Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 2.44

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 2, Week 44.

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 a collaboration between Massive Attack’s Craig Armstrong and singer-songwriter Evan Dando.

The tune is… “Waking Up in New York”. Here’s the link; https://youtu.be/lqKaZCaAykM

This week’s Judge is author, pal, and big-time supporter of the MWBB… Miranda Kate!

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday April 3rd.

Now… Go Write!!!!


Posted on March 31, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Instead
    604 words
    *WARNING: this story has references to suicide..

    I wake up in New York, just like I have every February 19th for the last ten years. This time, I am not sure how I have gotten here. The days before are a blur of shots and needles. Rid myself of the pain that slowly creeps back into my veins when the liquid relief dissipated.

    No amount of drinking can make me forget the date, stamped in my head for the rest of my life.

    In the mirror looking back at me is a ghost of my previous self. Bags under my eyes look big enough to hold groceries. Stringy hair and dirty clothes adorn me. My skin lined with permanent track marks. I don’t even try to cover them up anymore. I haven’t slept well since that day. Ten years of horror. Ten years of pining for someone and something I’ll never be able to have again.

    I walk down the street toward 1st Avenue. Yellow cabs sweep by and splash melted snow and dirt onto my blue coat, the one I have been wearing every year since to visit to this place that will haunt me until my dying days.

    Standing in front of the drugstore, I can see your face. I can feel your presence. I think of the last time we talked, and how you stomped away brimming with anger. I can still feel the brush of your beard against my face the last time we kissed, days before the fight. I hurt you, but I thought I would have a chance to make it up to you. One more chance to set things straight between us.

    When you walked away from the drugstore that day, you turned back to take one last look at me. I brought my hand up to wave to you, but you’d already turned your back on me. It was the last goodbye.

    And every year I come here, driven to do so. I walk down the same street. I think one day you’ll show up, but I know that’s not possible. Your new address is in the yard at Trinity Church, but I can’t bring myself to go there. Instead, I play out the same scene over and over again, like a reoccurring nightmare.

    The East Village Hotel booked under my maiden name. I reenact your phone call. I hustle to the drugstore, where you are waiting for me, hands in your pockets to shield against the cold.

    Instead of fighting. Instead of turning your back. Instead of you going to your room and running a bath. Instead of putting a razor to your wrist, blood transforming the water into a sea of red. Instead of a frantic phone call in the middle of the night from your sister. Instead of me taking the midnight train to the hospital morgue. Instead of me sitting in the same hotel room afraid to go to the cemetery and watch my one true love placed into the cold unloving ground. Instead, I put my arms around you. Instead, we kiss. Instead, I tell you I will leave him. Instead, I tell you it has always been you and always will be. Instead, we leave together, return to the hotel, and we make love—never to be parted.

    And every year, I believe it for a moment. I can feel the warmth of your arms wrapped around me one more time. I can feel your soothing voice as we make love in the suite. I can hear myself saying the three words that I was afraid to tell you when you were still alive: I love you.


  2. The electric scream of the alarm clock shattered my sleep at 4 AM. The timers automatically turned on the lights in the room, forcing my eyes to snap shut. At 4 AM in New York, it’s still dark. I took a deep breath, opened my eyes, tossed aside the blankets, and rolled out of bed.

    “Time to get ready for work!”

    Work. The same damn thing as always. In the same building as always. With the same people. The same problems. The same lunches.

    I wanted to go back to sleep. Fall into bed, bury myself under the blankets, and wake up when I woke up. But, that wasn’t life. That wasn’t grown up. Mature. Responsible. I pushed my body into motion. Got my shower, shaved, got dressed.

    The sofa called as I walked past, “Come! Lie down. Stretch out. Relax.” But, I had bills to pay, rent, car, heat, water, electricity, phone. Hell, the damned phone was over $100 a month. I moved past it, ignored it, ignored the cry of my legs, “Let us rest!” I pushed on to the kitchen.

    My usual breakfast. Three frozen sausage links, two frozen waffles, one banana, and a can of Amp. Aptly named, Amp. The solid food gave me protein and carbs to get me through to lunch. The Amp kick started me, got me out of the house and to work. I tossed the empty can in the recycling bin and shook my head to clear the cobwebs from my brain.

    New York, the big apple, land of money, money, money. Land of the punched clock, unpaid overtime, unused vacation sold back to the company. New York, where nothing ever stopped. Where I got up every morning, before the sun, and pushed myself to work, along with millions of others. Where I worked long past sunset, then staggered home to eat another fast food meal picked up on the way. So I could crash, just in time for the alarm to shatter my sleep at 4 AM the next day. So I could do it all over again. And again.

    I took her picture down months ago. She left, said I didn’t love her anymore. Said I loved my work more than her. She walked out with a suitcase, never came back.

    She was right, you know. The job was all I was. All I did. Hell, I didn’t even dream at night. Except for nightmares, when I was at work, and the building got hit by a plane, or a bomb went off, or someone went bat shit crazy and shot everyone, like that guy in that movie theater in Colorado did one time.

    It was time to go to work. I left my apartment, pulled the door shut behind me, I didn’t look back. If I looked back, I remembered.


    I didn’t want to remember. I didn’t have time to remember. I had to get to work. I was a grown up. Responsible. Mature. I didn’t have time to remember.


    500 Words


  3. It’s always been you. There’s never been anyone else. Even before there was you, there was just me waiting for you. It was like my heart was waiting for you to come along and settle deep in there, where there had always been a missing part. And once you arrived, once you settled into my very core, I never wanted to let you go.

    But the universe didn’t agree. It had other plans for you, and for my heart. Even when we first found out you were sick, I didn’t believe you’d ever really leave me. I thought we’d beat it. We’d laughed it off a little. You’d looked at me with eyes shining bright with both hope and tears, and you’d promised me you’d never leave. You promised me you’d fight. And dammit, you tried. You fought one hell of a fight. But in the end, it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter that I didn’t know how I was going to keep going without you. The universe didn’t care that you were breaking your promise to me. It didn’t seem to matter that part of you that had become embedded so deeply in my heart, that when you finally left—finally slipped away in the coldest and darkest night of my life, it felt like someone had yanked my heart out, cut away half of it, and slapped it back in my chest. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t breathe anymore. In the end, no one cared that my heart didn’t beat right anymore. None of it mattered, because you just had to go.

    I know deep down it’s not your fault. I know you wanted to stay. You wanted to stay more than you wanted to keep your beautiful hair. More than you wanted to stop throwing up after each round of chemo. I remember the day we finally realized you couldn’t stay. I think you’d secretly known for a while, but you’d let me figure it out on my own time. I’d tried to be strong for you, because you’d been so strong for me, but in the end, I sobbed like a child in your arms. I didn’t want to ever let you go. But what either of us wanted didn’t matter in the end.

    In the end, I’m left with only memories. Memories of us staying up till dawn just talking and laughing. Memories of waking up next to you and watching you sleep. The way your hair fell over the pillow and your chest lifted and fell ever so softly. Memories of walking endlessly through the streets in the city we loved, hand in hand. Memories of stopping at the old drug store on First Avenue where they still sold ice cream by the cone. I remember you happy, sad, angry, laughing, crying, screaming. All of it. I take all I can, and I try to stuff them deep down in my heart where you used to live, but it’s no use. All the memories in the world are poor substitutes for living, breathing you.

    Some days are easier than others. Some days I can get up, I can shower, and I can pretend that I’m normal. But other days I can’t even stand. Other days it’s as if the weight of your loss is going to crush me right into the ground. How can one person be expected to stand up under the weight of such a loss? Especially someone who’s already missing such a large part of his heart.

    (587 words)


  4. Wake Up Call

    Captain Brian Cavalieri stood at the podium and looked out across the crowd.

    A sea of blue uniforms filled the width of the seven steps that led to the sidewalk. Beyond them, a cacophony of color and clamoring and commotion, a gathering of nearly a thousand citizens filled the lawn and sidewalks of the national park. Cameras clicked. Speakers squealed. Voices echoed.

    He tapped the mic, cleared his voice, and spoke. “Good afternoon.”

    The chaos died down and dialed in on him.

    “I called this press conference to wrap up the Enderson case.”

    A bright-eyed television news reports called out, “Have there been any new developments?”

    “No, Ms. Jansen. The child was recovered and the perpetrator captured. But you already know that. I won’t be taking any more questions from you.”

    A murmur shuttered through the crowd. He’d never reprimanded a reporter. Not in public. Not in all the long dark days of the two year investigation and court trial.

    “I stand before you, a man changed. For years, I dedicated my life and career to safekeeping this city and its citizens.”

    The boys in blue on the steps stood a little straighter, a little prouder.

    “But this case, the Enderson case, showed me the fallacy in that endeavor.”

    A woman in a gray pantsuit began pushing her way through the sea of blue-clad bodies.

    “I came to understand the way things worked inside the department. And outside it as well.”

    The officers took a noticeable step back from him now, as though recoiling from something unpleasant.

    “My superiors were more concerned with closing cases than closing them properly. Solutions over justice.”

    A baby wailed into the shocked silence that met his frank words.

    “And the public was more concerned with meting out justice than properly closing cases. Retribution over fairness.”

    The assembly was deathly quiet now.

    “Now that this case is officially over, the child back in his mother’s arms, the report filed with the department, and the culprit behind bars, I have decided to give you a wakeup call, New York.”

    The pantsuited woman was halfway up the steps now.

    “I did my job to the best of my ability and as thanks, you, John Q. Public, and you, my brothers in blue, questioned me at every turn, badgered my wife and children, and pissed all over my public and private reputation.”

    The woman reached the top step.

    “Consider this my resignation.”

    The woman reached the Captain’s body as it collapsed onto the platform. She dropped to her knees and cradled the bleeding skull in her lap. From the crowd, voices called to her, told her to move away from the body, told her she was destroying crime scene evidence, but she stayed where she was, holding her husband close and kissing him goodnight for the last time.

    – – – – –
    @bullishink / 470 words


  1. Pingback: #MWBB Week 2.44 – Wake Up In New York | My Soul's Tears

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