Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 06

Shalom, everyone…

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 06.

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.

MAKE SURE TO PUT YOUR TWITTER HANDLE NEXT TO YOUR WORD COUNT AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR 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 Pogues

This week’s judge is none other than… my adorable wife!  Ilene Tsuruoka.

Now off with you!  Write!  The Challenge ends on Thursday March 28 at 11:59 PM PACIFIC TIME!

 

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Posted on March 26, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Two Ships

    He didn’t go around the old neighborhood anymore. It held too many memories for him of triumphs he’d missed out on and failures he’d been too big a part of. A wise man once said “you can’t outrun your past because everywhere you go you will still find yourself.” He could appreciate that on a purely philosophical basis. It didn’t mean he had to embrace his past either.

    He’d left that past behind him and made a different life for himself. It wasn’t always the life he wished for. It wasn’t always laughter and good times and good friends but it was a life he’d made peace with himself living. It was amazing how Fate had a way of taking something as innocuous as a spring downpour in the Metro and making it something more surreal.

    It wasn’t hard, in a city of eight million people to collide with somebody on the street. Hell, it was harder to not get bumped, jostled or any of a hundred variants of such. Now, it was sure as hell a lot harder to bump into the one person on the whole planet who wasn’t family but had know you your whole damned life. For him…it was her…Mona.

    He hadn’t seen her in what…five years? Her hair was longer, darker and she’d lost some weight, but there was no mistaking those eyes. They were the same impossible green they had always been. The years may not have been especially kind to her but, all in all, they sure could have been a lot rougher.
    His arms had encircled her to prevent her falling and, in that one endless, perfect moment, he remembered how it had once seemed the most natural thing in the world for them to be so entwined. But that ship had sailed a long time ago and he shrank from her embrace in awkward silence.

    She spoke and the musical magic of her voice ensnared him, insinuating its way through the metaphorical armor he cloaked himself in. Trivialities and inane small talk it might have been but for such an encounter, any common link between them would have sufficed. They were two small, tiny souls in a vast sea of urban indifference and the urge to grasp at any human contact was too great for specifics to matter.

    For him, what he did not say to her was the more telling thing. He saw no point in discussing her divorce some…three? Years back. Steve had always been an asshole and they both knew it so naught was to be gained from pursuing that. He didn’t express sympathy for the baby she’d lost or her dad’s stroke or so many other things. It wasn’t from fear of offending but rather from love of what she had meant to him once. Her tragedies, her triumphs were hers alone..not his to share or express.

    Her thoughts swirled in much the same manner. She knew his dream of making it big on the music scene had passed long back into oblivion. He got by on some studio work and she had no desire to rub salt in what might, even now, still be an open wound. She glossed over his stint in rehab and the car crash that left his brother, Tony, less one leg. When what felt most right…most necessary was to hold him and melt back into him in the casual, comfortable familiarity of the past, she fought instead to stay aloof. He was, no longer, hers to love or comfort or console.

    As the words came less easily and the silence stretched more lengthy, they drew further apart in distance and in time until they were, once again, just two hapless souls standing in the rain and needing a cab. Slamming the door to, he watched the tail lights vanish into the neon jumble of the night.

    Uncertain and uncaring if the water in his eyes was the cleansing rain or salt-sting tears, he turned away at last. Knowing she would always hold a place in his heart but never in his life, the clump of his boot heels on the hard pavement seemed to sound the death knell of hope.

    700 words @klingorengi

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  2. I didn’t live in Soho, and never would. But, it was a rainy night, and I couldn’t help but hear the rain striking the windows to my apartment. It wasn’t a downpour, just a good, steady, soaking rain.

    I turned out all the lights, then pulled the curtains aside, so I could look out, over the street. I pushed the ear buds for my music player into my ears, and turned on my music. Wouldn’t you know it. The first song it randomly picked, “A Rainy Night in Soho”. I’m not a fan of that song, and for a moment I considered pushing the next button. Instead, I let the song keep playing.

    I looked out the window, watching the rain fall and the black clouds shift around in the sky while that song played. I saw a couple hop out of a cab, him first, opening his umbrella, and helping her out. He paid the fare, and the two of them walked, hand-in-hand, into the building across the street. I don’t know why, but that made me smile. Maybe I was imagining they’d had dinner together, at some expensive restaurant, then returned home for a night that started with betting naked, and went from there. Maybe I was imagining I was him, and when we got to the apartment, I turned on the music, and took her in my arms, and we slow danced, just enjoying the feel of holding each other.

    Whatever the reason, I knew it was something I shouldn’t have done, because it made me remember. Her. I sometimes wondered why we have memories. Why we just can’t forget, or erase them, like we can erase files on a computer. “I don’t like that song any more, I’m deleting it.” Or “That book makes me cry, I’m deleting it from my library.” But that’s not how our memories work, is it?

    And by the end of that damn song, I remembered how she’d told me, one day, “We will always be friends.”

    I’d asked her, “Really?”

    She’d smiled, and hugged me. “Yes. Always.”

    The next day, she was gone. I woke up, and she’d left during the night. I’d called her number, but got no answer. I’d gone all the places I knew she went, and never found her. She left. And never said, “Good-bye.”

    That was two years ago. And that night, watching the rain, watching that couple from the cab, listening to that stupid song, I stood there, looking out my window, and remembered her, and her last words to me. “Yes. Always.”

    Sometimes, I wish I could erase my memories of her.

    451 Words
    @LurchMunster

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  3. A Rainy Night in Soho

    He glanced at her, his pale blue eyes tearing up as he gazed at her long hair, glowing silver in the moonlight upon the pillow. She stirred and a smile played on his lips. He wanted to reach across and move a stray lock away from her face, but didn’t want to risk waking her at such an early hour. A sigh swelled in his throat and he released it gently, shivering as his breath departed in a long wisp of smoke.
    The cold penetrated his bones, even under the thick duvet, and he pulled the cover up tucking it round his shoulders. He carefully manoeuvred his body, again cautious not to disturb his lady, and settled on his side, his head gently relaxing into his flat and stained pillow. He drifted off to sleep with the beating rain drumming in his head.

    She danced in his slumber, invaded his dreams with her youthful grace and honest beauty. He whirled her in his arms, up and down the rainy, glittering streets beneath the brutal neon lights and dirty windows.
    Her crimson lips and tight dress won hearts and minds, and caused desire to rise through the steamy rain. He whirled her in his arms, letting her dance, and he fought her battles and defeated the dragons disguised as paramours. He allowed her essence to soak him and he fell in love.

    He awoke again, still in the depths of night. He tried to dilute the urge, but failed, and he pushed back the duvet and stepped out onto cold, hard linoleum. He hurried across the floor and down the corridor, the cold air prickling like a million tiny daggers of ice and he clicked the bathroom door closed.
    Sweet relief and he moved as swiftly as he could back to bed. Sliding down beneath the covers he wriggled his toes to recirculate his chilled blood. He shivered violently as the temperature slowly rose and he gripped the duvet tight around his chin. He stared at the window, still partially lit by the roaming moon and smiled as familiar neon blue flickered in the bottom corner, from the sign on the building opposite. He sank into the mattress, feeling his body reacquaint to its accustomed hollow. His eyes gradually closed and his dream resumed.

    She still danced, but this time she waltzed just out of reach, her long, black hair glinting against the stormy night, her lips smiling and teasing. He relaxed to watch and adore his queen as she stole the hearts and yearning of every man she saw. He had nothing to worry, for she returned to his embrace every night, creeping back into his arms and soul in the early hours to slake their desire.

    The moon was vanquished when he woke, and salmon pink streaked through the early clouds peering in through the icy window. Frost had etched and encrusted the pane while they’d slept, and dawn’s colours danced, filtering through the oblique design.
    A tired sigh escaped his mouth and he chuckled at the smoke eddying through the crisp morning air, as he turned to regard his love.
    She remained asleep, her raven hair, now silver and white in dawn’s gaze, and he carefully propped his old body up on his elbow. Ravaging cold bit through his greying vest and goose-bumps exploded across his wrinkled skin, and his rheumy eyes blinked with unshed tears.
    He caressed her shrunken cheek, and moved the stray lock of hair. He leaned forward and tenderly kissed her dry, cracked lips.
    Grief tore through his ancient body, and he shuddered, and swirling breath danced across her peace, as his tears dropped onto her tranquil face.
    Her song was done, not a note escaped her silent lips, but he gently moved from his depression in the mattress and cupped his body to hers. There he lingered, holding his love, his tears wetting the pillow and her silver hair, and in his dreams she danced…

    (662 Words)
    @LastKrystallos
    Also shared on my blog here: http://www.thelastkrystallos.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/blues-buster-rainy-night-in-soho.html

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  4. The Measure Of My Dreams

    You stand at the edge of the dance floor chatting with the groom’s parents, so poised and relaxed that, for a moment, I hate you. Again.

    Me? I’m standing back here by the kitchen door, keeping an eye on the caterers and feeling like a stray dog at the kennel club. Like always.

    You catch my gaze and approach, resting your lean thighs against the table and saying, in that whiskey sour voice of yours, “They expect us for the next song.”

    My gut clenches but it’s not the foie gras knotting my stomach. Your proximity and patience infuriate me but as much as I want to shame you, I will not do it in public and so I nod acquiescence.

    I look past you though the open kitchen door but it’s not the food I’m watching. Your jaw does a delicate dance when you’re frustrated with me and it’s ridiculously fascinating.

    You reach for my hand and it’s not anger that makes me shake as our palms collide. Your touch has this power over me, eclipsing my petty pride, and I could almost kiss you for letting it go unremarked.

    You guide me across the floor, hands and feet proper, carriage circumspect, but as the music fades into a lilting melody, I forget myself, my anger, my damnable crusade, and draw you close.

    I love the way my nose lines up with the hollow of your throat. Your warmth and scent rise like a heady incense, a pungent and appeasing sacrifice on the altar of my immutability, and I breathe deeply.

    Your mouth moves against my temple, like the brush of butterfly wings, or a snowflake. The hatred flares through me and I tense – but wait, that’s not hatred at all.

    I test you, myself and the falsehood, lifting my face to yours, careless of where we are and who is watching, and when your mouth covers mine, I have my triumphant answer.

    I hear the music change again, feel your harsh breathing against my breast, and see our daughter, floating in yards of white satin and tulle, gliding towards us with a smile.

    Your fingers slide into mine, a boyish grin cutting a swath across your five-o’clock shadow and I feel the hard weight of you pressed against my thigh.

    I gave you four children and not one son. With this last child leaving the nest, I’d feared we’d be all alone with my shame. Damn the lie.

    We make an early departure, borrowing an umbrella from the coat check and together, we push through the door of the James Hotel, out into a rainy night in Soho.

    – – – – –
    (440 words / @bullishink)

    Posted on my blog here: http://www.bullishink.com/2013/03/28/mid-week-blues-buster-6/

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  5. GREAT stories! I can’t wait to see who Ilene chooses. What a hard job she has!!! I was late for this one but want to join in one day 😀 (I can’t seem to get my pic to take so you’ll have to settle with this stupid G for now. lol)

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  6. Even better…I’m still a quilt. Going back to the WordPress/Gravatar drawing board. lol

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