The following story was written in response to the Bloggy Moms Writers’ Workshop for this week –
“This week’s prompt involves music. Think about that story that’s been on your mind. Think about your main character, or maybe a side character. Think about the story itself, or maybe just a pivotal scene in the story. You got it in your head? Do you hear that music playing in the background? What if your story were made into a movie? What song(s) come to mind? Pick one and write the scene that plays out in your head when you hear it. Let it inspire you.“
Here are the pieces that inspired this post:
It’s going to be a long day. That Martha knew when the very first word she said upon waking up was “I do not know what to serve your folks for lunch!”
A couple of hours later, she stared at the beaters fluffing up the sugar syrup and shortening in the mixing bowl as the 3 note serenade of computer game music made an unlikely duet with the whirring motor. I hope this fresh batch of fondant works out. She let out a drawn out sigh as she cast a glance at the plates and pans stacked on the sink, the dirty counter, the school manuals that were piled up on the kitchen table. And the floor needs to be swept. How will I ever get that cake decorated and done?
“Calm down. I’ll take care of everything when I get back.” She recalled her husband’s admonition before he drove off for work, but then she got distracted by crying behind her. “Oh, you dropped your pacifier. Here it is now,” she cooed to the baby on the high chair. “Now go to sleep.”
“Andrew, do your Math. You can play on the computer later,” she said to her boy who was getting distracted by the games being played in the den. She added more sugar into the bowl. Above the din, the 3 note technomusic looped. At least those two boys are quiet. “What are you playing kids?” She said at the top of her voice, trying to supervise the playing boys from 2 rooms away. She left the mixer and walked to the fridge and inspected its contents. There is not much here on the fridge. What about dinner? “You are done with Math. Ok, go and play.” OUCH! she cried when an avalanche of frozen packages fell on her foot. Oh no! Not another chore! The video game music wormed its way into her head.
“Please turn down that volume!” She yelled as she picked up the fallen debris and then rushed to the mixer and back to close the freezer door. The techno beat was scrambling her brain. “Get off the games now. Children, clean up your mess. Your grandparents will be here soon.” 10:30 a.m., where did the time go? Oh good, baby fell asleep. “Nooooo. What are you bickering about?” She asked when she heard the shrill voices rising above that dull pounding in the den. The answer came in that dreaded sound not too different from nail scratching on a tin roof. “What is it this time?” She demanded of her two older boys.
“Andrew hit me,” whined Matthew.
“He was not cleaning his mess,” replied Andrew.
“Did you hit him?” she turned the latter. “Matthew! You stop whining!” By now, her voice is getting shrill.
“How many times have I told you not to hit your brothers, Andrew?” “And you, how many times have I told you not to whine!”
“Here, blubber Andrew’s gut.”
“…he kicked me.”
“AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!” Both of you! TO. BED. NOW.”
AND DON’T STOMP YOUR FEET! STOP WHINING!!!
Exhausted, she tried to catch her breath and worked to even out her breathing. The continued whining and complaining, however, did not allow her to. She rushed upstairs. “STOP CRYING. YOU KNOW WHY YOU WERE SENT TO YOUR BEDS. I. AM. SO.TIRED.” Her voice has risen to new heights and could be heard from all corners of the neighborhood. Before more words flooded their little house, she rushed downstairs, grabbed the phone and blabbered to her husband all that she could not say to her children. “I am no good. I yelled again. I am tired. Frustrated….! all her emotions sweeping her like a current that broke into big sobs which entirely drowned out her already incoherent words. Her husband listened quietly in the other end of the line, managing to say “I love you” in between her meltdown. Then she hang up, more from tiredness than fear of saying any words uglier than she already managed to say.
Out of spite, she made a mad dash to her computer, searched her saved music links, and played Canon in the loudest volume possible. My music now!
She sat, defeated. The notes vibrated in the walls, on the floor, up her feet, moving, soaring, drowning every other noise around her and in her. The bows on the violin massaged her taut strings and set them in place again. As the music welled, her tears started to dry. Soon, she could see the white butterfly fluttering its wings in the sun, the green of the grass, the beautiful sunshine. The world seems to be right again. She savored that time.
She let the music play several more times to keep her company while she kneaded her fondant. How pliant it was in her hand. Time passed. Car doors opened and closed in the driveway. She wiped the last tears in her eyes and put on a smile.