Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 2.25

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 2, Week 25.

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 heading toward Halloween, so it seem appropriate to turn up the creep factor with this week’s song prompt.

The tune is, “Still Life”, by Iron Maiden.
Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/Z7OyOwIexIQ

We’ve got another first-time Judge with us this week… Everyone, meet Judge Josie Beaudoin!

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday October 24th.

Now… Go write!!!


Posted on October 21, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. “Where is Powerslave?”

    Born two minutes to midnight on 22 Acacia, I am my father’s seventh son. He was his father’s seventh son. “For the greater good of God,” they used to say when I passed by and I, deemed by many a wrathchild, made more than just priests and educated fools protect themselves with the sign of the cross. As if I were to be blamed for the evil that men do, I, the prisoner to the age of innocence, a young man on the edge of the thin line between love and hate, squandered too many wasted years wasting love and chasing the wildest dreams.

    Then I saw the pilgrim and it was as if in this one man did two worlds collide, for in him I saw merged as one the Lord of Light and the Lord of Flies and all I could think when I first saw him was “Holy Smoke,” for the journeyman who appeared to me out of the shadows told me I needed to run to the hills to find sanctuary.

    “Past the gates of tomorrow,” he explained, “and caught somewhere in time is a brave new world, a different world that is brighter than a thousand suns.”

    I asked him how to find the place.

    “First, you must remember tomorrow,” he replied, “and when you can do that, you will know you are where you need to be when the wild wind blows.”

    I squeezed my eyes shut and shook my head. “What?”

    “When the wild wind blows you will find yourself at the edge of darkness where resides the King of Twilight. It is your fear of the dark that is your dance of death,” he said. “But you must understand that fear is the key. Now at this edge you are but one step away from here to eternity, the still life, the place of revelations, the new frontier.”

    I wanted to run, but he had his hooks in me and I stood there on this, seemingly the longest day of my life.

    “Now listen to me and listen good. He will send you on a quest for fire and despite your hesitation, you must be quick or be dead or so shall ye rest forever your face in the sand. Back in the village you must ask both the angel and the gambler the whereabouts of the Clairvoyant. Avoid at all costs the mercenary or you will die with your boots on and steer clear of the clansman—you will know him for he is marked with the number of the beast. You must find the Clairvoyant, for he will tell you the whereabouts of the Rainmaker. Now listen to me and listen good. When the Clairvoyant asks you who you are, this is how you must respond…You must say ‘I am the reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg.’ It may sound easy, but when in the presence of the Clairvoyant it is as if you are standing in a dream of mirrors. So you must remember. Don’t just say Benjamin Breeg. You must say you are the reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg. If you get it right, he will respond ‘Hallowed be thy name.’ Got it?”

    “I think so.”

    “Should you pass the test, you will find the Rainmaker and when he asks you of your quest, tell him you have been sent to tame a land. Now he will try to confuse you. Let him. He will declare you two blood brothers. He will scoff at your quest and tell you he knows the secret location of El Dorado. You must stop him and say ‘No more lies.’ Then he will give you the gift, the great sword of the former sheriff of Huddersfield.”

    “What am I supposed to do with that?”

    “Return to the King of Twilight, he will be waiting for you at the edge and you must be quick with your flash of the blade, for defeating him requires both sun and steel. Then you will manifest your destiny, your futureal and escape, out of the silent planet that is the earth, this world, this iron maiden.”

    Josh Bertetta
    687 Words


  2. Surreal Josh Bertetta. Read it twice and now I hie to a quiet place of contemplation. 😎


  3. There Are Always Consequences.

    So I said, “Don’t stand behind me.”

    She said, “I’m not. You only think I am.”

    So, I spun around on my heels. Not the brightest or easiest thing to do on a highly polished wooden floor whilst wearing genuine leather soles and heels. As you might guess, my quick spin spiralled out of control. I completed a full circuit and ended up sprawled on the floor with my face splashed on to the wood.

    Now, I thought, “My spin was much faster and more complete than I intended. Maybe that is why I did not register any sight of her as my as my eyes flashed from facing back to facing front to facing the floor.”

    Even my thoughts can be quite wordy at times.

    I tentatively moved my arms to line up my hands with my shoulders. I gently placed them palm down and started to exert a little bit of pressure, testing for any failure in my muscular abilities. Having found no such failure, I pushed harder until my chest heaved itself from the floor. I kept pushing down with my palms until I could raise myself onto my knees. I stopped there. I felt like a dysfunctional coffee table but I needed to take a few moments to consider my position; not my physical position, my mental position.

    Should I hazard a quick look over my shoulder to ascertain whether she was actually there?

    What if she isn’t?

    Or, maybe worse, what if she is?

    I need to think about this a wee bit more.

    Wait! Is there anyone else here? Am I at a party? No one has come to my assistance. Well, that is just not nice. I would always help someone if they had done a complete pirouette and fallen on their face. Wait! I don’t hear any music. Maybe the fall has caused temporary deafness. No, that can’t be because I just heard my knee creak as I moved it subconsciously as my body weight slowly ground the kneecap into the wooden floor.
    It was becoming apparent that I would have to get back on my feet, if only to relieve the mounting discomfort in my knees and, dare I say it, my arms. As I slowly brought my legs forward to place my feet under my centre of gravity, I notice the floor length curtains were delicately rippling, like a small swell on an ocean of purple silk. Someone had opened the French doors to the garden. Did they do that to gain access or to depart from the house? Maybe she had slipped out of the room as I lay there. Maybe I could risk that quick look over my shoulder as I slowly returned to a standing position. No, I decided, I am a man and I will turn all the way round and stare her right in the eyes; if she is still there.

    So, I started to turn, very slowly, moving my body around but letting my head trail slightly behind. Gingerly, I brought my whole head round until it was facing to the front. Then, I thought, “Open your eyes you big softie. There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” I couldn’t hear any sound in front of me. I couldn’t feel any breath upon me. If she’s there, she is far enough away.

    So, I opened my eyes. She wasn’t there. As I let out the breath that I had inadvertently held, I heard a giggle. Not my giggle! My sound was more of an asthmatic rasp. The sound had come from my right hand side, from behind the curtains.

    “Enough is enough,” I thought. I strode over and grabbed those damned curtains. I hauled them wide open. They were held aloft by a pole that rested on two hooks; one at either end. Unfortunately, my pent up stress and emotion, combined with my muscular abilities caused the movement of the curtains to be far more violent than intended. The whole damned lot flew of the wall and crashed down upon me causing me to relive my leathery soled, wooden floored pirouette. This wrapped the whole fabric around me and severely curtailed my movements.

    I lay still for a moment, trying to gather my wits and regain my mental equilibrium. I could feel sweat trickling down my face and neck. I felt terribly hot. I opened my eyes. As I looked across my tethered body, I noticed that the fabric wrapped around me was not of delicate purple silk. In fact it reminded me of the scarlet, twenty tog duvet from my bed. I stared hard at it but it remained scarlet. Oh, and it remained heavy.

    I looked around the room and realised I was in my bedroom, window firmly closed against the rain squalling and battering against the window panes. The central heating was blasting out Sahara quality heat.

    All a bloody nightmare, just a bloody nightmare that made me roll from the bed in a tangle of limbs and duvet.

    I blame Harry and the last two Mai Tai that he forced on me as I awaited the arrival of my taxi cab.

    866 words


  4. Character names inspired by “Michael” by Franz Ferdinand and “Annabel” by Goldfrapp.

    Just Enough Isn’t Enough

    Annabel hates projects like this.
    Her dark eyes quickly scan over the instructions on the pale vellum sheet once more.
    “Who is your hero and why?”
    She knows who she’ll write about, but biting on her black pen, she contemplates which story she’ll share: the fabricated one she recites like a well-rehearsed monologue for the case worker or the story she suspects is true, but chooses not to think about.
    Lying on her stomach, she pushes a curtain of raven locks behind her ear and begins scribbling on the lined paper in her notebook.
    “According to Christian lore, the Archangel Michael is said to have cast Lucifer out of Heaven and into Hell. It is very fitting then that my brother, Mike, shares a name with this mythical warrior. He confronts the shadows and wrestles demons that even I am not aware of to keep me safe…”
    Mike’s lids are squeezed shut tightly as he wipes away a stray drop of cheap whiskey with the back of his hand. He replaces the cap on his tin flask and notes that though he’s only had it out for a few minutes, the metal is already cool to the touch, and it causes his skin to prickle as he places it back in his jacket pocket.
    Forcing his jagged breath to regulate, he holds his inhales longer to help quiet his thoughts. He focuses on the air filling his lungs and not the disembodied voices fighting for his attention.
    “Your light is bright,” Miranda had told him, “That’s why we’re all so attracted to you.”
    He wanted to look up and stare at the stars in the cloudless October sky; but if he opened his eyes, he’d see them surrounding him in their various states of demise and decay.
    Mike certainly didn’t want to see the john who was on his knees in the filthy alley sucking him off. Some johns like being the giver, and on active nights like this, Mike wished he could just blow the guy himself and be done with him.
    Mike conjured a default fantasy of a hot, busty blond from his reserve to help him get to completion instead of the middle-aged man in dad jeans and reasonably-priced glasses in front of him.
    Instead of an alley, he pictured himself in a high-priced loft that overlooked the city or maybe an apartment with a view of open spaces where money doesn’t matter and he and his sister are safe and their parents aren’t dead.
    Arousal finally overtook him, and Mike shuddered a ragged breath and focused on trying to enjoy the mirage of the blonde long enough to get this task over with. Everything faded to white and competing spirit voices softened to less than a whisper as he briefly reveled in his release before coming back to the present.
    “Same time next week, Jeff?” Mike asked the john as he buttoned himself up.
    The john’s dilated pupils narrowed at Mike’s smirk and threw a few bills at the young man’s feet before walking away without a word.
    “Asshole,” Mike scowled and picked up the crumpled cash from the filthy floor.
    He understood the shame his john felt and shook off the empathy before he started feeling sorry for himself.
    The night was getting late, and even with the CARE program, he barely had enough money to pay the gas bill let alone the new winter boots Annie needed.
    Forget about the insoles his own calloused feet ached for.
    After the rent on their one-bedroom, section 8 slum was paid and Annie’s school supplies purchased, there was hardly anything left over.
    “Thank god for food stamps,” Mike thought.
    After much coaxing, their case worker signed them up for every assistance program they qualified for, and even then, the temp labor jobs he was able to secure were just barely enough for them to scrape by.
    Mike tried hard to push the thoughts away and shut the ghosts’ pleading voices out as he walked back to his perch on Skin Street.
    He still had a few more tricks to perform before all the bills were paid.

    690 Words


  5. Addiction Demons

    Lucius sat upright – rigid, sweat pouring down his face, the rasp of his breath heavy in his own ears. His eyes were wide in the darkened room, but shadows still danced on the wall in front of him.

    He could hear the guitar from down below, its high pitch twine probably what had woken him, pulling him away from the demons. They were there every night the second he closed his eyes; calling to him, wanting him, but he wouldn’t do it, he wouldn’t go to them. He refused to join them again.

    But as he got his raising heart under control, the movement in front of him didn’t stop. They ran circles on the wall, trying to draw his eye. He flicked back the sheets, refusing to be pulled in; they’d had as much of his attention as he would give them tonight.

    He pulled on jeans and a t-shirt, and ran down the stairs, taking a passing glimpse at the party going on; the girls looking spaced out at this late hour, the boys trying to keep them alive with alluring dance moves that made no sense to the music.

    The cold air hit him as he opened the front door, sparking the muttering deep in the recesses of his mind. He knew when he got there he could calm them and at least bring peace for the rest of the night.

    Lucius paced himself as he went into the night-lit park, not letting the urge to run take over; knowing the route by heart, having taken it more and more often over the past month. They were getting stronger, their pull on him greater, but he still had the last word.

    He could see the night light twinkle off the surface through the trees, and he approached the waters edge, feeling the release. He crouched at the edge and touched the surface, the icy depths running up his fingers and stilling his mind.

    They didn’t like it, the clarity cutting them off – or was it the purity?

    He cupped his hand and sipped at the captured water. With each swallow he felt cleansed and purified. He didn’t know what it was about this body of water – it didn’t work with any others – but this one brought the stillness he sought. The mutterings stopped.

    It crossed his mind that there was something in it, maybe he was swapping one addiction for another, but it was a public park; this expanse of water ran right through it and many animals and birdlife fed off it. It could be the ritual that brought calm.

    Lucius felt whole once more and stood, stretching. But as he turned to go he glimpsed a figure in the distance, illuminated in the dark by its white clothing. His curiosity took him towards it, and he realised it was a statue; its smooth white surface reflecting all the light – particularly the expanse of its wings.

    The angel stood on the opposite bank, its arms outstretched, looking down at the water. He wondered why he had never noticed it before, having been here so often in the past month, although he was always distracted when he arrived, whether day or night, his mind plagued by the demons.

    But what struck him was how the water appeared to be flowing through its hands, as though coming from within it, and blessing it.

    567 Words


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