Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 2.33

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 2, Week 33.

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.

MAKE SURE TO PUT YOUR TWITTER HANDLE NEXT TO YOUR WORD COUNT AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR POST. IF YOU’RE NOT ON TWITTER GIVE ME AN EMAIL ADDRESS OR SOME OTHER WAY TO GET A HOLD OF YOU!

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 Scottish post-punk heroes The Jesus and Mary Chain.

The tune is… “Happy When It Rains”. Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/G5x1F9ohRa4

This week’s Judge is flash fictioneer extraordinaire… Mark Ethridge!

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday January 16th.

Now… Go write!!!

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Posted on January 13, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Mine

    I looked into his eyes and was completely smitten. The only trouble was he was my best friend’s new beau, and beautiful he was. Right there and then I decided he was going to be mine, and the beginnings of my demise began.

    I couldn’t stand seeing the two of them together but to get to him I had to keep Sandra around. That was hard to do when she had the same problem as me we were both obsessed with Tim.

    I found out his schedule from Sandra’s whispered phone calls. Learnt when he was playing football, bowling or table tennis. He was a sports fanatic, I suppose along with his mother that’s what made that fantastic body. The body I was soon going to be licking all over. I digress. I have to keep a steady head. I need to bide my time.

    I suddenly took a keen interest in certain activities, Sandra was bemused. I told her I just didn’t want to pile on the pounds like her. My beloved friend I watched slowly move away from me bit by bit. I didn’t care she was only still here at all, so I could keep tabs on Tim.

    I started sneaking photographs of her and Tim just one now and again, she had an endless supply. I was making a space to keep a record of me and Tim and all our firsts. The first time we kissed etc. I did have to cut Sandra out and paste me in but I completely forgot that fact when the finished product was under my pillow.

    Poor Sandra stopped taking photographs every few weeks as she kept breaking out in some nasty rash and had swollen eyes and lips. Her allergy returned on and off but she couldn’t think what was causing it. I could, I was injecting the very substance she was allergic to into her cream, and watched with a smile as she slathered it all over her precious to Tim’s face.

    Stupid bitch kept asking my advice.

    “Kelly look at me, what am I going to do?”

    I told her she may be allergic to something in the pill and she better stop taking it for a while until she got her doctor to check it out. I then had to listen to her go on and on about how she’d have to curtail her sexual activities with Tim, I already knew that.

    Today I’m getting a makeover it’s been three weeks and Kelly hasn’t heard anything back from the doctor, she would never risk pregnancy. I’m hoping a virile young man will be just ripe for picking. He has no idea just how close me and Sandra once where as he never sees us together now. So that will be one moral dilemma solved for him.

    Sandra was not the stupid bitch I thought she was. The resounding slap she landed on me, deserved. The tablets are now the beginning of my end.

    Bye.

    word count 499

    @susanOReilly3
    #flashdogs

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  2. That Day

    The tension in that house full of kids was as tight as a guitar string and thick as Jello. All the toys were packed away in the attic. But for five outfits each, all their clothes had been given to charity. Even all their lovely books were tightly packed in darkened recesses where bats like to haunt. The eight of them slept in sleeping bags along a wall in the basement by night, which all had to be rolled and put in the closet under the stairs before they could eat breakfast in the morning. Even that was truly pitiful as mom wasn’t cooking. Breakfast, lunch, dinner: everything was cold, easy to clean up, and tasteless.
    It was all their own fault, really. Mom had allowed them five toys each in the beginning with strict warnings about how they had to make their beds, mind the laundry rules, and keep everything picked up all the time if they were going to be able to sell the house and join Dad where he was working at his new job. They couldn’t do any of it. None of them. Now they were stuck with the most boring summer of all time.
    What fun was even going outside? The lawn needed to look perfect, and all their bikes had been given away. Mom didn’t want to fuss with towels and suits being thrown all over, so she didn’t even let them go swimming.
    So they cleaned and tattled and picked at each other—not daring to get into a real fight, for Mom would have made them just sit all day long.
    They had just finished eating peanut butter sandwiches and apples on the back deck while listening to music through a window opened just a crack when Betty felt the first splash of rain right on top of her head. She looked up, and another got her in the eye. Now, this was a rare thing that summer. It’d been dead hot and not a cloud to be found, which was a serious torment when all their friends had been away on vacation. Sissy jumped up as the drops came faster and faster. She danced on her fat little three-year-old legs. “Come on!” she laughed as she waved her fists in the air.
    One by one, they threw their apple cores into the wooded back yard and began dancing and singing in the rain. The older boys ran and slid on the decking to see who could slide the farthest. The older girls were singing along with the song playing from within the house as if they were on stage. The little ones just danced, spinning and laughing as if they were at an amusement park.
    The water came down in sheets, but the kids didn’t care. The patter of the drops hitting the deck were like angels clapping. And they all knew it. Life was wonderful. They held their mouths open and drank the sky. They twirled until they fell down in a heap. Even the dog ran around barking.
    Inside the house, the petite woman, watching the children’s spectacle from the window, said, “Oh, we definitely want to buy your house. With this much happiness here, I just know it’s going to be perfect. Thank you for letting us stop by without an appointment.”
    Within a few weeks, they were all together, feeling like a family again and making their own rain with garden hoses.
    Years later, the children didn’t remember much about that summer, only the happiness that came that day from dancing in the rain.

    597 words
    @StacyFileccia

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  3. He’d know that sound anywhere. Low and rumbling and unmistakable. The knowledge of it, of what it means makes his stomach flutter in anticipation.

    He scans the horizon, trying to guess how far it is; how long he has. Not long. Hopefully long enough. The thought brings him back to the present, and he’s all business. There are things to be done, lose ends to tie up.

    The drive isn’t long, but he can’t help reminisce a little as the miles of empty asphalt snake under his car. It’s difficult for him to believe he’ll never see her smile again, or hear her laugh. He loved her laugh. The way it seemed to bubble up out of nowhere. Except when he didn’t love it.

    He sighs as he remembers that the last time he saw her she wasn’t smiling. Or laughing. He’d wanted her to, wanted his last memory of her to be her laughing, but she’d been so panicked. Afterward, he’d tried to push her lips up, tried to mold mouth into a smile, but somehow the effect just wasn’t the same.

    He pushes that thought aside. He doesn’t want to focus on the negative now. This trip should be a time to remember the good, a memorial of sorts.

    The road twists, and suddenly he’s there. The place he’d mapped out only the day before. He knows it’s perfect, and as he jogs carefully around to the back of the car, he glances up again. The air’s changed since he started this trip; he can feel it. There’s no one around, just like he knew there would be, and so he presses the button on his keys that releases the trunk latch.

    The creak of the hinge seems loud, and for the briefest moment, it startles him. He shakes his head and chuckles to himself.

    The trunk is suddenly flooded with light, and she stares up at him. Only she doesn’t really see him. He thinks for a moment about closing her eyes, but then he realizes he wants her to see him. Even if she doesn’t really see. Anymore.

    He leaves her for the moment, reaching over her only to grab the shovel he’d carefully placed her around, and then he’s gone. He walks, his steps careful as he counts. When he reaches one hundred seventy five, he stops, leaning slightly on the shovel as it rests at his side.

    Satisfied that he’s in the right spot, he adjusts his grip on the shovel and lets its tapered edge bite into the soft earth. It doesn’t take long, and he sort of enjoys the rhythm of the thing. Scoop, tip. Scoop, tip. He’s almost so lost in the ritual he doesn’t notice when he’s done.

    It’s not deep. But it doesn’t have to be. That’s not the point.

    He pushes the shovel into the dirt and releases it, its handle sticking out of the ground abruptly. He leaves it there as he trudges back to her. He hears the low rumble again, and he imagines he can feel electricity in the air, even though he knows it’s probably just his imagination.

    She’s waiting for him. The same look on her face, and he’s once again irritated that it’s not the smile he loved. He reaches out and once again attempts to help her find her smile. Her skin feels different, already changing from just a few hours ago. The smile still isn’t right, and suddenly he’s ready to be done; to say goodbye.

    There’s no ceremony in the way he carries her, or the way he sets her down once they reach the shovel. He’s feeling anxious now, and his shovel strokes aren’t quite as methodical or soothing as they were before.

    Almost before he realizes it, he’s done. There’s nothing at his feet now except soft dirt. As he scatters the last shovelful, there’s a loud crack, and he knows it’s directly overhead. He jumps as the sound fills his ears and resonates down to his toes.

    Before he has time to react, the sky opens, and he’s soaked. But instead of ducking and running back to the car as he’d planned, he turns his face to the sky and laughs as the droplets stream down his cheeks. It’s a loud, free laugh. The kind he hasn’t laughed in months.

    @RL_Ames

    724 words (I’m 24 words over the slushy limit. Sorry!)

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  4. Janice yawned. The day was raining, and she had to take the kids out in it. In the rain, her toddler moaned and complained about how awful the rain was and how terrible it was to get wet. And the baby took her cues from her big sister, so she sat in her stroller and screamed whenever a rain drop hit her face, waving her pudgy arms angrily at the sky. Every time it rained, she faced the same trauma with her children, trying to calm them both down and reassure them that there was nothing wrong with a little rain.

    But today, as the rain poured down from the grey and dreary sky, Janice had a plan. Pulling on her coat and slipping her feet into wellies, she started towards the front door. When she didn’t start dressing the children in their rain-wear, her toddler noticed right away.

    “Mummy? Where going?” asked Lisa, her toddler, looking up from her colouring efforts.

    “I’m going outside to dance in the rain and splash in puddles,” Janice told her little girl.

    “By self?” Lisa asked in her toddler voice, her eyes widening with disbelief.

    “Of course. You and baby Izzy stay inside while I go have some fun. You don’t like the rain anyway.” Janice tried to keep a straight face, even though she could already see from the scowl forming on Lisa’s face that her plan was working.

    “Want to pway in wain too!” Lisa even threw in a little foot stomp to get her point across.

    “Really?” Janice feigned amazement. “Are you sure? It’s really wet out there.”

    Lisa was already getting her coat on. Janice helped her get her wellies on too, and then strapped the baby into the stroller. She pushed the stroller to the porch so Izzy could watch them and then she and Lisa stomped in puddles and danced in the rain, both of them laughing and enjoying their play time together.

    Lisa never complained about the rain again, and Izzy, as usual took her cues from her big sister. There were, however, many more days of playing in the rain.

    @beckyfyfe
    355 words

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  5. They say we live our lives in black, up here, tattered ravens amongst our mines and smelters. Caissa used to say, what’s wrong with that? Black’s a good choice. Bright colours fade so fast, and bleached linens? They’re grey before they’re dry, any day the smelters are running, and a woman can’t run her affairs to the smelt master’s tune. You might think that tells you everything you need to know about Caissa – solid, practical, unable to recognise a metaphor for human existence when it slaps her in the face. You might be right.

    Franni, now, she understood what they really meant only too well, our sweet, delicate Franni, surviving through the shadows of the long year, existing in black, alive only in the fleeting brightness of those festivals that come so rarely into our lives. I’m not sure Franni could have stood the mountain life at all, without those festivals, and a memory of ease and comfort that she had carried with her from the provinces. She was five when her father brought her into a life that suited a hale young widower far better than it suited his child, and that memory was both a comfort and a torment to her, and a thing I never thought to question.

    Caissa was apt to be less sympathetic. I remember her pausing at my bench to chat one evening. It was Sanshal – spring festival – and the whole village was gathered in the thingstead. Franni was flitting around the gathering, raising eyebrows amongst the matrons and indulgent smiles amongst the old men, but Caissa, with a ewer on her hip, had licence to linger. She couldn’t miss the direction of my gaze, and she shook her head sadly.

    “You’ll never be the man to make her happy, Tyvid. She’ll never be happy here.”

    I bristled a little at her interference, and said that maybe Franni and I could be happy together in the provinces. It was something I’d scoffed at when Franni had first whispered it in my ear, and I’d never have mentioned it if I hadn’t already had my fair share of the ale from that ewer. A sober corner of my mind was amazed at my daring and afraid of her response – Caissa talked to the pedlars, she knew more of the wider world than you would guess – but she didn’t laugh. She told me I’d be disappointed, that Franni’s only skills were the skills of the hearth, and though she might find work in the kitchen of an inn she would want a hearth of her own. She would only get that through marriage. Caissa asked me how sure I could be of earning Franni a hearth of her own, and I was glad that Styrran started calling for ale, and I didn’t have to answer.

    What can I say? I preferred a girl who looked at me with touching faith in my ability. We left that summer with a train of pedlars. That’s how it is in the mountains. People come, people go. We went. And now I’m coming home.

    Caissa was right, of course. Though I could make a life for myself down in the provinces, and a good life, it could not be good enough for Franni, who could flirt her way into a better life than an honest man could provide. And I never wanted that life, so here I am again, walking the last familiar mile in the familiar murk of my childhood, and hoping that I’m not too late. I’ve loved Caissa longer than I’ve known it, and I left behind me several young men with clearer sight than mine. Caissa’s a solid, practical girl, I told you that; a good catch.

    She’s something else as well, she’s a girl who always lived her life in black, really lived there, finding in it all the joy and beauty she needs to sustain her. She’s wise, too. Too wise to try explaining that beauty to a stranger to foolish to see it; wise enough to choose not to recognise a metaphor of human existence when it’s intended as a slap in the face.
    Be my tattered raven Caissa, darling, wait for me.

    @alexbrightsmith
    700 words

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  6. ah thanks so much delighted congrats Becky and everyone x

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  7. I loved everyone’s stories this week so much! 🙂

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