Self Inflicting Wounds


{Denise gracefully hosts Six Sentence Stories, where writers unleash their magic under one simple rule: in no more or no less than 6 sentences.
This week’s prompt word is : PATH
A Tale from the Six Sentence Café & Bistro. }


“We write our sins & failures in ink, we note in the margins our dreams & hopes in pencil”the words of the tall thin man echoed in the Six Sentence Café & Bistro (and beyond) as he made his way towards his usual seat, not neglecting to pass through my last cigar smoke cloud; an unwritten law at the SSC&B: when the Gatekeeper puts out his cigar, it’s the end of the smoking happy hour.

Summer is at its peak; Chris, Tom & Ford took a leave of absence – we still manage though, since the clientele is now comprised of few but die-hard patrons of our venue.

Feeling a look at the back of my head, I turned only to see Jenne carving a path from her seat at the alcove to the small stage; pausing next to me, she placed her hand gently on my shoulder, as she whispered with that gray, stormy voice of hers: Nick… Ùine airson angst…


Denise needed nothing more than a look from me to absolutely know what was coming…she grabbed her sunburst 1961 Fender Precision Bass while I dialed to max the DryIceSmoke effect on my way next to her with my guitar, framing Jenne in the middle holding the chrome microphone.

Red,blue and purple light hues created the proper atmosphere as our figures, completely lost in the smoke clouds, nodded in agreement for the key of the song: F(uck it) sharp minor…Denise started playing the first notes that seemed to vibrate every solid and ethereal being in proximity, F#m, Fm, E, B; I followed with soft chords strumming, using only the rhythm J.Beck pick-up…and then…Jenne’s voice…a moment’s gap through the smoke embracing her, revealed a figure with eyes closed, singing…”You knocked me out…”


Linda’s lyrics by themselves are one thing…channel them through a soul and you’ve got something else…amplify them through a gray northern soul and you’ve got a different beast…you’ve got what Arthur Miller means by “baring your soul”; Denise and I, lost in a trance, could hold that rhythm forever as Jenne, verse after verse, rendered everyone breathless, capable only to surrender themselves to the communion before them…

“…And life
Yeah, we cry
I know
Baby I know
But fate
I’m waking
I feel
I touch
I breath
I cry…
I know this”


About Spira

A Renaissance human. Part healer, part B/W photographer, part artist, part sigh of a writer, part explorer of guitar & piano landscapes, always in love with music..."Music is the fabric that clothes our lives" as Denise Farley once wrote. All done with the dedication, intensity & passion of an imperfect speck of cosmic debris.

24 responses »

    • It definitely seals the deal because everything started from that song…I listened to it time and time again, jammed over it with my guitar, and the scene at the SSC&B was created in me so vividly that I had to give birth to it…no proof reading or editing, just …birth.😊
      Susan, I am more than happy (and grateful) of the way this made you feel!!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. What an atmospheric piece, Spira. All the senses involved, right from the smell of the cigar smoke through to the taste of the music and the song. Susan’s right, the piece is ‘dripping’ with knowledge and passion. And oh, to be that fictional Jenne and be able – finally – to sing! That performance is my dream come true, I who, in real life, cannot hold a tune. If only.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tonight, at this moment, in this dream…you can.
      What are we left with, if we forsake the utopia of our dreams?
      A bunch of cogs destined to keep turning until they rust and fall apart?
      No, milady. No.

      So, if there is a fraction of the joy and passion this “dream” gifted me felt by you.. then, enjoy it, savor it, its yours.

      We feel /we touch / we breath/ we cry/ we write/ we dream / we create/

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Beautiful, seamless scene transition from the tall thin man existing the stage at the Café to this scene. Dark, jazz smoky…color me there as Jenne takes the stage while the Bartender awaits the Gatekeeper on stage for a jam cooler than cool. (btw, the Precision played me, not the other way around!)
    Your choice of music as soundtrack to your Six was a perfect enhancement to the story, Nick.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Denise, truth be told, all the elements were floating around me…Clark’s words (powerful), darkness (be my pillow), smoky jazz (roaming empty streets), and last but not least…the song…I just reached out and collected them.
      The jam was …, indeed!
      (that is the only way to a jam in trance…to be played by! )
      Let’s keep on jamming, Denise…and as the immortal words go : “ Music is my second language.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Damn!*

    In keeping with part of the asteroided topics, here is a brief syllabus of upcoming Comment:

    a) how the &$(&*# does he get that story-narrative-pulling-in-supporting-context-without-losing-focus into a Six
    2) nice work with the extra-wordacious** licks, i.e.
    III) ‘cellent music enhancement….

    be back

    *both compliment and reminder to myself to not start with your Sixes lol
    ** not a ‘real’ word

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I second Miz Mimi

    Liked the story …as a story.
    Loved/hated* your Six as a construct.

    You know how, working at a page in the coloring book, proud of making wise choices in hues and colors, your crowning achievement being an even layer applied to each empty space? Then someone with an additional set of skills (or perspectives**) sits at your table and, without aggressive intent, takes the book and, turning to the next page, outlines and shades, figures and backgrounds, rather than fills in.
    And you sit back and think, ‘What?!?!’

    So that’s the second part of my enjoyment of your Six. While I like the Sixes I write usuallylol, my focus tends to be on one character (or line of action). I read in ‘real’ novels and books and such, where the writer creates the world in a way that brings more into light than I have yet to be able to accomplish. (Favorite example: Ender’s Game and….and! sentences average count of 8!!)

    So, now leave me alone, I gots to deconstruct your Six and find the secret joinery in the words and grammar, syntax and action. lol

    Read a great quote the other day from Neil Pert that I choose to believe:
    ‘I’ve heard the stories. Like, Eric Clapton said he wanted to burn his guitar when he heard Jimi Hendrix play. I never understood that because, when I went and saw a great drummer or heard one, all I wanted to do was practice.’

    Doctrine here*** Eric is a roger. Jimi was a clark. (Doctrine tip: when in doubt, especially with performers, find video of them in the real world, ideally interacting with people. There’s a great clip of Jimi talking to Dick Cavett… you be, looking all around, ‘Look! Jimi’s a clark’)
    (Yeah, Prince too. But you suspected that all along.)

    * age does not mandate maturity, yo
    ** surely does not skill require an additional perspective on not only the subject but the medium?
    *** like, when is it ever not?! lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clark, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
      A minor hiccup today doesn’t allow me to answer as I would like.
      One thing though:
      Don’t search for technique…there is none, at least consciously.
      I simply fell certain things, empathize if you will, and then deliver when they reach iron hot temperatures.
      Thank you again.


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