Words

She sang for her daughter when she didn’t want to sleep. Songs of beauty and strength and freedom, like her mother had done it and her grandmother before that.

The first time they caught her, she came back without her tongue. Now she hummed as she sat at her daughter’s bed. The words were in their heads – in hers, and in the child’s.

The second time they caught her, they cut her vocal cords. They had stolen the music, and she only drummed the rhythm on her knees.

But the words were still there. One day, her daughter would sing.


Written for the 99-words-challenge on the Carrot Ranch.

March 16, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) go down the rabbit hole to a place where art is not allowed. It could be a small story or a dystopian vision. Is there a power struggle over art? Would the general public miss it? Is the end of art a natural evolution? Go where the prompt leads.

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10 thoughts on “Words

  1. Your flash is so profound to read after learning of the song, “Thoughts Are Free.” Words, visions, music, they occur in thoughts that can’t be cut out without cutting off the head. The determination to pass along the liberty outlasts the oppression, we continue to hope as political pendulums swing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Charli! I guess there are a lot of songs who fulfilled a similar role in a lot of societies past and present. What I like about this one is that it has survived for so long already. And yes, art helps to keep the determination alive. We’ll need it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Without Art « Carrot Ranch Communications

  3. I agree with Norah. In fact, I was about to write, “Wow! Powerful.” Life without music? There are people who are totally deaf who dance to the beat, and play instruments. Music is more than the individual vibrations, but how it vibrates through the individual.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s beautifully said, “vibrates through the individual”. I think music is perhaps the oldest, most archaic and primal form of art. And knowing how already unborn babies react to different kinds of music, I think it’s in our genes.

      Liked by 1 person

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