Literary Lion : In his mind’s eye

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Time for this weeks Literary Lion! This weeks word is Eye and the challenge is to write a story in 400 words or less. I’m being a rebel this week as my story clocks in at 471 words. The freedom of being able to write more than 100 words ,as for my other weekly challenges, was too good to miss but I promise to be more disciplined on the next challenges!

The image I have chosen for this weeks story is a photo of my grandmother, Beatrice. A wonderful grandmother. I miss her very much.

In his mind’s eye

Simon broke the red wax seal, liberating a faint odour of turpentine and opened the cream envelope.

Centred on a sheet of crisp parchment was the word ‘EYE’.

Simon knew exactly what to do.

He searched for songs with Eye in the title on his mobile phone, put on his headphones and started the new playlist.

First up was Jackson Browne’s “Doctor my Eyes”. It was 1971.

He closed his eyes and sunk a little further into the chair.

Simon’s peerless musical memory associated songs with moments in time but somehow this song just didn’t go anywhere in particular. He loved the song but that wasn’t enough. He had to visualise and connect to a specific memory linked to the song.

It wasn’t working.

Frustrated, he bit his bottom lip and frowned.

Perhaps he was too tired. After all he’d come back from a long trip yesterday and travelling took its toll on his talent.

The letter had changed all his plans for a leisurely day.

“Lyin’ Eyes” came up next and the rhythmic taps of Don Henley’s drums and rich vocal harmonies were a reminder of why he loved the Eagles so much. It was 1975.

Still nothing!

He thought that this was probably due to too many memories of the song, rather than too few. He felt his chest tightening but took a deep breath and attempted to relax, back into the moment.

Alan Parson’s Project “Eye in the sky” was next but he skipped to the next song. No use going back to 1982. He had no chance of finding her in the eighties.

He was still fretting when the opening acoustic chords of “Suite : Judy Blue Eyes” soared joyfully in his headphones.

Suddenly he was back on his old red velvet couch in early October, 1969. The room was just as he remembered it and he had the Crosby, Stills & Nash debut LP in his hands exactly as he remembered it. It felt strange to be holding such a large but cherished object once again.

He briefly glimpsed the russet tones of the trees outside, through the large bay windows, as he rose, with a nervous start, to his feet.

Turning back to look at himself sitting there, he continued to move speedily to the door, and left expeditiously. It was invariably strange to arrive this way and he was always glad to leave himself where and when he was.

Carefully closing the front door behind him, he went down the short flight of stone steps towards the street below.

He knew he only had until the playlist ended so time was short.

Simon hastened his steps, as he made his way to his next victim, the name and address of which had been neatly written in red cursive script on the other side of the parchment.

20 Replies to “Literary Lion : In his mind’s eye”

  1. This was such an original and brilliant take on my prompt. I read something recently from Chuck Palahniuk about two methods of getting your reader to trust you… one was to sound authoritative, as though you’re a master of your subject, and the facts behind the songs you listed really helped with this. I trusted the narration, which made me really buy into the story, and hence the twist at the end had even more of an impact. Really great piece!


    1. Thank you so much for such encouraging remarks. It’s true what everyone says that you have to write regularly to improve and I feel I’m starting to do that. I’ll try and find Chuck’s other method! Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome. Chuck’s other method was to give a little piece of your heart away, give the reader an insight into something perhaps you wouldn’t usually divulge, maybe an embarrassing anecdote… Something his characters often do. He has a great series of essays online for writers, they are very helpful! And yes, a regular writing habit is definitely a good thing!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it funny how you have to be very careful and check often between what you imagine and what you write.On the other hand you only have limited words to write so there is little room for backstory.
      Rest assured my character is neither blind nor an organ collector!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi. Finally got here from Laura’s link. Took me a while, but it was worth it. Very clever idea, and a well executed twist at the end. Lots of open questions, but that’s what short stories do to us readers. I’m off to read some more of your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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