Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 38

Welcome back to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge!

We’re picking it up right were we left off, so welcome to Week 38, The Lou Reed In Memoriam Edition.

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 one of the all-time greats last month. This week’s Blues-Buster is a tribute to the late, great Lou Reed.

The tune is… “Dirty Blvd.” Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/7z3TPwOT31g

This week’s Judge is a man of many talents… Eric Martell!

The challenge opens from the moment you read this post until 4:30PM PACIFIC TIME on Friday December 6th.

Go write!!!

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Posted on December 3, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. “So, you think you got it bad, do ya.” Dad shook his head. “Tell you what I’m gonna do.” He grabbed me by the arm, drug me outside and tossed me into the bed of his truck. The old bastard got in, and floored it.

    Never gave me a chance to complain, whine, or anything. He just took off driving. Hell, I wasn’t jumping out of the truck. Not even at stop lights, or signs. All I could do was wonder in hell he was up to.

    Son-of-a-bitch drove west. Took 22 to 78. We left Union behind. He stayed on 78 all the way into Manhattan. Then, he went north. West Street. 11th. 12th. Then the Lincoln Highway. He stopped on the corner of 42nd and 9th. Right smack in the middle of Hell’s Kitchen. Bastard got out, pulled me out of the truck bed, dumped me on that corner, and said, “If you’re alive, I’ll pick you up in the morning.”

    Yeah. That’s right. 16 years old, and the bastard dumps me in Hell’s Kitchen.

    Hell, I did what anyone would have done. I hid. You don’t get proud there. You find a dumpster, and you climb in. That’s just what I did. Hid in a dumpster. All night long.

    You ever see anyone get shot? I did. That night. Big Mexican lookin’ dude and his buddies had a fight with a guy that looked like 50 Cent and his buddies. These guys had knives, man! Real ones. Not the pretty ones from the movies. These were black. ‘Cept for the silver strip right on the edge. Dude. They cut right through coat sleeves. Jackets. Whatever. One of the Mexican’s pulled out a gun, and shot Mr. 50 Cent. Not one of those pretty things like you see in movies. Hell no. Shot him right in the chest.

    Shit. I didn’t know people had that much blood in ‘em.

    I’m sitting there in the dumpster thinking, “Jesus! Don’t let me puke! Don’t let me cry! Don’t let me breathe! I don’t wanna make a sound!”

    After Mr 50 Cent went down, everybody ran. In all directions. I can still hear ‘em screaming at each other. The Mexicans saying, “Yeah! Take that! Don’t fuck with us!” and the Black dudes screaming, “This ain’t the end of it!”

    Hell. The cops didn’t show up for hours. Nobody came out to find out what had happened. I can understand that, you know. Go check on him, see if he’s dead. Watch the cops show up and arrest you. Or maybe someone’s watching. And they shoot whoever shows up, you know. In case you’re a friend of the dead guy.

    It got worse. This car pulled up to the curb, about a block from the dead guy. Some white dude got out. Had on a suit. I mean, a good one. Not something from K-Mart. Looked rich. He was an old guy. Bald on top, you know. Head shined. Pulled a girl out of the back seat. Took her right past the dumpster I was in. I watched. He walked her into the alley. It was dark. He handed her some money. She got on her knees and stuck her head in his crotch. Old dude never said a word. Just tensed up, and then relaxed. He went back to the car, and the car drove off. She came out of the alley, and walked a couple blocks north. Handed her money to a dude in a sweatshirt, old jeans, and a Yankees cap. He handed her back a sandwich bag with some kind of powder in it. “You want more, you know how to get it.”

    I hid in that friggin’ dumpster. And waited for the sun to come up.

    You know. Livin’ in Union ain’t bad at all.

    631 Words
    @LurchMunster

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  2. Fresh Shot of Whiskey
    by Stephanie Fuller

    Louise sat down at the bar and ordered a whiskey on the rocks. Stale smoke filled her lungs as she inhaled deeply. She hadn’t drank in years, but today called for at least one. Fired. As she drank her whiskey, she shook her head, “They got rid of the one person who knows what’s going on in that place. Are they stupid or what?”

    “Isn’t that the way it always works?” The bartender answered her rhetorical question with one of his own.

    “Absolutely. Fifteen years of my life. I outlasted all of the old regime. I could probably run that place with my eyes closed and those new schmucks would still be trying to figure out how to get the printer to work. I have no clue what I’ll do now.” Glass drained, Louise tipped it at her new friend.

    Handing her a freshly filled glass, he poured a small one for himself. “They have no clue what they’ll be missing. To bigger and better things for you. This one is on the house. Cheers!” Raising his glass, several of the other people standing around raised theirs as well. Tears misted in her eyes as she looked around at them. She wondered how many of them had been in this spot before, or if today had maybe been a bad day for them too.

    Looking back at the bartender, she whispered, “Thank you.”

    “You’re welcome. Stay for a while. The band is setting up and they’ll make all your worries go away. Promise.” As he nodded toward the make-shift stage, Louise turned to see a group of guys setting up guitar amps, microphones and drum set.

    “I think I will stay. How about another drink?”

    From the first touch of the pick to the string, Louise had goosebumps. She closed her eyes and listened. It was a Lou Reed song that she’d heard many times. An old boyfriend was obsessed with Lou Reed and they listened to his albums ad nauseum. He also played guitar, so on occasion he would serenade her with his own songs. The memories these simple notes carried brought a smile to her lips. As she had gotten older, she had moved on and forgot. She opened her eyes to see the lead singer looking right at her. Smiling she took a sip of her whiskey and thought to herself, This night is going to be better than I thought.

    Over the next hour the band played many songs, each sounding better than the last. Any anger or hatred that she had felt when she sat down at the bar earlier was now gone. All she could do was listen and enjoy the music as it coursed through her veins and made her heart beat faster and faster. Having a handsome lead singer didn’t hurt, either.

    When they were finished, Louise was practically buzzing with energy. The lead singer walked up to her and spoke with the slightest accent. “Hey darlin’, I noticed you were really diggin’ the jams tonight. You play?”

    “No, but I love to listen. You are fantastic!” Louise couldn’t stop staring into his eyes as they spoke. He was even more handsome up close. She quickly threw in, “My name is Louise.”

    “Well, hello Louise, my name is Jason. Can I buy you a drink? Looks like you need a refill on your whiskey. Been a rough day?”

    She looked at her empty glass, then back to Jason. “It was.”

    578 words
    @imafuller

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  3. Always a Price

    He’d been told that there would be a good life there; that it was like the roads were paved with gold, that there would be plenty for him and his family – well what was left of it, now the war had taken his wife – but it wasn’t true.

    He tried real hard to find a way; he worked any job he could get, sometimes up to four, but most of them were shitty, most of them consisted of him having to humiliate himself some how. And he tried hard not to give in to the darker side of life, but it was there for the taking, offering up pretty much as much cash as he wanted if he was prepared to stoop so low.

    He thought about it, considered it, and spoke to his children about it. They looked at him and listened to him tell them how much difference it could make to their lives, how much it could give them; the opportunity of college, the opportunity of a good life, a proper home, not just some ramshackle broken down apartment, somewhere safe where they wouldn’t be surrounded by shootings, drugs, and violence.

    They looked unsure at him, especially his son. He was just coming into teenage and the school wasn’t working for him, not when it was busy fighting the attitude of all the other kids in the area. But he looked at his younger sister and thought about how tender she was, and wondered how his father could ask her, or why he would. But she smiled up at her dad and said she’d do anything for him, so there was no argument. He promised her it wouldn’t be for long, that it would be okay and that he would be there to protect her.

    And he tried hard to be, but he wasn’t a fighter, never had been, which was why he’d left his country in the first place. So he ended up in the hospital, along with his beautiful little girl too – who wouldn’t be quite so beautiful anymore thanks to the switchblade the guy was carrying, and having thrown all his money at the man he couldn’t cover what was needed to try and make it right.

    So it was on his son, who faired better, and was able to hold his own and dictate his own terms. And for a while he thought they would be okay, that in just another six months they could get out of here and find a better place, and repair the damage he’d done. But he hadn’t bargained on the depravity of the people, the crude desire to hurt another, particularly a young boy, who, by the time they’d finished with him, would never walk again, dependant on a catheter for both ends.

    He sat there in his scant kitchen with his head in his hands, staring out of the window, wondering how he got here, how he’d been reduced to someone who would abuse his children in this way, and then he caught sight of it on a billboard poster across the street and started laughing; the very image that had inspired him, and given him hope, making him believe in a better life, in freedom.

    When his children joined him looking puzzled he could only point at it, unable to speak through the laughter, but their confused looks remained as they wondered why a picture of the Statue of Liberty was so funny.

    Words 579
    @PurpleQueenNL

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  4. Dirty Boulevard
    – – – –

    It was late, dark and cold, again, and he had a belly full of double shifts, lean funds, and sleepless nights. No sense pretending he was going to have dinner and comforting arms waiting at home. That ship beached and broke apart months ago.

    Didn’t feel much like eating but the alarm was going to go off at five in the morning and he’d be dead on his feet if he didn’t have a little something in his gut. Box of chow mien and some sweet and sour chicken was in his price range and time frame.

    Could read the paper while he waited at the counter. Catch up on the citizen’s outrage over his department’s inability to keep up with the crime wave. Okay, so skip the paper and go for a catnap instead.

    Maybe naps would keep the nightmares at bay. He couldn’t put the monsters behind bars fast enough and was starting to feel like he was becoming one of them. The shit he saw during the day stayed with him, haunted him at night, nipped his heels as it chased him down long dark endless corridors that led nowhere.

    He was sitting at the counter, working up to dozing off, when the kitchen broke out in angry shouts and clattering pans. His feet hit the floor and his shoulder pushed through the swinging kitchen doors. Gun in hand, he advanced into the melee expecting to get the jump on a meth-head or thief, and finding instead, a slim dark-skinned boy, nine or ten years old, cowering in a corner as the cooks pelted him with crockery and utensils.

    Holstering his weapon, he tapped the nearest man on the arm. “Hold up, Mr. Huang. Let me get ahold of him and then we can get this figured out.”

    “He’s a no-good trash-eater, Detective,” Huang said, mouth tight and eyes narrowed.
    “You keep him out of my alley from now on or -”

    He leaned down and took hold of the boy’s sleeve. “Pretty cold out there tonight, huh?”

    Kid nodded and droplets of melted snow dripped down his thin cotton shirt.

    “Come on. Let’s get you home.”

    Kid shrugged. “Don’t have one.”

    Aw, hell! Didn’t want to call Social Services this late. By the time the paperwork was sorted out his alarm would be ringing and he’d get no sleep at all. Couldn’t leave him on the street. Not with that son-of-a-bitch still on the loose.

    Still holding the boy’s sleeve, he stood up and faced Huang. “I’ll take the boy and my food and let you get on with your evening.”

    Outside on the slick street, he nodded to the building opposite them. “I live up there on the fifth floor. You can crash with me and tomorrow we can get you squared away.”

    Kid looked at the to-go bag and then up at him. “Smells good.”

    He sighed. “Yeah, and it’s gonna taste good too, once you get some of that dirt scraped off your hands.”

    Made it up the stairs and had the key in the door when a voice down the hall called to him. “Detective Martinez. Who’s that with you?”

    “Just a social services client, Mrs. DeLimas.”

    The stout woman came down the hall toward him. “No, no. That won’t do.”

    The damn noodles were probably cold by now and the kid looked like he was going to cry or run. “Look, ma’am. I’m not trying to break the lease. It’s just late and -“

    “A single man can’t keep a street urchin, alone. Not without risking your reputation,” she said, knocking on the door across from his. “I’ll have Guadalupe give you a hand. To keep things respectable, you understand.”

    Respectable hell. Hadn’t had a single wholesome thought about his neighbor since she and her kids moved in six months ago.

    It was late, dark and cold … but the way the pretty little Latina smiled at him when she opened the door made him feel like life was about to be a little more welcoming for the kid and a whole lot warmer closer to home.

    – – – – –
    687 words / @bullishink

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  1. Pingback: #MWBB 38 : Dirty Boulevard | My Soul's Tears

  2. Pingback: #38 – Mid-Week Blues-Buster: Fresh Shot of Whiskey | The Book Hipster

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