Song Title Challenge #19: Sleepless Swans – Swallow the Sun

It’s time for this week’s Song Title Challenge.

Write a short piece of fiction, around 300 words, using the song title as your story title but don’t listen to the song.  You can pick your own genre or use the one suggested to me.  Remember to link back to this post so I can find yours.

If you would like to suggest a song title for a future post, you can do so from the challenge page.  You can also leave a suggestion on the Facebook page.

This week’s song is Sleeping Swans by Swallow the Sun and the genre is Horror/Thriller (though I think I might have crossed over into Sci-Fi a bit).  Thanks to Cain from No BS Books for the suggestion.

Sleepless Swans

They say just before it dies, a swan sings and it’s the most beautiful sound known on Earth.  Scientists say it’s a myth, but I’ve heard it.  I heard fifty of them, all at once.  It was incredible.  Then they died.

They all died.




Haven’t you noticed?  Go walk through London.  I’ll give you everything I own if you can find a single swan.

I won’t be needing it.  I’ll be dead soon.

I haven’t slept in four weeks.  Not since the night I heard the swans.  Their music keeps playing in my head.  It’s so beautiful.  I wish you could hear it.  But there aren’t any swans left to sing for you.  They’ve all gone.

I think I’m next.

I can’t remember when I last slept.

I can see them, you know.  Watching us.  They look like people, but they’re…not.  People don’t stand that still.  They never move.  They just stand there, waiting.

I first saw them when I woke up the morning after the swans sang to me.

I haven’t seen a swan since.

They’ve all disappeared.

But the others are everywhere, watching.  They were watching me, that morning.  I wasn’t supposed to be there, out in that field.  I wasn’t supposed to hear.

Now I can’t get the music out of my head.  Such beautiful music.  It never stops.

I wish I could sleep.

The swans are all gone.

The singing won’t stop.

I wasn’t supposed to hear them, and now I can see.

I think I’m next.

Copyright © 2013 Herman Kok

2 thoughts on “Song Title Challenge #19: Sleepless Swans – Swallow the Sun

  1. Wow! Compelling, chilling and very well paced. I enjoyed the clever way you released each bit of further information on the poor speaker’s experience/state of mind (and I’m looking over my shoulder too, heh – just in case…. Good thing I hear plenty of birds out side!)

    Not sure I’ll be able to take part this week unfortunately because I’m so snowed under. I highly encourage anyone who’s thinking about it to give it a shot though. It’s great fun 🙂


    1. Thanks for the feedback, Nate. I must admit I scared myself a little as I wrote this. The idea of silent watchers are a bit unoriginal, but it felt right.

      I don’t put an expiry date on the challenges, so you can do anyone whenever you like, as long as you leave a link so I don’t miss yours.


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