He Said / She Said – Speakeasy #150

Note:  read the left side (red text) first, then the right side (blue text.)  Scroll down for normal sentence/paragraph format:

   HeSaidSheSaid            ~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-

It occurs to me that while this appears fine on a computer screen, the formatting may be a mess on some mobile devices, so here is the text in normal sentence format:

HE SAID:  Monotony.  Each day that followed was more of the same.  Serving his sentence: life.  He vowed to stay ’til death claimed his soul.  Fifteen years- 180 calendar pages turned; 5,475 tick marks made.  Each heartbeat spent, suspended in perpetual limbo.  He still loved her, but love didn’t translate the language divide.  He wanted to unwind after a stressful Monday, she wanted to talk.  He was confused by her moody swings and sulking on the other end of the couch, silently.   Guilt pushed from his mind – he rationalized he didn’t have to bear the impossible burden of being her everything.  He felt smothered by the knowledge her ideal was more than he was, or could ever hope to be.    

SHE SAID: Empty. Lonely, neglected, rejected.  The silence awakened doubt; suspicion that forever was a myth- a lore dwelling somewhere outside herself.  Yes, she still loved him, but couldn’t ignore the endless darkness.  Even by her side he felt a world away.  Nothing could satisfy the ravenous hole inside her, as it devoured every ounce of happiness she managed to grasp.  She wondered- if she let go, would he reach for her, or idly watch her be swallowed- whole?  Would she survive either way?  Precariously straddled, life’s breath held in the balance:  She waited for someone to tell her what to do next.

12/15/14 – replaced original text with image due to improper display in WordPress theme.


This is my response to the Speakeasy weekly prompt, which is to write a work of fiction in 750 words or less, and (1) use the following as the last sentence:  “She waited for someone to tell her what to do next.” AND (2) make some sort of reference to the video short The Black Hole (click the title for a link to view the video – it’s actually quite fascinating!)

I’m not great at shaped writing, but I got the idea do write my response in the yin-yang shape and couldn’t let it go… I know the shape isn’t perfect, but I hope it’s good enough that you were able to see it!

The prompt is open to anyone, so if you want to check it out, click the badge below.  Have a wonderful Monday!

P.S.  I’m several days behind on blog reading, so if you’ve recently left a comment or subscribed and I haven’t visited your site, please bear with me as I work to catch up this week!


93 thoughts on “He Said / She Said – Speakeasy #150

  1. suzicate February 24, 2014 / 7:01 AM

    Interesting take on this theme.

  2. vishalbheeroo February 24, 2014 / 7:11 AM

    Amazingly beautiful, superb and words fail me to describe the super creative post. I am impressed and you won over me.
    Don’t mind but can’t help saying I Love You for this one:)

    • jannatwrites February 24, 2014 / 10:44 AM

      Your comment made me smile (it makes all the formatting frustration worth it 🙂 ) I’m glad you liked the poem and I appreciate you reading it, Vishal!

      • vishalbheeroo February 24, 2014 / 10:55 AM

        Thanks a ton, Jannat. Keep smiling. Yo!

        • jannatwrites February 25, 2014 / 12:09 AM

          I can do that 🙂

  3. aishasoasis February 24, 2014 / 7:53 AM

    This is awesome creativity, I’ve actually never heard of or seen anything like this before and I’m sooo inspired! Btw I’m on a samsung galaxy tab2 and the formatting is perfect – great job!

    • jannatwrites February 24, 2014 / 10:46 AM

      So good to hear it viewed fine on the tablet, Aisha! After I scheduled it, I opened it from my Droid phone and it was a mess (screen is too small, I think). So I delayed posting until I could get the ‘normal’ text added.

      Thanks so much for reading (and it makes me happy that you enjoyed the poem 🙂 )

    • jannatwrites February 24, 2014 / 10:47 AM

      Thanks, Susan! Shaping poetry is not easy for me… I spent hours trying to get it lined up “good enough” 🙂

        • jannatwrites February 25, 2014 / 12:10 AM

          Thanks, Susan. (Your Trifecta response still has me smiling when it comes to mind…. wonderfully twisted 🙂 )

        • Polysyllabic Profundities February 25, 2014 / 8:24 AM

          I was giggling all day yesterday. At least I can still amuse myself!! 🙂

        • jannatwrites February 25, 2014 / 9:22 AM

          That’s all that matters, Susan. (And it’s even more entertainment when we can take in the curious looks of others who happen to catch us giggling at apparently nothing… um, not that I’ve ever done this before…)

  4. Debbie February 24, 2014 / 8:44 AM

    Yep, I definitely saw the Yin-Yang shape! What a fascinating form to try, and you’ve managed to do it so well. Still, what overwhelmingly SAD emotions here!

    • jannatwrites February 24, 2014 / 10:49 AM

      Yay! Glad the shape came through, Debbie. We’re always challenged to be unique on our responses, so I went this route hoping someone else didn’t have the same idea! Yes, it is very sad emotions. I pictured her as depressed, and him sucked into the depression as well because he couldn’t do enough. (It’s fiction, BTW 🙂 )

  5. Kir Piccini February 24, 2014 / 11:30 AM

    this was beautiful,inspired and proves your incredible talent to weave words.
    WOW Janna, I sat here and read it 3 times just to soak it in.

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2014 / 12:12 AM

      Thanks so much for reading and for your kind comment, Kir! This poem was an odd combination of utterly maddening, and fun 🙂

  6. pattyabr February 24, 2014 / 3:40 PM

    Wow very impressive Janna. It was interesting to read because the two parts were separate yet also speaking to each other or answering the other during the course of the writing.

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2014 / 12:15 AM

      Thanks so much for reading, Patty. You got what I was going for exactly. In my mind, they were sitting there at the same moment interpreting each other’s vibes. I had to cut four lines out of my original to get the shape closer to a circle, so I wasn’t sure if that would come through! (I created it in Word and it looked great…not so much when I copied it into WordPress 😦 )

  7. Carol Ann Hoel February 24, 2014 / 6:16 PM

    I like the shaped writing effect. I think my computer screen scrunched it just a bit. The message was interesting, each perspective in a troubled relationship. Blessings to you, Janna…

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2014 / 12:21 AM

      In my mind, she was in the depth of depression (and that affected her interaction with him, and his overall perception.) I had no idea if the shape would come through for anyone else, so I’m glad it at least sort of worked for you! Thanks for reading, Carol Ann 🙂

  8. diannegray February 24, 2014 / 6:51 PM

    Wow – I love the yin-yang shape. Very creative, Janna!

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2014 / 12:22 AM

      Thanks, Dianne! I found formatting this in WordPress to be a challenge, to say the least 🙂

      • diannegray February 25, 2014 / 12:34 PM

        You did very well indeed 😀

  9. Widdershins February 24, 2014 / 7:02 PM

    Talk about discipline! … nicely done!

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2014 / 12:23 AM

      If this is discipline, I think there’s a fine line between disciplined and completely nuts that I may have crossed 🙂 Thanks so much for reading, Widdershins!

      • Widdershins February 25, 2014 / 4:12 PM

        … to boldly go where no-one who is completely nuts has gone before!

        • jannatwrites February 25, 2014 / 11:30 PM

          Haha! Nice Star Trek reference. I guess I can be a nutty pioneer.

  10. Kathy Combs (@Kathy29156) February 24, 2014 / 7:07 PM

    Not only was this presented creatively, it also presents a troubled relationship where both parties wonders if it will work. Brilliant post and brilliant presentation!

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2014 / 12:24 AM

      Thanks, Kathy! They are certainly not in a good place, but I do have hope that they will come out of it and grow together 🙂

  11. agjorgenson February 24, 2014 / 8:57 PM

    Congrats! The Yin-Yang works very nicely with your text. Well done!!

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2014 / 12:25 AM

      Thanks, Allen! Once I got the idea, I had to make it work. I hope I never get such an idea again 🙂

  12. nrhatch February 24, 2014 / 9:06 PM

    It didn’t look Yin Yang on the reader . . . so I came here. Still no Yin Yang UNTIL I expanded the screen with a “+” sign.

    BINGO! It looks great. Perfect take on the theme.

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2014 / 12:26 AM

      It didn’t look like much on my cell phone either, Nancy… didn’t even think about what the reader would do to it. I’m glad you were finally able to see the shape, though!

  13. GodGirl February 24, 2014 / 10:15 PM

    Love this Janna – brilliant! You really capture that feeling of intertia within a relationship, from two points of view. “Precariously straddled” is great.

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2014 / 12:27 AM

      Thanks, GodGirl! You caught what I was going for in terms of their relationship. Not a pleasant place to be, but I think they’ll come out of it and will feel more blessed having gone through the trials.

  14. ranu802 February 25, 2014 / 3:46 AM

    I was lost at first,then followed your direction.Awesome, something very unique and wonderful.

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2014 / 9:21 AM

      I wondered if it might be confusing – am glad the directions helped, though! Thanks so much for reading my experimental poem, Ranu:)

      • ranu802 February 25, 2014 / 9:51 AM

        It’s always a pleasure to read your entries, Janna.

        • jannatwrites February 25, 2014 / 11:29 PM

          Thank you, Ranu!

  15. nabanita21 February 25, 2014 / 5:33 AM

    This is so creative! Awesome I have no words!

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2014 / 9:21 AM

      Thanks, Nabanita! I’m glad you stopped by to read it!

  16. Sean February 25, 2014 / 11:00 AM

    I like the ying-yang and how you creatively utilized it. Nice job.

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2014 / 11:29 PM

      Thanks, Sean – glad you liked it!

    • jannatwrites February 25, 2014 / 11:31 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, 40 Stories for 40!

  17. Deanna Herrmann February 26, 2014 / 1:44 AM

    Wow, Janna! I love this concept and your decision to use the yin and yang with a troubled relationship. I’m on my iPad and the formatting was perfect. Such a creative response to the prompt!

    • jannatwrites February 26, 2014 / 8:59 PM

      Thanks for reading, Deanna! I’m glad the formatting is coming through for most people. I was worried because it’s really messed up on my Droid 🙂

  18. tinsenpup February 26, 2014 / 4:01 AM

    I was challenged, inspired and in love with this when I was looking at it with hinky formatting on my iPhone. I’m so glad I got up (out of bed, no less) to see it on a computer. Holy cow! talk about multi-layered. I am rather blown away. It’s quite superb.

    • jannatwrites February 26, 2014 / 9:01 PM

      I’m glad you were curious enough to check it out on a computer, Tinsenpup! I’m flattered that you’d get out of bed to do read it because I know my reluctance to venture out of bed in the AM. I really appreciate you reading and sharing your comment – it made me smile 🙂

  19. Silverleaf February 26, 2014 / 7:19 AM

    That was great! I’ve never tried shape poetry but am always amazed and impressed by it. I think this is the best I’ve seen. I love the way the two voices “fit” together and the way the two perspectives combine. The black hole prompt, and the line as well, were seamlessly and interestingly incorporated, too. You definitely get points for creativity and distinctiveness, never mind the poetry itself!

    • jannatwrites February 26, 2014 / 9:03 PM

      Wow, really? I’m surprised, but pleased, you feel this shape was that good! This certainly was a challenge for me, a personal one just to see if I could do it 🙂

  20. Esther February 26, 2014 / 10:35 AM

    This is awesome! I love it. It’s such an interesting idea, and you executed it well. This one is gonna stick with me 🙂 And the way you worked in the prompts — even though I knew what the last line would be, it gave me chills!

    • jannatwrites February 26, 2014 / 9:06 PM

      I’m glad you enjoyed the poem, Esther! Memorable is good, especially with so many great prompt responses 🙂

  21. carolinehills February 26, 2014 / 2:37 PM

    Lovely. What an amazing way of presenting it.

    • jannatwrites February 26, 2014 / 9:12 PM

      Thanks for stopping by to check it out, Caroline!

  22. Peggy Smith February 26, 2014 / 2:58 PM

    Nicely orchestrated! What a subtle yet so powerful flow of yin and yang and all the polarity that goes with it. Loved the visual journey.

    • jannatwrites February 26, 2014 / 9:13 PM

      Thanks, Peggy! I had some fun with this, though the formatting was frustrating at times 🙂

  23. Suzanne February 26, 2014 / 3:09 PM

    Beautifully executed, Janna! I love the yin-yang shape – such a clever way to show the connection between the two of them, as well as the contrast in their thoughts and feelings. Fabulous use of the prompts! 🙂

    • jannatwrites February 26, 2014 / 9:14 PM

      Thanks, Suzanne! You got exactly what I was going for, the connection between the two, even though their feelings weren’t in sync.

  24. jenbrunett February 26, 2014 / 4:55 PM

    Omg did this take you forever to format? This was amazing clever, I really loved it.

    • jannatwrites February 26, 2014 / 9:16 PM

      Yeah, it took a few hours! I did it first in Word, over an image of yin-yang, then copied the text to WordPress. The shape was all wrong, and I ended up having to remove four lines and re-align, then re-write the text because of the missing lines. I’m sure there must be an easier way to do it 🙂 Thanks so much for reading, Jen!

      • jenbrunett February 27, 2014 / 8:58 AM

        Well however you did it, it was totally clever!

  25. EagleAye February 26, 2014 / 7:00 PM

    Amazing! Visually, it came out perfectly. You have a fantastic Yin-Yang symbol, and the text followed the opposite notions of ying-yang. Two people, incapable of understanding each other. Mostly because they’re unwilling to talk and simply expect the other to accept the burden of understanding. Beautiful art and a beautiful story too!

    • jannatwrites February 26, 2014 / 9:22 PM

      They do seem like opposites, but I saw their emotions as affected by one another. They may not be in sync, but because of the connection, I thought yin-yang worked. (In an earlier comment, I elaborated that I saw her as depressed, which influenced his state of mind and outlook; brought him down, if you will.)

      Thanks so much for reading and sharing your reaction to the poem, EagleAye. I enjoy knowing how others interpret my words. Fascinating stuff, always 🙂

  26. Kynna February 27, 2014 / 5:36 AM

    Love this a whole lot, really inspired by the form you wanted to to take shape. I’m reading this on my mobile but the voices are crisp and clear between the man and the woman.

    • jannatwrites February 27, 2014 / 10:16 PM

      Thanks, Kynna! I checked the format on my phone and it’s really weird. I’m glad you were able to make sense of it 🙂

  27. atrm61 February 27, 2014 / 5:46 AM

    Janna,am speechless!Cannot tell you how many times I have read this since last night and have gone back without commenting-wondering what I could say to really applaud your work that has not been said already!Absolutely magical writing!Loved the visual presentation too Hats off my friend to your creativity! 🙂

    • jannatwrites February 27, 2014 / 10:17 PM

      What a nice comment, Atreyee – you made my day! I appreciate you taking time to read it (many times 🙂 ) and to also share your reaction to it. It’s been a nice surprise to see how well-received this one was…. might have to try shapes again sometime.

      • atrm61 February 27, 2014 / 11:40 PM

        Come on Janna,you know that I love what you write simply because you are excellent and it is always a pleasure to read what you write -only prob that at times I am totally speechless and do not know how to pay the compliment that floats in my heart :-)Do that-I have not an iota of such creativity,lol!

        • jannatwrites February 28, 2014 / 8:14 PM

          Sometimes I have trouble piecing together coherent comments, so I can relate to that! I was so happy to find this one was voted first place this week. There were so many excellent responses this week, so many that stayed with me long after reading them.

        • atrm61 February 28, 2014 / 11:04 PM

          Yes,I just left a comment elsewhere-so congrats once gain-am thrilled to see you on top:-)

        • atrm61 March 5, 2014 / 10:57 AM


  28. tinkerbelle96 February 27, 2014 / 7:17 AM

    Wow. Once again spellbound- a lovely, sad reflection on what a relationship without communication might end up like. Tragic, but true it often happens. Fabulously written Janna!!!

    • jannatwrites February 27, 2014 / 10:20 PM

      Thanks so much for your nice comment, Tinkerbelle! It’s true that it does happen too often… too many thoughts and not enough talk 🙂

  29. smudgedclarity February 27, 2014 / 11:07 AM

    Amazing Janna!
    Creativity at its very best
    had to read it again and again…yet I’m still thirsty.

    • jannatwrites February 27, 2014 / 10:26 PM

      Thanks so much – I appreciate you taking time to read it, Smudgedclarity 🙂

  30. Natalie DeYoung February 27, 2014 / 5:04 PM

    Agh, such a creative use of formatting! I love it, and I love how the form plays perfectly against the content. 🙂

    • jannatwrites February 27, 2014 / 10:28 PM

      Thanks, Natalie! I appreciate you stopping by to read it.

  31. tedstrutz March 2, 2014 / 6:34 PM

    JannaT… Simply Amazing… I can say no more.

    • jannatwrites March 3, 2014 / 9:02 AM

      Wow, thanks, Ted! I’m glad you stopped by to read it and felt moved to comment 🙂

  32. Sarah Ann March 3, 2014 / 11:33 AM

    Beautifully presented, the emotions of each so starkly told. A very worthy winner – well done.

    • jannatwrites March 3, 2014 / 9:30 PM

      I’m glad you stopped by to read it and liked the result, Sarah Ann! The win was quite a surprise (a good one, though!)

  33. Yasmin Ward March 4, 2014 / 5:27 AM

    I am blown away by this and the emotions and frustrations of it are still resonating with me and will sit with me for a while. The fact that I had to concentrate on the unusual format made me try harder to take it in as well so it felt like the words moved around and were re-positioned from my brains usual expectations which was really great. Thank you for sharing your brilliance! :>]

    • jannatwrites March 4, 2014 / 7:48 AM

      Wow, I’m blown away by your fabulous complimentary comment, Yasmin! (To clarify, though, brilliance doesn’t describe me… this was more of a crazy idea and fluke that actually sort of turned out 🙂 ) Thanks so much for reading and sharing your reaction – I’m still smiling 😛

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