Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 08

Shalom, everyone…

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 08.

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 courtesy of a fantastic little lounge group – Paris Combo. 


The tune is, “Living Room”.  Here’s the link (sorry about the ad); http://youtu.be/cweQc9kijLY

This week’s Judge is the man, the legend, the zombie whisperer… Dr. J. Whitworth Hazzard.

That’s it for me… get out there and write, write, write!  The challenge is open from right now ’til 11:59 PM Pacific Time on Thursday April 11…



Posted on April 9, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Living Room
    By Lisa McCourt Hollar

    The woman on the stage was captivating. I found myself staring into her eyes while she sang. They were a pale blue. Everything about her was pale, except for her lips, which were ruby red and her dark hair, which framed her face, accentuating her eyes.

    Never a dancer, I was surprised to find my toes tapping to the music. Before long my legs joined in. I felt her eyes on me and everyone else faded. It was as though she and I were alone in the room. I was performing for her and she for me.

    After the show she invited me back stage. It was on the leather couch that she whispered her name to me, Lilith, and then a sharp pain in my neck followed by darkness.

    “Wake up.”

    I opened my eyes, confused. My wife stood over me, her hair in curlers, wearing that ratty pink robe she insisted on wearing all day, every day.

    “What…” I covered my eyes and squinted through the cracks in my fingers. Why was it so bright?

    “Your boss called. He said if he doesn’t see you walking through the door in fifteen minutes not to bother coming in. Ever.”

    “Shit. I overslept?” I sat up, knocking a pile of beer cans to the floor. “Why didn’t you wake me?”

    Joan snorted. I knew the answer to that. I don’t think she’d been up before one in, well, over a year. When our son died. That was also when I started sleeping on the living room couch.

    I was wearing my clothes from the day before. I smoothed out the wrinkles. If I made all the lights, I could make it to work within the fifteen minute time frame.

    I got stopped by every single one. Twenty minutes after leaving the house I was walking through the office doors. Maybe I could smooth things with my boss.

    The elevator doors opened and she was inside. Lilith. She stared at me, her blue eyes searching my soul. The pain of losing Alex came back, Joan distancing herself from me, the drinking to forget… my heart screamed for release. I closed my eyes and begged for death.

    When I opened my eyes I saw Joan staring at me, her gaze cold, uncaring. I was in my living room again, on my couch. My clothes were stained and I smelled.

    “I’m leaving.”

    I sat there while she packed her bag. I didn’t do anything to stop her. I popped open a can and drank my sorrows away.

    I was in the club again, dancing for her.

    “Who are you?” I asked.

    She answered, “Death and Life.”

    We danced. A dark man played a cello… or was it a double bass? I wasn’t sure. I only wanted to dance and feel her in my arms. I could feel my heart beating with the music.
    I looked into her eyes and saw myself as I had been the last year. I was alive, but I wasn’t living.

    She whispered into my ears, “I can show you how to live.” She kissed me and my heart slowed. The music faded and I only heard the rush of my blood as she drank.

    When I woke, she was still with me. I’d accepted the gift she had to offer. I looked around my living room one last time, then took her hand and went out into the night. It was strange… I was now dead, but had been reborn. It was time to start living again.

    Word Count: 593


  2. “Won’t you please come into my living room?” I asked the policemen who were standing at the door. Then, turning to the maid, “Yvette, s’il vous plaît faire du thé pour les messieurs.”

    While Yvette went to the kitchen to prepare the tea, I escorted the officers inside.

    “Is this about my neighbour Al? He still hasn’t come back from his trip, although he said he’d be returning on the third, and that’s almost a week, now. I’m still bringing in his post and newspapers so that it won’t be as obvious to would-be thieves that nobody is home. He did the same for me the last time I travelled.”

    “Where did he say he was going?” asked one of the detectives.

    “He told me he wanted to spend a few weeks in Milan, and then he left about a month ago.”

    “Do you know when he went to the airport?”

    “Yes. It was Thursday, the fourteenth of March. On Wednesday, he told me that he had to get up very early in the morning because he had an early flight. We made our usual arrangements for the newspaper and post and that was the last time I heard from him.”

    “He didn’t call or send you an email to let you know he had arrived in Italy?”

    “We don’t even know each other’s email addresses. With his living right next to me, we don’t need to email – just go to the door.”

    “Are you certain that he left on the fourteenth?”

    “He did say that the flight was early in the morning, so he must have been gone by the time I got up. I didn’t actually see him leave, but the newspaper hadn’t been taken in, yet. After that, I didn’t see him again, and everything would have continued to accumulate over there had I not picked it up, myself.”

    “Could he have gone somewhere else, other than Italy?”

    “I suppose so, but why would he tell me Milan and then change his plans without letting me know?”

    “Was there somewhere more local he may have gone?”

    “His family are in Bolton, but he rarely talks about them. I don’t know that he’s even seen them in at least a couple of years.”

    One of them pulled something out of his pocket and held it in front of me. “If he had gone to Italy, surely he would have needed his passport.”

    “Indeed. Was this still in his house, or did it turn up somewhere?”

    “His house.”

    “Then where DID he go? I hope he’s okay. This is not like him, at all.”

    “May we see the post that you collected for him – the newspapers, as well?”

    “Absolutely. Allow me to fetch them for you.”

    By now, my guests had nearly finished their tea, and it was having its desired effect. Rather, what Yvette had added to it was having its desired effect. Almost simultaneously, their heads dropped forward and the two men were fast asleep. I left the room and joined Yvette in the kitchen for some scones, so I wouldn’t be present for what would happen next.

    There would never be any evidence, of course. The room was, after all, a LIVING room. It would quietly consume the investigators, leaving little more than the products of its digestion, and those would safely be carried away by the sewers.


  3. Oops!

    564 words


  4. Title: Living Room
    Author: J.M. Mendur

    “Tell me you have something!” the admiral ordered.

    The linguistics communications tech shrugged. “The aliens’ language has defied translation so far. We simply don’t have the cultural referents to figure it out on our own and no equivalent to the Rosetta Stone for us to translate via a secondary language.

    “What about those words?” the British Prime Minister asked.

    “Yes,” the linguistics communications tech said. “The thing which somehow got transmitted to us in our own language … all of our languages at once, in jargon where jargon exists. Salon. Wohnzimmer. Ystafel fyw. Egongela. On and on. Every person who heard it did so in their first language, whatever it was. And those who didn’t have a concept for it heard the exact translation of the English words: living room.”

    “But what does it mean?” the American president asked.

    “Not a clue,” the linguistics communications tech said. She’d been awake for nearly sixty hours and didn’t give a damn about titles. “There’s no point in even speculating.”

    “We have the best code breakers on the planet,” said the directors of the CIA, the Federal’naya sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossiyskoy Federatsii, and the Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Guójiā Ānquánbù, simultaneously.

    “Doesn’t matter. We don’t even know how their language is structured or what key words are most important to them while they, apparently, know every Earth language that we could check.”

    “Let’s see if they understand the words ‘thermonuclear weapon,’” the general said.

    The linguistics communications tech looked at the physicist, who’d been quiet thus far.

    The physicist cleared his throat three times before speaking. “Based on what we’ve been able to detect with the various orbital telescopes.…” He glanced at the CIA director before adding, “And other detectors in orbit, the alien ship’s engines are spiking high levels of radiation while the rest of the ship is completely clear of any radiation. We found nothing higher than ordinary background radiation from the part of the ship where the aliens would be. This is just a guess but I think firing anything at them would just annoy them.”

    “So what should we do?” the Secretary-General asked.

    The linguistics communications tech smiled. She knew the Sec-Gen wasn’t asking her but she took the silence of the others as opportunity. “Send a reply. You have four basic options. Yes. No. We surrender. We don’t understand so please resend in an Earth language. I recommend sending the fourth one … as politely as possible.”

    “No one asked you,” the Russian Premier said.

    “Actually,” the Secretary-General said, “I think I did.”

    The linguistics communications tech slept while the leaders of the world argued over the wording of the reply. They woke her when they had settled on their final wording. She read it, then read it again. “Are you sure about this?” she asked.

    “Please send it as written,” the Secretary-General said.

    The linguistics communications tech rigged the communications array and sent the message. “We apologize but we don’t understand. Could you please clarify the message in our language? Thank you.”

    The response from the aliens was almost immediate.

    The linguistics communications tech read the aliens’ reply to the leaders of the world. “A ‘living room’ is a room in a house used for social activities by residents and visitors.”

    She shook her head and got up to get a very large coffee. It was going to be a long damned night.

    561 words, excluding title and author lines



    People thought Paris was the city of love but it was, in fact, the international center of intrigue and a favorite hotspot for up-and-coming spies-on-the-go.

    He patted his jacket to reassure himself that his gun was where it should be. The loss of his passport, if discovered, would not bode well for his mission and he might have to blast his way out of the embassy.

    But for a shoelace that refused to stay tied, he felt entirely capable of carrying out his duties.

    Step one entailed locating the villain’s lair.

    Step two involved incapacitating the henchmen.

    Step three required freeing the captive.

    Step four focused on overthrowing the villain – or enjoying a quick and inexpensive candlelit dinner. He’d be hard pressed to resist the lure of spaghetti and meatballs.

    If more steps were necessary to achieve his goal, he’d simply make them up as he went.
    Loading his spy kit, he fired up his utility vehicle and headed for the Arc De Triomphe, where all things gray in nature began.

    His arch-nemesis Miss Kitty sprang at him as he rounded the base of the monument but he managed to evade her, thanks to years of practice, and drove her from the area.

    He took a moment to relish his victory before donning his tool belt, night vision goggles and climbing equipment, he began the arduous ascent in search of his wrongfully imprisoned – – uh oh!




    He slammed into the ground and uttered a single syllable. “Owwww!”

    A girl’s shriek was followed footstep coming down the hall towards him and then she was standing over him, glaring down at him. “Billy!! How many times have I told you not to climb the bookshelf?”

    His bones ached but his spirit was intact. “My name is Agent G-467 and if you do not release that bubble gum into my custody this instant I will consider you an enemy of the state.”

    She crouched beside him and said, “If you don’t clean up this mess, I will put you to bed without your spaghettios and tell your mother about your stash of good-n-plentys in the coat closet.”

    He gave her his best scowl. “You’re meaner than Miss Kitty!”

    To his surprise, she handed him the bubble gum. “Look, kid. I don’t want this to be a miserable weekend for either of us. I’m just babysitting to earn money for my swim team entry fee.”

    His incredible powers of perception kicked into overdrive. “Swim team?”

    She nodded, eyes narrowed. “What’s going on in that mischievous mind of yours, G-467?”

    “I think it’s called an unholy alliance. Two enemies form an alienation.”

    “You mean ‘alliance? Where we team up for nefarious purposes?’’

    He plopped onto the couch and patted the cushion beside him. “Yes. Welcome to secret agent HQ. My brother is the swim team captain. If you get his attention than I won’t have to fight him for the remote control every night.”

    She perched on the easy chair arm. “How you do figure?”

    “Because then he’ll be so busy taking you to swim meets and the movies that I’ll have the living room tv all to myself when I watch my spy movies. So, if you charm my brother, I’ll try to behave better while you’re here. Do we have a deal, X-553?”

    She chuckled. “We do, G-467, so long as we keep this operation on the down low. Just between us spies.”

    “Sure thing. Hey, if you heat up the spaghettios right now, we can share a bowl while watching an episode of ‘Reality Spy’ before my brother comes home from practice.”

    “You’d share your precious spaghettios with me?”

    He grinned. “Don’t you know the most important spy motto? Keep your frenemies as close as your secret identify because the bullet you save might be the one meant for you?”

    – – – – –
    642 words / @bullishink


  6. She moved the vase with the French tulips—they flopped about haphazardly in the precise manner she delighted in—from the side table and then back to the coffee table, near the center of the room, in anticipation of her expected guest. As if it would matter where the insignificant tulips sat but it did … to her. Everything held weight and bearing in matters of such discretion.

    Smoothing her taffeta skirt with cupped hands, she stood back to appraise the arc of the tulips and their new position in the space as the chime from the door rang out. Perfect timing. Lilith took a deep breath and crossed the room with a syrupy gait.

    “Michael, so lovely of you to have come.”

    “Of course, Lilith. I’ve been worried.”

    “You’re such a dear. Come, in to the living room.” She smiled and motioned for Michael to join her.

    “I brought wine. I didn’t—” Michael began but was cut off by Lilith’s striking beauty against the backdrop of the dimly lit room. The deep burgundy iridescence of her dress in contrast to her pale skin with lips painted to match framed by raven hair and those eyes, full of many colors always taking on a slightly different hue, drew his attention easily.

    Lilith simply smiled. “A rich full-bodied red. Looks delightful.” She encouraged Michael to open the bottle as she retrieved two oversized globe glasses from the intimate bar. Lilith tried to mask her visceral response to the claret liquid that flowed in to the glass and how it clung to the crystal walls as she twirled it in her hand. She swallowed, and they raised their glasses to toast.

    “You’re beautiful,” Michael charmed.

    Lilith watched him through her glass as she tipped it to her mouth and sipped. The color exquisite but the body and taste were wrong on her tongue. Though, she didn’t let on. “Thank you. Lovely selection.” She was not referring to the wine.

    Lilith moved to the other side of the room and encouraged Michael to make himself comfortable as she chose some music for their evening. A melodic, sensual tune fitting for the mood.

    “Lilith, I’m going to be honest. Your call tonight came as a surprise. I thought—”

    “Shh … don’t think.” She bewitched him with her eyes again as she joined him on the velvet settee, and he obeyed. Were they green, grey? He couldn’t decided.

    Michael slid closer to Lilith, and she could feel his pulse begin to race, tormenting her further. She swallowed again. Michael leaned forward to place his glass on the table and she couldn’t control herself any longer the urge took over, surging through her veins. She lunged forward for his plump carotid artery, the juncture of life and death at her fingertips, pumping with the liquid she craved—needed—to sustain her existence. Living death. She drank freely, uninhibited, as the life-breath drained from Michael, granting her sustenance. In the final moments as he took his last living breath, she felt the euphoria surge and fill her with unparalleled ecstasy.

    Death ripe on her lips.

    Her tongue slipped to the corner of her mouth as if in search of a missed crumb as she stood and smoothed her skirt. Michael’s body lay limp, crumpled on the floor, mimicking the convexity of the tulip’s stems as the last drops of wine dripped onto the plush rug beside him from the spilt glass.

    Yes! Lilith thought. It was, indeed, the perfect placement for the tulips tonight—in the living room.

    591 words


  7. Cherie was one of those women guys just go stupid around. Big, blue eyes, dark red, almost brunette hair, breasts that were just the right size, and an ass that you just had to watch as she walked away. She was my greatest mistake. I’ll never forget her. And I’ll never blame her for the way she was, the things she did. She was a work of art, a goddess to behold, to hold, to kiss, to sleep with. And she was absolutely heartless.

    I learned she had each of us scheduled into her life. Nick on Monday, Tom on Tuesday, Frank on Wednesday, Robert, Steve and Jim on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I was her Sunday plaything.

    I met her on a Sunday morning, at church of all places. She came in that first Sunday, and sat next to me. “I’m looking for a church home,” she explained.

    “You are always welcome here,” With all the empty spaces on the other pews, I should have known something was wrong when she singled me out to sit next to.

    Sunday after Sunday she showed up, and she sat next to me. After a month people began to talk about her, and about how she was corrupting me. “Do you see the way she dresses? That hussy!” I didn’t care. I relished having a pretty girl sit next to me. And Cherie was gorgeous. Everything she wore exhibited her curves, and they were the best curves I’d ever seen.

    After two months, she asked me to lunch. Of course I said yes, why would I have said anything else? Lunch after Church, with a hot chick? It was a dream come true. And the rumors at church took off, expanding, “They’re having an affair! She’s sleeping with him now!”

    After the third month, she asked me to come watch the football game at her house, in her Living Room, on her big screen TV. “I don’t want to watch the game alone,” she declared, as she took my hands in hers, lacing her fingers through mine.

    When we got to her house, we sat down in her Living Room, and she turned on the game. But, I never saw a single play. She got naked, and then got me naked, and then the sex started. Sundays became filled with sex. In the morning, before church, in the afternoon, watching a game, or a race, or whatever she put on the TV, then well into the night. “I just want to be loved,” she explained. “I need to feel loved. To know you love me. I need to feel alive. Make me feel alive.”

    Hell, she gave me everything I wanted. Right there in her Living Room. Me, with a fantasy women like the ones you stare at in magazines, and on-line, and pray no one sees you staring. And there I was, every Sunday, having sex with a fantasy woman.

    Until she grew tired of me, and replaced me with Harry. That’s when I realized how much I’d spent on her. Buying her anything she asked for.

    When it was my turn to be thrown away, I wandered into a bar a few blocks from her house. That’s where I met Nick and Steve. They were there, drinking and telling stories of Cherie, waiting to see if another of her victims wandered in. And I did.

    Now we’re a group of ten. Any day we should grow to eleven. Cherie’s still out there, collecting men, then throwing them away. We sit here once a week, at a set of tables, and we laugh about how stupid we were.

    It’s like Tim Allen said once, “Breasts make men stupid.” Yep. No doubt about that. And if you add a good ass and blue eyes to the breasts, we don’t have a chance. Trust me on that. The ten of us are proof.



    Jett Parker eased the sleek rental to the curb across from Corey Development Co. and killed the engine. Even the sign’s heavy white letters left a bitter aftertaste. He sighed, his hard stare bouncing off the building’s sun-faded bricks.

    Putting it off wouldn’t get it over with. He grabbed his briefcase on the passenger seat and headed toward the gleaming entrance. Pushing the glass door open, he stepped into the lobby and headed to the reception desk. Cold metal and expensive flowers assaulted his nose, familiar and unwelcome.

    “Good afternoon, Mr. Parker. This way, please. Mr. Corey’s expecting you.”

    Parker stopped the assistant with a wave. “I remember the way. Thanks.”

    She hesitated then turned away. Parker rode the elevator to the seventh floor. The bell dinged, and he stepped into a domed area lit with the filter of midday sun. Turning left, he passed the complimentary bar and walked into Corey’s office unannounced.

    “Parker, come in.” Corey stood and rounded the corner of his desk. The graying tycoon clapped his shoulder and grinned. “It’s good to see you again. How’s your old man?”

    “He’s well. He sends his regards.”

    “Great to hear. Thank him for me, will you?”

    Parker nodded. “I owed him one.”

    “Guess you want to dig right in?”

    “Yes sir.” Better than standing here in Hell.

    Corey poured two neat scotch’s from a bottle of Highland Park 1971 and handed him a glass.

    “My senior architect took off for greener pastures last week. The project load’s heavy and my ass is on the line.”

    “How can I help?” Parker swirled the aromatic scotch and knocked it back.

    Corey smiled, revealing deep creases in sun-mottled skin. “Finalize his projects. The new VP of Project Administration will work with you, get you whatever you need.” Corey turned his attention to the door and motioned.

    Parker’s torso relaxed a twinge. At least it wasn’t—

    “Hello, Parker.”

    Miranda Corey.

    Parker stilled. The room grew dark except for the small space Miranda occupied. He swallowed hard and tried to dispel visions of her sweet, tight ass pressed against him.

    “Miranda.” Her name on his tongue forced more feeling than he’d meant. His fingers itched to run the length of her calves, massage her long thighs and knead her warmth searching for signs she’d missed him too.

    “Roger’s files are in my office.” Her silky voice tugged him from visions of her writhing body beneath him. “You can go through them there. I’ll be in meetings the rest of the afternoon, but we can meet for dinner if you’d like.”

    Son of a bitch. Cold and professional, spoken with the same beautiful throat that’d cried out and moaned his name in guttural cadence. Cries that still haunted his sleepless nights.

    “Sounds good. Magnara’s, eight o’clock?”

    Miranda nodded and strode out of the room, her expensive heels clicking marble. Parker strained against his pants remembering things she’d done to him in heels.

    Get a grip, asshole. She’s the boss’s daughter. You’re here to cash in a favor and get the fuck out.

    Parker killed the afternoon sifting through architectural drawings and reassigning construction contracts. When dusk threatened, he checked his watch, remembering their meeting. Thirty minutes till eight.

    Miranda waited in a corner booth, wearing a look of discontent. “’Bout time you showed. I almost left.”

    Parker shrugged. “I’m thorough.”

    Miranda offered a half-laugh. “So I’ve heard.”

    “Listen, I—”

    “I’m not here to listen to you, Parker. I’m here to instruct you. Can you handle that?”

    He quelled thoughts of handling her and nodded instead. “If you answer my question.”

    She looked away. “You haven’t asked a question.”

    Parker slid closer until their thighs touched. He’d meant only to grab her attention but God help him, she let out a surprised little sigh. He ran a hand past her jawline, cupped the back of her slender neck and drew her swollen lips to his. Her sweet tongue propelled him to the night of their lovemaking. Her scent dizzied him and her velvety skin had him ready.

    He drew back before he forgot himself again.

    Miranda blinked, wadded her napkin and tossed it on the table. “Are you quite satisfied?”

    Parker grinned. “Not by a long shot, but I got my answer.”

    711 words


  9. Thanks for entering, everyone!Judging in underway and I’ll have the results to Jeff tonight. 🙂


  1. Pingback: #MidWeekBluesBuster : Week 8 – Living Room | My Soul's Tears

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