Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

Posts Tagged ‘music

#FridayFictioneers – 29/6/18 – Top of the Pops

with 39 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.

With thanks to Rochelle for this week’s photo as well as hosting.


© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


Top of the Pops

(General/ misery fiction: 100-words)

His room is as he left it. He’ll be back. He always comes back. Eventually.

It depends how things go, which is a useless catch-all, but that’s all he ever gives me.

So I wait. Hoping things go well. Hoping the unfinished score is one day completed. Which it will be when he gets his head together.

He stays with his girlfriend. It’s not as if he’s on the streets. But a mother worries. Always. The excuse of an artistic temperament doesn’t wash with me. I’ve always known him. He’s not bi-polar. The tests say so, but still I worry.




Written by Sarah Ann

June 28, 2018 at 8:05 am

OLWG #33&34 – The Concert

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I’m still catching up with the New, Unofficial Writer’s Guild prompts and posts. As Thom reminds us each week, practise makes perfect. I’m not happy with my vignette below – it’s too disjointed and jerky – so any constructive criticism on what to cut/ where to add etc, will be most gratefully received.


The Concert

Felix looked out disconsolately from the park bandstand. The mist hung mid-fall: the bottom three feet of air showed dewy grass and slick tarmac; above, the moisture swirled thick and grey. It looked more like smog, or the smoke of battle, than the sea mist Felix knew it to be. The salt pricked his skin and stung his eyes.

The fundraising concert, for returnee soldiers, had been planned for months. They had chosen an early summer’s day, betting on a dry, hopefully sunny, weekend. They thought they had accounted for all eventualities. They’d been wrong it seemed.

The town’s band had had to recruit new members following the outbreak of war, with men going off to fight and die. They had had to recruit when it was over too, as whole men didn’t return. Missing limbs and shattered minds did not pretty music make.

Ex-band members had been approached to share their favourite tunes for today’s event, to make them feel included despite their incapacity to take part. Felix hoped those who’d asked for music suggestions had been diplomatic. Felix’s deputy could be an insensitive fool and many were the complaints after Steven led band practice in Felix’s stead.

Their preparations might come to naught, as the landscape remained completely obscured, and no sightlines existed. But all around him Felix could hear them gathering; the dragging feet, the chesty coughs, of men both alive and dead moving slowly toward him. He too had gone to war, and come back physically unscathed. His scars lay deep, his fears for the future voiced only to those he still trusted with his life.

There was still time, he mused, turning away from the shadows to unpack his baton, and paint on the smile with which to greet the brave and foolhardy, the new and luckier older ones. The sun might burn through. She might yet be strong enough to warm the earth and banish the ghosts for another day.




The prompts:


  1. One of my favourites
  2. What could go wrong
  3. bandleader

#34 ghosts in the fields


The rules:

Go ahead and dive in,
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

Written by Sarah Ann

January 29, 2018 at 3:29 pm

Ligo Haibun Challenge – word prompt – Memories of Nirvana

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This week, the Ligo Haibun Challenge gave us a choice of words to fire our imaginations:

 Saviour/Savior  or Nirvana

This probably isn’t what they meant me to do, but nevermind.



It must be 1991 or ‘92. There are rumours that Nirvana are going to play the Birmingham Hummingbird – an impromptu gig: first come, first served. I don’t know where or how the rumour started, I know only that I am going.

I can’t remember now what day the gig was, maybe a Tuesday, but I have afternoon lectures. Of the group of us going – Stan, Dan, Paul and me – only I have lectures. I am in my first year of university, living in halls in Walsall, a thirty-minute bus-ride from Birmingham, a thirty-minute drive to Wolverhampton where my course is taught. The university provides coaches to ferry us between campuses. The morning one leaves at 8am to get us there for a 10 o’clock start. If I miss the 4.30pm coach back, the next one doesn’t leave until 6pm.

It must be spring ’92 because it isn’t yet dark as the coach arrives in Walsall. I leave my lecture mates disembarking and rush home. I wash and change and learn the lads have gone. It doesn’t matter because these are the days when nothing stops me.

I leave campus and catch the bus to Birmingham. I seem to know where I am going, find the venue easily, and my friends in the queue quickly – Stan is a beanpole and easy to spot. They had a half hour start on me, didn’t want to risk missing this opportunity.

Maybe it’s summer because I don’t remember the street being dark, but then in the UK’s second city, surely there are lights everywhere. Perhaps the remembrance of natural light is artificial.

I don’t know how long we wait. Blue paper tickets relating to another band on another date are thrust into our hands, removed, torn in half, and then we’re in. We disperse, each to our own dancing frenzy. Later, Paul sticks by me and we share screamed observations.

Energetically gyrating sardines give off much heat and the ceiling cries condensation. Head back, I stare at the beaded roof tiles, watch the droplets grow, deform, and drip sweat.

We come home on the bus, Paul and Stan propping up Dan between them. I don’t remember the journey – gone is that heady mood forever. And if we’re all together on the bus, then it must have been autumn ’91 because Paul moved to Wolverhampton after Christmas.

So long ago, in another life, I wonder if it really happened.


memory plays tricks

picking out fine details

others blurry edged




I’ve checked online – and didn’t imagine this. There’s a bootleg video of the gig on youtube – 27/11/91 – part of Nirvana’s Nevermind tour.

Notes on the Ligo Haibun Challenge.

Written by Sarah Ann

April 20, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Ligo Haibun Challenge -13/7/13 – Field Observations

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This week’s Ligo Haibun Challenge had the prompts:

Lost Moments


The earth has music for those who listen – A quote by George Santayana

The following are the rules for this challenge:

  • The haiku/collection of haiku related to the text to close. The haiku should be as authentic as possible, with no syllable count, no capitals or full stop
  • Wear the Ligo badge to the right with pride on your blog! And pin the Circle of Appreciation to your blog if you haibun is selected as an honourable mention!
  • Prizes are given on special occasions



This is my last LH entry for a while as I’m off to live new experiences, fuel the imagination, and hopefully store up some memories for future challenges. (I hope it’s obvious which prompt I chose.) Apologies in advance for not commenting/ replying this week as much as previously.



Field Observations (163 words)

The overture of the dawn chorus, small birds tweeting the day awake, is followed by the exposition of pee-o-wee-ing buzzards and kites swooping for food. Geese honk their fear, louder than an impatient motorist. The beating of swans’ wings mirrors spring-cleaning a rug with a wicker bat. The raucous cacophony of rooks returning to roost precedes the finale of owls screeching, seeing the day to its close.

Breezes tickle tree-tops, leaves whispering and rustling. Wind blows through trunks, branches snapping and cracking, leaves flapping.

Rain drumming on hard ground sounds like miniature dwarves tap dancing on the roof of a steel boat. Ducks slap across the roof or machine-gun weed from the hull.  Ice, bound by canal banks, creaks like the squeak of biting on an ice cube. Breaking ice creates a spooky shattering, that pings from side-to-side as someone attempts to move.

Snow swallows sound, blankets the countryside in silence.


listen hard to hear

above the din of man

nature’s orchestra

Ligo Hai badge

Written by Sarah Ann

July 19, 2013 at 9:38 am

#VisDare 16 – Vacant – The Morning After

with 13 comments

Angela at Anonymous Legacy suggested we continue with our stories from last week or reflect this week’s events in this week’s stories. I apologise for doing neither but this was all I could come up with.


150 words – or less.
Post entry to your blog and “link in” using the link tool.
No blog? Post your 150 words in the comments.
(Please – no erotica or graphic violence.)
Be sure to read the other entries and leave constructive feedback!
As always – thanks for participating!



The Morning After (150 words)

It was months since he’d had a hallucination. After the troughs and peaks while the drugs were adjusted he’d settled into normality. He could even drink within reason, but he’d overdone it last night.

He woke next to the fire; embers faintly warm as his hands hovered above. Dan’s tent glowed orange nearby. Trees rustled, birds sang. Everything was as it should be, except the sea of chairs emerging beneath the mist.

He looked away, pounded his head with his fists. The chairs were still there. He drank some water, went for a pee, came back. The chairs were still there.

He didn’t want to wake Dan, didn’t want to cry. He picked his way through a field of tents. Damn he could be stupid. A field of tents, a sea of chairs. He really did need to quit drinking if he’d already forgotten the best gig of his life.



Click here to read other people’s stories and poems.

Written by Sarah Ann

April 20, 2013 at 10:51 am

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