Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 2.37 – The Valentine’s Day Edition

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 2, Week 37 – The Valentine’s Day 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.

This week’s song prompt is one of those tunes that can be interpreted in many different ways.

The song is, “In the Dark”, by Tracy Chapman.

Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/HhGvVIISL1o

This week’s Judge is… well, it’s me. Last time I judged the MWBB I was expecting our usual four entries. We got sixteen.

Make it rain, blues-busters… Make it rain!

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through Friday February 13th.

Now… Go write!!!


Posted on February 10, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Getting Over Malcolm

    I’ve suspected jaundice so of work. Waiting to turn like Marge, yellow, I’ve got the hair just need a blue rinse. I’ll strip the bed nothing like sliding in between fresh sheets. When Malcolm left one of the joys was the bed to my self. Malcolm, poetry loving, Malcolm, I was his muse once. The first I inspired was ‘Sara My Life.’ His latest ‘Sara My Death.’

    There’s a biker in next door. Leather clad thighs, muscled tattooed arms, riveting. The opposite of Malcolm, he’d help me get over him. A cuddle up, pyjamas and eating takeaways type with Malcolm. Boring, missionary position, Malcolm, I digress back to Mr. Leather.

    He screams sex. Rip clothes smash me against the wall, hard, sex. Biting my lip, excited, he takes off the helmet involuntarily I gasp. Closely shaven, a goatee and I think a piercing or two. Oops, I jump back as he looked upward. I never reached his eyes just as well I’m already hot and bothered. I’ll go to the shops, even though quarantined. Mrs. Barry knows everything. What to wear? I could bump into anyone and it’s the month of love.

    Retrieve my rusty bike. I’ve skin-tight jeans loose until I ate my way into my comfort zone. Made up to the nines, hair stuck to lipstick. Who knew how difficult it is to cycle in high heels? The slightest breeze causes my eyes to water. Mrs. Barry’s smiling. She’s been unable to pummel me for information lately I must seem like fresh meat.

    “I hear you’ve been ill. Better?”

    “Bored, I noticed someone in Mr. Brown’s has he rented?”

    The bell stops her answering.

    “Sara, that’s gas, your new neighbour Paul.”

    I’m afraid to look, sooo embarrassing.

    “Hello, Sara.”

    Face to face with fabulous eyes, hazel and the longest eyelashes. I’m melting and to hide my discomfort, answer brusquely and flee. Cycling home as fast as heels will allow. Cringing, finding him so attractive pushed me over the edge. Mother’s right I’ll end up with cats, cats and vibrators. She’s due, better go faster.

    I run in, remove make-up trying not to cry over my panda eyes, grab a mop of curls and twist a band round it. Looks okay, for mother, I’ll pass. A dishy neighbour bet he’s taken.

    I’m jolted back to reality by mum, means well but drives me batty. She’ll clean the clean house, administering motherly advice as she goes. She sweeps in flowers and magazines in hand.

    “Darling, how are you?”

    “Fine mum, you?”

    “Great, run out and get you’re shopping my arthritis is playing up.”

    I’m overcome with a wave of guilt often experienced when she’s around.

    “Okay but sit down I’ll make tea.”

    Keys in my mouth, and laden with bags I push myself through my front door.

    Mum’s giggling.

    Who on earth is she talking to?

    “Here’s Sara now. Paul has brought you some food, dear.”

    “Here, let me help. Mrs. Barry filled me in on your illness, so I made some chicken soup. I hope that’s alright.”

    I look over at mum and think she’s hyperventilating. She keeps pointing at me and him and smiling.

    “How did you get in?”

    “Slipped over the dividing wall and rang the bell, sorry I didn’t realise you were out at the car. Your mum kindly let me in.”

    I’m blushing from my hairline to my toes. Those beautiful eyes from earlier are smiling right at me. I’m speechless a rare occurrence.

    “I’ll leave you and your mum. Don’t walk me out, see you around.”

    “You like each other. It’s about time. Malcolm is long gone and good riddance.”

    “Mum, he’s been neighbourly.”

    “Methinks you doth protest too much. I’m going because you’ve to decide what you’ll be wearing when you next meet Paul, and sorting out your hair.”

    She winks and kisses my cheek, humming, picking her wedding outfit.

    When she’s gone I squeal. There’s definite chemistry.

    Valentine’s Day and there’s an invite to Paul’s. Says that he’s too old for game playing and finds me sexy as hell. Knock anytime from half seven.

    I’m not offended by the assumption that I will. I’ve a little black dress.

    Let the games begin.

    Word count excluding Title – 700



  2. “In the Dark”
    My hear was in a desolate place.

    My soul had been battered , and I could scarcely stand on my own two feet.

    The copper taste ruminated on my tongue even after I’d spit the blood out of my mouth.

    My teeth felt loose and wobbly as the palm of my hand pushed my chin up with a calcium crackle.

    My strained fingers ran over the bruises over my chest and dirty, tattered bandages supporting over-stressed skin shifted as I stretched my hand open.

    In the pitch blackness, I resigned myself to continue on in isolation, but it was then that my mole-like eyes burned at an unfamiliar incandescence that cut violently through the obscurity.

    Apprehensively, I turned away from its unfamiliarity and hid myself from its warmth in the crook of my bent elbow to no avail.

    Before I knew it, the comforting heat surrounded me and lifted my stone leadened heart shifting things inside my torso and breast like a mad surgeon.

    The novelty of it overwhelmed me and caused a strange trickle of moisture to emerge from my hot eyes somehow lubricating the odd movements that were tearing at my entrails.

    Somehow, the light found its way inside me and a blossom of things I hadn’t realized I’d longed for were shushed and slowly sated.

    I trembled in anticipation and cried out fearing this new hope would be ripped from me too like every other good things I had attempted to zealously covet before.

    With my shaking eyes clamped shut, I involuntarily surrendered myself over to the welcome softness of lips grazing my dirt-caked skin and kissing away tears with precious reverence.

    Cautiously, I opened my eyes, and slowly they adjusted to the brightness of the light.

    Skiddish, like a wounded lion, I stood defensive and broken, but exhaustively hopeful.

    Gingerly looking up, I was met with salvation.

    311 words. @skarlitsunrise


  3. Do Not Go Gently

    She smiled, and leaned over to kiss me. Her breath was sweet, smelling of toothpaste and wine, and our tongues touched, just for a moment. I twisted against the ropes holding me down, and shifted to try to release the pressure in my pants. She drew back and laughed, that dark laugh that first drew me to her, and leaned in to whisper in my ear. “Do be patient.” Her breath was hot, and I began to sweat.

    “I’m going to turn out the lights now.” She moved easily over to the switch, letting her finger linger before flicking it down. The room went blacker than night, and I strained to know what was going on from the sound of her movements. A light step here, and a swallow there as she drained the last of the wine. The slither of silk over skin as she shed the burgundy negligee she’d been wearing.

    The metallic shink of a knife drawn from a sheath.

    She circled the bed, her bare feet padding lightly as she considered her next action. “Ooh, I do like this. It’s more…dangerous…this way, don’t you think? With a blindfold, you don’t know what I’m going to do – I have all the control. But this way, neither one of us knows. Neither one of us is in control.” She laughed, and I moaned deep in my throat. “Well, that’s not true, is it? I’m standing here, holding a knife in one hand, and, ohhh, touching myself with the other. Mmm. Whereas you are tied to the bed, aching – straining – to be touched. But you can’t do anything except cry out, and you won’t do that. Because I have what you want.”

    Cold steel brushed against the bottom of my foot, just a touch at first, then slightly more pressure. I marveled at her ability to control the blade in the dark, to know just where she wanted to put it. And then just a bit more pressure, and I felt my skin break as she began opening me. There was less pain than I’d expected, and a growing numbness radiated from her first cut.

    “Oh, I know how you like the pain, dear one. And there will be pain. For you. And so much pleasure. But I can’t have you going into shock just when it’s getting good, can I? Don’t worry – the numbness will wear off. Eventually.”

    She leaned down and kissed my toes, lightly, then followed each kiss with a small pricking from the knife. As with the first cut, my toes gradually grew numb, first on one foot, then the other.

    I didn’t know how I’d last until she reached her destination, but I did. The top of my feet. My ankles. My calves. At each step, she followed the same routine – a kiss, wet and lasting, followed by a gentle slicing, then numbness. I was amazed at how skillfully she moved, how I could barely feel the tugging as she sliced my skin free from the tissue beneath.

    She paused as she got to my groin. This would be the last time we’d be together like this, and she savored it. She didn’t let me come, of course, but she did everything with her mouth that I’d ever begged for in the deepest reaches of my fantasies. And just when she couldn’t find a way to hold me off any longer, she took me deep into her throat and drew the knife up between my legs. She stabbed me, hard and deep, and I died twice – le petite mort and le gran mort pulsing through me at the same instant.

    I didn’t see her weep as she finished her job, nor get to hold her as she sent my skin out to be harvested for donation to the underground organ clinics. I also didn’t feel the cancer eat me from the inside out, or suffer for months under the ministrations of nurses who wept as they cleaned the foulest things imaginable from my decaying body. This way, I got to give something back, and left the world the way I chose. What she got out of it, I never would know.

    698 words


  4. Divine Plans,

    There are those who believe that some mysterious force has chosen the perfect love for them. They believe some power has taken the interest to find each of us the only person to love. I am one of those believers. At least, I was until last week.

    She was the universe in motion. An energy ball that consumes everything wherever she goes. I felt my breath leave when the brunette goddess walked in the room. The temperature dropped when she walked away. I couldn’t tell if it was for real, or if it just felt like part of my reason for living had been taken.
    I walked past where she made court at the large round table on my way to get another drink. The room was much warmer where she was. The temperature at the bar was far cooler.
    I grabbed my drink and headed back to the table where Donnie and the others celebrating with me were waiting. The room was indeed warmer near her. I stared at the fireplace near my table. How could it have been warmer here away from the fire?
    She touched my hand and I saw my future. Three children, a blend of our best features, appeared before me. The cutest girl with black pigtails smiled at me. I felt an urge to pick her up. I regained control and realized that I was still in the bar.
    My shame in betraying Becca screamed through my body. She was more than my fiancee, she was my soul mate. I never wanted for another woman since the day Becca first called me. I ran to the toilet and emptied my dinner. Whether it was from guilt, or her touch, I’ll never know.
    I rinsed my mouth out at the sink and looked up to see her standing there.
    “I’m Regina, but you already know that.” She touched my shoulder and I was transported to a world of clean white lines. Silver clouds floated above. Regina wore ornate white dress with a purple bird of prey on it.
    “Where am I?”
    Her hand wrapped behind my head and she pulled me forward so hard that it would have been fruitless to resist—if I had any desire to. Our lips met. I opened my eyes and we were on a grand staircase reaching high into the sky. A planet’s rings stretched above as far as I could see.
    People dressed in metallic black outfits appeared. They cheered for us.
    “Congratulations,” they said. “I’m so glad you finally found her.”
    I had no idea what they meant.
    Regina grabbed my collar and threw me to the ground. I was more shocked than hurt. Then straddled me and peppered me with kisses. I liked it.
    She cooed, “Say the word and you are mine forever.”
    Between kisses I saw a glimpse of a redhead—my redhead. Becca. Oh God, what had I done?
    “Regina,” One of the men in black said, “He has to say the word quickly. He’ll be returned if he does not.”
    She had tears of fire forming in her eyes. “Please, say that I am your only love. Promise that I will be the only one ever and we’ll be together.”
    I wanted to say it. My heart and body knew this was the one person I was meant to be with. Then the thought of Becca invaded in my mind.
    “Five seconds,” the man said.
    I was torn between the two ladies. Torn between my dual loves.
    I didn’t answer.
    I woke in the bathroom. Donnie had thrown a glass of pino gris on my face. He helped me up, and back to the bar. Regina was gone. Where she sat were two geezers playing backgammon. From the looks of their game, they had been there a while.

    Hence, I know the universe has more than one plan for each of us. I kiss Becca and tell her that she is my whole world. It’s a partial lie. She means everything to me—but so did Regina. Becca and I are announced as man and wife.
    I vow never to tell this tale.

    691 Words


  5. Just a Body

    Fumbling around in the dark, he couldn’t find where he had left his pants. He had one shoe on, and he was hopping around like one of those poor blokes in the movies. He knew it was time to leave. She was in the bed, still looking at him and scratching her armpits. God, he hated when she did that. He could imagine her monkey self, somewhere out in the jungles of Africa, and it turned his stomach.

    She picked at her fingernails and looked at him, as he pulled the khaki pants up over his rump.

    “So you’re going to leave again, just like that?”

    “I have a lot of work to do,” he said. He was glad the lights were out, and the room was dusky, so she couldn’t see he was lying.

    At exactly that same moment, she clicked on the bedside lamp. He looked like a deer in headlights, standing there slack-jawed, she thought. God, why did she invite him into her bed every time she ran into him? She’d been picking out mangoes at the grocery store this time, when he’d come up from behind. His hand automatically put his arm around her waist, as if he owned her.

    “It’s Sunday,” she said, but she could hear the neediness in her voice. She reached to the floor and plucked up the rose colored shirt that had been discarded seventeen minutes before in the heat of passion.

    “Um, yeah, I know.” The words dribbled out, falling flat between them, little meaning behind them besides the lie.

    “Do you think we should, you know, do more than this?” She wondered why she was asking.

    She’d never been one for commitment, but there was something about him.

    He was standing up against the wall, and he leaned back easing into it as if it could hold him up and maybe even carry him away from this conversation.

    “More than this?” he asked, acting oblivious.

    “Forget it. Get to work,” she said, turning over and turning off the light.

    He slammed the door when he left her house. He saw the need in her eyes for something more. But he knew he couldn’t give that to her. He pulled out his phone and Emma’s name was flashing.

    He auto-dialed.

    “Hey Em.”

    “Where have you been?”

    “You know, just out for a Sunday stroll.”

    “I have on red lingerie and I’m sitting in bed waiting for you. Waiting is so not sexy. Did you forget Sunday was our day?”

    “Sorry—I just had an intense need for some mangoes.”

    At least Emma understood their arrangement, he thought, as he started the car, driving towards another dark room where he could lose himself inside another woman, just a figure, just a body, nothing more.

    463 words


  6. She pushed herself into the corner between the bedside table and wicker chair in the bedroom. She clasped her hands tight round her knees, bringing them up to her chin and rocked, back and forth, back and forth. The tears left her eyes and her soul as they coursed down her face, but she didn’t heed them. She stared straight ahead remembering, recalling every image and every smell, every touch. She had to gasp for air and let her stomach hitch, but otherwise no sound left her. The scream that raged through her was as silent as her rocking.

    She heard the front door crash downstairs and a deep voice shout her name, “Phillipa!” She heard mumbling, even a scuffle in the hallway, but it was broken by the sound of footsteps rushing up the stairs. The bedroom door crashed open, and in a softer tone, “Phillipa!” was uttered, as a body rushed round the room to her.

    Big arms reached for her, as her saviour slumped down on the floor in front of her. And she shuffled forward into them, letting them embrace and comfort her. Then the sound came to her cry, a wail escaping her lips, as they rocked together. She could feel the dampness seep from his eyes onto her hair and face. He nuzzled closer into her neck as her howl became louder, his hand caressing the back of her head, wanting her to stop, but knowing she couldn’t.

    She might never be able to again.

    After some time that seemed endless, and her cry had reduced to weeping, there was a light knock on the bedroom door frame. Paul lifted his head. She felt a slight nod for whoever stood there. She heard the shuffle of several people coming into the room, but she didn’t want to remove her face from the safety of Paul’s shoulders. She didn’t want to open her eyes and see. It would hurt too much.

    A hand rubbed her back and words were muttered.

    “Phillipa honey, we need to get in touch with people, and let them know.”

    But she didn’t want to tell anyone, she didn’t want to say those words, not ever. How could she? It would mean she could accept what had happened, and she couldn’t; she couldn’t accept that she would never see her baby again, her gorgeous son who had spent the last nine years of her life as part of her soul, part of her life blood. She didn’t think she could ever accept that he was gone, no matter how many people she told.

    432 Words


  7. Echoes

    There’s a little wall at the end of the terrace, just before the steps that lead down into what my mother used to call the shrubbery and my father used to call the damn scrub. He’d have been very shocked to hear me repeat it, but he’s been beyond earthly shocks for better than thirty years, and if he’s been watching over me that long then he’s had time enough to accustom himself to our modern lack of decorum. Whether he’s listening or not, the echo of his words gave me something to smile about as I sank onto the wall, and God knows I’m short enough these days of reasons to smile.

    I settled my skirts automatically, glad in a corner of my mind for one night’s return to their disguising drape. That corner supplied a minority voice; my eyes were on the wicked little flight of slate steps, treacherous when even slightly damp, and my thoughts were further away than that. Gareth had slipped – not on the steps, that was me, and it was long ago – had slipped into error. He should never had hidden the papers. He must have known he could not keep the news from me forever, and that his attempt would only tell me that he knew of my interest in the case, that he had always known of it. From there it was a short step to understanding that he could not have known and not have acted on his knowledge, not when his own cherished sister was involved.

    The music played on, soft and sweet and distant, as it had played on another evening when I had drifted away from the crowd. I had come to the head of these steps, daringly dressed in what they called, back then, a pajama suit, and I had paused, and I had looked back. I had been too young to look back for long, too certain of my choice, too eager to put my life into the hands of the man who waited for me in that damn scrub.

    Now two figures pattered along the terrace towards me, giggling and shushing, amateurs in the ancient game of love. They saw me and doubled back, perhaps thinking that I only loitered there as a guardian and a chaperone. It must be hard now to see me in any other role; it must be hard to imagine me in silk pajamas, young and lithe and hesitating only a moment at the head of the steps. That thought was too painful, and I shied away from it. It was easier to think of the lurid details in the newspaper reports – yes, even of that – than of a young girl moving silently down those treacherous steps so surely and so swiftly and so many years before.

    I sat for a long time, thinking without words, hardly even aware of my own thoughts, entirely unaware that Gareth had joined me until he said softly

    “You’re missing your party.”

    I managed a shrug of studied indifference.

    “I don’t dance so much, any more.”

    He flinched, actually flinched, from the words. I hadn’t meant them to sting, hadn’t meant to prompt an answer to the question I still could not ask. He settled at my side, and we sat quietly there, listening to distant laughter, watching long past scenes. The girl on the narrow steps. The shot that that no one could ever prove was fired. The startled girl slipping, falling. The bad break, the poor set, the brace that I wear to this day.

    “I would have been the first.”

    He knew I meant it as an apology. I hadn’t always taken his dislike of my … of that man well.

    “The third. That’s why I was so sure.”

    The last answer. In his certainty then, in his tone now, I knew he had never intended to aim high in warning.

    “It’s a good job you were always such a rotten shot.”


    The reports said that there had been seventeen girls. Even so.

    “They would have hanged you.”

    Hanged him and buried him behind the wall, and with my blessing. He knew that too.

    “It would have been worth it.”

    700 words


  1. Pingback: MWBB 2.37 (Warning: Adult themes, NSF many audiences) | Project Gemini

  2. Pingback: Echoes | Alex Brightsmith

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