Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 2.29

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 2, Week 29.

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 going to stay with the neo-pagan folk rock theme started last week with this week’s prompt.

The song is by Netherlands-based band of earth warriors– Omnia.

The tune is… “Black House”. Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/W5ytw-uTbLw

This week’s Judge is author, Geek Squad Guru, & frequent MWBB contributor… Mark Ethridge!

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday December 19th.

Now… Go write!!!!


Posted on December 16, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Palatable

    Ah how I love The Black House, fun and debauchery abound. Every Friday I come and my dastardly actions always go unheeded until I’m well gone. I have my own little nook where I secrete myself with a book until some interesting or exotic bird of the female persuasion catches my eye. I never actually read the book but I find if you frequent any bar book in hand you are left in relative piece except for a few snorts of derision now and again.

    I’m going to stock pile a few whiskies, so I can survey my prey without showing my hand too early. The bar man is used to my appearance so doesn’t flinch at my pale skin any more. He doesn’t even attempt the petty small talk just takes my money and nods. We have a little arrangement where if I see something I like I let him know and he in turn lets me know what the object of my desire’s chosen tipple is. I often wonder if he knows but he never lets on.

    If I just wanted sex it would be so much easier, as that’s what a lot of people come here for, but I have a taste for blood, pumping, flowing, blood. The exhibitionist in me needs the little scare that this I just might be caught, ah the extra thrill of fellow drinkers breezing by as I indulge my taste-buds. I have been known to get too excited and have to retire to my little nook to remove skin from my fangs and replace their covering veneers. No, before you ask I am not a vampire, I paid a fortune in dentistry to get my fangs, just so. I won’t die if I don’t get my fill just fester in boredom and misery.

    Ah, now she looks interesting, nice and petite, I thought the big-boned girls would have a meatier taste at one time, but I was wrong, all that fat and extra flavours just gets in the way of that glorious blood. I tend not to waste my time so catch the bar mans eye so he’s aware of that she’s drinking. Ah how ironic it’s a Bloody Mary, love it. I gesture for him to pour me a double Bloody Mary and it’s sent over. I pop in my little pill and am ready to go. It just makes them a little drowsy, I’m not doing any harm, but they never have the will or energy after partaking to stop my suckling. They’ll explain away their cut in the morning thinking the sex got a wee bit energetic and will be too ashamed to mention to anyone a one-night stand.

    She accepts my offering with elegance and we retire to my little nook. The lump she takes out of my neck is sure to leave a scar and those fangs are real. The bar man acknowledges my terrified yelp and pops a little pill in my whisky apparently I suckled his niece on his night off. Revenge is always on the menu in The Black House.

    518 words including the title


  2. No More

    It’s been six years and seven months. That’s a long motherfucking time between cocktails. If the world had kept its shit together I might have too but since it didn’t I’m not feeling so obligated myself. The city is a patchwork of neighborhoods that look like nothing happened mixed in with ones that are nothing but debris. I’m sure the wars are still raging somewhere but they appear to have left L.A. for the time being. It’s gone on so long and gotten so fragmented I’m not sure “war” is even the right term. Now it’s the chaos of society breaking down, proving that at the end of the day we are nothing more than violent idiots who quite possibly don’t deserve the gift of opposing thumbs. But whatever, nothing I can do about all of that. Today is about finding the last bar standing in this god forsaken city and seeing how long it takes me to drink myself to death.

    I crawl over the remains of the L.A. Weekly building down what was Las Palmas. The eastern side of the street looks the same as it did before. The only difference is every doorway has a bouncer to keep back the hordes of people looking for shelter. Except the one building painted completely black with a blood red door, no one is standing in line to get into that place. Sitting on a stool beside the door is a bony man in black staring across the street at nothing at all. The moment I start up the unbroken sidewalk his head whips to the side in my direction and his near black eyes latch onto me. As I get closer his face slowly morphs into a delighted rictus that reveals razor sharp shark teeth. I’ve heard all about Skellington. That’s not his real name but it fits.

    He doesn’t keep people out.

    He keeps them in.

    Fine by me.

    Just as I step up to the door Skellie looks to his right and frowns. I turn to see what’s coming and not five feet away Squirrel stumbles along the side walk. I close my eyes and lean on the wall pulling out my smokes. Figures, the city gets its ass kicked but Squirrel not only survives but manages to get high before the fucker finds me. He bounces to a stop in front of me, pulling at his red and black nervous break-down hair while his machine gun mouth goes off.

    “Niki can you fucking believe this? It’s so fucked, fucked, fucked.” His eyes start to fill with tears. “I can’t find Sally, sister Sally, Sally, Sally. The apartment fell down. Just, you know, fell down like it got too tired to stand up any more. I don’t know, um-um-um-um if she was in there or not but I can’t find her and the building went down, down, down. BAM! DOWN!”

    I put the smoke in my mouth and grab both his arms and shake him until he shuts the fuck up. Big bouncing eyes stare at me.

    “Squirrel. I’m sorry. Sally’s probably gone, for good. It’s all pretty much gone one way or another at this point. I don’t know if it’s really the end of the world or just the end of L.A. but I’m heading into Black House. Fuck it. Gonna drink as much whiskey as I can get in me, get laid in the back rooms and drink some more…rinse and repeat until it’s over for me.”

    “But Niki, no one COMES OUT of Black House. Ever.”

    “Look around buddy, nothing to come back out for now. I’m gonna have the best whiskey and the hottest men with the biggest cocks until it all kills me. Black House is welcome to my sad sorry soul. Trust me, I’ll be getting the good end of that deal.”

    Squirrel backs away from me tears sliding down his face. “But Nik, what if…”

    I shake my head. “No more ‘what ifs’ for me darlin. I’m done.”

    I flip the cigarette butt into the rubble of the street as Skellie pulls the door open and I go looking for my end on my terms.

    Words: 696 Not counting title



    The star shone darkly through the black clouds roiling in a cobalt sky
    But Henry could see nought outside his head
    Within he saw bright, glistening ethereal forms on gentle airs pass by
    He had some thought of possibly being dead
    No sense came to him of how or why or where
    No sense, no feelings of joy or despair
    A sound, he heard, as if travelling from afar
    Could he be hearing that darkly shining star?

    He thought again but could detect no hint of passing time
    His body trembled and he felt at last
    Some sense returning as he felt comfort as from a warmer clime
    And glistening forms becoming vast
    As they wafted to and fro
    He called to them, “I want to know”
    Why am I here? What is this place?
    There must be reference in time and space

    He watched the tendrils drifting to him, as in a breeze
    Reaching out, plucking clouds around his face
    One touched him on the chest and he could feel it squeeze
    Making his heart to gallop at a pace
    Thumping, pumping blood around
    His body that still felt bound
    Restricted in a way not known
    But at last he gave a groan

    And with that groan he felt his breath return unbidden
    He sucked it in with a pleasure so deep
    Tears leaked from his eyes as he saw what had been hidden
    A bright shining sun passed him by in a sweep
    Being replaced by a myriad of stars
    With a noise so loud on his ears that it jars
    What noise is this he hears?
    That so loudly offends his ear

    The sound reverberates around his form
    But it seems to return sensations he feels
    As the sounds coalesce and begin to conform
    He knows now that these are real
    He now has the choice
    To react to the voice
    That is calling him home
    From where he did roam

    The voice says, “Wake up, you have survived.
    At your destination you have arrived.
    Come now Captain, don’t let it slip.
    You must take control of the ship.”
    And take control he must
    Because his crew in him they trust
    It is his skilled hand
    That must make land

    He rises, adjusts his clothes with a hefty hitch
    Walks to the bridge giving himself a shake
    And comments, “That last pass was a bitch,
    But I’m fine now, so control, I’ll take.”
    Through the viewer he looks
    As if checking for spooks
    Henry shakes his head and smiles, then laughs in a manner quite dry
    Seeing a star shining darkly and black clouds roiling in a cobalt sky
    (443 words)


  4. – The Black House

    Cecilia paused in the doorway, taking a deep breath before stepping further into the kitchen. It had been three years since she’d seen the house. Three years of self-discovery, eight tattoos, a Mohawk and countless hair colors along the way to discover who she was. She had done everything to escape this house. She didn’t want to come back, not when everything seemed so right. For the first time in her life…she was happy. Cecilia didn’t think there was anything for her here. The phone call made her realize how wrong she was. There was something she had never been able to leave behind. Her mom’s news would have been something to cheer about if she was someone else. If it had been someone else’s family but not her own.

    Dark cobwebs clung to every surface, everything looked so unclean and old. Had she really been gone so long? It left a bitterness on her tongue, Cecilia glanced to the large bottle in her hand before taking a large drink of the moonshine washing away the disgust. She coughed immediately as the bottle retreated from her lips. Her chest burned from the strong liquor. A few more steps through the kitchen to the living room, the floorboards screeched with each step. It was a mixture of preaching and scalding, telling her she was nothing more than trash. She’d heard it all before in one tone or the other.

    Every corner had a story, twenty years’ worth of her own living nightmares. She was less than human to him, only because she was born wrong in his eyes. He was supposed to be her biggest fan, biggest protector but he was the monster she feared in the dark. Taking another drink she started the trek up the stairway, most of the steps were loose now. Rails were missing from the banister as she reached the top, she remembered being pushed through them not too many years before she left. The fall hurt but less than the beating she had taken afterwards, all because of the piercing in her nose. How impure and evil he said it made her. Each inch of the old house reminded her of a scar on her body.

    Her hands trembled approaching her bedroom again. It was at times her only sanctuary. She’d push the chair against the door, he couldn’t budge it from there. It would give her hours to escape into her world of knights and brave warriors of both sexes. But sooner or later she would have to leave and he would always be waiting.

    It made her sick. Cecilia thought about her mom’s mumbled words over the phone, “I’m pregnant.” She had hung up right after, knowing she was going to have to come back. There was no hesitation. Four hours on the road gave her a lot of time to think of what she was going to say. How was she going to convince her mom to leave? To get away from him, even though it never worked before. The closer she got, the more upset and nervous it made her. Three years and not a word spoken between them. What would she say to the man who tortured her for so many years? Left her broken and scared.

    She lowered herself to one knee picking up the knife with her blood soaked hand. His limp frame in the corner of her sanctuary. She muttered still seeing her actions in her mind, “No more scars.”

    587 words (counting title)


  5. I’d heard stories. A place where anything goes and no questions asked. A place called The Black House. Although the building was dark and uninviting, I guessed the name stemmed from what went on within the walls rather than its decor. A young boy came for my horse and a flicker of excitement twitched on his face. I smiled, tossing him a ha’penny before entering where no decent man would tread.

    Everything stopped. Not even a breath was heard. It seemed my reputation beat me as every eye followed me through the smoky haze. I sat in the darkened corner by the rear exit, at a small wooden table and immediately a tankard of ale was placed in front of me, shaking his head at my offer of payment. A large oaf of a man, fuelled on ale and stupidity stumbled towards me. His speech was slurred but I think he was telling me not to hide behind my mask, to reveal who I was. I think he insulted me. I’m sure I made out the word ‘coward’ before he was dragged away by two very sensible, apologetic men, and my hand released from my pistol. I hated killing, really I did. But kill or be killed in my game and I obviously had a reputation to uphold.

    I sipped my ale. It was warm and not the best I’d tasted and everyone carried on with their business, mainly getting drunk but plotting and exchanging of maps, money and weapons went on in huddles across the room. The odd fight caused excitement until they were thrown out.

    The door opened and I saw the cloaked figure approach. I didn’t care for people being late.

    “I don’t have long.” Her voice was unmistakable.

    “What do you mean?” This wasn’t the plan.

    “I’m sorry,” she whispered.

    “What have you done?” My voice was on edge. Control was leaving me, taking me to unknown territory. I reached for her hand. It trembled. With the other hand, I removed her hood. Her once beautiful face now smeared in blood as a cut ran deep across her cheek.

    “I was ambushed, betrayed. You have to leave now,” she said with anguish. Terror filled her dark eyes, her skin pale. She winced, slumping towards the table. Jumping from my chair, I was at her side, gently holding her up when I saw the spread of red on her white tunic. “Leave me, save yourself.”

    “No,” I hoisted Emma from her chair, kicking open the rear exit. A redcoat stood, his gun aimed. Stillness descended on the bar as redcoats burst through the front. My pistol was trapped between me and Emma, my knife wouldn’t beat a gun. I was running out of time. I could not die here, or be arrested, for the gallows was my fate, the fate of any highwayman and his accomplices.

    The redcoat advanced. I could see he was already thinking of glory at my capture. But I held my ground. A shallow moan left Emma’s lips. I couldn’t leave her. Maybe this was meant to be, dying together, here, right now. What a legend that would make. If I knew these drunken men, they’d embellish my fight for survival. Shame I wouldn’t live to hear it.

    A flash of silver sliced across the redcoat’s throat, his life spilling out as he slumped to the floor. The horse boy stood, the knife in his hand.

    “Your horse is ready!” he shouted before fleeing. It was a heroic gesture but the redcoats behind me would gun me down. But that boy, he awakened those men of The Black House, showed them what we all were, why we were there and they bore down on those redcoats with bloodied fists as I rode into darkness with Emma.



  6. Truly Dark
    A.J. Walker

    Harry walked through the darkness circling past the fixtures in a practiced dance to get to his bar stool.

    Charlie looked up without smiling. “Usual, Harry?”

    Harry raised an eyebrow, which Charlie somehow saw through the gloom and the shot of whiskey was slid down the bar to land in front of him.

    Harry nodded his approval at the barman’s skill, then slid his heavy coat of his shoulders to hang on the hook beneath the bar. Everything was muscle memory so far. As his eyes grew accustomed to the room in his peripheral vision he saw the regulars spread out across the bar with their spacing perfectly judged to adjust to their current moods.

    The aromatics from the silky liquor tickled his nose from a foot away, it smelt sublime. Ceremonially he picked up the glass and swilled it around twice before knocking it back in one gulp. The anticipation of the taste was superseded by its warmth and the complex flavours filled his mouth and the fire in his throat wrapped his soul.

    “Another one barkeep.” Harry said.

    “Sure thing.”

    Charlie opened a fresh bottle and poured out a larger drink pressing it down in front of Harry.

    “You spend more time in here than me some weeks.”

    “Indeed Charlie, and your point is?” Harry said, looking into his glass. “To be fair this place though is my spiritual home. My place is just a place to lay my head, it lets too much noise and light in from the outside, this dive is truly dark. That’s how I like it. Truly dark.”

    The passage for the second whiskey had been smoothed, but as always the second one was for savouring and Charlie moved down the bar to leave Harry to his thoughts – before the inevitable third.

    And so the night began; like last night and like the nights to come. Harry finding his comfort hiding in the dark, slipping down the whiskey alone with his black thoughts. He worried that one day he might talk to people about what went on his head. That would be a dark day. A truly dark day.

    “Another whiskey Harry?”

    359 words



  7. A Black Business

    It is months since Callie’s been called out to the Black House. Always business, when everyone else visits in pursuit of pleasure; though what some find once they pass beyond its dark doors is something else. She shakes her head at the offer of a free shot from the towering bouncer as she crosses the threshold, though she can’t help her wistful glance at his killer cheekbones, whilst avoiding eye contact. Callie doesn’t want what the glass holds. She’d live to regret it – or not. Her head stays clear.

    Inside, the bar is crowded with bodies; tables fully occupied. Callie winces as her feet resist moving forwards – the floor already tacky. Nights like this are why her trainers are black. Always. The stage is empty – entertainment not yet on show. At least she’s made it on time. Makes a change.

    “My favourite anomaly,” a voice greets Callie from behind and she is turning swiftly to face him, knowing already what she will see. Her eyes travel up black clad legs, towards the dark shirt and cloak.

    “Nice affectation,” Callie says, deadpan. “Everything else in the wash?”

    “Only nice?” Eli responds. “Perhaps I was going for something…different.”

    “Accomplished,” Callie confirms, without looking directly into the amused eyes pointed downwards towards her own. She is searching the buzz of the crowd, brow marred by a frown.

    “You think we’re hiding something?” Eli asks. “They are here of their own accord; ask them if you must. We have no need to disguise ourselves here, as you know. All was bargained for at the door.”

    “I know full well how you deal,” Callie says shortly. “You’re not my fight tonight – though you’re less than legal, as far as I’m concerned. There’s something else here’s been picked up on the radar. Needs looking into.”

    “One of your own?” Eli queries; the laughter bright in his throat.

    “No such thing,” Callie says.

    “True,” Eli concedes. “Though who is at fault for that, little Miss Anomaly?”

    “It’s my job,” Callie replies, shrugging. “Besides – it’s not like there was any other option, is it? What would you have picked?”

    “So defensive,” Eli says. “We are all what we are – and free to do and be here.”

    “Aside from those who won’t walk out again,” Callie reminds him.

    “They know their risks,” Eli replies. “We take those low in spirit where we can. In that, it is a kindness, perhaps.”

    Callie frowns again, though it is as much at the sudden pressure building in the bones of her skull as the questionable logic of the Black House owner’s words. It is heavy and thick through her head already. New and untamed. Close.

    Callie turns again; cursing that she is placing Eli at her back where she can’t see him – though she bartered for her passage in refusing her glass on entry, notwithstanding that she is permitted inspection of the premises when and will she wants, should the need so arise. Her eyes are questing between the living and those who live off them – parting them one from the other, before she finds her odd man out. Smartly clad; decent shirt. Safe choices, all. Designed to blend – though not to one trained to out an anomaly. He sees her as she sees him. With that, Callie is looking directly – helplessly – into the man’s dark eyes. Shit, she thinks, recognising him. She hadn’t thought to see Rob here. Or, indeed, ever again. Shoulders hunching, she wonders how long they have before the squad check in to make sure she’s got it covered. Somehow, she can’t see the outcome of tonight’s drive by soothing her soul so much.

    Sometimes she wonders whether it would have been better to take the other option and stay free. Forbidden fruits – her thoughts – hanging tantalisingly out of reach, though ripe for the picking.

    Sometimes she wonders whether she belongs here – at The Black House – as much as the other predators; being as much a creature of bargaining as they are and living solely via its consequences. Somehow, she sees the answer in Rob’s eyes as he watches her, waiting for what must follow. The deal has already been done.

    (697 words)



  8. The Black House

    The week was done and he could finally return to his sanctuary. Over bumpy roads to the hidden location, his heart lifted upon seeing the derelict building loom up ahead blacker than the night sky.

    When he entered, their cries made him smile. He had been missed, but then a week alone was long, he knew that. He went about his ministrations, giving the minimum needed to sustain them; their outstretched hands grabbing what they could, a few lucky ones grabbing a little more.

    As they settled, he did too, taking his place in the worn armchair positioned in the centre of the main room facing the doors. Eyes peered between the bars of the little windows set into the thick oak. It afforded him protection, unless he wanted to open them. But it was early yet, and he had to nurse a week in the world first.

    He unscrewed the bourbon, enjoying its glint in the lantern light. He relished the first sip, the fire awaking his soul as it warmed his body. It wouldn’t take many tonight to bring him back to life.

    They watched him as he drank, knowing.

    After two drinks he stood up. He heard them hold their collective breaths as he walked to the back of the room to the CD player. He needed something dark and heavy tonight, something deep that would talk to his soul. It needed to be earthy; reflect the smells of the dwelling. He knew the CD he needed, and they’d know it too once he put it on.

    He heard the murmurs when the first chords could be heard through the tiny speakers, and he felt their eyes on him as he walked to the corner. The chink of the keys heightened those murmurs and he smiled for the first time that week. This was always his favourite part.

    They shrank back as he turned the keys in the locks, but he chose to let them do the opening tonight. He wasn’t in a hurry. Instead he returned to his chair and the amber liquid that would enable him to enjoy the next part.

    He knew she’d be first. She was bolder than the others, opening the door a crack and slithering out. She pressed herself against the wall next to the door, and slid down it, relieved to be out of the confines.

    Her nakedness aroused him, but he remained seated, knowing she would come, although not until the other doors were opened. They were a collective, and that’s why he enjoyed them so much.

    First they huddled together, their unique forms fitting together as though they were one, and then they turned to him with a sparkle in their eyes. Now it was his turn to inhale, readying himself for their onslaught as they came towards him. Capturing dark forest fairies was one thing, but satiating their lurid desires was another.

    485 Words


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