The Song of My Heart Has Gone Silent

Here is my submission for The Red Dress Club. The prompt is as follows:

Write a piece – 600 word limit – about finding a forgotten item of clothing in the back of a drawer or closet. Let us know how the item was found, what it is, and why it’s so meaningful to you or your character.

The song of my heart has gone silent. She has left me to live my life alone and apart. My girl has gone away and left me with questions unanswered and words unsaid. But the moments and the memories live on. At times unwanted and unasked for they appear unannounced- parading past my mind’s eye they remind me a time that was.

Silver basketball shorts shimmer in the sunshine. A drawstring hangs from the waistband. Gently swinging in the breeze it reminds me of a metronome that keeps time to a beat that no one can hear. Except I can hear music. A symphony of silence surrounds me and I hear the soft singing of the woman that was.

She who used to glide into the room would recognize these shorts. If she was magically transported into the room she would see them and give me a knowing look.  A shared moment would take place as we moved back to where we once were.

I cannot say if she would share her smile with me for she has intentionally tried to hide her heart from me. My words go unanswered and my pleas are unheard. But I like to think that were she to see these shorts she would smile and remember a time where we shared a moment that lasted for eternity.

She stood before me and I pulled her into my arms. Her head against my chest I buried my nose in her neck and inhaled. She smelled of cinnamon and spice or something similar. Her presence was intoxicating.

We were best friends who had discovered a secret. We were lovers and confidants. I was her hero, hopelessly devoted and so very scared. I wore those shorts and a tank top- a premeditated moment in which I tried to show off muscles that had been worked hard just before she arrived.

I didn’t know what would happen. Could barely breathe, looked down and saw dark eyes looking up at mine. Lips locked, eyes wide open we stood there daring destiny to destroy that which couldn’t be broken.

Later I head to the court determined to exorcise my demons by daring them to meet me beneath the basket. Silver basketball shorts shimmer in the lights like glimmers of moonlight reflected off the waves at sea.

Silver basketball shorts shimmer in the moonlight. Staring skyward I close my eyes and set my soul free. If I could I would sever its ties to me and let it wander through the ether without me. Would let it wander without me because I can always feel her presence

Reason says let go. Hope says no. Heart battles head. I close my eyes and see her looking back at me. Echoes of the past meet echoes of the future. Soft whispers on the wind tell tales of promises broken and those yet to be filled.

Once I was her hero and she my girl. Heart battles head.  The dresser drawer remains open before me. Would a hero give up or would he put on silver basketball shorts.

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  1. Such a poetic piece, your words floated me through the whole post. Absolutely loved it.

  2. I like this.
    “Once I was her hero…”
    Sadness, loss, confusion. Hope?
    All standing in line. Awaiting the next move.

  3. You do have a lyrical prose that is very enticing. This piece was lingering and sad in the way heartbreak should be.

    I was kind of itching for some dialogue here, or some imagery/sequence to give me a clue why she left. Or why he loved her in the first place.

    My curiosity has been perked.

  4. You’re prose is very lyrical, but it’s the questions, the relationship, the characters that interest me. I’d love to see how you’d flesh them out with more than 600 words.

    • This is sort of an ongoing story that plays out in different ways. Pieces of it can be found in the Fragments of Fiction series I am working on. There is a link at the top of the page.

  5. A hero never gives up… go for the shorts.

  6. The music that the character describes hearing nicely reflects the writing style here. The only concrit I have is because this was so dreamlike I felt sure that she was dead until the last line which, though lovely in it’s phrasing, made me think that she wasn’t and that the character could redeem the loss of her somehow.

    • Hmm, I hadn’t considered the possibility of her actually being dead. I had been thinking more of her as being lost to him in a way that was similar to death. The idea of redemption is one that he wrestles with quite a bit.

      I am kind of big on the heartbroken hero who doesn’t always save the day.

  7. You really do have a nice, lyric, poetic way of writing description. I agree with what someone else said. It feels like you’re floating on a dream.

  8. Some interesting prose in there, Jack. Very melodic. I also love the part where he’s purposely wearing a tank top. Such a guy thing!

    I would say you don’t need the first paragraph. Or the very last sentence. Let the reader see all that without you telling us.

    • That is the struggle, to paint a picture that I know that the reader can see. Suppose that it takes some faith that they can follow my words.

      The tank top gives it that male touch. I know that I am guilty of having made a point of working out before a date. Didn’t do it many times, but every so often….

  9. You write beautifully. The story is timeless and powerful. I was transported. Awesome.

  10. Love the way that you write,and I’m torn I don’t know if him wearing the shorts means he’s chosen to move on from the memory of her or if he’s just choosing to find a way to live with it. I understand holding on to his phantom isn’t healthy….but I kinda want him to anyway. This was beautiful.

    • Well, in my head the character hasn’t decided which way to go yet. That’s the tug, the idea of unfulfilled potential versus the challenges of reality.

  11. This was so well-crafted. Artfully worded, but made real by the ordinary nature of the piece of clothing that you’re describing.

    Well done, Jack.

  12. Oh my…. what a strong last line… it is unanswerable given the situation… chills ran through my body reading it. Brilliant work… I loved the way you brought in the touch of “shimmer”, “moonlight”… beautiful words beaded well together giving us the right emotions…

    Thanks for the comment on my post. 🙂

    Happy weekend.

  13. I love the last paragraph, the way it captures the whole story and the dilemma.

  14. Yes, poetic. Reading it like a dream. I kinda shake myself back when it’s done. Love the shorts/moon connection. Love the longing and regret.

  15. This was amazing. Your writing is so effortless and poetic. You paint a picture with your words and draw me in. My favorite line was “Silver basketball shorts shimmer in the lights like glimmers of moonlight reflected off the waves at sea.” The image from that line just popped into my head.

    • I try to write about things that people have experienced or can easily relate to. It makes it easier to for them to see the story that I am creating. Thank you for your kind words.


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