Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 2.8

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 2, Week 8.

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 is a dark one. We’re going to go to some ugly places this week…

The tune comes to us from a little known rock & roll outfit known as… The Rolling Stones.

The tune is… “Sister Morphine”. Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/3FRwnkrolYc

This week’s Judge, fresh off his Week 2.7 triumph, is… The Rogue Tinker… Bryan Taylor.

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday May 9th.

Now… go write!!!

 

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

  1. 3:51:31 AM

    The second hand drags itself that one final mark and I push the button. The beep-beep of the alarm fails to sound, and I see the drop fall into the IV. I count to forty this time before I start to feel it, not a rush, not anymore, but a gradual retreat. I always forget how tense I get, like I’m about to fly off the edge of being able to cope with the pain, and it’s not until I breathe deeply that I realize how little air I’d been taking in.

    3:53:02 AM

    The pain doesn’t go away. It used to, back when the morphine was ibuprofen and I didn’t see Atropos’ scissors in the doctor’s eyes. But there’s still something like relief, or at least something like sleep. The hands on the clock fade, and I step into a dream. Each dream is a continuation of the last, as if there’s something in my unconscious mind that wants to know how it all turns out. I suspect there’s no real continuity, but it doesn’t really matter, because she’s there, and she’s young and beautiful and I can still run.

    3:55:59 AM

    The tick of the clock wakes me from the dream. Only three minutes that time, and the transition from the pretend to the real was sharp. I could still feel her arms and smell her hair – the herbal shampoo that she loved, that lingered in the air long after she’d left. The last words she had said were as ethereal as hope, but my body responded anyway – her lips, her voice, her breath in my ear never failed to summon that desire. Not all of me was dead, not yet, although the catheter took even this small joy from me. The drugs were still there, still working their magic, and I drifted back off.

    3:57:22 AM

    Where there’s light, there must be shadow. This was the other dream, the one that reminds me that when I die, all will be suffering. All will be pain. All will be consumed by the dark. The dark screams at me, teeth and viscera, and I know what it wants. But I don’t go to it. Not yet.

    3:58:43 AM

    The passing conversation of nurses in the hall cuts the dream mercifully short, but this one never truly leaves me. I know when it’s visited because the pain is back. The morphine has done what it could do. They could give me more, I know – they could make me comfortable – but they tell me I don’t hurt enough. That there’s still hope. That if I get as much as I want, I could become addicted, and then getting clean would be a nightmare.

    3:59:02 AM

    The nightmare is the monster in my colon, eating me from the inside out.

    3:59:10 AM

    The convulsion comes, and I hunch over in my bed, clenching my teeth to keep the cries in. I’ve seen the pain in the nurses’ eyes. They want to help, but can’t, and they know that, and they know that I know that. No need to call Angie in – at least I think it’s Angie’s night – if her pity would help, I’d take it, but it won’t. And she uses an herbal shampoo that just makes my heart ache. All thoughts of lips and caresses in the dark are gone now, but I still miss her, even through the pain.

    4:01:31 AM

    I push the button.

    578 words
    @drmagoo

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  2. David Defeats the Phil E. Stein Army

    Once our world was a safe place. Back then there was an economy, jobs, and governments. That was then this is now.

    Now food is scarce. No one tries to grow crops or raise livestock because it would be suicide to stay in one place that long.

    Instead of governments protecting citizens and stabilizing society we have no structure larger than street gangs or clans determined to exterminate each other.

    In these dangerous times, survival is the only goal for most people, but my buddies and I had an idea on how to make an honest buck. We had been gathered on a hilltop, dug in so as to be invisible to the valley below, but still able to see the movements down below.

    From that vantage point, we could see a hoard of horsemen approaching from the North. They tore into a small camp, killing the elderly and the children, and taking the women. The able bodied men were out hunting, so there was no defense.

    David jumped up and said, if we rescue the women, the men will share their game with us. We had an old jeep and half a tank of gas. Soon we were roaring across the valley on a path to cut off the riders.

    Where our routes converged we both arrived at the same time. The raiders had been startled and David used his jeep to knock the leader off his horse. At first none of us realized he had a woman on the horse with him. She took the moment of confusion to snatch the man’s sword out of its sheath. On the way up, it severed his right arm, on the way back down it split his head open.

    We were all shocked at the sight, but David never missed a beat. He rushed at other horses, and some of us jumped off to help overcome the men who had been knocked down. We were inexperienced fighters, but the women we were rescuing were more capable than we had expected. Soon they were all on horseback and cheering as they repeatedly trampled their dead opponents.

    So we survived our first battle as hired muscle. We took some of the raider’s weapons and gear and let it be known for a couple of miles around we could be called on to help when raiders attacked. We even set up a training regimen to try and be better equipped for the next fight.

    We practiced for three days, up on the mountain top. Then we saw another raiding party coming from the North. It was time to prove our worth. We again had the best route to intercept them, this time before they even reached the first camp. We headed down full of bravado. But the raiders beat us to the crossroads, and to our surprise they turned to face us. They stormed up the mountain as we roared down.

    When we got close enough we realized the raiding party was well equipped. They were out for revenge, hyped up on morphine, and this time we did not have the element of surprise. Nor did we have the womenfolk to turn the tide. But we did have internal combustion where they were on horseback. With David driving we took full advantage of the difference and eventually downed every rider and had killed them all except the leader. He went down last so we took hold of him to gain information.

    It turns out his name was Phil E. Stein. He had been the leader of the raiders, and now he was the last one alive. David took care of that last detail and we hauled the bodies to the camps to prove we had once again earned our keep.

    @CharlesWShort
    626 words

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  3. In Plain Sight

    They tell me it’s in my head, though I’ve tried to make them understand that my nightmares are real, running riot, not imagined. They don’t listen, so I figured I’d try talking to someone else; aim to get the message out there, my missive to the masses, you amongst them. That’s why I’m sitting here, talking like mad into my microphone, gabbling to get the words out, while I’m still making sense of them in my head. It’s hard to describe it, somehow, now it comes to it and it’s me and the disembodied world; all of you I can’t see, those of you I can imagine. Maybe even the Whitecoats, the ones who think I’m mad. They might be listening too, making their way here, if they can find me, can track me down. I took precautions though. Hopefully made myself difficult enough to locate. Maybe that will put them off, at least long enough for me to finish what I’ve started.

    I see the world as it really is – it’s everyone else who’s blind, that’s the truth. Apologies if I’m putting you off by saying that; making you angry. I can’t help it. I have to tell it as it is, so you’ll get it, by the end. I have to try and make you see too – all of you – it’s the only way.

    I guess I thought there was a simple medical explanation, at first. Especially given they kept trying to tell me so. Easy to believe what they want you to, when it’s so much simpler than the truth. Migraines was the first one they came up with, when I mentioned the clouding across my vision, the blurring and spotting, in whites and greys, when I looked directly at people in the crowds surrounding me. Didn’t fit though, given there were no accompanying headaches, no incapacitation lasting over the space of several days. Not to mention that it seemed to come and go subject to who and what I happened to be looking at at the time. They checked my eyesight – twenty twenty – scanned for the obvious blips and blurs on MRI and CT without finding anything. Small wonder, really, given there wasn’t anything there – but that’s something I only realised later and need to explain in the right way.

    To give them their dues, the doctors, all those clever medics, they kept looking; determined to help me find the issue. Possibly the problem was they finally figured it had to be me – something they couldn’t see with all their machinery and gadgets; that the internal cogs weren’t working the way they should be and I might have done something to bring that on. That’s not it though, even though I listened at first when they suggested it. It was the fact that they had no faces, those bodies in amongst the crowds, which did it – the reason I was willing to accept what they said – and to be fair, it was plausible enough. They thought it was some kind of break with reality; I did too. ‘Til I saw them kill; ‘til I saw them maim, right there in daylight and the red stains spreading across the concrete as the girl dropped from living to lifeless in seconds. She was the first. It made the news too – that’s how I know it isn’t just me, that they’re real. They put a call out for any witnesses as part of the investigation – not that there were any apart from me. Seems as though they’re too clever for that. I guess they saw me though; not that I can say for certain, given they don’t have any eyes but the featureless forms turned towards me at the last second. That was when I lost it and ran. Freaked me right the hell out. Guessing that’s possibly where they come from too. No kidding.

    A few more “unexplained” deaths and that brings us up to speed. Now I’m barricaded in here, talking to you, all of you, everywhere. Because they’re coming now, stronger. For me; certainly. In time, for you too. So you need to try and see them, while there’s still time. Before it’s too late.

    (700 words)
    @FallIntoFiction

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  4. Long time going

    Elaine took a deep breath as the detectives led her down the stairs into the sterile antechamber. The banks of refrigerated drawers that lined the walls in the next room did little to hide the stench of death that filled the place.

    The smell of decay had permeated the wood like nicotine stains on a chain-smoker’s fingers. There was no escaping the purpose of the room; no lie she could tell herself that would make this ‘all right.’

    Her hand trembled slightly as they asked her if she needed a moment.

    She needed a lot more. She needed Drake– but he was gone and she was alone. That scared her more than what might, or might not lay on the table in the next room.

    She shook her head, almost a little too fast, as she thought about the question her momma would ask when she’d remove a bandage: a lot of small tears or one big agonizing rip and get it over with. Then like now, she realized it was better to get it over with because not knowing hurt more.

    They led her in, each man flanking her for support. She closed her eyes as the coroner opened a drawer and slid the body out.

    Part of her wanted to scream at the absurdity of it all – it was like they were keeping Drake on file but she held her tongue. She had to keep it together.

    She looked at the body then– trying to match the lifeless form to the vibrant man she’d met all those years ago.

    Finally she nodded, her eyes begging them to cover him up. She couldn’t take it, but then she closed her eyes and held her hand up.

    “A moment?” she asked, not even recognizing her own voice.

    They stepped away– giving her the space she needed.

    She bowed down over Drake’s forehead and whispered, “I think you’ve been leaving from the moment you stepped into my life, I just never saw it coming.”

    She backed away, and when her hips touched the wall behind her, she slid the the floor sobbing.

    “I tried to tell him that stuff would kill him,” she repeated over and over all the while thinking about how many tries it had taken her to get the overdose right.

    He’d been a long time going.

    389 Words (not including title)
    @mishmhem

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  5. KICKING

    Do you know why they call it kicking?

    Because once the detox really gets going your legs kick spasmodically. It hurts. Everything hurts.

    At that point you’re sweating and shaking and freezing and vomiting and pretty quickly it’s like being on the worst acid trip ever in the entire history of acid trips.

    That’s when the hallucinations start but you don’t know they’re hallucinations. It’s just life. From now on as far as you can tell. There is no time, there is only the foreverness of this hell right this moment. Before it starts I know what’s coming. This isn’t my first time. It isn’t even my second or third. Honestly, right now, I don’t know how many times I’ve done this, but more than three. Anyway, once it starts though you don’t remember the times before. It’s like there is no before and there won’t be any after.

    Most of the time I think I’ve already died and this is my punishment. The worst part is when the wasps swarm down from the blackness over my head, they cover every inch of skin and crawl up my nose and burrow into my skin. I can feel them inside my skin working their way to my heart which I’m sure they will eat once they find it. The sad thing is, they never find it.

    I’ve been a heartless drug addict for as long as I can remember. I steal and lie and cheat. I didn’t mean to be this person. I mean I had plans just like everyone else you know. I went to school. I had a family. I had friends. But once I started I couldn’t manage those things. I couldn’t afford them. It’s exhausting being an addict. It’s non-stop. There is nothing as unrelenting as addiction.

    So which ever detox this is I think maybe I’ve rolled the dice too many times. I always beg for it to stop. I always beg for the drugs. I don’t want to detox, I don’t want to be clean. But this time a woman with a giant wasps head yanked my arm out and slammed the damn needle in, almost straight through, or at least that’s how it felt. I don’t think that’s ever happened before. But I don’t care because I can feel it. Like warm honey spreading through me. The noises die down, the wasps go silent…and then the sweet oblivion of…

    ___________________________________________________

    “Damn it! How did she get her hands on it?”

    “She picked the threads out of her restraints and pulled them apart. Look at her nails, completely destroyed. She was in deep detox but still managed to get herself free, then got down the hall to the med cart, found the morphine, stumbled into this room and slammed enough of it into her veins to stop her heart.”

    “Jesus. She practically tore a hole in her arm doing it.” The nurse looked at the young woman laying on the floor, sprawled like a loose limbed doll. Bloodied and pale and gone.

    The normally calm and unflappable nurse suddenly threw the clipboard she had been holding against the far wall, “FUCK, SHIT, PISS, GODDAMNIT! I HATE THIS FUCKING DISEASE.”

    The other nurse sucked in a shaking breath and whispered, “Yeah, me too.”

    @MissBliss
    Words: 548

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  1. Pingback: Mid-Week Blues Buster, week 2.8 | Project Gemini

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