One of the more compelling Twitter hashtags for me is #vss365, which invites followers to write a ‘very short story” and includes a daily prompt. Yesterday’s prompt was “nightfall”. Isn’t that a great word? For me, it conjures all sorts of delicious story ideas–they’re mysterious, romantic, dangerous…
It’s amazing how a single word can so easily stir the senses, thus rousing the muse.
While this prompt set off a flurry of ideas in my mind, one stood out. It was clear, whole, and yet succinct.
What happens at nightfall? We remove the day’s grime, shed the layers of clothing and makeup, and then it’s lights out. Us, alone with ourselves.
And so I posted this simple very short story:
As I read other tweets from other authors, my mind kept going back to the word, nightfall. For some reason, the stranger I wrote about, with the mask, felt familiar.
And then I remembered.
It’s déjà vu all over again!
Ages ago, while I was still in middle school, I was in a band. It was an all-girl band in which I sang back-up, and played piano and guitar. There were five of us, best friends, and we’d meet one day each week to play some standards, some contemporary pieces like something (anything) by the Beatles or maybe even something one of us had written.
I actually kept a journal of our meetings, like a diary, and some of our original music and lyrics, Since I still have all of that, I pulled out the box I kept them in, carefully sifted through it all and found what I’d been looking for–a song I’d written way back in the 70’s. I’d called it: “And Night Falls Once Again”
Behold, the chorus:
It seems my muse has something she needs to say. It’s taken a lot of years, but I may finally be hearing her. This is the final verse:
And night falls once again
What I find even more interesting than simply finding a theme my muse likes to revisit, is the possible reason for it. After flipping through the pages of the journal, I turned to the end to read the final entry, and while I was struck by the hopeful, forward looking tone of it…and the way it circled back to “nightfall”… I was also struck by its finality.
We never did meet again, not as a band. High school started and we went our own ways, found our own niches and grew up… and apart.
it’s unlikely I’ll ever revisit that song, but the theme, obviously, still intrigues me. Maybe one day I’ll work on those lyrics and turn them into a story.