Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 2.28

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 2, Week 28.

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 from singer/songwriter and modern-day troubador, SJ Tucker.

The tune is; “Lady Vagabond”.  Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/ivPSqkttYR4

This week’s Judge is author & all-around nice person… Jena Roudebush!

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday December 12th.

Now… Go Write!!!


Posted on December 9, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Wild Coyote

    Bisbee Arizona didn’t have much to recommend it but the Wagon Wheel Motel and Feed Store was one of her favorite stops, for more than one reason if she was honest with herself. She did appreciate the wooden walkway in front of the rooms with the old west style wooden railing. She had managed to get her favorite room in the far end with the rocking chair in front. She liked to sit out there with her boots kicked up on the railing enjoying her end of the day beer and smoke. It had been a long time since she’d made it this far West. She didn’t even know if he was still in Bisbee. She would have passed through here regardless.


    He leaned against the counter inside the Texaco station and watched her settle into the rocking chair. Long legs encased in old blue jeans and the same worn out cowboy boots she’d been wearing the last time she blew through his life. The hat looked new. Bright white straw that she was still working into shape, pulled down low over her face at the moment as it took on the orange and pink of the setting sun. It had been a year. This time. Bonnie walked up and leaned on the counter next to him.

    “You made up your mind yet?”


    She snorted, “I’ve been watching you tear yourself up over that woman for the last ten years. You gonna do it again?”

    “I don’t know, probably.”

    Bonnie nodded.

    “Rick, I don’t judge you or her for it. But you gotta make peace with who and what she is or stop it. She never lied to you. She lives in and out of that GTO, alone. You need roots and people, she needs the road and solitude. So be it.”

    Rick turned his back to the street and scrubbed his hands through his short blonde hair. He knew Bonnie was right. Stella had made it all very clear years ago. At first it was no big deal. She was passing through and they hit it off for a few days, then she was gone. But then after she passed through a few times and they seemed so good together he convinced himself she would want to stay. That was when he got his first real wake up call. He had proposed that she come stay at his house. Even suggested that maybe she would like to live there with him. She didn’t say anything but she didn’t show up for dinner that night. When he went to the motel to find her she was gone. Just gone.

    She didn’t come back for three years.

    She was like a wild coyote. She might let you feed her and she’d be hella fun to play with for a bit, but she wasn’t going to settle down into your yard. He knew if he didn’t go over to the motel she’d probably be gone by noon the next day. Hell she might be gone by that time no matter what he did. He glanced over at Bonnie. She raised one eyebrow in question. He pushed off the counter and headed to the door, pausing before he went on out.

    “I can’t quit her.”


    Her lips quirked up a bit as she heard him use her lighter. She leaned over and picked up another beer from the cooler, twisted it open and handed it to him. She watched him take a long pull on the beer then set it down. He grabbed her feet and gently put them on the ground, then he pulled her up into his arms and a hard demanding kiss that shook her down to her toes. This. This was what brought her back to him over and over. He knew she was leaving, she was always leaving, always breaking his heart but he also knew she showed up when the road had no more for her. She showed up hungry for him, only him. For a few short days her windswept heart belonged to him as completely as any woman had ever belonged to any man. It was enough.

    Words: 695 not including title


  2. On the Road Again

    “Damned rust bucket!”

    I chose not to kick the tire again for fear of wrecking my heels. Climbing back into the caravan, I tried the ignition, this time it spluttered back to life, but I knew, like this body, it was not long for this world. Pulling out onto the open road I turned on the radio and was greeted with the glorious twang of Dolly Parton’s ‘Country Road’.

    The interior of the caravan felt hot and sweaty, clearly it had seen too much road and much better days; the same could probably be said for my current host. I checked my watches, it was almost noon. I flipped the mirror and re-applied my lipstick, making a mental note to get my nails done at the next town. I smiled in the mirror at my handsome men, they seemed to be beaming back, well David and Greg were, Lloyd had slumped to his side and I couldn’t see any sign of Mitchell at all.

    Suddenly I felt the nauseating pop of a tire bursting and the van lurched violently to one side. Struggling to maintain control, I heard a sickly blood slick rolling sound and to my horror discovered Mitchell under the brake pedal, stuck fast. Unable to halt the vehicle, I careered off the road and braced myself for temporary oblivion as the caravan smashed into the decaying remains of a brick barn.


    Sheriff Brown alighted from his car, smoothed his moustache and attempted to survey the pitiful scene before him. His Deputy had arrived first and was scuffling back and forth between Coroners.

    “Anderson!” Brown growled.

    The Deputy immediately came running.


    “Is that our Perp?” Brown pointed to the cadaver shaped sheet.

    “Yes Sir.” Anderson confirmed. “Wyatt Green, Caucasian male, 43 years, truck driver for Landstar, went AWOL a few months ago.”

    “Recovered the Vics?”

    “Yes Sir, well, parts of all four men, Sir.”


    “The heads Sir.” Anderson clarified. “He kept the heads.”

    The Sheriff pulled back the sheet then spat into the dust with distaste; Wyatt Green clearly hadn’t been a very attractive man, but as a woman he was even less so.

    He turned towards Anderson, clearly disturbed. “What do you think makes a man snap like that, to do himself up like that, all lipstick, heels and smeared mascara?”

    Anderson couldn’t tell if Brown’s question was rhetorical, so remained silent.

    Brown removed the sheet, revealing a row of watches on each of the dead man’s arms, at least six pieces deep.

    “That one sure is a nice Rolex, bit like my Mamma gave me.” The Deputy displayed his wrist proudly, momentarily dazzling the Sheriff.

    “Pity she didn’t give you no brains though, huh Son.” Brown smirked then turned to leave before the young Deputy could respond.

    “Write this up and head back to the station Deputy.” Brown wiped his brow, he was starting to feel nauseous and the edges of his vision were beginning to blur and fade; clearly he was too old and too close to retirement for this shit. He located his keys and climbed back into his car.

    Entering, thankful to be out of the sweltering sun, I smoothed my new moustache, making a mental note to get my nails done at the next town. I turned on the patrol car radio and was greeted with the glorious twang of Dolly Parton’s ‘Country Road’. The Deputy standing at the side of my vehicle looked exhausted and so obviously I invited him in. Eagerly he joined me, smelling of gunmetal, sweat and guarded virginity; it was an intoxicating combination. Almost, as if planned, I reached down and smiled as I felt the cold steel of handcuffs on my belt and the unmistakable weight of a colt in my holster. Clearly this new one was a law man, delicious!

    Delicately forcing the car into gear, I pulled away and back out onto the open road.

    “Back to the Station Sir?” he asked after a few miles, his baby-blue eyes full of anticipation.

    “Not yet Darlin’.” I replied, pursing my lips and pulling up to a secluded section of highway.

    “Has anyone ever told you that’s a beautiful watch?”


    700 words
    Erin McCabe


  3. Changing Winds

    The whispers were true. Rosalind was back. As John watched from his high, stone walls, Rosalind rode in, escorted by his guards who made sure she was brought immediately to him. She stood before John, silently staring at him. It was happening again; he was losing himself in her green eyes, vibrant like an early spring morning promising excitement of the hunt.
    “Aren’t you going to offer me anything?” she asked. “It’s been a long journey.”
    “Rosalind, I banished you from the kingdom. Knowing upon your return you would be sentenced to death, why on earth are you here?”
    “I do not question where the winds take me, nor do I fear the consequences,” she replied, taking the goblet of wine offered to her.
    “It’s that kind of talk, witch talk that got you trouble in the first place.”
    “You haven’t changed much,” Rosalind said, walking towards the window. “Neither has the condition of your townspeople.”
    “There is a war to be funded.”
    “A war in a place these people know nothing about.”
    “You haven’t come back to discuss my taxes?” he asked, standing close behind her, his fingers entwined in her long raven hair. “I’ve missed you.” Rosalind felt his hot breath on her neck as he scooped her hair away, revealing milky white flesh. “I can over turn your death sentence Rosalind,” he murmured.
    She turned to face him, cupping his face in her hands and softly kissing him. “I will not change,” she whispered. “I am who I am, a free spirit who cannot be tamed. Even by a king.”
    The grip on her wrist tightened, his eyes dark and cold. “Then the people you care so much about will continue to suffer as I suffer, unless you renounce your ways.” His grip loosened. “I love you Rosalind. And offer you everything.” His lips pressed on hers, demanding a response but none came. “You have sealed your fate,” he spat, his hand forming a vice around her neck. Rosalind, remaining calm, tried to pull his hand away, her nails digging in his flesh, breaking the skin.
    “And you have sealed you’s she panted as he released his hand, blood trickling down his arm from her nail mark.
    Rosalind didn’t know why the winds lead her back to John. And as she lay on the cold stone floor, her ankles in shackles, she didn’t question why. Even when she heard the stacking of wood outside, she didn’t question. She accepted everything, even meeting an apothecary along her journey who insisted her nails were painted with a clear liquid, to protect her from harm.
    That now, was clear to Rosalind. Everything was done for a reason. Now to find the reason for her death as she was lead to the pyre. A muted crowd watched as she was tied to the steak and more wood was piled up around her.
    The flames licked and danced around her, spreading and growing, crackling and spitting. Soon, a wall of fire ate away at her as smoke drifted up and carried on the wind.
    The wound on John’s arm sent him into a fever. From his bed he smelt burning, could see the smoke swirl up high. He cried out as the pain in his arm spread throughout his body, until too weak to even moan. As life ebbed away, a breeze rolled over him, whispers surrounded him. The voice of Rosalind echoed in the air, her sweet voice, gentle laugh. “I am free,” she sang, “free to roam wherever the wind takes me, where you can’t harm me.”
    “Rosalind,” said the hoarse voice of John. “What have you done?”
    “You were right about sealing my fate John. My fate was to be free from you forever and to free the people from you.” Stillness and silence enveloped John as the breeze, the wind and Rosalind left him to die alone.


  4. Autumn in August

    Lime keys spiralling down from the autumn sky.

    Autumn. Hear that, Lady Vagabond? Time to stir your stumps.

    But even the old formula can’t lift my sour mood, can’t bring even the fleeting pretence of a smile. I only find myself wondering when I learnt to wish my life away so fast. It must have seemed harmless enough to find a hint of spring in the first defiant daffodil shoots to break through January’s snow, and I know it was always the lift that I needed to find the promise of summer in May’s abundant blossom. But to see autumn in August, when the lemon-gold lime keys turn brittle and bronze and float down on the breeze, that’s a step too far. Where will I find winter in October, I wonder, and where will winter find me?

    Where will winter find me? That’s the heart of it. I don’t want to go, though I’ve nothing to stay for, and I know that it’s only the going itself I want to avoid. If I could wake in a new town, a new life … it seemed as easy as that, once, but now I am old. Yes, I’m old, but when the old words float back: stir your stumps, Lady Vagabond, I’m a child again. A child clinging to the remnants of the night’s warmth beneath the heavy eiderdown, though I know that real warmth and good food await me, though disturbing the covers has already let in the chill, though my bladder is adding its own demands. Ice on the window and I don’t wanna go.

    Lady Vagabond? Not wanting to go? I can hear my mother’s amusement, and I wonder again, did she really glimpse something restless in my soul when she bestowed that nickname, or did the name create this roaming, restless soul? It hardly matters. I’ve walked away a dozen times – run, sometimes – but I’ve always believed I was going somewhere. Is it age that’s making wonder if I’ve always been running, even when I’ve sauntered away with a song in my heart? Or is it just the grey day, the weather colluding with the lime keys to make autumn in August, is it only this that has tainted my mood?

    Kick the leaves and curse the weather, Lady Vagabond. Make your plans.

    There’s a little drift of bronze in the gutter. There’s a hint of a breeze to clear the sky, a glimmer of sun, bright bronze lime keys spiralling out of the powder blue of an August dawn, and at last I can find the old easy smile. Maybe it has all been only a warning. Autumn in August, and the lease runs to October. Time to plan this time, time to make the next run a run for home.

    Wherever that might be.



  5. In The Wind

    Never stay anywhere longer than three weeks.

    That’s the first thing my mama taught me.

    Not how to tie my shoes.
    Not how to brush my teeth.
    Not how to sing my ABCs.

    Avoid detection. That what was uppermost in her mind at all times.

    Don’t stay too long.
    Don’t get caught.
    Don’t squeal.

    I remember trying to get clarification on the matter.

    “Mama, are you telling me to lie?”

    “No, girl. Just don’t tell the truth.”

    And there you have it: don’t tell the truth.

    Means one thing when you’re nine.

    “I didn’t take your stupid cat’s eye marble so shut up or I’ll kick you.”

    Another when you’re sixteen. Especially when coupled with fluttering eyelashes and red lipstick.

    “Come on. Do I look like I’m underage to you, handsome?”

    And finally, right about the twenty-five year stretch, you hit your groove and it means what it means when you need it to mean something.

    “No baby, I’m not on the pill. You’re gonna need a raincoat.”

    “Sure I did, boss. Put the deposit in the night drop, just like I do every night.”

    “Officer! I resent your implication that I’m soliciting anything other than these lovely flowers.”

    Don’t tell the truth.

    That’s my stock and trade.

    Even now, when I might want to cooperate, might have a reason to cooperate, a very
    handsome motivation to cooperate, I can’t do it.




    That’s what I do. That’s who I am. I laugh at honesty. Pity virtue. Spit on social mores.

    Don’t tell the truth. Blend in. Fade out. Move on.

    And sure, take a little love when you can get it. But don’t give it. Never give it.

    Always keep the car in working order.

    Always keep emergency cash stashed in your bra.

    Always keep your suitcase packed.

    And don’t stay anywhere longer than three weeks.

    If you don’t listen to another word I say, don’t stay anywhere longer than three weeks.

    325 words / @bullishink


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