Friday, February 11, 2011

The Last Song, A Saturday Centus


Jenny Matlock


Late again to the party!  Schoolwork is the bane of my blog life all too often these days.  Sometimes I wish I had never hopped aboard this warp-speed academic treadmill, but it does feel good to finally finish a class every five weeks.  Come April when I have to take statistics classes I will no doubt be too mentally fried to write, so don’t be surprised if I disappear for three months.  When I return there is a 53% probability that I will have suffered some serious brain damage.  Fortunately I don’t think it will be noticeable.

Saturday Centus time again (yes, a week ago…I know, I know…) and I am back to try my hand at writing something short and entertaining based upon a supplied prompt.  According to Ms. Jenny Matlock, that creative juggernaut over at off on my tangent and host of this fun little meme, the rules are that we can use only up to 100 words, not including the prompt.   

Those who dare break this rule will be punished in a most horrific fashion.  They will be strapped to a chair while headphones are placed over their ears playing the audio book version of “Going Rogue” as read by Sarah Palin.  Is that cruel enough?  You betcha!

Other rules are that you must not split the prompt or alter it in any way.  We like our prompts in their virgin edition.  Also don’t use any vulgarity in your stories because small children shouldn’t be exposed to that kind of stuff.  By small I mean shorter than 3’ 6”.    For taller kids it’s just fine as it’s probably nothing new.  Oh, and no pictures or illustrations of any kind because a picture is worth a thousand words and that would put you over your word count.

Got that?  Good.  So after you’ve written your amazingly clever, sparkly clean, picture-free 100-word story with the intact prompt, you need to link it back to Jenny’s meme post so that Centusians and non-Centusians alike can read it and provide you feedback on your effort.  And do please take the time to visit and comment on the other posted stories by clicking on the Saturday Centus button, which will magically take you to Jenny’s blog.   They are quick reads and are all guaranteed to make you go “Uhhh, what the heck?” which is high praise in the blogger community.   

So without further ado, I present my own Saturday Centus contribution.  This week’s prompt is courtesy of guest prompt-giver-outer and Centusian extraordinaire, Ames, from her blog, Girl Raised in the South.  This week’s prompt is "It was growing bigger by the minute..." All I can say is thank goodness for Jenny’s rule about keeping it clean.  The story might have been a little different otherwise.  

Here is my effort for this week.  I have entitled it:

The Last Song

Like a dimmer switch on her soul, Kathleen’s bright blue eyes had faded to grey over the years.  Her late husband Sean used to say they shone “like the azure sky o’er Donegal.” 

Since her stroke she just stared out the hospice window crying softly to herself.  The staff had seen this before.  The end would come soon.

On Sunday Corby, a volunteer, visited her and began playing his guitar and sang “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen.”

A smile formed…and it was growing bigger by the minute.  She sang along as tears rolled down her cheeks.

She died that night…still smiling.

Jenny Matlock

"I am a drinker with a writing problem."

- Brendan Behan



  1. Sad but absolutely beautiful!

    Eespecially -

    "Like a dimmer switch on her soul, Kathleen’s bright blue eyes had faded to grey over the years. Her late husband Sean used to say they shone “like the azure sky o’er Donegal."

    What a wonderful piece of writing, I loved it!

  2. That prompt automatically make me think of the film, The Blob....

  3. This was lovely Tom. Just lovely, and a beautiful use of the prompt. Given the prompt, I wasn't sure what to expect this week :) Statistics? Are you nuts? Please don't abandon ship in April, or there is a 100% probability that you will be terribly missed! Kat

  4. that was so beautiful. you jerk. caused my first tears of the day!!

  5. This was lovely, Tom.


    PS. No leaving us for Statistics! Every fried brain needs a Saturday morning reprieve, right?

  6. Wiping tears from my eyes...very touching !

  7. This is how I want to go out of the big picture...smiling and peaceful! I loved the direction you took this prompt. You know it was off the top of my head and I even struggled with it.~Ames

  8. Beautiful story and lovely use of the prompt.

  9. Darn you Tom. You made me teary eyed. I misted up like crazy...

    AND THEN....

    I read your little sentimental gem of a story and I needed to get the Kleenex box.

    You continue to amaze me. Where you find these things inside your brain?

    I'm thinking we should all chip in and get you and MRI so we can find the source of this witty writing (and try to duplicate it for ourselves!)

    Thanks for linking up!

    I'm glad you're hanging in there while you max your brain out on academic stuff.


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