Still Standing

Author’s Note: I only really had one part of this song I wanted to do, and I knew who was getting the fic the first time I glanced at the lyrics. This one suggests a marriage that can stand in the face of everything to me, and that is Kate and Fletcher Kennedy. They withstood a lot over the years and are still married and ridiculously in love after more than thirty years.

This, of course, is just a brief look at one of the trials they had to overcome, as it fit with these lyrics:

This old routine will drive you mad
It’s just a mumble never spoken out loud
Sometimes you don’t even know how you’re still standing.
Well she looks at you now, and you see how.
Well you look at her now, and you know how.

~First Aid Kit, “This Old Routine”


Still Standing

He just put his son in the ground.

Nothing made this right. Nothing could.

Fletcher stared on at the grave, ignoring the words from the sermon, not caring what others might say, about hope or consolation or even sympathy. None of them could change the facts, and the fact was that Fletcher had outlived his son. He might even lose both of his brother’s boys. That was unacceptable. All of it was.

Kate’s hand brushed his, and Fletcher took it, instinct overriding the numbness he’d felt since they heard about the crash. He’d struggled to believe it, not wanting any of this as truth, and he knew his Katie girl was aching just as much if not worse than he was, that it wanted to kill her as it did him, but neither of them were the sort that gave in. They were Kennedys. They didn’t break easily, though this…

This was coming damn close.

His eyes met Kate’s, and he yanked his wife into his arms, needing to hold onto her. He was supposed to be the strong one, but he’d always found that she was tougher than him, more able to bear what life threw at her than he was.

“We’ll get through this somehow, Katie girl,” he promised, knowing that as much as neither of them might want it right now, they could. They would.

Together.


This Old Routine

This song is beautiful in its way, and it makes me think of a marriage that lasts and sees it through despite the tough times.

This old routine will drive you mad
It’s just a mumble never spoken out loud
And sometimes you don’t even know why you loved her.
Well you look at her now, and you see why.

I used this part for a prompt not long ago. It inspired a ficlet for a pairing I didn’t read, but it did inspire, so that’s something. I also chose to use it myself for my own fic.

This old routine will drive you mad
It’s just a mumble never spoken out loud
Sometimes you don’t even know how you’re still standing.
Well she looks at you now, and you see how.
Well you look at her now, and you know how.


Kabobbles Sing Along is just what I think when I hear songs. I sometimes see images when I hear lyrics, pictures or movies in my head. Sometimes I relate it to stories. My interpretation of the songs and lyrics are probably nothing like their original intent.

Can’t Keep Reaching for What You Don’t Have to Give

Author’s Note: Despite the many great lyrics in this song, there was only one real choice for doing fic from it, one story and one set of lyrics.

Now you’re just a shell of
Your former you
That stranger in the mirror
Oh, that’s you

~First Aid Kit, “Blue”

And since I have not shared any of this story on this site before, I will put the story’s summary at the end of this entry for anyone who needs it.


Can’t Keep Reaching for What You Don’t Have to Give

Recall should have cut and run years ago. Maybe the agency would find her and bring her back. Maybe not. She might have been free. The one who stood the best chance of finding her was gone, again, and she could be so far from here and all of this. She wouldn’t be staring in the face of broken promises and empty vessels.

He’d said he’d remember, and she’d almost believed him, but he didn’t. His eyes held that same vacancy, the lost and bewildered look he got when he didn’t know where he was or who he was. He did not know her, not as he had, not as he’d promised he would, and the man she’d made the mistake of considering a friend was gone.

She could give him back those memories, try and reclaim who he’d been, but she rejected the idea almost in the same instant as she had it. What would be the point? Any time he used his ability, he’d be lost all over again, and she had always told herself she would only give him the memories he needed, not force him to be any of his various fractures again.

His eyes found her, so frightened and scared, overwhelmed by the lack of recognition for anything, and she sighed. She knew she would not run, but she would not bring him back, either. She wasn’t going to let herself get hurt all over again.

She wouldn’t let herself care.

He wasn’t a friend. He was a task. She was there to give him memories, and she did. He wasn’t a friend, could never be one. He might want to, might think he could, but he would always forget, always disappear, and she wouldn’t allow herself to feel that pain again.

She wouldn’t get attached. Not to Fracture. Not ever again.


The agency’s most valuable asset, Fracture can bend his genetics to become whatever he needs to be. The same ability that makes him special erases all of his memories when he uses it. With the ability to store and share other people’s memories, Recall was assigned as his partner, able to restore some of what was lost during the last fracture. She adjusted to the cycle years ago, but this time Fracture seems different, and he might not be willing to let that cycle continue.


Blue

I had a hard time writing anything for this song. I love it, but it hits too close to home.

You sit and stare out at the rain
Or bury yourself in your books
Don’t look at no strangers
No, don’t give them any looks

I’ve always had a problem with eye contact and dealing with other people. So I wouldn’t want to look at strangers and used to hide in books all the time.

Why you ask yourself, why you’re so afraid
Why you hesitate when someone asks your name
They’ll come too close if you tell them the truth

I have had and shed many pen names over the years and I have also found myself thinking that my name didn’t fit me. I never liked my middle name, but more recently I was signing things at work and found myself tripping over the name I was using because it wasn’t me. I didn’t know how to explain that to anyone, though. I tried, I considered renaming myself, but I didn’t find anything I liked or that felt like it fit (well, I did get a new pen name, but that I will discuss later.)

And the only man you ever loved
You thought was gonna marry you
Died in a car accident when he was only 22
Then you just decided, love wasn’t for you
And every year since then
Has proved it to be true

No, there was no car accident and no man I loved that died, but I have mostly come to accept that I will be single for the rest of my life. I don’t enjoy doing the things it takes to meet people (not even sure I like people when I’m honest about it) and I don’t consider myself a good prospect. Plus, my idea of an ideal marriage mate seems impossible when I think about it.

Now you’re just a shell of
Your former you
That stranger in the mirror
Oh, that’s you
Why’d you look so blue?

I can answer the last one easily enough: I have depression. I know this. And a lot of times, especially around a certain arbitrary date each year, I look back at my life and feel like I’ve accomplished nothing and all the things I thought I’d have and where I’d be by now never happened and seem impossible.


Kabobbles Sing Along is just what I think when I hear songs. I sometimes see images when I hear lyrics, pictures or movies in my head. Sometimes I relate it to stories. My interpretation of the songs and lyrics are probably nothing like their original intent.

Chosen Roles

Author’s Note: I began today by staring at these lyrics and going, “okay, I don’t think fic is going to happen any time soon.”

Then I started thinking about different stories, different possibilities, and also that perhaps I’d be able to show off the updated cover for A Perfect Sunset soon.

Add in these lyrics (and remind me to prompt Liana Mir with them later)

In the hearts of men
In the arms of mothers
In the parts we play to convince others
We know what we’re doing
We’re doing it right

~First Aid Kit, “In the Hearts of Men”


Chosen Roles

“Mama?”

The woman turned, and Jis shrank back, dodging the blade and her mother’s attack. She had not thought she had to train today, but she supposed that she knew better. The life of an esbani was always training. They could not allow themselves to make a mistake and fail to protect the royal family. No one had done that, not in centuries, not back to when her people had supposedly flown.

“Jis,” her mother chided, and she grimaced. “That was not a proper evasion, nor should you be here now. You have lessons with the tutors.”

“No, Zaze has lessons. She’s the princess. She’s the one that has to know all those things, not me. I just have to be willing to kill or die for her,” Jis said, shaking her head as she spoke. She did not see why she had to go with Zaze to the lessons, why they kept trying to make her act more and more like her. Zaze was prideful, stubborn, and stupid, and Jis didn’t want to be like her.

“Oh,” her mother said, pulling her into her arms, “my little jisensoji.”

She curled up in her mother’s embrace, aware of all that her mother would not say—that the life of an esbani was not one for a child, that Jis should have freedom to play and be herself, that she should be too young to understand what it meant to be in this role, to know that she would die in the princess’ place if it was necessary.

“Do you think the king loves you?” Jis asked, daring to look up at her mother’s face for the truth. Was that what had distracted her earlier, thoughts of the king? Or was it her own pain of knowing that she was meant to die in the place of the queen?

“I think your father loves you very much.”

That was not what Jis had asked, but she feared it was answer enough. She closed her eyes, trying to console herself with the knowledge that it would never be her. As the king’s daughter, she would never be forced to give herself to a man she didn’t love just because she was esbani.

She was born to take Zaze’s place and die for her, though. Jis would never be free to live her own life or marry anyone. She was esbani. Her life was already forfeit.


In the Hearts of Men

I admit that I’m not as familiar with this song as I am many others on the album. I wasn’t sure at first that I’d know what to pair up with it.

This part, though, is all I really needed:

In the hearts of men
In the arms of mothers
In the parts we play to convince others
We know what we’re doing
We’re doing it right

I did also like this:


But when there is no use
And the lights are all out
I just give it up and I walk home

and this:

I still try to speak up but my voice won’t make a sound
And I thought it all over too many times


Kabobbles Sing Along is just what I think when I hear songs. I sometimes see images when I hear lyrics, pictures or movies in my head. Sometimes I relate it to stories. My interpretation of the songs and lyrics are probably nothing like their original intent.

The Complications of Language and Breakfast

Author’s Note: I had a hard time getting this second piece of the challenge done. I suppose the simplest way of explaining it is that the other aspects of publishing sapped all my creativity and writing just wouldn’t happen. Not on this, not on anything. I didn’t write a word for over a week.

Today I looked at the lyrics again, and this part sparked something:

Now so much I know that things just don’t grow
If you don’t bless them with your patience
And I’ve been there before I held up the door
For every stranger with a promise

~First Aid Kit, “Emmylou”

And I was able to write more for the upcoming serial.


The Complications of Language and Breakfast

“Here,” Stratford said, holding out the fork to the boy. “Try this.”

Eyes wide, their terrified gaze held on the implement in front of him, the boy shrunk back against the headboard, trying to disappear into the bed. He let out a stream of unintelligible words, protesting as he tried to hide or escape, and Stratford frowned.

“I think he thinks I mean to hurt him when I am only trying to get him to eat,” he said, turning back to Whistler in frustration. “I wish I could make him understand, but even when he speaks more, I get no sense of the words that he uses. His speech is unlike any language I’m familiar with.”

“We do have no sense of his origin. He could be from anywhere,” Whistler reminded him, keeping his tone gentle. He went around to the other side of the bed. Taking the cup from the tray, he held it out to the child, waiting for the boy’s trembling to cease.

After a moment, the boy sat up and peered at the cup. His nose wrinkled, and he shook his head, rejecting the offer. He glanced toward the tray, hesitating before reaching for a small piece of fruit. He studied it with a frown.

“Mish?”

“I’m not sure what that means,” Stratford said, taking a piece for himself, “but it is safe to eat.”

The boy watched him eat the bite and then coughed, rolling over in the pillows until his injuries reminded him of their presence. Grimacing, he straightened up and threw the fruit at Stratford.

“I can see he shares your table manners,” Whistler observed dryly, and Stratford glared at him.

The boy picked up a piece of bread and bite into it, chewing it down with an expression Stratford found difficult to decipher. He swallowed it with what seemed like difficulty, but when Whistler renewed his offer of tea, the boy shook his head again.

“He does not seem to like tea.”

“An unforgivable sin, according to your mother.”

Whistler smiled. “Yes, well, I happen to believe it is an acquired taste. Perhaps another flavour would suit him. He does not care for your favourite kind of fruit, either. I also would suggest that may have been the source of his reaction to the fork.”

Frowning, Stratford saw that the boy was actually playing with his fork now, using it to push around the food on the plate. “I take it you don’t want anything else that’s on there?”

The boy pointed his fork at Stratford.

He blinked. “I may just have been threatened.”

“Amusing.” Whistler did not sound amused, but under the circumstances, it almost was comical. The boy had suffered grave injuries and should have died, either from them or the fever that wanted to carry him off, but he would seem to be braver than his wounds. Or perhaps he believed a threat from a fork was a custom everyone here used, which would be Stratford’s fault, though far from his intention.

Stratford grunted. “How are we going to explain what happened? To ask him about his family or how he ended up on that shore? We cannot even communicate about food.”

“Patience,” Whistler advised. “We will learn. After all, we now what mish means, and that is a start, certainly more than you had before.”

Stratford nodded, sighing as he did. He pointed to the fruit again. “Mish?”

The boy’s face crinkled with distaste. “Mish.”

Stratford pointed to the utensil in the boy’s hand. “Fork.”

He had to duck when the boy threw it at him. Shaking his head, he watched the child, uncertain if he did have enough patience to learn the boy’s language or teach him theirs. Maybe it would have been easier if he had found some sign, someone else to give the child to, or even if the boy had died.


Emmylou

This song has such nice lyrics, so many ficcable pieces.

I wanted to use this part of the song at first, but I couldn’t make it work:

Oh, the bitter winds are coming in
And I’m already missing the summer
Stockholm’s cold, but I’ve been told
I was born to endure this kind of weather

And then I wanted to do this part and came closer to it:

When it’s you I find like a ghost in my mind,
I am defeated, and I gladly wear the crown

This suggested yet another story to me, though it didn’t make it down on paper:

But I’m holding back, that’s the strength that I lack
Every morning keeps returning at my window
And it brings me to you and I won’t just pass through
But I’m not asking for a storm

I thought it would be simple to use these lyrics:

No, I’m not asking much of you
Just sing little darling, sing with me

Strangely, it wasn’t. I ended up using none of the above.

I may have to come back and do this part, too:

And yes I might have lied to you
You wouldn’t benefit from knowing of the truth
I was frightened but I held fast
I need you now at long last


Kabobbles Sing Along is just what I think when I hear songs. I sometimes see images when I hear lyrics, pictures or movies in my head. Sometimes I relate it to stories. My interpretation of the songs and lyrics are probably nothing like their original intent.

Seeking out and Searching for You

Author’s Note: I hereby present the first “track” of my Kabobbles Sing Along Album Challenge.

It took me a bit to decide which album by First Aid Kit I wanted to do, and I may end up doing both. That, and I got sidetracked in part by summarizing the book I’m using characters from today. This is in part a celebration for getting the summary written and in part because the initial hurdle of the challenge has been overcome (I started it, finally.) It should be more upbeat for a celebration piece, but it fit well to do this part, since the lyrics apply in different ways to the main novel.

This is based off this part of the lyrics:

Sometimes I wish I could find my Rosemary Hill
I’d sit there and look at the deserted lakes and I’d sing
And every once in a while I’d sing a song for you
That would rise above the mountains and the stars and the sea
And if I wanted it to it would lead you back to me

~First Aid Kit, “The Lion’s Roar”


Seeking out and Searching for You

Nerissa didn’t visit the overlook often. Maybe because she was afraid it meant she agreed, that she believed what everyone else did, what was sane and normal and right—that Sebastian was dead and buried. Or maybe it was because she thought coming here would mean they would lock her away, thinking her grief had driven her mad. Again.

She let out a breath, closing her eyes and trying to tell herself not to listen. That part of her that had never accepted that her other half was gone was no quieter now than it had been after he first disappeared, though if they were right and he was dead, then it should have been silent by now. Years had passed as proof, hadn’t they?

So why couldn’t she let him go? Why was she here, where they had supposedly found his body, instead of out with the man from her office that wouldn’t stop asking her out?

Nerissa sat down, running her fingers through the grass. She didn’t feel any closer to him here. She still felt as empty and sick as she had when he missed his valedictorian speech.

“If you’re out there, Seb,” she whispered, knowing she’d get herself committed if anyone heard her, “come back to me. Find your way back. I know you can. If I can feel you, you can feel me, and you’ll find me again.”

The breeze didn’t pick up, the glade remained still and quiet, and others would take that as an answer, but she didn’t. She wasn’t looking for a ghost, wasn’t hoping for relief from the other side. She was holding out hope that somewhere Sebastian was very much alive and they would follow that pull they’d always had when separated. They’d end up right back at each other’s side, inseparable as they had always been.

As they always should be.


The Lion’s Roar

I love this song.

I think it could turn into dozens if not hundreds of fics. I’m pretty sure I used it to prompt others, though that was a long time ago. I’d even quote the lyrics for the whole song because I love almost all of them.

Now the pale morning sings of forgotten things
She plays a tune for those who wish to overlook
The fact that they’ve been blindly deceived
By those who preach and pray and teach
But she falls short and the night explodes in laughter

This is the part I believe I prompted others with, though I could apply it to many of my own characters:

Well I guess sometimes I wish you were a little more predictable
That I could read you just like a book
For now I can only guess what’s coming next
By examining your timid smile
And the ways of the old, old winds blowing you back ’round

I chose this part to do the first part of my album challenge:

Sometimes I wish I could find my Rosemary Hill
I’d sit there and look at the deserted lakes and I’d sing
And every once in a while I’d sing a song for you
That would rise above the mountains and the stars and the sea
And if I wanted it to it would lead you back to me

And the lion’s roar, the lion’s roar
Is something that I have heard before
A children’s tale, the lonesome wail of a lion’s roar

That does remind me of my own childhood and a certain set of books in particular.


Kabobbles Sing Along is just what I think when I hear songs. I sometimes see images when I hear lyrics, pictures or movies in my head. Sometimes I relate it to stories. My interpretation of the songs and lyrics are probably nothing like their original intent.