In response to Writing 101 Day 15’s prompt: Your Voice Will Find You.
Think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Your hometown’s annual fair. That life-changing music festival. A conference that shifted
your worldview. Imagine you’re told it will be cancelled forever or taken over by an evil corporate force.
How does that make you feel?
Let’s consider your voice again. This topic can be tricky, as you might not be sure what your voice sounds like — yet. But it’s not that it’s not there, as Chuck Wendig explains in his “Ten Things I’d Like to Say to Young Writers” post. It just takes time to hone it:
You will chase your voice like a dog chasing a car, but you’ll never catch it. Because you were your voice all along. You were never the dog. You were always the car.
Our favorite writers, from Jane Austen to Gabriel Garcia Marquez to Paul Auster, have distinct voices. You read their writing and hear their words in your head. From their word choices, to the rhythm of their sentences, to the intimate spaces they create — right there on the page — they sound like no one else but them.
Today’s twist: While writing this post, focus again on your own voice. Pay attention to your word choice, tone, and rhythm. Read each sentence aloud multiple times, making edits as you read through. Before you hit “Publish,” read your entire piece out loud to ensure it sounds like you.
She was listening to the news. Had what they’d done enough? She certainly hoped so but in this world, nothing was ever certain. Suddenly the newscaster reappeared, after a grizzly report on the earthquake that shook the entire African continent leaving hundreds of thousands dead. It was horrible and she felt terrible for them, yet somehow her attention was focused on the issue they would address now. One that would hit closer to home and that could have just as awful consequences as that massive Act of God.
“And so, despite violent demonstrations and unlawful acts betraying our constitution,” She stood suddenly causing her baby girl to startle. They hadn’t been violent for heaven’s sake. The police had acted against the constitution, attacking peaceful marchers. She knew where this was going. And she’d be damned if they would ever touch anything in her house. “The Parliament has eventually passed a law that will forbid music. Finally, we will be able to live in silence. Music had become a plague on our society, preventing everyone from having a moment of silence to themselves. It was an instrument of division since only a few people had access to concerts. Music was a threat to our value of equality.”
Could that woman truly believe what she was saying? Really? Music a divider? No way!
“We are all aware that music, particularly hip hop in the past century, was an instrument of rebellion against the all knowing and generous Government. And a tool to incite our children to illegal and sinful behaviour: like crime and sex. It is with relief that the better majority of the population is receiving this news, as our reporters were able to witness on the streets.”
Flashes of images of people, so obviously from the Government, came on TV denouncing their children’s behaviour when they listened to music. Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain was inviting children to practice witchcraft and Destiny’s Child’s Survivor was an invitation to girls to be sexual before they were supposed to. Interestingly there were no images of real people. She should go out and demonstrate with others in front of the city hall but she knew what would happen.
“The law will be implemented within the next few hours, as the Government wants to give the police rights to get into people’s house and confiscate music as soon as possible. Otherwise rebels will have the time to hide their illegal stack of songs and music. You are being watched. We know who you are.”
Like everyone? Come on! They must be kidding! Really! How ludicrous could this be? No of course it made sense. They were slowly but surely taking away people’s rights: education was becoming a luxury afforded only to those of the higher spheres. The part they used to call the 1%. Everyone else should remain uneducated and poor so that they be controlled. It was a return to the dark era of the Middle Ages. Gone the Enlightenment and what they taught us about reason. Gone access to education for everyone. And obviously music was only the first step; it was surprising they hadn’t started with the theatre. Maybe because Hollywood still counted as one of the big powers in this world and it would be too dangerous to have THAT corporation against them.
Dianne picked up Kate and started cleaning the entire apartment. She duplicated her music disk through an encrypted and safe site a few months before – she knew maybe that they would go ahead with this. But the external hard drive holding all the music that sat on her house main computer frame was still here and she needed to hide it. She erased some song from the main frame just so that they knew she had started to do the work they intended to do. She couldn’t afford to have them remove that main frame. It also held most of her memories. She needed to show that she was willing to follow the law even if it was an unjust one. But she wasn’t going to relinquish it all.
She left the house and visited her neighbour, asking her if she could look after Kate while she went on an errand. Patricia was delighted. She loved her little one. Dianne took a quick walk to the bank. She visited her safe, which they were bound to check, and grabbed a piece of jewelry. They would know she had come here so might as well have a justification.
But then she also opened the safe of Kate’s father. William worked for the Government; they separated before she realized she was pregnant. But mostly she left before it became obvious that she felt nothing but contempt for the institution. They remained on good terms even though she didn’t understand why he would continue working for them. He was a good dad to his daughter anyway. Still, she knew they wouldn’t visit his safe. And since she had a key that didn’t register visits – something very illegal to possess indeed – nobody would know she’d come here as well. Once they had investigated her house, she could retrieve the incriminating disk.
Outside a crowd of people gathered, angry and decided. Unarmed but for their desire for freedom they were marching towards City Hall to demand the law be repealed. It wouldn’t work. But she joined them anyway. Freedom was worth fighting for. And she wouldn’t live in a silent world.
This is a one-shot so it’ll need some editing. But that’s the idea.