Original Works

Black Holes & Brobdingnagians [Music Meets Story]

The ghastly one-eyed beast, towering at the height of ten average adventurers, charged toward me with a deafening roar. Teeth-baring in fury, its viscous saliva rained over the bodies of my deceased allies. And as the only remaining fighter, dashing for the exit of the grotto as the earth trembled beneath my feet, I wondered—how did we travel this far, only to meet an early demise? Would it matter if I defeated the colossal Brobdingnagian, now fueled with godlike wrath from its second wind? Was it even possible… to survive?

We should have stayed at Donjon, where the only battles were with crudely armoured bandits and the occasional city guards. But, Gwendolyn insisted we travelled through the black hole—‘a magical artifact that could raise the dead’ was her promise of the beyond. Unfortunately, she had been pulled apart by those monstrous hands, before she could even lay her starry eyes on the prized item.

“Take on a giant, they said. It will be fun, they said,” I muttered under my breath. “We are too weak for this.” I skidded to a halt at the mouth of the cave, where a cliff presented the longest fall to one’s death. “Stupid. Idea. Stupid. Stupid. Idea,” I cursed in between breaths.

“Stupid indeed,” an echoing voice, from within the depths of the cave, replied. “Are you going to jump?” The voice sniggered.

“No, I’m not crazy,” I snapped.

“Well…”

“This wasn’t my idea,” I said, glancing at the lifeless dismembered figures strewn inside the behemoth’s lair. “I don’t want to die. Not yet.”

“Well… if you stand there, you will.”

The voice was right—the cold-blooded devil now stood ten feet away. Reaching for me, I slid from its crushing grasp with a forward roll before pulling an enchanted arrow from my quiver. Lining it up on my bow, I aimed for the single green eye on the giant’s malformed face. I knew I had to make the shot—it was all I had left.

“Are you sure about this?” the voice asked, almost patronising in tone.

“Yes. Just…” I steadied my hand. “You…” I inhaled a deep breath. “Wait.” I released my one and only shot.

As the arrow whizzed through the air, I could almost envision the perfect bullseyes. Oh, how epic it would be when my arrow ruptures the enormous cornea. Alas, instead of piercing the menacing eye, my arrow struck the brute on its forehead. As anti-climatic as that was, the dead would have turned in their graves at the mere inch of inaccuracy… if not for the grasping brambles that burst forth from the bleeding wound. The prickly stems wrapped themselves around the monster’s head with its magical might, injecting potent purple poison deep into the skull of my foe.

Instinctively, the beast reached for the scrambling shrub in attempts to free itself from the coils of death. But no, escaping magic wasn’t easy. Its fate was now up to luck—the luck… of a dice roll. After all, the slaughter of my entire party was at the hands of fate—even if they, themselves, were the ones to toss the dice poorly.

“A strength check, right?” the voice asked.

“Yes.”

“And your DC?” the voice prompted.

“Just roll,” I said with a smug grin.

The dice rattled in the silence as an anticipation settled in the air. And in that split moment, I wondered if I had been overly confident. Did I make the right decision? Should I have used a different arrow? Still, it was fate that decided the outcome of the battle.

“Doesn’t matter what your DC is,” the voice stated. Then, with a chuckle, it added, “Natural one.”

The Brobdingnagian’s head began to enlarge, ballooning as the poison pulsed through its veins. And just as the giant took its last choking breath, its head exploded from the inward force of magic. Thick wine-red blood splattered in all cardinal directions, coating my armour in the remains of the once unbeatable enemy.

“That would smell for a few days,” the voice stated.

“I don’t care,” I replied. “Now, I need to revive my friends.”

“Revive your friends?” the voice asked.

“Yes, the magical artifact that raises the dead?” I prompted.

“Ah, that…” the voice paused.

“Please tell me it exists,” I said with bated breath.

“It exists,” the voice replied, after what felt like a moment of hesitation. “And, since you miraculously killed the giant, I’ll make it easier for you.”

“Cool, hand it over.” I could almost sense the eagerness of my fallen comrades—all ready to return to the living. Yet, I had an inkling there was more.

“No can do,” the voice said. “The artifact is inside the Brobdingnagian’s heart.”

“So, I…”

“You’ll have to dig it out.”

“Great.” What was a little extra blood? At the very least, it wasn’t the end of our adventure… yet.


This story was inspired by the original composition, Cyber Wanderer by Christoforos Koutsodimos.

Music Meets Story © 2020 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

Original Works

A Thousand Lives [Music Meets Story]

If I could live a thousand lives, what would I see?

I would see ember evening skies of suffocating smog, dusty with the ashes of a war-torn city. The sunset in the horizon now shrouded by devastation, absent of the welcoming starry night that once filled the world with awe. For reality was a macabre series of hopelessness… of which, I could only pray, would never be the future of those to come.

If I could live a thousand lives, what would I see?

I would see a multitude of broken souls, whose eyes dimmed with life as their will to live wavered. I would question if what I saw were true, for how could there be such disparate worlds, coexisting in such a time—of both carefree innocence and breathless fear, where fate had predetermined whether one lives or dies. Unsettling it was, for such a conflicting habitat to own this reality, with no saving grace—no reason nor choice. But perhaps, the future was different.

If I could live a thousand lives, what would I see?

I would see a rising courage for a new world. From endless defeat to a cry of victory—a movement to live, with flags waving high in the fight for freedom. Righteous anger filled the disposition of many in their quest to own the choices they were gifted. Oh, how the world has changed—suddenly, destiny belonged to those who owned it. Suddenly, to be human was to defend one’s rights. Was this the future?

If I could live a thousand lives, what would I see?

I would witness what seemed impossible eons ago—a coming together of all and sundry. What one would deem an unlikely marriage, in a time of great segregation, became a normality. Diverging paths with little commonality had united for the greater good. From a thousand lives, the passage of space and time had proven my faith in humanity was not in vain. There was… indeed… a different world beyond the now.

If I could live a thousand lives, what would I see?

I would see lifetimes of turmoil, pain, and despair. Yet, in the midst of it all, I would see hope, change, and the true meaning of life. For a thousand lives on a single planet paints a story from a palette of a million hues, not of mere black and white as many souls often choose. And should any being grasp the nature of living, as I have from an ethereal plane, they would know… a thousand lives is never worth more than one.

Still, the question remains—if I could live a single life, would I glimpse the same?


This story was inspired by the original composition, Wish You Were Here by Ülvi Zeynalov.

Music Meets Story © 2020 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

Original Works

Sword Of Destiny [Music Meets Story]

There it was—the glistening blade of steel that reflected the drifting clouds of the afternoon sky, rivaling the picturesque valley in its perpetual Autumn hue—the Sword of Destiny. Plunged deep into a jagged boulder, it was often mistaken as the legendary Excalibur. For many had come to where it stood, bejeweled in grace and elegance, in hopes of a better future. Alas, this very sword in the stone had a different story—a tale of irony with no promise of magic, wealth, or even a royal crown. And should one succeed at freeing it from its home… therein lies a cruel fate.

Yet, there I was. I had heeded its relentless beck and call. After months of intruding my nights with bizarre dreams and my days with unending questions, I yielded to its desire. But more than submission to the unknown, I needed to know the truth—who was the girl with the haunting dark eyes and the blazing red hair? Why did she drive a blade into her lover without sparing a single tear? And how was I related to a narrative from a millennial ago?

Destiny.

I heard it again. The disembodied voice that spoke in the stillness—a whisper that only I could hear. It called me toward the sword, pulling me forward with an in-explainable force. And after months of travelling, having dealt with all my qualms, I confidently reached for the weapon. As I wrapped my hand around its embracing grip, a strange warmth filled my chest. What I thought would be an antagonistic creation by design was surprisingly welcoming. It was as if… I had held it before.

Destiny.

I knew what I had to do. Without hesitation, I pulled the sword with all my might. But in the expectation of the blade gliding from the stone, I was left befuddled. The Sword of Destiny remained in place. Didn’t it call for me to set it free? Wasn’t I the chosen one to inherit its strength and power? Confused and stubborn, I attempted once more… and then another, and another, until the sun bade goodnight. Alas, even with both hands and countless bouts of catching my breath, the blade had rooted itself unmovable.

Destiny.

“What destiny?” I exclaimed in exasperation. “Why have you brought me here? What do you want from me?”

“It doesn’t want anything from you,” a voice replied.

Had I not been alone the entire time? I spun around to find a woman in a long, hooded cloak. As the cloudy night shrouded the pale moon, I could barely see the stranger’s face. If only I had the Sword of Destiny in my hand, I wouldn’t have feared for my life—why hadn’t I come prepared?

“Who are you?” I asked, as I took a few steps back.

“The Sword of Destiny is not yours,” she replied, disregarding my seemingly unimportant question. “It never called for you either.”

“What do you mean?” I frowned. “It gave me dreams, and I can hear its voice.”

“You’re not the only one with dreams,” the stranger said. “And what you hear is not its voice… it’s yours.”

I chuckled in disbelief. Who was she to make a fool out of me? I knew what I had dreamt—those recurring dreams that made no sense. I knew what I had heard—the very reason for my quest.

“You want something that isn’t yours,” she added. “But the sword will never come free for you. The sword never comes free for anyone.”

“Then why-”

The stranger took a step forward, revealing half her face in the faint light of the moon. And in that instant, my heart stopped. It was her. She was the girl who betrayed her lover at her father’s orders—the girl who couldn’t shed a tear despite the wretched pain that tore her soul apart.

“The sword cannot change the past,” she said. “The sword cannot change what you did or what you’ll do.”

“I don’t… understand,” I replied.

“Look.” She gestured to the blade, now basking in its own magical glow.

Shifting my gaze from the stranger, I turned to the object of my desire. And in its reflection of the starry sky, I saw myself—the hopeless creature, whose dark eyes remained haunted by the past. Once brave and fearless, as often attributed by my fiery hair, I had become a broken soul. She, or should I say I, was right all along.

“Destiny isn’t set in stone,” I said. “Destiny… is what you will make of it.”


This story was inspired by the original composition, The Defiant One by Josh Huck.

Music Meets Story © 2020 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

Original Works

The Unseen [Music Meets Story]

Forgotten, rejected, and neglected—oh, if only they would see me. If only they knew, that more than a masked vigilante in the night and a magical tooth fairy, I was human, too. But perhaps, it was better to remain unseen. After all, some heroes… were never heroes to begin with.

Who was I to hold any true value? I had fallen from grace—I was a corrupted being. Even if I carried a flaming torch in the dark, bravely slayed a hundred dragons, and demanded a murderous storm to cease, it would mean nothing. I was the cold darkness itself, the mad beast in the cave, and the unforgiving rage in the seas—would it be hypocritical to try? Did I deserve a second chance—was I even worthy of a dream? At the break of dawn, could I wish for more or should I live in the lifeless shadows forever? But in those moments of unending questions, there she was… relentless.

I could see it in her eyes—we shared the same dismal thoughts, the same unceasing doubts, and the same burning questions. She wondered if I saw her, accepted her, and remembered her. Yet, she never once asked if I did. She simply donned her cape, day and night, for me. She held the blinding light at the end of my tunnel, she lured the blood-thirsty monsters away, and she braced the howling wind as she steered us through the wild waves. She was the true hero while I questioned my worth. She stood by me while I chose to be a saviour… to the others around me.

If only I saw it sooner.

She was my rock while I strived to be someone else’s. And in the midst of every rejection, I had rejected her, too. But not anymore—I have chosen to see the one beside me. I choose to spark the flames, battle the ravenous creatures together, and sail through the thundering nights as a team. For only then, we would both see the hope in the sunrise—together, we will learn that even as fallen and broken souls, we can rise from the ashes and soar once more. But… was I too late?

Did I stray too far off? Did I leave only my dusty tracks—a path she could choose not to follow? Or, was there still hope? Perhaps, I should turn back—if she didn’t come to me, I would go to her. And this time, even if she looked past me, I would stay… relentlessly.

Even if she rejected, neglected, and forgot who I was, I would be her unsung hero. She didn’t need to know. She only had to live. After all, I wouldn’t have travelled such a distance alone—I would have given up, gone off route, and wandered in the unknown. So for once in my life, I choose to go unnoticed… for the sake of the one who first saw me.


This story was inspired by the original composition, Vibrations by Thomas J. Curran.

Music Meets Story © 2020 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

Original Works

Circus In The Clouds [Music Meets Story]

“They’re here! They’re here!”

Every five years, I would hear the shouts of the children as they lifted their gazes into the sky. Their irrepressible excitement would echo deafeningly through the cobbled streets—a shrill of enthusiasm that broke all torpor and humdrum of the dreary city. For what then could be more exciting than the visitors from afar? The very thespians who promised a magical evening with sparkling silver hot air balloons, ascending into the ember dusk for a spectacle of phantasmagoria—the Circus In The Clouds.

‘Forget the clowns, the lions, and the freaks. Oh, what boring shows and unimaginative tricks. It is time to behold a mesmerising parade of wonder and awe. Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready for more?

‘Feast your eyes on the unbelievable. Stir your soul with the mystical. Unleash your imagination with the stars as we whisk you away on a journey of a lifetime. Oh, you will not be disappointed, boys and girls!

‘So look right up, all citizens of the ground! For the circus… is in the clouds!’

I was merely three years of age when I first learned about the circus—too young to yearn for the great adventure that lay beyond. But when I turned eight, I discovered true envy. Oh, how I wished to own a Golden Ticket—if only every candle blown during each uneventful birthday would make this one dream come true. Alas, I soon learned that if I truly wanted to witness a display of amazing, daring, and death-defying acts, I would have to achieve it on my own. For some of us weren’t meant for just this—some of us were meant for more.

“Oh dear, the Golden Ticket isn’t for everyone,” my mother said—the same exact words, on repeat, whenever I coveted for a world beyond my reach. “Some of us simply have to live with what we’ve got.”

“But father might win a ticket this year,” I stated.

My poor father’s reward, for toiling for his master, was his name in the Golden Ticket raffle—a lucky draw with minimal odds of winning a prize every drudge could only dream about.

“And I’m sure he will let you have it… should he be lucky enough,” my mother said with a thin smile.

Alas, that wasn’t the answer that I wanted—after ten years of waiting, I couldn’t place my future in the hands of Lady Luck. Surely, there was another way.

“I’m going to check on the balloons,” I said.

“Don’t do anything silly,” my mother replied.

Was finding a way to truly live silly? Was choosing to broaden my horizons unwise?

“I’ll be back in the evening,” I assured her. “I’ve never done anything silly, mother.”

As the sun now settled in the clear blue morning sky, I shuffled up the deck and toward the stream of glistening hot air balloons. Their silver envelope reflected the shimmer of day as the shuttle crew ran their routine checks—for at the arrival of dusk, these baskets would brim with peppy children and their blue-blood parents. Oh, the wealthy below would soon have their minds bewildered while the penniless above… descend without his Golden Ticket.

‘Embrace the magic of night. Bask in great celestial delight. Be enchanted by our dauntless souls as they grande jeté with the spellbinding darkness. And if you wonder….

‘What truly is the Circus In The Clouds? Oh, it is a world without words, a place no man can ever describe. For all who have gone before has had their minds mystified—their only syllable now… is ‘go’!

‘So don’t miss our spectral stage. From North to South and East to West, bid us farewell now and you may never see us again.’

“That balloon! It’s slipping away!” I shouted as the rally for ticket sales boomed over the massive speakers. “Somebody, help!”

As promised to my mother, I had put all silliness aside. All it took was cleverness—a few loose knots and a smirk—before all heads turned to the rogue vessel. And within moments… I didn’t need to pay for my way down.

Slipping past the shuttle crew in their frenzy, I hopped into the nearest balloon, hastily set the knots free, and pushed against the starboard beam. I had learned how to navigate the silver vehicle from my father—a ferryman for the circus—and before anyone could stop me, I began my descent.

“Don’t worry, mother,” I muttered under my breath. I knew I couldn’t truly escape this life. But at the very least, I tried. “I’ll be home before the show even begins. Oh, the magical Circus In The Clouds.” I scoffed.


This story was inspired by the original composition, Highlands by Hans Magnus.

Music Meets Story © 2020 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

Original Works

Into The Sky [Music Meets Story]

“Have you decided?”

“I think so,” I said. It wasn’t a difficult decision—I had always wanted to fly. The great rush of the wind against my skin, in the embrace of the peaceful amber skies, had always been a dream.

“Well, no matter what you choose, know that I’ll support you… fully,” she said.

“I know,” I replied. I had never once disappointed her. In fact, I often believed I made her proud. My only fear then was making the wrong decision—despite it being an easy one. Alas, one could never be certain if easy was good, nor if hard was any nobler than easy.

“Goodnight then,” she said with a gentle smile.

As she left my wooden tent, I pushed myself seated. Turning to the window above my bed, I heaved a sigh. There were five days, three hours, and sixteen minutes left—the remaining time to reach a decision. Perhaps, I should stick with my first choice—to spread my wings and escape the never-ending battles and the haunting smell of blood that reigned over my reality. If I could close my eyes and wish it all away—taking to the sky with my glorious snowy-feathered wings—wasn’t that the hope of every being in a hopeless world?

With the stars twinkling in the distance as the cloudless night presented the full moon, I wondered why—when my brother made his choice, it was to run fast and furious across the golden sand dunes. And when my sister made hers, it was to brace the wrathful waves of mighty storms. Yet, just when I thought they could flee from the raging turmoil that plagued our land, they stayed.

Still, five days, three hours, and sixteen minutes later, I chose to fly.

“Have you decided?” I asked.

“I think so,” he said. It wasn’t a difficult decision—I always knew he wanted to fly, too.

“Good. You have my support, you know that, right?” I replied.

“Yes. But can I ask you something?” he said with a frown. Therein lay the same hesitation in his mien. The same hesitation that was once mine—if my choice was selfish and cowardly.

“It’s alright if you want to run,” I stated. “Everyone secretly wants to. I did, too.”

“Then why did you stay?”

I chuckled. Indeed, why did I? The night after I received my gift—to own the body of a magnificent bird of prey—I could have bid farewell. I could have left everything behind to start anew. I could choose the adventures I wished to embark on—ones that weren’t marked by death and destruction. But just as the battle horns blew at the arrival of yet another challenger, seeking the very ancient art that granted me my gift, I rose from my bed ready to protect what was mine.

“The same reason you might,” I told him.

“I don’t understand,” he said. Alas, neither did I in his state. “But it’s not wrong if I leave, right?” he prompted.

“No one is stopping you,” I replied with a smile. “And no one will judge you either. The gift is yours to use, however you wish to use it.”

He nodded. He had made up his mind—he was going to fly. And yet, I knew, he would stay. Just like every single one before him, the allure of the great beyond could never snatch us away from home—more than the magic we fought for was the family that fought alongside us.

At the next blow of the battle horns, we would be the vigilant eyes in the sky. Our brothers would rumble the earth with their spirited roars. Our sisters would wield the elements of the sea with righteous anger. This… had been the ways of our ancestors—to unleash the primeval beast within, to defeat the teeth-baring demons that were hungry for our souls, and to grasp onto hope with our fragile hearts… even when there seemed to be none.

“Goodnight then,” I said.

Five days, three hours, and sixteen minutes later, he chose to fly. And as quickly as an enemy arose, he was by my side—not on a quest to resign from life but to be bold, passionate, and determined… to fight for it.


This story was inspired by the original composition, Everything Will Be Alright by Niklas Ahlstedt.

Music Meets Story © 2020 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

Original Works

Stone Blind Eyes [Music Meets Story]

“If you believe it, you can see it,” she said.

“I can’t. I wish I could,” I told her as I bit my lower lip. Alas, I wasn’t an imaginative child—the other children often said so.

In their bouts of play pretend, I often failed to conjure the monstrous fire-breathing dragon, the majestic crystal castle in the sky, or the magical ruby that could make me fly. I would hear my friends squeal and laugh as they went on great adventures in the glade—taking a back seat with reality as my ordinary world remained as lackluster as it always was. Oh how I wished, that just for a moment, I could step into a realm of wonder and awe.

“Do you believe?” she asked.

“I want to,” I said. “I’ve tried. But… I just can’t see it.”

She reached for my hand with a beaming smile—a smile my mind often drew across her small face—and replied, “Just listen, do you hear them?”

I strained my ears. “What am I listening for?”

“Just listen,” she stated.

The autumn leaves rustled in the afternoon breeze, the shouts of my friends filled the air as they beckoned each other to defeat the army of villainous fairies, and the gentle whisper that was her voice.

“Now,” she added. “Feel them.”

I titled my face toward the sky. The warmth of the sun settled on my skin, the breath of wind brushed through my hair, and the comforting touch of her hand upon mine—for a moment, I didn’t feel alone.

“Do I smell next?” I guessed—it seemed to be some sort of a game, and I didn’t mind it.

“Yes. Do you smell the roses?” she asked with excitement in her voice.

I chuckled and shook my head. “We don’t have roses here.”

The orphanage was sequestered in the embrace of nature. And though the caretakers had a garden of wild vegetables and flowering plants, there were no roses as they were delicate and difficult to grow.

“I smell them,” she stated. “Do you smell them?”

“I…” It took me a second before I played along. “How do they smell?”

“It doesn’t matter how they smell. Just smell them,” she said as a matter of fact-ly.

“All right,” I replied—a hint of sweetness like a jar of candy, a bit of orange peel after an orange has been peeled, and a little perfume like that of a fresh bar of soap. “Okay, I smell them. But I’m not sure if I’m right. I’ve never smelled roses before.”

“Do they smell good?” she asked.

“They smell…” I laughed. “They smell strange, but in a good way.” I nodded my head.

“My roses smell like peppermint and a new book,” she stated confidently, as though that was the scent of real roses.

“Mine smells like soap and candy,” I said with a shrug.

“Your roses smell good,” she replied. “Now…”

“What’s next?” I prompted, wondering where our little game was headed.

“Now… open your eyes.”

I frowned. “What do you mean?”

She knew, just like everyone else, that I couldn’t open my eyes. And even if I could, I would see nothing—I had lost my sight at a young age, and my only perspective of the world was that of a six-year-old’s memory.

“Just like the roses, silly,” she said. “Open your eyes!”

Ah, so that was what she meant. “All right,” I said. “But what am I supposed to see?”

“You tell me—what does today look like?”

That day was a good day. “The sun is bright and round, it’s not hot as usual with the cool breeze, and you’re here… telling me to open my eyes.” I chuckled.

“What colour is the sky? How big are the trees?” she prompted.

“The sky is a bit of blue, a bit of purple, and a bit of pink,” I said. “The trees are big and small—some as small as my toes and some as big as… a troll.”

“A troll,” she said with a gasps. “Guys, there’s a troll!” she shouted to our friends.

I heard my friends running toward us—questions of where the troll was and if it was sent by the maleficent fairy queen intruded our little moment. But before she said a word, she tugged me to my feet.

“Tell them,” she prompted. “Tell them about the troll.”

The world beyond quieted as my friends eagerly waited on me. “The troll…” I hesitated.

Did I really see one? Was it among the trees? There was a colossal tree that looked particularly odd—the thick branches were like giant arms and the stump was like a massive eight-toed foot.

“There!” I pointed ahead. I didn’t know if there was the neighbouring forest, but I saw it… there. “It’s hiding in the trees. But it only has one foot, so all we need is a little magic.”

“We have magic!” one of my friends exclaimed.

And just like that, I felt her hand pull me forward into a run. “You see,” she shouted as we headed toward the troll. “All you needed to do… was believe.”


This story was inspired by the original composition, Euphoria by Mechanical Might

Music Meets Story © 2020 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

Original Works

Keeper Of Promises [Music Meets Story]

“There are some promises you can never break,” he told me. “You must remember this.”

“Don’t worry,” I assured—rather confident that I wouldn’t forget. “I got this. You can trust me.”

He nodded. Then, handing me the rusted bronze key, he heaved a heavy sigh. “Don’t lose this.”

“I won’t,” I said. “I’ll keep it safe.”

He nodded once more—a hint of melancholy in his disposition as he ended his tenure. It had been forty years since the key was entrusted to him. Now way past his retirement age, it was time for someone new to bear the responsibility.

“Remember,” he repeated as he headed to the door. “Don’t ever forget.”

“I won’t ever forget,” I said. I had labelled the jars. I knew which were important—the promises I had to protect. So how could I ever forget? Alas, ten years later, I broke my only promise.

It was said that none of my predecessors had ever succeeded at their task—that there would come a time when a promise is broken. But as a confident young lad, I thought myself different. I believed, that unlike those before me, the promises would be safe under my care—that every father who promised to be home for the holidays would be singing Christmas carols with their families, that every friend who promised to stay in touch would be a phone call away despite the distance, and that every lover who promised to love forever would chose to fight even in the darkest of times. Unfortunately, some promises were meant to be broken… even if I remembered to keep them safe.

“I had no choice,” I consoled myself.

A new promise had arrived at my doorstep—it’s ethereal shimmer of silver and gold was enclosed in a mason jar. And within the streaks of twinkling light was a ghostly memory of when the promise was made—a promise of a sickly mother to her young child. Glimpsing what the jar bore, I knew that I had to keep it safe—that it was up to me to ensure that the fear-stricken girl wouldn’t lose her mother. So, I headed to the trove of promises down the hall. And with the click of the old bronze key, I unlocked the rickety cupboard.

One would think that a cupboard storing magical jars of promises would be magic itself. To my dismay, it was but an ordinary piece of furniture—one that had to be cleared should I ever need more space. Hence, I had to break promises—I had broken a few before. But often times, the broken promises were the ones long forgotten or were no longer of any value to the one who made it. This time, however, all the jars before me were labelled in white. It was the mark I gave to the promises that can never be broken—promises that would change lives forever.

“What do I do?” I asked myself—a question I repeated as I held the new promise in my hands. “I can’t.” Then, after a prolonged moment of hesitation, I reached for the jar on the lowest shelf.

The jar had been in the cupboard before I became the keeper of promises. It was a jar I promised to never break—a promise to the man who had once kept it safe. Alas, I didn’t have a choice. It was, after all, one of the oldest promises in the cupboard—the promise itself barely visible behind the crud and limescale. Placing the new jar where the old one once sat, I gave myself little room for second thoughts and headed to the backyard. And it was there that I broke a supposedly unbreakable promise.

“I had no choice,” I told myself. “It was old. It probably meant nothing.”

Indeed, I was young and naive. I thought that newer promises had more worth than promises that had been kept for years—I failed to see that they were the ones you can never break. It was only when I passed my duty to my successor that I understood.

“There are some promises you can never break,” I told her.

“Which ones?” she asked.

“The old ones,” I stated. “You must remember this.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll keep them safe,” she said.

I nodded. But with a sigh, I knew what was to come—the mother who had been fighting to stay alive, for the past twenty years, would someday break her promise. And unfortunately, it was a promise… that was meant to be broken.


This story was inspired by the original composition, Dream World by Mustafa Avşaroğlu

Music Meets Story © 2020 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

Original Works

The End Of Arcadia [Music Meets Story]

“The last of Team Sigma has fallen,” he said.

The map of our utopia—a holographic projection of our glorious sky-scraping city, built within the embrace of Mother Nature’s lush topography—had dimmed. The last of our soldiers, who once lit the hologram with her beacon, had vanished from the grid. And, as any wise and learned individual would say, all hope was lost.

“What do we do?” he asked.

Alas, the other four remained silent. Despite inheriting the weight of our survival—a hefty responsibility placed upon their shoulders, after our original leaders had died in battle—they stood mummed. A concoction of apprehension and defeat now governed their collective mien. And I knew—it was now up to me. The uninvited guest, peeping from the vent above the room, was the only one left with a solution. If only they had listened—if only they didn’t wave me out of their meetings. Unfortunately, no one heeded the words of a child.

Retreating from the grave reality of our survival, I returned to my bunker—one I shared with a few other children. The leaders had sent all able-bodied men and women to fight the creatures, leaving all those below the age of twelve as orphans. With the war persisting, there were barely any adults left—the last I saw my parents was eight months ago, and my brother was in Team Delta. But as much as my heart ached in grief, I was humanity’s remaining hope. My only regret was not acting sooner, even if it meant breaking the rules.

“Are you really going to do it?” she asked me.

“I have to,” I said. “If I don’t, more of us will die.”

“But… you’ll die,” he chimed.

“I won’t be the first, but I’ll be the last.”

The adults insisted on protecting our utopia—preserving the toil of our ancestors that went into the living paradise. They believed that our world would be an everlasting home—one that thrived on renewable energy, powering our advancing technology without sacrificing the original inhabitants of the land. It was, indeed, Arcadia. Alas, their quest to defend our future costed many lives—more than we could have afforded. Thus, it was high time someone did the opposite.

“Can we come along?” she asked.

“No, you have to stay,” I said. “You’ll have to start over once the creatures are gone.”

“But it wouldn’t be the same without you,” he stated with a frown.

“It isn’t meant to be the same,” I replied. “It already isn’t the same, and you know it.”

My friends nodded. Then handing me my backpack—nestling the only weapon I needed—they each gave me one last hug before ushering me to the door.

“You guys remember what to do?” I prompted.

“Yes,” they replied in unison.

“Good. I’ll see you guys… soon.”

I turned on my heel, refusing to show the final tears I were to shed—there was no going back now. The only step back, that I permitted myself to take, was into history—a time before the invasion, where every morning presented a new hope. But despite what one would think, hope would arrive at dawn once more—after I was done with my mission.

The plan was simple—with the adults scurrying for another strategy, my friends would trigger the intrusion alarm. The alarm would initiate an evacuation procedure, unlocking the north exit that led to the surface. I would be close by—as the banshee-like shrieks echoed down the hallways—ready to slip out into the world above. And from there, my final journey commenced.

Was I afraid? I was. I had never met a single person who wasn’t afraid to die—I saw the fear in my parents’ eyes when they said goodbye, and I heard it in my brother’s voice when he promised to return. Still, they were brave—every person that left our subterranean haven was courageous in disposition. And more so was I.

With the map to the abandoned power plant in hand, and the explosives slung over my shoulders, I was headed toward destruction. The notion itself sounded preposterous—why would anyone destroy the only place we called home? But it was only absurd to those who couldn’t let go of what we had already lost. Starting over wasn’t the end of our perfect world, refusing to try again was. And if it took a child to help them see, so be it.


This story was inspired by the original composition, Legends by Rajiv Seewoolall of RS Soundtrack

Music Meets Story © 2020 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

Writing Journey

[NEW] Music Meets Story

There are times where I rely on music to complete a story, to set the mood, and to inspire creativity. And seeing how music has the power to shape a tale, I’ve decided to embark on a writing challenge inspired by original compositions.

Collaborating with ten composers from all around the world—amazing and talented artists from the United Kingdom, Sweden, Greece, Turkey, Poland, Denmark, Azerbaijan, and the United States—I’m ready to push the boundaries of my imagination as I attempt to write stories thematically in sync with their creations. Sounds interesting?

Truthfully, this idea is both exciting and daunting. And it’s something I’ve been contemplating since the middle of last year, though not entirely ‘new’. I have done a similar piece in the past—a Harry Potter fanfiction accompanied with music. But… it wasn’t easy. Thus, I am at it again—the challenge being the main reason I’m on this ‘new’ adventure. So, will you join me on this quest?

The first story will be posted in February, and I do hope to see you there. Until then, don’t forget to stay awesome!