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.


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.


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!!!!!


Posted on July 23, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. The colour rose into his cheeks and Eric could almost see the steam coming out of his ears, he knew that he would get a reaction but this was a little more dangerous a reaction than he expected.
    ‘What did you say? Say it again’ bellowed the broadest, hairiest and now ruddiest man in the bar as he pushed the table effortlessly aside and he stood towering above him.
    ‘Err…you. Err…’ Eric swallowed hard, his tongue sticking to the roof of his mouth and he stumbled backwards narrowly preventing falling on his arse. Eric noticed the man’s eye twitch slightly as he started to talk again and he knew that he had to get out of there fast. As he stepped backwards the man leaned towards him, Eric knew that he may not have been strong but he was quick and agile and made a run for it.
    As soon as he stepped out of the bar he was smacked in the face by the cold air and odour of rotting fish that was synonymous with the pier, full to the brim with the copious amounts of beer he had consumed, he swayed a little. The door slammed behind him.
    ‘What the…’ he barely squeaked, and he ran down the pier, weaving past the few people wondering along its length, jumping over boxes and ducking under nets and poles, it was a tricky assault course but his slight frame and deftness made it easier. He reached the end of the pier and looked down at the water vehemently ramming into the side of the pier and realised he had gone the wrong way.
    ‘Come ‘ere’ growled a voice behind him and he turned, held up his hands in surrender and decided maybe an apology would help. The man had reached him, he was hardly out of breath but his face was slightly green now. He lent forward and retched, vomit spurting out splashing the wooden floor of the pier between them. Eric took this as his chance to escape, grabbed the man whilst off balance and shoved him head first into the choppy waters below.
    He was jubilant, jumping up and down and getting carried away with his new found testosterone, punching the air like he was training for a prize fight, he grinned from ear to ear.
    ‘WHO THE MAN!’ he shouted to the night sky.
    Then he stopped. Reality struck. Had he really just pushed a drunken man head first into the sea in the pitch black night? He peered over the edge, his eyes scouring the water for the man, he couldn’t see any sign of him and he started to panic. Had he just killed a man? Without thinking he launched himself off the pier and into the cold waters. Once in it he quickly realised that the water wasn’t choppy, it was a veritable tsunami and knyaabahe was barely strong enough to keep his head above the water; with each wave he was pushed under and had to fight to stay alive, gulping for air and spluttering out the salty brine, his celebration on the pier seemed a lifetime away. Eric kicked as hard as any 120lb man could and was so close to the leg beam of the pier, it was just a fingertip out of reach and he could feel the pull of the current dragging him away and out to sea.
    Then he felt it. Something grabbed his arm and yanked him with such force he thought it was a shark, expecting to feel some pain or see blood or drown or something, he was surprised when it grabbed at him again. Then before he knew what was happening he had been dragged to the pier leg, which he instinctively clung to for dear life, and although freezing he was still alive. Eric squinted in the darkness in an attempt to make out the face and then he heard a voice say;
    ‘So…like I said before…what did you say?’
    Eric looked at the man rather sheepishly, but having just survived death he felt braver than ever, ‘You were in my seat’.

    words: 689 @tsk_show


  2. Tapping The Admiral

    We had been at sea for only 3 short weeks, rations were fine, the men were in good spirits. The weather had been with us, allowing my vessel The Queens Gambit, to make good time down the Portuguese coast. We were due to rendezvous with the fleet off the coast of Africa in a couple of weeks, to then make our way to Cape Verde for restocking before the hazardous journey to French Guiana.

    The seas turned treacherous. Clouds heavy and dark filled the sky, yet not even a whisper of wind ensured that we were going nowhere. The air was thick with thunder, my men began to take on symptoms of the soon to appear storm, belligerent and hard to control. My First Mate tried to release tensions by handing out an extra ration of rum, a costly mistake.

    My last memory is that of the Quarter Master brandishing his sword and charging towards me. I felt him slice my middle forcing me to the deck. I lay, as the life left my body, watching the mutiny explode around me with no clue as to why my men had turned on me.

    Many hours have passed since I died and I find myself trapped in the dark, the gentle sway around me confirming I am still at sea. I am not in any pain. I am not afraid. I am just alone.

    Then I hear hear them talking, quietly at first then louder as a light, as bright as the sun, is shone in my face. I hear laughter and the splash of liquid. “Thanks again, Captain.” They are gone before I am able to utter a word.

    I wait in the darkness before I hear them once more. The light again is blinding and again that splashing sound. “Cheers old man.” Darkness descends once again and I am shut out of the world I once knew.

    Time passes in a similar manner, a flash of light, a splash of liquid, a phrase or two. Then it all stops. I am finally left alone for what seems like eternity.


    The rum having been consumed on the continuing voyage, the Captain’s casket is easy to remove from below deck and set ashore for its final journey to the local church. Not a bad man but a bad captain, he is finally put to rest amongst the dead of Cape Verde.

    Word Count : 401


  3. Oh, my achin’ head. I knew I shouldn’t have had that entire bottle of Wild I with Ginseng by myself. But after my girl dumped me, and I got fired for calling the boss a fuckin’ bastard, well, I had to do something stupid.

    Waking up on a bench in Central Park at three in the morning with two police officers standing by me, one shining this billion candlepower flashlight into my eyes, wasn’t how I wanted to wake up. Especially from the dream I’d been havin’.

    Damn,what a dream! I snuck into the boss’s office and pulled his keys out of his desk. He thought they were safely locked in the top right drawer. Didn’t know I could open that drawer with a paperclip. Idiot. So, I stole his Bentley.

    I drove the Bentley to my girl’s apartment. I broke in, tied her up, stripped her, and said, “One last fling before I go, sweetheart!” And I did everything she’d never let me do. And I left her tied up, naked, on the floor, with the apartment door wide open.

    Hell, I’d stolen a $200,000 Bentley. I was already going to jail. I figured, “Might as well go out with a bang!”

    It was a grand dream, dude. I’m tellin’ ya. And it beat the hell out of the day I’d had.

    I woke up that morning, to get ready for work, curled to my right, where she was supposed to be, to wrap my arms around her. But that morning, she wasn’t there. She’d left a note on the bed.

    “I’m outta here, you selfish bastard!”

    I sat there wondering what the fuck I’d done, then got ready for work. I went out for breakfast. ‘Cause don’t ask me how to scramble an egg. Last time I tried that, I set the range on fire. She’d been pissed about that too. “You can’t even boil water, you worthless son-of-a-bitch.” She always fixed breakfast. Made sure I had something to eat. So, with her gone, I had to go eat fast food.

    Work had been hell. It always was. Answering the phone 5,000 times. “No mam. I can’t tell you how to setup your firewall on your WEB site. You have to contact our software team, and pay them to do that for you.” “Well, sir. Your e-mail server got hacked, ‘cause you set the password to 123456. That’s life. If you want us to secure it for you, we can, but that’s $75.”

    WEB site tech support. Don’t ever do that for a livin’. Geeze, that’s a sucky job.

    After the 856th phone call the boss came in, “For the past month, you haven’t been meeting your quota for 50 calls a day. If this keeps up, we’ll have to terminate you.”

    I told him the truth. “Hey, I’m answering more phone calls than you can, you fuckin’ bastard.”

    Bam! Fired. Just like that.

    I went home and posted the Spaceballs video on all the WEB sites I knew about that had passwords like “password”, and “123456”. The one that says, “What kind of a password is that? That sounds like something an idiot puts on his luggage!”

    Then, I decided I’d get ripped on the worst wine I could find, and sleep on a park bench in Central Park. Wound up with that bottle of Wild I. Got toasted. Whistled at every girl that walked by. “I’d like me some of that,” and “You lucky bastard!” I said those a lot. The sun went down, and I threw up in the lake. Wild I don’t taste so good coming back.

    So, I finished the bottle. Hell, I didn’t have to go to work the next morning, why not?

    When the cops woke me, they hauled my ass to jail. “You get one phone call.” I called my ex girl.

    “I’m not coming to get you out. You can just sit there to you rot, asshole.” Yep. That was my one phone call.


    I do wonder, though, when the headache that Wild I gave me will finally go away.

    685 Words


  4. Night’s Fury

    Agnes flinched as the wind roared around her tiny cottage at the top of the hill; it whistled through every nook it could find and the candle flickered wildly in the window. She stared, trying to see past the driving rain, out across the ocean, but the thick wall of falling water obscured everything in its path.

    The little boat struggled against the thrall of the storm, threatening to capsize with every roll of a wave, but Ned’s experience and nerve lead his vessel on. Waves boomed as they smacked the prow and water surged across the deck, but Ned’s booted feet stood firm. He and his crew fought the ocean, as she threw her frightful tantrum throughout the inky night.
    Harbour walls waited as the gale danced across her arms, and she lingered until the squall had quietened enough to allow the fishing boat home. When they finally crossed her threshold she hugged them close, and the twinkling lamps of the inn kissed them with friendly cheer.
    Heavy rain drove the sailors into the ‘Harbour’s Hold’, where relief was quickly offered as they stripped off their oilskins and sank onto wooden stools, and allowed sweet nectar’s warmth to feed life back into their weary and aching bones.
    Hours later and boisterous, jovial men traipsed back out into night’s blustering rage.
    Ned’s stomach churned with the howling wind and the stench of the catch, and he stumbled into his first mate. A drunken slap on the back and a push down the road was all he needed, and he was back on his way home. Liquor roiled in his belly and he stopped at the road. Waves crashed behind him, against the pier, and nausea rolled up into his throat. He clenched his hands and pitched forward in the rain, hurling his night’s consumption into the gutter. There, he followed it, collapsing into the ditch on all fours.

    The relentless wind bayed at Agnes’s window, mocking the flame in its golden glory. Agnes wiped her shawl across the condensation, peering out again into the blackness of oblivion.

    Ned lie, propped up in the ditch, as the rain emptied its buckets upon his head. He gurgled and vomited again, and surrendered his body and mind to exhaustion.

    Agnes checked her clock and sighed as the rain battered the roof. She opened the front door and squinted through the downpour into the village at the bottom of the hill. Lights had begun to go out and Agnes knew the haul was safely in.

    As Agnes waited, Ned awoke to the rain’s attempt to drown him, and with his head thumping as if he’d been walloped with an anchor, he attempted to stand. He swayed and lurched, and began to blunder forward.

    Several hours of worry boiled inside Agnes’s head, and now as the storm started to abate another began anew. When all the lights below had been extinguished, Agnes knew the sailors were home and safe, but where was Ned? She knew with absolute certainty where Ned had been while she agonised over his return, and anger stirred in her gut. Hours later and anger was long gone replaced by cold fury, and Agnes rose from her chair and moved to the window. With shaking hands she licked her fingers and snuffed out the candle’s flame.

    Morning arrived with a crimson sky and cotton wool clouds dancing on the horizon. Agnes woke alone and stepped out onto her doorstep, her husband’s absence summoning stinging, salty tears. Waves crashed below, at the foot of the cliff, embracing Ned’s broken body as the climbing sun rose in glorious defiance to night’s violent turmoil.

    (609 Words)



  5. They were school buddies, she’d known them all for years, and they still went out together on a regular basis. The fact that she was the only girl made no difference; she could party hard just like the rest of them, she was one of the boys. Although that night it got missed.

    Nancy tried hard not to think about thatt. She looked at their sorry faces and tried hard to believe their remorse, believe that it all just got out of hand. But Jimmy couldn’t quite look her in the eye and that bothered her. It made her wonder and recall his eyes that night; the arrogance and the supremacy they’d shown. How drunk had he actually been? There was no telling with him. There were nights you thought he was completely leathered, but then he’d say something and you knew he wasn’t.

    But she had watched them all drink that night, watched them all put away the beers with the vodka chasers along with her.

    It had been the usual fun in the local bar. Pool was their favourite, and they’d all wanted her on their team; she could pot anything no matter how drunk she was. Then as always they’d moved to the club. Nothing unusual there, two of their six had gone off to chase some skirt. And then afterwards they’d all piled round Johnny’s – again nothing new.

    Nancy looked down at her wrists and rubbed them, and maybe the courtroom thought it was a look of humility, but it was pain. The red embedded lines still hurt even though it’d been a week. The doctors said they would eventually disappear, but some days she could still feel the ties they’d used; those horrible plastic things you couldn’t get out of, something she knew all too well now.

    She was asked how drunk she’d been and all she could think was, ‘it’s amazing how fast you sober up when you have to’, but it hadn’t made any difference. She still couldn’t work out how it had started, who had instigated it, and how it had ended up with them thinking it was a good idea. She swallowed, still feeling the gag reflex she’d had to the dirty sock they’d stuffed into her mouth. Another thing the doc said would pass.

    Then she was asked to recount what had happened. She didn’t think she could when she had gone through it with her lawyer, but up here on the stand with them all there in the room watching it poured out, every detail, totally clinical. As she named each of them, describing in detail what their turn had entailed, she found it cathartic, as though finally stating it out loud made it clear that it was a heinous unprovoked attack, and that the things they did were perverse and brutal. She shifted in her seat, still feeling the brutality.

    When asked who had brought it to a stop, the true denigration of what they’d put Nancy through was revealed. Johnny’s mother was sitting in the courtroom. She’d already given her testimony through tears – tears that her own child was capable of such horror, and that she had been the one to discover it after not liking the sounds she’d heard from his attic room. At no time was there a question that it had been a game, Jimmy’s knife had put paid to that. Why would you need to hold a knife to a friend’s throat if it was all in fun?
    Nancy was relieved at the verdict, knowing she wasn’t going to have to see them now for several years. It would give her time to recover, time to try and find a way through. She was still in shock; she knew that, the doctor didn’t need to tell her. She just wished the song in her head would stop; the one they’d put on repeat that night to remind them of the good old times. One line in particular kept getting stuck, along with the image of Jimmy’s face as he’d mouthed it during his turn; ‘Way hay and up she rises’. They’d been more than just drunken sailors that night.

    696 Words


  6. Andy Bartalone

    The sun was peaking over the horizon as we pulled into the driveway of the two hundred year old colonial that Rick, Jim and I shared, it wasn’t perfect, but it was big. They threw a party last night and Staci and I were supposed to make it back, but between Staci’s newborn niece and the weather, I was sure we weren’t getting out of Boston before it was late.

    From the car we could see that there was a theme to this party, a pirate theme. Rick had found the full-sized Captain Morgan cutout and put it on the porch, outlined in white Christmas lights, which were still on. Someone must have taken up the mantle as Key-master, there twenty extra cars on the cul-de-sac.

    I followed Staci into the house and she we just shaking her head when I caught up to her in the foyer. It had clearly gone late and people had taken the “come dressed the part” in the invitation seriously, puffy shirts, boots and corsets were the uniform of the day, looking into the living room, red cups covered every flat place that there was not a body. I could smell coffee, someone had to be awake.

    We walked toward the kitchen in the back of the house stepping over Brett and his boyfriend spooning in the hallway. When we reached the doorway, Lisa, Rick’s much better half, handed each of us a mug, Staci headed over to the fridge to get cream and I just started drinking mine.

    “You got elected to be Key-master”?

    “I volunteered”

    “It looks like it went late and hard, how was it”

    “Good party, Randy showed up with a couple of his Navy buddies, they had been aboard a ship for most of the last year, it got a little out of control toward the end”

    “Give me the highlights”

    “Other than a lot of boobs falling out of corsets and pantsless guys parading around the basement” Lisa paused. “ Two things, One of those Navy guys is getting engaged when he goes home on leave and they had some ritual about dyeing his balls blue, I have no idea what the damage to the carpet in the back basement room was and Jim had an attractive, available woman try to fuck him and he turned her down”.

    The last time Jim turned down the sexual advances of anything with a vagina he was a pre-teen.

    “Yeah, it was kind of amazing; the regular crew all pretty much stopped what they were doing and gawked”

    “Is my bed empty?”

    “I think so; I locked your door around 10pm”

    “Thanks for making sure nothing burned down”

    I looked over at Staci be and offered her my hand. We headed upstairs. At least we won’t be hung-over when we wake up.

    475 words


  7. Tequila Slammer

    The sailors were in their third bar now and the greasing effect of the alcohol was creating some fun moments for the motley crew, though not necessarily for any other punters who happened upon them.

    Sam’s uniform was resplendent with it’s epaulettes and strings of medals. His cap had looked the proper job an hour ago but was edging toward ever more precipitous angles as time went on.

    ‘Cheers!’ the shout went out as another beer was chugged.

    As they finished Dave chirped up, “Right in the next bar it’s tequila chasers and when I say “Capan’s Daughter” you’ve got to down it. Last one will get a forfeit.’

    There was a general murmuring through the twelve crew. Drinking games so early on was a recipe for disaster. Still it was Sam’s day.

    Even with the advantage of knowing he was going to say the words Dave somehow conspired to finish his drink last – according to the previously agreed consensus anyway. His forfeit was to drink another one. He wasn’t sure how, but Dave managed to end up with the forfeit for the next couple of hours, much to the amusement of everyone.

    By the eighth bar Sam was trashed and could only be held vertical by leaning him into the corner of two walls like a broom. The extra drinks being bought for him had taken their toll and his captain’s hat had long gone along with his dignity.

    The eight lads raised a toast to the Stag and the Best Man with a beer, there would be no more chasers.

    ‘Anyone seen Dave recently?’ said Joe quizzically.

    Ste shrugged, ‘Who’s Dave?’

    Joe wasn’t sure if he was joking or not, ‘The Best Man.’

    Simon put his hand up and furrowed his brow as he tried to formulate his words into a semblance of a sentence before giving up. The barman shook his head, ‘Was he the other sailor? ‘Cos one carried on walking down the road when you got here.’

    ‘Oops, looks like we’ve killed the Best Man,’ Ste smiled.

    The men banged their glasses together, ‘Tequila!!!’

    At that point Sam’s feet slipped backwards across the wooden floor and he banged his head on the shelf on the way down.

    ‘Another man down! Think we need to get some scran in,’ said Joe, ‘Indian?’

    The drunken mess of a stag party conspired to get Sam up in a convoluted series of attempts that Laurel and Hardy would have been proud off. The barman laughed as he stuffed the twenty pound tip, accidentally left for him, into his jeans. As the nightmare day unfolded and changed venue to the Indian restaurant the lads and formerly grown men forgot about the Best Man.

    Dave’s story meanwhile had unfolded over a couple of hours at the docks. He had first tried to climb onto a barge convinced there was a bar on it and that his stag group were in it. After deciding he may well have made a mistake he wandered to the next dock and stood looking at the old ship. He was rocking more than it was and the tourists took care to keep well away from him.

    Pictures and video footage then show him stumbling onto the boat before clambering up the ladders, ropes and pole. These had whistled around the world and the city and a large crowd gathered to watch his comical ascent. An hour later he was being lauded by an appreciative crowd as he had somehow managed to get to the crows nest.

    In the Indian Joe had seen something in his Twitter feed about it and announced to the group that, ‘Some knob has climbed up the top of one of those tall ships.’


    ‘Idiot more like. Or drunk,’ said Ste.

    It wasn’t until Monday and the local news that they realised that it had been Dave. He’d seen the Mexican boat and he’d fallen while trying to reach for their flag.

    At the inquest it was found that the last coherent words Dave had said was ‘Tequila always does this to me.’

    The coroner couldn’t help but say ‘Idiot,’ which seemed appropriate.

    (692 words)


  8. Justice Trumps Law

    Flight Lieutenant Phineas “Flathead” Flannery was no stranger to the harsh sting of military justice, but a court martial was covering new ground even for him. It had been pointed out to him by any number of dispensers of Confederation Naval punishment that merely being one of the most proficient combat pilots in all of Confederation space did not excuse his complete refusal to conform to the very understandable and clear-cut rules of military conduct.

    To be honest, Flannery wasn’t entirely surprised things had come to this juncture. When he’d ditched his duty shift the previous cycle to hoist a few tankards at one of the seedier cantinas aboard the Confederation command carrier Insidious, he was setting himself up for a reprimand and some additional duty. When he’d made off with a Shrike-class singleship and headed for the nearest inhabited Cholgachi settlement he was well aware he was courting the very real possibility of being pulled from flight status and even demoted.

    When he’d exhausted every scintilla of the Shrike’s onboard munitions engaging what were, in his opinion, targets of significant military importance, he knew he had locked himself onto a terminal heading to a court martial and, in all likelihood, imprisonment on one of the less-appealing Confederation backwaters.

    But if he’d had the options or the tech to travel backward in time and undo his actions, Flannery would not have chosen to. While he understood that diplomacy and détente had their place in interstellar relations, simple fact dictated the only possible result of negotiating with the Cholgachi was a painful and ignominious death. They were a warrior race of unparalleled ferocity and cruelty. They offered no quarter, took no prisoners and honored no treaties. The Cholgachi took what they wanted, when they wanted and crushed any opposition to their wishes beneath their brutal clawed feet.

    Flannery was from an Outrim world the Cholachi had absorbed into their empire when he was but a boy. Fleeing their wrath, he and his parents had barely survived. He would never, ever allow the reptilian bastards to plot the course of his life again. He would fight them to the last ounce of his strength with whatever weapons were at his disposal and to do anything less was to spit on the memories of his people and his world.

    He was jolted from his inner turmoil by the voice of Fleet Commander Grushin asking if he had anything he wished to say in his defense before the tribunal adjourned to decide his fate. Standing straight and proud with his gaze fixed firmly on the eyes of the panel, his thoughts were awhirl.

    While he was an exceptional pilot with the skills and instincts to rise to the heights of command, the court would have no choice but to sacrifice him upon the altar of political expediency. So, while his military career was, most certainly, at an end it did not mean his personal war with the Cholgachi would ever been done until the stench of their oppression was long gone from all of known space.

    And so, fixing the serious faces with a jaunty grin, Flannery launched into a very old and very bawdy sea chantey of Terran origin, inviting the distinguished panel to go do whatever the Hades they wanted with themselves since he, personally, no longer gave a damn.

    560 words @klingorengi


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