Here's my monthly flash fiction piece. I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments.
Frankie leaned back in his chair, balancing on two legs. Crumpled balls of yellow paper littered the desk in front of him and spilled to the floor. "This isn't right. We need to capture the yearning that he feels, the ferocity, the desperation."
Jim's fingers twitched over his keyboard, his eyes closed. "But what is he even searching for?"
Frankie rubbed the stubble on his chin. "He failed at something and now he's trying to get back on top."
"A girl broke up with him?"
"No, that's so overdone. Do you really want to write another love song?"
"But that Springfield kid killed last summer with a song about his buddy's girlfriend. We can rip that off."
Frankie shook his head, pressed his fist against his chest. "I can feel it, right here." He looked at Jim. "He lost sight of his dreams, but now he knows he needs to fight to keep them alive. If we can get that urgency into a song, I'm telling you, it'll be gold."
Jim tapped the keys. Heart and Soul. "What have you got so far?"
Frankie twirled a pencil between his fingers. "The center of the storm. Everything's churning all around him but he's calm, in control." He slammed forward in his chair. "He's hungry for the challenge…"
"And he's dangerous!" Jim thrust his fist into the air, fighting a smile.
Frankie scowled, his eyes narrowed. The thread of a thought was dangling right… there… He stretched his mind, curled around the words, tugging, pulling until the string began to unfurl. He knew he was onto something. It was on the tip of his... Hunger. Strength. Like an animal on the prowl. He scribbled the words on a fresh sheet, then stabbed his pencil on the paper. Staccato. He hummed a few notes. Ten beats before the guitar came in.
Jim leaned closer. "Well?"
Frankie held up his hand and stared at spot on the far wall.
Jim moved around the table to read over his shoulder. "Oh, yeah. A cat on the prowl. Stalking in the night." He jumped around the table and gripped the back of his chair. "He's killed off the other predators – his rivals – so now it's just him and his will to survive."
"Well, not a cat cat, but the spirit of the cat." He pointed at the page. "Can't you just picture it? A ravenous lion stalking through the jungle, so focused on his prey that nothing else matters."
Frankie's pencil skimmed over the page. The heart of a lion. Rising to the challenge of his rivals. He scribbled out what he'd written. Not the heart. What else…
Jim watched quietly. They'd worked together long enough to recognize when the other was on the verge of –
"The eyes of the lion." Frankie slapped his hands on the table, pounding out the ten beats in his head. "He's the hunter, fighting off his rivals. And what animal but the lion yearns for glory?"
"But a lion?"
Frankie waved his hand. "Or a tiger, whatever. The point is, his eyes hold all the passion. He won't quit until he wins the fight."
Jim tucked his hands on the back of his head. "I don't know. I still say a love song is the way to go."
Frankie threw one of the discarded pages at him. "The next song can be about searching for love, I promise."
If you've made it to the end, please click for my inspiration. The theme was "Eyes", but I didn't want to say before you read it so I wouldn't give away the ending.