Diminished

08Nov09


Background:

The Take A Change Challenge is due to end 30th November, and I still have three challenges to complete. I’m half way through one of the books, and did start the second one, but put it on hold.

Anyway, Challenge#8 (aka Lit Riff)  says:

Choose a song and then write a brief story that is inspired by or further explains the lyrics of the song.

It took me absolutely ages to decide on a song, and I’ve gone through about three drafts, before I was happy with my selection. It’s a bleak song, called Diminished, by one of my favourite bands: REM.

It’s not one of their more popular songs. In fact, I couldn’t even find a youtube video of the band singing it. There were some covers, but, I really don’t do covers! So, anyway, here’s me lit-riffing, and crossing off another one of the ten challenges that make up this incredible challenge.

She closed her eyes, and leaned back on her seat, wondering how to play it. She knew she was going to be called on to the witness stand any second now, and she didn’t have a plan. Absolutely nothing. And she had told her lawyer that she had it all covered; but, she just couldn’t remember what happened that fateful rainy night, try as she might… It was almost like it had been permanently erased from her memory, and there was no backup. The lawyer had tried to prepare her. He’d asked her questions. Questions she was unable to answer. Had they argued that night? What was the argument about? Had she pushed him?

She remembered the argument. Oh, it was so silly. It was actually about orange juice without bits. So insignificant. How on earth had it resulted in something like this? Had she…, she gulped. Could she have…. Did she… push him? She shook her head immediately. There was no way she would’ve…. she had never even hurt a fly!

It was the not remembering, that really scared her. That had made her not listen to her legal advisor. He had advised her to plead guilty by reason of insanity. She had rolled her eyes then, but now, seconds before she was going to be crucified on the stand, she wondered if it was completely implausible. Maybe she should just plead guilty…

“What’s the precedent on this kind of a thing?” she whispered to her lawyer.

He looked at her, exasperated. “You don’t want to know,” he replied, and looking at her pale tormented face, felt a pang. Whoever said lawyers don’t have feelings? “Just… try and charm the jury. Think it’s in your favour.”

She looked at him, and sighed for what seemed to be the nth time, wringing her hands together. She heard her name being called, and the lawyer nudging her to approach the bench. She glanced at the jury, and saw the poker faces staring back at her. She averted her eyes immediately, and felt a single tear roll down her cheek.

“Baby, I loved you. Baby, I loved you. Baby, I…” she whispered, taking her place, and putting her hand atop the Holy Book, almost mechanically. “Okay, I’m going to do my best today. I’m going to do it right. Please god, give me the courage,” she said to herself, as she looked around her, seeing the unfamiliar faces; some friendly, some downright hostile.

She crumpled to the floor, before they could even ask her to confirm her name. A broken soul. Everyone could hear her loud gasps for air, as she cried uncontrollably. “Baby, baby, I’m finished…”

She glanced up, and saw the jury’s poker faces transform into looks of sympathy. The hostile glances in the audience had decreased significantly. In fact, some of those faces actually reflected concern. Even the aggressive prosecutor looked embarrassed at questioning the young girl.

She smiled a secret invisible smile to herself. She had played her part perfectly.

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3 Responses to “Diminished”

  1. And she writes too! Of course, I had to go and look up the lyrics to Diminished, but then all became clear. I think you tackled the challenge with great aplomb. Particularly liked the touch with the orange juice with/without bits. Inspired!

    • Thank you – I thought I was pushing it right there, but it’s something I’m fairly passionate about. I can’t stand orange juice with bits… not that I’d push someone over the edge subsequently, but… you know…

  2. Orange juice with bits. Gaak! Surely constitutes cruel and unnatural!


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