Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 43


Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 42!


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 9:00PM Pacific Time on Friday.  You read that right.  Pacific Time.

This week’s prompt comes from singer-songwriter… Jose Gonzalez.

The song is his gorgeous cover of, “Heartbeats”, by The Knife.

Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/ruQQ5UvICvA

This week’s Judge is our own Mortuary Mama… the fantastic Ruth Long!

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through 9PM PACIFIC TIME on Friday January 10th.

Now go write!!!


Posted on January 7, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. “Edges of a Torn Heart”
    Jeremy Milburn from Writing To Be Noticed
    email: jmilburn100@yahoo.com
    Word Count :700

    “No!” Sarah bolted out of the apartment, “I’m sorry” following her. She ran to the elevator, mashing the buttons again and again. She wiped stray tears away and dashed to the stairwell exit, slamming the door open. Her feet tapped down the stairs faster than ever before. The pace ate the floors in a blur until she looked up to see nowhere else to go but out.

    She barreled into the lobby, afraid of pursuit. She kept her head down, acknowledging no one and accepting none in return. The cold city air slapped her as she exited. She thrust her hands in her pockets, hunched her shoulders, and strode down the sidewalk. Shoulders jostled her sideways as she forced her way through the bustling crowd.

    He held her hand as they walked down the beach, wind whipping their hair. The sun set painted the sky indigo, crimson, and orange, while the waves lapped against the shore. He chuckled and she glanced at him. He swept her off her feet and splashed into the surf, both of them laughing when he fell. He pulled her close and kissed her in the fading rays.

    “Hey, watch it!” The rough voice jolted her back to awareness. She looked around, surprised to see herself several blocks away. A convenience store beckoned to her, and she shuffled inside. “A pack of Marlboro Menthol’s and a lighter.” She tossed the money on the counter, took the smokes and flame, and scurried out, ignoring the “Hey, lady, don’t you want your change?”

    She jammed her purchase in her jacket and took a second to catch her bearings. She nodded and continued her subconscious journey. She paused at the corner as sirens wailed and a police car zipped past, red and blue bright against the deepening gloom.

    “I’m home. I had the most horrible day.” She dropped her purse on the floor and tossed her keys on the stand by the door, exhausted from her shift. “Todd?” She walked into the living room, mouth agape when she noticed the red and blue streamers strung across the ceiling holding a silvery sign the read “Happy Birthday!” Todd burst out of the kitchen with her favorite dessert, a chocolate cake.

    She laughed. “It’s not my birthday!”

    He shrugged. “I couldn’t find a sign that said “I Love You” so I made do with what I had.” He set the cake down, flipped on the radio, then gathered her in his arms to dance to the soft guitar strains wafting from the speakers.

    The park by the river where he had proposed loomed ahead. Her pace quickened as she sought the bench overlooking the bay. Nobody sat there and she claimed the seat for herself, exactly the spot where she sat three years ago when she met him, and three months ago during…

    Sarah’s fingers clenched around the box in her pocket and she pulled it out. Once the cigarette dangled, she flicked the lighter, but her shaking hands kept causing the flame to dance and die. She yanked the cigarette from her mouth, ran to the railing, and threw both it and the lighter in the water with a scream that shattered the quiet night. “DAMN IT!”

    He pleaded with her. “It’s only for a few da-”

    “Go just…go. If your job’s more important than me, then just get out!” She turned her back on him, arms crossed.

    “We’ll talk when I get back.”

    “LEAVE!” She started crying when the door closed behind her.

    She fell to her knees, no longer able to bear the weight of her pain. It wasn’t long before familiar arms wrapped around her. She looked up at a concerned face. “Daddy?”

    “I’m here, sweetheart.”

    “We fought, Daddy. It’s my fault he…”

    His voice took on the gentle, but firm, voice he used when she was little. “It’s not your fault. Accidents happen.”

    “But…but…,” she lowered her voice to a whisper. “I told him to leave.” She buried her face in his shoulder. “That was the last thing I said to him before…Why did he have to die?” she wailed.

    Her father hugged her tight, knowing only time could soothe the edges of her torn heart.

    Word Count: 700


  2. Erin McCabe


    442 Words

    Sharing Different Heart Beats

    Rory had to do something, but quite what, he wasn’t sure.
    Life and death were exploding at the edges of his mind and like a scolded school boy outside the Headmaster’s office, he’d been told to wait. It beggared belief that they thought him capable of such disconnection, but the crippling urgency of the situation had emotionally dismantled him, forcing him to concede and comply.
    Every now and again someone would pass by and flash him a knowing, yet sympathetic look.
    Each time Rory would meekly smile back; the value of such empathy distinctly lost, rendered impotent as it offered no means of improving his situation.
    As the seconds elongated to minutes he fought hard to remain calm, a sense of panic slowly shrouding him, cloaking his senses in a rich tapestry of irrationality. The enormity of the situation weighed down upon him in painful increments of allusion, each one heavier and more fully formed than the last. Like a rock; solid, stationary and with limited purpose, he sat; the constant flurry of purposeful movement only further emphasising his lack of purposeful action. Someone well meaning soul had suggested he pray, but the idea of placing aspects of such fundamental importance, such undeniable preciousness, solely in the hands of above, just didn’t seem good enough.


    Fruitlessly Rory tried to block out the word echoing endlessly in his mind.


    The connotations were paralysing and terrifying; what did it even mean? Why didn’t they have some sort of chart characterising differences in variation or a colour code displaying a risk analysis? He didn’t understand and they had failed to help him to.

    As his uncertainty and fear blushed to resentment and anger he noticed his hands were now beginning to uncontrollably shudder and shake , in desperation he clasped them together.

    “Mr Thomson”

    “Yes!” Rory looked up and caught the Consultant’s eye with all the hope, surprise and awe of a condemned man standing at the gates of Heaven.

    “Good news…” The Doctor began.

    The word ‘good’ had never sounded so powerful, so forgiving, so divinely positive.

    “We expect the baby within the hour; it looks to be clear sailing from here on out.”

    It took a few moments for the words to fully penetrate Rory’s eroded, protective exterior and so at first he made no sound or movement at all, trapped in separation, he felt as if time had momentarily ceased. As the isolating vacuum finally, mercifully imploded, he fell to his knees overcome; engulfed by unrivalled joy and unbridled gratitude.

    “Thank you!” Rory gasped, vigorously shaking the Consultants hands; the hands which in this case, had proved themselves good enough.


  3. Choices

    It had started out like any other Friday night for them. Cruising the streets in his El Camino, a six-pack of cheap beer and a couple of joints, they had nowhere to go and no place to be. They were young, poor and liable to stay that way for a long time to come. But they had their love to offset the big-ass stack of bills waiting for them when they got back to their cheap digs on the wrong side of town.

    Last night they’d be out and about for a while they both knew. Between the three-day evict notice on the front door and the layoff the plant had given him, they were on the fast track to being homeless in a city of a million like souls. There was nobody to haul them out of this one and neither of them were the kind to go looking for a handout anyway. So, one last night of high times before reality came crashing in.

    He’d stopped at a nameless bodega so she could go in and augment their “night out” with a pint bottle of something cheap and alcoholic. That was when both their lives took a wrong turn down a bad street that led to nowhere good. Halfway through his favorite guitar track booming from the car’s cheap stereo, he heard the gunshots. Two…no three shots…his barrio-trained ears knowing it was a pocket gun…not nothing big. Then she came out the door like her ass was on fire. In one hand she held a bulky plastic sack and in the other a smoking chrome-plated “lady killer”.

    Climbing in, she screamed at him to drive and drive he had. For want of anything to say that would change what had already gone down that night, he just…kept…driving. He probably would have driven all night long if her voice hadn’t finally pierced the shell of disbelief he had cast over himself.

    He’d always known she was tougher, more…street than him but he’d never have imagined she was capable of such a thing. Such thoughts retreated and he dimly heard her talking about needing to hole up somewhere. The fleabag motor lodge they stopped at asked few questions and wanted no answers…just $27.50 a night including breakfast.

    After an uneasy night of sleep, they were both sober and scared enough to know just how hosed they might actually be. They couldn’t go back to their apartment…their neighborhood if there was the slightest chance they would be associated with the holdup. All they could do was lay low, stay cool and then head for parts unknown…never look back.

    After a week and a half of beery, pot-smoking isolation they were still at large, still unsuspected and still in possession of a shitload of cash. It had been an unpleasant, too-quiet ten days and they had barely spoken for the last two. She’d chosen a path for them without considering her choice might not necessarily be his. She had taken a leap of faith without ever questioning if that faith resided in him as well.

    Stubbing out a smoke, he took one last longing look at her before retrieving the sack and gun from the dresser. Calming the tremor in his hands, he reminded himself she’d done the robbery, she’d done the shooting, she’d been the only one the clerk had seen since their arrival. The El Camino had been parked on the street a couple blocks away since that first morning after.

    Willing himself to just do it, he pushed the pillow tight over her head and fired two rounds into her head. Satisfied the impromptu silencer had worked; he wiped the room down, stuffed the bag under his jacket and left the only woman he had ever loved alone to the fate she had driven him to.

    Music pumping and engine roaring, he drove away…all the while vowing to himself that if ever he needed a hand up or a handout again, then pride be damned he would take it. He would spend the rest of his days living with the memory of what being overly proud could cost. He was determined to never have to pay that price again.

    700 words @klingorengi


  4. Love Struck

    He inhaled deeply, still able to smell her on the pillow. It brought a warm feeling in his stomach, and yet the sadness still pulled. He touched the pillowcase, imagining its warmth. He wished he could embrace her.

    He’s eyes flicked to the window and he looked out at the new day that was dawning; it would be cold and icy no matter how hard the sun shone, and he wouldn’t dare to step out into it, he had to stay here otherwise he might never find his way back. And he wanted to be here, to see her again.

    As though his thought brought her, she arrived, only this time not alone. He watched her do a dance with her guest, one he was familiar with and that sad feeling came again, tugging at him. Did he really want to remain? His heart told him ‘yes’, so he waited as she worked her magic.

    When the moon rose later that evening, he saw the sparkle in her eye as she dressed. He sniffed as she sprayed her perfume, wanting to remember the freshness of it, wanting to be a part of the evening with her. Although when she returned he became a part he hadn’t anticipated: a witness.

    She enticed her guest to join her on the balcony so they could look out at the starlit evening, over the city which was still cooling down after the hot day. She stirred desire, kissing them and wrapping herself around them, drawing out their passion, their wanting, until she brought them back inside.

    Then she handed over the reigns, letting them do the work, undressing her and moving her around as though she were a play thing, eventually leading her to the bed.

    He watched them from the other side of the bed, powerless to be heard, to be seen, or try and stop it. And when she rose majestically on top, he watched her eyes as she waited for the right moment to bend down and kiss round her victim’s neck – before sinking her teeth in and ripping it out.

    He watched the body go stiff under her, and an ethereal figure appear beside the bed. Then it spotted him, with questioning and hurt in its eyes. He could only mouth ‘sorry’ as he watched it fade and turn to the balcony, drifting away through the glass.

    He remained where he was, refusing to leave, punishing himself for his stupidly by watching her devour her kill.

    417 Words


  5. The Morning Coffee

    The bubbling kettle seemed aggressive in extreme as Scott’s head struggled to deal with it. He had tried turning away from the noise earlier, but the light streaming in from the window was impossible for him to take. He was trapped in a purgatory of his own making – in his own kitchen.

            He knew he needed lots of liquids but, right now, he couldn’t even face water. Coffee was all he could think of that may do anything for him. Scott’s special thick weekend blend was called for, which could probably wake a dead man; pretty much what it needed to do.

            In the living room he sat down in the clutter thankful for the blackout curtains. He could just make out the detritus from the night before: two empty bottles of red wine, a box of wine which he daren’t check, two wine glasses, a broken tumbler and crumbs of something they’d eaten – which were welded to the table by sticky splashes of red.

            As he drew a slug of coffee he saw a single white high-heeled shoe peeping out from behind a table leg and he could trace the linear outline of something over by the fireplace. He thought it may be a stocking, it would require investigation later.

            Scott mused that the best nights were always the unplanned ones, but right now he was thoroughly regretting last night as his heads were banging (he was sure one head couldn’t be this painful).

            ‘Scott!’ Christina’s voice came from the bedroom, ‘Scott, are you up? You making breakfast?’

            She already sounded at home – it was one night of drink fueled passion for him, now for the first time he wondered what it had been for Christina.

            He knew her most intimate measurements, but didn’t even know how she took her coffee. ‘Coffee!’ he shouted, ‘Breakfast is coffee. How do you take it?’

            ‘Black and one sugar, please.’ Christina said as she walked in.

            Scott thought she looked surprisingly well, which made him wonder whether he’d done most of the drinking.

            ‘Have you seen another one of these anywhere, gorgeous?’ she said holding up a shoe with a single finger.

            Scott thought he had seen one somewhere but his head wasn’t working yet.

            ‘Not sure,’ he said.

    378 words @zevonesque


  6. I met Rachel in the produce department of the grocery store. I was picking out my weekly supply of fruit. mangoes, kiwis, papaya, plums, pears, apples. She asked how to pick out a good papaya, and if kiwifruit was good to eat. “You have to peel them, right?”

    “No. Cut them in half, and scoop the fruit out.”

    We had Mochas in the store’s Starbucks café. She had the prettiest green eyes I’d ever seen. We talked about fruit. It surprised me when she asked me to help her make a fruit salad. “I got volunteered to bring a fruit salad to the office party tomorrow, and I have no idea what to do.”

    Of course, I said I’d help.

    We picked out a pineapple, four different types of apples, bananas, grapes, and cherries. We added a bag of coconut, and a few other odds and ends, then checked out, and went to her place.

    We washed the fruit, sliced it, and mixed it together, stirring in the coconut, a touch of sugar (not much), and the other ingredients. She asked me to show her how to cut the pineapple. Then she tried to cut it. I wound up standing behind her, looking over her shoulder, my hands guiding hers, teaching her to slice up the apples and bananas.

    When we finished the salad, she asked if I’d like a drink, as a reward for all the help. We wound up downing half a bottle of Cabernet Blanc. “You’re not in any condition to drive. Sleep here tonight.” Well, you know how it goes. We woke up naked, in her bed.

    We met for dinner the next night, and I stayed at her place again. She was a work of art, with curves in all the right places. It was like my hands had to move all over her. All the rules dropped away, and we went crazy.

    Rachel was my fantasy woman. The one that does everything you want, and begs you for more. The one with no rules. No limits. No taboos.

    I loved every square inch of her. And when I ran out of things to try, she made suggestions.

    Only an idiot would have said no.

    Oh, I knew it wouldn’t last. Each morning, I expected her to say, “Don’t come back. Don’t call me.” Each morning she didn’t, I went through my day imagining all the sex we’d have that night. All the things we’d try.

    It lasted ten nights. The first nine night were sheer bliss. Ecstasy. I slept exhausted, in her bed, holding her naked body. My hands on her perfect breasts.

    The tenth night, as we reached her place, she looked up at the sky. “The sun will set soon, won’t it?”


    “Lets not wait.”

    She pulled me inside, shut the door, and we got naked right there, screwing in the foyer as the sun set, and night replaced day. When we finished, she pulled me to the TV room. “I’ll be back in a few.”

    “What are you up to?”

    “It’s a surprise.” She gave me this sly look, and licked her lips.

    My brain cells screamed at me, “Yes! Oh, this is gonna be good! This is gonna be fun! I can’t wait to find out what she’s planning!”

    While I waited for her to come back, I watched the moon rise through the patio door. A full moon. Full moons were always beautiful. That one was no different. I heard her come back into the room, but I didn’t turn from the window. “Come over here and surprise me,” I encouraged her.

    That’s when I felt her claws sink into my back, followed by her teeth sink into my neck. I couldn’t breathe, as she lowered me to the floor. She surprised me, alright, as she stood on her hind feet, stared at the moon, and howled.

    Then, she turned back to me, and sunk her claws into my chest.

    I’d always known my fling with Rachel would end badly. I’d always known my heart would be torn apart when she said, “We’re through.” I just never imagined she’d literally rip it out and eat it.

    697 Words


  7. @ScotsJamaican sorry, only 240 words


    Time let me find you just one night
    We both knew that it was right
    When our eyes met above a book
    The universe moved with just your look
    I melted in yours eyes sublime
    And said thank you to Father Time

    Time is such a cruel master
    Going neither slow nor faster
    It gave enough for us to meet
    To let me feel something so sweet
    But it doesn’t matter what you feel
    From you, time will always steal

    One night of love was all we had
    Intensity that drove me mad
    So hot, so deep, so fast
    I tried and tried to make it last
    But then the sun arose on us
    In wisps of smoke, it ended thus

    Now the sun beats down upon my eyes
    A breeze is whispering in sighs
    Looking down upon the sand
    I see the shadow of your hand
    Look before and look behind
    I search the shore for what I find

    Distant birds let forth their cries
    My deepest feelings they arise
    All I wished for and had planned
    Are now dissolved into the sand
    It’s true that Love had made me blind
    When you and I were intertwined

    I see the waves roll over there
    Remind me of your flowing hair
    Golden locks upon the breeze
    Attack my heart and make it freeze
    No flying birds made that crying sound
    Just me, just me, upon the ground


  8. Blue-Green Eyes
    by Stephanie Fuller

    Jacob and Julie had been friends for about a year. They were practically inseparable. He was either at her apartment, or she at his. Watching television. Talking. Laughing. Being friends.

    The only time they were apart was when they were working, or going on the occasional date. They’d get together and commiserate at how the dating pool wasn’t up to snuff these days. Jacob would never admit it out loud, but he knew deep down that he loved Julie and everything about her. He loved the way she sighed when Captain VonTrapp and Maria danced together during THE SOUND OF MUSIC. How she smiled when she’d open her apartment door to find him standing there. Her giggle when he would tell a corny joke. Her blue-green eyes that always seemed to sparkle. He loved it all. Jacob couldn’t find a single girl he had gone out with that had ever compared to her. During dates, he’d find himself thinking about Julie. Missing her. Wondering if she ever felt the same about him.

    Tonight was different. Julie’s date hadn’t gone well. The guy completely blew her off. She waited two hours at the restaurant and he never showed. She sent Jacob a text as she was leaving the restaurant. By the time she arrived at Jacob’s apartment, he could tell she had been crying. Her blue-green eyes, red, from tears continually being wiped away by a hand. Smile, gone, replaced by slightly quivering and frowning lips. Seeing her like this brought out an anger in Jacob that he never knew he could feel. Instead of running out and throttling this guy until he begged for mercy, he took Julie’s coat and bag, and hugged her tight. Tighter than he probably ever had before.

    “Before you say anything, maybe you should go take a hot shower? I’m sure it will make you feel better. I’ll get out some comfy stuff that you can change into, okay?” Jacob motioned toward his bedroom and Julie nodded. He grabbed some sweats and a tee out of his dresser. “Here. I’ll be out in the living room.”

    He turned to walk away, but Julie grabbed his arm and pulled him back. “Wait, Jacob. Please.” She wrapped her arms around him and placed her head on his chest. “Thank you. I don’t know how I’d get through my crazy life without you. Don’t ever leave. Okay?” She looked up, a weak smile gracing her lips.

    “I won’t leave. I promise.” He leaned down and gently kissed her forehead.

    Julie looked at Jacob, her blue-green eyes confused. “I’m…I’m sorry…I shouldn’t have done that. I don’t know what came over me.”

    “It’s okay. Really. I guess after the day I had, I needed it.” Julie stood on the balls of her feet and kissed Jacob on the cheek, lips lingering a few extra seconds.

    Jacob’s hands smoothed Julie’s hair a little and he heard a small sigh escape her. “A kiss for a kiss, huh? Maybe another?”

    Julie nodded. “I’d like that. In fact, I’d like more than one, maybe.”

    “Maybe? You don’t sound too sure. How about we try one kiss and go from there?” Jacob wagged his eyebrows and Julie giggled. He leaned down just as she reached up and their lips met. They fit perfectly together as if made for each other. One kiss became two, and two became three.

    Breaking away for a moment, Julie smiled, her blue-green eyes sparkling. “I think maybe I should go take that shower, now.”

    A grin broke out on Jacob’s face. “Have I ever mentioned that my shower is big enough for two?”


    The sun peaked through the blinds of Jacob’s bedroom reminding him it was morning. He opened his eyes to see that he hadn’t been dreaming. Curled up next to him was Julie, sleeping peacefully, one arm draped over him, with a beautiful smile across her face.

    652 words


  9. Breathe
    by Danielle Young

    I gripped his limp and listless hand in mine. Begging for life to enter his broken body. “Please don’t leave me. I don’t know how to be me without you.” I sobbed, tears falling freely, my heart shattering into millions of unrepairable pieces. “Please.” I quietly pleaded as the monitors flat lined. Indicating the end of his life. The end of mine.

    With the sound of that horrible flat tone, my life ended. My world imploded. Derek was everything to me. He was my heart, my breath, my soul.

    I sobbed uncontrollably my despair dragging me to the floor. I still had Derek’s hand in mine. I grabbed his arm and hugged it close to my body. I wanted to crawl up in that bed with him but I couldn’t find the energy. Instead I sat there hugging his limp arm to my side, silently praying for the heavens to swallow me.

    I thought I heard voices in the background saying something, but I didn’t care. They were all ghosts to me now. No one mattered anymore.


    “Look at her.” I pleaded. “It’s been six months and she still hasn’t left the house.”

    “I know. It is really disconcerting. But she won’t respond to any of the Angels we have sent. They cannot save someone who doesn’t want to be saved Derek.” Michael explained.

    “But she does want to be saved. She just doesn’t know it yet. Send me.” I suggested with excitement. That was it. I would be her breath. “I can make her want to live again. You have to send me Michael.” I begged, desperation in my voice. Shelly has so much good in her. She can’t leave earth now. If she only knew the happiness she was meant to bring to this world she wouldn’t want to join me in death.

    Michael looked at me with a critical look. Like he was weighing my essence. And in a sense he was. He was measuring my every movement, decision and act as both a mortal and Angel.

    “Come on Michael. Tell me you haven’t thought about sending me to her.”

    “Oh, all right. I will send you to her.” Michael said in defeat.

    “Woohoo!” I whooped jumping in the air.


    She looked like a child, so fragile and delicate as she sniffled and quivered in her sleep. Her skin was so pale and pasty she almost looked blue. Like someone had sucked the color out of her. Seeing her so deep in despair was like a knife to my soul. I wanted so much to fix it. To seal her broken heart. To see her blue eyes shine like the oceans they used to be.

    I walked over to her and placed my hand on her back directly over her heart.

    I wanted so much for her to feel me. To know that I never left her. That I will always be with her.

    “Oh Shelly. You are everything that was ever good in me. You made me shine. Made me the prince in your story. You thought I rescued you all those years ago, but don’t you see; it was you who rescued me. But now it truly is my turn.” I whispered as I curled around her. Enveloping her with my essence.

    “I will never leave you Shelly. I will be with you every day, every step, every painful memory. I will be your strength. Your guiding light. I will be your breath.”

    “Derek?” Shelly breathed.

    584 words


  10. You wrote that letter to me explaining what had happened, yet here I sit wondering. I keep wondering.

    She’s there now. It is the time of reckoning. She’s screaming and the pain is excruciating. Soon a life emerges. One she didn’t want, until the sweet angels sang. She saw his face. He was so beautiful and full of grace. Nothing would bring this connection down. Nothing would ever separate this sacred bond. Months went by so peaceful. Mother and child were so connected and loving. Each day was an unexpected promise.

    He came one night. It was storming and there was lightning. The thunder drowned out everything even the baby’s screams. When the lights went out; she searched out a light in the junk door. That’s when she heard the knock on the door.

    Who could be out at such an hour, she thought. Light in hand she came to the front door opening it; nly to see the man that changed her life. “Why?” Was all she asked.
    “I came because I know.”
    “Why didn’t you tell me?” He questioned.
    “You wouldn’t understand.” Was all she was able to spit out.

    Still the babe was crying and crying. She ran to the stairwell. He yelled “Wait!”

    “Where are you going?” He implied.

    “To my baby! He’s screaming!” She dashed up the stairs.

    He quickly ran after her just to meet her stunned state at the doorway of a room.

    She turned on the light and scanned frantically trying to locate her child.
    “He’s not here.” He whispered softly in her ear.
    “You know he was never here.” He sighed softly.

    “But I thought I heard him.” She replied, sinking slowly against him as he held her with one arm to stop her progress down.

    “I know, but he was never here. We both were there that day. We both saw.” He said softly against her temple.

    “No, I was alone! You left me!” She screamed.

    He coaxed her gently around to meet him face to face. “No. I was there the whole time Elenor. You chose to forget it. Please see I was there the whole time.” He beseeched.

    She searched his eyes not wanting to believe the truth that she saw in them. “My god, Peter! He’s really not here, is he?” She questioned, beseeching his eyes for a different answer.
    “He never made it, my love. I’m sorry.” He said while bringing her in tighter to him.

    “It’s been months now and I just want you to know I’m here for you, no matter what.” He whispered to her.

    “It’s just so hard, this living on. I don’t know if I can do it.” She cried.

    “You don’t have to do it alone, Love. Never have you had to do it alone. You choose this. But I chose you and I will never leave you alone.”

    She turned to him and looked into Peter’s eyes. She saw her life there, her future and promise of another time.


  11. Heartbeat

    Hours of meticulous preparation had led to this one moment and Jade needed everything to be perfect if the evening was to go as planned. She took one last look around the bedroom to check everything was in place before heading to the door to await Stephens arrival.

    Checking the time on the wall clock Jade noticed that he was late. She began to pace back and forward. Didn’t he care? Didn’t he realise just how important tonight was going to be? She was giving him her heart and soul yet he couldn’t be bothered to turn up on time. Her mother had been right, he was like all the rest. Not worth her trouble. Tears flowed down her face as she made her way into the bedroom, blowing out the candles one by one.

    Once in joggers and a t-shirt Jade started the job of throwing out the meal she had slaved over, her appetite long gone. As she scraped the last of the Passion Cake off the plate into the waste disposal she heard her door opening.

    “Hey honey. I’m so sorry I’m late.” She watched as Stephen strode down the corridor towards the kitchen. “It was Franks leaving do, I had to at least have a beer with the man.” Stephen grabbed her by the waist as he kissed her, ” You’re not mad at me are ya?” He said trying to take his kisses further.

    “Get off me!” Pushing him back Jade took a long look at the man she was planning to give her all to, what the hell had she seen in him anyway? “You’ll need to give me my key back. It’s over!”

    “Nah, you don’t mean that.” He laughed, “I’m the best you’re gonna get.” He reached to grab her again.

    “NO!” She struck out with her hand forgetting she still held the knife she had used to scrape the food into the sink. A line of deep red appeared across Stephens chest and she watched as the red stain spread. Stephen staggered back clutching at the wound with his hand. “What have you done you mad bitch!”

    “I was going to give you everything. My heart. My soul. Everything.” She moved towards him enjoying watching as the blood seeped through his fingers. “After tonight I was going to forget you, move on with my life,” Jade raised the knife higher, “but I think I would like a souvenir of our time together.”

    She plunged the knife into his chest and started to cut, “It’s not like you need your heart anyway.”


  12. The Night Gerry Lost His Life
    @CharlesWShort (www.charleswshort.com)
    341 words

    Gerald German was raised in a normal family, even though such things are rare today. His parents were married at his conception and were still married. His father held a reasonable job. His mother was able to limit her work to part time to give extra attention to their only son. He was a good kid for the most part, except for the occasional wild hair. Gerry knew right from wrong, but sometimes in the hormones of youth and the thrill of the moment, a young man will ignore his head.

    Gerry got a job working fast food when he turned sixteen. His goal was to get a car. His parents honored him with the car he wanted. They had every confidence he would pay them back. Two weeks later Gerry met a girl at the restaurant. Her name was Candy, and everything about her was enticing to poor Gerry. He didn’t come home that night. He and Candy were too caught up in the moment. He lost his virginity. He lost his common sense. He lost his life. Not that he died right away, but the process that would all too quickly kill him started that night.

    That night he had his first taste of serious evil. For the next two weeks he didn’t go home, but travelled with Candy through flop houses, back alleys and crack houses. The police found him and dragged him home. He dully said, “Whatever,” and marched off to his room. His parents made plans while he slept it off. They would have a long talk, decide if treatment was needed, but when they checked his room a few hours later, it was empty.

    The next time they saw him was in the morgue. The attendant careful to hide the fact the back of his head was caved in. The police assumed he was robbed. He had cashed his check from the restaurant. Then he took that cash to look for more Candy.

    You can protect your children from anything and everything, except for themselves.


  13. Reason at the Door
    @ginawestauthor (reginawest.com)
    541 words

    I look down at the ring on my finger, the symbol of forever we exchanged along with careless promises ages ago. That fateful day in October when we first met, we never expected to make any promises. We never expected to break them either.

    Do you remember that first day? You used to. In the throes of our romanticism, we relived it over and over again – the leaves falling around us, the hot coffee burning through the cups and stinging our palms, the accidental touch that had us rushing back to your hollow apartment.

    You’ve left me hollow now.

    We’d only planned on a couple of hours’ worth of moments. It stretched into a night and then a morning, and when we held each other, we couldn’t seem to let go. We never did. Twenty years, and we never did. Until now.

    I stand in the shelter we one shared with steel, cold and naked, against my wrist. I stare into its unforgiving reflection, but I twist it so I cannot see myself. There was a self I once knew and understood, a self that was half of a whole. But you opened the door, and that self walked out right behind you, following your snowy footsteps into the street. You didn’t let it in the car with you, and it certainly never returned to me. Perhaps it wanders somewhere looking for the future that ended that day, but I prefer to think it is nothing now but smoke. That way when I long to grasp for it, I can accept that it would escape between my fingers.

    I cannot bear the idea of new. I cannot bear to stay here in this place, nor can I bear to grow. I cannot bear to become some new self.

    I should be stronger than this.

    The cold metal is the only real thing at the moment. As the tip draws the red ribbon forth and lets it unfurl to the floor, I understand the seduction of death. It’s not an end to pain but a foolish, hopeful step into a new existence, the same foolish hope that led me into the abyss of love in the first place. It felt so good falling into it, even though I knew the crash at the bottom would be excruciating. I am living that crash.

    On some level, I know I should be angry at you, but all I can think is that I failed somehow. I failed to hold your interest. I failed to give you what you needed and to be good enough to deserve you. The moments I felt ignored or put upon when your career came first, the moments when I gave everything and you took it all, seem like someone else’s memories now.

    I hesitate there with the steel tip pressing against the blue cords in my drip-drip-dripping wrist, knowing this escape is an illusion I want the escape even as I wish for a reason to move forward.

    I realize then that I’m not alone watching the drops hit the floor and worm their way into the cracks between the wood. I turn toward the doorway.

    She stands where you once might have stood.

    “Daddy?” she says. A reason.


  14. Lub dub. Lub dub. Lub dub.

    I am alive.

    Nathanial listened closely to the steady beating of his heart a little longer. His survival was confirmed when a stale, decaying smell assaulted his nostrils and made his stomach churn.

    Where am I?

    He tried to open his eyes, but his vision was spotty. In any case, he didn’t have to see where he was to know that he had been cast into prison.

    The cell he was placed in was small, designed to only hold one. Rusty shackles hung limp and empty from the mossy cobblestone walls. In the top corner of the cell was a small, barred window which appeared to go to another cell instead of the outside.

    He patted his scalp and spat a curse. “Oh, not my bowler hat!” he complained as he ran his fingers through his exposed curls.

    “Who’s there?” a melodic female voice came from the other side of the wall.

    “Nathaniel Rogers.” He called.

    “Are you part of the Underground?”

    “Indeed I am. May I have your name?”

    “Nellie Walden.”

    That name sounded familiar. He searched his mind for answers and drew a blank. “It’s lovely to meet you, Nellie.”

    “And you as well, Nathaniel. Please, can you tell me what is happening on the outside?”

    Nathaniel told her all about starving families, people working themselves to death, illness, corruption, sin, and the Federal government. The world was the playground of the rich and the graveyard of meek. The Underground was slowly gathering support, though; and thanks to the brilliant engineers, scientists, agents, and soldiers they had some hope.
    It was strange talking to someone he couldn’t see. After a while, it felt more like he was talking to himself.

    When he was done, she said, “Then there is still hope.”

    There was a moment of silence.

    “Not many women in prison.” He said. “What did you do?”

    “I designed assault prosthetics for the Underground and educated lower level citizens.”

    A bell went off in his head. “I remember you, now!” he said enthusiastically. “I can’t believe I didn’t put it together before!”

    “Have we met?” she asked.

    “Well…no.” he admitted. “But I have followed your work. You saved my sister’s life! You stood up for the common folk despite serious personal repercussions. You’re kindness has lifted the spirits and hopes of hundreds and maybe even thousands of despairing people. Nellie, you are the reason I joined the Underground.”

    “Your words are so kind in such a cruel place.” She said.

    “I always imagined what it would be like to meet you.” He continued. “I never thought it would be in prison.”

    She laughed and they began an endless conversation about their lives and what led them to the Underground, what made them laugh, what they loved about their home, and sometimes they spoke of nothing at all.

    Nellie was everything Nathaniel had always imagined: kind, loving, classy, fearless, brilliant, and full of hope. She listened to him tell her about himself, genuinely interested. He forgot about the Federation and the Underground and even the fact that he was in prison.

    “Nathaniel?” her voice was airy.


    “Do you think that if we had met under other circumstances…”

    “I would kiss you.” He blurted before he could even finish his sentence.

    She laughed. “I would have loved to kiss you.”

    There was a moment of silent as the both drifted into a fantasy.

    “Any moment now the guards will come to take me to the gallows.” She said in a heavy voice.

    “What? No!”

    “I want you to know that this was the most beautiful conversation I ever had.” She choked back tears. “Live, Nathaniel; for both of us.”

    No matter how much Nathaniel cried, screamed, thrashed, or prayed; the soldiers came and took Nellie away that very night. As they were leaving Nathaniel cried out with everything he had in him, “I LOVE YOU NELLIE WALDEN!”

    “No one can find love in just one day.” A guard snickered.

    But Nathaniel knew the guard was wrong. In one day he had fallen in love and then lost his love. He would live as he promised, keeping her heartbeat and his as one.

    700 words


  15. Just realised I didn’t include word count or twitter name lol
    Word count for Heartbeat is 467, name @lejamez


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