Mid-Week Blues Buster Week 3.01

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 3, Week 1.

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.

I thought pretty seriously about shutting this challenge down due to the recent epidemic of indifference, but the few people who still come here to write each week seem to really like it here so I’ll stick it out for a little while longer.

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.

About this week’s song prompt… As I’ve lost the interest of just about everyone who started this thing with me I’ve decided to go back to the beginning.

The prompt is a re-run of the tune I used for the very first MWBB…

It’s called, “Freedom”, by Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton.

Here’s the link; https://youtu.be/4Sz9v6080_g

This week’s Judge is… well, it’s me, just like it was in Year One, Week One.

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday June 5th.

Now… go write!!!  All five of you!!!


Posted on June 2, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Untraceable

    Belinda looked out the open window, across the vast expanse of land and leaned back, stretching her back. She surveyed all she had packed so far. The tiny backpack had all the essentials.

    It would be a while before anyone would notice she’d gone; the kids were going to their grandma after school under the guise of an appointment, so she had a few hours head start, and that was plenty for what she had in mind.

    She’d spent the first couple of hours of the morning shutting everything; deactivating social media, deleting mail accounts, diverting information that he might need to their home email, and then switching funds around in the banks – emptying hers.

    She’d laid all the bank and insurance cards out on the dining table, so he couldn’t miss them – hers and the kids. And left the keys to the house and the car, everything, so there was nothing he had to track her down.

    Her stomach clenched at the thought, but she pushed it away and took another deep breath; if she let the thoughts in she wouldn’t be able to go, and it wasn’t an option anymore.

    She’d seen the signals; the slightly coincidental non-coincidences that others missed. And then the signs had started to appear; first in the kids chalk drawings in the pavement, and then in the ever changing fridge magnets. It was time to go.

    She ran through everything in her mind, hoping she hadn’t missed anything. She had to be untraceable, there had to be no leads. She had to walk away with not one single tie – other than DNA.

    She squeezed her eyes tight shut for a second, swallowing hard. They’d be okay as long as she went. That was the deal.

    She saw the bus in the distance, and walked out the front door, making sure it was firmly closed behind her. She strolled casually to the stop and stepped up onto the bus when it arrived.

    Belinda looked out the back window at her little house, and the little life she was leaving behind. She had to keep moving, that was the price she paid for her freedom. And although they’d never know it, she sought comfort in the fact that she was giving them their freedom too.

    380 Words

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is very touching, but raises so many questions about ‘the deal’ (again, I’ve been overloading on Dresden Files lately so Deals can mean quite a bit… as can being untraceable)… I want more… but I’m a greedy reader!


  2. Freedom

    Daniel looked about him and heaved out a sigh. If somebody had told him one year ago that he would be standing at the graveside of his wife he would have laughed at them. They were both so young and had everything that they could ever want. They were newly–weds, only been married for a month, and he had just been promoted in his job. Everything was perfect.

    They should have known, maybe, that something was about to go horribly wrong.

    Nine months previously the rug of happiness had been pulled away in such a violent manner. It had just been a day like any other when Beth had been suffering with a headache. There was nothing unusual about that, but Daniel had decided to call out the doctor. From there everything seemed to move so fast, and the next thing that they knew were that they were in the hospital being told the worst news that they could possibly expect to receive.

    Beth had cancer, and it was untreatable.

    They make the decision to tell nobody of the news, because Beth did not want anyone treating her any different. There was going to be no sadness, no sympathy from friends, and definitely no apple pie!

    When it was needed, Daniel had given up his job to become a full-time carer. He did this because he did not trust anyone else to look after his wife the way that she would want it to be done. Well, that, and their friends still did not know just how serious the condition was.

    They were together until the very end, and even then they had planned things to go exactly the way that they wanted, and not what anyone else expected. Beth had made the decision to die at home, and under her own terms. Basically, she was going to kill herself.

    Daniel had been holding her hand throughout the process, and he listened to her final words tearfully. “Now there will be nothing holding you back. Daniel, my love, my final gift to you will be this, your freedom.”

    Free was not something that he felt standing at the graveside. He felt as though he had just lost his entire world. Was that really the cost of freedom?

    Word count: 378

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Word Count – 518

    A Gentleman’s Promise

    Whistling softly as I go
    Swaying to and fro
    Avoiding searing gazes
    The charwoman who lazes
    Pretending I’ve nowhere to go

    Aspiring to escape
    Thieving a woolen cape
    I’ll need the heat
    And to cover my feet
    Wishing it was an invisibility cape

    I have to get to an ax
    I hope the woodcutter’s lax
    Left my shoes by the lake
    Hope the bait the dogs take
    If caught I’ll be punished to the max

    It’s just out of reach
    The woodcutter I beseech
    ‘Have mercy on me Sir’
    He gesticulated and swore
    Spouting his ‘I’ll be lynched’ speech

    I told him I was no slave
    My own kind I crave
    He laughed as I stuttered
    Under his breath he muttered
    ‘It would be like digging my own grave’

    ‘What’s in it for me?’
    ‘I’ll come back and set you free’
    He takes my hands, not a blister
    Say okay I believe you mister
    Hacks my chains of misery

    I ask the man I freed to blacken my eye
    That way I may just get by
    Say I was caught unawares
    And ride the temper flare
    I’ll holler and cry

    He thanks me profusely
    Hits me gently
    I say for flip sake
    Your hand won’t break
    Tighten your fist don’t smack me loosely

    He gives me a damn good punch
    I nearly had my teeth for lunch
    He apologizes again and again
    As he ties me to the chicken pen
    On my gums I munch

    I heard two people ran that day
    I hope their far away
    Smiling as I got flayed
    Remembering the promise he made
    I know my good deed he’ll repay

    About three months down the line
    I’d forgotten that action of mine
    I was in the master’s bad graces
    He put me harshly through my paces
    His smile was in no way benign

    He called me to the big house
    I tiptoed, quiet as a mouse
    I wasn’t expecting good news
    A new torture, so he’ll be amused
    Surprised when I saw my spouse

    He tells us we’ve been sold
    For a lot of silver and gold
    Terrified we both beg
    At least he never took our legs
    He silences us his goodbye cold

    Along comes a carriage
    First time of that land since our marriage
    We hold each other close
    To many questions to pose
    To many ideas to disparage

    Finally we come to a standstill
    Hoping we won’t get killed
    Door is opened by the man who smacked me
    We hug each other silently
    He introduces himself to Sadie as Bill

    He tells us we are both free
    Were too shocked to be happy
    Says there’s work as long as we want
    Good wages and no-one will taunt
    Or we can leave merrily

    We are his loyal staff
    Ready and able to share a laugh
    He’s our son’s godfather
    We couldn’t have picked better
    Loved by him and his better half

    We’ll be here to the end of our days
    Given leisure to soak up suns rays
    Content and very lucky
    Freedom is the key
    Here we gladly stay

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cara Michaels

    Head pounding, I walked out of the house, down the stairs of the deck, and into the soft green grass. Graham followed, curling his toes experimentally.

    “I like this. Much nicer than that dreadful stuff on Grove Isle.”

    “Zoysia,” I said. “Scythe can afford the upkeep.”

    Jackson and Scythe banged around in the kitchen behind us, laughing as they cooked.

    “I didn’t expect her to be so—normal.”

    “She’s worked very hard to assert control.” I found a nice shady spot beneath a black mangrove. “I know it wasn’t easy. Scythe changed the game.”

    “How?” Graham settled parallel to me, his feet pointing toward my head.

    “He’s not human.” The sun glimmered through the branches above me. “So he doesn’t smell like food. She relearned how to be around people by being with him. He helped her recover her life. Her freedom.”

    “What do you want out of this life?”

    “As opposed to a different life?”

    “I’m inquiring about the life you are currently living, yes.”

    “I wouldn’t mind a dog,” I said.

    “Sorry, what?” Graham rolled onto his side. “Did you say a dog?”

    “Yep.” I plucked a blade of grass and wrapped it around my index finger. “A dog would be pretty neat.”

    “How so?”

    “A dog would mean I had a home.” I brought the grass to my lips, producing a shrill whistle as I blew across it. “A home, and time. I don’t currently have either of those. I’m always on the road. Someone always claims my time.” Sounded dumb out loud, but in my heart it resonated.

    “What kind of dog?”

    “Something big and floppy that joy-slobbers all over the Jeep’s windows every time we go to the park. Some mashup of breeds the animal shelter can only guess at.”

    “A rescued mutt.”

    “Yeah.” I grinned. “Nothing fancy. Just happy to be loved.”

    “I rather like that,” he said.

    “What about you?” I let the breeze take the grass. “What’s your life’s desire?”

    “Much like Jackson, I suppose. Freedom.”

    “From a parasite?”

    “I suppose you could call Grandmother a parasite.”

    “Ha. Not to her face.”

    “Smart woman.” He snorted. “But to be anonymous? To walk hand in hand with a beautiful woman and not have half of our respective countries analyzing paparazzi photographs, or reading the concocted bullshit of “reliable sources?” To be Roger Graham’s son, instead of the heir apparent to the Lindhurst title?”

    “So you’ll be Count Lindhurst Lindhurst someday?”

    He snickered. “No, but close enough. I’ll be Lindhurst Graham, the Count of Lindhurst.”

    “Ohh, Lindhurst of Lindhurst.”

    “Precisely.” He tugged my flip flops off and inspected my feet.

    “Whatever will those snooping telephoto lenses make of your apparent foot fetish?”

    “That I have very good taste in feet, I should think.” He cupped my left foot and massaged the toes. “Yours are quite lovely. Your head hurts, yes?”

    I groaned as tingling relief shot through my body, right to my head.

    “What sorcery is this?” I flopped back in the grass. Decorum be damned.

    “Has no one ever taken care of you, woman?”

    “Not like—” I waved a limp hand in his general direction. I felt at once lighter and heavier. “Man, I have really been missing out.”

    “How’s the headache?”

    “Waving the white flag.” I levered myself up to my elbows. “Is this some kind of addiction scam?”


    “You know, the first one’s free. Fuck, that feels so good.” Sitting even halfway up was overrated. Any second now I was going to float right off the planet, anyway. “Then, once I’m hooked, bam. You start charging.”

    “There’s an excellent discount reward program for loyal customers.”

    “I knew it.” He dragged another groan from me as he pressed into my heel. “Sign me up.”

    “As my lady wishes.”

    “Don’t talk fancy, Graham.” I wagged my finger. “Your voice is already like aural sex.”

    He choked.

    Aural, you perv.”

    “Hmm. I misheard it better.”

    “You should stop.” Gods, please don’t ever stop. His fingers worked beneath my toes and the sensation zinged up my spine. I straight up moaned this time. I definitely panted. “Someone’s going to think we’re really having sex.”

    “Much to my eternal disappointment, someone would be wrong.”

    700 WIP words

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Yum, I love this – even though I have no idea what aural sex is!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Magical Muffins

    I didn’t know who he was, but he certainly wasn’t my husband. The sounds that he made from under the covers were manly and exciting. His lips nuzzled my thighs. I parted my legs slightly in anticipation.

    I kept my eyes closed, but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway, as the electricity had gone off earlier that night, and the news I had read on my mobile phone had said it would be off for hours. This was the third time this month and I was getting used to it by now.

    He’d usually come home about 10:00 pm from his evening shift and, ruffling my hair, would plant a chaste kiss on my forehead and head upstairs to fall unconscious almost right away.

    I didn’t really mind. It was that time of my life when our kids had left home and I had discovered other pursuits. I had recently discovered a group of women who met each Tuesday. We called each other the ‘Wolverines.’ Earlier that night we’d talked about a recipe and we’d each promised to try it out.

    I heard him come home around 11:00 pm. I’d been in the candle lit kitchen baking these new muffins, grateful my oven ran on gas. He’d gone upstairs right away, and after my initial disappointment that he hadn’t even tasted one, I nibbled on one myself, with a cup on warm cocoa, while taking a long fragrant bath.
    I slipped into a negligee and slid under the sheets in my darkened room.

    He turned to me slowly, planting a warm kiss directly on my lips. He smelled good, and tasted minty and fresh. I gasped, however, as I realized he had no mustache or beard. My husband had both. I ran my hands over his arms, which were sculpted and smooth, and through his hair – curly and soft.

    I sat up in the darkness and he lay still, breathing slowly. I could have jumped out of bed, called the police, or run to my new neighbor Cindy who lived right next door. Instead, I slid slowly back under the covers and lifted my face towards him. His flickering tongue entered my willing lips, my heart thumping loudly in my chest.

    He wasn’t my husband, but he must have been someone’s – from the ring on his finger, which I felt as he traced his way up and down my body, teasingly. I didn’t want this night to end, nor to know to whom he really belonged, as orgasms racked me again and again.

    Awakening much later from a short but satiated sleep, I started to wonder what had happened to my husband. Soon afterwards, an urgent knocking resounded loudly from downstairs. Dawn was breaking, but my dark velvet curtains blocked out the light, as I tiptoed downstairs.

    I opened the door to Cindy’s husband. His hair was tousled, his face flushed with beard burn.
    “You wanna keep her, or should we trade back?”

    word count: 492

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You, with your job.
    Your house.
    Your cars.
    Your children.
    You do not see
    Or understand.

    You go to work five days a week.
    Through endless weeks.
    And months.
    And years.
    In a job you hate.
    A job which slowly nibbles away
    Your very soul.

    Until there’s nothing left.

    You know the truth.
    Buried under all the lies you’ve told yourself.
    The pictures you painted of success.
    Of the American Dream.
    A dream the tells you how to live.
    What to think.
    And what to dream.

    You, with your job.
    Take your headache pills each day.
    To numb the aching in your head.
    An ache that always starts
    Once you get to work.
    One you never have on weekends.
    Or holidays.
    But every day at work.
    And you never wonder why.

    You sit at a desk five days a week.
    Wishing you were somewhere else.
    Belittling yourself.
    “You have work to do, damn-it!”
    “Get your lazy ass together!”
    “Do your fucking job!”

    You know the truth.
    It tries to speak to you at night.
    On those long, sleepless nights.
    When you toss, and turn.
    And stare at the ceiling,
    In the darkness.

    There’s nothing wrong.
    This is how things are.
    How they will always be.
    How they’ve always been.
    You’re a grown up.
    You have a good job.
    It pays well.

    Anyone would love to have your job!
    Anyone would love to make
    The money you make.
    Hell, the benefits alone would make the job
    Worth any misery for some folks.

    Everyone knows that.

    You know that.

    As you stay up late at night.
    Studying for that test next week.
    That certification test.
    The one you have to take.
    Have to pass.
    To keep the job you have.

    It doesn’t matter how you feel.
    It never has.
    The truth lies trapped inside you.
    You dare not let it out.

    Because you can’t afford
    To lose your job.

    Remember the times you wanted to scream?
    To call the boss an idiot.
    “You don’t know what the fuck you talking about!”
    “That can’t be done!”
    “You want it when?”

    You never did.
    Never said a thing.
    You ground your teeth together.
    Until your jaw ached.
    That ceramic crown on your molar,
    The one on the top left.
    You know how you got that.
    That tooth cracked under the stress.

    You know the truth.
    Somewhere deep inside.
    Pretending you are free to do
    Anything you want.
    Knowing you’ll do anything you have to do
    To keep the job you have.

    Swallow your pride.
    Do what you’re told.
    Be where you’re told.
    And be there when you’re told to.
    Wear this.
    Not that.
    Shave every day.
    And wear business clothes.
    After all.
    You have to look the part
    Of a professional.

    All you are is a little cog.
    In a big machine.
    And if you break.
    If you don’t do your part.
    You’re easily replaced.

    For the truth you’ve buried
    In the ground.
    With your heart and soul.
    Is something you’ve always known.
    And can never talk about.

    The people you work for.
    The job you’ll do anything to keep.
    The life you’ve worked so hard to have.
    The wife and kids.
    The house,
    The cars,
    The yard.

    That life is who you are.
    It’s all that’s left of you.
    It owns you.
    You have no freedom left.
    And all you’re dreams have died.

    So, lie awake in bed each night.
    And wonder why you cannot sleep.
    And wash your pain pills down each morning
    With an ocean of caffeine.

    And lie to yourself.
    Until the truth is gone.
    And you believe once more.
    You’re free.

    And everything’s exactly
    Like that dream you had.
    So many years ago.

    620 Words

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The Decision

    His hands trembled as he put the key in the latch. The smartphone flashed 11.03 pm. He hoped Mila and little Josh would be asleep. The bulky computer bag dug into his shoulder blade. The bag had got bulkier over the last few months with growing number of forms and brochures. In spite of an abundance of caution, the latch made a squeaky sound in the still of the night.

    The baby whimpered in his crib. Mila, half-asleep, appeared in the foyer.

    “Sorry, Honey. Long day again,” he mumbled apologetically, as he put the bag down. Through the corner of his eye, he noticed a pile of mail on the desk. The familiar envelopes, bills!
    She put her arms around his tired shoulders and rubbed them gently.

    He tumbled into the bed beside her.
    “The school called; they said I could get my job back,” she tried to sound upbeat.
    “Josh needs you, plus you are so happy being home with him,” he protested.
    “That’s so true,” she happily agreed.
    “That makes me happy,” he purred.
    She smiled a contented smile; his trembling hands steadied for a while.

    He was wide awake long after Mila fell asleep. The dance of the shadows on the dimly lit curtains kept him captivated. Against the protests of his weary body, the numbers and calculations kept running through his mind. He was only 35. How much should he save? How much life insurance? Accidental death insurance? Will the shadows hold an answer? In the wee hours of the dawn, the exhausted arms of slumber took him into their fold.

    At the soft light of day, the tiny fingers tickled his forehead, and he woke up to the sunshine and the babbling baby. The six-year-old him smiled from the silver frame on the dresser. In the picture, he held a glass jar with a fluttering butterfly inside.

    “Great, no tremors!” he thought as he picked up the baby in his arms. The baby giggled and grabbed his hair. He wished this moment would last till eternity. Eternity, The word gnawed at his heart.

    He set out for the day in his crisply ironed shirt and the bulky computer bag.

    “How long?” he asked himself, although, he knew that no one could answer that question. What was it that the doctor had said?

    “It could be years before you would lose your mobility. You are young and in good health otherwise. Tremors are just one of the early symptoms.”

    But he knew, his handwriting was getting worse with each tremor, and he was spending more time being captivated by the moving shadows. Parkinson’s was advancing. He had a decision to make.

    As he inched towards the home that night, he prayed that the trembling would stop until he can buy the accidental life insurance.

    Yes, he had to make sure that it was an accident that freed him from the disease that would cage him in his own body. Imprison his loving wife and innocent child into the role of caretakers. Looking after a frozen body housing a beautiful, helpless mind, just like the fluttering butterfly in the jar.

    523 words
    A newbie here.

    Liked by 4 people

    • This is so profound it leaves me stunned. My uncle was diagnosed with ALS – He went quickly… but I think that’s one of my greatest fears – being stuck inside… Very well done!


    • Cara Michaels

      Haunting. I can’t imagine planning your own “accidental” death in order to provide for your family.


  9. Walking Away with Death by My Side

    Ember watched as the snow swirled at their feet as they made their way through the city.

    It seemed so strange to be walking in the hushed world, but with the ice and snow that had fallen, it was the safest way to travel.

    She pulled her cloak tighter as a gust of wind all but blew her over.

    “Careful there,” her companion urged. “You’re small enough you might just blow away.”

    Ember shook her head. Yesterday the comment would have angered her, but today she knew Ash was just trying to take her mind off of everything that had happened.

    Only they both knew he couldn’t. Too much had happened for Ember to ever forget.

    She shifted her shoulders slightly, and kept moving. One way or another, she just wanted to get it over with.

    Ash simply nodded knowingly and kept moving.

    Ember followed him knowing that if she lingered she’d have too much time to think about everything she’d lost. Walking away had been hard enough without having to face the unknown of the gate.

    “Heaven or Hell,” the oracle had proclaimed. “Anything that ties you here, will drag you down. To gain it all, you must lose it all.”

    She sighed. She had lost her home, her friends and her dreams in one careless moment and now, she had no choice but moving on.

    She drew a deep breath as they approached the gate and Ash offered her his hand.

    She took it, a sad smile touched her lips.

    “It could be worse,” he told her with a half smile.

    She tilted her head, looking at him questioningly.

    Ash shrugged. “Ever think that maybe this was hell, all along and the choices are going back or deeper in?”

    Ember shook her head: death had a weird sense of humor.

    382 Words

    Liked by 2 people

  10. davejamesashton

    On the frontlines

    Beneath the flowing robes that marked him as a servant of Tai, Aithan wore a cuirass of enchanted steel. Unlike his brethren, Aithan felt called by the God of Remorse to minister in the back alleyways and on the battlefield. Rich wives wanting consolation for their trophy status sickened him. He did his best to hide his disdain for the rest of the order, but it was hard, so very hard. Wine, fine food, and distractions both carnal and otherworldly were the most common tools of those that served in the frescoed temples. All were irrelevant out in the field. Instead, Aithan trusted to spear, dirk, shield, and mace.

    The reputation of the order preceded him, and he was usually greeted with hoots of derision. Magic was rare enough on the battlefield… exorbitantly expensive and most practitioners considered warfare too dangerous. There’d be the occasional mustard yellow turban that marked an acolyte of Tuan, the God of Healing, or the shimmering silks that signified a heretical follower of the Forgotten Ones. What use was a follower of such foppish, privileged god such where blood and steel contended?

    Aithan rarely killed, that was true, for the dead did not call out to his Lord Tai. But the maimed, scarred and injured frequently became part of His flock. The damage one man’s weapons do in the chaotic maelstrom that is a pitched battle is infinitesimal it is true, yet the waves of visions and false prophesy he sent out caused many a sword arm to tremble and shield walls to crumble.

    Even with the easier victories credited to him, commanders were loathe to have Aithan remain with their troops for long. Spoils go to the victors, it is true. But those who were all too willing to participate in the post-battle rapine (and other more unsavory acts) often found themselves in the dark of the night and in the secret silences within their souls inducted unwillingly into the flock of the God of Remorse. By then it was too late. The priest had moved on, and many sought solace – their only freedom – in the kiss of their own blade.

    359 words

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Cara Michaels

    Holy shit, Ruth! I can’t express how much I love this squad you’re building.

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: #MWBB Week 3.01 : Freedom | My Soul's Tears

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