Have any of you ever written a ‘song story’? I define it as a story that is either based off a song or written in sync with a song, so that what you read fits in with the song as you read it.
Well, I’ve written one. Several, actually; however, this one goes hand-in-hand with my novel Revenge. Think of this as a deleted scene of sorts from the novel. Don’t worry, this isn’t how the actual scene works out! This particular part didn’t work after I revised my outline, so now it’s just a random, useless, depressing short story.
Warning: if you don’t like angst, don’t read.
For some reason, I’m really, really good at writing angst.
Here is the song that inspired me (Everything by Lifehouse):
He sat in the crotch of his favorite tree, the one where she always sat. The one where she lay now, neither living nor dying. Just waiting. What could he do?
“All of those years… I wish I’d never found her that day,” Fallor muttered. His mind wandered back to the day that he met Jeline—an ambush on a lonely stretch of road. How absurd that he thought her a man, when she could hardly be mistaken for anything other than a girl of nineteen.
What were his first words to her? “I’m so glad you passed by today. We’re sorely in need of winter clothing and I’ve picked you to donate to our treasury for the cause.” Certainly nothing noble, not by any standards.
Then when she’d touched his cheek. She said he looked so much like his cousin. The cousin who died sacrificing himself for them to have a life together someday.
Her beautiful voice clouded his mind. The way she sang, the way she spoke, the way she looked at him when she laughed filled his heart with longing to hear her again. Oh, what he would give for that!
“Jeline, I’ve lost sight of the light,” he whispered. “I’ve fallen into darkness. I can’t take care of you or—or Brie. I’ve failed you as a husband. And as a father.”
You need to save Brie. You haven’t failed her until you let her go. But in order to save her, you have to let Jeline go.
“I can’t!” Fallor kicked at the porch railing and sent one of the spindles flying. “I love Jeline!”
I know you love her. That is why you must save Brinian.
“Will this bring me peace?” Fallor leaned on the railing and rested his head in his hands.
It depends on your definition of peace. Will having the daughter instead of the wife satisfy you? Will you be able to live with the fact that you left your wife to die and went gallavanting off to save a life not worth saving to you? Is it worth the risk of Brinian not surviving the rescue attempt?
“No!” Fallor screamed. The voice mocked him and everything he stood for—his undying love for Jeline, his devotion to her.
He plunged his knife into the wood of the tree supporting his hut. “I won’t leave her! She is too precious to me!”
Precious is relative. No one even knows Jeline is still alive. Your men have all but forgotten her, and some of them don’t even know she exists. But they all know Brie, and they love her. Is it not a better thing to preserve one life for the good of all than to preserve one life for your own selfish purposes?
It wasn’t for selfish reasons, Fallor cried silently. He kept her alive, praying, hanging onto that thread of hope, that he could keep her alive, that his love for her would someday wake her back up.
But she kept him alive. Without her, he had nothing else worth living for.
She was everything.
He remembered the rain pouring down, the way he swept her off her feet and carried her through the downpour. Their special dance, just for them, symbolic of their secret relationship. She thought him so noble then, so big and strong, able to bear her through everything.
What would she think of him now?
And what if she did wake up? How could he stand before her like this, knowing he’d wasted his life away because of her? She would hate him. Any decent human being would.
No, she wouldn’t. She would be disappointed, yes, but she would just gather him into her arms and let him cry out his sorrows to her. She’d understand.
He had let her down. If only he’d been able to protect her, to warn her, to take her with him that day. When he carried her back in his arms, wavering on the brink of death, he couldn’t catch her.
You must save Brie.
She’d always stolen his breath, and now he took hers.
“Jeline…” Fallor collapsed on the porch deck and sobbed into the wooden floorboards. “I can’t believe I let you down… Disappointed… Hurt…”
His hand reached up and yanked his dagger out of the tree. “Maybe it would end if I didn’t live,” he murmured. “Maybe it would be best for everyone.”
You must save Brie.
Fallor tried to sit up. “Why?” he roared. “Why did this happen to me?”
His cynical, mocking voice remained silent, for once. Maybe it abandoned him same as everyone else did.
Then he knew. He knew what he had to do—he knew what he wanted most.
Fallor flung the dagger across the porch and swung off the platform onto a rope. A light rain fell as he ducked into the stables. His horse nickered to him. With sweat and rainwater trickling down his brow, Fallor dropped the saddle on and fastened the straps. The bridle came next, then he was back out in the pouring rain.
Only one thought ran through his mind when he emerged into the now torrential downpour: Must save Brie.
“Hiyah!” Fallor slammed his heels into the horse’s side. It reared and plunged forward into the dark night.
If he was going to abandon Jeline, might as well make it worthwhile.