Monthly Archives: July 2013

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 24

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 24.

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.  IF YOU’RE NOT ON TWITTER GIVE ME AN EMAIL ADDRESS OR SOME OTHER WAY TO GET A HOLD OF YOU!

The challenge starts whenever I post this on Tuesday and ends at 4:30PM Pacific Time on Friday.  You read that right.  Pacific Time.

This week’s tune features the late, great Amy Winehouse.

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The song is, “You Know I’m No Good”.  Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/b-I2s5zRbHg

This week’s Judge is… Me! I had a judge lined up for this week but what we have here is… failure to communicate. So you guys are stuck with me.

That’s all you need from me.  The challenge is now open & runs through 4:30PM Pacific Time on Friday August 2nd.

Go write!!!!!

 

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Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 23 WINNERS

Week 23 of the Mid-Week Blues-Buster is in the books.

Judge Steven Paul Watson has spoken;

I understand now why judges almost always say they have a hard time picking the winners in this challenge. The moment I sat down and went through the first half of the entries I knew I was in trouble on what to pick. Then came the second half and after I finished I just shook my head and stepped away before coming back and rereading them all one more time before I made my decisions. It wasn’t easy, all of the entries were so good and everyone should be proud of their work. But here goes.
 
3rd Place – Lisa Shambrock (@LastKrystallos) The piece has so much atmosphere to it, and in true fashion Lisa leaves us wanting more. The ending was heart breaking wondering if she will ever know what happened to her husband.
 
2nd place – Kate (@tsk_show) Loved this. From fear, surrender, victory, to shame. So many emotions and feelings conveyed in such a short piece. And I loved the ending, very well done.
 
 
1st place – Miranda Kate (@PurpleQueenNL) WoW. To say this was a powerful entry would be an understatement. You felt every word Miranda wrote knowing where it was going and hoping maybe there was a chance it wouldn’t. Just very powerful and well written, full of emotion.  
 
Congratulations to our winners…..
Miranda- here’s the Winner’s Badge
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Thanks to all of our writers, readers, & Judge Steven too.
See you all on Tuesday…

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 23

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 23.

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.  IF YOU’RE NOT ON TWITTER GIVE ME AN EMAIL ADDRESS OR SOME OTHER WAY TO GET A HOLD OF YOU!

The challenge starts whenever I post this on Tuesday and ends at 4:30PM Pacific Time on Friday.  You read that right.  Pacific Time.

This week’s song prompt comes to us from the pride of Edmonton, Alberta… Captain Tractor.

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The song is…. “Drunken Sailor”.  Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/uluNnu3h2a8

This week’s Judge is the enigmatic Stephen Paul Watson…

That’s all you need from me.  The challenge is now open & runs through 4:30PM PST on Friday July 26th.

Go write!!!!!

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 22 WINNERS

Week 22 of the Mid-Week Blues-Buster is in the books…

Judge Miranda Kate has spoken!

So sayeth the Purple Queen;

I found the judging for this really tough, as all the entries were SO good. They all had such great concepts and reflected the song so well. I was tantalised by flames and titillated by sexual exploits. Getting down to just 3 was tough, but they did stand out.
 
The winner for me has to Laura James.
 
Her piece was concise and simply written. I was intrigued about why the character had been banished for her love, until I realised what her love was, which then led to further intrigue as to what would happen next. Through the viewpoint we were given a glimpse into the characters mind, and how a pyromaniac might feel about their love of fire. Despite being left wondering who had put the products of her desire in the tray or why, I was distracted by what she was going to do with them. The ending was perfect and left with me a smile, as I was left to imagine it myself. It stayed with me and I kept thinking about it.
 
2nd Place goes to Mark Ethridge.
 
The short direct sentences made this piece an easy read, with a good flow and pace. The first person viewpoint of the main character expressing how they felt as it went along enabled me to feel it along with them. The characters excitement was captured and their hope for more helped build it to the end, keeping the pace swift. In some ways it was a male’s perspective on a night out with the girl of their dreams. Loved it.
 
3rd Place goes to Jeff Hollar
 
This piece had so much and so many dimensions. I was surprised at the end, but left smiling as we all dream about that kind of vengeance, on such a grand scale, and walking away from it as though it never happened. I loved how the main character expressed his anger and resentment and told the story through his sarcastic comments and put downs. And, as ever with Jeff’s writing, his use of words and wide vocabulary gave it depth and great visual quality which made it a smooth read that flowed really well.
 
I wish I could have included more than the top three. Not one of the entries let me down, all were good quality. And I am grateful for the chance to play judge.

 

Mazel tov to all of our winners!  Laura, here’s the Winner’s Badge;

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Thanks to Judge Miranda Kate and congrats to all of our readers & writers.

See you all on Tuesday…

 

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 22

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 22.

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.  IF YOU’RE NOT ON TWITTER GIVE ME AN EMAIL ADDRESS OR SOME OTHER WAY TO GET A HOLD OF YOU!

The challenge starts whenever I post this on Tuesday and ends at 4:30PM Pacific Time on Friday.  You read that right.  Pacific Time.

This week’s song prompt is a fun little ditty by The Creatures.

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The tune is… “Right Now”.  Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/B_9SdrN6D-o

This week’s Judge is The Purple Queen herself… Miranda Kate!

That’s all you need from me.

The challenge runs through 4:30PM EASTERN TIME on Friday July 19th.

So go write!!!

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 21 WINNERS

Week 21 of the Mid-Week Blues-Buster; the Bobby “Blue” Bland Memorial Edition is in the books.  We had a great turnout this week– 10 entries!

Judge Meg McNulty had a tough job ahead of her.  She faced the peril head-on, though.  Let me shut up and let her tell you all about it…

Says Judge Meg;

Sorry to get back to you so late! It was a great selection of stories – a really high standard – so I had to think long and hard how to rank them.

On reflection, the story that stands out for me is You Reap what You Sow by Miranda Kate aka @purplequeenNL. It captured me instantly – I wanted to know why the narrator hated being where she was – and then went on to build an utterly convincing voice. Even at the end of her life the narrator won’t recognise her own responsibility in creating her situation, is wrapped up in denial and self pity. She’s a character we have all met at some point. But despite that, there’s pathos in her story that gives the entry a deep emotional resonance. 

My second choices are @MissBliss and then @bullishink.

Miss Bliss captures the vulnerability and uncertainty in her female character and the protectiveness of her male character. Despite the brevity of the story she brings two distinct POV subtlely weaves in a past and gives the reader a sense of jubilation that two characters who have suffered finally have a chance at happiness. It’s charming.

I love Ruth’s story for similar reasons, she captures vulnerability brilliantly and I didn’t see the cancer revelation coming. It was an excellent twist in a truly emotional story.

All the stories rank high on emotional resonance – very moving.

 

Congratulations to all of our winners!  Miranda, here’s the Winner’s Badge.  You’ve got quite a collection of these going!

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I’d like to thank all of our writers, readers, & the Judge for coming out to play.

See you all Tuesday for another exciting episode of… The Mid-Week Blues-Buster!

 

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 21 – Bobby “Blue” Bland Memorial Edition

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

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.  IF YOU’RE NOT ON TWITTER GIVE ME AN EMAIL ADDRESS OR SOME OTHER WAY TO GET A HOLD OF YOU!

The challenge starts whenever I post this on Tuesday and ends at 4:30PM Pacific Time on Friday.  You read that right.  Pacific Time.

We lost legendary bluesman Bobby “Blue” Bland two weeks ago yesterday.  I had the privilege of seeing him in concert a few years ago.   This week’s prompt is a tribute to, “Blue”.

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The tune is one of his biggest hits, “Further Up the Road”.

Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/Hq3cYcEfJtY

This week’s Judge is the marvellous Meg McNulty!

That’s all you need from me.  The challenge is now open & runs through 4:30PM Pacific Time on Friday July 12th

Go write!!!!!

Father’s Day – A Short Noir

It’s been a while– a long while– since I posted any original fiction of my own here.

This is a short story I wrote for a special guest appearance over at Daily Picspiration.

 

Father’s Day

I shook my head as my dime hit the bottom of the pay phone’s empty coin box.

Can’t be bothered to clean the piss out off the floor of booth but they sure as shit come around to pick up their dough.

I stood there, waiting to be connected, and kept right on waiting ’til the plaque next to the coin slot told me I was fifteen cents short.

The man I needed hadn’t answered the first seventeen times I called and I didn’t expect anything different but I paid up anyway, punched in the number, and watched the trash blow around 79th Street as I prepared for more disappointment.

I’d gotten pretty good on the keypad– as long as I was dialing that same number. What was so bad about rotary phones that they had to go and replace ’em all?

I scratched my whiskers while the phone rang.

They didn’t even let me shave before letting me out.

“You wanna shave, Reg, or are you ready to get the hell out of here?” CO Crawley asked me.

Wasn’t a real tough decision.

Somebody picked up on the eleventh ring– and dropped their receiver.

I caught some cursing and a bunch of thumping, and then, “Yeah? What d’you want?”

He said it the way most people belch. Six months of relative freedom hadn’t sweetened his disposition any.

“Hey Shankman,” I said.

“Who is this?”

“You know who it is.”

“What do you want, Reg?”

“You know what I want.”

A coughing fit cut off his response. I yanked the receiver from my ear like chunks of phlegm might spew out of it.

“Jesus, Shankman,” I grumbled when the racket died down. “You really sound like shit. You takin’ your pills?”

“Yeah. Sure I am. If by, ‘takin’ my pills’, you mean, ‘sold ’em for hooch’.”

I let it go. I was the man’s cell mate, not his nursemaid.

“So what you got for me, Shankman?”

I listened to him breathe for a full thirty seconds.

“No dice, Reg,” he said. “I asked around like you asked, all the way up to Harlem and back. No one’s seen her. She’s a ghost.”

“How hard did you look?”

“What the fuck does that mean? What did you expect outta me?”

“I expected you to bust your ass on this. You owe me, pal.”

He tried to argue. I bulled right over him.

“You’d still be in the God damned hole if it wasn’t for me. I took the hit so you could make parole. You owe me.”

Shankman got quiet. I expected him to hang up.

He surprised me.

“You still got the photograph?” I asked.

“Of course I do. What kinda guy you think I am?”

“Where are you? I’m comin’ over to get it.”

I let him hem and haw for a bit, then cut him off.

“All right. All right. Have it your way. You bring it to me. McGowan’s, 76th and Broadway. You know the place? See you in an hour.”

 

McGowan’s. The Broadway bar with the bear out front.

That crappy wooden statue stood outside for as long as I could remember. I was happy to see it when I hit the place after hanging up on Shankman.

Thank God. Some things never change.

Mickey the barman waved as I walked through the dark, wood-paneled room like it hadn’t been eight years since my last visit.

George Thorogood’s buzzsaw guitar cut through the smoke-filled air. Low light, tempered by tar and benign neglect, made the antique brass rail glow.

Vince, Buddy, Mel and Kay, Pedro, and William were right where I last saw them. Velma’s seat was empty. Poor Velma.

I went to the pay phone at the back of the room and spend another quarter. When the desk officer picked up I asked for Detective Benitez.

Lonesome George gave way to ZZ Top while I waited.

He answered the call with his mouth full.

“Benitez.”

“It’s Reg Meyer, Detective.”

“How the hell are ya, Mr. Meyer? I heard you got out. Who’d you draw for a PO?”

“Yoshimoto.”

“Yoshimoto? Don’t know him.”

“Her, Al. Her.”

“She’s okey?”

“Seems like it. She’s very… determined.”

“Hmm. That can go either way.”

“She’s young. I don’t think daily contact with pieces of shit like me has had time to work its magic.”

“I remember those days. So… you didn’t call to talk about your parole officer.”

“Your skills are as sharp as ever.”

“There’s nothing new, Reg.”

“That mean you looked and found nothing or you haven’t done any looking?”

“She’s an adult, Reg. She was when you went in. And unless something comes up that says something happened to her there’s nothing we can do.”

“She’s still my kid,” I growled. “Don’t give a shit how old she is. There’s always something you can do.”

“Just make sure you’re not the one doing it. I’d imagine staying away from this case is a condition of your parole?”

“You gonna turn me in?”

“Only if you make me.”

“That’s all I get after all this time?”

“I’m being a pal as it is, Reg. Look. I’ll ask around a little. I hear anything, anything at all that gives me a reason to open this back up, I’ll do it.”

I bit back the tirade I wanted to unleash.

“I hate this for you, Reg.” said Benitez.

“Yeah. I hate it too.”

I hung up and gave myself thirty seconds to clear my head before stepping up to the bar.

My customary shot and beer waited for me.

I found my old spot between Buddy and Mel and took care of the shot.

The old gang and I exchanged nods and grins and I got to work on my beer.

Shankman rolled in before it was halfway gone.

He was balder and paler than when I last saw him, and he looked like he’d lost weight he couldn’t afford to lose. His black Lou Reed t-shirt hung from his bones and he wore his jeans about ten years looser than the current fashion. Kind of like I did.

“You ain’t been out a day,” he said, “and you’re consorting with a known criminal.”

We shook hands for the first time as free men.

“I always thought that was a funny parole condition, Shankman. I mean, who do they think I’ve been consorting with for the last eight years?”

He grinned, showing me all twelve of his teeth.

I directed him into one of Mickey’s three booths.

He fished my photograph out of his back pocket before he sat.

“Here ya go, Reg.”

I couldn’t hold back the smile as I looked at my daughter’s face for the first time in six months. I had every detail of that photograph burned into my memory– the dirty blonde hair, her mother’s nose, her downcast gaze at the bouquet of white roses she held close to her body– but it felt good to have it back in my hands.

“I did what you asked,” he said. “Hoofed it all the way to 125th Street and back. Came up with bupkis.”

I nodded, lost in the photograph.

“You had to know it was a long shot, Reg. You’re lookin’ at a trail nine years cold.”

“If you had kids you’d know. You don’t stop looking. You never stop.”

He was too busy ogling my beer to answer.

“Shit,” I said. “I’m sorry, man. Wasn’t even thinking. Let’s get out of here.”

 

The early evening air hung like a soggy, suffocating blanket over the Upper West Side. Thousands of New Yorkers hustled up and down Broadway, hurrying to end the day or jump start the night. Manhattan in a nutshell.

Shankman and I gave it up after seven steps, ducking into the pizza place next to McGowan’s to get out of the crush.

Napoli Pizza made a fantastic pie.

I didn’t recognize the skinny, swarthy kid behind the counter.

He wore a pizza man’s white t-shirt and pants and had a five o’clock shadow that looked more like noon.

I asked after Big Carmine. The kid told me he’d sold him the shop six years ago.

 

The air was hotter inside the pizza shop but at least it smelled good. Fresh dough and garlic. Nothing else like it.

I bought two slices and we munched them in silence, watching the foot traffic on Broadway. All those people walking like they’ve got somewhere to be. I used to be one of those people.

The pizza was good.

Smart kid. Bought the recipe along with the business.

“So what’re you gonna do now?” asked Shankman.

“What do you think I’m gonna do?”

“You’re gonna get yourself sent right back upstate.”

“You let me worry about that, Shankman. You comin’ with me?”

He polished off the last of his pizza and wiped his face.

“I don’t wanna go back upstate either.”

“Not gonna happen, man. You’re not on parole. You did your whole hitch. C’mon. We’re not gonna be breakin’ any laws. I’m just askin’ questions.”

“Oy vey!” shouted Shankman. “All right. All right. We’ll go ask questions. But I got one for you first.”

I dropped the last bit of crust on my plate and looked him in the face.

“Shoot.”

“What are you gonna do if we find something?”

I didn’t bother to answer. We’d been too close for too long for bullshit.

“That’s what I thought,” he said.

 

Every night, for the next ten nights, I went to see my pals at McGowan’s, then met Shankman next door for a slice before heading uptown.

We walked our asses off.

A coffee shop on Amsterdam between 84th and 85th. The crappy bar at the corner of Amsterdam and 75th. A much better bar on Columbus, just off 80th. My daughter’s old building on 88th. And a dozen more.

Some of these places hadn’t changed, stuck in place like McGowan’s. Others had been rendered unrecognizable as urban renewal assaulted each neighborhood. The Upper West Side was getting posh.

We hit a coffee shop near the corner of 93rd and Broadway, late on that tenth night out.

`Everything inside had been updated– new chrome and mirrors on every wall, sleek formica tables in booths with benches stripped to show the natural grain of the wood, artsy light fixtures overhead, central air-conditioning had replaced the old-fashioned ceiling fans– except for the same five Greeks who’d been running the place since the old days.

They didn’t exactly jump up and hug me when we walked in. I hadn’t been their best customer over the past eight years. The signs of recognition I received were muted and might have been imaginary.

I counted a dozen people inside the shop– including the Greeks.

Shankman parked himself at the counter and ordered coffee. He kept glancing to his left and right, as if he wasn’t sure he was allowed to be out.

I dug out my daughter’s photo and started asking around.

Five minutes later I sat next to Shankman, having received the same answers I’d gotten every night since my release. He was right. My daughter was a ghost.

“You can say it, Shankman.”

“Say what, Reg?”

“Told you so.”

He finished his coffee and asked for a refill.

“I’d never say that. Not about this.”

I spun on the stool and watched the street. Everyone from late night revelers to second shift workers strolled by with unconcerned gaits, as if the darkness kept their troubles at bay. Even the loners seemed to have a little more gusto in their walks. The middle of the night was their element, a time when any man can walk the streets and claim them for himself.

Shankman said something to me.

I know he did because I felt his breath on the back of my head.

I didn’t understand a word of it.

My attention was on the slim blonde walking uptown on the opposite side of the street.

It was the way she carried herself, a gentle swing of the hips as she walked, the way she looked around, taking in everything going on. Her pastel sun dress looked a lot like what my girl had on in that photograph.

She was with a tall, muscular guy in a red polo shirt and tight-fitting jeans.

I jumped off the stool when they stopped to wait for the light to change.

“What gives, Reg?” croaked Shankman.

I dropped two bucks on the counter and charged out the door, dodging taxis across Broadway.

Shankman was behind me. I heard him calling my name but I didn’t have time for him.

“Emma!” I called out, stumbling up the curb. I ran to the corner and repeated her name.

Nobody looked my way.

Not the young guy sweeping a nearby storefront, not the trio of loud drunks standing by a dribbling fire hydrant, and not the girl nor her companion.

“Emma!” I said, reaching for her shoulder.

She whirled just before I made contact.

“Emma?” I asked.

She looked at me, eyes wide with surprise.

I ran my eyes over the girl’s face. And stopped when I got to the shiner under her right eye.

The guy took a step toward me.

“Hey buddy,” he said, reaching for my arm.

I bull-rushed him, planting my shoulder in the pit of his stomach, driving him backward. His legs buckled and we went to the pavement.

I landed on top, swinging as we fell.

My first punch destroyed his nose. I felt it go flat beneath my fist, felt the warm splash of blood.

He thrashed beneath me, fighting to get me off of him, but I kept throwing, hitting the pavement as often as his face.

Hands grabbed at my arms and shoulders. A jumble of voices, combined with the pounding in my ears, became an aural blur that drowned out any specific sound.

I didn’t hear the sirens. I didn’t hear the girl’s screams. And I didn’t hear Shankman shouting in my ear until I was well away from the corner, up against a billboard.

“It ain’t her, Reg!” yelled Shankman. “It ain’t her!”

I looked into his eyes, the berserker rage beginning to subside.

“It ain’t her,” he repeated in a gentle tone. “I wish to God it was, but it ain’t.”

Nausea set in as I looked at by broken, bloody knuckles.

“Get out of here, man,” I said. “Before the cops show.”

“They’re already here, Reg.”

“Then you better move faster.”

He stared for another few seconds, and then nodded.

I handed him my daughter’s photo before he left.

“Take care of this for me?”

He took it without a word and blended into the crowd of onlookers as the police cuffed me and walked me to the cruiser.

I looked back at the scene before we took off for the station.

The girl was gone.

I spotted Shankman, though.

He stood on the corner, watching the police car pull away from the curb. He had an an odd expression on his face, like he was silently begging them to take him back too.

End

 

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 20 WINNERS

Thank you one and all for a terrific Week 20 here at the Mid-Week Blues-Buster.  We tied our high number for entries with eleven!  This one goes to eleven!

I’m just gonna shut my pie hole and let Judge Jennifer Gracen break it all down;

Take it away, Jen…

First off, I want to thank Jeff Tsuruoka for inviting me to judge this. This was cool! I’ve never judged anything before, ’tis my virgin effort! Hope you’ll all be gentle with me…
 
I feel like I *HAVE* to explain why he chose me for this particular song prompt. Jeff and I have often talked about music, our mutual passion other than writing. One night we were talking about songs we think are sexy. Long story short, I basically told him that yeah there’s most of Prince’s catalog, or anything Chris Cornell or Matt Bellamy sing, but that Depeche Mode’s “Home” invokes seriously sensual imagery for me. Like… sex up against a wall imagery…
Aaaaand here we are, folks. Leave it to Smoke to get me to judge a contest with that as bait. LOL!
 
So with that in mind, I’ll swing into the results. Thank you SO much to everyone who sent in something, you all rock for doing so! And gave me so many interesting words to read, it really was hard to whittle down final choices.
 
I don’t know if Smoke usually does this, but I want to shout out Honorable Mentions to @drmagoo and Bullish for their entries. Sooooo well written, with twists I didn’t see coming. Hot damn.
 
Okay. Here goes. Keep in mind I’ve been called “verbose” by many…
 
3rd place: Valerie Haight
If anyone could read this short, steamy, sexy, sweaty piece without getting tingly or needing a cold shower afterwards? You might be dead and need to check to see if you have a pulse.
“…I whimpered as practical reason and fiery need wrestled for my attention.” Wooooo baby. *fans self* And, PERFECT for the prompt. Woo hoo!! Like I said, I visualize up against the wall sex when you hear this song…
Yeah, I said it. LOL
 
2nd place: Miranda Kate
Have to admit, this one resonated for me personally in ways I won’t get into here. I related, all too well. But that’s what a piece of good writing should do.
How many people, especially in this Internet age, have felt this way: “She so wanted to change it and break out, but she could only do that in her imagination and in her writings. She sighed getting up and going upstairs to the loft, to her desk under the skylight. The computer was waiting for her. inviting her in to its world of social networks and communities, giving her somewhere to belong and something to be a part of.”
I know I have. That’s how I met many of the wonderful writers online in the first place. BOOM, right to the heart.
 
1st place: Mark Ethridge
Either Valerie’s sexy smut or Miranda’s quietly powerful pieces could have been 1st place for me. I loved both, connected with both… but then there was this one. Goddamn.
“I left her.”
Mark gripped me with that succinct, powerladen opener by the throat, and didn’t let go.
Harrowing, a punch to the gut. So realistic that I pray for this author this really is flash FICTION.
 
I read all the pieces on Saturday. And when thinking back on them this morning, it was Mark’s words that were ringing in my head. Staying with me. Haunting me.

“I knew that’s why people started homes. They were in love. And thought they always would be.”

“Because I remembered homes become cold, and lifeless, and slowly kill the people living in them. And I knew the only thing I could do for her, and for me, was leave. And in so doing, free us both from the trap our home had become.”

Pardon my language, but holy shit. Mark nailed this one.

 

Congratulations everyone!!! This was fun. Hope I get to do it again some time.  

 
So speaketh The Commanatrix!
Mark, here’s the Winner’s Badge;
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Mazel tov to all of our winners, writers, readers, & the Judge too!  Thanks for hanging out with me.
Tune in next week for another exciting episode of…. The Mid-Week Blues-Buster….
 

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 20

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 20.

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.  IF YOU’RE NOT ON TWITTER GIVE ME AN EMAIL ADDRESS OR SOME OTHER WAY TO GET A HOLD OF YOU!

The challenge starts whenever I post this on Tuesday and ends at 4:30PM Pacific Time on Friday.  You read that right.  Pacific Time.

This week’s song prompt is a special favorite of our Judge (we’ll get to that later!).

It’s, “Home”, by Depeche Mode.

Image

Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/oBZR82Ds_OY

This week’s Judge is the Commanatrix… the talented, vivacious… Jennifer Gracen!

That’s all you need from me.  The challenge is now open & runs through 4:30PM Pacific Time on Friday July 5th.

Go write!!!!!