55Friday: The “There is a Light That Never Goes Out” Edition


I wore burnt orange and maroon today, did you? I almost feel guilty hosting a flash fiction fete on a day which is dominated by vigils and remembrance. But maybe this is exactly what we need, maybe this will be an outlet or a distraction or a comforting little bit of familiar. There is no theme this week; the title song is there for an entirely different reason than “usual”. It is one of my favorite songs of all time and it means quite a bit to me. It conjures youth, loss, sadness, faith and eternity the moment I hear its first few notes. It is what I listened to when I wrote a letter to Minal Panchal on Tuesday. It’s a song which moves me, which breaks my heart a little whenever I hear it and that is why I can’t get it out of my head.


Write 55 words about whatever moves you and post it below. If you can’t do that, but you can write a poem, a haiku or a slightly shorter or longer piece of flash fiction, feel free. While I usually try and insist on adhering to the 55-word shape, this is a week for inclusion, sharing and acceptance, so whatever you want to leave is welcome.

24 thoughts on “55Friday: The “There is a Light That Never Goes Out” Edition

  1. Thought I’d just point it out, this website is also wearing orange and maroon, sort of, depending on your monitor’s colour profile.

  2. Shame on you when you step thruh tuh, the Old Dirty Bastard Brooklyn Zuh. Brooklyn Zuh. Zuh

  3. It was the song I was listening to when I found out about the 1999 shooting at Columbine, 4/20, exactly 8 years ago.

    Esoteric, Obscure, meager attempt at poignancy. But to add to that, good job to the SM crew, Here’s a message for yall, Kamsa Hamnida.

  4. Virginia felt as far away as Iraq, where there were 183 newly dead, and Monday felt like last month. He didn’t even think to dress in hokie colors, just black for a black week.

  5. Anna….

    My goodness, there might be hope for us yet! There Is a Light That Never Goes Out is a favorite one of mine. In fact, Morrisey sang it as an encore when I saw a month ago in London….we all went nuts!

    take care….my papaya fan! dr

  6. In the quiet Ross, Jamie, Brian, Ryan, Austin, Jocelyne, Daniel, Kevin, Matthew, Caitlin, Jeremy, Rachael, Emily, Jarrett, Matt, Henry, Liviu, GV, Partahi, Lauren, Dan, Juan, Minal, Erin, Michael, Julie, Mary, Reema, Waleed, Leslie, Maxine, and Nicole barely register, then dissolve into maya Unique names vibrate All potential karma hesitates and pulls back Each breath exhales

  7. God watch over the souls who died this week. Those going to the meet up have a great day.

    My 55:

    When sitting with a group of friends. Soul jumps out of my body, look around and see joyful faces. For one brief moment nothing matters, no worries in the world. God shines a light, and I thank him for the friends around. Soul jumps back in.

    the name of the bar…the bar is called heaven.


    All you who sleep tonight Far from the ones you love, No hand to left or right And emptiness above -

    Know that you aren’t alone The whole world shares your tears, Some for two nights or one, And some for all their years.

    -- Vikram Seth
  9. The end , you are a poem

    the promise of a poem made to me

    that I will have one day.

    amidst the sinking pulse

    when pain finds its relief

    with its moon like face,

    when the evening touches the horizon

    when the day still floats in water

    and the night sits near its edge

    when there is neither darkness nor any light

    when its neither the day nor the night

    when the body separates and

    the end prepares for its sleep.

    the end, you are a poem

    that I will have one day.



  10. Today please don’t tell me to feel guilty for laughing. It’s been so long and it’s been so hard and I feel so raw. So today please don’t fight, or yell, or remember.

    I only want to sip the simple pleasures: a cup of tea, a quiet room, a book, and you.

  11. It’s strange, I was born in Blacksburg. My father studied there a year before the Professor arrived.

    But we left and I never felt a connection to the city.

    Then I learnt of a daughter named Abhi, thirteen and scared. My sister’s name is Abhi. And my father is a professor.

    And now, Blacksburg becomes home.

  12. Blacksburg

    That night they stole away from the city to sit upon the lonely hills submerged in mournful clouds. And there, winds whistled by throwing dust in their eyes while city lights flickered – candles from afar. Morning found them collapsed upon each other inhaling each other’s breaths, watering a bloody earth.

  13. how do you think straight, when you realize that those probably were the last thoughts you would ever hold! But, amidst the chaoes, she wasn’t shivering but the hands that held the gun were!

  14. the country of ultimate freedom freedom to live as you like freedom to kill as you like freedom to do anything, no matter what others’ freedom is lost…

    Will we ever get out of this ? when thousands of innocent kids die in Iraq.. we still talk of freedom… as long as the death don’t come to me.. I am happy with the freedom I have… Long live this freedom!!!

  15. Pretty, young South Asian Minal and all her comrades who died. So unnecessary, so much potential. May they all REST IN PEACE. God Bless X

  16.      i could have stopped him
         i could have stopped him
         i could have stopped him
        instead, i just lay there

    pretending cowering hiding hoping waiting for the help i should have been

  17. I can’t take credit for this, since it’s not original, but it’s how I imagine he felt:

    In my life, why do I give valuable time to people who don’t care if I live or die? I am Human and I need to be loved Just like everybody else does. And in the darkened underpass I thought Oh God, my chance has come at last but then a strange fear gripped me and I just couldn’t ask…

  18. Reprinted from Brevity:

    “Don’t commit these acts without the courage to face the consequences. If you must turn the gun on yourself, why not do that first, limiting the body count to one? Knowing what you know now, who doesn’t agree?”

    The penitent speaker had their belated attention. It was a particularly well-attended lecture, especially for Hell.

  19. (Reprinted from my blog)

    She cried a little in the car, the tears inching down her cheeks – not pretty, like in the movies. Demi Moore with her perfect, suspended Ghost tear. Shit! Her eyes were getting red. Well, she could blame allergies, or a cold. What she really needed was some time, space, sleep and a chance to breathe.

  20. Yesterday was Penn State’s traiditional blue-and-white football game in which the outgoing team plays the juniors. While every year the stadium is obviously blue and white, this year the crowd was dressed mainly in maroon and orange to express solidarity with VTech. Ours is also a big school in an idyllic rural setting and everyone’s hearts go out to the residents of Blacksburg.

  21. Why Indian President didn’t send any condolence note to Minal/Loganathan’s family instead to my surprise Sonia Gandhi has sent condolence note….

  22. to those who had so much more yet to live, and those who had so much left to give…to those who are left and never got to say…to anyone who’s ever wished for just one more day…55 words for the long road ahead (do hyphenations count as 2?):

    these recent days of orange and maroon show us the colors of a phoenix’s plume. when that phoenix burned, a cry went out til hokies world round began to shout. standing or bending reverent knees, chanting together “LET’S-GO HO-KIES!” and we saw through tear-filled eyes once more from the ashes


    thank you anna for your vt posts, and this opportunity to share. as for newsweek…any press is good press, no?

  23. Anna, it is very moving to see you participate in the mourning by wearing that fabulously chic thing.