100 Words / Prompt: Voice

So… I deviated a bit from the “norm” on this one.  I guess I had more than my share of inspiration with this prompt.  This week, I did not one, but five entries – each with the word “voice” as hinge point, and each exactly 100 words.  All together, they make the arc of a life.  I hope this is acceptable to all.


PART 1 (school girl)

“You watch your tone of voice when you talk to me, young lady.”

My mother stood impervious, a slight flaring of her nostrils the only indication that she was not in total control.  I wanted to be as calm as she was, as unemotional, but the more I tried to reign myself in, the hotter the anger in me burned.  The biggest frustration was, I wasn’t even sure what the anger was all about.  It simply was.  So I went with the easiest solution – a lie.

“Well, if you would just listen to me, perhaps I wouldn’t have to yell!”

PART 2 (teenager)


My heart thrilled when I heard his voice.   How a single word could affect me so, I didn’t know, but it did, it did, oh, it did.  That word evocative of his shy smile, the dark eyes almost hidden behind a veil of soft bangs.  And now, we were connected by sounds carried through wires and cords, so close.  I was glad my parents were in the living room, my father reading the paper in his easy chair and my mother watching some variety show on television.  They would not see the blush that rose in me.

“Hi, back.”

PART 3 (college student)

“No, relax your jaw.  Disengage it.  Make sure your throat is open – support with the diaphragm, the diaphragm!”

Madame Lang was animated, her hands moving from her own jaw, swiping down her throat, clenching and opening in front of her abdomen.  Her own voice was assertive and I had to concentrate on not tensing up.  But it was working!  As I followed her instructions, I could hear my voice growing bigger, stronger, more resonant.  It also was very close to being out of control, but even that was exciting and amazing.  I was singing!

“That’s it, keep going!”

I did.

PART 4 (young adult)

“You have a voice for sex”, he said, languidly.  Then, musing: “We should set up a 900 line – I bet you could make a killing.”

It’s not like I hadn’t thought about it before, especially when times were hard, like now.  But the cost would be too high.  “So you want me to learn to fake it really good and croon ‘oh, baby, baby… yes, god, now’ while painting my toenails?  You want sex to become rote, something I could turn on and off, like a robot?”

“No, never that,” he said, smiling, and pulled me back down to him.

PART 5 (older adult)

Her voice had grown so frail.  Through the phone connection, I could sense how lost she had become, how delicate.  To be expected from someone in her 83rd year, but still hard to accept.  My mother had always been so strong, so sure of herself.  Now she could barely speak a sentence without pausing to search for a name or even a word; what had once been familiar eluded her.  Her world had telescoped down to medical conditions, medical personnel, and a litany of friends who were ill or dying.  Yet she did not sound despairing; that was my predicament.

~ by arcticwren on April 3, 2011.

3 Responses to “100 Words / Prompt: Voice”

  1. Woah mama, you got ambitious with this one! My favorite is part I.

  2. a life in voices . . . well said

  3. I love what you did with this prompt! Excellent idea and all the little drabbles are great!

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