Creative example

How I wrote a short story from the lyrics of a song

Below I have the lyrics for the song Blood bank by Bon Iver. Further below you will find my attempt at writing a short story inspired by the lyrics. It is only a fragment and not a complete story.

Interpreting the lyrics

The lyrics talk about people meeting at a blood bank. I interpret that as a metaphor for the dating scene. Or, life as it relates to matters of the heart. I see blood and heart as going together. I also picked up on the lines that hint toward an illicit love affair and her blushing about it in my short story. These lines in particular : ”That secret that you knew/ But don’t know how to tell/ It fucks with your honor/ And it teases your head/But you know that it’s good, girl/’Cause its running you with red”.

The short story uses the foreshadowing hook in the first paragraph. It uses ”showing rather than telling” to convey ”Charlie’s” excitement and possibly shame.

Blood bank – the lyrics

Well, I met you at the blood bank
We were looking at the bags
Wondering if any of the colors
Matched any of the names we knew on the tags

You said ”see lookit, that’s yours
Stacked on top with your brother’s
See how they resemble one another
Even in their plastic little covers”

And I said I know it well

That secret that you knew
But don’t know how to tell
It fucks with your honor
And it teases your head
But you know that it’s good, girl
‘Cause its running you with red

Then the snow started falling
We were stuck out in your car
You were rubbing both of my hands
Chewing on a candy bar

You said ”ain’t this just like the present
To be showing up like this”
As a moon waned to crescent
We started to kiss

And I said I know it well

That secret that we know
That we don’t know how to tell
I’m in love with your honor
I’m in love with your cheeks
What’s that noise up the stairs babe?
Is that Christmas morning creaks?

And I said I know it well
And I know it well


Chapter 1

Tina left nine months ago. Without a trace.  It would be five long years and hardships beyond reckoning before I learned about what happened to her. Actually, her fate is the reason I have to write it all down. Otherwise, I would simply not believe it myself.

I started dating a while after Tina left. I must have met a dozen women before I realized I had it right in front of me.  That Charlotte, called Charlie, the pay-roll girl at my job with the Johnston Building Company was the real thing. It was a summer afternoon. A golden haze as the sun started to set. I saw her. But not as before. She saw me. Saw what I felt. And then I saw her cheeks turn red. And how her eyes fell so as to avoid mine. Yet something in that moment spoke to me. It was a fateful exchange of glances. Something changed forever.

It can’t really be put into words how you know, how you see it in the eyes like that, the movement of the eyes, the mouth, the body . I guess you know a true heart, a true blood, from instinct. In that way love is like a smell. Or, a feeling down your spine. It is as if you are one with the world. And time stands still.

I just knew, none of the others would do.

Chapter 2

There was just one thing that stood in my way. Charlotte was married. …


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