Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 2

Thanks to all who made the Mid-Week Blues-Buster a success!

On to Week 2!

This is a flash fiction challenge.  500 words is the target but you can go up to 700.  300 is the minimum.

The challenge runs from whenever I post this until 11:59PM on Thursday 2/28/13.

The prompt comes in the form of a song.  For this week’s Blues-Buster the chosen tune is;

“Give Me One Reason” by Tracy Chapman.  Check it out here… http://youtu.be/XPcjjOrKmJw

You do not have to reference the tune in any way.  It’s here only to get the ideas flowing.  If the song or video influences you directly that’s bully for you but it’s not a requirement.

This week our judge will be the fantastic Ruth Long (@bullishink)

There will be a 1st Place winner, a 2nd Place Winner, and a 3rd Place Winner.

The prize?  For now, the prize is the satisfaction of creating a tale well-told.

How to enter? Put your story in the comment box below.

Now, off with you!  Write, write, write!

JT

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Posted on February 26, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. (The entry can also be found on my blog: http://stevenpaul-ashviper.blogspot.com/2013/02/mid-week-blues-buster-02.html )

    One Look

    “¿Te gustaría salir a cenar alguna vez?”

    Derek fought the smile on his face, he had said the words out loud and even he thought for a moment they felt natural. Or he didn’t sound like a fool which he would have considered a win. He had been coming to the café for weeks, like clockwork after work, trying to get up the nerve. He had realized early when hearing her speak with one of the other waitresses she spoke fluent Spanish and he found himself regretting not learning the language in high school when he had the chance. Today was his day.

    “Hello.”

    He paused fear engulfed him as he looked at the laptop screen a long moment before he brought his eyes up to see her. Three cities away, and there she stood. It was like yesterday instead of the two and half years that had passed since they last saw each other. Derek slouched back in his chair, he tried to speak but nothing came out.

    “Don’t just sit there.” She smiled. Derek smiled his half smile as he stood circling the table to greet her. They stood for a moment he still couldn’t speak but now he did not know what to do either. The last time he had been this close to her they kissed, but that was a lifetime ago. He hoped more than anything his face did not reflect how he was feeling inside.

    He stood for a moment and watched, not until she moved in closer did he reach around her for a hug. “How have you been, Lori?”

    “Happy,” she smiled, a smile that always melted his heart and often left him speechless with its beauty.

    “I’m glad,” Derek replied. It had taken him over a year, before he had found his heart mended. She was the only woman he had ever loved and since he had often questioned the whys. He found solace in knowledge. Most had avoided the topic but a couple friends had often let him know how she was. She was happy and it always made him smile through his hurt. It was all he ever wanted, was for her to be happy even if that meant without him. He could not help but glance to her hands, her left and the bare ring finger. He tried not to make it obvious but he had heard she was engaged the year before. He had thought then he was finally over her but the news was enough to send him down again. There was no loneliness more devastating than missing the one person he had always thought would be there.

    “How are you?”

    “I’m good,” Derek looked around, he had for the moment forgotten why he had come today. The confidence was gone leaving only the new hollow feeling in his stomach. “Are you living here now?”
    “Yeah,” she replied looking away any time their eyes met one would look away but for that instance. For just that moment he remembered looking down into her eyes before a kiss, a memory always burned into the back of his mind.

    “Me too.”

    “It was good seeing you, maybe we’ll see each other around,” she smiled a sly smile before she turned and walked away.

    Derek watched her as she walked away unable to speak. Hoping she’d look back give him a reason to run after her. He wanted to, the feelings were still there but he knew they always would be. She would always be the one to him, the one no matter the distance or time a piece of him would always love her. He felt the life rush from him the moment she was out of sight.

    “That looked awkward,” Emilia stated.

    Her dark eyes met his and he smiled an unconvincing smile, “An old friend.”

    “We should play poker some time.” she smiled a knowing grin.

    “Is that your way of asking me out?” he replied quickly looking away.

    “You’ve been here every day for a few weeks watching, flirting, the eye contact but you’ve never asked. I figure I would have too.”

    “So you’d like to go to dinner with me?”

    (696 Words)

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  2. Love, Honour and Obey

    Denise laid still on her bed, one arm awkwardly curled around the shoulders of the shape beside her. The duvet was still on the floor and a cold breeze brought goose bumps up all over her skin, but she didn’t dare to move.

    He might wake up.

    His hair was tangled in her fingers, her hips pressing against his back as she lay there behind him, listening to his soft breathing. The door to her freedom shone with a soft golden light from the hall, illuminating his body and her clothing strewn across the floor. Her dress lay pooled by the door and her body shivered with the vague memory of his hands peeling it off, dropping it, pushing her backwards towards the bed. Her torn underwear was dispersed across the carpet, shreds of pink and black and lace.

    At least they were the ones he’d bought her this time.

    Liam rolled over and her muscles tensed, pushing backwards against the wall to keep away from him. It was cold against her back but a welcome change from the hot feel of his skin against hers. When his head rose from the pillow as he moved, Denise slipped her arm out from under him and hid it underneath her. He didn’t stir any further, relaxing back into his slumber with just one hand possessively placed on her hip.

    Gulping, she took his hand and squeezed it gently, lifting and moving it away from her. Their engagement rings caught together for a moment and she froze, a barrage of memories fluttering across her eyes. When she looked down at him again she recognised him as the man who’d knelt down and asked her to marry him, not as the man who’d held her throat tightly and left an aching welt across her cheek.

    The pain of it was the only thing that kept her going. When she felt the carpet with her toes a rush of fear left her reeling and she spun around to look at him. So he’d made mistakes, who hadn’t? Her fingers reached up and touched her face, the tenderness causing her to wince. That bed where they’d made love the first time now looked like a prison, a cage of forcefulness and pain. The glass from the broken bottle of gin bit into her foot but she didn’t even flinch. The glass couldn’t hurt her any more than he had already.

    Suddenly his face looked sad and scared, and Denise stopped by the door to look at it. The light of the hallway was so close, just one step away, but she didn’t move. After all the pain he’d been through he wouldn’t be able to cope without her. And, would she be able to cope without him?

    The duvet was soft and comfortable as she reached down and picked it up and then carefully covered his sleeping frame. His arms wrapped around it and he smiled, his eyes blinking sleepily up at her. “Thanks, my love.” He whispered, his eyes closing again. “Are you coming back to bed?”

    Denise gulped and looked between the bed and the door, but before she could answer he was asleep again.

    “No,” she replied softly, some time later, and began picking up the remnants of cloth from the floor.

    Their clothing was folded neatly and hanging across a chair when she was finished, the carpet clear and just a handful of tattered cloth left clenched in Denise’s fist. The sun was starting to rise again as she dropped them into the rubbish bin, the night before’s ruins mixing with those from last time Liam had lost it.

    “I love you,” Denise whispered to her sleeping partner as she edged back into bed and kissed him gently on the forehead. “But there won’t be a next time.”

    (637 words)

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  3. Also on my BLOG here.. http://rosalindnazilli.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/mid-week-blues-buster-week-two/

    A LETTER TO MY CHILDREN

    By now my darlings you must believe what the Police and newspapers are telling you. What the neighbours whispered about behind their pristine curtains is true.

    I did kill your Father.

    You will of course never forgive me for this and I am not writing this to you to tell you I am sorry. Because I am not.

    In the end it came down to him or me and on that last day I could not find the courage to take my own life, although now, on reflection, it would probably have been preferable compared to this wait.

    But on the bright side I will at least find redemption as an executed killer whereas I would not as someone who had taken their own life. But this you know.

    I have no wish to blight your memories of the man you called Daddy. You loved him and in his way he loved you but as for me, well, you know the ways of our culture, you have learned from day one the superior standing of a man in his family. We were never to be equals.

    My own Father sold me to yours when I was little more than a child. He was a middle aged man with one marriage already behind him. I know not how that ended, but if her life was anything at all like mine, then I am sure I shall be meeting her very soon.

    You were the reason that I endured so much for so long but I am not the strong woman you may have wished for as your Mother.

    Not one of you was produced through love, shocking isn’t it? But I never loved you any the less because of it.

    I am so thankful that I only produced you girls because this would have been an unbearable burden for a son. It would have been his duty to avenge his Father and it would have broken my heart to have my own boy kill me. Much better this way.

    Do you want to hear the details from my own mouth? I am not sure but I will write them anyway in the knowledge that your dear Aunt will obliterate them if she decides it is too much for you to take in.

    He came home from playing cards and drinking his lion milk in a terrifying rage because his friend had recently fathered a son.

    Why did I never give him a son? He wanted a son. He was not a man until he had a son. What use were girls?

    And I knew that yet again I was to be raped as I had been throughout the sixteen years I was married to your Father.

    When he was done he demanded I prepare food and bring him more drink, as I have done so many times, but you know as I stood in the kitchen something came over me. I know not what but I knew that I could take no more. I would rather be dead.

    And so I took the large hatchet, the one we use for dismembering our sacrificial lambs and had thought to stand before him and plunge it in to my heart.

    He was sleeping, but as I raised my weapon to swing towards my chest he awoke. His eyes were black, the hatred and disgust so clear to see.

    Before he could rise I had taken a step forward and smashed the hatchet down on his head. And I did so again and again and again until I was exhausted.

    I was of course covered in blood but I slipped my top coat on and went directly to the police. I had no wish to encounter any male family members. You know what would have happened if I had.

    So the rest you know. There was a trial, I confessed from the very beginning knowing I would never escape with my life but I have escaped with my sanity and I am not afraid to die.

    Be strong my beautiful girls and I pray that you will find love when you marry. I would not wish my life on anyone.

    The time is here and they come for me.

    I love you.

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  4. An Independent Woman

    Having not needed once since she was 16, Brigid awoke without recourse to an alarm clock. Slipping quietly from the warmth of his bed, she took her clothes from the chair where she’d placed them the night before and padded to the small washroom.

    She occupied some few minutes with a damp cloth erasing, as well as the facilities provided opportunity to, the stale scent of her indiscretions of the night before. Plaiting her thick auburn tresses, she pinned them up with not a hair out of place.

    Dressed in the same pale yellow shirtwaist and woolen skirt from the day before she was, nevertheless, satisfied noone at work would give her a second glance. Slipping on her heavy black shoes, she gave her appearance a final inspection before returning to the bedroom of Edmure’s lodgings. She was relieved to see him still in a posture of repose, his breathing slow and steady.

    Taking up her small clutch and her jacket, she was at the door before his voice startled her, “Here now, running off without so much as a brush of the lips? Why not put those things down and come back to bed, eh?”

    She tried, with indifferent success, to mask the irritation in her voice, “Sure and it’s fine for you to wish such, but you know I’ve places to be. In seven years, I’ve missed nary a day and intend not to be starting such today. I have a streetcar to be on in but a few minutes, Edmure, so leave off with such nonsense.”

    “Nonsense, is it? I’ve asked you before to leave that damnable factory behind and I’ll give you a proper home. You know I only keep rooms in the city for business. We could be in a house of your choosing away from the smoke and the noise and the clutter. Dammit woman, be sensible!”

    “Insensible is it I am, now? Does it make a lick of sense for me to leave off a fine position and my own rooms and my own money merely to be little more than your trumped-up housekeeper? I’ve given you my body often enough to please us both. I’ve given you as much of my heart as I have to give. But I’ve told you before and, it seems, must again I’ll not leave off being my own woman…my own person…merely for your sweet words and bonny promises.”

    A scowl of contempt clouded his handsome face and he hissed between his perfect, clenched teeth, “So, that’s the way of it? For six measly dollars a week, a roomful of mismatched furnishings and boarding house fare, you’d spurn what I offer you? Mucking about like some common laborer means so much to you, then?”

    Brigid smiled at him with a mixture of sorrow and disbelief, ‘And why must it be that them who have so much understand things so little? Those ‘measly’ six dollars are my dollars, by the sweat and the skill of my brow. That rickety furniture and those common table meals bring me solace and comfort. I’ll not barter away that which is mine of my own hand for all the fripperies and folderol of what others think I ought best to be. I will not.”

    ‘If you walk out that door now for naught more than another day of toiling at some machine, scarring your body and squandering your youth, then do not come back. I am at an end with this!”

    She turned back towards the door, pausing with a hard hand on the knob. “You may find me then at Mrs. McClury’s house. We’ve spoken enough on the telephone you may inquire of me as you wish. I’m certain you recall the exchange. But that call shall have to begin with you for I have too much to do to sit about awaiting your enlightenment. Now, if you’ll excuse this common laborer, I’ve a streetcar to meet and a full day at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory at the other end of the ride. Goodbye, Edmure.”

    An independent woman emerged from the building and strode, with purposeful steps down, the avenue leaving behind a confused and bewildered man to contemplate their future.

    700 words @klingorengi

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