Musical Inspirations

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

April 9, 2014

Carrot Ranch Flash FictionApril 2, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that quotes from a song’s lyrics (could be a classical aria, a rock & roll song, anything).

Flash Fiction by Pete

Rolling down the highway, like a rocket. Headed to town and leaving a trail of trash flying in our wake. There was no time to put the top up. I turn around to tell my wife to hang in there, her face recoils in pain, her tawny hair swirling in the wind. I grasp the wheel, swerving to miss the oncoming truck. The horn blares, the tires scorch across the yellow lines, leaving tread on the road. I can taste the dessert. The speedometer needle drifts to the right, shoving the fuel needle towards the floor. Miles to go.

Based on the lyrics to “Son’s Gonna Rise” by Citizen Cope.


Vagaries of Time by Norah Colvin

She rubbed the grimy pane, squinting to peer inside.

It was all boarded up now with chairs stacked haphazardly on tabletops and piled in corners decorated with cobwebs.

On one side stood the jukebox covered in dust.

Suddenly she was back in his arms, their bodies pressed tightly together, swaying to Mick singing “time is my side”. They thought they would be young and in love like this forever.

“Hmmhmm! You okay, Miss?”

“Yes,” she stammered, embarrassed.

She stumbled down the steps, smiling as the words in her head became Van’s “precious time is slipping away…”

(Based on “Time is by My Side” by the Rolling Stones and “Precious Time” by Van Morrison.)


Dreams and Debris by Sarah Brentyn

Sitting next to the bonfire, I read the words I wrote when I still believed. Better days were ahead. Success awaited me. Love would find me.

Flipping through pages, I watch my handwriting change. Ugly scribbles fill the diary toward the end where I wrote about the things that were lost and the things that were never found. I want to remember, to feel something. But I can’t hold on. Bits of my life flutter in and out of my head and these memories lose their meaning. I toss the book into the flames and walk into the lake.

(The Beatles “In My Life”)


A New Day by Paula Moyer

Un bel di – the words from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly haunted Jean. “Un bel di vedremo” – one fine day he’ll come, the heroine Cio-Cio San sang as she waited by the window, for years, for her beloved to return. And then, one fine day, she got it. “I want to be as little like Cio-Cio San as possible,” she announced. She would stop waiting. Today. She picked up the phone and dialed with a cold hand. When he answered, she said, “It’s over. It has been for awhile. I release you.” He gasped. She laughed. She started her new life.


The Long Winding Road by Ruchira Khanna

The clock strikes 5pm. Lenard cleans up the mess and brings down the shutters of his shop, and starts to walk home.

Comes to a halt when he reaches a bifurcation, stares at that road with the hope to get a glimpse of her.

He longs for her and wishes that this were just a dream where he is away from his love since he has cried for her company.

The journey so far has been long and tedious without her presence since her smiles still haunt him, as he stands alone in a long winding road of life.

Based on the lyrics of “The Long and Winding Road”


Virgil Kane is My Name by Charli Mills

I says to my wife, there goes them no-good McCanlesses. Me, I’m out plowing the field them Yankees trampled after murdering Cap’t Morgan. Stoneman’s cavalry. Bah! Bunch of thieving turncoats, I say. “You leave Tennessee,” I shouts at them. Their wagons creak but they say nothin’ to me. Old man Cobb McCanless slumps in his wagon seat. Hope he feels a fool having to flee Tennessee. He was my school teacher once. Old man Cobb. A poet. Virgil Kane is my name and I rode on the Danville train. Until Cobb’s sons came and tore up them tracks again.

Based on lyrics from “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”


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  1. Annecdotist

    What super little stories and interesting to see the similarities and differences between them, the various takes on the long and winding road of life. You’ve all packed a lot into those 99 words.
    Hope it’s okay to share a link to my own story made up of song titles – it’s a little bit longer but not so much

    • Charli Mills

      Of course! I am liking your short stories, Anne. Share anytime! I notice that you post on Google using youtube music and I really like that idea. Several times I’ve opened the song and then headed off to read your link. I think that writers are naturally inclined to be moved and inspire through music.

  2. sylvestermouse

    It really was fun to read the stories created with music lyrics. Music always tells a story, often one that bypasses our ears and speaks directly to our souls. That is what was reflected here. The message in the songs that we might not have even consciously recognized, but still received.

    • Charli Mills

      I think this one really resonated with the writers. I know that what I listen to as I write has a profound impact on my creativity.


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