Naflafiwrimo Day 13: Shuffle

I mentioned on day 11 that there was a story I was working on that was taking a while to finish. Well, it still isn’t finished but it’s in readable state, so here it is. If you have any suggestions on improvements or different songs I could use, please mention them in the comments 🙂

P.S. This Doctorin’ The Tardis is a real song.

_

Shuffle

1. Don’t Stop Me Now, Queen

He comes round again and he almost remembers something from a dream, something horrible. Did it really happen? It can’t have, he’s somewhere else now, somewhere strange and quiet where he can’t feel a thing. He tries to move. He can wiggle his fingers but he can’t tell if he’s moving his legs or not. Are they still there?

There’s something in his hand and he squeezes it. It lights up, the glow illuminating the dusty leather seat above his head.

The screen is cracked but it still seems to work. It’s his iPod.

2. The Winner Takes It All, ABBA

One minute he’s leaving the party. He steps out of the front door, retro music blaring out behind him. If there’s one thing he and Dave have left in common, it’s the music. He gets to his car and looks behind him. Dave is standing in the doorway.

‘You OK getting home, mate?’ Dave says.

‘Yeah, I’ll be fine.’ He gets into the car.

‘Hey, I know a shortcut…’

3. Ashes To Ashes, David Bowie

‘Help!’ he tries to shout, but he can’t make a sound. No-one knows where he is, do they? He’s going to die, of cold or blood loss or maybe just pain, the increasing pain he feels running up his spine. The car presses in on all sides like someone’s scrunched up a ball of tinfoil with him in the middle.

Someone must know. Someone must come soon.

He presses play on the iPod and flinches as music bursts into life against his eardrums. His headphones are in. Somehow, his headphones are still in.

  • 4. Hit The Road Jack, Ray Charles

‘Look mate, just leave off. I told you–’

I turn away from him, back to the dining room. ‘For fuck’s sake, Dave, we’re not seventeen any more.’ If Dave wants another favour he can forget it. I help myself to another beer on my way out. Entitled shit. What more does he want?

  • 5. Doctorin’ The Tardis, The Timelords

Everyone has one embarrassing song on their iPod. They never let you forget your mistakes, do they? He tries to change the track but his fingers don’t seem to work. They just ache. Or maybe the button isn’t working, he can’t tell. He can only see the iPod out of the corner of his eye and he can’t turn his head.

Then it’s gone. His hand is empty. He’s dropped it.

The music is too loud, so he doesn’t hear the sound of the iPod landing, nor his own involuntary moan as his hand grasps at thin air.

  • 6. Walking On Sunshine, Katrina and the Waves

Now he’s wondering where he is. Must have taken a wrong turning somewhere. All the roads look the same in the dark.

It’s too quiet and he’s still got that song stuck in his head, so he reaches into his jacket on the seat beside him and rummages about for his iPod.

  • 7. Bizarre Love Triangle, New Order

This is her song, or what he thinks of as her song. Isn’t anyone coming? She’ll probably call, didn’t he give her his number? His memories are hazy. His head hurts.

  • 8. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, The Police

‘I know this one,’ she says, leaning in close.

He nods his head but doesn’t reply. Better to dance. She seems to agree.

  • 9. The Sound Of Silence, Simon and Garfunkel

How long has he been here? Long enough that the battery in his iPod has died. How long ago was that? It doesn’t matter; the music plays round and round his head over and over and he’s dancing again.

  • 10. Losing My Religion, R.E.M.

He pulls into the driveway and a minute later he’s knocking on the door. He can hear people and music inside. Dave has a nice place, fountain in the front lawn and everything.

Sally answers the door, wearing a tight black dress and a coy smile.

He holds out the bottle of wine he’s brought. His offering is accepted and she leads him inside. He’s feeling good about tonight, catches her eye and smiles.

 

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About lemonmachine

I am Kieren McCallum, a third-year English Literature student at UEA, Norwich. View all posts by lemonmachine

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