Thursday, February 13, 2014

Prompt: Everyone has their own soundtrack

The closing notes of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #5 sounded as I finished my report and submitted it for review. I leaned back in my chair with relief and smiled as the first playful notes of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” started again. It had been on repeat in my personal playlist for weeks. A glance at the clock confirmed my workday was over, but the music was never wrong. I tapped my toes as I clicked through the grocery website, selecting items to pick up on the way home.

My happy soundtrack continued through the evening commute, even when some jerk cut much too close in front of me. I was grooving to some old INXS tunes and decided it wasn’t worth getting mad. As I pulled in the driveway, the Wicked soundtrack started, and I knew Christina must be home from volleyball.

“Come help with the groceries,” I called from the garage. She answered on the intercom, “Be right there,” in a singsong voice that told me practice had gone well. As she opened the door, our soundtracks united on “Popular”, and we sang it together as we put away groceries and started preparing dinner. We were having fun using spatulas as microphones for the finale when the sound dialed down to barely audible. David didn’t care for musicals. As he walked in the door, the syncopated rhythms of Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” made Christina roll her eyes.

After dinner, we all separated for our own work and study. I heard jazz follow David, and some pop tune upstairs where Christina disappeared into her room. I stood in my study and heard…nothing. No music. I waited. Now that I was thinking about it, surely it would start up. Sometimes the system had a delay in selecting the right playlist, but I frowned, trying to remember the last time I had heard…silence. The room felt larger than usual. I loved my cozy study, but with no music, it seemed uncomfortable somehow. There must be a glitch in the system.

I’ll go get some water, I thought. Surely a walk out to the kitchen and back would reset things and start up a fresh playlist. Though at this rate, it had better be something soothing. I tried to think of what I wanted to hear. Guitar? Classical? Pop? I couldn’t call a single piece of music to mind. I faltered in the hallway. My chest felt tight, and I couldn’t draw in a full breath. I was starting to panic.

Where was my music? I was scared, feeling myself falling backward, but I couldn’t cry out, couldn’t reach out my arms to stop my fall. I hit the side table and knocked the vase of fresh flowers Christina had just arranged onto the floor. I felt the water and stems sprawling across my arm. I felt the back of my head strike the cold tile floor, bounce up, and land again. I tried to call out to David or Christina. Their soundtracks were too loud for them to hear me, even if I could have made a sound.

My eyes closed, and I fought to keep them open. I felt cold seeping over my body, covering me like a blanket, and I was terrified of what would happen when it covered me completely. All I could think was, Where is my music?

Dogs in house

Frozen soundtrack

Time writing
15 minutes

February word count

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