dirges given voice in the darkness

The girl who sang the blues finished her pleas for a new car, a color TV, and a night on the town, the player shuffled down a song, and the unmistakeable sounds of the E-Street Band took her place.  The Boss began to sing from his soul, and then his harmonica plucked yours loose to hauntingly tag along as he raced down the streets.

Blue flashes sparked off the dull red glow of the taillights shining in the windshield as you pressed firmly down on the gas pedal and sped through the morning gloom.  You didn’t mean to speed but you couldn’t help it either.  The car was trying to catch up to your soul as it flitted through memories of your past and visions of your dreams.

The Jack of Hearts, standing on the sidewalk next to a mangled motorcycle, his leg in a cast, caught your attention, a crystal clear image bursting from the blurred edges, but then you turned back to the road, back to the pursuit, back to the chase you’d been on before he’d caught your eye.  Bruce’s voice didn’t allow time for distractions.  There was too much urgency.  There was too much at stake.

The lights streamed into continuous lines of red.  Other colors swirled away to be swallowed by the darkness.  A warm glow on the horizon heralded the imminent arrival of dawn, but its time hadn’t come yet, and there were still miles to travel before it did.  The streak of yellow on the ground, running parallel to the taillights, slowed from its dizzying speeds as the song changed again.

The mournful crooning of passionate nostalgia faded away to be replaced by the deep rasping responsibility of the Man in Black as he went about walking his line.  He walked, you drove, and the line was heeded.  Johnny demanded it.  You would not, could not argue against that.  The quartet practicing in the park understood, even if they didn’t join along with the dirges given voice in the darkness.

The words may have resonated with your soul, still lost in the black world, but the darkness was slowly fading as the road continued to turn into the sun’s waiting embrace.  Ahead of you was warmth and hope.  Behind you was chill and despair.  In those moments just before dawn you doubted that even the intense fire waiting to pour down from the heavens had the power to lift the cold that had wrapped around the past you were leaving behind.

Even if you were in the habit of making deals with the devil, Jack Flash, sitting on his candlestick and laughing in delight, couldn’t free you from your rage.  Your world had changed irrevocably.  The entire world had changed and was never going back.  Johnny knew that, even as he sang of staying true to the one he loved, he knew that somethings in life were impossible to avoid, impossible to undue.  All you could do was keep driving down your road, keep chasing your soul.

You would be reunited eventually.  You were certain of that.  There would be twists and turns, ups and downs, roadblocks, tolls, detours, and all manner of distractions and scenic turnouts to slow your progress.  But, you would be whole again.  The colors of the coming dawn splashing in wide arcs across the star spotted sky spoke to that truth.  It spoke to all truths of life and death.  Your soul might be elusive, the music might have died, but, in the end, things would turn out as they had always meant to be.


My response to the current Finish the Story prompt.  I have no idea what any of it means, but it was fun to write.  What did it say to you?  And, did you write a response of your own?  You’ve still got some time!  Go!  Do it!



11 thoughts on “dirges given voice in the darkness

  1. I looked at it and I’ll admit it confused the hell out of me, it struck me as quite psychedelic and I just lack the imagination at the moment to come up with anything.

  2. Oh man, I was there in the driver’s seat. All those songs playing out. In addition I heard Tom Petty, Golden Earring (when don’t I hear them), Moody Blues, and of course, Pink Floyd. I am hoping still to have a major road trip in October. Thanks for the playlist.

  3. There is something magical about the combination of driving and music. I could hear Janice in this piece, and Bruce. They helped make it hummmmmmmm!

  4. I’m thinking the Springsteen song was “Jungleland”. I know that isn’t what you were referencing, but that was the first song that came to my head.

  5. This is so easy to relate. A long drive in the middle of the night, dawn on the horizon, with music as the only company. Running from and chasing the soul.

    You painted a vivid scene.

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