Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 2.19

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 2, Week 19.

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 lovely little slice of darkness by The Dead Weather.
The tune is… “So Far From Your Weapon”.
Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/O4pRru5sANI

This week’s Judge is the Purple Queen herself… Miranda Kate!
The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday September 12th.

Now… Go write!!!

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Posted on September 9, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. Carry The Curse

    You know what they say about deals with the Devil? Well they’re right. The Devil always wins.

    I knew who he was. I can’t claim ignorance or even that he conned me.

    I knew.

    I did it anyway.

    Maybe I had a choice, maybe not. In the end I couldn’t see any other way. Lu knows everyone’s Achilles heel otherwise he wouldn’t have a single signed contract. Mine was Delia. Sweet, sunny Delia…my little sister. She was standing at a crossroads as so many teens do and that sonuvbitch was about to tip the scales with my sister on the losing side. I also knew this wasn’t about Delia…it was about me. He wanted me either in his pocket or out of the game entirely. I had already told him he could fuck his pocket. So that only left getting me out of the game.

    My Granny told me long ago my ego would lead me straight to hell and she was right. But she also said it would give the Devil a black eye if I had the guts to carry the weight.

    So I here I sit, staring at the Bullet on the table and the Gun across the room. I can feel the curse twisting towards me, stopping just short of my skin. Gotta have my permission first. That’s the way Lu works. He’ll back your ass into a corner with a knife at someone else’s throat and then smile saying, “It’s all up to you, yes or no?”

    I took a deep breath and looked the beautiful golden haired man straight in his pale blue icy eyes.

    “It’s very simple Michaela, you carry the Bullet, I carry the Gun. I leave your family alone as long as you carry the Bullet and after you ask for the Gun, well, it won’t matter to you what I do by then. If you drop the Bullet you will be in breach of contract and Delia, as well as any others I so choose from your bloodline are forfeit.”

    I chuckled as I looked up at him.

    “Oh Lu I am looking forward to the day when you have to explain to Him why I am still walking the earth. Because you will have to explain you know? I won’t drop the Bullet and I won’t ask for the Gun. He, and the entire Heavenly Host, will forgive you long before I lose my resolve. I will carry this curse to the end of time and beyond if necessary.”

    With that I grabbed the Bullet and gritted my teeth against a scream as the curse burned and twisted its way into my soul. I fell to the floor as the convulsions started. I have no idea how long it went on but Lu was sitting on the bed with a glass of whiskey in his hand when I came out of the seizures. I had vomited and pissed myself and I was pretty sure every tooth in my head was loose, but I still had that damn bullet in my hand.

    “Micky, Micky, Micky, let go and I can make everything right again.”

    I laid there and worked on remembering how to breathe. Then I slowly stood up, swaying only a little. The weight was…unbelievable. I could feel it pulling on my organs, but worse than that, I could feel it pulling on my mind. The ice in his glass clinked as our eyes met over the rim of the cut crystal. He smirked.

    “Heavy isn’t it?’

    “Yes.” My voice sounded like rusted chain on concrete.

    “Let go.”

    “No.” I put the bullet in my pocket and staggered to the door.

    “It will only get worse Micky.”

    I turned my head to look at him over my shoulder, snarling, “I’m counting on it. That way I’ll always have a new level of hatred for you to keep me going.”

    I stumbled out into the hallway and down the stairs into the hot, wet New Orleans night. I knew I had to get as far from the Gun as I could. It would ease a bit with distance. A bit was all I needed.

    @MissBliss
    Words:694 not counting title

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  2. “Light My Fire”
    Louise’s head throbbed and her eyes blurred at the wave of heat surrounding her.
    “Fuck. Must be concussed again,” she thought.
    With great painful effort, she turned to her side and felt a hard nub rolling against her thigh but ignored it as her flight instincts wafted over her. Like the Princess and the Pea, she noticed little things against her skin even if it was through several layers of fabric.
    For a fleeting moment, she panicked thinking, “Tracie!”
    Louise was assaulted by the memory of the weight and shape of Tracie’s head on the pillow next to her and her warm forearm wrapping around her waist as they’d lie in bed. She could almost feel her soft breath and her nose nudging at the back of her head.
    Her stomach dropped as she recalled, “She’s not here…she’s not anywhere.”
    Louise hated moments like those where she’d be consumed with the feel of her and then remember she’s no longer there because it would cause her to grieve all over again.
    She swallowed at the thick lump in her throat, and groped at her left side. She for her gun, but the holster was empty.
    “Fuck!”
    Louise didn’t have to turn back to see that the mound of dry vegetation behind her was lit up like the inferno she’d been living in since Gustavo had killed her wife.
    Choking down the pain, she moved away from the approaching fire as quickly as she could.
    The house on the hill in front of her was consumed by flame as well. On the street, she saw her car was also on fire.
    Walking with quicker and more determined steps, her hand briefly grazed her right thigh, and then she remembered that’s where she kept her emergency bullet.
    Louise gritted her teeth with anger; she had tried her best to move on, and to put distance between her previous life and now, but he just couldn’t let her be could he?
    She had no gun and no vehicle, but her mission was clear.
    “Gustavo, I heard you, baby,” Louise thought with the chill of vengeance creeping back into her chest, “I’m coming.”

    @skarlitsunrise
    362 Words

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  3. “A Simple Act of Contrition”

    They were coming to kill me.

    Don’t ask how I knew. It’s not like there was a bulletin board or anything. In this line of business you just knew – you’d better know. Besides, when I stepped from the car, it was in the air, we used to call it dead weather.

    I took sanctuary in the shelter of OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL CONCERN – or was it the other way around? Exchanging a nod with an ancient priest near the front, I knelt (yeah, old habits) and slid into the third pew. I carefully positioned my coat over the pew in front of me, so that each pocket was accessible. The right side held my .38 revolver. I reached into the left and pulled out a bottle of cheap bourbon. No sense in wasting the good stuff on a night you weren’t gonna make it through. It tasted like dust, I found myself dragging my tongue across my pallet with each swallow. Other than the priest and myself, the church seemed dead – the thought made me laugh – shortly, we would be as well. I looked up at the crucifix hanging over the altar and waved, “Sorry.”

    Suddenly, I felt rather vulnerable. “If they could get to you, what chance do I have?” I looked at the confessionals and wondered if hiding qualified as an act of contrition. How long could I hide before the
    . . .
    “What the hell?”

    In between the confessionals stood a vintage, sideshow fortune teller – MADAME ZORAH SEES ALL – or, so said the glass. I moved closer. Very cool – very weird – but, very cool. It had to be for a church bazaar; Sunday school production of BIG; something. As I looked closer, Madame Z raised her head eyes scanning the room.

    “Dare to know your future?” she hissed, “Jake?”

    What? No. No. No. It sounded like she said my name. That’s just not. . .
    I fished around for a quarter and Madame Zorah began her shtick. The hands began to pass back and forth, the cards flipping one at a time, fog began to fill the box – eenie meenie chilli beanie, the spirits are about to speak – her eyes locked on mine. It was like she could see me. The card dropped into the basket.

    IN SPITE OF YOUR SELF TODAY IS A LUCKY ONE.

    Okay. I almost expected a bible verse. I dropped another quarter into the slot. The mechanism repeated, this time her eyes held my gaze as the card appeared.

    SO FAR FROM YOUR WEAPON.

    I touched my side. The card was right, my gun was still in my coat. I saw him in the reflection of the glass. Max Lamb was walking slowly behind me. I calmly dropped one more quarter.

    The card read: HOLD THIS UP AND TURN SLOWLY, JAKE.

    I did as the card said. I locked eyes with Lamb. He fired. The bullet struck the card I held, hit the glass behind me and ricocheted up and off the foot of crucifix, into the head of the man sent to kill me. I picked the card off the floor, a clean bullet hole through the middle – but now it read a simple: PLAY AGAIN.

    I gathered my coat, gun, and bottle and stepped over Lamb’s body as he bled out. I looked up again, “Thanks.” I paused, pondering the obvious and settled on, “Sorry about the mess.”

    I stepped outside. There was something in the air, I think they call it earthquake weather.

    jlockett59@gmail.com

    584 Words.

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  4. There’s a secret room at the top of the stairs, where no one goes. Not unless they’re invited, and I haven’t invited you, not yet. You think the living hold sway in this place, in your home. You lock the doors and close the blinds and imagine that you live in privacy, where your secrets are your own.

    There’s a desk in the secret room at the top of the stairs, where no one goes. Not unless they’re invited, and I haven’t invited you, not yet. But don’t rest easy now, your time is coming soon. The desk is locked, and only you have the key. You don’t know about it yet, assuming it’s a remnant from your past, but I placed it on the ring of metal when you were in a cloud of whiskey.

    There’s a drawer in the desk in the secret room at the top of the stairs, where no one goes. Not unless they’re invited, and you are most certainly invited. You won’t heed the call yet, though. Oh, no. No one does. You wonder what you’ve forgotten. You dream of lost loves that never were. You feel a tugging at your innards, and take pills designed to balance your humours. Don’t worry, though, that’s just me in there.

    There’s a gun in the drawer in the desk in the secret room at the top of the stairs, where you and I are tonight. I whisper to you your secrets, the things you locked away in your own secret room. You’ve answered the call to pay for your crimes, though in truth, you are an innocent.

    There’s a bullet in my pocket that fits the drawer in the desk in the secret room at the top of the stairs, where you see me for the first time. I twirl it between my fingers, an amalgam of brass and gunpowder, and you reach out to take it from me. Once the bullet passes from my hands to yours, you regain the power to choose your fate. For that is the risk, and that is the joy. I hold ultimate control over my demesne while I call you to me, but here in the end, you become king.

    We live together in the secret room at the top of the stairs, where no one goes. You’re mine again, as you knew you would be, and you join your voice to mine to make the call. We have need of another here in the secret room at the top of the stairs, where no one goes, not unless they’re invited. And oh, there are so many we will invite.

    441 words
    @drmagoo

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  5. Grieving is an interesting thing – you never know how long it will last and usually think it is going to last forever, but then one day you wake up and it doesn’t feel like you are being weighed down by a five hundred pound rock anymore. That day was today for Lina.

    She had been in the funk of grieving for over a month. She had been sleeping and drinking too much and not eating enough and had taken a leave of absence from work. Her brother was tired of her being a permanent fixture on his couch. She decided that she needed to start moving. She made a list of things she needed to do:

    1. Call work and tell them I am ready to come back
    2. Open all of my mail and get my bills in order
    3. Do a budget
    4. Find an apartment

    Lina loved looking at apartments. An empty apartment held so much possibility. Having a gypsy for a mother, Lina had moved a lot as a child and every new place represented a new start. With each move Lina planned to reinvent herself. She was going to be the better version of Lina – funnier, more popular, thinner and more sophisticated. As a child, that usually lasted a day or maybe two, and then she would trip over her own feet or say something so stupid, she was sure that no one would have anything to do with her the next day. Of course it was never that bad but the “better version” concept never worked out for her. But that was then. She was a kid then and there were a lot of things that were out of her control. As an adult, she had many more choices and she was feeling really good about all of the possibilities that were before her.

    turkfx@sbcglobal.net

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  6. Biting The Bullet

    Close enough up, Anna could smell her way forward, despite the thick fabric across her nose and mouth. Festering pus mingling with rot, competing with the rancid odour of meats long since neglected, lying now abandoned. She gagged despite the mask, continuing to move her feet forwards slowly through the mosses underfoot, hoping not to hear the giveaway crack of twig or branch. Impossible to keep eyes searching for both potential threat facing her and that posed by the noises of potential undergrowth which might betray her. Choices, choices, long since made. The bullet, though light in her trouser pocket, comparative to the suppressed bolt action rifle slung across her shoulder, remained a heavy weight. She was here to bring her home.

    They had laughed about it the first time, courtesy of the whiskey shot burning in their stomachs, combined with the lack of anything decent to eat that evening, the booze going to their heads a little, shoulders relaxing from their permanent protective hunch momentarily, before remembering they were out in the open – that they needed to find cover for the night, before dusk descended upon them. Still, they had an hour or so yet, though they would need to be on the move very soon. Always too soon.

    “Promise me,” Lou had said. “That you will, if needs be.” Her lips were smiling, belied by her eyes, staring straight into Anna’s own. No hint of humour there.

    “Don’t be silly,” Anna said. “You’re letting the drink do your talking. Shut up now.”

    “I would,” Lou responded instead. “You know I would.”

    “Somewhere in there that’s supposed to be a good thing?” Anna remembered saying.

    “You know it is.” A pause. “Come on. Say you’ll do it. You have to. We’re sitting here ‘til you do, come what may. You know I’ll do that too.” Lou’s body was rigid, anticipatory. “Just try me.”

    Anna sighed, exhaling quickly; one long breath. “For Pete’s sake! Fine, I’ll do it, then. Just get a friggin’ move on! Seriously, now! No more messing.” She held a hand out to pull Lou to her feet. “You’ve got what you want now.”

    “Not quite,” Lou said. “You still need to be able to aim it when it counts.”

    “I can aim,” Anna said, tone sharp, words curt. “You know I can. I have done.”

    “Bit different this time though. You’ll practise.” Lou’s voice was decided.

    “Not now. Another night. Let it go.”

    “Later. Or you won’t at all. You know it. You need to be able to do it today. Now. Any time.”

    “Once we bed down, then,” Anna conceded.

    Lou had nodded, letting it drop, as they gathered themselves together.

    Now Anna was here. Lou’s weapon gripped in her sweaty palms. Lou’s bullet in the corner of her pocket, holding her to it. Lou had had the other. Might still have it now, not that she would notice.

    It could have been either of them. It had been Lou though – there one minute, gone to all intents and purposes the next, as ragged nails had caught at the back of her hand, seemingly appearing from nowhere, scouring a gouge across it. “Skin’s broken,” she said, tensely. A tight smile – there – gone – and she moved, letting herself fall in amongst the shambling shufflers. Deliberate. “Run,” she’d said and Anna had, stumbling her way through the tears which threatened to make her fall over herself, as she kept going.

    Keep to the plan. Back during day. When they would be sleepy senseless, barely moving. They never went far. Not so quickly, anyway. Time. Time to bring her home. To hold true to her promise.

    Anna could see the blue of the t-shirt, sleeve torn at the edges, at the corner of her vision. She trained her eyes on the tangled hair falling over the back of it; praying it would remain turned from her – not to be forced to look into those unseeing eyes; to see the greying skin. Not this time.

    Though she had never prided herself on being the sharp shooter of the family, she’d been taught well enough for this. “For you, Lou,” Anna said. She took careful aim. She fired.

    (700 words)

    @FallIntoFiction

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  7. @ bullishink 699 words

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  8. Really enjoyed this, Ruth. Love the last line.

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  9. I’m sucker for the car related romance with a touch of sadness myself. So good.

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  1. Pingback: Mid-week Blues Buster, 2.19 | Project Gemini

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