Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 05

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 on Tuesday and ends at 11:59PM Pacific Time on Thursday.  You read that right.  Pacific Time.

This week’s prompt comes to us courtesy of the legendary Man in Black… Johnny Cash

The tune is called, “Sam Hall”.  Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/C9p9FmKdMIQ

This week’s judge is none other than the fabulous, #ruannasplatting, wombat-cannon wielding, Hapless Bride… Anna Meade!

Now, off with you!  Write!  Write!  Write!  Challenge ends on March 21 at 11:59PM PACIFIC time…


Posted on March 19, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. How very peculiar. I have a strange urge to dance.

    Not that it’s possible of course. With a sack over your head, hands tied behind your back and a noose around your neck it would be exceedingly inappropriate. Wouldn’t it?

    Well maybe just a little shuffle would suffice.

    I’m not afraid. Not in the least. In fact I rather wish they would just get on with it but they seem to have to do a lot of talking first.

    Yes I killed him. I said I did didn’t I? Why else am I here? Waiting to hang by the neck until dead. And before you wonder, no. I have no regrets.

    Dirty selfish bastard deserved everything he got. Most definitely had it coming that one.

    And yes, OK. I am not the whitest of white. Not a good clean upstanding citizen, but there are limits you know. Really there are.

    By nature of my trade people think it’s not possible for me to be raped. Who would want to rape a woman who spent her life standing on street corners muttering “Bob’s your Uncle” to passing trade?

    To be honest, (though no one else needs to know this,) I wasn’t actually raped. The fucker tried to run off without paying. Naughty. Very naughty.

    Sodding sailors. Saw him later in the Tavern and came on all gooey to him. Stupid sucker fell for it and came back to my rooms with me.

    Knife under the pillow waiting, on the job and one waste of space stabbed between the shoulder blades. My ‘old hat’ is not free to anyone.

    Boils my piss that they have no respect for us. Can’t take the goods and swan off with out a by your leave. Oh no. Most definitely not.

    Made a mistake though didn’t I? Should never have done him in at home.

    310 words


  2. Delilah E. Day

    Damn His Eyes.
    (This story contains depictions of abuse and shouldn’t be read if you’re likely to find it upsetting.)


    I’ve been sitting through these blasted tea parties since I was eleven.

    Back then I was naïve, my body young and too quick to trust. I’ve grown up now; become stronger and more mature, a young woman who should be on top of the world.

    I’ve almost managed to accustom myself to spending two hours being dressed at Mother’s command for these introductory meetings that last only one. As I sit here, breathing very little through the constriction of the new cream corset my father bought me, I struggle to move at all. The dress is wide with too much fabric, my waist pulled in so tight and my hat carefully pinned into my delicately sculptured hair. I sit here as though a doll, unwelcome to speak, only a decoration.

    Mother sits beside me, talking clearly about me though I’m not allowed to contribute. She laughs, clutching Graeme’s arm. He answers politely, well educated and courteous whilst his parents watch me, assessing my appearance and whether I am fit for their son. I think perhaps my silence endears them to me, but I can feel Graeme’s glances, looking for more. I think, should I be auditioning for a life-partner, I too would want more.

    But I’m only able to glance at him infrequently. It wouldn’t do to stare, my Mother said. He looks a good sort; tall, handsome, decorated almost as expensively as I am, but wearing his money far more comfortably. I think perhaps I would like to know him though. His eyes carry a great deal of gentle emotion, and kindness is a trait rarely found in men. I hunger for it.

    But I chastise myself not to get excited. I know that Father will never allow it, no matter how perfect the man who asks. The whole exercise seems a waste but I never want it to end. The fantasy that I might leave to be with Graeme is too comforting.

    In my mind I allow myself a distraction, visualising what my heart tells me to do each time they present me to one of these bachelors, knowing that it is a farce.

    In the fantasy I would stand up sharply, unhindered by the corset and heavy dress.

    I’d confront the maids, the butlers and the doctor that bustle around us first. Those who haven’t helped, stayed quiet, said nothing. “Are you proud?” I’d ask. “Do you sleep well at night?”

    Turning to mother, I’d spit at her feet knowing such a thing would be uncouth, but in my mind it makes me feel strong. “How could you abandon your little girl?” I would ask, “Why are you so weak that you won’t stand up to it?”

    And then I’d turn to daddy. I’d study his features for a moment, forcing myself to remember every single incident. My fingers would grope up the sleeve of my dress for the thin handle, pulling my small knife out as I walk around behind him. Putting my hands on his shoulders gently, I’d whisper in his ear, kiss him on the cheek and slit his evil, goddamned throat.

    I sigh, glancing across at the broad, well-dressed man that I call Father. I don’t quite see him anymore, though, not since I was young. Instead I see only pain, suffering and betrayal sitting in the chair before me. His moustache covers his mouth but I can see that he is displeased. He asks awkward questions of Graeme, prompting badly thought out answers. There’s his excuse. He gets up to leave, letting his chair clatter to the ground behind him in anger.

    Mother’s face is plain. I know she isn’t shocked at all as she calmly asks for Graeme and his parents to leave. Father’s face is red, little beads of sweat gathering atop his forehead.

    “Come, my sweet.” He turns to me, his dark eyes glaring down until I hold my hand up for him to take. His fingers are hot and clammy as I place my cold fingers into his hand.

    “Yes, Father,” I mutter, letting him lead me back into his bed, the knife still comfortably nestled in my sleeve. “I’m ready.”

    (696 words) @DelilahEDay of Squirreltalesfiction.com


  3. Daniel Swensen

    “Why Eli,” Samuel said, swaying in the open door. “You look like someone just walked over your grave — or he’s about to.”

    Eli reeled back as the apparition stepped over the cabin threshold. Samuel still wore the battered brown hat he’d worn to his execution. As he stepped into the firelight, Eli saw the bloated purple lines where the noose had closed around his neck.

    “You’re dead,” Eli stammered. “We hung you three days ago.”

    Samuel grinned. “’He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.’ I told you I’d be back to settle up accounts, Eli. Don’t you remember?”

    “This can’t be,” Eli said.

    “Oh, but it is.” Samuel closed the door behind him. He grinned, and a beetle crawled from his mouth and skittered across his cheek.

    With a quivering hand, Eli drew his pistol and shot Samuel between the eyes. Orange fire guttered in the empty hole.

    Samuel grinned. “Now I call that just plain bad manners, Elias. I claw my way up from Hell to tell a man his future, and he shoots me for my trouble.”

    The apparition took another step. Eli fell back against the wall, his gun falling from nerveless fingers.

    “My future?”

    “Don’t you know your Book of Samuel, Eli? ‘Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the Lord is departed from thee, and is become thine adversary?’ I’ve become a prophet, Eli, and I’ve come to tell of what will come to pass.”

    Gray hands clamped Eli’s head. Samuel leaned close, so close that Eli smelled the grave on his breath.

    “You hung me for murder, Eli. But no one ever asked me why I did it. Did you know that?”

    “I don’t–”

    “I smashed that man’s skull, Eli, because I saw what he would become. I saw death in him, as I saw the death of all things. As you’re going to see, Eli. I’m giving you my gift. My prophecy. It’s my way of thanking you for releasing me. I want you to see what I see, you self-righteous son of a bitch.”

    Dead thumbs slid up Eli’s cheeks, settled on his closed eyelids.

    Eli wept. “Please–”

    “Damn your eyes,” Samuel said, and pushed.

    370 words / @surlymuse


  4. Trip to the Gallows Pole
    The air was dry and the dust wafted around him as he was pulled from his shady cell. It had only taken the sheriff a day to prep the gallows and only five minutes for a jury to decide that he ought to swing for bashing that horse-thief’s head in.
    His coarse hair was matted and his brow dripped with sweat as his bare feet shuffled to the wooden scaffolds’ steps. The bristly rope wrapped around his wrists pierced his dark skin almost as much as his heart wrenched when he saw his wife Mawli’s tortured eyes in the blood-thirsty crowd.
    With her jaw clenched and her hands gripping her skirts, he knew it was her Native pride keeping her from letting a tear drop.
    Moving out West had proved a greater hardship then he’d anticipated. It took him several months to procure a homestead, and he soon learned that racism didn’t end at the Mason-Dixon Line. He had been determined to cut out a piece of this country for his wife and soon-to be child.
    He wanted to scream when he thought of his expectant wife plowing the earth and trying to raise his son without him.
    As he reached the threshold, he turned his gaze from Mawli to the thick noose that hung before him. The executioner fastened the rough rope around his neck, and he could feel each individual jagged fiber of the noose tearing into his neck.
    The fat bellied Sheriff stood with his cigar in his mouth and half-laughing asked, “Got any last words?”
    Gritting his teeth and balling his fists, his rage welled up from his core and onto his lips, he shouted, “May name is Samuel L. and I will see all you muthafuckas IN HELL!”
    The Sheriff, grinned as he shook his head.
    Samuel L. glared at the Sheriff with daggers in his eyes, and said, “Let’s get this shit over with.”
    Looking back to the raucous crowd, Samuel L. saw a figure in a dusty coat and hat whispering in Mawli’s ear; gently, Mawli pulled herself away from the crowd.
    “Maybe it’s best if she doesn’t see be die,” Samuel L. thought.
    Shutting his eyes, and taking a deep breath, he cleared his mind and prepared to drop.
    The executioner pulled the lever and the floor fell out beneath Samuel L. The noose hadn’t broken his neck, but it was choking the life out of him. Holding his breath for dear life, Samuel L. heard a steel sword unsheathe and quickly slice the rope above him.
    Falling to the dirt floor, he quickly tried to stand up while his arms were still tied behind his back. Steading himself up and beginning to run, he saw a talk blond woman in a bright yellow jumpsuit standing on the scaffolding wielding a kitana sword, and immediately recognized her as his old friend Beatrix.
    The Sheriff pulled out his gun, and before he could fire, she sheared off his shooting hand. As the Sheriff writhed in agony, the executioner ran toward her, and she sunk her sword into his belly.
    Horrified, the mob scrambled in all directions. Samuel L. unsteadily ran in the last direction he’d seen Mawli go; like a surgeon, Beatrix, released Samuel L.’s wrists from the rope that had bound them.
    “It took you long enough, girl!” he told her as they ran away from the gallows, “A few more moments, and I would’ve been barbequing with Satan himself.”
    “You’re welcome,” she said sarcastically.
    They ran behind the general store where Mawli and a couple of lightly packed horses awaited them.
    “Where are we goin’?” Samuel L. asked Beatrix as he removed the noose around his neck.
    “Jenkins has a safe house set up for us about a day’s ride away, but after that we should head to Mexico. We’re still wanted in most of these great United States, you know,” she said.
    “So I guess this makes us even now?” Samuel L. grimaced as he climbed on his horse.
    “You said it not me,” Beatrix grinned.
    Leaving the chaos behind, they rode off into the horizon.
    (686 w/o Title) @skarlitsunrise


  5. The Cockerel

    I feel bad about it. Really, I do. But it just couldn’t be helped. I loved her first, you see, and everything was great until he came along.

    I’d loved her from the moment I laid eyes on her. Long black hair so thick I could almost vanish inside of it. I loved the way it looked fanned out around us as we lay in bed after we finally got together. I was in seventh heaven in those days, never believing anything could change how great we were together.

    But then it did. I don’t understand why. She never gave any indication of why. We woke that fateful morning, we cuddled, stretched, yawned and purred as we always did. She went out, which happens often, but she brought someone back with her that day and nothing was the same after that. From that point on I had to share. I got half the lovin I was used to and my share of the couch went from 1/2 to 1/3.

    So you see, I had to kill him. There was no other way. I planned it so carefully, and pulled it off without a hitch. I hid the body, dragging it out into the backyard and dragging it deep into the thick shrub at the back of the yard. I even cleaned up all the tufts of fur I’d yanked out during the fight, not that it was much of a fight. Damn fool never saw it coming, he was dead almost before he even realized he was under attack.

    I’d figured once I got rid of the upstart things would return to normal and that first night everything did. She mentioned him once or twice but showed only mild concern. But then she became increasingly agitated and worried. To my frustration she spent most of the following day and evening out looking for him, calling his name and shaking the treat bag to coax him back to her. I should have known it wouldn’t stop there.

    When she pulled out the charm I knew I was in trouble. But goddamn if I didn’t forget just how special my girl was. She had powers, witchy powers, and she was hell bent on finding him. And I knew she would. And then she’d come looking for me. There was only one thing I knew that could protect me from witchcraft, and that brings me to the here and now.

    I can hear her hungry panting and the soft pad of her bare feet as she aproaches. I can smell her too, the stink of the devil on her, the scent of murder. She aims to kill me just like I killed him. I’m huddled under the coop, both the cockerel’s eyes held gently on my tongue, spit dripping down my chin because I’m too afraid to swallow. Without those eyes I am lost.

    I can see her feet. All the hair on my body stretches upright as she begins chanting. I’ve been her familiar for years, but I don’t know the language of spellcraft. I pray the stories about cockerel eyes protecting against witchcraft are true.

    Her hands drop down near her feet and one black eye appears, staring through me as the chanting becomes increasingly feverish. My heart is pounding, like to leap out my chest.

    A brilliant flash of light exploded in my face and when it cleared I was relieved to find I was still breathing. But things looked weird. Everything seemed dramatically bigger than it had before.

    “Have fun mousie mousie.” Her voice was husky and clipped. “I’ll bring a new cat tomorrow. Enjoy the time you have left.”

    I looked down and where I used to have black furred paws I saw tiny naked feet. The stories had not been true after-all, I had loved her, been by her side for all those years, and that bitch turned me into a fucking mouse.

    I looked up at the now enormous corpse of the young cock, it’s empty eye sockets seeming to glare at me accusingly. “Damn your eyes!” I wanted to scream in rage but the only sound was an angry sounding squeak.

    701 words with title, @ScrivK, http://www.kferrin.com


  6. Frontier Tragedy

    Calvin Trask wasn’t the sort anybody was liable to call a friend. It was commonly held as fact he’d been born moody, grew up surly and capped it off as a man by being just plain mean. He was the kind to take offense at the smallest perceived slight and respond to it with a hard fist or whatever came to hand. In the case of the drummer who’d been plying his wares about town, Calvin had caved in his skull with a mattock.

    There was little doubt of the instrument of the poor fellow’s demise as Calvin was seen dragging it down the street behind him, its heavy blade bearing mute testament to the use it had been put to. In spite of his seemingly dazed and unresponsive manner, it nevertheless took Sheriff Conlon and three of his stoutest deputies to incarcerate Cal.

    From the solitary confines of his cell, he was led before the judge. His refusal to speak at all, let alone in his own defense, culminated in the sentence of death being pronounced upon him. It was an unsatisfactory resolution to an inexplicably horrific act to be sure, but it was what all felt was required in such a case.

    Cal evinced little regard as the town made ready for the first public hanging in recent memory. He stood by the jail’s narrow window, shoulders hunched and hands jammed in his pockets and merely…watched. From time to time, he would mutter through clenched teeth, “Swingin’ in the breeze…swingin’ in the breeze. ‘Fore too long I’m gonna be swingin’ in the breeze.”

    Noone had the inclination to try to comfort such a man in his final days, yet the town’s only minister felt compelled to try. He sat in the gloom of the cell reading scripture to a damned soul because it was his calling to do such. The sheriff saw no harm in it as Cal had been heavily restrained and seemed oblivious to the process in any event. As the old preacher’s voice began to give way, Cal inclined his head forward in an attempt to motion the clergyman nearer. Was this to be his confession? Did he seek absolution? The old man leaned close, his ear presented for Cal to whisper to him.

    The high-pitched screams brought deputies running. They found the minister rolling about on the gritty floor, blood gushing from a hideous wound. For his part, Cal only grinned through red-stained teeth before spitting the ear of the hapless man at their feet. He was allowed no further visitors.

    On the fateful day, the whole town gathered to watch the spectacle unfold. The sentence was read a final time as Sheriff Conlon fulfilled his duties affixing the noose and assuring all was in preparation. Reluctantly, the law required he provide the condemned an opportunity to make a last statement. Standing to the side, the sheriff nodded to Cal to say what he would and let them get on with matters.

    Calvin Trask, self-proclaimed “meanest sumbitch in three counties” fixed the assembled crowd with a jaundiced gaze. He might have had words for Moll Halburn, the only woman who’d ever been known to spend time with him, but if so they went unspoken. He might have had any number of folks to favor with a final remark but he did not. Instead, all were treated to his poisonous, hating glare.

    At length, he broke eye contact with all and looked downward, as if he were speaking to someone unseen to the rest. Emitting a piercing whistle, he shouted as loudly as possible, “Hey Divvil! Ya’ll best get ya a right hot spot down there cause the one and only Calvin P. Trask is comin’ to stay. To Hell with all you bible-thumpin’ church-goin’ sanctimonious bastards! Well, whatcha waitin’ for lawman? Pull that damned lever an’ let’s git on with it!”

    He was declared deceased at three minutes past nine in the morning and the body placed in an unmarked grave in a far corner of the small graveyard. None mourned for Calvin though, most certainly, he wouldn’t have really cared if they had.

    690 words @klingorengi


  7. Everlasting Jack
    Jack moved through the dark streets, keeping the black hoodie pulled tight. The rucksack slung across one shoulder had everything needed for a successful night. All that was missing was the prey.

    A few streets down, the perfect girl stood alone on Leinster Mews. King’s Cross Station was a long way off but a prostitute had the same look on any street. Her hair had a bit of red but was close enough to dark brown that Jack could deal. The skirt was the main appeal anyway. The black leather stretched low across her hips and was so short Jack could see the edge of her knickers. Her shirt draped over average enough breasts but the length left her entire abdomen exposed. Her stomach was a beautiful canvas of ivory white skin pleading for Jack’s expert touch. Jack walked up behind the girl.

    “Hello, Love.”

    “Oyi! Whadda ya wont, then?” Her accent grated Jack’s nerves; the perfect quarry.

    “I was just admiring your lovely stomach. It seems almost luminescent in this moonlight.”

    “Yea? I’ll let ya touch it for a price.”

    “What a wonderful proposition. I know the perfect place, away from all the damn eyes.” Jack pointed to the camera across the street. The governmental cameras placed everywhere made it hard; not impossible, mind you, but definitely more of a challenge.

    “Ya got monay, yea?”

    “Of course. Follow me, please.” Jack turned from the camera, being careful to keep the hoodie in the line of sight at all times.

    “Where we goin?” the girl asked.

    “I know a spot; it’s not far. I do miss Whitechapel though.”

    “Yea? Is that where you’re from, then?”

    “Heaven’s no. I’m from everywhere. And nowhere.”

    “That’s a strange answer. This walk’ll cost extra, ya know.”

    “Undoubtedly. Ah, here at last.” Jack stopped in the back end of an alley just off Kensington Gardens. There were no cameras to capture the event.

    “Yea? Ya have to pay first. I’ve never been wif a girl. But I’ll do anything for a price.”

    Jack smiled.

    “That’s what you all say. And being a girl is why no one ever suspects.”

    Jack pulled a knife from the sleeve of her hoodie and slit the girl’s throat, deep enough no one would ever hear a scream. Then she plunged the knife into the girl’s surprised eye.

    “Stupid whoring chav – I was never like you.” Anger poured into each stab of the knife.

    Jack arranged the body with the mutilated face turned toward the park. She opened the rucksack and went to work carving her masterpiece.

    (442 words @BrewedBohemian)


  8. Kansas City Shuffle

    Sam peered through the Plexiglas and out beyond the water towers to the gathering crowd. He figured he had another fifteen minutes and then he’d be the featured act. Shame he didn’t know why but on the up side, no rehearsal was necessary. Yep, he was gonna be a one-trick pony for sure. Step on the stage, bow to the crowd, and then it was curtains.

    The sheriff had come and gone ‘bout an hour ago. Said a deputy would come and get him when it was time. Sam was mighty thankful there weren’t no clock in his cell. Bad enough he heard the ticking in his head. Oh maybe that was the hammering of his heart. Shoot, he hadn’t kissed a girl, not even that purty Molly, let alone done near enough target practice that he could hit a target with any reliability.

    Couldn’t rightly say how the bailiff’s boy ended up dead. Sam didn’t have a lick a sense, or so his brother said, but being stupid ain’t the same as being a heartless killer. But no matter how much he told folks he couldn’t remember nuthin’ about that night, nobody would listen. And so here he was in a four-by-four cement cell headed for a six-by-six concrete slab.

    “Pssst! Sammy!”

    He craned his neck and looked down the hall. “Hullo?”

    Jerry came into view, creeping down the hall towards him, wearing some kind of officer’s uniform. “Sammy! I’m going to bust you out but you need to trust me and keep quiet.”

    His fingers gripped the cold bars. “They’re gonna be here for me any time now!”

    “Shhhh,” Jerry said, stopping in front of the cell door and taking a key from his pocket. “You didn’t kill that boy, Sammy, and I’m not about to let you swing for it. Sorry it took so long to get everything pulled together.”

    “What are you talking about?”

    The door swung open and Jerry said, “Listen, I’m going to make things right, kid. You trust me, don’t you?”

    Sam started to nod, but saw a figure standing behind Jerry, a guy looked a lot like he did.

    “Now, don’t freak out, Sam. This here is your replica. I had to figure out some way to get you out of here without anybody noticing. No, we don’t have time for questions. Here, trade me shirts.”

    Soon as Sam had the deputy shirt buttoned up, Jerry pulled him out of the cell, pushed the replica inside and locked the door.

    “Look here, Sammy. Maybe I wasn’t the best big brother, but I got your back now don’t I? Now, get your skinny butt outside and find my car. I’m going out the other way, make a distraction, okay? See you at the car in five minutes. Move it!!”

    Sam took the hall at a dead run, the stairs two at a time and hit the outer door full force. Bending over to catch his breath, his scanned the street for the car. Crazy thing was, Jerry was already there. He crossed the street, climbed into the passenger seat and grinned as his brother revved the engine and pulled away from the curb.

    He clasped his brother’s arm. “I don’t know what say. Thank you for saving my skin. Where are we going? How am I going to survive on the lam? And how did you manage to get to the car before me?”

    Jerry looked over at him. “Sammy, reason I know you didn’t kill that boy is because I did. I’ll explain later, okay. But right now, I need to tell you something even more important. This isn’t me. While you were racing to the car, I confessed and was hanged in your place. I’d have cleared your name sooner but it took some time to create the perfect guardian for you after I was gone. Grandfather’s estate is in your name now and you’ll want for nothing in life. Try to think kindly of me, brother, and remember that I always loved you.”

    Sammy left his hand on Jerry’s arm but turned away to mourn his loss in private.

    – – – – –
    690 words / @bullishink


  9. “Damn your eyes!”

    The two friends stopped in their tracks. Clearly, they were in trouble. Their journey had been difficult from the outset, but now it seemed impossible.

    “What? Why? What have I done THIS time?” asked Maurice. He knew that theirs was an unlikely alliance, and that Glenn would always be the leader, but they had survived a lot, together. Even so, he wasn’t stupid: much of what they HAD accomplished was due to the groundwork he had laid.

    “What have you done? You’ve led us right into a trap, THAT’S what you’ve done! After all the time we spent planning this tunnel, it has taken us right TO them, instead of away from them.”

    Maurice shook his head in disbelief. Why would they be anywhere near anyplace that they could get caught.

    “How is that possible? There can’t be anything wrong with the tunnel. They must have discovered our plans or some of the things you were hiding.”

    Glenn, not one ever to be wrong, shifted the discussion away from himself.

    “That or YOU couldn’t see far enough to have the tunnel come up out of their reach.”

    That put Maurice on the defensive.

    “It was not THAT difficult: we were doing everything according to their garden. Maybe YOU didn’t time it right so that they wouldn’t be there when we got there.”

    “Maybe YOU made too much noise when you were digging?”

    “YOU were digging, too. Maybe YOU made too much noise.”

    “Hah! I never make noise when I dig. I’m completely silent.”

    “EVERYBODY makes noise when they dig.”

    “I don’t.”

    The blame game obviously was not improving their situation, so Maurice moved the conversation on.

    “How do you even know we ARE trapped, anyway?

    Glenn was dumbfounded. Could his partner in crime have missed even THAT?

    “What do you mean? I was just up there and there are at least five of them AND at least three dogs. One of the dogs almost bit me. Damn your eyes!”

    Maurice knew it was useless, but he protested, nevertheless.

    “What do you expect? YOU’RE the gopher. I’m just a mole.”

    352 words


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