Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 12
Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 12.
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.
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 song prompt is 180 degrees away from the last couple…
It’s “Sea of Love” by The Honeydrippers…
Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pROMOdRYGvs&feature=youtu.be
Sorry about the ad.
This week’s judge is author & host of the Thursday Threads flash fiction challenge… the fantastic Siobhan Muir. We have a special prize this week– the 1st place winner will receive a copy of Siobhan’s latest release…
Okey then… 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 May 9…
Posted on May 7, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.
SOMEWHERE UNDER A TAHITIAN SKY
I lie on my tummy, head and shoulders hanging over the edge of the deck, peering into the lagoon below, leaving my skirt to the mercy of the island breeze fluttering through the bungalow.
His scent rides the breeze so that I know the precise moment he arrives but I pretend I’m absorbed in the underwater activity, even when his bare thighs slide over me, like the sun skimming the horizon.
He leans forward, brushing a kiss across my nape while removing the clips from my hair, his fingers swimming through it like clownfish through anemone, before he takes a handful and tugs, just a little.
I know what he wants, but I remain still a handful of heartbeats longer before rolling over and lying beneath him on my back.
“Why do you always race to the end of a story?” he asks, one finger lazily tracing the swell of my breasts.
I tremble under his touch. “That’s where they live happily ever after.”
“No, my butterfly loach, they live happily all along the way.” His hands travel lower, their movements gentle as seaweed undulating beneath the seawater and my attention is divided between his spellbinding touch and the siren-song of his voice. “Don’t you want to hear the whole story?”
One word never took so long to utter – a lifetime of want in a single syllable. “Yes.”
He settles his hip into the cradle of mine so that we are fitted like two halves of an oyster’s shell. “Then you can’t afford to skip one page, one paragraph, one sentence. Every syllable is rife with meaning.”
He reaches for my hand and puts a book into it. I look at him in astonishment, meeting his eyes for the first time since his arrival, falling into a hue truer than the color of the sky overhead, deeper than the ocean below – and for a moment, I drown. But he brings me back with a kiss, his mouth warm as the sea and salty as the rim of a margarita glass.
“Read,” he says, before his lips takes on other tasks.
“H-how much?” I stammer, shocked to have the tables turned on me.
“The first chapter.”
“But its twenty-three pages …” I try to protest, but words fail me and I flounder.
He comes up for air. “At two hundred fifty words per page, that’s nearly six thousand words during which I’m going to sustain you at fever pitch. The least you could do is agree to read …”
“No!” I plunge right over the threshold of defiance and frustration.
He rises like a dolphin breaching the surface, gazing at me through eyes wide as tidal pools and just as full of surprises. “Read for me, angelfish.”
“No.” But I can’t look away from those eyes, as readable as the text in my hand.
He slides his shirt over his head. “Read for me, blue damsel.”
“Never.” But even as I say it, I’m opening the book.
He lowers himself over me again and I am overwhelmed by him, as always, his very presence intoxicating me in a way no liquor ever could.
Struggling to steady my voice, I begin. “Chapter One.”
A chuckle spills from his mouth, pools into the hollow of my throat, and reverberates down my vertebrae. “You had it right, little starfish. That’s enough reading for now.”
And then I understand the value of my submission as his body crashes against mine like the tide overtaking the beach – and this time, I let myself drown, willingly giving myself over to him body and soul – because I’m no longer in a hurry – because I want to live in every exquisite moment – because he’ll be with me all along the way.
= = = = =
622 words / @bullishink
I sat on my towel, on the sand, watching the calm, blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Feeling the soft breeze flowing from the Gulf to the shore in the early morning, while the ground was still colder than the water.
I closed my eyes, and felt what little hair I had left moving in that breeze. I felt the sunshine on my face. I listened to the quiet, calm surf of the Gulf. I’d told her, once, it was like the Gulf was a giant swimming pool, with calm water, and peaceful waves.
Sitting there, it was like I could reach out, take her hand, feel her fingers interlace through mine, feel the warmth of her skin, the delicate, graceful lines of each finger. It was, of course, nothing more than a memory. I’d never see her again, at least, not in this world. No one would ever see her again.
She was gone. Beyond the veil of life. Where I couldn’t yet follow. Where I couldn’t yet reach.
But every year I returned to the Gulf. To her favorite strip of sand. She’d always loved it there. I used to watch her get up before the sun, spray herself down with insect repellent, and walk out to the shore in her swimsuit, barefoot, with nothing but an old Wal-Mart shopping bag.
I used to follow her out, taking a long, two-hour walk on the shore. I always saw her as I walked out and back. She’d be there, up to her ankles in the Gulf’s waters, peering into the sand, looking for shells. And I always loved to watch her. Such a simple thing, searching for shells at the beach. Most people would ignore her.
They never saw what I saw. The brilliant blue light shining in her eyes. A light that I could never see enough. A light connected to my heart. The gentle smile on her face that said everything in the world was OK. That made me feel alive.
Sitting on the sand every year, I always wished I could see her one more time. Watch her searching for shells, with her eyes so very much alive, and he smile driving away all the hurt and pain of the world.
I couldn’t. I knew that. She was gone.
All I could do was sit on the sand. And remember.
All the times we’d visited the Gulf. All the times I’d walked along the water’s edge with her, holding her hand in mine. All the times the world just went away, and left me alone with her. Happy. Every year I took long walks by the water. Watching the clouds and the calm, relaxing waves. Remembering the days my heart was still alive. The days my soul still cared for life.
The first time he saw her he knew he was lost. Auburn shoulder length hair, sapphire blue eyes and legs that reached the heavens. She was so out of his league, yet the impossible had happened and here they were driving to the coast, together.
He had dedicated his life to her beauty, knew her every desire, her happiness was all he had lived for and now he finally had the chance to show her how much she meant to him. Looking across at her, sleeping soundly in the front seat of the car, he only hoped that when they reached the beach house she wouldn’t be disappointed.
He carried her still sleeping form into the bedroom and gently laid her down on the bed, carefully attaching the silk restraints to her wrists and ankles. He couldn’t resist placing a chaste kiss on her delegate lips, hoping against hope that this kiss would wake her from slumber. She slept on.
Moving from the bed he carefully removed all his clothes and stood looking down on her, surrounded on all sides by the images of her life that he had painstakingly collected. Paying the garage attendant. Jogging in the park. Swimming in the sea. Washing her hair. Sleeping amongst pillows.
She had been such a disappointment, hadn’t even put up a fight. He expected so much more. But then wasn’t that always the way, reality hardly ever lived up to his dreams. Standing on the balcony, the sea breeze causing the drying blood on his skin to itch, he reflected on where he had gone wrong. He knew he was impulsive but she had seemed so perfect, yet up close the imperfections had been clear. Next time he wouldn’t make the same mistakes. Next time he would get it right. Of that he was certain.
The first time he saw her he knew he was lost. Blond short wavy hair, dark chocolate eyes and legs that reached the heavens.
Word count 332
Paul laid the lace dress out slowly on the bed. It still looked as fresh and white as it had done that day. He could still see her in it. She’d wrapped it up so carefully in tissue paper; smoothing it out, making sure there wouldn’t be a wrinkle in it. He unfolded the sleeves, smoothing them out gently, and running his fingers along the edge of the shoulderless tops, and then along the sweetheart neckline of the bodice. He loved the sensation of it and remembered how it’d felt under him that night when they’d returned to their hotel room to consummate their vows.
She had talked about how she’d wanted her daughter to wear it on her wedding day, and how she wouldn’t mind if had to be altered a little. But there had been no daughter or son, so the dress had remained untouched.
Paul was secretly pleased; he wouldn’t have wanted to see any other woman in it, it would’ve detracted from the sweet memories it held, and he needed those memories to hold on to. He had to try and salvage something from the ensuing years of pain.
He turned the dress over, being careful not to crease it, and started to undo the tiny buttons that ran down the back. One by one it opened and he smiled as he remembered how it had exposed her back that night, to his kisses.
Once he was done, he stepped back wondering how he was going to do this. He knew it wouldn’t be easy, but it’s what she would have wanted.
Paul lifted her up and if it wasn’t for the dead weight of her, he imagined that this was pretty much what it was like to dress a mannequin. Her limbs were rigid and unyielding now that the rigor mortis had set in. He lay her face down on top of the dress, managing to slip her lower body into it without much trouble and buttoned up the lower half. The arms proved harder with the sleeves catching on the puffy skin, and trails of clotted blood ruining the purity of the white.
When he finished he was sweating and trying not to cry. He hadn’t meant to hit her that hard; he had just wanted her to stop. He had tried several times over the years to get her to, but any attempts had only led to more beatings.
It had started after the honeymoon with the odd belittling comment that would get more hurtful. Then the verbal abuse had followed along with the odd thump. By the time they’d lost their third child she’d leave him black and blue, and once or twice unconscious.
It was the lack of remorse that had finally tipped the balance for him – that and finding a confidant, someone else who understood what it was like to be brow beaten, quite literally, by your wife. He never imagined it would be in the work place though. George struggled to keep explaining away the bruises on his neck and face too.
So when she’d started that morning raking up the same old stuff he just couldn’t do it anymore. And when she’d lunged at him in the kitchen, his hands had reached out and grabbed whatever was nearby. The first swing had knocked her sideways, but only caused her to falter, so when she came at him again he’d swung it at her head. He’d never imagined that frying pans could do that much damage.
Paul turned her back over on the bed, and looked at her crooked face as he heard the approaching sirens. He wondered what they would make of all this. He knew he’d left it a little long before calling and that it would take them a while to reach him out here in the sticks, but he wanted her to be ready, it’s what she would have wanted. After all that’s what she used to say the most, wasn’t it? “You’re useless Paul, never ready for anything, or anyone; you’ve never got your shit together.” He was happy to prove her wrong today.
“Stupid to be here of all places. You’re a bona fide idiot, Claire.”
The Gulf roared its storm-fueled agreement and muffled the voice yelling for me to come back. To come home. As though calling it home could make it one.
No. Better the cold sea. The tide met me far sooner than I expected, and I sucked in a startled breath. The water rushed over the sand then retreated, taking the fragile ground with it. I stumbled into the surge and the sea embraced me as a lover. A fierce tempered lover prone to suffocating rages. The water dragged me under, tumbled me about until finding the surface became a matter of luck rather than purpose. I drew in a huge gasp of air in one such moment, terror screaming free as I exhaled.
My shouted name cut through the tempest surrounding me.
“Wha––” I snarfed a lungful of salt water, and almost drowning shifted to just drowning.
A hand caught the back of my shirt and yanked me upward. My knees hit hard wood, and the world tossed and turned beneath me. A boat? Out in a tropical storm? I wanted to cry out, pound my chest, vomit up the water drowning me, but I hung limp. Aware, but useless.
“I’ve got you. Hold on, love.” Clipped and proper British, softened by the endearment, went on promising and soothing.
Muscled arms banded around my waist, supporting me as my body’s reflexes kicked in and I tried to expel the water. I bent over the side of the boat, heaving. Again and again, until I worried my bones would be the next thing I puked.
“There’s a girl.” He offered me a water skin, the kind of thing I’d only seen as a movie prop.
I rinsed my mouth out and drank, easing the salty burn in my throat.
My rescuer lifted his left hand to brush my hair back from my face. He kissed my cheek, rested his forehead against my temple. “God above, I thought I’d lost you.”
I wanted no more than to collapse in the corner somewhere. Did boats have corners? But curiosity compelled me. “Lost me? Don’t you need to have me first?”
“Claire, this is no time for your odd humor.”
“How do you know my name?” I craned my head around to see better see my savior. Worry deepened the lines of a face I wouldn’t be forgetting without a lobotomy. Devastating. And—judging by the antique uniform he sported—fond of cosplay or LARPing. “Seriously. Thank you for the save and all, but you’re sailing a dinghy in the middle of a tropical storm and dressed like Admiral Nelson.”
“Lord Nelson? He died years before my birth.”
Years. Not decades, or centuries.
“And there’s no storm, love. Only you, falling overboard.”
“Right.” I wanted to call him crazy and be done with it, but he was right about one thing at least. The storm was gone. I climbed onto a bench seat, my eyes cataloging the signs that one of us didn’t belong here. “I realize math and science weren’t my strong subjects, but I have no idea how I got here, and I wish I could say I know you, but I don’t.”
“You don’t recognize me?” The concern marking his features shifted to something that prodded me to reach out, to comfort.
I sat on my hands, shaking my head. “I’m sorry.”
“You’re truly not my Claire?” A peculiar gleam lit his eyes. “Now I understand.”
“You tried to tell me. Time is fluid. It doesn’t run from here to there. It circles and swirls, it spins and dives.” He framed my face with his hands. “Heed my words, Claire. Remember when we met. Let this moment imprint your mind.” A slight pressure from his fingers and I leaned forward, closing the distance between us without hesitation.
“Who are you?” I whispered.
“Jonathan Bryant. And we will meet again, love.”
Our lips touched, sought a deeper connection. Time stopped. Maybe it swirled and spun.
When I opened my eyes, the man who called me love was gone, and he’d taken the world with him.
I never understood…
I never understood much when it came to people. I always spent more time avoiding them than trying to assimilate. I felt like it was meant for me to be alone, to be invisible. I thought that was what I wanted. Introspective people liked to call me. Behind my back I had no doubt they either called me antisocial…emo…a snob or any other judgmental phrase they wanted to. It was all about labels.
In the end people scared me. I always felt like they were judging me. Looking at me with their deceptive eyes, lying saying they cared or were interested in me. So no one was more shocked and surprised than me when I found myself falling in love. She wasn’t the first woman to pay attention to me. She was the first that didn’t put up with my bull and broke through every wall I put in her way. I regret that now, I put up a lot of walls for her. She was just different and I knew it from the moment I looked into her eyes. The moment I talked to her on the phone the first time, there was a connection there that was indescribable. Almost magnetic.
I wanted to run. I have never been so scared in my life. Truly terrified and I think she knew it. There were times, lapses; I think she was just being nice. The strange guy who used to tell her she was beautiful, called her princess, or tried to surprise her by being romantic even though I had no clue how. I would do anything to make her smile. It warmed my heart and for a moment it gave me a purpose in life. I never had it before, a friend who I trusted and thought was always going to be there. No matter how big of a screw up I was. She was always going to be there.
I’d known for two months before I said those words to her, words I had never said to any other woman in my life and knew I meant it. I didn’t want to hear it back. I never said it to hear it back. For the first time I wanted someone to know how I truly felt about them. She did say it back, there was hesitation and I think my heart stopped in that time but she did.
“Do you remember?”
“Yes,” I smile. I was listening to her but she is giving me that look because she thinks I was off in my own little world. I guess in part I was…I sit here listening to her talk about him and I’m thinking about us. She doesn’t look into my eyes like she once did and every time it seems our eyes meet for just a moment too long she looks away. Down to the shiny new ring on her left hand and smiles. It’s a different smile than I think she ever gave me. I smile for her. I can’t help it. Her smile always made me smile, even though I know it’s not meant for me. I know I will never touch her again. I know I will never kiss her lips again. Or say I love you and mean it the way I want to say it. I smile because the one person I love most in this world is happy.
Betty’s legs pumped around and around. The kinetic power she generated from the old bicycle tire was just enough to spin the phonograph she treasured; push, push, push with her legs while her hands cranked wrench and screwdriver. Vera Lynn crooned through the air as Betty wiped sweat and grease down the thighs of her coveralls. She needed to move to another section but wanted to finish the song first. Her phonograph rig took some time to move so she would have to finish her work in silence. Betty savored the last few chords before allowing her legs to slow. Vera faded as the tire came to a halt. Betty crawled under the fuselage of the downed Bristol Beau and settled in for a long silent evening.
“How’s my little grease monkey tonight?” a deep voice boomed across the silence.
“Bryson!” Betty scampered from under the plane and dropped her wrench on the nearest workbench. She ran towards the man blocking the entrance to her workshop and jumped into his arms.
“You’re safe,” she whispered into his ear, nuzzling his neck.
“Just like I promised,” he whispered back. He kissed her tenderly on the cheek before detangling from her limbs. He pushed her work goggles up onto her messy hair, cupped her face in his big hands and drank in the radiance of her smile.
“I missed you too much not to come back safe,” he said. He kissed her, full and deep. Damn, he had missed her. More than he’d imagined possible. The dangers of the Martian landscape and the possibility of being eaten by the winged bat creatures of the foreign planet faded. His world decreased to just his girl in dirty coveralls kissing him tenderly.
“I brought you something.” He said once the kiss had ended. He watched her eyes dance with excitement.
“What is it?” she asked. He removed his pack and unzipped the main compartment. He pulled out a canteen and the magnetic coil from an engine. Betty wasn’t sure which item she wanted more.
“You found water?” she marveled.
“Yep. And a little something special just for my girl.” Bryson flashed his best Cary Grant smile before presenting both items as he bowed. Betty licked her lips then snatched up the coil and darted to her workbench. Bryson chuckled, straightened up and followed behind her.
“Always the mechanic,” he said.
“It’s just,” she began. “If I can fix that plane with the right alterations, you can fly us off this rock.” She finished the sentence looking down at her dirty hands.
“Always the optimistic mechanic.” Bryson turned to inspect the plane.
She’d worked wonders, his girl. She’d done more in six months with this Beau and the parts he’d scavenged than anyone thought possible; even the governmental scientists. When the War had spilled out into the stars and eventually onto the moon, everyone thought the Americans would save them. Everyone had been wrong. The Nazi’s dropped the bomb and those who could had fled to Mars, the only friendly territory left. Now, stranded with little water and even less food, returning to Earth was the only option. At one point, this plane had been capable of space flight. And it seemed his girl had restored it back to that capability. The only issue she hadn’t worked out was the power.
He turned back around and saw Betty staring at him. Her work goggles were still piled on top of her disheveled hair but her face had clean streaks where tears had removed the grime and grease.
“It’s a long shot. I know,” she said.
Bryson pulled Betty up into his arms and held tight.
“Sweet lass,” he soothed. “I believe in you.” That was all the power Betty needed.
Alais Vioget climbed the stairs to her apartment and let herself in. She dropped her purse and keys on a table by the door and crossed the tiny living quarters to her bed. Leaning on the mattress, she lifted the ancient window and eyed peeling patina shutters. Open shutters once served as Alex’s invitation.
“To hell with you.” She swung them wide and hopped off the bed.
Smiling, she shimmied out of her sundress and thong and stepped into a pair of black stilettos. Strutting to a low table by the door, Alais knelt next to a paper shopping bag and pulled out a long, gauzy scarf she’d purchased at the open-air markets on the Auteuil streets below her flat. Twenty euros seemed a small price to pay for the opaque excellence she wrapped herself in. It silvery hem and bursts of crimson glimmered against alabaster skin.
“That’s your color.”
She pulled the transparent material tighter and turned to face him. “Alexander DeBault. Salut?”
His eyes settled below her waistline. “I am…missing you.”
“Pauvre Alexander, but you see, I am not missing you. You chose to leave.”
A low moan escaped Alexander as he closed the distance between them and pressed his lips to her neck. His hands ran the length of her thighs as he placed soft kisses under her ear. His fingertips left silky, tingling trails where he touched her through the divine fabric. “You don’t want me to leave,” he whispered.
“My wants change regularly.” She paused, making sure he watched as she gently caressed her nipple, making it bud under the fabric.
Alexander expelled a raw breath and pressed her back to cracked wallpaper. With searing urgency, he loosed his business trousers, pushed the scarf aside and lifted her ass toward him. She wrapped long legs around his waist and he took her against the wall-fast, hard and feral.
A thin sheen of sweat covered Alexander’s forehead as he carried her to the bed and lowered her into a nest of pillows. He fastened his pants and stepped to the bedside table where he pulled a cigarette and match from the drawer. Alais reached for the cigarette and he lit it for her. She drew the smoke deep and propped herself on one elbow.
“Alais, I—” He stood in front of her, embarrassment shadowing his rugged, handsome face.
She waved the cigarette then took another drag. “Goodbye again, Alexander.”
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