Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 2.18

…We’re back!!!
We’ve been broken out of Jabba’s palace. Whether we make it off Tattooine or end up in the Pit of Karkoon remains to be seen, but for this week at least, we’re giving it a go…

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 2, Week 18.

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.

We’re going to get things cranked back up with a great song prompt from Alejandro Escovedo.
The tune is… “This Bed Is Getting Crowded”.
Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/llVYRAagVCs

This week’s Judge… well, it’s me.

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday September 5th.

Now… Go write!!!!


Posted on September 2, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. This Bed is Getting Crowded

    “Put your phone away, baby…” his voice lingered, as did his fingers trailing across the small of her back. She wriggled, leaning on her elbow, fingernails tapping rhythmically on the screen.

    He gazed at the smooth incline of her neck, lit by the stark blue glow of her mobile phone. His eyes followed her shoulder, down the curve of her back, tapering beneath the sheets shrouding the swell of her hip. Her bare skin enticed him and he raised his hand, his Adam’s apple bobbing in his throat, and he stroked his fingers down towards her waist. She wriggled again, allowing a giggle to slip out of her mouth, as he descended, his hand running further beneath the sheet.

    He felt her muscles tense as she drew her legs up and away, revoking consent, and despite heat rising as his fingers touched soft lace, he withdrew his touch.

    His face burned and hurt simmered as he adjusted himself and slid his hands behind his head. He stared and the blue light of betrayal danced on the ceiling.

    He tilted his head and glared at her silhouette. She pushed a lock of hair away from her face, and it shone like a halo before it settled across the pillow beside him. His eyes roamed taking in the nape of her neck and her spine, which moved gently as her fingers spoke on the device cradled out of sight. He swallowed hard, as he imagined kissing the dimples on her lower back, and fought the urge to reach out once more.

    The impulse vanished as her tinkling laugh echoed softly and her reply tangoed across her phone’s screen. “So funny…” she murmured, and he felt his eyes sting.

    “C’mon, honey, it’s late…” he tried to sound nonchalant.

    “In a moment…I won’t be long…”

    “That’s what you said twenty minutes ago.” He regretted his gruff tone as soon as he’d spoken.

    “Okay,” irritation tinged her voice, “we’ll just be a minute…”

    He couldn’t stifle the sigh that whispered like the autumn wind through the chill of the bedroom.

    “Got – to – go…” she mumbled, fingers sweeping deftly across the screen.

    The room plunged into darkness and the phone was asleep. The bed complained as she turned and relaxed, and as his eyes got used to the gloom he gazed at her prone form. She lay on her back, her belly flat and…she turned towards him, her hair flopping across her face. She brushed it away and shuffled closer. She nuzzled into his chest, resting her shoulder in his armpit and kissed his neck. When he didn’t respond, she lifted onto her elbow and kissed his cheek. Her fragrance felled him, infusing his brain with desire. She leaned across, brushing her body against his, and tears filled his eyes. Her leg moved over his thigh and her kisses rained down. He whispered, softly, inaudibly.

    “Sorry, honey?” she asked, lifting her head away from his chest.

    “This ain’t love…” he whispered again.

    She paused for a moment then moved her fingers down his chest, circling and smoothing, sweeping across his taut skin. As she got lower he moaned, fire igniting, and she laughed a soft, tinkling laugh. He pushed her away. “Am I me, or him?” he asked huskily. “Who are you with, babe?”

    Her hesitation, the slightest of pauses, before she hungrily lowered her head to kiss him was enough.

    He slid out of bed grabbing his jeans. He pulled them on and snatched his leather jacket. She watched as he strode across the room and picked up her phone. “See if that keeps you satisfied tonight…” he taunted as he tossed it to her.

    Minutes later a rumble echoed as he straddled his bike and sped off into the lonely night.

    (627 Words)



  2. This Ain’t Love

    At first all that feral sexuality and intense focus was intoxicating, I’d never experienced anything like it before. He called it love, but he was wrong.

    It was Obsession.

    The problem with Obsession is it grows out of Insecurity and then Insecurity calls its old friend Jealousy. Jealousy moves in, sets up housekeeping and immediately starts punching holes in the walls.

    Addiction is at the heart of it. Because anything you’re addicted to becomes a necessity and when people are a necessity controlling them becomes paramount and they are so much harder to control than dope.

    I admit I was a little slow on the uptake. But the man was intoxicating and the sex, holy hell the sex. That man fucked like a runaway train and everything he did was a challenge. He was always waiting for me to back up but my ego wasn’t about to allow that, which was pretty much how I ended up in my current situation, shackled to a wall, naked.

    I heard the door rattle and dropped my head just enough so my hair hid my face. Jason walked in. He stayed by the door staring at me.

    “Elena, I know you’re awake. Stop pretending.”

    I lifted my head and stared at him. My silence always bothered him and right now I wanted him very bothered. He didn’t know that I had been awake since he’d locked the door. Drugs don’t last long on me, but he wouldn’t know that, he thinks I’m sober…which I sort of am. But that’s neither here nor there.

    His mouth tightened into a thin line. Then he walked over to a table on his right. I had no worries about what was on that table. He was counting on me playing along, but he had broken the rules so while he might think we were both playing the same game, we weren’t. Not anymore.

    He turned with the whip in his hand and waited for me to say my line.

    And waited.

    He frowned.

    I knew my eyes were flat, my face neutral. This wasn’t my first betrayal at the hands of a man I had trusted.

    “Jason. Do you remember when we first started and we had That Talk? The one where we both shared our boundaries and we set some limits that we both agreed to no matter what?”

    His frown deepened and his glared at me.

    “Elena YOU broke those rules when you cheated on me. You obviously need help controlling yourself so you don’t ruin our love. I’m just doing what is necessary so we can have what we both want.”

    “Ah, so that’s it. You think I cheated on you. So instead of asking me or talking to me about it you drugged me, brought me to some unknown location without my permission or consent, stripped me naked and shackled me to this wall. That about cover it?”

    His face turned red with rage and he surged across the floor to backhand me. Sadly it was what I was waiting for. From the moment I woke up I knew I only had one choice if I was going to survive this night. But I wanted to make sure before I made my move. Once you reveal yourself, there’s no going back.

    “You DID cheat on me and now look what you made me do. Elena, I love you and you love me. But you know I can’t share you with anyone else and I won’t have you humiliating me. I love you too much to tolerate that.”

    I looked up and smiled so he could see the blood that painted my teeth a pale red, he blanched and started to turn away but by that time I had spelled the shackles open and had his head in my hands. His eyes widened in shock and confusion.

    “Jason, this ain’t love and no one hits me and lives.”

    Then blood started to seep from his eyes and nose and ears as I slowly turned his internal organs to soup.

    I dropped the mess that had been Jason to the floor. Now I’d have to move again. Fuck.

    Words: 696


  3. I was almost asleep when yet another kick to the ribs sent pain shooting down my side. Lucy wasn’t really awake, just flailing in another nightmare, though her growing limbs could deliver a jolt that was unthinkable even just a few months ago. She was getting stronger quickly, developing some of her mother’s wiry strength. Well, it was only fair. Lucy was going to need a lot of strength to get through the next few months.

    Shifting around through the mountain of stuffed bears, horses, and night-light turtles, I wrapped my arms around my daughter and sang to her until she settled back down into a sound sleep. When you find yourself in times of trouble, indeed. I turned my head from Lucy’s so that she wouldn’t feel the wetness of my tears on her cheek. In the dark like this, the memories rushed back fiercely, leaving me without defenses to keep them at bay.

    The apartment we’d lived in on Nineteenth Street when Lucy was born. The rainbows and balloons on the wall and worn beige carpet on the floor. I’d stretch out, my feet on one wall and my head on Sarah’s lap as she’d sing to the bundle in her arms. Sometimes I’d fall asleep before Lucy, and wake to my wife running her fingers through my hair, trying not to disturb the little girl who’d finally fallen asleep.

    I’d imagined nights in the future when I could stretch out next to my little girl and read her a story in relative comfort. Sarah was sick by the time we’d bought this bed for Lucy’s birthday, but we hadn’t told anyone, and all three of us tried to squeeze into the bed together, just for one night. Snuggling in a twin bed was fine in college, but it didn’t really work for two adults and a child, the smallest of whom seemed to take up more room than anyone her size should have been capable of. So I’d stopped falling asleep in Lucy’s bed, leaving that task to her mom. At some point, she was going to be too old to sleep with her dad, anyway.

    I tried to stretch out my leg, which was getting numb from the way I was laying on my hip, but the dog had taken up residence at the end of the bed, and he wasn’t moving for anything. Cramming myself against the wall, I shifted until the numbness went away, and then cursed silently as the pins and needles replaced it. My squirming jostled Lucy, but beyond mumbling “Daddy, stop moving,” she stayed asleep.

    When Sarah went into the hospital, and then into hospice, Lucy would climb up next to her and doze off, but at home at night, she’d ask me to lay down with her. “I can’t, sweetie. Daddy has to do some work,” I’d say, but the truth was that I still hoped that one day, her mom would come back and take her rightful place, and I wasn’t ready to admit that wouldn’t happen. Even the last days, I said no. And so each night when I’d come in to give her a good-night kiss, the bed would get more and more full with stuffed animals and toys and the beagle, until there was barely any room for Lucy. When I changed the sheets, or fixed a blanket, I’d come back to find each of them back in their spot, piling up around her like a wall.

    Then finally the day came when it really was just the two of us. We each got ready for bed, but the tears never stopped. Not for me, and certainly not for Lucy. And this time, when she asked me to stay with her, I did. There were too many of us in bed that night, with a sobbing girl, and me, and all of the animals, but the one who took up the most room was a ghost. Some day soon, I told myself, I’d go back to my bed, when we no longer needed to not be alone in the dark. If.

    685 words


  4. Wow…awesome stories already guys! loving ALL this.


  5. This is not love

    I would be your lover in the dusk, when the stars begin to shine in a sky still blue, and the same light sparkles in your eyes. I would be the man you return to when the music fades and the dancing ends, and squire you home through the soft darkness, and be your lover through the still hours of the night. I would be at your side and watch you wake, and kiss away the creases that sleep has impressed upon your brow.

    And this, none of this, is love. Have I not sworn it a thousand times? For love is too dangerous for you, and for your kind: even this mere shadow of love is not allowed me. I may be your lover only by daylight, or by the false dusk of a curtained room, and may give you only what he cannot, and give it only between two and four, when a lady who lunches may slip from view, and her absence not be noted. And I will wait from four till two for you, and sleep alone, and this, too, is not love.

    Love is that thing you promised lightly, after the fashion of your kind, and learnt the weight of too late to shirk the load. I have seen the service that you pay that love – but have no fear. I have never broken our compact, nor trespassed on the places that you tread with him. Not since that vow was made have I seen you unawares, but many times before that day, many times, for the caution that I have slaved to your service was in my nature always, and I was many months deciding. I watched that stiff dance between the three of you, as you paid court to his wallet, and he paid court to you, and allowed it to persuade me that you were just my kind, though I hardly knew how true the thought.

    So it goes and so it went, and all my plans fell just as they had been ordained. How readily you fell, how smoothly we progressed to the final act, the usual scene. And at that moment, what? I hardly know.

    Why did I arrange no photographs, putting off, day by day, the payment of my labours? Why am I content to keep you on a string that binds us both? Have I found at last a woman to value higher than rubies, to prize beyond gold? Hardly. For have we not agreed, you and I, a thousand times, that there is no greater treasure than hard cash in hand?

    Yet if I give you something that he cannot, you in your turn give something a dozen others could not replace, and so I wait for you, and take what you discard, and in the long night write you letters that you will never read. For you would look askance, I know, if I told you that we are as much of a kind as a man and a woman may be. The world that made us let me make my first sale open eyed, knowing what I sold and that I might sell it time and again, but it allows you only one such sale, you and your kind, and does not call it a sale until after the contract is signed.

    And so I wait for you, and dream of being your lover in the soft night and under the open sky – but I do not dream of love, for love is too dangerous for you and I, and for our kind.

    598 words. @alexbrightsmith



    A thump on the bedroom door was followed by an ominous pronouncement. “There’s been another sighting across the river. Briefing downstairs in five.”
    Rolling out from under his bedmate, Branson reached for his pants and stepped into them.
    The blonde trailed her nails down his bare back. “You’re not going to finish, lover?”
    He shrugged away from her touch and into his shirt. “What does it look like?”
    “That’s a damn shame, especially after I went to all the trouble of giving you a massage first.”
    “Yeah, and look where that got us.”
    She sat up, dark eyes flashing. “Well excuse me for wanting to take my time.”
    He laced up his boots. “What do I always tell you, Cupcake, huh?”
    She flipped him off. “Fuck you!”
    “Exactly. Don’t waste my time. Get me off or get off me.”
    “Why do you have to be such a bastard about it?”
    He grabbed a handful of her long dark hair and yanked her towards him. “But not such a bastard that you didn’t get yours, right, lover? So stop with the theatrics.” He kissed the top of her head. “Don’t wait up.”
    She threw the pillow at him. “I’m sick of your brothers living under the same roof with us, Branson.”
    He didn’t bother to look at her. “You don’t like it, pack your bags and get out. I told you from the get-go that it was going to be close quarters out here. This isn’t a damn vacation. It’s a rescue mission.”
    She crawled out of bed and stood beside him as he tucked his wallet and keys in his jacket. “You really think he’s still out here, don’t you? And your brothers keep feeding the lie because that’s what they want to believe too. But I think it’s time you accept the truth that your father is dead. Nobody could have survived on his own in that jungle. Not for this long.”
    He didn’t touch her but his voice was sharp as a slap. “I’m not suggesting it this time, Courtney. I’m telling you flat out. Pack your bags and get out. Don’t be here when I come home tonight.”
    “Why? Because I’m the only one around here who loves you enough to tell you the truth?”
    “No. Because this is about family. It’s about loyalty. It’s about the future. Things you don’t know anything about.”
    She grabbed his arm. “Only because you refuse to them give me. It’s like your ex-wife is in the bed with us. You crawl between the sheets with the lights off and your eyes closed, like you don’t want to know who’s lying in the dark with you. Well, it’s me, damn it, not Tania. She’s gone and she’s never coming back.”
    He wrenched his arm free and smashed his hand into the bedroom mirror. “Get away from me.”
    She held her ground. “All I ever wanted was to be part of this family. Your family.”
    “I’m giving you a chance, Courtney. Take it.”
    “Why couldn’t you just cut your family ties and let me into your heart?”
    “Because family is everything,” he said, his bloodied and glass-embedded fist swinging and stopping just short of her jaw.
    Boots sounded on the stairs. “Branson. Get zipped up. We’re waiting on you.”
    He headed for the door. “I never had any room in my heart for you and now there’s no room in my bed. Forget your bags. Just get out. And if I find you had anything to do with my father’s disappearance, no matter where you go, it won’t be far enough to outrun me.”

    – – – – –
    604 words / @bullishink


  7. Garden of Love

    Janice paused digging in the flower bed long enough to wipe a bead of summer sweat away from her eyes. The best time for working in the garden during the summer was the early morning, just as the sun started to chase the stars away. The buds were just beginning to open up for the day like slow moving fireworks, filling the yard with bursts of yellow, red, and violet.

    As she finished turning the rich dark soil over, she knelt down and patted the newly transplanted flowers. “This bed is getting crowded. We need to make some more room, but I just can’t help it. It feels like love to me.”

    The petunias slowly settled into their new home, enjoying a steady flow of nutrients from the nourishing earth. Looking around the garden, her eyes rested on several gatherings of different flowers. Some tall, some bushier, but all grouped neatly into little spaces with benches scattered throughout. She had to have places to sit and be with her thoughts. Each set of flowers connected her to another person in her life.

    “Travis, let’s get you some more water this morning. You’re drooping a little this week.”
    As she went around and tended to each group of plants, it was like she was talking with each of her loved ones. Intimate touches trimmed away any brown spots or wilting, leaving the plants in each place the envy of the entire neighborhood. Visitors would come by and ask how she got them all to grow so well, and she told each of them that the secret was to “feed them love every day, and they’ll never go away.”

    A man came down from the porch, sleep still in his eyes. As he wrapped his arms around her waist, he kissed her neck. “I thought I’d find you out here.”

    “You know me so well. Yes, out with my other loves. I think it’s just about time for more, too. What are your favorites?”

    “I like wildflowers the best, like the little paintbrush ones.”

    Janice looked thoughtfully over the rest of the flowers, trying to find just the right spot. She raised the shovel and pointed. “Do you like it there”

    “It’s nice, but let’s go somewhere quiet today. Somewhere away, and I’ll be your lover in the dawn, in the midnight.”

    Janice frowned at that, at the thought of leaving her garden. Her loves were there, but Bruce was already trying to leave. Yes, even though the bed is getting crowded, she would have to make some more room very soon.

    Once she had him set up in his very own spot with his favorite flowers, he’d never leave her.

    @BryantheTinker, 449 words


  8. Rebekah Postupak

    The Crowd

    Hae was different from us, but that’s not why we hated her. At our school everybody was different. “A Galaxy of Shining Stars,” proclaimed our bus-sized welcome sign. So it’s not like she could claim ignorance, or pretend her differentness made her somehow better. It didn’t.

    She strolled right in that first day all the same, and plopped herself right down in Melody Kendrick’s seat, clutching an embarrassing pink stuffed unicorn.

    “Pssst!” I whispered. “That’s Melody’s place!”

    But she didn’t turn around. She just sat there, shoulders tight, earth-brown hair raining down her back, like she owned that chair. It’s a good thing Melody was off-world that semester, or it could’ve gotten really ugly.

    At lunch I tried explaining this to Hae.

    “Everyone has a place,” I told her. “You’re a first year Una; it would be better if you’d sit in the back for now. In a few years, after you’ve gotten some trips under your belt, maybe you can move up.”

    Hae only stared at her plate, frozen and silent. After that’s when I started passing notes around, warning the other girls off. Our school has a certain reputation to maintain. And now that the Board’s required to let some unqualifieds in on account of the Law, we Uppers have had to develop our own way of handling things.

    I rounded up a bunch of the other Uppers together after school the third week to work out what to do about Hae. They all supported me enthusiastically, of course. Save one.

    “So what if she’s weird?” said Letty.

    Letty was our school’s sole Dua, which is the only reason I’d invited her. Unas can journey into the fairy worlds and work amazing magic there—probably even you have heard some of the stories, like pumpkins into coaches, or spinning straw into gold—but a Dua can bring bits of the magic back into our world and do things here. I hated Letty too, with her untamed black curls, braces, and wild, purple eyes; but people with magic in the human world can’t be trusted, so it wouldn’t do to exclude her.

    “It’s not just that she’s weird,” I said patiently. “She keeps sitting in our seats, dragging around those ugly stuffed animals, and won’t talk to anybody. Did you hear? She applied for a visit to the Kingdoms, and she hasn’t even been here a month! She could put us all in danger.”

    “I don’t see how. Anyway, if she’s really that awful, maybe she’ll die on one of her visits. So what’s it to you?”

    A Dua was never going to understand, though, and I soon gave up trying. I could tell the other girls agreed with me, and even though they wouldn’t have dreamed of asking me aloud, I knew I’d have to confront Hae directly. Personally. I wish I didn’t have to, but somebody must, you know? There are unwritten rules about these things.

    Hae’s mother let me in and pointed me back to Hae’s room. I found her sitting on her bed, surrounded by at least a hundred stuffed animals of every color and size. She was playing with a pair of green pegasi and didn’t look up.

    “That’s some crazy collection you’ve got,” I said, swallowing a laugh. Hae’s stupid obsession was worse than I thought.

    “We’ve all got some crazy.” Her voice rumbled low like a mountain spring.

    “I wanted to talk to you about school,” I said, ignoring the rumbles.

    “I wanted to talk to you about school,” repeated Hae, but the way she said it wasn’t as nice. Her eyes met mine; for the first time I noticed they were purple. Like Letty’s.

    I stepped back, rapidly recalculating. “Just wanted to welcome you, is all.”

    “Is that all?” said Hae, standing and smiling. She tossed something glittery into the air, and that’s when I found myself on her bed sandwiched between a pegasus and some sort of yellow octopus. I was now a—ten-inch, plump cotton piglet??

    “Everyone here has a place,” said the Dua, arranging me very carefully among the crowd. Even stuffed, I couldn’t miss the note of satisfaction in her voice.

    699 words


  1. Pingback: The return of the Mid-week Blues Buster | Project Gemini

  2. Pingback: This is not love | Alex Brightsmith

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