Inspiration comes from everywhere. In an effort to create creativity among the students on the Raymond campus of Hinds Community College, creative writers from Rick Melancon’s ENG 2133 Creative Writing I and II collaborated with musicians from Amy Jones’ MUS 1123 Music Survey class. The hope was to not only showcase the talent of our student population but also to inspire their work as they continue their academic careers.
At first, students in the music department provided music for the creative writers. As the musicians practiced their pieces, the writers worked on short stories, poems, or plays inspired by what they heard.
Below is a sampling of their work. Some writing directly referenced the performances of the musicians while others just used the music as fodder for their imaginations.
Included are written pieces by Ke’londa Magee, Morgan Munn, Aaliyah Franklin, Candace McKenzie, Cecilia Akin, Mary Woodruff, Christopher Williams, Scentrellis Dixon and Jacob Cockrell with musical selections performed by Kayla Hewitt, William Cohen, Logan McVan, Kayla Shoemaker and Corey Archibald.
The sentences in maroon are actually audio files that you can click on and listen to or download. Use the back arrow to return to the blog post.
by Ke’londa Magee
“Wait a minute; I’m confused.”
“When are you not?”
“No need to be so rude about it,” I say to her as I lower my hand from the air. It’s not like I’m unaware of my confusion; I just said that I’m confused. Isn’t this what we’re supposed to do when we don’t understand something in class? I don’t get why she always gets so upset with me about it.
“What do you want, Ms. Collins?” So formal. She acts like she hasn’t been my English teacher for the past three years. “So did the chick actually cheat on him, or was homeboy just trippin’ the whole time?”
“This is English class, Ms. Collins. Speak as if you knew the language.” She rolls her eyes as her pen taps against the cold steel desk. The chipped olive-green paint that was probably a fresh coat when she first began teaching here fell to the ground piece by piece, along with her patience. “Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t.” Honestly, she wastes more time than I do with her sass.
“Did the young lady actually cheat on her lover, or not?” I huffed as I leaned back in my seat. The other students began packing up their belongings as the bell rang, marking the end of another day of contradictions. Seriously though, how can she ask us to participate in class, then get annoyed when we do? The confusion she causes may be more infuriating than my own, really.
By Morgan Munn
To be chased through the forest
Given hardly any time to rest
A need to sleep shows
But the chase doesn’t slow
a tired soul rests his eye
hearing footsteps, he can’t deny
running, continuing the chase
the forest blurring in his eye unable to fall with grace
Dance with Me
by Aaliyah Franklin
She danced, and danced, and danced until her heart’s content...
The music surged through her veins as she twirled and bent...
“Sister! Come with me!”
Her younger sister watched her, perched on the low night stand in the corner...
Longing, just for once, to be her sister’s dance partner...
She finally got the chance, but she didn’t move...
“You want to dance with me?”
She asked herself that question over and over again...
But still couldn’t bring herself to believe it...
The older sister turned to look at her timid sibling...
She stopped and reached out her hands, smiling...
“Sister! Come dance with me!”
The younger sister grabbed her hands...
Then stood herself up slowly from the night stand...
“Mama told you about sittin’ on that thing!”
The two sisters soon felt the music surge through their veins and they began to
twirl and bend...
They danced, and danced, and danced until their hearts’ content...
“Sister! I love when you’re with me!”
Dancing With My Heart
by Candace McKenzie
the rhythm enters his soul
he curves his body
swaying side to side
in the arch of a majestic cobra
time takes a step back
it’s only us facing one another
moving in a different language
the hearts of two people
and respond to
without any hesitation
to the dreamy beat of the music
face greets his seductive grin
rolls his shoulders
slow and gentle
in calm, receding waves
I talk back
head tilted, body thrusts forward
he pulls me in
confident hands clasp mine
melting into a calm trance
with hearts dancing-
by Cecilia Akin
my mind races
as the lights go down
the music starts
my thoughts stop
quick feet slide
across the floor
the graceful dancers distract me
follow their bodies
legs faster, arms faster, eyes faster
the music swells
the dancers begin to blur—
my thoughts being again
by Mary Woodruff
there’s a Baby sliding down
on the back of a camel.
if a butterfly flits by Cara’s nose,
the spray puts fires out.
when she stomps the mantle quakes.
when she spits it forms an oasis.
on the whole Cara is a careful creature,
unless you bother her Baby boy.
then she’ll treat your braincase —
like a staircase.
by Christopher Williams
Let the evening rain caress
Let the evening rain fall upon your head with cool liquid drops.
Let the evening rain sing you a melody
The evening rain makes rippling mirrors on the sidewalk
The evening whispers rushing sighs in the gutter
The evening rain plays a soft beat upon our roof at night
And I love the rain.
A Hunters Dream
by Scentrellis Dixon
shifting shadows shuffle swiftly
he stalks the streets dim lit lights
a wolf lurking out for prey
grey eyes search the night
the life of hunting he will never wring from
a lust for blood he cannot overcome
often adventuring aimlessly
Amy’s tries to escape
her eyes finally catch the ominous shape
the end has become clear
her heart, it shakes in fear
the light of this world bleed to black
she fights back but it’s too late
his arm wraps around the frame, to seal her fate
a frown across her face as she fades into the night
screeching silently, Death sings his song
a smile across his face as he fades off into delight
the hungry hunter hurries off anonymously
EXT. OLD CITY - DUSK
The sun slowly peaks over war torn rooftops. Falling snow gathers on the black marble streets that are littered with remains of the once beautiful neighborhood.
CLOSE UP: A CRUMBLED NEWS PAPER
WAR IS OVER! it reads through the dirt and wrinkles. The wind intensifies up and picks the newspaper away into the street.
Over the hill, a figure stumbles its way into the street. A scruffy, overweight, middle-aged man that can barely keep his bloodshot eyes open. Each step he takes is not to walk, but to keep from falling over. He bears a fine scarlet robe that is struggling to hold in his massive figure as he bumbles along.
CLOSE UP: GREEN EMPTY BOTTLE
The man continues his journey along until the bottle sends him into the air.
BOOM. He comes down with a thundering crash.
He lets out a deep sigh that is filled with more irritation than pain.
INT. DARK ABANDONED BAKERY - DUSK
The windows are the only source of light in the room. Bullet holes and grenade shards distort the beautiful craftsmanship of the furniture.
People emerge from the darkness and start peeking through the windows to the man laying down in the street.
EXT. BLACK MARBLE STREET- MOMENTS LATER
The man's movements are slow and weak. As he leans his head up his gaze falls upon the green bottle. Hope fills his eyes. He scrambles over to pick up the bottle and quickly tries to take a drink. Empty.
He raises the bottle up high above his head, hoping something will fall out. Nothing. He shakes it. Nothing.
Grunting he throws the bottle. CRASH.
Down the street people start coming out of the buildings. A variety of different people, they all look like they have not taken a bath in months. They all stare at the man as he tries to get up.
He gets halfway before stumbling back down in pain. The people slowly form a crowd around the man.
Out of the crowd a little boy, dirty like the others, carries him a bowl of water to him.
CLOSE UP: THE MAN'S FACE
His face is seasoned with war. Burn scars, and stress has weighed down his features.
Joy fills his smile as he takes the boy's water. He drinks it with gratitude.
The people come around him and support him to his feet, and help him down the street, all laying hands on him.
Through the crowd you see a torn poster on one of the building's walls. It has the man, younger and way more fit, dressed up in uniform. Bold red print reads FOLLOW YOUR KING TO DEFEND OUR HOME.
As he continues to walk along the sun comes up and starts shining on him and through the street. The people follow him, with the boy leading the crowd.
His journey ends when he walks up to a rich palace with fine architecture. The sun glistens off the crimson paint and bronze metal. The countries flag is flowing softly in the wind. The man gazes at it with pride.
He enters the gate surrounding the palace. As he gets closer he falls down suddenly.
FAR AWAY SHOT: GRAVEYARD
The man is kneeling down in a graveyard. In front of him are two tombstones.
CLOSE UP: TOMBSTONES
The first reads IN LOVING MEMORY: SARAH WHITE, BELOVED MOTHER AND WIFE
June 24, 1920 - April 4, 1944
The second reads IN LOVING MEMORY: JENNIFER WHITE, OUR LITTLE ANGEL
August 7, 1938 - April 4, 1944
SNAP TO: BACK OF THE MAN
His shoulders slump in defeat as he starts to cry.
The crowd of people are standing still outside the palace's gate.
Snow continues to fall.
CUT TO: OUTSIDE THE FENCE
You see the line of people running down the fence. Out of the line steps out the little boy.
He comes up to the man and pats him on the back. The man stops crying and turns around with eyes still wet. He gives a faint smile to the boy and stands up.
With the boy right beside him he looks out to the crowd.
The crowd, all with smiles, looks back in reassurance.