Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 49

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 49!

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

This week’s song prompt comes all the way from 1982. The artist is forgotten ’80’s new waver Peter Godwin.

Now, you’ll probably notice the absence of a photograph of the artist in this week’s post. This is not an oversight. It’s a conscious decision made as a result of horror stories I’ve heard from other bloggers, stories about overzealous copyright enforcement efforts.

Let me state right here and now that I fully support the rights of artists to receive credit and compensation for their work, but when it’s being used in a way that the user derives NO tangible gain from, monetary or otherwise, I just don’t see the harm in it. Still, I can’t afford to be sued so unless I happen to have photos of artists that I’ve personally taken there won’t be any more pictures posted here.

Anyway…

The song prompt is, “Images of Heaven”. Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/7cdrBBnAuBA

This week’s Judge is that fab California writer… Mona Bliss!
The challenge runs from the moment you read this post until midnight PACIFIC TIME on Friday February 21st.

Now go write!!!

 

 

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Posted on February 18, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. A backdrop of thick, grey cloud cast a dark shadow over the run-down building and Oliver shivered, checking the address scrawled in his notebook. It was right. He gingerly pushed open the peeling wooden door, afraid it would fall off its hinges but wasn’t prepared for the splendour within. His eyes trailed up the grand, wooden staircase, following the smooth curves until they fell onto the ruby red gown. He couldn’t help but linger on the creamy flesh of slim leg through the split . . . a long split . . . past the knee . . . up to her thigh.

    “You found it then?” Her sultry voice swathed Oliver in silk. He gazed up to her sun-kissed face, unable to speak. “Come,” she offered extending a delicate hand.

    Oliver climbed the thick carpeted stairs, unable to avert his gaze from her sapphire eyes. He found himself in a bedroom, where sunlight flooded through floor to ceiling windows, casting a natural glow on her beautiful skin, making artificial lighting redundant. She draped herself across the billowing, snowy white covers of the bed. Fumbling with equipment, Oliver’s hands trembled.

    “Everything OK?” she asked in a breathy voice.

    “Yeah, good, just getting ready. You said these photos are for someone special?”

    “ Yes. Aren’t all photos special?” she purred.

    “Of course. Shall we begin?” Oliver immersed himself in his art which was easy when the muse was so beautiful. He didn’t imagine her penetrating stare, her flirtatious manner, teasing him, drawing him in. He was helpless, like a moth seeking the light. She was the light he fell into with heart, body and soul.

    It took time for sleep to slip away. He tried to adjust to his surroundings but it was dark. Footsteps lingered close. He smiled. A beam of light shone through the door before it burst open. Oliver shielded his eyes from the intrusion.

    “OK, Romeo, get your things and clear off,” the gruff voice said. Oliver found himself naked, lying on a shabby mattress in a squat.

    “But I was with a woman. Where is she? Where am I?”

    “Yeah, I know the type of woman you were with, do anything for a fix, steals your wallet. You’re in a condemned building, trespassing I might add.”

    “But the staircase, the windows,” blustered Oliver, pulling on his trousers, “the bed.”

    “Must have been some trip,” the guard replied, watching Oliver pick up his camera and bag.” You’re lucky she never stole that.”

    “Trip? I wasn’t on anything! I was invited here for a photo shoot.” Full of exasperation, Oliver glanced round, seeing discarded needles, rusty teaspoons, a rat scurrying into a dark corner. He shuddered, feeling the cold as the hairs on the back of his neck bristled.

    “Yeah, I’m sure she was a supermodel,” he offered, dripping with sarcasm.

    “She was more than that, a classic beauty! She lived here.” The stairs creaked with every step, no carpet and Oliver was careful to avoid holes. Once outside, Oliver looked back at the building, just as it was when he arrived. His head ached, his mouth felt full of sawdust. The guard walked away. Oliver ran over the events. He wasn’t drugged. He’d taken nothing, only her, repeatedly. He could smell her perfume, see the contours of her body, the gentle curls of platinum hair tumbling across her eyes, so easy to love, to photograph.

    “No! wait!” Oliver shouted, running through puddles. “I have proof.” The guard stopped as Oliver reached for his camera. “Look! I’m not lying!”

    “I’m sure whatever went on in there was mind blowing but you’re this close to me calling the police.”

    “No, look.” Oliver stared through the viewfinder, scrolling through the photos as the guard looked on impatiently. Every frame showed the same thing, an empty room with a stained, threadbare mattress. “I don’t understand. She was there. She was real!”

    “Go home!”

    Hollowness engulfed Oliver. He knew it happened, could still feel her touch on his skin, the heat of her body. He trudged away, hearing her wispy voice behind him. He spun round, but was alone, her breathless laugh echoing in his mind, never to leave him.

    687
    @Lizzie_Koch

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  2. Tear in a Jar

    Theo closed his eyes. Blue lace on white skin; his lips grazing the soft flesh just inside her thigh; her smile erupting into ecstasy. Salty; sweet; heady. Images flickered through his mind like a silent porno – everything he needed playing out with the only girl he’d ever loved. The door to his apartment slammed open, disrupting his train of thought and his left hand. He adjusted himself before the lights flipped on, just barely getting his pants zipped in time.

    “Knock much?” Theo glared at the young boy in his living room.

    “You said to hurry, so I hurried.” The boy shrugged and flopped on the couch next to Theo.

    “Did you get it,” Theo asked?

    “Yeah, but I doubt this shit will get you high. I’ve never heard of shooting holy water, man.” The boy pulled a clear jar full of liquid from his jacket pocket and passed it to Theo.

    “It’s not holy water, dumb ass. That’s why I said Saint Catherine’s on Vine Street. That is where you went, right?”

    “Yeah, man. That’s where I went. Can I watch?”

    “Sure.” Theo held the jar up to the bare yellow bulb illuminating the room.

    “What the hell is that?” Theo’s eyes shifted from the jar to the kid from down the hall. The boy was leaning over, examining the contents. Should Theo tell him? It wasn’t like they were friends. Theo just let the kid crash on the couch when things got too crazy in his own apartment. He’d offered twenty bucks if the boy would run down to Saint Catherine’s and fill the jar. He probably wouldn’t believe Theo anyway.

    “Angel tears.” Theo put the jar on the coffee table and picked up the black travel bag sitting next to the ash tray.

    “What the fuck?” The boy laughed nervously as he looked from the jar, to Theo and back again.

    “You heard me,” Theo said. He didn’t look up as he opened the bag and pulled out a syringe. He skipped the cotton balls and empty tea light tin; no need to clean and filter this shit. He pulled off his belt and slid it around his arm like a thousand times before.

    “Don’t you need to like, heat it or something?” the boy asked. His eyes bulged as he watched Theo prep.

    “No, this goes straight in. You ever seen someone shoot up before?” Theo put the needle into the jar and pulled up the stopper.

    “Naw, man.” The kids eyes followed Theo’s every move. “Hey, what will shooting angel tears do, anyway?” he asked.

    “Make her love me again,” Theo replied.

    He pulled the belt tight and clamped it in his teeth. He closed his eyes and inhaled through his nose. Velvet skin flashed in his mind and he felt his jeans tighten along the crotch. He exhaled, opened his eyes, and slapped at the veins in his lower arm. He pierced his skin and pulled back the plunger, watching the blood swirl into the barrel before slamming the full hit. He released the belt and pulled out the needle.

    Theo waited. He’d done this once before; he knew what was coming. But it still hit him like a shock wave. His back arched and his eyes rolled as hellfire shot through his veins. He heard the boy whimpering next to him on the couch. The burning pain sped through his body. He doubled over, slipping to the floor. The boy was screaming now. But he had to purge his system, cleanse his soul. She would love him again if he was clean.

    His body shook as his stomach released its contents, bile spilling under the couch. His breathing slowed as the burning subsided. The worst was almost over. Theo knew he was too tainted this time; he’d need at least one more hit. He slowly sat up and pulled out another syringe. The boy was crying. Good. Maybe this would keep him clean; keep him away from any drug, especially love.

    Theo’s fingers shook as he pulled another hit. He would have to walk through hell again if he had any hopes of touching that alabaster skin one more time.

    696 words
    @BrewedBohemian

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  3. Images of Heaven

    Her pink dress fluttered in the breeze, I squinted, my vision blurring as she waltzed closer, not really pink, paler than that, but it fluttered all the same. She’d been dancing all day, ever since I woke, ever since I regained consciousness with a skunk in my throat. I watched morbidly transfixed as she danced across the grass, bare feet stepping lightly and a pirouette beneath the sun.
    Sweaty runners hurried by, their neon trainers padding on the asphalt, but even their blur couldn’t hide the dancer.
    Tired mothers pushed buggies, and threw glances of contempt my way, hurriedly calling back recalcitrant toddlers who strayed my way. School children filled the path in front of me, loitering and shouting, and spitting and swearing. I glared and they backed away from my shaking fist as I took a swig from my bottle. Businessmen snatched late conversations on mobile phones and glanced at their watches. Businesswomen hurried past with barely a gaze, gulping down coffees from Starbucks and checking their iPads, and I waited for rush hour to fade.
    By early evening, I relaxed into the bench, my usual corner, and drank. She danced, showing no sign of letting up and if I drank more, knocked it back, maybe she’d go…
    Dog walkers, the park’s evening invasion of choice. Labradors bounded past, springer spaniels pulled at their leads, and a German shepherd walked sedately by its knowing golden-brown eyes boring into me. A little old lady walked a tiny puffball and I let out a guffaw that made the old thing tremble. I shrank as a big black dog on a retractable lead snuffled up to the park bench. I glared and it replied with a growl baring its teeth, and its owner threw a horrified glance my way before yanking the lead and hurrying on.
    But still my dancer danced.
    I watched as her small, lithe body balanced on toes, and her arms moved with grace and beauty. As the sun’s ball of hellfire began to set, its golden tones settled on her long, pale hair.
    The evening chill thrust through my bones and I shivered, settling back into the bench as the sun pooled in molten gold on the horizon. Before the sun dropped behind the world I leaned forward, and stared at the fluttering gauzy skirt, her white hair and her graceful moves. As the night hid her from me, I recalled a mental image, a photograph in my mind, and I supressed a strangled sob.
    A pair of giggling lovebirds wandered past, they paused as they saw me, but I curled my lip and the moon glinted on my bottle. They moved on hurrying away through the darkened park.
    The silver moon, a shining sickle, threw rays upon the frosty trees as well as my bottle, and danced on the girl’s shimmering locks. Her pale skin glowed in the dark and her gossamer dress fluttered, as did my chest.
    I shivered.
    They say dead men are visited by the ghosts of their wrongs. My lascivious gaze recognised the pale pink dress, the gauzy tutu, the delicate limbs and her tiny heart-shaped face. I recalled my wrongs vividly as she visited me that night, the ghost of my forgotten past.
    As the early morning sun peered over the trees in the park, and mist swirled across the grass, a Labrador snuffled at the foot of my park bench. The brown bottle chinked and clattered to the ground, released from my cold, stiff hand, and as the dog’s owner stifled a shriek, I faded, disappearing into the eternal depths of damnation.

    (601 Words)
    @LastKrystallos
    http://thelastkrystallos.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/blues-buster-images-of-heaven/

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  4. Heaven’s Exile

    The local planets did not take illegal mining lightly. I took the rumors as fabrications, until I noticed the government was putting half its army to protect that non-populated stretch of space. I thought it might be profitable to sneak in for a look.

    Picking a spot between military vessels to make a silent entry into the asteroid belt was pretty easy. Navigating the dense belt was hard. Bumping even the small ones would be fatal. My plan had been to navigate with the scanners to avoid being crushed, but hopefully not scanning so much as to draw attention.

    I anchored a large asteroid. The larger rocks move faster and the other guys could be scanned as we passed by, assuming they didn’t brush each other and turn me into a greasy patch on the side of the asteroid. The attachment was successful, and scanning began.

    Then I saw heaven, or at least something that looked like heaven. It appeared to be a rock with a long stretch made completely of gold. I released the current rock and grabbed hold of the golden spot. I parked in a deeply recessed canyon and released three mechanical miners.

    While waiting for the hold to be filled, I opened all the observation windows. It was an amazing sight. The recessed area I was in looked just like a city street with massive buildings rising straight up on both sides. After a few minutes of staring, I began to realize that periodically on the walls there was a square area with gold which was more clear and pure than anything I had ever seen.

    I stared, mesmerized, at the closest one for a long time. Then I saw movement on the other side. Something was in there, looking back at me. But how could it be? As I was studying the spot to try and figure out if I had seen what I thought I had seen, another came up. They pointed at me and apparently were discussing what to do about me. Then a rectangular section opened like a door and this creature came out. It looked like it was made of glowing, molten gold.

    He walked up to the side of my ship and stared through the window at me. Behind him, I saw a miner coming back, its basket full of gold bricks. The creature reached out and touched it. It stopped dead in its tracks. Then it reached out and touched my ship. Every light, sensor, and control went dark. My stomach felt like it was sinking deeper into my gut.

    The creature went back inside and I spent the next several days trying to make repairs. From time to time crowds of the creatures would walk up to the ship and stare at me. I stayed busy trying to get airborne before the emergency power ran out.

    Then there was one creature that seemed familiar. It spent hours watching me. It even seemed to cry over my predicament. Eventually I began to fancy it looked like my mom when she was younger. Often we stopped and stared right at each other, centimeters apart, on opposite sides of the glass.

    Eventually I decided it was my mom. She was in heaven, and I was trapped here as punishment for trying to steal heaven’s gold. Finally, she reached out and touched the ship. Everything lit up. She had given me back control.

    I was airborne within minutes, and hastily evacuating heaven. Clearing the last building I crashed right into the front of an oncoming asteroid. In the next moment I was transformed into a being like the ones down below. In the moment after that I was bound and put on trial. I was accused of exactly what I had been doing. Standing beside me was momma. She was accused of, helping me escape. I tried to speak on her behalf, but was forbidden. Together we were exiled into deep uninhabited space.

    I had never belonged there anyway, but I think I have found my own personal hell. My eternal punishment is knowing I got her kicked out of heaven.

    @CharlesWShort
    689 words

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  5. Obsession

    Derek stood in the cool darkness of the night and waited. He had spent weeks mining every fan site, music news program, entertainment magazine with even the vaguest hint to her whereabouts. All of that time and effort led to him finding himself here in the light rain and thick fog of the San Francisco suburbs.

    He knew no sane man would be doing what he proposed tonight. He knew no normal, everyday well-adjusted observer of pop culture would be so easily ensnared by all of the hype and hyperbole attendant with being a star of her caliber. What he knew was one thing while what he felt for her was an entirely different matter. He was no longer capable of denying his feelings and tonight he would transcend the ranks of those who merely fancied her and ascend to the level of prominence in her life he truly deserved.

    He had first seen her in a music video while channel-surfing in the wee hours of a sleepless night. From that moment, she was not some pretty face and passable voice to him. She was…a goddess…an icon…the altar upon which he would sacrifice anyone and anything to never have to live a single day for the rest of his life without some semblance of her in it.

    His home media library included ever known recording of her music. He had each of the five cinematic appearances she had made in every known format in which they had been released. The Internet provided him clips of her interviews, awards- ceremony speeches, public service announcements and, even, the dozen or so commercials for various products she had done in Japan when her quest for exposure had been at its greatest.

    He had scrapbooks filled with every print interview, newspaper story, magazine photo spread or material of any sort found in any other hardcopy source with even a scintilla of a connection to her. Those books were shelved next to the ones containing the ticket stubs and programs from each and every one of the 27 concert appearances of hers he had attended on three continents.

    He had, of course…of necessity, written her many a letter extolling not only the depths of his reverence for her but his heartfelt certainty they were destined to be together. While he was well aware, with her schedule and commitments, it would be difficult for her to respond to him in as timely a manner as he might wish, he was entirely unprepared for the stark reality of her response when, at length, it arrived.

    Said response took the form of an unctuous man, considerably lacking in any understanding of social graces, who returned to him each and every one of his missives along with a cease-and-desist order admonishing him to write no further letters. The man left no room for doubt further legal actions of a much less passive nature would be brought to bear if he saw fit to disregard the gentle prodding of the order.

    Rather than constituting the voice of reason…the ice-cold water in the face of reality, the order had ignited with Derek a raging inferno. He realized he would never be able to overcome the arbitrary obstacles placed between him and the potential love of his life.

    Across the street, he saw movement and was galvanized into action. He knew she would be accompanied by her two omnipresent bodyguards and had planned appropriately. The firearms he had chosen offered the maximum rate of fire and damage possible. They fell in a hail of bullets offering no obstacle to him whatsoever.

    He focused his attention and the remainder of his ammunition on her. Tears streamed down his face as he watched his beloved jerk and spasm in the bloody dance of death that guaranteed, quite irrevocably, that if she were never to be his to love then she would never be loved by anyone else either.

    654 words @klingorengi

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  6. Johnson shifted his position slightly and found the window he was looking for. He fiddled with the focus on the binoculars and someone came into view. It wasn’t her. He sighed. Was she home? He thought she was; he’d seen the limo turn up, and a group of glitter clad individuals rush into the house. He assumed she was among them. Maybe he was wrong.

    He scanned the top floor windows. Lights were coming on and people were running about. Couples were pairing off and he wanted to know who she would be with.

    Movement in another window sent him looking there and there she was, head thrown back laughing at the guy in front of her. He looked like a typical New Romance geek; silver shoulder pads making him look like something out of a badly made sci-fi movie, with hair lacquered into an elaborate quiff. The guy was lighting a cigarette, if he wasn’t careful his hair would catch light. Johnson smiled. He’d like to see that.

    They were drunk, swaying all over the place, and he was waiting to see if they were going to get undressed, but no such luck as they exited the room.

    He pulled up off his elbows. Watching that guy light up had made him want a cigarette too, so he pulled a packet out of his jeans and enjoyed a smoke here on top of the world.

    Johnson surveyed the city below him as it glistened in the night light. He’d been scooping this location out the last couple of days, making sure it overlooked the right house.

    He’d wanted her ever since he’d first seen in her debut music video. It wasn’t as though he wasn’t someone worthy of knowing; he owned a music production company, but it wasn’t a big enough concern for her to notice. He’d found out all he could about her, and even though he could access to the parties she attended, her group of sycophantic security guards wouldn’t let him close.

    He knew he tipped into the obsessive when he woke up every morning thinking about her and fell asleep every night with her image in his head. He’d started to resent it, started to resent her. And that’s when he’d come up with this plan.

    Johnson ground the butt into the ground and kicked it away, then spun round back onto his belly. Looking through the binoculars again he found her downstairs in the lounge, moments before the French windows burst open and they all came flooding out. Even from this distance he could hear their screams of laughter and knew what they were planning.

    He reached out and grabbed the hold-all he had with him and scrabbled about inside with one had. He didn’t want to miss this opportunity.

    He saw her come out, already stripping off her clothes, revealing a sexy string bikini beneath, reflecting gold in the light round the pool. He paused as his hand found what it was looking for and took in the view for a moment. He imagined his hands on that soft, supplicating flesh. It was such a waste.

    He took away the binoculars and replaced them with the sight. He found his target easily and flicked the safety off the rifle in one movement. He took a breath and waited a second as he saw her approach the diving board. She jumped once, then twice, and as she jumped a third time he pulled the trigger. It hit home, making the dive into the water less elegant, but the crowd round the pool still loved it, cheering and thinking it was just the drink.

    Johnson smiled as he beat his retreat, knowing that in a few seconds those cheers would turn to cries as the blood surfaced and she didn’t.

    He jogged down the top of the ridge, more sure-footed than he’d imagined, and jumped into his jeep. Being half way up the hillside he was able to coast the car down to the tarmac, keeping his retreat silent.

    If he couldn’t have her, no one was going to.

    684 Words
    @PurpleQueenNL

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  7. An Unfinished Life

    The engine had begun whining somewhere around Omaha, but I barely had enough money to keep gas in the tank, so I hoped whichever god oversaw desperate travelers would let me get to the end of the line. I’d always pictured the desert as hot and barren, filled with cacti and the odd coyote, but as I’d turned southwest, I saw that billboards and McDonalds and Travel Centers and all the signs of the plague that my kind was had made it into this once-pristine wilderness. There was no heaven anymore, not on Earth, not for us.

    Your house was right where the map said it would be, a white box on a lawn too green to be real, and I pulled my car into your driveway, turning the engine off and listening to the ticking of hot metal suddenly released from the inferno of a thousand thousand controlled explosions. I didn’t know if you were home yet, and now that I was here, all of the words I’d spent so many hours rehearsing over the last three days sounded infantile, weak – the kinds of things that made you leave our home at the far end of everything and seek your own way out here in fantasyland.

    Somehow I found myself standing at your door, knocking on the painted wood, as if I had some right to come here, to see you, and somehow you were there, pulling the door back and letting the cool air wash out into the world.

    “You’re here sooner than I expected.” You didn’t smile, or frown – those I had written scripts for in my mind – but I could feel your disappointment in me flow over me like a spiritual nor’easter, and I froze, castigating myself for blowing my chance.

    You stepped back, holding the door open for me. “Well, come in. It’s been a long drive, I’m sure.”

    314 words
    @drmagoo

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  8. THE HEAVEN SESSIONS

    Bailey had to hand it to her. The woman knew how to tolerate bullshit. Stood there and took it without complaining for nearly five days. Just like the handler required her to. But that last day, everything changed with three simple words: Sing with me.

    They had eleven songs in the can but at some point the night before, Rudd decided to add one more track. A duet. With the former Mrs. Rudd. Who hadn’t sung a word in the five years since her marriage had tanked into a bottomless shithole of booze and bitches.

    But the moment Rudd asked the former Mrs. Rudd to sing, the whole damn world went sideways at warp speed. The album would have been solid without it. He was primed for a comeback. And now, all he was asking was for his ex-wife to get on the bandwagon.

    Hendricks, the consummate manager, pulled Dahlia off to the side and tried to talk her down. When that didn’t work, he called for the drummer. “Ronnie? See if you can get anywhere with Dahlia. I gotta go pacify Rudd.”

    Ronnie took hold of Bailey and pulled him along for the ride, hustling into the room and saying, “Let’s make this short and sweet, Dahlia. You’re inked into a contract that says Hendricks and Rudd own your soul all week. Best you’re gonna do here is set your own terms for the next hour.”

    Her eyes closed. “We’ve been friends a long time, Ronnie. I know you’re right but it’s been a long time since …”

    “Look at me. Nothing says you have to get it pitch perfect, okay?! You just gotta make the man believe you’re going along with him. You get me?”

    She looked at the carpet. “When Hendricks called, I thought, ‘Here’s my chance to get everything squared away. No more scraping for child support and alimony payments. Thought I had all my bases covered. Should have known better.”

    Ronnie patted her shoulder. “Check it out, girl. I got a plan. Tell Hendricks you want to lay your track separate. Bailey and I will go into the studio with you and we’ll stay until you feel good about it, okay?!”

    Dahlia looked over at Bailey. “Would you mind?”

    Bailey was certain of two things in that moment. One, he didn’t mind in the least. Two, he couldn’t have left without hearing whatever momentous song was going to come of this whole thing.

    She glanced back at Ronnie. “I need fifteen minutes. I’ll meet you in Studio B.”

    While Ronnie and Bailey waited, Rudd laid down a couple practice tracks with them. Bailey was surprised. With the melody. With the lyrics. With Rudd’s performance. When he heard that Rudd had written it over the lunch break, he was stunned.

    By the time they went to Studio B, they had the essence of the song in their veins and their obvious enthusiasm helped Dahlia settle in. With Hendricks and Rudd at the window, they ran through it once with Rudd’s vocals piped in.

    And then it was her turn. She fumbled the first time, her voice catching and sticking. Finally, she signaled a stop, took a deep breath and began again. What came out of her mouth sent chills down Bailey’s spine.

    A deep smoky alto that bled into everything it touched. His skin. The instruments. The atmosphere. If heaven had music, this was it.

    When she was done, the studio reverberated awe. She put out a hand to steady herself and stood there, eyes closed to block out the stares.

    Ronnie finally got up and put an arm around her, kinda half hugging her and half sheltering her. “You did real good, Dahlia. It’s all over now. Hendricks gave it the thumbs up, so we’re all done. You okay? Can I get you anything? Glass of water or something?”

    She opened those big beautiful brown eyes, turned to the window, and said to Hendricks, “Give me my goddamn money.”

    = = = = =
    663 words / @bullishink

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  9. Heavenly Visions
    @BryantheTinker, 477 words

    Sitting at the bar, Steven nursed his martini, trying to ignore the crowd around him. Flashing lights pulsed in time with the rhythmic club music. People danced and celebrated in a variety of costumes, all depending on the people that they called friends. Universally, though, they gave him a wide space to be alone with his dark thoughts.

    Suddenly, the music changed. A lot more synthesizer worked it’s way into the next song, and the guitar solo squealed out a story of it’s own. The lights around dimmed, and the dance floor cleared. The changes penetrated Steven’s focus just in time for a single spotlight to shine down into the center of the club. Striding into the light, a woman started singing a tune about all of the images of heaven. The club’s colored lights kept dancing around her, sparkling in her tall blonde hair, and reflecting off of the sequins decorating the shoulders and chest of her sweater. A fog started rising off the floor, showing off each definitive step of the high heels and skin tight jeans. Across the crowd, she looked straight at Steven and smiled.

    Mesmerised, he stood up from his bar stool and walked closer to the dance floor. For each step he took, she danced one step closer, staring deep into his eyes, unheeding of the sea of people dancing around them. In just a few steps, he was standing on the edge of the dance floor. He couldn’t blink, he couldn’t do anything but look at her. All his troubles were somewhere else, and nothing mattered anymore.

    Without an actual decision, he started running forward. Arms outreached, he had to touch her and hold her. She ran to him, each step completely in synch. As they met, spotlight overhead, he reached out to embrace her, but his arms could get no grip. The cheap illusion passed right through him, leaving him standing helplessly in the middle of the dance floor. Steven storms up to the bartender, feeling embarrassed and covering it in a layer of ineffective machismo. “What was that? Did you put something in my drink?”

    “No, man, but here’s a fresh one. You saw her, didn’t you? She does that sometimes. She died here in the 80’s sometime, and every once in a while, well, she finds someone she likes and does a little dance number.” The bartender in modern flannel slides a new fresh martini to Steven. “Nobody believes, until they actually see her.”

    Steven calms down a little, and tries to wrap his new experience into the brooding that filled his mind. The bartender slips away for a minute to have a whispered conversation with the manager. “Happened again. We’ve gotta do something about her.”

    “Not yet. She breaks their hearts, but they always come back. Why do you think we called this place Heavenly Visions?”

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  1. Pingback: The Lie of the Dream Lover | The Cheese Whines

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