Recently, at work, a few of us got together and practiced our creative writing skills. The prompt? We assigned our partner a song, and each person was to write a short story somehow related to the song. This could be by simply taking the title and utilizing it, or trying to capture the essence of the song in our story.
I received “Why Don’t you Save Me?”, by Kan Wakan. The story’s length was supposed to be around 500 words, which I somehow managed to keep under.
Why Don’t You Save Me?
The girl sits in the room full of purple tulips crunching on ice. Each clash of her bright teeth makes the oxidized white metal chair quiver in pain, especially where her left hand grips its latticed seat. Sound vibrates and then stops, absorbed by the foliage around her feet – encased in hundreds of water filled vases. The air smells softly of decay, dust, and sweat. The sound of a shutter makes Violet startle; a flash of disgust crosses her face as she deliberately grinds another ice cube and places the glass on the white metal table. Condensation drips down and adds to the pool of water around the glass’ base. She wraps her bare feet around the inside of the chair’s legs and looks up. The shutter snaps.
“Are we done? I’m tired.” Violet’s loose white dress grazes her collarbones and billows out, barely covering her knees. Her skin blushes rose wherever it makes contact with the fabric and at the end of all extremities. The pintucks waterfall down her front and the entire cotton ensemble, in stark contrast to the expression on her face, creates an angelic picture. Twisting her face with scorn she lobbs an ice cube out of her cold mouth towards the shutter sound.
“I hate this room. I don’t care how much you pay me, I hate it.”
“Why don’t you leave, then?”
“You know very well I can’t,” Violet answers, almost incredulously. “I have a contract.” She gulps another ice cube and continues crunching.
“Then shut up and smile. I can’t take good pictures when you look like a demon.” Violet looks away and down as the shutter snaps.
“Did you know that they used to make purple from sea snails?” Using her free hand, Violet reaches down to touch a tulip. Her black hair cascades off her shoulder, partially obscuring her face, completing a line that runs from her hand enclosing the wet glass, across her bare arms to her downcast eyes and ending with her pink-tipped fingers on the flower. The shutter snaps.
“Crushing the snails makes a dye, purple, like this.” She picks up a flower and holds it out. The shutter snaps. Methodically Violet starts to crush the flower, looking coldly in the camera’s direction. The shutter snaps once, twice, and again.
“Tyrian Purple,” she said.
“The color from the molluscs!”
“Just shut up.”
“I hate you.” Violet kicks the tulips closest to her chair. The shutter snaps. She pushes her chair so that it falls behind her, shattering vases on its way down. The shutter snaps. Next the table seems to overturn almost on it’s own as Violet throws her glass of water against a wall. Breathing heavily, her hand somehow bleeding, her hair flat and stringy against her face, Violet stands amid the chaos. The shutter snaps one last time.
“There, finally, a picture worth keeping. You can leave.”