sterling: (Sephiroth - Creativity)
Sterling ([personal profile] sterling) wrote2010-07-07 04:38 am

[Flash Fiction: Original] On the Radio...

Prompts are interesting. Sometimes a prompt can inspire a work that really, has little to do with the actual prompt itself. Sometimes your work is clearly centered around the prompt as the main idea. However it may happen to be, the prompt ends up managing to jog something in your mind that then creates a little scene to go along with whatever you were thinking about. Sometimes it's a big scene. Sometimes not.

I think this is why I love the flexibility that prompts provide. In a world of people who can't focus on anything for more than a few minutes at a time, it's amazing what actually happens if you sit down and just mull over a certain block of words, or just a single word for a length of time, until your imagination takes over and wanders you to an interesting place.

Anyway... here's an original intro bit, inspired by the prompt "city commute".


Title: On the Radio
Original Fiction
Rating: PG
Word Count: 480
Prompt: City Commute (for [community profile] dailyprompt)


There's never anything on the radio.

Well, that's not true. There's always something on, but it's never anything I want to hear.

Every weekday, I toss my laptop bag into the car, promise myself I'll toss it a bit more gently tomorrow, and slam the car door, wondering if my ancient laptop will actually turn on when I get to the office. As I back out of my driveway, I switch on the radio, and then press the little red button with the fading white letters that says, "SEEK" all in caps.

I'm not sure what I'm hoping for exactly. As the radio pauses on each station, I'm met with familiar sounds: various music, commercials, annoying morning talk show hosts. It's all the same. There's never any new stations, and none of it ever interests me.

I drive the entire thirty-two miles to work, letting my seek button loop on an endless rotation, as I listen to a three second preview of every single FM station my factory equipped radio will pick up. I persevere, and make myself listen to the stations that are only registering the unintelligible sound of static, vaguely hoping that one of these days, one of these stations might surprise me and actually come in a little clearer.

Then maybe I'd find something actually worth listening to. Something new and exciting. Something unexpected. Hell, something that wasn't being forced upon me by the rich media conglomerate that thinks it knows what I like better than I do. If only my tape player worked, a lot of these daily thoughts could be avoided. But because I don't have the money to spend on fixing it, I continue to hope for the best, despite the odds stacked against me. Eventually, there has to be something on the radio that might actually be interesting to me, right?

Truth be told, I don't really believe that there ever will be anything on the radio that will truly interest me. Even though I will swear up and down that I do.

Which is exactly why I'm so damn surprised when the radio starts talking to me. For the first time in three years, I interrupt my radio's seek function, stopping it unceremoniously on channel 101.1, to listen.

"Jeff," it says. Then, there's silence. No static, no talking, and no music. Nothing but a faint hiss and vibration of white noise, which sounds more like my car's tires riding against the asphalt rather than anything that could be coming from my speakers.

I lean forward, trying to keep my eyes on the road and the car in front of me. I'm straining to hear anything else, and my hand eagerly goes for the volume button. Maybe it's just too quiet...

"I wouldn't do that, if I were you," the same voice says. I jump, unable to stifle my startled reaction, and change my mind about adjusting the volume.

"Who... are you?"



There... that was fun. ^_^

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