The Lost Light






PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The room’s acoustics resonated perfectly; the sparkling new instruments readied for action arranged with OCD precision. Gone were the days of starving for his music and making do. His fingers danced along the frets of a guitar, spewing out a few of his time worn riffs.
‘I’ll lay down the guitar part first; it’ll be like the old days.’
He hummed and strummed his signature tune. Worrying the tuning keys and hazily turning knobs, he smeared a tear across his cheek.
He was waiting for something to come but his mind was a museum, important exhibits but nothing new within.

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

68 thoughts on “The Lost Light

  1. Wow, painful thrust right to the stomach on that one! Isn’t that every artist’s fear (including writers), that all your best work is behind you, that you will never again get a fresh new idea? And worse, that everyone will see, and know. Terrifying and tragic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, he tries all the displacement, replacement activities like setting up the instruments and investing in the best equipment but at the end, when he’s run out of things to do instead of writing he has to confront the situation…the inspiration has gone. Thanks for reading and commenting

      Liked by 1 person

      • Inspiration is a tricky wicket that way. I find that if I just start, and write down *something*, eventually something interesting emerges. But I can understand the pressure of great past success: he feels like whatever he does now has to live up to what he did before, and that’s intimidating! One of the most inspirational exhibits I ever saw was a wide-ranging show on Picasso’s work, where it showed all the many paintings he did before and between the ones he’s famous for. And you know, a lot of them sucked, or were just mediocre, but he kept at it and another gem eventually popped up. That really drove home that volume is key: just keep producing.

        Liked by 2 people

        • You have a great point there. If I just start writing to see what happens most of the time it’s rubbish but every now and then I find a gem which leads to something else and without the aimless writing I’d never have found it.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I usually have even better luck not writing at all, but stepping away from my keyboard and thinking while I’m taking a long walk or showering or washing dishes (in silence — I need the concentration). I’ll work through the nugget of an idea in my mind, asking “what if” over and over and rolling it around until something decent emerges, and only then do I sit down and try to write it up. That way most of the rubbish doesn’t even end up written down, so I don’t have to delete it, which for some reason feels frustrating..


  2. Its almost as if, those who succeed are cursed by their own success, never again to meet the high expectations their “hits” created. A sad commentary on our society as well as a sad fate for the rock star. Well captured!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think all successful artists/writers, after a certain age, suffer from this fear that my best work is behind me. You told a beautiful story in just 100 words. The last line took my breath away.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It could do but I think he yearns for what he had and wants to recreate that but it’s gone, you can’t bring the past back no matter how much money you pump into it. He hopes he can do it again with new songs but the muse is nowhere to be seen


  5. A very well written story, it struck a sad chord with me. I thought of my father whose health has recently degraded significantly, especially his mind. He wasn’t an artist but in the legal world, a brilliant man. I felt your character’s sadness as “he smeared a tear across his cheek.”


  6. A good illustration of the difficulty of success. When bands are hungry and on the way up that is often when they produce their best stuff. Songs about room service and indigestion are less raw and accessible than the early work’s torn hopes and dashed dreams. Notable exceptions imo – The Beatles, George Michael, 10 CC and Fleetwood Mac. I suppose George Michael and Fleetwood Mac wrote about their personal lives which in their cases seem to have been the gifts that kept on giving!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, it’s the hunger in any art that seems to fuel the best work and it’s a vicious circle because the work is good, they are a success and earn a packet leaving them replete and without hunger so unable to turn out new work of substance

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s the bane of an artist’s existence–we can’t remain at the peak of success forever. But, there can always be more than one peak, and hopefully, it will come. Beautiful piece, Michael.


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