by a flatbed! … No I wasn’t drunk! Yes, I know it was dark… How could his body end up like that?! Fine.. fine. I’ll calm down. No need to get angry, officer. Alright… Alright… Alright…. Fine. Goodbye.”

    Sweat dripped from his forehead. He didn’t know what to do with himself now that his son was gone. How could he live with himself knowing that if he had brought his gun he could have shot the thing before it could take off. Then again, he knew that if he had taken the extra time to get his gun he would have never even seen the thing take off.
    He couldn’t sleep at night. All he could see was the image of the wings pick up his only child and drop him. Revenge was the only thought accompanied with his visions. He decided to recreate his day.
    The next day he went into the bayou and killed a boar. He brought it home and hung it upside down. Then he waited. He waited. He waited. He started dozing off. In his dream, he saw his son calling his name. Then Junior said that it was too late. That the deed was done. There was a huge wooshing noise. He opened his eyes to see darkness before him. He tried to see it’s face but only saw continuous blackness. Then he was picked up. They flew into the moon. They reached a point where his house looked like a lego block. Then he pulled out his knife. “If you’re taking me down, you’re coming down with me!” He plunged the knife into the darkness and everything around him started to vibrate. The air itself became unstable. There was an explosion of black. He fell. He fell. He fell. And, as the sun rose above the horizon, he died instantly as he hit his roof.

    The song influenced my writing because I would have never written about people in the south or anything like that, although I did put my own spin on it with fantasy or scifi, depending on how you view the creature in the story.

  26. A.) In the Meantime- Spacehog

    B.) The Summer was in the “dead period” as Quinn’s mother would say. Nothing to do, no one to do anything with. The end of August had a lazy affect on everyone in the small town of Springfield, Georgia. Especially Quinn Smith, a nine year old girl with strawberry blonde hair and a face filled with freckles. Quinn sat in her usual spot, on the couch with a bag of chips. The heat was unbearable, so humid no one wanted to move. Quinn decided that she was wasting her summer and school was coming up so she should really make the most of it. Quinn thought and thought, and couldn’t really think of anything because of her obnoxious older brother playing his stupid rock music.
    Her brother and his band, the “Spacehog” played in their garage every Tuesday and Friday. Quinn asked her mother what she could do but her mother had no idea and wouldn’t help her because she had to go to work. And Quinn’s father and mother got divorced a while ago so she was stuck at home with her brother Donovan and her dog Spot.
    Quinn ran into her garage and yelled “Can you turn down the music?” they did.
    And her seventeen year old brother Donovan replied “what do you want?” “I have a great idea…”
    Quinn told her brother her plan and they all thought it was great. They all ran into the supermarket grabbing all the food and drinks they could, next they grabbed all the chairs and tables they could. Then a small blow-up pool, which Donovan’s friend Fred begged for. They sprinted into the backyard and set up a whole party area. Then put posters around town and flyers in peoples mailboxes inviting them to a concert in their backyard.
    It was seven, and people ran into the backyard by the twenties. The entire town came! Quinn and Donovan had no idea what they got themselves into. Donovan along with his band members take the stage.
    “Everyone please settle down, the show is about to start.” Then they play their song In the Meantime.

    C.) This song reminded me of summer and this song sounded like something from a rock concert. So I kinda just made up the rest after thinking of those main ideas.

  27. “The Day The World Went Away” by Nine Inch Nails
    I lost my father last week. He had been diagnosed with leukemia when I was a baby so I never met him as a healthy man. The only memories we have together are playing checkers in the hospital waiting room and when I would steal his Jell-o when the nurse dropped his food off. Of course I love him, I just question whether I knew the real James Adams. I ask my mom if he had always been bald and if his eyes had ever had more life behind them. Was his sunken face always like that? I have never seen a picture of my father before the illness took him, and I blame my mom for that everyday. I understood from a young age that my dad needed my moms attention and all but she barely even paid attention to me. At age four I was the only kid who had no one to pick them up from preschool, and I would walk the mile and a half home because mom had dad to take care of. They knew he was fighting a losing battle from day one of his diagnosis, but the fact that he survived sixteen years is what is so shocking. My mother genuinely believed that any day could have been my father’s last, so I was more than accommodating. I would keep the house clean and cook dinner for myself when she didn’t come home at night, I would do the laundry that was strewn across her room and I would walk myself to school every morning taking care to lock the doors and turn off all of the lights. Mom didn’t bring me to the hospital much because to her I was just a burden. Making my father and I strangers competing for her affection, (a game which I had been losing since the day my father lost control).
    Here I am, the day of my father’s funeral. Sixteen years old with no parents left. So technically, yes I do have a mother, but you would only consider her that if you hadn’t met her. The strangest part of the whole situation for me is that I feel no emotion. I don’t care that my father is gone and I don’t care that my mother told me she feels no connection to me. To her I am just a reminder of her husband. I do admire her loyalty to him, but I despise everything else. I walked out of the funeral during my mother’s eulogy today. She was going on about how our family had been ripped apart and how it would just be us from now on so I ran. Here I am, in the middle of the night, I couldn’t tell you the name of this town I’m in but I like it. Families, all I have seen today, everywhere. I don’t understand that. The whole concept of love makes no sense to me. I wonder how my dad would feel, you know? If he could see me now. I wonder if he feels remorse for how screwed up our family was. I don’t blame him though. I blame science. Its 2013 we should be able to cure cancer already. I love my dad. He is my best friend. I never had time for friends growing up, I had to take care of an entire house since I was old enough to get food out of the cabinets. Mom didn’t like me, and dad did all he could to get me in to the hospital, or to leave the hospital for Christmas or my first play. So I wonder if either of us really knew each other or if our bond was all fake.

    The song was really slow and sad so I got the feeling of a teenager mourning a loss. Not only mourning the loss of someone who died but the loss of reality and a teenager who was questioning what their life really was to themself and everyone they knew. the narrator doesn’t have a name or a gender because I wanted the main character to be completely unanimous.

  28. A) In The Meantime – Spacehog
    B) Once upon a time there was a girl named Lillia. She was short, brunette, and probably one of the prettiest girls in her class. Lillia never felt like she belonged at her school because she was so different than everyone else there. She moved to a new school in New Jersey just this past fall. Her parents got divorced, forcing her and her mom to relocate to a different state. At her old school in Maine, she was captain of the Math Team, and president of the Recycling Club. At her new school, she is considered a no one. No one knows who she is, or even acknowledges her. The only social interaction Lillia made this year was the first day of school, when she was forced by her teachers to introduce herself to everyone in her classes. After that day, she crawled into her shell, and has yet to come back out. Lillia wants to be noticed, but not in a bad way. She will not be that quiet girl for much longer.
    Today marks one month before Southwests senior prom. Lillia was determined to find a date to go. It’s senior prom – who wouldn’t want to go? I’ve never talked to Lillia before, but I could read her mind. Her facial expressions, her quirky comments, she was the whole picture. The only couple words that she has ever said to me was “thank you”, or “sorry”. Polite, yes. Outgoing, maybe not. I could see her jealousy of the girls who sit in front of her when they were gazing through pictures of their potential prom dresses. This was my time to jump in.
    “Hey guys, who doesn’t have a date yet?”, I asked the girls sitting next to me, in front of Lillia.
    “I don’t know, most people already know who they’re going with.”
    “Yeah, but anyone will go with you, I’m surprised you don’t have a date yet.”
    “Yeah, hey Lillia, who are you going with?” I questioned.
    “Wha- me? Oh.. I don’t think I’ll be going.”
    “Why not?”, the girls asked in a shocking tone.
    “Well, I still don’t know anyone here, I don’t think I’ll get asked.”
    The two girls turned around confused. I could tell they felt bad for her, but they won’t feel bad for her much longer. After class I went up to Lillia’s locker.
    “Hey, you said you don’t know anyone?”
    “Yeah, I guess this whole social thing just isn’t my cup of tea.”
    “Well I’m going out tonight, want to join?”
    “No, no. I shouldn’t.”
    “Why is that?”
    “I’ll get you around eight. Be ready.”
    As I started to walk away, I could hear her deny the invitation even more, followed by a “Oh fine!”.

    Today marks fifteen days before our prom. I have yet to ask Lillia to come with me, but I think she wants to. Ever since I brought her to hangout that night, we have been hanging out more and more, not regretting one bit of it. She knows a couple people know, mostly all of my friends, but they befriended her as soon as she walked in. In the past fifteen days, she has came out of her shell, and I couldn’t be more happy for her.
    “Hey, so still no date to prom huh?”
    “Yeah, its whatever though.”
    “Do you want to go?”
    “Well yeah,but that’s besides the point.”
    “Oh, gotcha. So tonight, do you want to get some dinner?”
    “Yeah, who else?”
    “I was thinking just me and you.”
    “Like a date?”
    “Yeah, I would say so, pick you up later.”
    This was my time to ask her. Prom is just around the corner, and neither of us have a date. Tonight is the night I need to ask her.
    I picked her up around six-o’clock, and we drove for about an hour to the restaurant. It was right on the water, the most beautiful location ever. After we finished eating, we took a walk on the beach. As she ran in front of me for some distance, I coordinated how I was going to ask her right then. I took a stick and wrote the word “PROM” in the sand, trying to hold in my excitement for her to see.
    “Lillia! Come here! You gotta see this!”
    “Okay I’m coming!”
    My plan is working just right. As she approached the part of the sand that said “PROM”, I could see the excitement on her face. The grin started from about ten feet away, getting even wider and wider each step she took.
    “Oh my gosh..”
    “So, what is it?”
    “Yes, yes, yes!”
    As she leaped into my arms, I could tell I made the right choice, asking her. Lillia is now known as the luckiest girl in the school.
    C) This song made me think of someone who is quiet, but had the potential to be loud. Lillia is a quiet girl, but she never wanted to be, and her new best friend, aka prom date, is her loudness.

  29. 1.Heroes
    2. Late one night,the horde moved closer to shore. They swam playfully, acting just as dolphins usually do, in order to conceal their evil purpose. They swam right past nets, and other traps, and made it to the fleet of ships.
    They butted their noses against the hulls, and created dents, as water began to leak through. The men on board fired their weapons, but there were too many dolphins to make much of a difference. Some of the boats sank, the sailors on board being immediately devoured as they touched the water.
    Suddenly, the moon darkened as a figure with a small trail behind him landed on a ship, as thumbtacks rained from the sky. Thumbtack Man had come to save the day. He looked at one of the sinking ships, and a ray of hundreds of thumbtacks shot from his eyes, slightly wounding some of the dolphins and sending them back into the water.
    “Who are you?” asked one of the sailors.
    “I am Thumbtack Man. My powers were given to me by the Office Supplies Gods for one day. I would have come sooner but I got stuck to my couch”.
    He then flew into the air to prepare to fight, leaving a high speed trail of tacks as he flew.
    “Aaaahhhh! My eyes!” he heard several people scream.
    He flew over the water, firing his tack-beam at the enemies, but still they were too numerous. They started jumping up to try to bite him, but they only got tacks in their eyes. As he saw ships collapsing into the water, he decided that maybe he could’ve had a better super power.
    As he looked down, however, he noticed that they had started to die. He must have fired so many tacks that it was hard for the dolphins to not breathe them in. He was overjoyed that he had begun to win until he heard the ringing that told him it was midnight.
    He panicked as he realized that his day with super powers was over, and he began falling into the water. As he was torn apart by dolphins, he decided that he had saved lives, and it had been nice that he could be a hero, just for one day.

    3. The story was influenced by the song because it is about someone who manages to help people by becoming a hero for a day. I wondered what it would be like to have a really stupid superpower, and wondered if it could still help people, so I made up Thumbtack Man. The song also mentions swimming like the dolphins, and then says,”We can beat them, forever and ever”. Although he probably does not mean beating up dolphins, I still imagined it that way. I also thought jokingly to myself that it could mean dying, like swimming with the fishes. Anyway, both of these things happen.

  30. Song used: The Wire (HAIM)

    Short story: “Okay”
    2 a.m. Two in the morning and we were all still up, all still in the waiting area. The five of us wanted to say we knew that Alyssa would be okay, but we didn’t. The only thing we knew was that we were all in a serious car accident that night, but Alyssa was the only one that never came out of her hospital room. We’d been sitting around since about 1 when the rest of us came out with scrapes or bruises here and there, and Brian with a mild concussion. Brian hadn’t said much considering he was closer to Alyssa than the rest of us. He had also been driving the car, and guilt was plastered all over his face. The crash was an accident, just two cars not paying attention to the other. However, it was clear that Brian didn’t see it that way yet.

    As you may have guessed Alyssa was in the passenger’s seat…the death seat. But, I thought to myself, there was no way Alyssa was dead.I just wasn’t sure why doctors hadn’t come in to explain to us what was happening. While I was having that thought, we heard panting and a frantic man’s voice. It was Alyssa’s brother who had come home on the train from college two hours away. It was serious. Briefly acknowledging us, he ran to the room the secretary told him Alyssa was staying in
    “I know it’s my fault guys, I’m sorry” Brian said breaking the silence.

    Our friend Emily responded, “Stop it, it wasn’t anyone’s fault and no one is blaming you. Besides, Alyssa will be okay.” Her trembling voice made her nerves evident. It remained silent for the next half hour or so until, finally, Alyssa’s mother walked in trying to hide her puffy red eyes and runny nose.

    “Hi guys,” she said quietly in that sweet tone of hers, “Is everyone okay?”

    “Yes, we’re all good…but how’s Alyssa?” Brian immidiately asked.

    She sat next to Brian and put her hand on his knee as comfort. The accident didn’t do much damage to Alyssa, similar to the rest of you. Before I tell you why we’ve been cooped up in that room all night, know that Alyssa is going to be okay. But…” she took a long pause, “during some tests that they ran to test for a concussion, the doctors found a brain tumor. Alyssa is going to be struggling for a little while, and we’re not sure how long. But they promised she would be okay.”

    We were all speechless. There were tears and everyone just wanted to see Alyssa. Brian took it the hardest as expected, and it took him weeks to recover from the initial shock. But even he admits that because of the reassurance that Alyssa’s mom gave us, that Alyssa was going to be okay, we knew that we would be okay too.

    Explanation: I was initially influenced by the repeating line in this song “I know I know I know that you’re gonna be okay anyways”. I thought of the fears that many people suffer thinking about their loved ones that are sick and how it would be so much better if you KNEW they really were going to be okay. In addition, the idea of the wire struck me as something “coming down to the wire” which is why the people in the accident waited so long to find out the verdict of Alyssa’s condition. Although not exactly mirroring the idea of the song, it gave me inspiration to write a story about people believing that someone would be alright.

  31. The crowd of inmates shuffled through the spotless white walls. Armed guards directed the flow of people, like dams manipulating the flow of the water. The people here were of all ages, ethnicities, and genetic structures. Yes some people had reptilian scales, or avian wings growing out of their backs, hell, some people barely resembled humans. Others were gifted by fate. There were telekinetics, pyrokinetics, cryokinetics. Any comic-book power you could think of was here. The “anomalies” as they were called were kept in secrecy to avoid global panic and hysteria.
    The orange-clad inmates shuffled into the cafeteria. This and sleeping were the only breaks they had from the experiments of the overly-curious scientists. They ate in silence, nobody said anything. They had all been broken by the oppressive nature of the facility. The newest addition to their growing numbers was a young-adult, who was gifted with extraordinary strength after an accident involving nuclear waste. He didn’t eat, he just watched all the others hold their heads low. He jumped up on the lunch table, prompting the guards to draw their electric batons. At the top of his lungs he yelled: ” Though nothing will drive them away! We can be heroes,! We can be us,! Even if just for one day!” Then picked up one of the guards and threw him through a wall, about thirty feet away. Slowly the others joined in one by one, until it was a complete prison riot. The chaos tore through the prison, very little was left standing, human or otherwise. The long since sealed front gates were ripped off their hinges, as everyone re-entered the world. In pursuit of their own goals.

    -Heroes by David Bowie

    My first inspiration for what this would be about is the line: “Though nothing will drive them away. We can beat them,” This created a picture of fighting against oppression. Next, I interpreted the mentioning of Heroes to be referring to Super-Heroes, or rather super-powered people who could be heroes. I duck-taped the two together and received a story about a prison riot of potential super heroes. Had the song been a darker tone, I would have ended it with the riot failing, or no-one joining in to assist the nuclear-powered inmate. But since it has a triumphant tone It ended well. although ambiguously.

  32. HAIM – The Wire

    Cassie and Zack had been dating since their freshman year of high school. During their senior year, they were voted as the class couple. They did everything together. After a few years of dating him, Cassie lost her best friend but it didn’t bother her as much it should’ve. Her best friend was sick of Cassie doing everything with Zack and nothing with her. She didn’t know how to balance Zack and her best friend. He also had some of his friends stop talking to him because he was always with Cassie. Not many other knew how attached Cassie and Zack were. At first they weren’t that close, but the more they dated they more became attached to each other.
    They both were oblivious of how obnoxious they were until that one day when Cassie had a dream… it was about 10 years into the future and her and Zack were married. She had no one other than him, all her other friends had left her, and even her family had abandoned her because they all knew Zack wasn’t right for her. Even Zack wasn’t still dedicated to her. He worked so much that she never saw him. She saw herself as a depressed and lonely individual. She was finally seeing his true colors…
    She woke up with tears streaming down her face and knew what she had to do. She called Zack and asked him to meet her at 99 for lunch. When she got there they sat at a booth. She told him about her dream and that she wanted to break up. He tried telling her that “That would never happen” or, “I wouldn’t ever do that” and, “You’re overacting a little”.. then he paused and thought about how all they had was each other. He tried to think of how romantic it was but before he could say anything, she got up and left the booth with a “Zack were over, I’m done.”
    She went straight to her ex-best friends house and told her everything that happened. They surprisingly made up and became best friends again, like Zack had never existed…
    Life moved on. Cassie was getting texts and messages from Zack saying how much he missed her and that he still loves her. She knew it wasn’t true and was glad that life was good again. She was happy they broke up. The only thing she ever said to him again was, “I know we broke up and I’m sorry it didn’t work out. But I know that you’re gonna be ok anyway, without me. xoxo” – Cassie

    This story was inspired by the lyrics of the song. This kind of story was the first thing that popped into my head when I first listened to the song.

  33. A.) Changes- 2Pac

    B.) It was a Wednesday afternoon and a boy named John was having a rough day. Normally, Wednesdays are his favorite day of the week because it is “hump day”! However this Wednesday could have been one of the worst days of his life. John is a junior in high school and tends to get made fun of because of his looks. John was African American in a school primarily filled with white people. Racism was everywhere, especially in John’s high school, that just started to allow African Americans. Segregation was prevalent. At first John was very excited to be able to go to this school that was close to home and could provide a good education. He was a little worried about how is peers would act around him but he grew up learning to not allow words to hurt him. His momma would always say, “don’t let them get to you, show them you are the bigger person.” However, he did not know it would be this bad. He expected it the first few days but John had the hopeful thought that it would pass once people got the chance to know him from the outside and not based on the color of skin.
    It was his fourth Wednesday going to Wakefield High School and things were starting to become unbearable. John had not made any friends and he felt terrified each time it came time to go to a different class because he knew that the walk there would be filled with yelling, pushing, and spitting; yes John had been spit on by other students. John believed the teachers would at least be there for him but he soon learned that they treated him differently as well. They pretended as if noting was going on. It was this Wednesday that John had been pushed to the ground a total of 7 times, evening out to once per passing time. Once it came to the seventh time, John did not even want to get up. In addition the abuse, John got accused of stealing a kid’s wallet that was out to get him. It turns out that the kid had his wallet all along but just wanted to see the defeat in John’s eyes as he got called down to the office. John’s departure also allowed the perfect amount of time for the punk to pour red paint all over John’s chair so that when he sat down his pants would be covered in red. After the endless torture John was diminished and started to actually believe that he was nothing.
    John came to the conclusion that this was his fate and that there was nothing else he could have done. He was black and that made him different. He will always be pushed down and the first one to be blamed once something goes wrong. After the paint incident John got up and left not looking back. He was not sure where he was going to go but he needed to get away to a place where he could breathe. John was left hopeless and alone. It was just “the way it is”.

    C.) The lyrics of this song really spoke to me, allowing me to come up with this story. The artist of this song had black skin and was talking about the prejudices he faced throughout his life. He was always looked at to be different and the first one the cops would look at when there was a problem, according to the song. This brought me to thinking about racism, especially in schools when different races were first combined. It is a very sad topic and that is why my story’s theme is pretty upsetting. I want to get the point across about how bad it was. Listening to the song I got upset as well because 2Pac is saying how this is “just the way it is” and stating that there will be “no changes”. This made me upset thinking that 2Pac has lost hope in things being changed, similar to Johns feelings. The biggest thing this song does is show awareness to the people that care and hope to make a change because these feelings of giving up were not only felt by 2Pac and John, it was common throughout the whole black community..

  34. A) “The Wire” by HAIM


    I looked up at the turquoise planet above my head. I tried to imagine what they were doing up there. Since this large mass entered our universe, with its atmosphere and oxygen and water, it destroyed everything. Earth was perfect. It had life and it was beautiful. But I guess that wasn’t enough. We killed off what little life was left after the war and those who could afford moved to the turquoise planet. I got stuck down here, though. The government’s monthly pamphlet told us there was approximately 372 people on Earth. It often feels like I’m by myself, however.
    On the turquoise planet everything was great. People were happy and there were never any wars. At least that’s what the pamphlet told us. Everytime I read one of those things I just got so angry. My companions and I would burn them. Everyone down here was always fighting, so it was good to have people who you could trust. After September’s pamphlet was sent down, we burned it and smashed some left over cars we found in a lot behind what was left of a Walmart. When we were finished and our anger settled a little we just sat and stared up at the turquoise planet.
    “Why do we put up with this,” I asked.
    “What choice do we have? We have no power down here. What are we gonna do? Revolt? It wouldn’t do anything. Remember the one they tried back in Brazil in ‘67? It failed and they were all killed off,” my companion, Joshua, reminded me.
    “So that’s the worst that can happen? We are killed? That’s probably better than living down here. I’ve been wearing these pants for three years, Josh. We have to hunt for food and barely find and scraps. We are starving and dying. Why not try something?”
    “Wait, are you serious?”
    “Shut up. What the hell do you think you’re doing? For one thing, you’ll just fail and second how are two of you going to change anything? What do you even want? People back on Earth or would you rather just sneak onto that planet?” asked Jenn, the pessimist.
    “Well we should be treated fairly, shouldn’t we? We’re human beings. They live in Heaven up there and down here is Hell and I’m done. We should fight for what we deserve.”
    “Well, I’m in,” Josh exclaimed.
    I looked at Jenn. I reminded her that she was currently lying on a piece of fabric on top of old trash that had glass sticking up out of it. If we were going to do this, we had to get everyone involved. There were 17 people in our area. This used to be “Boston” but titles don’t really matter anymore. Everyone migrated to the bigger cities after the war and here disease and starvation killed most. The monthly statistics showed that the east and west coasts of the western territory were the most populated areas in the world. Much of the east had been destroyed and the few people left had gradually disappeared.
    We knew that we weren’t going to completely change life down here, but we just wanted the people on the turquoise planet to understand what was happening. They would care. Before the war, there were many caring people. There had to be some left.
    The only real contact between the planets was when they sent down the monthly pamphlet. It was sent down in a small spacecraft, big enough to fit three people. The plan was to go to the delivery area next month and climb in and go up to the planet. It was not a very thought out plan, but it was our only choice. The next delivery date was rapidly approaching. Josh volunteered, but Jenn had to be convinced. Either way, we were all terrified. When the time came, we had been waiting near the landing sight. The automated bot was pretty easy to manipulate. We climbed in and there was even some extra room. It only took about ten minutes to get to the turquoise planet.
    We arrived with a crash. When we climbed out we saw we were in a pile of these automated spacecrafts. There were thousands. We got out of the pile and looked around. There was nothing there. It was flat land. There was one building, though. As we approached it, sirens went off. We walked in, already caught, and it was empty except for one computed and thousands more bots.
    “What,” Josh said.
    “I don’t know,” I answered.
    There was nothing on the planet. Everything we believed was wrong. We took another bot back to earth and spread the news.

    C) The song inspired this story because when I listened to it I pictured a group of survivors starting a revolution. The female voices were strong and dominate. This is what the main character is. The lyrics are about how they did something that seemed wrong, but felt right. The revolt was right, even though it felt wrong and failed.

  35. A. When the Levve Breaks

    B. The scene starts off in a town in a desert in Nevada. The sun is beating down rays of heat that could give someone a real bad burn if they were out too long. A blonde woman starts walking towards this town. She has some kind of connection to this town. This is where she grew up. Her name is Victoria Nelson. She knows that someone down in this town knows something about what happened to her father, Michael Nelson who was taken when Victoria was just a little girl. After her father disappeared, she moved to New Mexico to where her aunt Karen lived. Once Victoria became older she knew finding out what happened to her father would be her goal.She has been looking all over just to find out what exactly happened.
    She then approaches this town with full intent to get whatever she needs and she has no problem dealing with those who stand in her way. Victoria then goes into the local bar and shoats “Does anyone know a Michael Nelson?, anyone?” Then the music stops. Everyone is silent. She then starts to walk around the bar to see if anyone would answer her question. She then asks again “Does anyone know a Michael Nelson?” Then all of a sudden an old man sitting at the bar stands up and says “I Do.” She then walks over to him and asks “How do you know my father?” He replies “He was the blacksmith in the town a few years back. Your father was loved by everyone in the community. He would make the best silverwear ever. There were one little group that did not like anyone though, they were the BlackHawks. They were a group of bandits that prey on those weaker. They are the people that took your father. They have connections in this town.

  36. Sandra Mercer
    The Wire (HAIM)

    “This is yours?”
    He smiled, “Yep. Built it myself. I mean, it took almost two years, but somehow I got it together. Just searched for spare parts and bought a few things. My dad helped.”
    The red convertible glimmered in the summer light, reflecting off of the side mirrors and into my eyes. But his smile was brighter. For a car built out of spare parts, it didn’t look to shabby. He honked the horn and patted the steering wheel.”
    “Hop in!” he bellowed, “We’re going out!”
    I ran down the front steps of my porch, my Converse slapping the pavement, hair flying behind me.
    “Why?” I asked as he started the car.
    “Why not?”
    We hit the highway and I swear we were flying. My long hair flew in every direction, ending up behind me, in front of me, in my mouth, everywhere. Jason slipped his aviators on and turned the music up louder, both of us screaming the lyrics at the top of our lungs. We were driving past the beach, either side of us long sands and fresh blue waters. He shouted something, but the wind and music muffled his voice.
    More muffled shouts.
    “Jase I can’t hear you!”
    He grinned from ear to ear, not even looking over at me. He extended his hand, still focusing on the road, and I latched onto his fingers. His smile got even wider than I thought possible, and we pulled off of the high way and toward the beach parking lot.
    “Let’s go,” he smirked, opening my door and taking my hand again. He lead me past the beach entrance and down a path.
    I looked around, not familiar with this part, “Where even are we?”
    “Private beach. I used to work for these people last summer. Said I could come anytime, bring a friend. Or girlfriend,” he smirked again.
    “Wait wh–”
    “Shhh,” he interrupted, “Just go with it.”
    Another smirk before he started pulling me down the path to the private beach with chairs, picnic tables, and a palm-tree bar.
    “This is so awesome” I gaped.
    “Pretty cool, huh?”
    I turned to him, “Jason, about what you said bef–”
    “I meant it. What I said, I mean. You are beautiful. I’ve thought that for a long time. I like you, a lot. And I think you like me too. Wouldn’t that make us boyfriend and girlfriend?”
    I rolled my eyes, “I guess so.”
    He grinned again, “Yeah you GUESS.”
    I shoved him a little, but he came in for a kiss.
    “Be my girlfriend?”
    “Only if you’ll be my boyfriend.”
    He kissed me gently again, and then turned around.
    “Get on!”
    I hopped on his back as he ran for the ocean, “Get ready, it’s freezing!”
    “Wait, Jase stop! I don’t have any extra clothes!”
    He kept running faster toward the water until we were almost there.
    “Don’t worry, I brought you extra! Stole some stuff from my sister’s closet, let’s go!”
    He ran in and the cool ocean waters hit my ankles, then my calfs. Soon he couldn’t run anymore and he fell face first, me falling shortly after him. He came up gasping for air, shaking his brown curls and rubbing his eyes.
    “This is freezing!”
    “Yeah, but this is awesome.”
    We adventured in the ocean for awhile before heading back to his convertible, soaking wet. He threw me a towel and handed me a grocery bag.
    “Put these on in the bathroom at the public side, then meet me back here.”
    “What’s going on?”
    “You’ll see. See ya in a few.”
    He ran back down the path with the towel around his neck, his own grocery bag in hand. Walking back to the car in Jason’s sister’s sundress, I saw the glint of the red convertible and Jason’s aviators. He was in a white button down and jeans, a red tie around his neck. A red rose in his hands.
    “For you, my love.”
    I took the rose from his hand, “Thank you, this is sweet.”
    “Hop in the back seat, we’ve got a lot to eat.”
    A picnic basket and a checkered blanket laid across the back seat of the car, more roses on top of the basket.
    “Creative,” I remarked, opening the door and jumping in.
    “Only for you.”

    As soon as I heard this song I thought of summertime adventures. Summer is filled with free time to do whatever it is that you want to do. Maybe even get into a little trouble along the way. I immediately pictured a couple driving down the highway and jamming out to this song, and hanging out on the beach just enjoying each others company. I didn’t really know where it would go from there, but I had “adventure” in my mind the whole time. I think this story came out alright, and I think if you read this story while listening to the song it would go pretty well.

  37. A) Changes by Tupac

    Growing up in this generation has kind of been like a gift. It seems as if the common teenager’s worst problems are the amount of homework and Instagram likes they get. But, looking back to teenagers during the civil rights movement or even as current as the 1990s, teenagers then had it a lot worse than us. This story is about a girl living as a teenager in the 1990s in a STILL segregated/racist high school. She was put in the lower level classes because the school thought that she was not smart. Little did they know, she was extremely smart. She hated the way she was treated in the school, along with the other kids in her class. They decided to do something about it. In her English class, they had a new teacher. Mrs. Gruwell. She helped them change the school and started the Freedom Writers. The girl later graduated and became a peace activist. She changed the way people thought. She was a hero to many people in the local area. Soon, everyone knew of her. People wanted her to present everything she believed in. “It’s time for us as people to start making changes. Let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way we live, and let’s change the way we treat each other.” She got through to many people and changed the lives of many.

    C) I thought of this because it reminded me of Freedom Writers.

  38. I woke up late today, later than usual. I wondered, “Why?” Was I tired due to sleep deprivation, or tired of life? Whichever it may have been, didn’t matter a single modicum to me, what mattered to me was getting through the day. So like any other day I awoke with an empty stomach, and nothing to fill it. I awoke with the hunger for recognition, and found only anonymity. I awoke with the sounds of the unforgiving city, and no pillow big enough to silence them. I awoke from my wildest dreams, and no path to lead me to them. I awoke with pent up anger coursing through my blood, and no antidote to mend it. Like any other day, I awoke with questions, and found no trace of any plausible answers. With the consideration of all these components, I decided to make change. No, not by asking questions that only begged more questions, but by finding the answers. So when I got to work, I asked my boss, “Scuse me, boss? Why do we print these hea’ papers, even knowing this stuff ain’t true?”. He handed me a dollar bill (Which was a significant amount back then) and said, “Causadat dollar bill. You see, the world spins at whatever speed THAT dollar wants it to… You’d best learn that now boy, ’cause less youz got the will of God or THAT dollar, youz powerless.”
    “Whattaya mean by that mistuh Sikes?” I inquired curiously.
    “Take for example that dude over there, see ’em?
    “Yeah I see ’em mistuh-” he cut me off before I could finish my sentence.
    “HE ain’t gut that dollar, and he certainly ain’t gut the will of God, so what is he compared to you?” He asked in a less than rhetoric tone of voice
    “Powerless mistuh Sikes?” I said with confidence, yet a hit of uncertainty.
    “Exactly, now go down to the bank and deposit that dollar I gave you” he said firmly
    “You want me to give up my power?! Now way” I proclaimed sharply.
    “Now you can deposit it, or I’ll take it.” Cause can stay in power, not forever. So that is what youz needa know, we’re all powerless.”

  39. A) The name of the song used.
    B) A short story inspired by the song.
    C) A brief explanation of how the writing was influenced by the song.

    A) The song i used is called “The Day The World Went Away” by Nine Inch Nails.
    B) He just kept running. It felt to him as if he would never stop, like he couldn’t stop or the reality he had just left behind him would catch up and take him over. He wouldn’t look up. The only views he had were the dark asphalt and an occasional puddle. He didn’t care which turn he took or where it led him he just kept running. Pushing every thought relating to what he had just heard back there straight out of his mind. The cool fog hit every part of his body. it was just like one of his races he thought, except this one he didn’t have “Watergate High School Runner #027 Brandon Eastwood” plastered on his chest. He was always a good runner but never good at facing his problems, hence being good at running away.
    Pacing back and forth, Brandon’s “parents” were starting to check the clock more often. It was getting late and their “son” hadn’t returned after storming out the door. They had taken him in once his real parents had died years ago in an accident. Everyone was awed at how strong Brandon was at only being thirteen years old. he certainly grew up faster than any other kid and had no other family he was in contact with, therefore, he was taken in by his lifelong neighbors. in Brandon’s head, he was not that strong, he did not deal with issues after that tragic news. Instead, he began to run. To himself, he used to refer to that day as the day the world cracked. His theory was that if, later in life, maybe hundreds of years past his lifetime, the world was to ever go away he would know the reason. He would know how it had started and it was because of that crack.
    He had just gotten home from track practice when he noticed what cars were in the driveway. It was a Thursday so normally only Jean’s car would be in the driveway. When he turned the corner to his familiar street and saw Barry’s car as well, he was confused, Barry had never missed or come home early from a day of work for the whole time they took Brandon in. His usual after-school/practice routine was disturbed by the sight of his “parents” sitting at the counter waiting for him. Brandon could tell by their actions right away something was wrong. he knew the signs way too well from past experiences, the lack of eye contact, the fiddling of hands, and the biting of lips,They had bad news and he didn’t want to hear it. He didn’t need another crack in the world. He listened to the words they had to say but in their voices, only heard decay. He heard more words that left him with that cold and gray feeling he knew too well. The day the world went away came a lot quicker than he was hoping for, he didn’t want to have to be alive to experience it.

    C) I used the sad, dark tone of the song to make a sad story. Some of the lyrics made its way into the story to describe how he was feeling.

  40. A)”The Day the World Went Away” -Nine Inch Nails

    B) The elevator doors slowly came together before me. I pressed the “Floor 8” button, indicating to my company that I was headed for the ICU. A plump old man behind me sighed to display his sympathy. Although he had not a clue what my personal sob story was, or who I was going to visit and how she ended up there, he knew the ending was iffy. After all, doctors can only save so many people. Hospital stories are always fifty/fifty. Whether the hero will perish or gratefully carry on is never revealed until the very end.
    So for Jillian’s story, let me start from the very beginning.So i met her when we were six. She was in my first grade class. We became best friends after getting in an extremely rough brawl, (for a pair of elementary-schoolers, at least.) We then had to stay in from recess everyday for the next week, and by the time our punishment was over, we didn’t even ask to go outside anymore. We had more fun doing every puzzle Ms. Bailey had to offer on the soft red rug in the back of her classroom. And blah, blah, blah, the rest was history. Now, jumping to the point, eleven years later.
    Jillian and I were off to Barnes and Noble, our favorite place in the world. We were headed there after we went to the 99, just like every other Wednesday.Just as i was taking an unlucky left-turn into the Barnes and Noble parking lot, a stupid, drunk twenty-five-year-old jerk decided not to step on the brakes, and RAM. He slammed right into my car, perpendicularly. His car (for lack of a better word) basically crushed Jillian, and for some reason left me without a scratch.
    Now, here I am, three days later, sitting with a bouquet of tulips next to the still-unconscious, best person I know. The doctors promised, if all goes well she SHOULD be waking within a few days, but can’t guarantee what her state will be. “Brain damage is tricky,” they said, “It varies from person to person. She could wake up absolutely fine, or not remember her own name. We just have to wait and see.”
    Her bruised face and motionless body fill me with anger with each glance. I’m ready to leave. It’s only been ten minutes, but far more than I can bear. Just as i set the tulips down and stand to exit the tiny, depressing room, a slight movement catches my eye from the bed. Her eyes begin to flicker. Suddenly, all at once, everything I had been waiting for is right there in front of me. Two blue eyes notice me, and for the first time since before the incident, our gazes meet.

  41. A) Heroes by David Bowie

    B) A young boy is not noticed much by others and doesn’t have many friends. His only true friend is a girl he has known since he was a small child. The other kids in the neighborhood always tease the two friends for various reasons. One day, they pick on the girl on her birthday. The boy decides he has had enough and fights back, protecting her and also himself. The boy’s emotions spill over and in his mind he imagines over-the-top scenerios where he could save the girl from more disasters: he rescues her in the ocean, and protects her in a war. He returns back to reality when he realizes that he has feelings for her but knows they can’t be together because she is currently involved in a relationship. He continues to ward off the nasty kids and feels like a hero when he succeeds.

    C) My writing is influenced by the song’s lyrics. The lyrics include “we can be heroes” and my short story is developed around that idea. Also, David Bowie’s tone of voice in the song sounds kind of desperate and that makes me think of my character’s desire to grasp his friend’s attention.

  42. In the meantime by spacehog
    b) Everyday, things repeat again and again. The sun still rise up and the sunset is still amazing. The air is still fresh. But, these tiny but lovely things don’t touch the man. He wanders in the street in the dark because sadness and worries stuck him. The sky is gray. Life is gray. He loses himself. suddenly, an idea hits him which is that he wants to keep wandering and walking. He travels many towns and cities, but he still feel lonely. One day, on his way, he need to climb a hill to another town and he does. After climbing, he is too tired and lies on the grass. The sun shines his face and the blue sky touches his heart. At the moment, he understands something, something important. He smiles.
    C) The music is a little decadent. On the other hand, the lyrics are positive. It makes me feel like a man wanders a town, blue sky, green grass and cows. In the end of the song, there is a piano solo. It is a great contrary comparing the main. The solo is touching and peace. It feels like a heart finding a home to rest. Because we find and understand love.

  43. A) HAIM- The Wire
    B) A group of a girls started walking down the beach towards the ocean on a hot summer day. All the local boys watched as they walked by them and all the girls stared in jealousy but one of the girls tripped and fell onto some guys lap. The guy looked at her and said, “Hi Crystal.” She looked up and stared into his crystal blue eyes and couldn’t remember his name. He looked at her and didn’t know what else to say. She snapped out of her little trance and stood up and said, “Sorry,” and scurried off back with her friends. All her friends made fun of her and laughed at her for tripping but she couldn’t stop thinking about the guy and when she asked her friends if the boy was still looking at her they had no idea what she was talking about. One of them said, “You fell onto a towel next to a fat lady.” She thought for sure she fell on top of a guy who she swore she had met him before. She ran back up to where he was and he already dissipated all there was, was a fat lady and a towel. One of her friends, Abby ran up behind her, “Are you okay, Crissy?” Crystal nodded and said, “Ya I thought I forgot my goggles.” They walked back to their friends but Crystal looked confused. She made up some excuse about not feeling good and left. She walked towards her car and felt a light tap on her shoulder. It was the guy again. She turned around and he was gone. She thought she was dehydrated and was seeing things so she left and tried to make the boy escape her mind.
    C) The music was very upbeat and positive. As soon as i listened to it I thought of Summertime and adventures. I thought of the beach and being young. And listening to the lyrics I kept hearing the word fall so it made me think of the girl falling.

  44. I’ve Got A Name by Jim Croce
    I walked down the empty road but wasn’t lonely. The autumn leaves were covering the path towards the lake. Another summer had passed and I couldn’t think of anything but that moment. How nice it was to be walking down my favorite road alone. I didn’t like the idea of getting older, but I knew these were the things I’d remember. The summers at my favorite place with my favorite people. It’s what I have to look forward to no matter what. It’s the best feeling. I’ll leave now but before I know it, I’ll be back.

  45. A boy, alone, slowly ambles down a sidewalk, downtrodden, his sneakers slick with the rain that falls around him. His back is not bare, but is only covered by a black sweater, by now soaked through with cold water. His hair, dark and long, is pressed flat against his forehead. After a few minutes of walking, he stops, exhausted. He takes a deep breath, sad. He sits down on the side of the road, too weak to stand anymore. On the curb, he sits for hours, though he doesn’t really know how long for sure. The rain is cold and unwelcoming, but his body soon grows numb. He likes the numbness, so there he stays, losing track of time. Time means nothing to him anymore. He sees it only as only some higher being above his head, watching, and holding a stop watch, timing how long his miserable life continues, how long he endures existence in this black purgatory. Eventually, in that same spot, he falls asleep. He knows now, that even in his dreams, he can’t escape, but, with nothing left, he has no better option than to try.

    Inspiration: The Day The World Went Away
    This song immediately struck me as extremely melancholy, and that was before it even got to the lyrics. The words only cemented my opinion that this song is one about loss and emptiness, a theme present in my write-up, as well.

  46. When the Levee Breaks- Led Zeppelin

    We heard the first crack from all the way across town. The city went silent. We all knew what would happen next. The thing we’d feared for so long was here. The first ten seconds after the crack were the most surreal of my life. Each and every person held their breath. A complete and utter silence so terrifying I couldn’t bear it settled over us.

    Then the first scream came. Now, years later, I hardly notice the screaming. I’m used to it. But that first scream woke us all up. We began to run. More screams: louder and more horrifying with each passing second as we ran.

    The wall had failed. We had contained the disease to those on the other side of it, but now they’d broken through. They would want their vengeance. I was terrified.

    I hid in an alley with my older sister and held my eyes closed tight hoping it was all a dream. It wasn’t. We smelled it before we saw it. That smell of rotten flesh that to this day I cannot wash from my skin. Sightless, fast, clawed, and morbid. Those are the first words that came to mind when I saw it.

    It was attacking a woman. I didn’t do anything. I regret not doing anything.

    “Tom, it can’t see you. Be as quiet as you can and it will leave us alone,” my sister whispered into my ear. Once again, I held my breath.

    To this day I am amazed by how brave she was in those dire moments. I would be dead a hundred times over without her. She was only a few years older than me and yet so much stronger.

    The creature finished off the woman and moved towards us on all fours. I could see its nostrils move as it caught my scent. The last thing I remember before I hit my head and was knocked out was my sister lunging at it and screaming.

    The song affected my writing because it got me thinking of a disaster that would hurt people so much that they’d have to leave their precious homes forever. Instead of going with a flood like in the song, I used an apocalypse type thing. The sound of the music also influenced my writing. It’s very beat-heavy and intense. It made me think of a heroic scene in a movie, which is why I had Tom’s older sister same him.

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