Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 2.7

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 2, Week 7.

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

This week’s song prompt breaks the streak of tunes from way back… a lovely, bittersweet tune from singer/songwriter James Blunt.

The song is… “You’re Beautiful”. Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/oofSnsGkops

This week’s Judge is the Book Hipster herself… my pal, Stephanie Fuller.

The challenge runs from the moment you read this post until MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on FRIDAY MAY 2nd.

Now.. go write!!!

 

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Posted on April 29, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I am going to enjoy this weeks prompt 🙂

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  2. Paying the price.
    My life is exactly how I want it. Good career, best apartment, money in the bank, travel, friends; nothing else I need. Nothing else I want. I stroll for the subway in my Italian leather shoes and tailored suit. I am a man of my times in the best city in the world, I am flying, my life is brilliant and I am comfortably sure of myself.
    I look up and her eyes meet mine as we pass each other and the world slows down to nanoseconds. I feel my skin tingle and a surging intensity of fullness presses beneath it, like I am whole for the first time in my life and all before this moment was nothing.
    The noise of commuters and metal on metal screeching slide out of my awareness; every fibre of my being is connected, concentrated, focussed on her in this one perfect moment. If I could see into the ultra and infra spectrums I would see lines connecting us, I just know it. She smiles and a super nova explodes inside me, its heat radiates to my extremities and beyond. This is greater than the sum of its parts. No human could ever make this kind of connection. My hands tremble.
    I have to act. I have to say something. This is a pivotal moment in my existence. I try to order my legs to move but I am paralysed to the graffiti slashed seat by the glue of social indoctrination.
    She stands up beside the man she is with and they leave the train, she looks over her shoulder at me, and I see the knowing in her eyes. I watch until the train has left the station.
    The angel takes her light with her and all about me fades to grey.
    I drag my life through empty colourless days wondering. Who was she? Where is she? Why didn’t I move when I had the chance? Who is my angel, my beautiful angel? I try to recall exactly what she looked like but all I know is she is beautiful and I will never see her again. I look for her face in the crowded places but I know I won’t see her and my life seems less brilliant than it was. I forget to eat; I can’t think straight, I don’t know what to do.
    If I believed in a higher power I would think some celestial creature was laughing at me, setting me up to see her then whisking her away like some cosmic chess game and I am the pawn left alone on an empty chessboard.
    Her light haunts my waking hours, she wanders through my dreams but dreams end and all I truly have left is that moment.
    One incredible, beautiful, intense moment that has to last me until the end.
    I look down the tunnel of my life and I can’t see the light.
    I plan to change that.
    There are dreams I don’t have to wake from. Wc 500

    @cc_lark

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  3. The First Time We Never Met

    I can probably count the number of times you crossed my life on one hand. I know dwelling on it won’t do anyone any good, but for tonight—I wanted to be honest.

    The first time we never met was when this whole thing started. I was a civilian then and when the attacks came, you were there: a calm voice in the madness. While I was running away from the battle, you were running into it.

    I saw the determination in your eyes then and I knew it was time for me to get off the sidelines and be the man I was meant to be. I wanted to make you notice me.

    The next time we never met, I was a graduating cadet and you were there giving a slightly less than inspiring speech about the cost of duty. You spoke of honor, and sacrifice.

    You spoke of pride but you hinted at losses so profound I couldn’t understand. How could I? I was just a kid.

    I listened, but I didn’t really hear.

    The next time, we were in combat. It was one insane melee, and you were there like an angel in battle: beautiful and yet so fierce. I don’t know if you remember it or not, but you saved my life. By the time the situation was secure, you were gone. Another mission, another assignment I don’t know… but I wanted to thank you.

    The last time we never met, was last week. I lost my whole squad, and if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be here today. This time you weren’t just an angel, you were The Angel. The wings painted onto your body armor only seemed to add strength to your fight. This time you were not an angel in battle, but one at war. You were seeking vengeance and you were as scary as you were beautiful. I gathered up my courage and rejoined the battle. I wanted you to be proud of the man I’d become.

    I think I finally understand what you tried to tell us so long ago. War is about broken dreams; it’s about losing yourself for the greater good and not counting the cost until the battle is won.

    Tonight I count the cost, and light a candle in your honor. I pray that my angel has found peace. We may have never met, but I knew you, and I will remember you. Sometimes, that’s all we have.

    Word Count (not including title) 412
    @mishmhem

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  4. Everything is black. I am aware of movement. I am moving, or rather, I am on a moving vehicle going at a rather fast pace.

    With a sudden woosh I have entered into light. The tunnel quickly forgotten. My eyes water and my head hurts from the blinding surprise.

    My eyes seem to take longer than usual to adjust. It’s as if there are some supercharged spotlights outside, like the kind you see at the footy stadium, and it seeps in like glue. I’m confused, but before I can give it any more thought, a slight clearing of a throat catches my attention and I realize I’m not alone.

    I squint my eyes and turn my head slowly. Shapes start to form around me. Human shaped holes poke through the bright golden white glow. An old man with silver chin stubble is sitting to my right. He seems to be smiling at nothing. I hear clacking and a horn and realize I’m on a train. I turn to my left. A mangy dog is licking its hind leg, drool trickling down the seat.

    I close my eyes and relax into the hum. A feeling of peace and contentment gradually washes over me, it feels nice. But then I start to realize that I don’t know where I am, or where I’m going. I must have hit my head, because I can’t remember anything. I fight the peaceful feeling and panic wells up from my stomach. Something isn’t right. Perhaps I should ask someone where I am. I start to feel as if I’m not meant to be here.

    I open my eyes. The light is a little less bright. I can make out people, and more animals on the train. Most of the people are elderly, but there are others too. I get out of my seat. I start moving, holding onto bars as I walk unsteadily. I’m not sure why I don’t stop. I could ask anyone, but I keep going, I pass row after row of passengers, cats, dogs, birds, and a kangaroo. My feet propelling me forwards. I open a door and enter a new carriage. Before the door shuts behind me I feel it. It hits me hard in the gut, and I stop and nearly topple over from the intensity of it combined with the movement of the train. The only word I can find to describe it is love. Pure unconditional love. It’s sweet smell fills my nostrils. I never knew that love had a scent. I look around to find the source and I spot her.

    She glows brighter than the rest, her features hard to make out and yet she’s beautiful. I sense her smile and it makes my heart melt.

    She faces a sandy blonde haired man sitting next to her. They are conversing. She places a delicate hand on his knee. It’s as if his skin is translucent as light shoots through his entire being causing him to glow brighter. I gather my courage and I take a wobbly step towards her. My knees are shaking. I inch closer and closer, holding onto whatever I can for support.

    I am standing in front of her. She turns to face me. Her eyes meet mine yet somehow travel through to the very core of my being. In that moment she sees and knows everything about me. She nods slightly, her eyes not leaving mine and I feel a strange energy gather me into it’s arms. All the hairs on my body stand up and I’m covered in goose pimples. A shiver runs through my body. My mouth feels pasty. I open it to speak. Suddenly I feel a jolt and I collapse. I reach for her but all has gone dark.

    I hear voices, beeping, a shrill siren far off in the distance. I open my eyes. Two uniformed men are standing over me looking relieved. Everything is still swaying, but I’m no longer on a train. Medical equipment surrounds me. The taller man speaks: “We lost you there for a few minutes mate, welcome back to the land of the living.”

    Word count 691
    ylane5555 at gmail.com

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  5. Dear Diary

    Friday, 02 May 2014.

    I saw her again today. She’s everywhere I look. Everywhere I go. I can’t escape her, and I’m not sure I want to.

    I looked. Hell, yeah, I looked. I mean, I don’t think I stared at her. But I looked. I always look. Can’t help it. Have to look at her. She’s beautiful.

    Oh, I know she’s fake. Hair ain’t that color naturally. Snow white, except for the six inches at the end, which is sky blue. Hair doesn’t grow that color. She makes it that color. I’ve never seen anyone with that kind of hair. The way it reaches down past her shoulders. Never a single hair out-of-place.

    That’s how my eyes find her. I see her hair first. And then, the rest of her. All her curves. I have to look. And I have to find something to occupy my hands, so they don’t want to reach out to touch her. Gods, the stupid things I’ve looked at to keep my hands occupied. I don’t need a $200 network router. Or a MacBook Pro. Or another HDMI cable. I don’t need a three-pound bag of apples, or a box of Grape Nuts cereal. Jesus. Stupid hands.

    I can’t help it. I know. She has the best curves I’ve ever seen. She ain’t one of them stick women, like in the magazines. A bean post with bumps. That’s what they are. A skeleton, wrapped in skin, with boobs and an ass glued on. They all look like that. All of them. Except her.

    Where they’re all straight, she’s got curves. Graceful arcs. One part of her blends into another part, flows into another part. Every line, every arc, exactly what’s required. I’ve seen them all. The exquisite way her neck and shoulders blend, forming the perfect place to rest my hand. My fingers want to trace that curve. Feel the texture of her skin.

    Her fingers. Lord. Her fingers. I have giant, crushing posts for fingers. Scars on them too. From the times I’ve drawn blood working in the yard, or on the house, or the car. I have ugly, utilitarian fingers.

    Her fingers are everything mine aren’t. Slim, gentle, graceful. They look like they could carry roses, and not hurt them. Like they could heal a broken heart, gently stitching it back together. Never hurting it, always soothing its pain. My fingers want to slip between hers, and rest there. Find peace there. Find calm. Feel safe.

    Yes, she has boobs. She’s a woman. But here’s aren’t overdone. She’s not all tits, and nothing else. Her’s are just right. That size between being not enough to notice, and “How does she keep from falling over?” The size I could rest my hands on. A perfect fit to the way my hands curve when I let them relax. I can’t help but see them. And I can’t help but know, there’s more to her. They’re just another part of her. They fit her. Like Mona Lisa’s smile.

    She actually has hips. And a waist. I’ve watched her walk. The way her hips swing just enough left and right as she walks. Hypnotizing. The curves of her hips, and her buns. God. I can’t describe it. I’ve tried. I forget everything. Hell, I probably forget to breathe. I just watch her walk. I stare. I know it.

    Yeah. I saw her again today. I hope I see her again tomorrow. Even though I’ll never talk to her. Never smile. Never say, “Hi.” She’s beautiful. A dream. A fantasy.

    That one girl you can never have.

    I think I’ll go to bed now. And bang the wife. And imagine it was her. Hey. What’s wrong with a little fantasy?

    620 Words (Excluding title)
    @LurchMunster

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  6. One Perfect Moment

    I walked into Largo and looked around for Joanie. It was dark in the club but I caught sight of her waving to me from the bar. I smiled and walked back to my friend who handed me a club soda with lime.

    “So when does the show start?”

    “Any minute now. Lena, you’re gonna love these guys. Great players, soulful and just…I dunno man, that thing that happens sometimes when a band is just so right, so ready. You’ll see.”

    The band started setting up on the stage, bass player, drummer, lead and rhythm guitarists and a keyboard player.

    “Come on, there’s a table in front. Let’s get closer.”

    The stage lights spilled over onto the tables in front. A song filled with longing and mistakes started the set. Each player took turns singing, each one with a lead singer’s voice. Each voice compelling in its own way. But it was the lead guitarist who’s playing and voice sent chills up my spine. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. That Texas blues sound that felt like it was attached to my soul, catching me in all that howling desert emptiness. Then his eyes met mine and I couldn’t breathe or look away. The intensity increased as the song continued and we stared. I felt the knowing smile start to crook my lips, just a tiny movement but his eyes darted to my mouth and then back to my eyes. My heart was pounding and the air seemed too thin. The song ended and he held my eyes a moment longer then winked and turned to get going on the next song.

    It went on like that for the whole set. I barely spoke to Joanie. In between each song the connection would end but as each new song started our eyes would lock and it was as though no one else was in the room. It was sexual and intimate and all-consuming and fleeting, made all the more precious because we both knew it. This was the perfect moment where two people feel their souls slide along the wailing of the guitar and a voice growling out lyrics of struggle and rage and sorrow, to meet up in the ether. It felt as if I was holding onto a live wire with my eyes and it might stop my heart at any moment. It was terrifying and exhilarating and I loved every second of it.

    The set ended and the stage lights dimmed and the band cleared the stage. I pulled in a shaking breath and brought my untouched glass of club soda to my lips in an effort to calm down. I looked over at Joanie who was staring at me wide eyed.

    “What?”

    “Dude, I thought he was gonna leap off the stage and do you right here on the table.”

    I laughed it off, “Naw. He’s just a really great player, they all are, and sheesh every single one is a lead singer. Thanks for inviting me. These guys are going somewhere.”

    We walked back to the bar and Joanie ordered another beer, “You gonna stick around?”

    “No, time for me to go.” We hugged and I turned to head for the door when suddenly Mr. Guitar Player was standing in front of me. I stopped, surprised at his sudden appearance. I started to say something about the show but he put a finger to my lips, staring intently into my eyes as he cupped my face in his warm slightly rough hands, he kissed me like a drowning man gasps for air before going down for the third time. My hands covered his until we reached the end of the kiss that had really started with that first song. We stepped back, holding hands lightly and smiling. I winked at him, let go and walked out of the club into the blowing Santa Ana winds that matched the sliding Texas guitar winding its way through my soul.

    @MissBliss
    Words: 664

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  7. Choices

    I slammed my head against the wall trying to erase the pain in my heart. But I knew it was no use. I slid down the wall until I hit the bathroom floor and reached for my golden savior. I may not be able to erase my pain, but I can sure as hell drown it.

    I took the cap of the bottle of Jack and began my slow descent into oblivion. One swig. Two swigs. Three swigs. Half a bottle.

    “You’re beautiful, you’re beau-“ I choked, tears pouring down my face. “Lies, all lies.” I whispered. I slipped my hand in my pocket and wrapped my hand around the bottle that could easily end it all. I grabbed it out of my mom’s medicine cabinet after she went to work. She won’t notice them missing. Heck, she won’t notice me missing either.

    No one will. That’s what I am, forgetful. Invisible. The guy everyone looks at with disgust, the guy they wish would disappear.

    But it wasn’t always like that though. I used to have it all, popularity, fame, the girl… Mandy. The girl I would give anything for. The girl I loved. The one I lost.

    I took a long pull from my bottle of Jack as memories of that night swirled through my head. Mandy in a red chiffon prom dress, her long golden hair pulled up in lose curls that framed her perfectly angelic face. I scooped her in my arms and twirled her around, causing her to giggle.

    I wish I could freeze that moment and live there forever. But there is no rewind button in life. Just the here and now. Split second decisions. Choices. It all comes down to choices.

    And I made the wrong one.

    “Do you need me to drive Ray?” Mandy asked, as we existed the prom arm in arm.

    “I got this.”

    She believed me, trusted me.

    “Ray, look out!” Mandy shouted in terror. I slammed on the brakes, but it was too late.

    “M—mmandy?” I stammered. “Mandy, are you okay?” I said more firmly. Or I think I did anyway. I tried to look in the passenger seat, but my vision was blurry. All I could see was orange. And it was hot, like hell hot.

    “Mandy?” I cried. But Mandy was gone.

    And so was life as I knew it. I pulled the bottle out of my pocket and grabbed the bottle of Jack with the other hand. I could end it all. End my life and escape the pain of remembering. Leave behind the scars that mar my face and stain my heart.

    It wouldn’t take much to end my life, just down both bottles and say good bye.

    Life’s all about choices. Choices that shape our future, that determine who we will become. I already made one wrong choice. I already let down everyone I loved once. I dropped both bottles, brought my head to my knees and cried.

    I choose life.

    @y311er
    498

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  8. Miranda Kate

    Star Crossed Lovers.

    I never thought I’d see you again after you left me on the side of the street that morning and drove away.

    I know you had to; I was going. I know you didn’t want me to – your call a couple of hours later made that clear, but there was no choice, my visa had ended, our time was over, we’d always known it would be. We both thought it was the end – until I found you eleven years on.

    It started when I heard your voice on the other end of the phone – like an old piece of music my ears had been dying to hear for a lifetime; my trembling hands barely able to keep the sound of it against my ear.

    And then I saw you. You were so easy to identify; your youth still standing out, and your searching eyes finding mine hidden behind my glasses. Our embrace was so easy, so comfortable, like we’d seen each other only days before, and conversation flowed, desperate to catch up on all those years in between.

    We walked beside one another once more, up the steps to the cathedral pretending to be tourists; the thought of touching somehow dangerous now that we belonged to other people, but electricity still ran between us and distracted us from the architecture around us.

    Over lunch holding eye contact was difficult at the beginning, the nakedness of our feelings easily caught in a glimpse or a smile. But by the end of we had returned to our original state; able to laugh and exchange banter with side glances and quick-witted comments. The last of which reminded me that we hadn’t forgotten how we’d been, that it was all still there; nothing had changed between us.

    Yet when it was time for my second departure our embrace was awkward, you body rejecting it as though it was a step too far, and I walked onto the train missing you with the same ache I had felt eleven years before as though no time had past; your scent, your sound, your energy still enveloping me. And my eyes welled with tears of loss, of somehow missing a chance that was never quite there.

    And like all those years ago I hoped to see you again although it was unlikely; we were only a gift to each other for a moment, a reminder of who we once were, stars in the night while ships passed.

    411 Words
    @PurpleQueenNL

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  9. @Brewedbohemian
    433 words
    Too Late

    The day of the funeral Audrey’s eyes burned, not from crying for the loss of a woman she hardly knew; more for her own life that was spiraling out of control. Granny Tilson was the final family member Audrey knew of, except for a few distant cousins. She had no one to turn to for help now. Her last failed relationship created a domino effect, sweeping away her home, career, and financial stability in the matter of six months. Audrey skated by on credit cards and temp jobs but even that well was drying up; she needed help and now there was no one she could ask.
    The local minister had mistaken Audrey’s misery for true grief. He patted and consoled, saying God represented her best comfort. It only made her cry harder. The local lawyer kept his distance until the end of the day due to all the tears the minister generated. By the time the lawyer finally did approach, Audrey’s eyes merely held the red stain of tears.
    “Ms. Tilson?” He approached cautiously but with purpose.
    “Yes,” she replied.
    “I’m Mr. Dobbs. I was your grandmother’s lawyer.” Audrey wondered how he considered now the best time to bring up outstanding bills.
    “I know who you are.” She didn’t mean to sound so terse. She hoped it could be chalked up to sorrow.
    “Yes, well, I need to speak with you; if you have a few moments. It’s rather important.”
    “Look, can I come settle my Granny’s bills Monday morning? I’m exhausted and just don’t think I can deal with finances right now.” Audrey said.
    “This isn’t about bills, miss. This is about Abigail’s will.”
    “Granny had a will?”
    “Yes. And we need to discuss a few things; I need a few signatures.”
    “And it can’t wait a few days?”
    “Your grandmother’s instructions were rather specific. I was to meet with you the day you came into town. I’m sure she didn’t think you would wait until the day of the funeral to arrive.” His words felt like a slap. Audrey had been so caught up with her own problems, she hadn’t registered the urgency of the first call concerning Granny Tilson. And when the nursing home called for a fourth time, it had been too late to say good-bye in person. Granny Tilson had died alone because her grand-daughter, the last living relative, had been too busy crying into a glass of wine over some douche-bag to care. The full wait of the loss and her insensitivity to it crashed into Audrey and new tears began to flow.

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  10. Battle for Love

    Kodran yelled in triumph as his battleaxe sunk into the chest of the frost giant, putting an end to its treacherous struggles. Jerking the heavy blade free, he spun around to find the next opponent, rage turning his vision red. A complete turn showed no giants standing, and the few remaining fellow Northmen standing in relief and beginning to check on their various wounds. The clan was victorious once again, but at a great cost.

    As he looked around the fallen, unexpected movement caught his attention. At first, he thought it was a stirring giant, but instead, he saw something extremely surprising: a woman, kneeling over one of his fellow men. She the fallen man’s hand in hers, and whispered to him. Kodran stared, completely unsure of what he saw. The woman was armored in a full suit of chain, with a stout helmet on the ground beside her. At her side was the heaviest mace he’d ever seen, but it was still slung. The armor had been fitted well enough that had he not seen her face, he may not have realized her to be female.

    What a face she had, too. Her dark eyes were kind and gentle as they looked on the fallen man. Golden hair flowed down her back, the color of a spring sunrise. Her skin was smooth and unscarred, without any damage from the winds of the long winters. Mostly, though, she seemed to almost radiate a feeling of virtue and strength, and Kodran was struck in the heart as mightily as any blow could have.

    The woman noticed him staring at her, and smiled at him, a sad smile. The warrior that she leaned over let out his last breath, and she lifted up his spirit to stand beside her. She stood, picking up her helmet and placing it on her head with a comfortable grace borne by years of practice at war. She looked at Kodran one last time, and arched her back. Wings stretched from her shoulders, reaching out into the frigid air. Golden feathers covered her wings, matching her hair at the top, but darkening to a burnished copper at the tips.

    One of the other Northmen pulled Kodran around, gently, to tend to scratches along his arms and shoulders. He turned back just in time to see the Valkyrie leap off the ground and soar into the sky, leading the fallen warrior aloft to Valhalla.

    “Do you see her, Skorri, the Valkyrie?”

    “No, I’m not hurt nearly that badly. They surely are here, though. After a fight like that, they have many to take.” the older man said. He was wounded as well, with a bound cut on his leg. “Now hold still.”

    “In this crowded place, I saw her. I saw her as she was taking another.” Kodran explained, almost dreamily.

    After his wound was tended, and the fallen were gathered to return to the clan, he was still thinking of the golden woman. He had heard of travelers that called Valkyries “angels”, and there was certainly enough similarity between their descriptions and the woman that he saw this day.

    “I don’t know what to do, Skorri. My love is pure, and my life has been brilliant, and yet, there is no way for me to be with her.”

    “Ah, boy, that’s not true.” the older man slapped him on the shoulder, eliciting a wince of pain. “Just don’t be so quick in the next fight, and you’ll be with her again in no time!” The grizzled warrior laughed at his own joke, a rich bellowing poorly fitting the battlefield they were standing in.

    Kodran set his shoulders and started to carry his load back to the clan. The old man was right. He may not be able to be with his love as long as he drew breath, but as long as he waged war, he was very likely to see her again.

    And one day, when his turn to face the end came, should the Gods smile on him, he will be able to be with her at long last.

    @BryantheTinker, 684 words

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