Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 2.26 – Halloween Edition

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 2, Week 26– the Halloween Edition.

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.

It’s Halloween week, so this week’s song prompt is a creepy tune by The Pogues.
The song is, “The Turkish Song of the Damned”.

Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/b6fFJX4OkDw

This week’s Judge is…. me.

Note– this is the last MWBB until after NaNoWriMo is over at the end of November. It may stay gone for a while after, considering the thunderous round of indifference this challenge seems to generate each week. We’ll see.

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday October 31st.

Now… Go write!!!


Posted on October 28, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Wrath and The Long Game

    She had spent a month in the camp hiding in plain sight. Proving herself to be a model “wife” and so “grateful” for her chance to convert to a true religion and be guided but such powerful men. She cooked their food, wore their robes, carried their ammunition, and she had laid with appropriate modesty while they fucked her. She played the long game, eyes down cast, body submissive. Only one so far doubted her and luckily it was a lower level man’s wife. They all wrote it off to jealousy. Having watched that wife hold down yet another child to be raped, she had no guilt for the ways the wife had been punished for the perceived “sin”.

    The camp finally settled into a workable location. Close enough to a favorable city that a large group of abused girls and women could walk there before running out of water and food. Once the last bastard rolled off of her and settled into sleep for the night she focused on her breathing and meditation. Tonight required complete focus and perfect execution. Luckily their arrogance and hubris would work in her favor. They posted very few guards in the middle of the night and usually they were the younger mean, prone to sleeping on duty.

    She silently pulled the large knife from the belt that belonged to the man sleeping next to her. She silently cut his throat and held him firmly to the ground as he died. Not even a whisper of sound escaped him or her. She had waited for this particular man to be her first victim because his clothes would more closely fit her than others. She didn’t care about the blood. She would be bathed in it before the sun rose. Once she had his clothes on she moved silently from tent to the tent. She didn’t wake or harm a single woman, not even the few that perhaps deserved some punishment of their own. She wasn’t there for them. That would be for others. She was here to execute judgment and punishment on the men who had wrapped their pathetic need for power in religion and committed heinous crimes against girls for daring to consider themselves full human beings. These men gave up their humanity so they could no longer be tolerated.

    Once every man in the camp was dead except the leader she painted her face with the blood of her enemy and went to the leader’s tent. He never had a woman in his tent. He was paranoid. Appropriately so. But his guards were all dead without even one of them seeing her before they died. She slipped into his tent and using the sharpest knife she could find she grabbed his hair and slit his throat in the exact same moment. She held his head down so his neck did not stretch to open the way for his life to pour out. His eyes flew open and he tried to reach for his weapon.

    “I wouldn’t if I were you. One move and you are dead in seconds.”

    He froze and she saw the terror enter his eyes.

    “You should have known I was coming. You should have paid attention to the signs. All of your men are dead and you will now pay the final debt to the raped and murdered. I will fill the halls of Hell with your kind. No matter how long it takes. I am Wrath and I will not tolerate you anymore.”

    He convulsively clutched towards the gun again and she jerked his head back and his blood splashed out and his entire body convulsed and then stopped. He deserved a harder death but she didn’t have time for that kind of indulgence.

    When the sun rose there were a few screams but not many. She had to stop one young woman from hacking a dead man into pieces, but only because there was no more time to spend on the already dead. These men had paid their debt, unwillingly, but paid it nonetheless. It was time for these women to become warriors.

    Words: 687 not counting title


  2. “I did what I had to, so she could rest peacefully.” Sarah placed the note on Billy’s head, where everyone would see it. “I took care of the problem for her. Since no one else would.” She nodded, and put her hand on her shoulder, over Tammy’s hand.

    “You can rest now, Tammy.”

    Sarah stood. She pulled the empty clip from her gun, did a quick inspection of the gun to make certain it was in working order, then inserted a full clip. “It’s time, isn’t it.” She touched Tammy’s cheek, let her hand rest for a moment.

    “I know you’re sad. But it’s OK. Someone had to fix things. Make things right.”

    Tammy’s cheek was warm, and she smiled. She kissed Sarah’s hand and pressed it against her cheek. “Thank you. I love you.” Tammy pulled her hand away, “Now, go. Do what you have to, so you can rest too.”

    Sarah nodded, then walked toward the door. She heard sirens wailing in the distance, getting louder. “They’ll be here soon.” She paused a moment, took a deep breath, slowly let it out. “Time for me to end this.”

    She walked into chaos. People screamed, “She’s got a gun!” “Oh my God, she shot Billy! She shot him over and over and over!” “Run!” They ran. Away from her. She saw a boy running. Steve. She shot him.

    “Boys.” Sarah felt fire in her blood. “Animals.”

    She remembered the truth. She knew the truth. How Tammy died. How Billy and his buddies got her drunk. Drugged her. And when she couldn’t say no, when she couldn’t say anything, couldn’t even move, Billy and company stripped her and raped her. They took pictures with their phones. Billy even took a movie of himself banging her.

    No one believed Tammy when she said they’d raped her. Billy and his buddies were good boys. They’d only do that if Tammy wanted them to. Even the other girls at school said that. “They didn’t do anything wrong.” They said Tammy enticed them. The way she dressed. Those tight jeans. Those shirts that showed off her boobs.

    Tammy cried every night. Every night things got worse.

    Tammy wrote a note. She said no one believed her. She said she couldn’t live with it anymore.

    Tammy took a bottle of sleeping pills.

    Tammy never woke up.

    That’s when Sarah saw her. In the mirror. Tammy was there. Behind her. She whispered, “Help me. Help me find peace. Help me rest.”

    Sarah saw another boy, running down the hall. She shot him. “It was never Tammy’s fault!” She marched through the school halls, searching for other boys. “It was never Tammy’s fault!” She saw others, hiding in a classroom, beneath their desks. She walked in and shot more boys.

    “They raped her! They drugged her!”

    She put in another clip and kept shooting. The sirens grew louder. They were outside. It wouldn’t be long. It wouldn’t be long at all.

    “It wasn’t her fault! She never let them do that!”

    She fired away. She heard them. They were coming. Soon, she could rest.

    “They took what they wanted! Like animals! And you blamed her!”

    She put in her last clip.

    “It was never Tammy’s fault!”

    Sarah walked down the hall, toward the sounds of the police.

    “Drop the gun! Drop the gun!”

    Sarah shot at the ceiling.

    When the echos of the gunfire ended, and silence returned to the school’s halls, Sarah’s body was prone in the hall, her blood discolored the tile floor, cruel splashes of dark red in calming beige and gray of the school.

    Sarah was gone. It was over.

    Wrath laughed. Nothing would change. Just another girl who went crazy. Another killer with a gun. Like so many before her. Another murder of the innocent. Wrath laughed.

    “I love the way humans are!” He walked through the halls. “And they have so many schools. So many homes. So many gathering places.” He laughed. “And they love revenge.”

    Wrath looked forward to growing the chaos, and raising the body count.

    “Life is good.”

    As Wrath walked the halls, he laughed. And laughed. And laughed.

    “Life is good indeed.”

    696 words


  3. Jasper’s Lessons

    Jasper joined the crew more out of a fascination with their craft than a desire to sail the seas. Ten men manning a ship, while every other vessel this size had at least forty and maybe as many as a hundred hands.

    The rumors around town said it was either a monstrosity or a marvel. All presumed it to be a mechanical disaster waiting to happen. But sail it did, and at about twice the speed of all the others.

    The captain, a man of private habits and few words, signed Jasper on, warning him he would want ear plugs. Jasper signed the paper, and reported below to the mate running the steam diverter.

    The mate was red headed and green eyed; he spoke in a thick brogue. Mr. Angus became Jasper’s teacher in steam diverting. First he learned how to open a valve, which would raise and lower sails by forcing steam into tubes in the center of the masts. Mr. Angus called the steam the ship’s temperament.

    “And a nasty temper it can be when not kept in careful check.”

    Then Jasper learned to trim the sails, turning them with small amounts of steam stolen from the main system. This was safe, as long as only small amounts of steam were used. Too much pressure would rupture the smaller lines, disabling the ship. In order to prevent this the captain had installed a pressure cap. Only the cap came off with the force of a bullet, and it then filled the chamber with hot steam.

    “A wise man will be careful not to blow his cork.”

    Jasper could manage these tasks as instructed. Then came the day the wind died. Other clippers were dead in the water, subject to the currents, but this vessel had steam propulsion available. But since steam engines had not been invented yet, it was using a complicated system of oars.

    Mr. Angus released the spring loaded oars with the flip of a catch, they flung out at a sharp angle to the ship and then settled down into the water. Mr. Angus taught Jasper how to pressurize the system, and then release it suddenly when it hit 220 PSI. This shoved the oars back with a roar, and when the valve read 110 PSI Mr. Angus would return the steam that rose the oars up and out of the water. The springs would return them to the side and after Mr. Angus allowed them to lower again, Jasper had to release the steam again at the required timing.

    “It’s like balancing contrition, repentance and the return to sin.”

    The whole procedure required timing. It was also the loudest thing Jasper had ever heard. They continued working the machinery for several hours. Then Mr. Angus shouted that it was time to shut down. Jasper put the steam to the oars while they were up, forcing them back into the side of the hull. When he did, Mr. Angus reset the latch.

    They ate and rested, but the wind was still down, so they returned to the works and restarted the noisy process. Jasper felt the effects of the continuous, loud volume and his full stomach. He began to fade towards sleep. Mr. Angus yelled something at him above the cacophony. Jasper looked up trying to understand. As he did he backed into the trim valve.

    The pressure climbed to over 150 PSI blowing the pressure valve, which cut a graze across the side of Jasper’s neck. The flow of steam cauterized the wound, and melted Jasper’s ear. Mr. Angus rushed forward, but the steam built up faster than the valve could release. He attempted to open the valve as the gauge climb over 300 PSI. The main steam chamber burst, blowing pieces of deck up over the masts and blowing pieces of hull down into the ocean’s floor.

    Jasper felt the relief of cold water across his burns. It really had been a mechanical disaster waiting to happen. As he sank he remembered the words of Mr. Angus.

    “The steam is like sin in the heart, it doesn’t stay bottled up well.”

    688 words


  4. Drift

    Water lapped, slapping the sides of the little boat, and Joe’s oars slipped from his fingers. The ocean, glistening black like treacle, swallowed them without regret. Joe stared, wide-eyed, into the darkness, his pupils dilating as his jaw slackened. Wisps of fog curled about the debris floating on the surface and he gulped as white swirls caressed the drifting scum.
    The moon peered through the mist for a moment, illuminating rainbows of oil atop the water, until the gloomy clouds closed rank and Joe was lost again, a single soul in a tiny boat.

    He refused to look behind, refused to acknowledge the final flickering flames that sank lower and lower, fading into the night and into the hungry sea, but the wails, that had been vanquished hours ago, still echoed inside his head.

    He rubbed his greasy hands, trying to find a spark of warmth, but the cold that had stolen his oars, stole his fingers and then his hands and goose-bumps sent chatters through his teeth. His head shook with cold, and with insanity, and his last grasp on reality slipped away.
    He shook his head, trying to evade the demons that swam through his mind, and squinted. Swirls of fog danced across the waves, imitating white horses, but the sea was too still for waves. The hazy spectres waltzed and whirled atop the flotsam and jetsam, and Joe shivered.

    A hefty piece of driftwood clunked against the little boat and Joe jumped, and the scars on his heart tore just a little wider as the little boat rocked.

    Ghosts reached out to him, white, watery fingers extended and beckoning. Joe sank back, flinching, as the wisps curled about his little boat. Oily streaks ran down his face as terror invaded his head. He huddled down, trying to hide behind a barrel and between a chest and a sack of provisions. The cold fog spread wide and behind him fingers gripped his soaked jacket, tugging and wrenching at his body.

    Joe stared wildly about him, slipping out of his sodden coat, and wriggling free of the arms that tried to capture him. He was too crazed to see the fingers were just gusts of icy wind, and he stood, grabbing the chest from the floor of his tiny boat. It took but a moment for the wind to seize its chance and the waves, and debris and driftwood flooded the boat. Joe tumbled into the grasping arms of the sea.

    The silent ocean took the renegade fire-starter and dragged both him and the treasure down into its depths, where the ghosts of the recently drowned could finally reap retribution.

    (441 Words)


  5. Drunken Sailor

    The curtains round her bed blew out slowly as they picked up a sea-breeze, and strains of the evening music played for the hotel guests below reached Larissa as her doze wore off.

    She sat up and slipped off the satin bed sheets, wrapping herself up in complementary silken robe her five star room offered, and grabbed a piece of complementary Turkish delight on her way to the balcony, savouring the excessive sweetness in her mouth, mixed with the exotic lemon.

    The sea view was magnificent at this time of night; the eastern stars shinning down, unaffected by the hotel lighting, which were dimmed by colourful lanterns, celebrating a festival she knew little about.

    She couldn’t be further away from her homeland, either physically or culturally. The hot climes of an arid land contrasted the wet, greenery of her Gaelic heritage; the music, reedy and enthralling, unlike the jigs that moved her fellow countryman. She felt safe at last, away from the memories, away from the emotions of the last year and all its complications.

    That’s what she called them: complications. She wasn’t ready to admit to herself the truth of what had transpired, and with this holiday, this little treat to herself, she planned on distancing herself further.

    She looked out at the water, wondering at its temperature as she saw people at its edge. Were they swimming? Surely not at this late hour. But they seemed to be coming out, four of them, and fully dressed too.

    Larissa watched them come up the beach, walking stiffly in their wet clothing. There was something familiar about their shapes and their gaits, and her stomach clenched as it triggered a memory, one she’d been trying to bury.

    She struggled to swallow the last of the Turkish delight, which stuck in her throat as the figures came under the perimeter lights of the hotel and the face of the tallest was lit up. She stood transfixed as they came to a stop and all looked up at her.

    Her mind refused to accept what she was seeing, until the tallest one opened his mouth to speak; his rotting teeth confirming his identity and filling her soul with dread.

    She felt the fight or flight sensation run through her, but her feet wouldn’t move, and even at this distance she heard the words he formed through his long dead mouth.

    “We’ve come back for ‘ya.”

    Larissa shut her eyes and rubbed them, thinking maybe she was dreaming, but they were still there when she opened them – and she was sure, a step closer.

    She looked from one face to the other; Jem, Spider, Fernley, and her one time love, Shane, all dressed as they had been that fateful drunken night when they had decided to take out her father’s boat. She had promised them she could sail it, even four sheets to the wind, but when they had gone further out, the waves had gotten up and she hadn’t been able to keep it steady.

    She had frozen then, as she was frozen now, and clung to the tiny mast while the waves had buffeted the boat on all sides. She’d refused to crawl into the cabin and SOS for help on the radio, or throw out life rings as each one had tumbled overboard, their drunken state only helping the sea take them faster.

    She’d been found the next morning by the lifeguards, still holding on, and to this day they believed she’d been alone. Larissa had said nothing to change that – even actively encouraging the rumours that the others had gone off travelling, on one of their drunken benders.

    And maybe they had been, but they were back, and Shane was beckoning to her. This time her locked state wasn’t going to save her.

    634 Words


  6. “The Southern-side of Rosedale”

    It can get damned cold at night, this time of year.

    Damned, being the operative word. But, if you stand close and take in small breaths you can warm yourself on the fetor of Brimstone – that’s somethin’ no one ever tells you. So, more often than not, when you meet up with an ol’ friend from Hell, you either freeze or choke. I would urge you to come prepared with a vial of bone char treacle, to sooth your throat – I have kept a vial in my guitar case for some twenty years, because you never know. It’s really nice on hot biscuits, as well – you can’t go wrong.

    The moon hid itself well, allowing light to leak from the heavy clouds, briefly lighting the way – but for the most part Highway 8 remained dark – neither moon nor headlight. Now, while State Highway 1 and State Highway 8 meet on the south end of Rosedale, it’s not exactly a “Crossroads” – more of a “T” – ‘cause Highway 8 would dump you into the Mississippi if you kept going. It was a liminality, none the less, a threshold like many others found throughout the South. In fact, it was here and not in Clarksdale that the bluesman Robert Johnson made his infamous deal.

    That’s right, I wasn’t the first to make a bargain with the Devil – far from it.
    Many a musician before me has sold their soul – I could list them here, but you know who they are, many touched you with their songs and then died too soon – though in recent years the rules have changed. Seems those looking for fame, success, money – whatever drove them – caught on to the “final payment” and in no time at all ol’ Scratch-himself altered the game. So now, when it’s time to make good, he let’s you know where and simply claims your soul – death is graciously removed from the equation. But have you ever seen a musician without soul? It’s not pretty. An empty shell – no residuals, no contract, forced to play “the hits” (or “hit”) on the county fair stage circuit. Smaller and smaller crowds, until death becomes desire.

    I stopped in the dark of the crossroads, waiting for the savviest negotiator in the business. It was time to pay the piper, or I suppose, if I’m going to use a cliché, I should say ‘Give the Devil his due,” because you really don’t want hear him play the pipes. . .

    “Really?” Lucifer interrupted, stepping out as the clouds gave way to the Halloween moon. “I resent that, I invented bagpipes, they’re. . .”

    “Hell.” I added. “Everyone knows that.” I watched the dead lurk deep in the shadows, waiting to claim his debt. “What, no costume?”

    Lucifer laughed. “Horns and tail are for special occasions – and you’re not that special. What about you? What are you supposed to be?”

    “Just a man, looking for a way out.”

    “Aren’t you all.” he said. “Ready?”

    “No.” I said as I stepped closer. “I have a proposal.”

    Lucifer sighed. It was not the first time a Man had said those words to him.

    “Do you remembering the old tradition called Souling?” I asked.

    “That sad, old custom – the poor begging for food in exchange for the prayers on All Saint’s Day. Your prayers have no value to me, nor does your begging.”

    “Not begging.” I said. “I have something for you.”

    “Yes, you do,” Lucifer said, holding out his hand for mine.

    “No, far better than any old soul,” I promised, laying two long, rusty nails in
    his open hand.

    “Are these. . .?”

    “Yep. I took them off a Turkish guitarist. Thought they’d be worth a. . .”

    He threw his arms around my neck. He was like a child who had bagged a full sized candy bar. Damn, the devil was down right giddy.

    “We even then?” I asked.

    Lucifer muttered something that I took as a yes and I walked away. A dead man’s wind at my back., I could hear the nails rattling in Lucifer’s palm. Sure, I was still damned – borrowing from St. Peter to pay St. Paul, as it were – but for now, I felt debt free.

    700 words


  1. Pingback: #MWBB Week 2.26 – A Tale Of Wrath : Another Problem Solved | My Soul's Tears

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