31 DaysDay 4: DEJA VU

{Just a reminder, we try to keep these writing exercises to 30 minutes maximum. And I will say that in order to keep my writing within the 15 to 30 minute time, I have created a playlist on Spotify that allows me to put together songs that come close to 30 minutes. When the final note plays on the last song…I stop writing. And, as always, the details of the prompt are at the end of my post}


Sophia and Henry

Sofia sat in the reclining chair swing she’d rigged up  staring up at the night sky, searching for familiar constellations, Orion, Ursa Minor, The Big Dipper. What she really hoped to find were answers, but she’d settle for a few favorite stars overhead. She knew the city lights would wash out any chance of finding the constellations, but she stared up in expectation anyway. On the other side of the fence, a door creaked and the lilting laugh of Mia filled the silence and the neighbors turned on the blue twinkling-light lanterns that they’d suspended from the few trees and along the fence of their back patio area. Sofia closed her eyes.

Something about those blue lights swayed through her mind as she swung slowly, her feet dangling freely from the swing.

She’d just turned seven and was wandering through a meadow and it was well past midnight. Her mom assumed Sophia was in bed where she’d tucked her several hours earlier, but she’d snuck out as soon as she heard the piano music drifting into her room.

“The music’s not bothering you, is it?” Mia poked her head over the fence.

Sophia opened her eyes and smiled at Mia who she knew was standing on a milk crate so she could talk to Sophia. “Not at all. It’s one of my favorite pieces,” Sophia said.

Mia smiled. “Come over whenever you’re ready.”

“Yeah,” Henry called over the fence, “we won’t even put you to work.”

Sophia laughed as Mia rolled her eyes and swatted playfully at the figure of Henry Sophia couldn’t see but knew was there.

Her mother worked hard to make a good life for Sophia and her little brother, Joseph, but no matter how tight things got, she never sold her piano. And in the evenings, after Sophia and Joseph were in bed, their mother would sit for hours, music flowing through her and from her, from her fingers as they danced effortlessly across the keys, creating music, creating magic. Even in the meadow Sophia could hear the notes rising and falling and mingling and winding into melodies that caressed her heart.

With a strong push of her feet on the fence, Sophia rocked the swing higher, tilting her head back and thinking about her sweet neighbors and now friends, Mia and Henry. Behind the fence, Henry announced that the music mood needed some tinkering as he flicked the blue light lanterns on and off twice and Bartok’s suite for piano was exchanged for some jazz vocals.

Sophia sang made-up words to the piano music her mother played; her songs were all about magic and faeries and worlds that existed in the mist and the night. Suddenly, she stopped and gasped, holding her breath. At the edge of the wood, in the tall, swaying grass of the meadow, Sophia watched a blue twinkling light dancing in and out of the tree shadows. 

“A faerie,” she whispered, her words a wisp of clouds in the air.

“So, are you coming soon?” This time it was Henry peering over the fence at her, his impish smile shining in his blue eyes. “I don’t think I can do this much longer with just my sister.”

“How about now?” Sophia said, her eyes marveling at the way Henry’s appearance changed in the glow of the blue lantern light behind him. He looked almost ethereal.


“So, are you coming,” the blue light asked her, never pausing in its dancing.

Sophia glanced back at the house, the light in the living room window, her mother silhouetted against the curtain sheers. “Not yet,” she said. “But, soon?”

“Soon,” the light repeated.

“I’m Sophia,” Sophia whispered.

“I am ANRAÍ,” the light said. “I anticipate soon.”


Writing Prompt: DEJA VU – write a short sketch of a scene in which a character has an experience that causes her to recall a startlingly similar past experience. Juxtapose the present scene and the past scene on top of each other, differentiating the two by using italics for the past scene. {Exercise 97 from The 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises that Transform Your Fiction by Brian Kiteley; note, this is an affiliate link}

And, as with Writing Sprint Wednesdays, feel free to link up to this post by clicking the little blue frog below.


9 thoughts on “Sophia and Henry

    1. As a writer, I love to hear how people respond to my words and my stories. Thank you for taking time to tell me you’d like more of Sophia and Henry. It is definitely one of the stories that I look forward to following in the near future.

    1. Thank you, Michele! This one took me a while to uncover the idea for the prompt, but my rule is once I have an idea and start to write, I just go with it and see where the story and characters want to go.

      This one started because I saw that episode of Gilmore Girls with the blue lantern lights and wanted to use them somehow because I just loved the shimmery lighting they created.

      I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

    1. For some reason, blue lights make me think of fairies and I’d just watched an episode of Gilmore Girls that had the blue-light lanterns and I loved the way they looked and lit up the scene. I’d forgotten about Merida’s blue wisps, but apparently they are a part of my memory.

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