June Theme – Nightmare

It looks like June’s theme got some creative juices flowing! We have a nice selection of submissions based on the creative trigger: Nightmare.  Scroll down to see this month’s offerings.  Leave some comments to let us know what you think!   Thanks for participating everyone.   Good luck with July!

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From  Tyler Call – piano improvisation:

Click here for music.

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From  Alisha Geary – poetry:

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Nightmare

By Alisha Geary

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Heartpound.
Inhale.
Exhale.
Rise through darkest slime,
extract of fear—eager demons
claw. I slide through the grasp
of talons—shards of shadows with
raw red edges.
Words echo, scream, sing, dig
at soulstring’s tender 
fleshy heart.
Evil lurks, breathes in curl of ear
sits on shoulder, stains footprints
that try to rise 
and rise 
and
shatter like light streaming in through
morning’s window—
escape.

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From  Denise Mutch – traditional painting:

“Nightmare”

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From  Shar Abreu Petersen – spontaneous poetry:

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Untitled

by Shar Abreu Petersen

in between
living in the world of 
what i have
watching the one 
i want
it has more 
so much more
but less
too
what i have 
is what i want
wanted
want?
why
am i not satisfied
one’s not 
more 
or 
less
just different
now can be
is
good.

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From  Cyndal, age 12 – drawing:

“Tiny Nightmare”

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From  Ginny Tilby – poetry:

Devil’s Mine
by Ginny Tilby
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Once upon a time

You traveled to Devil’s mine.
He presented you a cave.
Only your toes felt brave.
His eyes widened blood red.
“Go inside,” slow hand motions said.
You walked on until a rat
The size of an overgrown cat
Flung to your feet from behind a rock
And screetched, “Give me your right sock!!!”
Frightened, you dashed to the left
Running hard, quite out of breath
Your brave toes soon reached a hole
After you jumped, you watched your soul
Floating softly away
Blank, cool, and gray
THUD
….”Grunt”
…………..THUMP and draaaaaaag.
You lifted your eyes to find what was had…..
“Good morning Sweetie”
Mom sang as baby Jimmy
Clumsily crawled up your bed
“Phew!  Just a nightmare,” you said.

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From  Stewart Craig – digital painting:

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From   Kenna Hennefer Rieske – concept sketches:

(Kenna has been ill and promises to submit a final creation when it’s finished, in the meantime, here are some development drawings:)

  

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From  Cyndal, age 12 – traditional painting:

(Cyndal was ambitious this month and submitted two pieces!)

“Nightmare”

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From  Catherine Lehnardt Hess – photography and poetry:

I used to dream of alligators, crocs, strong tooth filled jaws.
They’d chew my brains and leave me dead just before I woke.
They slowly morphed to grizzlies, black bears, claws, and fur and fangs.
Chasing, climbing, reaching, snatching, shredding, oh the pain!
‘A dream is a wish your heart makes’ says my blonde and song filled friend,
But when the dream is unwanted, then my heart shrieks ‘make it end!’
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From  Alicia VanNoy Call – prose/short story:
(Note from Alicia: “This is only the beginning…”)
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Red Handed
by Alicia VanNoy Call
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NewsFEED – District 23 – 1147hrs: D23 man loses hands in freak accident.

Story of the hour: D23 employee Chet Carter lost his hands during a routine Decommission & Dismantle of outdated factory machinery.  According to witnesses, a large section of the machine in Carter’s detail dropped downward, loosened from above by another D23 employee who believed the area was clear.  Carter’s arms were stretched through a crevice as he worked to unhook delicate elements that can still be used with our current technology.  He had no time to react as the machine block slid across his unprotected wrists.  Carter’s hands were caught, severed and crushed under the falling machinery.  The D&D supervisor commented: “Carter’s a good guy. There aren’t a lot of people who work with their hands anymore.  It’s a real tragedy to lose your trade.”  Carter is currently being treated at D23H.  There is no word on his current condition.

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You wake up in a dark room, choking.  Choking on something.  Can’t breathe.  You fight to untangle yourself from a shroud of sheets.  The fabric is damp, hot with your sweat.  Can’t breathe.  Reach automatically for that glass of water, only to knock it over.  Water spills across the tabletop.  Try to make the hands obey and pour a new glass in the dark.  Fingers tremble.

The swallow of water unclenches your throat.  You fall back into the mattress and gasp, gasp, gasp for breath.  Until the throb at your wrists and the pound of your heart recede away.  Until you can blink up at the ceiling and remember where you are.

Your own room.  Your own apartment.  Two-hundred block, District 23.  The city lights are dimmed by smart-shades across the windows.  You’re not in the hospital anymore.  Safe.

A deep breath.  A shuddering breath.  Fingertips brush the cooling damp of the sheets.  Phantom feeling, you tell yourself.  No, not phantom feeling.  Not anymore.  Real fingers now, real bone and sinew and flesh.  A second chance.

Stretch the fingers, clench the fists.  The hands relax.  Eyes closed, scenes quiver behind your eyelids.  Scenes that chase you through sleep; rust-red images with the screech of metal on metal.  Had to be lulled to sleep with drugs in the hospital.  Not anymore, you think.  Second chance.  A dream come true.

A dream.  A nightmare: the howling images that won’t let you sleep.  Black and steely machineworks, threaded with cables, leaking rust.  A piece comes loose, screams downward in a guillotine slice.  The excruciating jerk, the twin fountains of blood, the numb horror as you stare at the stumps of your wrists.

You open your eyes.  Gaze at the ceiling.  You listen to the drip, drip, drip of blood and realize the sound isn’t blood at all, but spilled water off the table’s edge.  It gathers in a puddle on the floor.   It was never this bad in the hospital, you think.  The dreams were never this bad.  I’ll talk to the doctor.  He’ll give me something.

The hands rest, like sleeping crabs, on either side of you.

No, you think.  Not “the” hands.  My hands.

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(All creations are copyrighted by their creators.  Do not copy, post, or use without express permission.)

May Theme – Music

Here are the submissions for the May Creative Challenge: Music!  We had five participants this month.  Hopefully, just thinking about the trigger word inspired some new creative ideas in all of you, even if you didn’t create something specific to share.  Time to get started on June!  Thanks to those who decided to take up the challenge.  Great Job!

From  Tyler, photo collage:

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From  Alisha, creative writing piece:

Rach of Hope

 Listening to Rachmaninoff is like walking down a hall of mirrored doors. Each note is an opening to an emotion; one’s life caught in neatly staffed lines on a white page of manuscript. When the door is opened a tidal wave of the actual feeling, the love, the loss, the joy, the hope, the despair hits the listener before there is even a chance to breathe. The notes create a deep jungle of our own experience that must be traversed with a machete, a sense of humor, and plenty of snake bite remedy.

On the surface Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme from Paganini” may seem to be the ardent explosion of love, longing, and lust that accompanies romantic scenes in movie after movie. A frenetic opus to the disquietude of romance it may well be, but to me, when heard in the context of the complete movement, the rhapsody is less about romantic love than the love of survival. The music is the clinging to life, heart pulsing in chest and throat and wrist. Each breath, each beat, each pulse building the bittersweet fragility of life. It is the morning dawn soft and smudged across the dark memory of night:

A glimpse of genius in a life that seems dull and spent,

The cry of a baby,

The blossoming of a rose.

The prayer of longing from one soul to another to be heard and loved,

To be known for who one truly is and not what one seems to be.

The quieting of the inner voices.

The knowing of self.

The shaft of light through the darkening cloud,

The sea of calm surrounded by the maelstrom of hurricane.

The breathing point between one despairing disaster and the next reversal of life.

A flickering candle in a livid tinged nightmare,

The ease of somnolence after a sleepless night,

The transparent, unbelievable moment of casting aside pain,

Rejuvenation after chronic illness.

These moments will never be trite, never melodramatic. As with all of Rachmaninoff’s music, though it holds a promise of respite, it also holds the reality of hardship. This most beloved variation of Paganini’s theme is so beautiful because it occurred to Rachmaninoff to turn the notes upside down on the staff, to invert normalcy and discover the unexpected beauty in a reversal. Each bright note is paired with darker notes. The dark underpinnings of life, the heartbreak, the hurt, the finality of death may be real, but the “Rhapsody” encapsulates

the eternal pulse of life,

of breath,

of hope.    

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From  Kenna, sketch art:

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From  Ginny, original song:

(Note:  Dear Creative Fiends!  Friends too.

I decided to use this month’s theme, MUSIC, as an excuse to write my first song.  🙂  Yay!  Funny thing though.  I worked out a pretty happy tune, with a chosen uplifting topic that floated in words around my head all month, as I prepared to sit down and write.  Very excited!  And then… I had one of “those weeks.”  Feeling low, in a pretty rare (for me) bad mood, I decided to express my feelings through song one night.  So this happened instead.  But ya know what? . . . No regrets.  🙂  Can’t wait to see what you all came up with!  Hope your summer goes well!!
Love, Ginny
P.S.  Now, if anyone knows how to write accompaniment… we might need to get together!)
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Locked Inside Me
By Virginia Marie Tilby
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I wish I was an open door
Could look inside and see
The color of my heart today
And hear the melody
Walk in, sit down, turn pages
Of stories kept inside.
Swim the seas of grayish tears
My eyes couldn’t cry.
I wish I was an open door.
CHORUS:

Instead I’m locked up
Inside me
Outside’s lookin good
Door shut
Chained in 
Dead bolted like it should
Boards up
Nailed down
Thick glue
A pretty sign
That says: 
Ooh
She’s doin fine.
I wish I was a golden key
I’d give myself to you
I wish I wore the secret code
So you could see this too
Stroll through the gallery
Of my life’s history
Pictures display
What makes me me
Why can’t I be an open door
CHORUS
 
BRIDGE:

Had enough
Time to fly
Time to sing
Before I die
Courage sprouts
Grows and grows
Walls break down
And now you know
NEW ENDING CHORUS:

Cuz I’m open
Hello, world! 
The outside’s lookin gray
Door’s open
Chains broken
Locks melted away
Eyes wet
Tears falling
Free
A pretty sign
That says: 
Ooh
She’s doin fine.
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From  Lee, photography and poetry:
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Spring unfolds itself
petal upon petal.

Tulips poke through the snow,
shy displays of color
promising warmer days ahead.

Birds shake frost
from their beaks
to twitter thin threads
of sound.

The sun rolls back
a bank of clouds:
blue sky above.
At last.

Until, all at once,
the trees are draped
in bold hues,
and irises thrust upward,
and dandelions
spread like wildfire,
and the last of winter
is a grey memory,
distant
beyond the song of spring.

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Wonderful work, everyone!  Thanks for joining in.  Good luck on June!