Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 04

Shalom, everyone…

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 04.

This is a flash fiction challenge.  The prompt is a song.  You are not required to write about or even mention the song.  It’s there only to get the ideas moving around in your brain pan.  If you want to write about the song (or the video- it’s all good here) go for it but don’t feel like you have to.

The rules;

500 words, but it’s a slushy 500, meaning you can go up to 700 or as low as 300.

Post your entry right in the comments section of this post.


The challenge starts whenever I post this and ends at 11:59PM Pacific Time.  You read that right.  Pacific Time.

This week’s song prompt comes courtesy of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds…

The tune is… “Red Right Hand”.  Here’s the link; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxkUK3SQlWI (Sorry about the ad at the beginning of the video)

This week’s Judge is none other than… The Master of Disaster, The Sultan of Sarcasm, The Surliest of Muses… Daniel Swensen!

Now, off with you!  Write!  Write!  Write!  Challenge ends on March 14 at 11:59PM PACIFIC time…


Posted on March 12, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I can’t seem to get the video to load. I’m assuming you don’t want me to write the “404 page not found blues”… 🙂



    I took a long drag off the oxygen tank as I looked across the table. Pretty face, sweet curves and shameless expectation. Some folks just couldn’t be content. No matter how good their fortune, they always wanted more. And that’s how they ended up sitting in this back alley dive with me

    A wrinkled waitress with eyes beady as a rat’s shuffled over and slopped some coffee into my chipped cup. The amber liquid looked toxic and smelled burnt but since I knew it wasn’t going to kill me, that road having been long ago mapped out for me, I slogged the down the sludge and waited for it to knot up my gut real good before getting down to business.

    I cleared my throat and leaned back in the chair. “So, you want to be an actress, that right? And you come to me ‘cause you heard I can make things happen.”

    She nodded, blonde curls dancing down her spine, peachy mouth fashioned into a picture perfect smile. “Yes, ma’am, I do. Name your price and I’ll pay it.”

    They all said that, every last one of them, their faces full of hope and hearts empty as a government brain trust. A howl of laughter tore its way up my esophagus and out my thin blue lizard lips, winding me like I’d run a marathon, and I had to take a couple more hits off the blasted tank.

    Scowling at the source of my discomfort, I said, “You’ll pay, girl, but not the way you think.”

    The smile slipped for a moment. “You want something other than money for your services?”

    “That, I do. Seems only fair, seeing how I can provide you what no one else can.”

    Reality always brought them up short, like a pimple in the crevice of an ear or nose, hideous and unsettling but mesmerizing in its own grotesque way.

    I could see she was thinking it over, well, much as a spineless nitwit could think. Wasn’t nice to characterize her like a wart on the frog of life. Not much humanity left in my old bones this late in the day. Better move fast if I wanted to get this last soul in the hopper.

    I gave her a bitter taste of what was to come. “You want to see your name in lights, my pretty, the price is the death of your parents.”

    A startled cry fell from her beautifully botoxed lips.

    “You want to upgrade to the A-List celebrity rating, that’ll cost you your health. You’ll still be completely gorgeous on the outside. Your insides, however, will be rotten as trichinosis riddled pork. Won’t kill you, just keep you in excruciating pain, but hey, public accolades make a comely nursemaid.”

    She sat there twisting peroxided locks round her spray-tanned hands and mulling it over, like we were discussing the merits of higher education or social activism, and all the while, my blood was becoming dusty chalk in my veins, parched and merciless as sand in an hourglass. But in spite of the agony, I would fight for her with my last …

    … I floated to the ceiling, weightless and boneless, and folks gathered around my body but blondie backed towards the exit. Smart girl, for it seemed that only moments passed before an ambulance arrived and a paramedic strode in.

    He pushed through the crowd, gruff and heavy-handed, grasped the collar of my coat and hauled me out into the alley. As appalled onlookers watched, he stripped off his gloves, grasped my throat with his red right hand, and turned my corpse to ash.

    The crowd gasped in surprise and horror, but I smiled, well as much as was possible without skin, because incineration was the punishment meted out to those who stole souls out of the devil’s pocket, and it was a price I gladly paid, day after day, in this fist fight called life.

    – – – – –

    656 words / @bullishink


  3. Revenge

    His spurs echoed as he stepped through the swinging door, he tossed his jacket to the first table inside and rested his hands on his hips. His pistols only a quick motion away, he looked around the bar but was surprised to find it empty. Most nights it would have been packed with men looking for liquor or sex and more often than not both. But now, it stood empty despite the pouring rain outside.

    “He’s not here.”


    She smiled stepping from the shadows bottle in hand, her Irish accent thick with each word. “The sheriff but you knew who I was talking of.” Of course it was her, curly blond hair pulled up but still managed to look as wild as he knew she was. She pulled two glasses and set them to the counter and smiled her best friendly smile but he knew a lot about her. Most of all she was anything but friendly and innocent. “You came here to kill tonight; guns ready to blaze and paint this town red. Can’t say I much blame you, your brothers left to hang in the center of town for the world to see stripped as the day they were born.”

    “We’ve not had the pleasure, you’re her.” He already knew the answer but wanted it still.

    “Ah, sweetie, there is always a girl, I just happen to be the one in this tale.” He never took his right hand from the pistol, ready to move at each sound of the creaking floorboards as he approached the bar.

    “The sheriff?”

    “For the right price I could be yours too,” she ignored his question. He felt his heart skip but it wasn’t the notion of a night of passion with the curvy woman who was about to spill from her corset but her smile ate away at him. Even knowing how deadly she was he found himself attracted to her smile alone.

    “Stories from the beginning of time about the destruction left in a beautiful woman’s path.” He looked into her bright green eyes trying to ignore her alluring smile.

    He pulled his pistol and set it on the counter between them but she never flinched or moved away, only smiled as she leaned against the counter. “I liked your little brother cowboy, he was sweet.”

    “You got him killed,” he stated, his brown eyes glared into hers. “You got them both killed.”

    “Did no such thing,” she replied, “what went down between your brothers and the sheriff had little to do with me. Idle hands and too much liquor got those sweet boys lives taken too soon.” She lifted her glass up as if to toast and quickly tossed back her drink with a mischievous smile on her red lips. “It had nothing to do with me.”

    “Every week, he would spend every free dime he got on you…”

    “No fault of mine.”

    A crash of thunder captured his attention, turning back to the door for only a moment. He shifted back, she had circled the counter and now he could smell the sweet perfume, sweat, and liquor. Her finger drifted from his lips to the tip of his chin and then to his chest. She continued to smile. “You came lookin’ for blood I don’t think you much care whose, the sheriffs or mine. There is an old saying ‘He who seeks vengeance should first dig two graves’.” He felt her hand on his, she leaned in with her other hand grabbing at his shirt pulling him close. He lost himself in the kiss, her lips tasted of strawberries and for a second he lost himself.

    A swift and sudden sharp pain in his side and he quickly pulled away. Stumbling to the floor with another clap of thunder, he never saw the knife or knew when she removed her right hand from his. She knelt down in front of him and he could see his blood on the knife. “Sorry love, a girl can’t be too careful.” He raised his own hand to see the dark red crimson just as the darkness took him.


  4. Jenson ran, his rasping breath burning his throat, but he ran without looking back. He’d learned long ago that looking back got you killed and that wasn’t part of his plan.
    The streets were deserted, but he knew they were coming as sure as his blood raced through his burning veins.
    The old town spread its fingers in narrow, contorted lanes and he knew most of them, his pursuers did not, they relied solely on the tracking device in his stomach. He smirked wryly, barely thinking cognitively as pain seared his lungs, but aware of the irony of his enemies using the same tech he’d developed himself so long ago.
    His fingers closed around a foil containing a bead of liquid purge, but he was unable to use it for fear of damaging the other prize churning within his stomach’s bile.
    A helicraft whirred, not far out of range and he knew time was running out. He ducked into an alley and stared at the screen strapped to his wrist; old tech, twenty-first century tech, this time. He gazed at the flashing dots, until sure of their definite positions. Seconds later he was running again.
    The arm that grabbed him came out of nowhere and he reeled, spinning, his hand ready to strike as he stumbled into a doorway.
    “Shhhh!” she hissed, “it’s me!” She twisted his wrist pulling him down into her lap.
    “I thought they had you!” he whispered, his hand moving from strike to stroke as he touched her bloodied and scarred cheek.
    “They did…” Her voice caressed his ear.
    “How did you escape? That place is strapped down like a lunatic in a strait jacket!”
    “I have my ways,” she purred and slid her hand across his inner thigh.
    “No time for that!” he said regretfully, but unable to stop his lips from claiming hers.
    She pulled away. “Transport, Jenson, transport!”
    He chuckled. “Always a tease…we’ve got three and a half minutes…stop delaying!” He yanked her to her feet and the pair of them left the doorway, sprinting across the road towards the most abandoned part of town.
    “How’re they extracting you?” she panted, “Helicraft…or something else?”
    He pulled her across the road towards the old viaduct and the crumbling bridge.
    The whir of the approaching helicraft erupted, destroying the silence, and Jenson pulled her across the kerb. Rotary blades thumped and the craft loomed up over the bridge like a merciless vulture eyeing its prey. Jenson’s hand wrapped around hers and they raced for sanctuary. Above them came the crackling sound of gunfire and collapsing masonry.
    Beneath the arch of the bridge Jenson turned her hand palm up and placed his over hers. “What’re you doing?” She was out of breath.
    “Checking!” Jenson grinned. A red glow emanated between their clasped hands. “I had to know, you could have been playing me, been one of theirs, one of his…but you’re not.”
    “How do you know?”
    “Because I’m the only one who knows how to mess with the chip in your hand, yours is red…as it should be. Now are you ready for change?”
    “Change?” She stared at him. “I’m ready for anything, I’m a wanted woman!”
    “That you are!” He whirled her round against the wall and pulled her body close, kissing her hard. “I’m leaving with everything he owns,” He patted his stomach, “and you, if you’re coming with me?”
    “Like hell I am!”
    “A new century… this time I’m going back to the twenty-first!” Jenson slammed his hand to the wall above her head, directly onto an ancient, peeling, red graffiti hand print. Dust choked the air, bricks distorted beneath his palm and he grinned at his companion’s shocked cry as they plunged backwards. “Geronimo!”

    (622 Words)



  5. Temptation

    She knew it the second he walked through the door. She and The Bartender turned their heads in complete unison towards the door. He stood there like some character out of myth wearing a long black leather duster coat and a wide brimmed hat pulled low keeping his face in shadow. He wore dark jeans and a shirt of deep rich red silk. His hair was black and pulled back into a sleek tail and, though no one could see his eyes, she knew they were an icy pale blue. He was a full 6’2” in his bare feet but with his Tearing Up The World Boots on he topped 6’5”.

    She was no petite flower herself standing 5’10” when she got out of bed in the morning, but tonight she stood a solid 6’1” because she had worn her Try And Make Me Boots. Good thing too because that was exactly what he was there to do.

    He leaned against the wall, lit a smoke and waited. The bar emptied slowly. She drank her Bushmills and ignored him as he walked towards her. The door closed behind the last customer and the locks clicked into place. The stranger raised an eyebrow in surprise.

    “My bar my rules, until it’s finished no one in and no one out.” The Bartender shook his head at both of them, then he left the room slamming the hallway door behind him.

    The jukebox whirled to life and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds started singing about a man and his red right hand. She snorted a laugh as he took his hat off and shot the jukebox a sour look. He turned to her.

    “You cut your hair.”


    “And bleached it.”



    “I got tired of people mistaking me for you.”

    He grinned, “It suits you.”

    “Look can we skip the small talk? I’ve got shit to do.”

    “You’re not fit for this job.”

    She sighed, “Yeah, yeah you’re Temptation Incarnate and I’m the Tarnished Knight blah blah blah whatfuckingever. Just do it so I can get the hell out of here ok?”

    He appeared unaffected by her smartassery which simply inspired more of it. He stood behind her. She smirked at his serious demeanor in the mirror behind the bar. She tilted her head back towards him baring her neck. He pulled his right hand out of his pocket just as Nick Cave sang “red right hand” and she guffawed. He frowned and glared at her.

    “You have no respect for the myth you walk in woman.”

    “Oh get on with it Stretch, I don’t have all night.”

    He placed his hand at the base of her throat spreading his fingers out and pulled her gently back into him. She went rigid, eyes locked open and staring. The bar fell away and everything she had ever wanted played across her consciousness. Cars, houses, boots, guns, knives and swords…she was in for a long night when he started with things. Hours went by without her moving or reacting, finally just before dawn he offered her the only thing she truly wanted.


    She shook under his hand, tears sliding out of her wide open eyes. She longed for it. She needed it. She knew she deserved it. But she also knew it was another indulgence, a dubious luxury afforded other people. She shook hard one last time, slumping forward onto the bar eyes closed.

    He stared at her back. He looked at his hand as it trembled. He started to move towards her again rage filling his eyes but The Bartender slammed through the door shocking both the woman and the man behind her.

    The Bartender glared at the man, “Don’t even think it. You had your chance. You bet it all and lost so no more chances at this one. Now get out of my bar.”

    The man felt the compulsion. He knew that once The Bartender told you to get out of this bar you had no choice but to leave. So he picked up his hat and without a backwards glance he left.

    Word Count: 686 @MissBliss


  6. The two cars moved into and out of traffic. The first driver wasn’t aware the second car was following him. He hadn’t even noticed it. He just knew that he had to get away from where he had been. He wouldn’t be safe there. He may not even be safe in his car, but that was a lot safer than a bus or a taxi – much faster and more direct, too.

    The driver of the second car wasn’t about to let him get away, though. He knew what had happened. He knew where the first driver had been, but not where he was going – maybe to his house, maybe to a business, maybe to meet someone else. Wherever it was, it had to be a place where he could be alone or, at least, with people he trusted a great deal.

    Another car, making a right turn at a red light, almost hit the second car and his furious horn blowing caught the attention of the first driver. So, he WAS being followed. Of course – it had to be. He wouldn’t have expected otherwise, but he was glad he had a pretty good lead and he was almost at the point where he thought he’d be able to lose the car that was following him.

    Taking evasive action, he made a sudden turn into what he hoped would be a short cut.

    It was a dead end.

    With the first car trapped, the driver of the second and unmarked car opened his door and drew his service revolver as his partner switched on the megaphone.

    “Police! Step out of the car and don’t try anything stupid.”

    The first car’s door opened and the drive emerged, arms in the air. The officers saw that the exploding dye pack in the money stolen from the bank had done its job.

    Slowly, the officers moved in, taking the unresisting robber into custody – starting by placing the cuffs onto his red right hand.

    329 words


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