Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 39

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 39!

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 tune comes to us from the always interesting Florence + the Machine.

The song is… “Heavy in Your Arms”. Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/SK6U4FiAoAs

This Week’s Judge is the Brewed Bohemian… Jenn Monty!

The challenge runs from the second you read this post until 4:30PM on Friday December 13th.

Now… Go write!!!


Posted on December 10, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Mercy Killing
    689 Words

    In desperation I sought out this great physician. My condition was fatal, but he had a plan. It was radical and it would either succeed or fail. He was more honest than my other doctors, they said the same thing in pages of legalese on consent forms they hardly expected me to read.

    He hauled me down to his river. He asked me to trust him. He lifted me up and carried me out into swift, deep water. I clung to him in fear, until he reminded me I promised to trust him. I reluctantly released my grip on his hair.

    He plunged me down into the river. At first I just looked up at him through the surface of the water. But when I needed to draw a breath I struggled. Then, I fought with all my might, but to no avail. I blacked out and yet he still held me. I died in that river.

    I watched my killer from the shore as he drew me out of the water and back into his arms. He behaved with a remarkable tenderness, now when compassion was too late. Back in his office he laid my body out on a table. The rest of me followed and watched and wondered what was I supposed to do in a situation like this?

    The entire second day my body lay there on the table while I paced nervously around the room. I tried touching it, but found I could not touch anything save the ground beneath my feet. He occasionally checked on me. And when he spoke to me, I realized he knew both parts of me were present.

    The third day he prepared a funeral for me. My body was placed in a casket, and I was delivered to a chapel. The doctor stood up to address the empty chairs, there was no congregation. There were none to mourn my broken remains.

    He began his eulogy by detailing my condition and its deadly outcomes. He described aloud my faults, my frailty, my failings—these things were why I had to die. No kind words about my good deeds, or the quality of my character; he just pronounced judgment.

    Murderer, I thought. I had to die, but not yet. It was your choice to kill me before my time. You decided to take my trust and execute me because of your intolerance of my descent into death.

    Then he did what I thought was impossible. He grabbed me by the arm, not the arm of my body, but my arm. He wrestled me into the coffin, he forced me back into the corpse.

    A moment later I was gasping for breath. For the first time in three days, I drew air. I saw through eyes. I could smell the dust of the room.

    “You killed me!” I said.

    “No, I killed the diseased body, but you have been raised to newness of life.” His voice was not angry, despite my accusations. The opposite of anger, he was full of joy. As these thoughts came to me, another I scarcely understood crept into my heart.

    “What do you mean?” I asked, failing to believe yet this glimmer of hope was possible.

    “I mean you are no longer sick.”

    There was a long silence, while hope began to become acceptance. I felt better, I felt new.

    “How did you do this?”

    “I killed the diseased body and then raised you up in a new body.”

    “So the frailty will never come back?”

    “Actually it will come back. Every day you will experience it again in one way or another. But I will train you how to deal with it.

    “What will I do?” I asked with familiar fear creeping up my spine.

    “I will teach you to kill every new attack. I will teach you to daily take up death, and thereby to also take up life.”

    “You can teach me to do that.”

    “Yes,” he said, “I will give you the tools to crucify yourself daily.”

    “What kind of a tool do I need for that?” I asked.

    “Your cross, of course.”


  2. Love on Ice
    487 Words

    My eyes open to a world of green glow and shadow shattered through with cracks. The sound of running water helps bring a relaxed feeling of floating or falling, peaceful and calm. The moment is ruined, though, as a curl of acidic smoke replaces serenity with urgency. As my mind struggles free from the daze, the last few moments come back to horrifying realization.

    The winter afternoon looked like something straight out of a holiday movie, just after a storm had come through. Nathan and I were returning home after finishing our shopping, with the last few hard to pick gifts nestled in the trunk of the car. Road crews were diligently clearing snow and ice, but had only just begun their efforts. Nathan was confident he could drive through without waiting. As we started to spin on the frozen bridge, his confidence seemed clearly mistaken. After a moment of defying gravity, the sluggish river below parted around the car, gulping it down.

    Nathan shakes me again as the window breaks, sending an icy stream of water down the neck of my sweater. I try to answer him, to tell him that I’m all right, but only grunts reach his ears.

    “I’m so sorry. I’ll get you out of this.” he says, unbuckling my seatbelt.

    I see the water level rising in the car, and my ears pop from the pressure changing. Nearly half of me is submerged, but instead of feeling cold, there is stabbing pain like a thousand tiny teeth tearing my flesh. Nathan kicks out the pieces of shattered windshield and pulls me out of the car. It drops away from us silently, belching defeat, holiday ribbon, and takeout containers on the way to the river bottom.

    Holding my breath, I try to swim, but my arms and legs float uselessly. I’m so tired that I wonder if this is all just a bad dream, and if I go to sleep in the dream, I’ll wake up home by the fireplace. Light streams through the water, slowly brightening and highlighting Nathan trying to reach the surface, dragging me by the hand. “Isn’t love supposed to lift you up?” I resolve to ask him later. Today, it seems that my love is heavy, and is only dragging him down.

    My lungs are burning, and I know that I’m not supposed to breathe, although I can’t quite remember why. Nathan’s exertions are slowing, and bubbles are coming out of his nose in a helix of air rushing for freedom. As the light starts to dim again, I realize that he never let me down. He never let my feet touch the ground of the river, though I was too heavy for him to escape the icy grip of the river.

    Those are my last thoughts as the darkness and sleep take the pain away, and we drift together into the deepening chill, cold as the grave.


  3. Liar
    by A J Walker

    He’s doing it again. Pushing me, probing me with questions. Am I alright. Anything I can do. You don’t need to do that love, I will do it for you. Stop it! Pretend I’m not here. Why are you doing this to me? I’m tired – I’m tired of everything. Of you. Especially tired of you.

              Look at him. He’s looking pitifully at me. Like I’m helpless, like he’s sorry for me. The lost little puppy dog. Says he loves me – keeps saying it. He’s a liar. He doesn’t love me.

              He’s a liar.

              Robert picks up a bowl brimming with hot broth and brings it over, with a lump of crusty bread in his hand and a forced smile. Some of the weak soup spills over the lip and lands on the hard floor by my feet. ‘Watch what you’re doing, idiot.’

              He doesn’t deserve it. Not all of it, but I’m tired. Tired, of everything, everything we are doing. Tired of Robert. He’s a liar – says he loves me.

              ‘You’re a liar,’ I said. I didn’t mean to say it out loud, just slipped out.

              Robert puts the bowl down, careful not to spill any more – to risk the wrath.

              He touches my hair – strokes it. I wonder if there are now pieces of carrot and potato in my hair. Just what I need – broth hair.

              ‘What’s wrong? Anything I can do?’

              Stop asking me bloody questions. Can’t you seen I want to be alone. Totally alone. Without you, Robert.


              ‘I’m fine,’ I said. ‘One of those days.’

              He leant down and kissed me on my hair – probably trying to get the carrot out or taste the gravy.

              ‘I do love you, you know?’ Robert said.

              I looked at the bowl of broth. Watching the steam rise and dissipate.

              ‘I do,’ he said.

              ‘I know, I know you say it. But you don’t. You can’t love me. What’s to love about me?’ I said. ‘There’s nothing I do for you, for anyone. I’m not good looking, I don’t do anything for you – for anyone. What’s to love? Nothing. So if there’s nothing to love and you say you love me, well then, you are a liar.’

              Robert shakes his head.

              Go on deny it. Say I’m beautiful, say I’m a good person. Tell me you understand me.

              ‘You are a good person and you are beautiful. I don’t know how you can’t know that. And, most of the time – most of the time – you are good to me,’ Robert said, ‘Good with me.’

              I waited.

              ‘I do love you,’ Robert said.

              There you go. Liar.

    (438 words)


  4. He saw it in her face that first night; the look in her eyes. He didn’t let it distract him from what they were doing, and still lost himself in the moment of sexual ecstasy – but he’d registered it.

    After she left in the morning, showering his face in kisses and making him laugh; he sat and pondered what he’d seen. He didn’t want to do it again; break someone’s heart, it wasn’t much fun. But this one? Could he love her?

    He sighed. He wanted to; he wanted to give her all she deserved, but could he? Or would he just let her down like he had all the others?

    Later that day he had to smile at the text she sent. She wasn’t going to wait for him, she was going to run the show and he liked that. And when she turned up at his door again the next day, throwing herself into his arms, he was overjoyed to embraced her, although he kept her in check with his silence.

    The days grew into weeks, which gathered up into months. He took out the shoebox he kept under his bed and sifted through all the cards and scribblings she’d given him, trying to find the courage to return the emotion, but all he’d been able to give was his time; taking her out to dinner, shows, the cinema, pubs, bars, anywhere to keep her entertained and distracted, because he knew she wanted more. She would start to say something then stop, or tell him she wanted to know him better and then wait for him to speak, but he wasn’t good at speaking, he was only good at showing, so that is what he did. He took her to bed and showed her time and again.

    It didn’t stop her pouring herself into him by including him in everything she did. He was happy to join her and get to know her friend’s boyfriends. He enjoyed the elaborate dinner parties she arranged and lost himself in the drunken conversations. But every moving it was still there; that look in her eyes.

    Then the first year was over and they celebrated, and the whole evening she was watching him with expectation. He did all he could, spun her the best night they had had, and in the morning he thought he had pulled it off, but there she was looking at him only this time with a little box in her hand. He was terrified.

    She had always been forward, moving it all along and he wondered how far she was taking it as he turned the box over in his hand. It was a perfect tiny square with a raised top. His mind reeled at the idea that someone else might pop the question. He fiddled with it, delaying, but she pushed his fingers against it, showing him where he could start unwrapping.

    He fumbled it open and tipped the lid a crack, trying to glimpse what was within, before revealing it. And what he saw made him frown and he paused, opening the lid wider and picking up its contents.

    “A key?”

    “Yes, a key.”

    “To your heart?”

    She laughed. “No, to my apartment. It’s time, don’t you think?”

    “What, for us to live together?”

    She frowned at him and laughed again. “No silly, for you to be able to come round whenever you want. Why, do you want to live together?”

    “Well…” He flustered.

    She laughed again. “That’s what I thought. One step at a time, eh?”

    “But..” He stammered.


    “But, I thought, you know, that as we’re in love, you know, that was the next step? I mean, it’s been a year.”

    Her jaw dropped as she looked at him, and he felt his cheeks flush. Then she threw herself on him, pushing her lips against his with such a fierceness he could only surrender, although surrender was all he wanted to do, and he return the passion.

    That night he packed a bag, and when they reached her apartment he picked her up, to carry her over the threshold of her apartment. There were no broken hearts here.

    697 Words


  5. La Familia

    She grabs her coat and backs out the door. It’s freezing and her gloves are on the hall floor but she doesn’t go back inside. Where to go? Who to trust? How to cope?

    The Tazza d’oro is three blocks away. It’s been on her mind from the moment she arrived home and saw the blood splashed across the sofa and the body splayed on the floor.

    She heads down the steps to the sidewalk, burrows her hands deep in her coat pockets, and thinks about what she’s willing to barter with once she gets where she’s going. Two choices and neither of them will let her sleep easy ever again.

    She pushes through the back door, heads into the kitchen and down the hall to the banquet room. It’s empty save for the man attacking a plate of veal scampi.

    “Mr. Abbruzzi,” she says quickly, tipping her head in deference. “I’ll only be a moment.”

    Fork dipping into the food and heading for his mouth, he says, “You have thirty seconds before -“

    She steadies her nerves. “I need your services.”

    His fork rattles on the plate. “That audacity will cost you fifteen seconds. I run a respectable restaurant. You’re welcome to take a table out front and order anything off the menu.”

    “For your assistance, I will rid your kitchen of rats.”

    His neatly folded linen napkin drops onto the table. “Five seconds left, little church mouse.”

    “I just finished preparing the case documents for your trial next week.”

    His lean frame stops before it reaches her. “The rats are in my chart as well as my kitchen, hmmm?”

    She nods, struggling to keep up the pretense of calm.

    He tips his head towards the exit. “Then perhaps we should continue this conversation outside.”

    He hails a cab, hands the cabbie a wad of bills and suggests the man wait inside.

    Getting into a car with a man who makes people disappear isn’t wise but it’s her only

    As soon as they’re seated, he says, “Now then, what services do you require, Ms – I’m sorry. I didn’t get your name.”

    She looks into his strange amber eyes for the first time. “Emalia Carmello, librarian at the Union Law Archives, and I need some spring cleaning.”

    He holds her gaze. “Do I look like a French maid?”

    She ignores the flush that stains her cheeks. “When I arrived home today, I found one of my roommates bled out on the living room floor and my brother, Adrian, was locked in the upstairs bathroom. I don’t know what happened and I don’t care. I just need it taken care of.”

    Something flickers in his eyes. “I’m not often distracted by a pretty face. I should have patted you down before we got in the cab.”

    She shrugs out of the heavy wool. “I am not wired but you are welcome to see for yourself.”

    “Ah, that is tempting, but I rather like the air of danger you’ve introduced. Feel that? The fear of being alive? Delicious, isn’t it?”

    She slides an envelope from her coat pocket. “This is what you need to do a little housekeeping of your own. I don’t give it to you lightly or with a clear conscience. I do it to save what little remains of my family.”

    “Isn’t that why we do whatever it is we do,” he says, brushing her fingertips with his as he takes the envelope. “Clean house. Poison rats. Make love. Light candles. All for la familia, yes?”

    She looks away, hiding damp lashes.

    He tucks the paper into his jacket. “I will carry this weight for you, Emalia. Go inside. Order a bottle of wine and a plate of linguini. All will be well. We are family now, you and I.”

    Her heart hiccups. “Today, we are.”

    A smile cracks the planes of his strange face. “Family is forever, bella.”

    No, it wasn’t forever and that’s exactly why she was making this deal. Adrian was the only family she had left and she’d do anything to keep from losing him, even if that meant betraying her professional oath and making an alliance with a mafia cleaner.

    – – – – –
    697 words / @bullishink


  6. Heavy in your Arms

    The day I drowned, I gazed at his hands and I grasped his arms, strong and veined, and covered with dark, downy hair. His hands were smooth, soft and firm. I gazed into his eyes, ice blue and deep, and I drowned in their depth.
    I gazed at his lips. He drew me close, devouring my mouth with words, whispered words of love, of adoration and lust. I drowned as he pressed his mouth to mine and inched his tongue past my teeth. Fire burned, smouldering in my belly, and rising with every prickle on my pale skin.
    His breath murmured in my hair, his zephyr of longing entwining every lock, and my fingers touched the crown on my head, a circlet of threaded silver and diamond dewdrops.
    His hands, those strong hands, rested on my back, and his lips nibbled my neck, and I succumbed.

    * * *

    The sun shone down in rays of gold, tickling my burning skin, and he chuckled at my naivety. He stood and beckoned down by the water’s edge, and blushing in my exposure I stepped into the river. Cool water lapped at my feet and my legs, and I smiled, nervously, as he took my hand. My fingers shot to my head, as the circlet slipped, insecure in my tangled, golden tresses.
    I gazed at him, stood before me, a man in every way, and laughed as the sun glistened against the jewelled crown atop his unruly mop of curls. His laughter matched the gurgling brook, and he took me in his arms, water breaking gently at our waists.
    I didn’t expect his sudden move, his firm grip and the icy fear that enveloped me beneath the water. My eyes were lost in the murky depths of swirling river, weed entwining my feet, and hands, those strong hands, holding me beneath the surface. I opened my mouth in pain as the crown entangled in my hair was divorced from my head. I gripped his arms, my hands moving up and down his flexing muscles, until my hands fell loose and I drowned for the second time that day.
    I watched as he waded from the river with tears decorating his face, and my circlet in his fingers.

    * * *

    Now I watch as he sits upon my throne, as he courts wanton women, and as he rules in my stead. I watch, and I wait.
    My translucent arms, watery and heavy, rest upon his shoulders. His expression betrays him as he raises his hand, to wipe a stray raindrop, but no rain has fallen. Fear grips as he travels the castle corridors and beholds puddles on the floor. His smooth hands touch the crown upon his head, and the gold feels like iron, cold and heavy, like the ice that decorates his bedroom, bringing impotence and dread.
    He slips silently into madness in his sun drenched palace.
    I chill his soul with every step, binding him to my heavy heart, until his crown is frozen, his hands are soaked with my pain, and his feet are burdened with dread.
    Then when fear grips in the dead of night, when darkness abounds and seizes his mind, I drown him…I drown him in his own nightmares…

    * * *

    Now he floats to me, on a river of heavenly light, and I beckon. He moves on my zephyr of breath, and he smiles as I gaze, and I blush. Relief and arrogance bloom on his cheeks as he dances forward, free of his watery incubus. I promise much, but I never deliver, and I thrust him away, down, back down into his heavy body, on a cold, wet bed. His arms flail and his hands, those strong hands, beg…
    And I drown him, every night…

    (632 Words)



  7. Not eligible since I’m judging plus only 264 words. 🙂

    Water Siren
    264 words

    I was the Lady of the Lake
    the Water was my home
    I sang sweet upon the shoreline
    As I watched the water foam

    I sang until they heard me
    I sang until they came
    I sang the song of silence
    I sang away their pain

    I was the Lady of the Lake
    The Water was my home
    My Siren’s call brought many running
    So I could feast upon their bones

    I pulled them down like rabbits
    I pulled them down like prey
    I pulled them deep into the currents
    I pulled them straight into the grave

    I was the Lady of the Lake
    The Water was my home
    I saw the last one running
    Never more to roam

    He called out to me softly
    He called me out by name
    He called until I found him
    He called me, playing my own game

    I was the Lady of the Lake
    The Water was my home
    I reached up out of the water
    My feet left my liquid throne

    He touched my hair of ivory
    He touched my lips of gold
    He touched my heart so deeply
    He touched away the cold

    I was the Lady of the Lake
    The Water was my home
    I felt the blade cut cleanly
    I heard my own voice groan

    He sat aside his armor
    I sat aside my crown
    The world sat aside its darkness
    As we sat where we were bound

    I was the Lady of the Lake
    The Water was my home
    I kissed his lips of twilight
    And pulled us both into the unknown


  8. The Cleansing Fire

    I bury my face in her shirt, sobbing. Her scent insinuates itself into my tingling nostrils and draws me toward her, even now. I resist the siren call of her screams and let the crumpled garment drop from my useless fingers into the flames. And I step off to join it.


    It had all started so easy; a trip to the pharmacy to replace her dwindling supply of meds. A quick in and out; no more dangerous that the monthly trip to forage for food.
    I’d nailed the door shut and slid a note ringed with kisses under the weathered oak. I’d shrugged to adjust the familiar weight of my ballistic vest and checked that I was locked and loaded before dropping down the hatch and crawling out to meet the watery, winter dawn.
    It had all gone to hell. Newly blocked streets had made for massive detours and delays. By the time I had all the drugs, I was running dangerously late. Lengthening shadows swarmed across every street, growing fast as the sun fled, phantom fingers reaching to pull me into the dark.
    In movies in the old days, how many times did you shout at someone who got into a car in the dark without first checking the back seats? What can I say? I was in a rush to get back to her – and more than a little spooked by then. Hey! It’s not like they would steal the car. They don’t drive.
    I jumped in and gunned the engine. The roar of the unsilenced V8 echoed off the concrete.
    I felt a hand grab at my shoulder and threw myself flat on the bench seat. The hand scrabbled for a hold before falling away. I swung the shortened twelve gauge on its strap and fired blindly through the seat.
    BAM! BAM!
    I rolled out onto the road, and lay there, ears ringing and hands shaking from my narrow escape, gulping for suddenly scarce air. No injuries.
    Jumping to my feet I snatched open the rear door to clear away the remains of my stowaway. I should have grabbed another car, but the old sedan had been hers in happier days and I wanted to hang onto it. I dragged the shredded body out onto the road. As I turned to get back in the front, the body heaved and snatched my leg. I kicked out and, as I wrenched away, I felt nails scratch down my leg as my Levis rode up above my boots.
    BAM! BAM!
    The body jerked across the asphalt like a gaffed fish being landed and lay still – for now. I fishtailed away and took three tries to get the flame near enough to my Camel to light it.
    The tingling in my calf started almost straight away. I rubbed it hard with the side of my boot, hoping it was just an adrenaline twitch. By halfway home, my whole leg was burning and the other was tingling. I figured I had a couple of hours at best. I needed a plan.


    I skid to a halt on our drive and fall out of the car. My whole body feels like it has been flensed and dipped in salt. My legs are numb and I move now with their characteristic shamble. My neck tingles. I can sense her presence.
    Inside, I call “Honey, I’m home!” Like always.
    “Quick, out the window, my husband’s here!” comes her accustomed reply.
    After bumping legs that no longer belong to me up the stairs, I lean my head against her door.
    “Baby. Listen carefully. We’ve got a problem.” My tongue tingles and I feel like my mouth is full of dry crackers. I hear her wheelchair cross towards the door.
    “What’s happened?”
    “One of them’s here. In the house. No. I’ll kill it. Remember, you’ve got a revolver on the dresser. Love you Babe…”
    The flames from the paraffin splashed about the lobby crackles and flickers, consuming the stairs. The smoke swirls, dancing with me, beckoning me to destroy the thing that will surely kill her if I wait. I grab blindly at the laundry pile. I bury my face in her shirt, sobbing.

    700 words


  9. “It used to matter.”


    “What I wanted.”

    Doc just gave me the look that said, “keep going.”

    “It used to matter.” I took a long, slow, deep breath, held it in a few moments, and let it leak out slowly. I did that again. “What I wanted. It used to matter.”

    He gave me that look again.

    “I used to want to be happy.”

    “Oh?” Sometimes, the man reminded me of Mr. Spock. ‘Cept he didn’t have pointed ears.

    “Yeah. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to want? To be happy?”

    “You know the answer to that.”

    “Well. It used to matter. It doesn’t anymore.”


    Damn, but that man could be so nosey! That was the trouble with meeting with the Doc every week. And him being good at what he did didn’t help any. I had to take another long breath. I kept thinking to myself, “It’s only anger, dude. Only anger. Just a feeling. Nothing more. Feelings can’t hurt you. Or control you.”

    “Because of her!” Yeah. I practically screamed that. “Because of her.” Sometimes, all I really wanted to do was stand up, and go stare out the window at the park behind his office. Or just pace around the room.

    I never did.

    And I knew what he was going to ask before he asked, “Why?”

    Because what she felt mattered to me. Because I wanted to make her happy. Because I hated all the things she loved to do, and all the times I went with her, and did those things. Because I couldn’t ask her to do anything I liked to do.

    Because I needed the job I hated to make enough money to do the things she wanted to do. Because I had to burn through every hour of vacation I earned taking care of all the things she couldn’t get off of work to take care of. Because I only got time off by calling in sick to work once in a while, and taking a sanity maintenance day.

    “Do you really love her?”

    Yeah. That was the worst part of it. I did. I loved her. Maybe even too much. I couldn’t say no to her. I’d do whatever I had to, whatever I could, to give her everything she wanted. Because what she wanted mattered to me. What she felt mattered. What she dreamed of mattered.

    And to help her have her dreams, I had to give up mine.

    Don’t people do that for love?

    When my session was over for the week, I left Doc’s office. But I didn’t go straight home. I stopped. At a Dairy Queen. Bought myself an ice cream cone. Sat in my car, and ate it. Listing to my music. Enjoying a moment without her.

    Before I got home.

    And I didn’t matter anymore.

    471 Words


  10. Pound.

    She’s not coming back.


    You’ve done it this time. You really have.


    You’re such a loser.


    I couldn’t hear the footsteps of passers-by in the hall anymore, the sound of blood rushing through my ears with each beat of my heart was so overpowering. I’d been alone in the darkness since she’d left, slipping out of bed this morning without a kiss, or a see you later.

    And why would she have said it? There was no way she was coming home.


    I’d been nothing more than a shell of a man for … weeks? Months? I couldn’t tell you what today was, much less when I’d gotten sick.


    She’d never been this late before, not without calling. But she wasn’t late. She wasn’t coming home.


    We’d been great together, once upon a time. People would tell us that – that we were made to support each other. But what did I have left to offer – I couldn’t even get out of bed without help. And she was – she was wonderful. Never complained. Never asked me for more than I could give. But that wasn’t enough.


    That couldn’t be enough.

    How time passed that evening, I couldn’t be sure. I had been in the recliner in front of the door, staring at the faint gleam of brass off the doorknob in the dim room, lost in the maelstrom of self-pity I’d conjured for myself, when I’d fallen asleep, more out of despair than anything else. And when I woke, I wasn’t alone.

    Her hand was warm in mine, her head resting on my knees as she knelt on the shag carpet. When she saw me open my eyes, she lifted her head, but didn’t meet my gaze.
    Her voice was thick and heavy with tears. “Don’t leave me.

    “I still need you.”

    The storm in my head lashed out, forcing a harshness into my voice I’d never used with her. “I’m pathetic. If you need me, you’re even more pathetic. Do you need me to drag you down? Are you that depressed?”

    Her breath caught, but she didn’t let go of my hand. “You don’t get it, do you? You can’t get rid of me. And you can’t drag me down. You’ll never be too heavy for me to carry.”

    “But. But why? I can’t…”

    “Yes. Yes you can. Or you will. Or you won’t. But you will or you won’t with me.” Her fingers found the ring on my hand, wrapped with yarn to keep it from slipping off as I got worse. “This is forever. And I’m not leaving. And you can’t, either. It will get better, and one day you’ll carry me.”

    I could barely breathe. I didn’t deserve her. I wasn’t nearly that good a person. I’d never been thoughtful enough, or caring enough, or able to see beyond my own world enough. But her hand was warm, and the world was cold. I didn’t deserve her, but I had her. And she had me.

    And I let her carry me back to myself.

    515 words


  11. “I’m not doing this anymore, Devin!” I screeched into the phone. “It’s over! You hear me? It’s over!”
    I braced myself for his expected overdramatic and psychotic response, but it never came. All I could hear was his slow, steady breathing that was creepily muffled through the phone.
    Then suddenly, he hung up. This was the opposite of what I was expecting. Devin was a very unstable individual and I was expecting him to go into a psychotic rant about destiny and throw in something about not being able to live without me. But silence? That was something completely out of character for him—something that sent me into a bit of a panic.
    “Olivia?” My mother said, gently knocking.
    I was slow to respond but eventually said, “Yeah, come in.”
    “How did it go?” she asked, concerned.
    I shrugged and shook my head. “I don’t know.” I said, quietly. “He hung up on me.”
    “He hung up?” she said, alarmed.
    I nodded. “I’m a little scared, mom.”
    She wrapped her arms around me and said, “I’m not going anywhere, baby.”
    A few minutes later, my cell phone rang. It was him.
    I looked to my mom for guidance and she nodded in encouragement.
    As soon as I put the phone to my ear I could hear the wind. Devin was outside somewhere.
    “What?” I said.
    “I’m not playing games with you anymore, Olivia!” he screamed. “I’m at the Bridge!”
    My heart skipped a beat. “Devin….what are you doing?”
    “Why are you always trying to leave me?” His voice sounded strangled. “Am I too heavy for you to carry, Olivia? Am I really that much of a burden? Huh?”
    I froze and turned to my mother. She mouthed break up with him and pulled out her phone. I could tell that she was calling 9-1-1.
    “Devin…don’t do this.”
    “Isn’t this what you want?” he choked.
    “No, Devin! I don’t want you to kill yourself! God! I just don’t want to be with you anymore! That’s all! I don’t want you to die!”
    “Then don’t leave me.” He pleaded. “You are all I got, Olive. Life…there just isn’t a life without you. Please. Don’t leave me.”
    That was the pivotal moment that I was dreading. My mind ran through every response and their respective consequences and I realized that there wasn’t anything I could say that would end well.
    “Devin, if you really love me you wouldn’t kill yourself.” I breathed. “Please. We can talk this out.”
    “So you’ll be with me?” he sounded hopeful.
    I hesitated and turned back to my mom, but she was busy on the phone with the 9-1-1 operator to really give me any sort of advice.
    “No.” I said. “Not this time. But I think I owe it to you to talk to you in person. Let’s just meet somewhere, ok?”
    There was that eerie quiet breathing again. “No matter what you say; we WILL be together.”
    And then came the sickening sound of the phone crashing into pavement, followed by a splash. The only movement I made was that of my phone hand shaking very violently.
    “Olivia?” my mom shrieked, grabbing my shoulder. “Oh my—what is it?”
    I slowly turned to her. “He jumped.” I breathed. “Devin jumped.”
    And with that my whole world came to a crashing stop. As soon as my dad came home, the phone calls came flooding in. My mom stayed with me as long as she could, but then was whisked away for a moment to help my dad with something.
    I sat on my bed with too many conflicting thoughts and feelings to process. I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn’t hear Devin climb in my window.
    I was startled when I saw him, drenched in water and deathly pale.
    “Devin!?” I shrieked.
    He nodded. “I will never leave you, Olivia.”
    I jumped out of bed. “Uh…wait here.” I said as I bolted downstairs.
    I found my parents chatting with a police officer in the living room. “Mom! Devin’s in my room!”
    They all exchanged puzzling expressions.
    “Devin’s dead, baby.” Dad said. “They just found his body.”

    Word count: 694


  1. Pingback: #MWBB 39 : Heavy In Your Arms | My Soul's Tears

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