Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 2.3

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 2, Week 3.

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 MIDNIGHT Pacific Time on Friday.  You read that right.  Pacific Time.

This week’s song prompt is by the criminally unknown band Tito & Tarantula.

The tune is… “After Dark”. Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/T5CF7mFwtgU

This week’s Judge is the talented author and head guru of the Daily Picspiration blog… Miranda Gammella…

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday April 4th.

Now… go write!!!


Posted on April 1, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Ernesto: 1, Esmeralda: 3

    Her worn leather boots kicked up the dust as she walked away from the junkyard bus that had spit her out into this Devil’s anus in Baja.
    She’d been hopping from one crumbling pueblo to another following up on clues that finally led here. The uneven, partially paved streets were starting to fill with machinadora workers as the dusky sky brought forth the night.
    Esmeralda casually surveyed the cantina as she made her way in from the street. The sun was now fully set as she nonchalantly ordered a tequila from the bartender. She tipped her worn Tejada at him as she laid a few pesos on the wooden bar.
    She waited like a lion for her prey, but wanted to finish the job so she could get paid and go home.
    It didn’t take her long to find the stocky, pig-faced minion who was keeping her mark somewhere in the city.
    They’d been one step ahead of her moving the daughter of a grocery chain store owner, from one hide-out to another.
    Apparently, the girl’s father was short on his contribution to the current head of a militia style cartel. When Mexico’s president declared a war on drugs, he arrested the heads of the largest cartels, but didn’t realize the devil he knew was the only thing keeping some semblance of order in the underworld, and the void left was filled by barbarians with no concept of “don’t shit where you eat”.
    These former Mexican military were butchering migrants, terrorizing tourist towns, kidnapping people and generally fucking up the old system. It made it stupidly easy for a mildly clever douche like Ernesto to become the head of his own cartel in this very cherry spot in Mexico’s armpit.
    Esmeralda relished any opportunity to piss off Ernesto, and almost did this work for free. Almost.
    Following the bulbous minion as he exited the bar, he led her to a rundown motel.
    Esmeralda made it to the roof of the neighboring building to spy on the minion entering a room directly across from her; he was stupid enough to place the girl in a room with no iron bars. Esmeralda made out the small figure of a girl tied down to the bed with a blindfold.
    Esmeralda softly hummed to herself as she screwed the silencer onto her long-range handgun. Without hesitation, but ever so carefully, she aimed the gun at the window. As soon as he was in her sights, she squeezed the trigger. The broken glass didn’t cause much of a raucous in the noisy building. Quickly, she ran down the stairs and walked into the motel.
    Appearing out of place, some of the sex workers stared at her, but Esmeralda pushed up the stairs to the locked room. After shooting off the door knob, she slipped into the room and stepped over the dead man until she reached the girl.
    The girl whimpered.
    “Ana? Shh,” Esmeralda said as she began to cut the zip ties from the girl’s limbs with her pocket knife, “Your father sent me. Listen, we need to keep your blindfold and gag on for now, but I promise I’ll take it off as soon as we get out of here. Ok?”
    The girl was frozen with fear.
    Esmeralda picked her up like a ragdoll and threw her over her shoulder; out of the room and through the hall, she was nearly out of the motel when another minion stopped her at the door.
    “Hey! Where ya goin’?” the tall man asked.
    “The boss wants her moved,” she said pushing past him.
    “I’ve never seen you before,” he said blocking the door.
    “I’m new,” she began, “Oh, I don’t have time for this shit,” she pulled out her gun and shot him between the eyes before he even had a chance to pull out his gun.
    In the alley next to the motel, she busted the window of car, and after clearing the broken glass, placed the girl in the passenger seat.
    After hot wiring the car, she told the girl, “You can take your blindfold off now, Ana”, the engine roared as Esmeralda sped away, “You’re going home,” she said with a smirk.

    700 Words


  2. Every night, I tried. I swear I tried, but my hands would start to shake as the shadows lengthened, and by the time Vega started to show itself in the gloaming, the whiskey would be draining down my esophagus, washing down the first of the pills.

    It didn’t really help, although sometimes I would fall asleep faster. Every night, she came.
    I never did figure out why she didn’t come during the day. It wasn’t like I forgot about what I’d done just because the sun was above the horizon, but until the night, it was in the past. Like a test in high school geometry or the color of your first bike – you could remember details, but you had to think about it. I had a job, and guys I met for lunch, and a regular group that hit the links Sunday mornings when it wasn’t too wet, and none of them knew about her. Why would they? To them I was just Kyle from IT, a little shy, a little heavy, but a good guy, y’know.

    The whiskey and the Percocet were a ritual, I think. I could have tried something stronger, or at least something different, but they’d been her last meal, and I think she liked seeing me this way.

    She didn’t speak to me during these visits. She didn’t cry or scream or act out in any way. She just came back and the past was no longer the past.

    Did I ask forgiveness? I know I did that night when I’d seen what I’d done. And maybe this was forgiveness, of a sort. I never set foot in jail, or a police station for that matter, and I’m sure I’d left a trail a mile wide. They never even talked to me, even after all the leads had dried up. But what she forgave, I did not forget.

    And so she came, after dark, every night. She lived when the sun died, and I let her come.

    333 words


  3. I decided to wait until after dark. Then again, I always did. That was starting to seem odd, but I slept better during the day and my world of booze and music happened at night. Sometimes it seemed like there was something about this living only after sun set that I should remember, but it would slip away and I’d have a bar to get ready for the night and a sound engineer too hung over to do sound check. But tonight I was off and while I could have gotten up earlier, I think…couldn’t I? Anyway I’m sure I could have but I decided to wait and not screw up my sleep schedule besides the art walk didn’t start until sun set anyway.

    I walked down the sidewalk letting the soft early summer breeze warm me. The paintings and photographs leaning against the chain link fence were really quite good. I was looking hard at a crazy beautiful painting of a broken down house covered in kudzu when she spoke.

    “Lovely isn’t it?”

    Her voice flowed over me like honey and I felt as though I had just come on to the best morphine high ever. I turned my head slowly to look at her. She was tall, almost my height which put her at around six feet. I glanced down to see that she was wearing sandals, so all that height was her and her alone. My eyes roamed slowly back up to her face, tall and lean, wearing low slung jeans and a soft gauzy top with little mirrors sewed around the hem. Her face was lovely if a bit gaunt with a full mouth, a small nose and bright blue eyes. Her hair was light red done up in dreds, some piled on her head and some hanging down to past her shoulders. She smiled and it felt like she had been waiting for me, she had always been waiting for me.

    “It’s good to see you Remy. It’s been a little long but you needed relief from the weight of all that time.” She hooked her arm through mine and started walking down the street. She felt…so right by my side. She was warm and comforting and my heart started to…wait, my heart? Was my heart beating? Did my heart ever beat unless I made it do so? When did I last take a breath? I stopped suddenly and she stopped at exactly the same moment. She smiled up at me, tilting her head to the side and I leaned down, my lips just a hair’s breadth from her neck and breathed in deeply. I closed my eyes and felt the memories rush back. A roller coaster ride of days, months, years, decades, centuries…millennia? I staggered but she held me steady with a surprising amount of strength. As I calmed into the knowledge of who she was and who I was and what we were, I gathered her into my arms and held her close to my chest. She shuddered with a contained sob and gripped me tightly. I laid my cheek against the top of her head.

    “Oh my sweet girl, such a rare and costly gift you have given me. Even the remembering is lighter now. To have lived and felt the world in such a deliciously small amount of time, to feel the threat of mortality, to feel excited to be alive. Oh my heart, how shall repay this to you?”

    She pulled back and looked up at me intently, “Return the favor my love. Not tonight, not even this decade, as I have missed you so. But with no warning and no strings, just return the favor.”

    I hugged her close again, “I will, I promise. Now we must feed. Age gives us the luxury of needing so little to survive, but a year and a day is a bit long even for me.”

    It had been fifteen years since my “vacation”, as we had come to call it, now I left her sleeping quietly. She would start her job tonight at Snug Harbor, pouring drinks and living small, only after dark.

    Words: 691

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bite

    I need to leave her. Before it’s too late. Perhaps it already is. Perhaps I know that, really. Heather was gone tonight when I woke, darkness surrounding me. Pitch. I reached for her and she wasn’t there – the sheets which should have held her warmth cold, no dint indicating she had been there recently. We fell asleep together, curled around each other, my hand caressing the puckered scab at her shoulder – the ridges already healing; indentations becoming less distinct. Somehow, she has managed to move from me; to evade any conversation over why she strolls the night. A new burgeoning, burning light behind her eyes. Signalling the inevitable. What will come. The becoming. Beckoning heat. Neither of us has managed to say the words. Not yet. Not until the inevitable. Until it falls apart. Maybe not even then.

    I remember the night too well. The one which matters most. To us. She stumbled through the door, hair tangled about her shoulders, clumped with dirt, leaves; remnants of congealed blood. Jacket lost, top frayed. God alone knew how she had made it home that way. Her fingers left smudge marks against the wood and wallpaper; streaks of mud, mixed with the aftermath of what had gone before.

    “It’s not as bad as it looks,” she said. Still, she refused to meet my eyes. That told me enough. “They just grazed the skin. Hardly anything, really.”

    “What? They? What?” The words refused to collate; to form solid sentences. “I – what?”

    “The teeth.” Her lips quivered slightly, unshed tears beneath her lids. “Should have just phoned a taxi, I guess. Stupid.” There was a brief lift beneath the words before the slump. Literal and figurative, as Heather used the wall as her prop. The paper would need replacing – sooner rather than later, if it wasn’t to act as reminder. I would see to it, I told myself. Without fuss.

    “I heard it coming.” A tremble in her voice. “I wish I hadn’t.”

    I thought that was the worst. Then. Now I know better.

    It crept upon us slowly. The realisation. That there would be consequences. Darkness made her restless. She tossed and turned a lot. To be expected. Her temperature ran high – not dangerously so. The GP administered injections to prevent against lingering infection, the fear of fever. We thought that the end of things, save for the delicate ridged scar gracing her shoulder. The preternaturally quick to heal, lasting reminder.

    Night taught us better, as insomnia gave way to wilful wandering. Too little, way too late. Nothing could have prevented it. I think I knew that first night; knew without knowing. The moon’s crescendo towards apex. Waxing. Could scarcely fail to notice the night Heather came home, the cool of after hours amongst her locks, the taste of copper on her lips as I kissed her a welcome. Reddened by something over than natural high colour, though that was there too. Heightened above normality. Heat in her gaze; amber in her eye, once chocolate in colour. I purposefully forgot copper that night; concentrated instead on amber and gold.

    Try as I might, I should have – must have – realised matters would reach their climax. Moon full, white above, no avoiding the merciless light. Her gaze burns through me, fever pitch, on her return. Flames fanned by whatever went before. Tonight I see the evidence stained across the white enamel of her teeth, cherry red matching grin accompanying it. Breath rich with the scent of others. Information I did not need access to.

    No more avoiding. Secrets will out, one way or another – especially those which have been open for a while. Tonight they may consume us. Or one will be consumed.

    Even seeing her this way, it’s hard not to want what we had; what went before the now. I feel myself falling, plunging deep towards the dark. Pull myself back from the brink. Barely. I know her name. Sadly, much as I try to delude myself, it’s no longer Heather. It is the other.

    We face off. Now’s the time. Fight or flight. Focused versus fearful. Predator. Prey. Now. Teeth reach towards me, to administer a final lover’s caress. To bite.


    700 words


  5. Moon Play

    Jonas shifted his leg and felt another next to it. He lifted his head from the pillow and saw several tangled limbs entwined with his. It had been another busy night. He sighed and fell back.

    Hours later he stirred again, the heat getting too much for him. This time there were fewer limbs on the bed. He shuffled up into sitting position, rubbing at his face, feeling the days of stubble.

    He looked round. She was gone. Damn, he’s missed her departure again.

    He pushed the other limbs off him, causing groans as he left the bed.

    He grabbed boxers and a t-shirt as he staggered out onto the landing, tripping down the stairs to see who else was up.

    In the kitchen three of them were sitting round the breakfast bar nursing mugs.

    Darius looked up. “Hey Jonas.” His tussled hair still had leaves in it.

    ‘Where’d Cathy go?”

    “Didn’t see her, sorry.”

    “Arh shit.”

    “But she was with you guys last night, right?”

    “Yeah, she crashed in my room, but I want to be sure she’s running again tonight.”

    “Third night Jonas, that’s asking a lot.” Darius’ twin brother Damien took a swig from his mug.

    Jonas regarded him as he took the milk out of the fridge. “She’s ready for it.”

    “You think?”


    When Cathy walked through the door at sunset Jonas was relieved. She went straight to him, sitting across his lap in the crowded lounge. He embraced her.

    “I was wondering where you got to. You ready for the last run?”

    “What do you think? It’s not like I have a choice.”

    He grinned. “True. You can feel it then?”

    “Been gagging all day.”

    “Good, cuz tonight’s gonna be intense.”

    She smiled. “I wouldn’t expect anything less on full moon.”

    “I’m serious Cathy; there’ll be no playing tonight.”

    His didn’t smile and hers faded as she caught the serious intent.

    Once they were all gathered in the lounge, people started to get up, jumping up and down, and making whooping sounds as they removed what few clothes they had on, until eventually everyone was ready and psyched. Then they ran out into the night air, following the leader out into the forest behind the house.

    They raced each other to the summit of the clearing, all eyes turned to the horizon, watching the bright edge of light grow and reveal its magnificence – the full moon.

    Their whoops turned to howls as their transformations wracked their bodies. Even though it was the third night, it was no less painful as hair sprouted, claws protruded and faces elongated, until the pack was complete.

    And this time, rather than race into the forest and find small creatures as they had the previous two nights, they headed for town.

    463 Words


  6. Walking with the Moon
    @BryantheTinker, 646 words

    At the rest hour, while the other workers lay down in the barracks, “Two-Thir” waited with stifled anticipation. He waited until the breathing steadied before quietly hopping out of his bunk. The metal floor was cold on his stocking feet, but he swiftly navigates the twists and turns from memory. Once in the corridor, he slips on his boots and quietly begins the trip out of the generational shelter.

    Some time ago, as part of his regular duties, he’d been tasked with a dangerous assignment outside the habitat. There was an accident, and an upper section was exposed to the air outside. For the first time in nearly 300 years, his people had breathed unfiltered air, and there was concern about contamination, dangers. Bundled in their breathing masks, his team was terrified outside, and rushed to finish their work and be back inside the familiar metal walls. “Two-Thir” was fascinated with the colors and openness around them. A curtain of green stood near the habitat. Trees, they must have been, but the histories didn’t capture the way they danced as if alive.

    “Two-Thir” couldn’t get the experience out of his head, and he wanted to see it again. About a month after the repair, here he was, sneaking to the outer door. Since the people who were exposed to the air were fine, he chose not to take a breathing mask with him, and just went outside.

    At first, the night around him was very dark and a bit scary. The colors he had seen before were gone, and instead there were only sounds from the darkness. The trees still danced, and without the mask, he could feel the air move. His explorations led him to an edge to the tree cover.

    Above his head, he saw the most beautiful thing, more wonderful than he could have imagined. A silver orb, it was amazing and looked down from above. It was so incredible, that he spoke to it. “Hello. I’m Joiner 237, but you can call me “Two-Thir”. Can you hear me?”

    He eventually heard an answer, gentle and fluid to ears unaccustomed to such. “Hello “Two-Thir”. I am Luna. I have never seen you before. Where do you come from?”

    From the very moment that he heard her voice, he was in love.

    “I live in the shelter, all my life. Do you walk across the sky every night?” he asked

    “Most nights, yes, although every few weeks my light dims and I rest for a night or two.”

    They talked for several hours, each telling the other what their respective lives were like. He told her about the shelter, and the work they had to do to keep everyone alive inside. She told him about the trees and animals and everything that could be seen from above.

    Finally, he noticed his chronometer and realized that soon the barracks would be rousing for another day of maintenance and lessons.

    “I have to go, but can I see you again?”

    “Of course, I’ll look for you. Only after dark, though.”

    He returned to the metal habitat, wishing he could tell everyone about his adventure. He couldn’t, though, because he’d never be able to go outside again. He’d never see her again. As long as he could stay quiet about it, he could keep going back out.

    Outside the habitat, after “Two-Thir” has gone back inside the metal door, leaves crunch as a young girl steps into the moonlight. Looking back, she walks through the trees toward her home. At first, she thought to tell someone that a man came out of the Crypts, but she determined not to. He didn’t seem dangerous, and besides, if she told anyone she was walking through the woods at night, she would be in terrible trouble. And then she’d never be able to come back and see her new friend.


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