Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 2.22

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 2, Week 22.

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 comes to us courtesy of the magnificent Macy Gray.
The tune is, “I Try”. Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/XWsJTiMr42Q

This week’s Judge is the creator of the Daily Picspiration blog and ardent Cleveland Browns fan… Miranda Gammella.

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday October 3rd.

Now… Go write!!!


Posted on September 30, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. “Unspoken Goodbyes”

    Sam walked stiffly towards the flight attendant. The chubby little held onto hers as if it would keep them together. His five-year-old strength was not strong enough, not nearly strong enough to hold of the U.S. government. The attendant knew the routine. She had seen it all too often when she worked this flight. With this number of military bases, she thought her heart would be hardened by this point but she knew this would make her heart break inside.
    Sam knelt before her son. His caramel skin did little to cover the smattering of freckles across his nose and cheeks. She forced a smile and pushed his curls back. “You are such a strong little man,” she stated, willing them both to believe it. She could see the tears welling up in the back of his eyes but he held them back. “Grandma will be so glad to see you.” She leaned forward to kiss his cheek and he threw his arms around her neck, holding on for dear life. She swallowed the lump in her throat. “Mmmm…I love you, too, my darling Ethan. I’m going to hold this hug in my heart until we are together once again.”
    He sniffed back his tears and fought for composure. “Momma, be strong. Take care of the bad guys.” She smiled at her little man. Staring him in the eyes, she gathered his face in her hands and held it before her, remembering every detail. Once she had frozen his image in her mind, she stroked his cheeks with her thumb and rose to her feet. Ethan stood up straight as well. He turned and faced the attendant. “I’m ready but…” he looked at his mother, her uniform about askew from the hugs and tears, “Make sure you come back.”
    Sam smiled a promise to him. He turned and took the attendant’s hand. She let him down the jet bridge and onto the flight. Sam watched as the plane pulled from the terminal and taxied out onto the runway. Sighing shakily, she turned and headed to the opposite end of the airport where her own flight would take off.
    Ethan would be greeted with cookies upon landing. She hoped she would not be greeted with gunfire. A quick prayer slipped under her breath as she joined her combat brothers and sisters and “Amen,” echoed around her. Soon the gray Seattle rain would be replaced by the sands.

    408 Words



  2. Stolen Heart

    I shouldn’t be here. I keep trying to convince myself I didn’t come here just to see him, but I did. It’s been six months since…since he left. He left, but I was the one who made it a break up. Now here I am. Again. Sadly this isn’t the first time we’ve done this. Jenna, my best friend, gazed at the three men behind the bar with eyebrows raised.

    “Look I get that it’s a fund raiser but making the guys tend bar shirtless seems a little much.” I felt her cut her eyes my way.

    “Stay here. I’ll go get us drinks.” Jenna pushed her way through the crowd that had shown up to help raise money for the theatre. The bar tenders were three of the most gorgeous techies the theatre could find, two electricians and one sound guy. My sound guy, Ryan Patterson.

    I leaned against the back wall and waited for him to see Jenna and then case the joint for me. Our eyes met, my heart stopped and then he turned away. Jenna stepped in front of me interrupting the cross bar moment of misery.

    “I said it before and now that we’re here I’m saying it again. You are the biggest idiot in the history of idiots.” Jenna shoved the whiskey into my hand.

    I was about to respond with appropriate snarkiness when Ryan suddenly turned his back to me and I choked. Jenna spun around to find out what had taken my breath away.

    “Oh shit.”

    Ryan had quite a few tattoos. Both arms were sleeved with beautiful dragons but he had left his back open for years saying he was trying to put together a really brilliant full back piece. But now…now his back was covered with a large black stylized letter T. The top of the letter was curved down like a tree with cracked red hearts hanging from it like broken fruit. The trunk of the letter/tree swept down his spine and disappeared into his jeans. Under the curve of the T and the hearts were a thousand black birds attacking the broken hearts. Above the curve of the letter was one emerald green bird, flying across the top of his shoulders with the only uncracked heart in its mouth.

    My hand unconsciously rose to hold the red glass heart I wore around my neck as Jenna sighed and grabbed me by the shoulders and forced me to look at her.

    “TARA! I love you, you know that, but if you don’t pull your head out of your ass I’m gonna slap you into next week. He is who he is. He is always going to go on tour. He is always going to stay faithful. He is always going to come back. TO YOU. STOP FUCKING THIS UP DAMNIT!”

    My eyes filled with tears. I couldn’t fix it this time. I was pretty sure he had had enough of me.

    “Jenna, I don’t think he’s gonna give me another chance.”

    I tossed back my drink and left the bar. I stumbled to a stop on the sidewalk outside. The hot dry wind pulled at my hair. I closed my eyes and let the tears falls. The door opened and there he was buttoning up a shirt, a frantic look on his face.

    “Tara.” Ryan’s gravelly voice killed me.

    I stared at him shaking my head.

    “Ry I’ve tried being ok without you here but I just can’t do it and I keep failing at leaving you too. I don’t know what to do.” I couldn’t hold the tears back now.

    He cupped my face in his hands, “If you’ll stop leaving, I will too.”


    “I took a steady gig in town and signed a lease on a house in the Valley. You have my heart Tara I’m not going to run off without it or you ever again.”

    I threw myself at him so hard we almost hit the sidewalk.

    Jenna opened the door with a grin that told me she’d been eavesdropping.

    “Blah blah love blah blah mush blah love. Patterson get back behind the bar and T to the Karaoke machine STAT.”

    Words: 697 not counting title


  3. Lily ignored the physical rejection of her attempt at a hug; at least he’d allowed the peck on the cheek. She watched him hurriedly walk away to the other side of the busy train station, a sudden heaviness on her chest, and a sickness in her stomach. By the time she’d reached the train, there were tears in her eyes. She missed him already.

    The day had been perfect, their nervousness diminishing after the first hour. He was friendly, attentive, and interested. It made her feel renewed. It made her feel there was a chance. But now he was gone again, with no idea of anything further.

    She stared at her reflection in the train window. He had no idea how closely she’d been watching him, how much she knew about his movements; the places he’d been to, the parties he’d gone to. How many times she’d resisted a comment on social media that would give it all way. But she couldn’t help herself, not where he was concerned. Not since they’d met at Joleen’s party.

    Lily stared at pictures of him on social media all the time. She imagined conversations with him, drinking with him…sex with him. She bit her lower lip. What would that be like?

    Her mobile phone beeped, and her heart leapt when she saw it was from him. “Good to see you”, he said. “You free next week?” A rush of adrenaline ran through her, banishing all the sadness. She sent a text back with a simple ‘Yes’. A few seconds later he responded with ‘I’ll call you. We’ll set something up.”

    She waited, but he clearly didn’t mean now. She had no idea when it might be, but she was happy that it might happen at all.

    Lily tucked the phone back in her pocket.


    Roger looked at his phone, his heart thumping. He’d done it. He’s asked for the second date. Had he been casual? He didn’t want to seem too keen. He still shook slightly after her attempt to hug him. He couldn’t let her do that – that was too much – that would give it all way. He had to keep the cool exterior. He couldn’t risk her seeing what she did to him. If they embraced he’d struggle to let her go, he knew he would.

    After all this time they had finally met up. He’d scanned the timelines to for months, for any mention of her going to any of the parties he was attending. He’d waited avidly for her to ‘like’ any of the events, but she’d been absent. And then finally he’d managed to bring about a meeting – coincidentally been where she was. She always tagged the place that she was shopping, so it wasn’t hard.

    But he’d thought about it for weeks. Would she see through it? Would she know? Would he be able to do it? Could he approach her and pretend to be relaxed and surprised to see her? Would she respond? Be interested? He thought she might, but until that moment he hadn’t known. It had taken a lot to get the nerve up.

    And it had been perfect. She’d been in no hurry to leave. She’d been happy to join him for something to eat. And she’d lingered – or had it been his imagination? He didn’t think so, not after she attempted to hug him.

    He tried not to berate himself for his reaction, but he hadn’t expected her to do that. Not yet. He wasn’t ready for that yet – not in reality. He’d gone over it a hundred times in his mind. How he would hold on to her, embrace her, and then kiss her.

    He stood up. He had to break that thought process, save it for later when he wasn’t in public. He looked up at the board to see which platform his train was on, and started heading that way.

    So when was he going to call her? How soon was too soon? And what would he say?

    His mind buzzed as he boarded his train.

    Words: 682


  4. “A Twist of Fate”

    The weather certainly wasn’t a deterrent. Shoppers, tourist and local alike, flowed passed, as he slipped unnoticed into their world – 34th and Broadway, right where 6th tries to sneak in – the shopping Mecca of the world. Alex leaned against the window of the Sunglasses Hut watching the gloomy New York sky between the buildings – threatening rain, but it was only a threat – what New Yorkers called a Macy’s grey. Dark skies, but not enough weather to hinder the Joan Q. Public.

    There was a time when Alexander Fate would come to New York via Penn Station and make his way up to Herald Square – his first stop was always Nedick’s restaurant in the corner of the Macy’s building – but now it was easier to “step” into the crowded street, not to mention safer. Penn had become too busy.

    Alex came from a long line of Fates – old money, so to speak – and he resented being recruited to cover for some low level Guardian Angel who couldn’t be bothered to care for a “lost cause” – actually, the phrase used had been “train wreck.” He checked the schedule; she would board the bus at 11:22 – the Greely Square stop. He pressed his nose against the window, allowing himself a moment – searching for a memory – that aroma of Nedick’s hot dogs, but found only sunglasses and they didn’t smell. Oh well, there was no time for nostalgia, there never was.

    Moving south was no easier than any other direction, but it was the direction of Greely Square. Four minutes, there was no way. He’d been called callus, cruel, bitch and motherfucker, but never punctual. In fact, of all of the things said of him and his family, Alex liked “Fate loves the Fearless,” best. It was why he loved New York so, no better venue in all the heavens for those two words to stand side by side. Alex popped a handful of black Jujy-Fruit into his mouth and picked up the pace, a little.

    This actress, or train wreck, or what-ever-she-was, had been given every opportunity, every chance, every accommodation known to man, as well as every divine intervention – was minutes away from stumbling off the 287 South and dying on a Tribeca sidewalk. It was decided that Fate should step in and keep her from getting on the bus – simple. Goodie.

    There she was, Alex could see her sitting in the bus shelter. One drink – one hit – one something this side of unconscious, but still able to find her feet as the bus pulled to the curb. Damn Manhattan Transit, on time for the first time – EVER. There would be endless speculation as to why she was on a bus in the first place, along with all of the other-whys that accompany a celebrity death. As Alexander fought his way through the crowd, he popped another Jujy into his mouth and choked – coughing, he caught his foot and stumbled, twisting his ankle

    “Lindsey,” he called, spitting licorice into the crowd, as he limped forward.

    Half a block away, the bus pulled from the curb. Everyone would say, it was fate. He would blame it on a twisted ankle.

    “Humans,” Fate sighed. “I try. I really do.”

    537 Words


  5. The Session

    Beth thumps audibly into the chair in front of the suit clad man. “Busy? No? Good. Shall we get cracking then?”

    “If you’d like,” he responds, eyebrow raised, face otherwise blank.

    “Somehow I thought you’d say that,” she grins. “Kind of familiar with how this works of old – well, I’m guessing it’s old, by this point, although I’m not sure precisely how..” A pause. “I didn’t catch your name?”

    “That isn’t what’s important here.”

    “If you say so,” Beth answers. “Pretty sure it is – but we’ll get to that in time, I suppose.”

    “Perhaps you’d like to start with something concerning why you’re here?”

    “Pretending for a second you don’t already know, I’ll bite,” Beth says. “God knows – perhaps you don’t; it’s hard to tell by this point, being honest.” She sighs. “I’m getting ahead of myself, aren’t I? I’ll wind back for you; play fair.” Her hands are playing with the dirty tangles of her hair, hanging unkempt past her shoulders. Her fingernails are bitten to the quick.

    “It started with Sean. My guy. Things were great. Before they…weren’t. He reeled me in with words, before anything. Guess I was pretty susceptible after the luck I’d had…you don’t need to hear all about the pre-Seans, do you? They weren’t anything special, to be frank, so it’s barely worth going there..”

    “Perhaps we should concentrate on Sean,” the therapist says.

    “Figured that would be your answer,” Beth says, smirking slightly. “He’s the reason we’re here, after all.” She takes a breath, expression distant for a second. “It took me a while to notice, to be honest. Not because I wasn’t observant, you know? Just because it was so subtle, at first. We were having a decent time, drinks with food..”

    “And?” the man prompts.

    “Then I realised.” Beth frowns, brow creasing. “That there were gaps. Between things. If I turned, suddenly. Without thinking about what I was doing. Great big gaping ones at the corner of my vision. Chasms into god knows what. I’ve never managed to get close enough to tell. As soon as I started looking properly, they’d disappear; blurring. My eyes would tear over. I’d find my thoughts wandering, you know? I’d look again more closely and they would be gone, save for the white lights.”


    “Pinpricks. Spotting. Figured them for migraines. Before I knew better. That’s what he passed them off as too.” Beth’s tone was dark.

    “You didn’t believe him?”

    “At first; yes. Before.”


    “It was what he wanted me to believe. Needed me to. Was what he was depending on.”

    “He was dependent on your having headaches?”

    “Yes,” Beth says, emphatic, before adding, “well, no, not really. You’ll see what I mean if you let me explain properly?”

    “Go ahead, Beth,” the therapist says.

    “First name terms,” she says, smiling. “Aren’t you familiar, all of a sudden? Perhaps you don’t need me to finish my story after all?”

    “You don’t feel as if you want to?” the man asks. “Is there a reason for that?”

    Beth barks out a sudden laugh. “You’re incorrigible, you know that? This is the best one to date, I’ll give you that. Jesus, let’s get this charade over and done with already.” She sighs, sobering. “Sean was stealing from me. Literally. Syphoning – ripping – moments from my reality. Fashioning them into his own constructs. Don’t ask me how he does it. I’m just the one he’s taking them from. That ensures I forget the process, even as he’s doing it. I just see the holes sometimes, if I’m quick enough to look at them cross-eyed. I’m kind of worried one of these days I’ll actually fall through one of them without realising, given I don’t always know they’re there..”

    After another pause, the girl continues. “You don’t believe me, do you? That I can be crumbling because some man says so? That it’s impossible for me to walk away from him because he wills it – my world – so, so I’m stuck here? I figured you wouldn’t. His mind’s prison. His rules, even now. Not mine.” The words are decisive, as Beth’s head moves sharply to one side, eyes darting towards one of the corners; honing in, without warning.

    (700 words)



  6. Done Trying

    He moved through the maze of bodies, crates, and noise, ball cap pulled low so most of his face was hidden. No sense advertising his return. Not just yet. Needed some time to come to terms with it.

    They’d been generous about every aspect of the deal but for one – his publicity schedule. Had to go live in two hours, but he was going to fly under the radar until then.

    Except for the one little detail. One little hitch. One little earth-shaking game-changing heart-breaking factor. Best to confront that now because it was going to take every moment of the two hours to reconcile themselves to it.

    He pushed through the door. Natalie stood on a small dais with costumers clustered around her. In those moments before her gaze found him, he let himself see her as they did. A curvaceous musical money-maker.

    And then her brown eyes met his, and he saw her as he knew her. Funny. Hesitant. Unpretentious.

    She waved them off, the pack of seamstresses and designers. “Take fifteen.”

    “But Mrs. Bonneville, we have –“

    Her jaw tightened a fraction. “Yes, and if you want me to be ready, you’ll give me fifteen. Now.”

    They scattered, moving past him like he was a rock outcropping in a fast moving river.

    The makeup artist nodded as she passed him. “Morning, Mr. Bonneville.”

    He remained in the doorway, even after they were alone.

    “Six months,” she said, moving towards him but taking her time – perhaps because the dress was only pinned in place or perhaps she was considering the situation as she walked.

    “You’re not going to make this easy, are you?”

    She reached him, stretching out a hand to trace his jaw. “Actually, I am.”

    He stepped back, jammed his hands in his pant pockets. “Before you get carried away, you

    need to know something.”

    Her forefinger paused under his chin, keeping his face level with hers. “So you came back for financial reasons?”

    He shook his head.


    He shook his head again and stepped back.

    Her face softened. “You were never just the guitar player, London. You were my friend. My lover. My co-writer. I’m sorry I let you forget that.”

    He took off the hat and ran his hand through is hair. “I tried to quit you and this business so many times, Natalie. Tried to choose just one or the other. Just the music. Just the marriage.

    Doesn’t work like that though, does it?”

    “I’d hug you, love, but these damn pins are –“

    He reached for her hand, laces his fingers with hers. “They brought me back to manage you, Nat. Said you weren’t fulfilling your concert obligations. Missing dress rehearsals. Refusing encores.”

    Her fingers held still. “So, you’re going to be my handler? That’s how it’s going to be?”

    He drew her into a hug, ignoring the pin tips piercing his t-shirt and skin. “No, baby. I’m giving in. Which isn’t the same as giving up, by the way. I want you to be clear about that. I going to quit second-guessing myself up about loving you.”

    “What about the solo album?”

    “Forget about it. There’s nothing solo about us. Soon as your contract is done, we’re taking the cash and the fans and we’re starting our own studio. I’m done worrying. I’m done strategizing. I’m done apologizing. I’m ready to act. On our marriage, our dreams, our

    She shifted in his arms. “Can I get out of this dress before we continue this conversation? The damn thing is really starting to poke me.”

    He chuckled and put his mouth to her hear. “That’s not the dress.”

    – – – – –
    @bullishink / 608 words


  7. Brian sat in the church pew. It was Friday night, and the church was available for prayers. Those who wished to talk with God in private. The priest sat in the chair beside the altar, and was available for any who approached him.

    Brian was thankful the church was available. He wished to speak with God. He needed to speak with God. When he closed his eyes, he still saw the blood on his hands. Her blood.

    “She never listened! God! She never listened!” He didn’t speak aloud, his words echoed in his head instead. “I played the song for her, but she never listened!” Brian shook his head. “I even sang them to her. I did.”

    The words of the song echoed in his head.

    I try to say goodbye and I choke.
    I try to walk away and I stumble.
    Though I try to hide it, it’s clear.
    My world crumbles when you are not near.

    He even heard the words In Macy Gray’s voice.

    “I explained, God. I did. And still, she wouldn’t talk to me. Wouldn’t hold my hand. Wouldn’t be with me. Wouldn’t love me.”

    Brian remembered his frustration. His agony. Feeling she’d stabbed him in his heart. “I loved her, God!” He quietly cried, sitting in the church, unable to raise his head to look at the cross before him.

    He’d bought flowers. He knew they were her favorites. White lilies. A dozen of them. He’d bought chocolates. Godiva, in a heart container. And a bottle of her favorite wine. He put on his best Sunday suit, the gray one, with pinstripes. A clean, white shirt. A white tie. He’d bought the tie to match the lilies.

    He’d been nervous, sitting in his car, waiting for her to get home from work.

    He’d been furious when she’d arrived with that other guy. “God, he should have known! He should have known she was mine!”

    He left the lilies and chocolate in his car. He followed them to her apartment. He listened to her laughter, he could hear her in the hall. He didn’t know what to do. Everything had gone wrong. Nothing was like he wanted it. Like he needed it.

    He remembered his shoulder colliding with the door, several times, the sound of wood cracking, then splintering. He hadn’t felt anything as he broke through the door. The two of them stood there, half-naked, staring at the door in horror.

    He attacked the man. He grabbed anything within reach, to help him. The crystal clock on the table by the front door. Brian stared at his hands, but the memory wouldn’t go away. That clock, striking the man’s face. Over and over, until the man stopped moving.

    She clawed at him. Jumped on his back. Pounded on his shoulders. Her fingernails scraped at his neck, and face. The clock struck her head. “I told you! I told you! I try! But you never listen!” Her beautiful face wasn’t beautiful anymore. Her beautiful neck bent funny. “I can’t live without you!”

    Brian stood in the church. He screamed at God, “I told her! I told her!”

    He closed his eyes, and saw the blood on his hands. Blood he knew he could never wash away.

    He sat down on the pew. “Why, God? Why didn’t she listen?”

    The police entered from the back of the church. The priest nodded to them, and pointed to Brian.

    Wrath stood in the shadow of the cross and laughed. He kept laughing long after the police took Brian away.

    591 Words


  8. A Trying First Day

    Finally reaching the seclusion of my car, my stoic smile crumbles as sobs wrack my shoulders. Teardrops fall down my cheeks, and my world crumbles around me. As I stare down at a picture of you, there is no doubt that even as you are far away, I am a prisoner of your love. I wipe the tears away and try to find some way past the fears that threaten to overwhelm me. A brief comfort comes in the fact that fate has brought us together, but if forced to make a confession, it would certainly be a false front.

    Just a few moments ago, we were together, and I choked on the farewell as you ambled away toward your destination. I turned before you could have seen me break down, but looking over my shoulder, you were looking forward to your next adventure. Each step back toward the car was an internal struggle about whether to turn and run back to you, or to let the changes happen. The issue became so intense that I nearly toppled into a rhododendron bush. The purple blossoms dancing in the wind were unsupportive, and eventually I made it to the car.

    Having to content myself with the smell of one of your shirts from the backseat, there is no denying that this is not a good look. The streaked tearstains feel like someone has been finger painting, and my nose feels full and red. Trying to pull myself together, I force myself to put your picture down on the seat, out of sight. This is only the first of many things that must be done today, and it simply will not do to let the world know just how vulnerable that I am without you near.

    Just as the wispy beginnings of control start to reform, the yellow school bus passes directly ahead. Your blonde curls perform the lively dance of an animated conversation with a new friend, already moving forward on the first day of school.

    @BryantheTinker, 335 words


  1. Pingback: #MWBB Week 2.22 – A Tale Of Wrath : I Try | My Soul's Tears

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