Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 3.02

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 3, Week 2.

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.

We had a great turnout last week– ten big entries. Here’s hoping it’s the beginning of a trend and not just a blip on the radar…

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.

We’re going back to the music of my youth for this week’s song prompt. Say hello to The Cure, everybody…

The tune is, “A Forest”. Here’s the link; https://youtu.be/RGT4V6JmINA

This week’s Judge is a MWBB first-timer. Welcome to author & all-around cool person, Jessica Maybury!

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday June 12th.

Now… Go Write!!!!!

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Posted on June 9, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Approach the entrance as if it is a sacred shrine guarded by several battle-worn guards. They stretch to the sky and guard the magic, my pulse within. Price of admission? First, you must be still and quiet your breathing. It is a place of peace, of rhythmic beating of a butterfly’s soul and the music of ants clothed in moss and mushrooms. Can you feel it? If you are found worthy, briers will not bring any harm.

    The air is like no other in the galaxy. Open up your lungs and take as much as you can carry with you. Feel it heal your soul, your heart. Move within this wooded womb as inspiration whispers. Over there lies the city of Tun among the neon orange and green mushrooms. Let’s sit for a moment and I will tell you about the first time I visited this space.

    It was a hot day, heavy with moisture and sadness. My friend had just left this world in a sigh. I wandered outside to exchange the smell of death for anything else. Ahead I spotted a wood that hadn’t been there before. Drawn to its music, I approached the forbidding trees woven with brambles and biting leaves. Tears began to fall from deadened eyes, sadness felt like a insistent foreign growth deep inside me.

    I heard branches break and looked up expecting to see the intruder. It was a small black bear with eyes the depth of the ocean. I turned to leave when a voice whispered into my ear, “She will lead you inside, if that’s where you wish to go.” Not caring if it was my sadness or a forest being who whispered, I followed the creature inside. Spread before me was an emerald sea, above was the ceiling of a cathedral of trees. My guide had disappeared leaving me to stand breathlessly among the wooded giants. The voice whispered once more, “Run if you must, but gather the air here. It will heal and bring you peace.”

    Something inside me stirred and I began to run through Her paths and alongside streams. Black shadows merged with green, blue, brown, gold as I matched pace with my pulse. Sadness couldn’t keep up and I could feel it fall far behind me. I shed that skin and stopped in front of a running stream. Time drifted like the clouds hidden above the canopy. I rested within Her. We spoke at times and sleep covered me like a blanket. Here is where my spirit lives, as do I now.

    Be on your way now, dear Traveler. Seek your peace within this sacred ground.

    Vagrant Rhodia
    https://proudmommaofgirls.wordpress.com/
    @bluroseMD

    Liked by 1 person

  2. angietrafford

    The sirens call

    “Robin!” My ears pricked up on hearing my name being yelled. The voice was certainly not a familiar one, and all I knew for sure was that it was a female. I turned towards the sound, and found myself facing the entrance to a forest. At first there was no movement from me because I was hesitating. The very thought of entering the forest and going into the dark was just something that I could not justify within my head.

    “Robin, I need you!” The cry came again, and this time my fingernails bit into the palms of my hands as the urge to run into the darkness seem to take over my system. Somewhere in the depths of my mind I was sure that I was going to run out of time if I did not go in to try and find her right now.

    “Help!” The female voice seemed to echo within the trees, and suddenly I was in motion. The path changed from one well travelled, to one that looked like it had not been used for a very long time. Nothing mattered except my desperation to find this female who was calling me. I was going to search this entire forest if I had to.

    The smell of broken branches filled my nostrils as I crunched them underfoot. I strained my ears, but there were no longer any cries of my name. Was I too late?

    Fear gripped me as I turned round and round staring blankly at the trees. My gaze was taken upwards as I followed a crow taking flight. Everywhere seem to be covered in darkness as that wonderful canopy above me was shielding me from the sunlight of that June day. I had really wanted to save that girl, whoever she had been.

    As my gaze had travelled upwards, I suddenly come to the conclusion that I was lost. I held back a laugh that was tinged with hysteria. Why would I be so foolish as to come running in to a place that I had never even seen?

    Never seen.

    The realisation hit me, and I started running about blindly in order to try and get out of the forest. There had to be a way out, there had to be. However, after running for about thirty minutes I came to a stop. There was no way of knowing if I was running into the forest even more, or actually heading towards an edge. I had to look at this logically. I started to peer through the trees to work out which area looked like it was lighter in colour. It all looked the same to me.

    I moaned and slammed my fist into the nearest tree.

    “Is that any way to treat your friend?” The tree replied in that female voice. All of this time I had been running towards a tree.

    Then I remembered that my name was not Robin. Why had I answered that call?

    Word count: 500
    @Harmony77uk

    Like

  3. Word Count – 694
    @susanOReilly3
    #mwbb

    Nightmares

    Here we go again night after night I land with a thud back into my bed. It takes minutes for my heartbeat to go back to normal and my breathing to stop speeding, abseiling out of control.

    I am soaked in sweat, as if the running in my dream has traversed to physical symptoms in my day. I grab the pen and notebook which I keep beside my bed, to try and capture this recurring event which has now haunted my waking hours as well as my sleep.

    Written previously are the words, stalking, female, Leonie. Worryingly today I remember a knife and me wielding it. I hope it’s true that dreams are often the opposite of our reality, otherwise I’m dreaming of murder and I’m the murderer.

    I have made an appointment with a Counsellor who uses hypnotherapy to help her patients remember, accept whatever the problem is and move on. Meanwhile I’m in hell obsessed, I can’t concentrate on anything except this bloody dream, I keep calling it a dream but it’s a fucking nightmare.

    I go to the bathroom and I’m afraid to look in the mirror my appearance brings no joy. I look like death warmed up eyes sunken, a grey pallor, and I’ve lost another tooth.

    It’s the day of my appointment I arrive early. Everyone here looks shit in fact they all could be reflections in my mirror. None of us seeks anyone out, content to wallow in our misery.

    I’m called, I jump up, the only semblance of hope I’ve felt in a long time. The plump lady greets me with a smile and tells me it’s the first door on the left that Dr. O’Connor is waiting for me.

    Oh she’s gorgeous but my nether regions don’t salute in approval, they’re just too dejected and tired, my balls hanging like condemned men, no conjugal visits here.
    Her gaze is searing, her smile disproving, if I was a fly she would have swatted me already.

    “Hello, George, I’m Mary, take a seat, please, and then you can start telling me what has brought you here.”

    I tell her about the nightmare, she nods in all the right places, if I digress she steers me back. She is furiously writing the whole time I speak, what I’d love to know. She tells me she is going to hypnotise me and get to the root of it all. I breathe a sigh of relief, finally I can sense an ending to all this. She puts me under. I bungee jump back into the chair, the shoot of adrenalin always stays as sharp as the first time.

    Dr. O’Connor clicks her fingers and I’m back, clicks them again and I’m gone. She tells me that I’ve been in and out for approximately an hour and a half. What on earth is she talking about? I’ve just walked in. This was a bloody waste of time.

    She apologizes to me and says she has to inform me that I have deceased, pauses, so I can digest this. She says that I had been placed in the death row section of Limbo as they had assumed, wrongly, that I was the guilty party. They had tried to get me to hang myself but I had proved that it was in fact I that was murdered. I back away from her, darting with my eyes wildly, seeking a means of escape. She is obviously insane.

    A woman called Leonie had been stalking me for months. She had also told my wife that we were having an affair ergo the divorce. She drugged me in a bar, got me home, and when I refused her advances, stabbed me to death. I was not wielding the knife but been attacked. In my recurring dream I had been trying to find her to get her to confess.

    She opens her door and I am greeted with the sight of two most beautiful creatures I have ever seen, they both take an arm and fly me away. I am overcome with a sense of well-being and peace. For the first night in months I sleep, heaven.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. He could hear her; her breath, panting, but it was distant. He followed where he thought it was from, but a crunch of twigs turned him in another direction. Damon pushed through the undergrowth, ignoring scratches and cuts to his arms and face, and janking at his long overcoat as it caught on branches. He had to find her, had to get hold of her, and soon.

    He heard another crash and a squeal with it. It froze him in his tracks as he strained to hear more but there was nothing. He slammed his shoulder against a tree trunk as he tripped over a root, pausing a second to catch his breath before going on. How much longer could he keep this up?

    Then he heard a shot, fired somewhere off to his left, but no scream followed it. He hoped it had missed, he hoped he still had time as adrenaline gave him another shove forward. He was determined; he had to be the first to reach her, he couldn’t fail again.

    A wall of thicket appeared in front of him. As he approached it he wondered how best to get into it, but found that throwing himself into it was the only way. Was she in here? He didn’t know, but he had to try.

    As he pushed further in, Damon was momentarily blinded by dense leaves, and felt his foot catch on something as he slid face first into a carpet of leaves and mulch. But he barely felt it as his attention was caught by a sound next to him; a sharp intake of breath.

    Damon turned his head and there she was cowering away from him, caught in the undergrowth, hugging her naked body tight in an attempt to cover herself. Her leg was bleeding where he’d caught it with his shoe.

    He pushed back onto his knees, and swept round, opening his long overcoat and sweeping it round her as best as he could in the tight space. She pulled it round, and let him embrace her, resting her trembling body against his. Whether from fear or the cold Damon couldn’t tell, but at least he had her first before the monsters came.

    Neither of them made a sound as they heard them come crashing through the trees. Damon hoped the twigs and leaves of the thicket had bounced back behind him, and they wouldn’t spot where he had dived in.

    Footsteps crunched nearer, and two voices spoke in rough whispers.

    “She came through here, I’m sure of it.”

    “We should have brought McKlennan, he could have tracked her better than you.”

    “She’s here somewhere, I’m know it.”

    “You said that a mile back.”

    “We’re getting close. Shhh!”

    The men went still and Damon held his breath, feeling the girl do the same. Everyone waited. Then something crashed off in the distance, an animal maybe, and they were moving again, excited by the sound.

    “She’s over there!”

    “I can’t wait to have her!”

    Damon and the girl didn’t move or speak, though they relaxed as the sounds of the men became more distant.

    Eventually the girl’s head came up from Damon’s chest, and she whispered, “Why?”

    He looked into her pale frightened eyes, and said, “Because you’re a valuable human being, not a piece of meat to be hunted.”

    556 Words
    @PurpleQueenNL

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I didn’t cry when he finished. I wanted to – it hurt so very much – but the tears just wouldn’t come. He staggered away, pulling up his pants and laughing, not once looking back. I laid there, face pressed into the rough bark and slimy moss, legs splayed obscenely to reveal tearing and blood, but he wasn’t afraid of what would happen if someone found me. A man like him wasn’t afraid of anything.

    For a while, I thought about staying where I was. Eventually, the flesh would rot from my bones, and I wouldn’t be an emblem of meaninglessness. I could have died for any number of reasons, laying here against the oak, and all would be washed away. But I was young – the blood between my legs was the first that had been there – and the will to exist is strong.

    Then I thought of running. Somewhere there had to be a place where I would be safe. I had seen such a small part of the world. But I didn’t know where I was, much less where anything else was. What would happen to me in a new town? A young girl, dirty and hungry, with a torn dress and no trade?

    Then I thought of hiding. There were animals in the forest. And plants. I knew the penalty for poaching on this land was death, but the forest was large, and I wouldn’t need much to live. But I’d never be able to start a fire – the smoke would give me away, and the winters would be cold.

    Then I thought of killing him. I’d killed lots of bugs. And some mice which had broken into our pantry. And a cat once, when it had a broken leg and couldn’t hunt and kept mewling the baby awake.

    As I imagined my hands thrusting a sword into him, drawing more blood from his flesh than he could have dreamt of spilling from me, I realized I’d gotten up and begun moving back towards the village. He’d see me again later that day, but I wouldn’t be the same girl he’d left in the forest.

    356 words
    @drmagoo

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Elusive Dame

    The second the school bell rang, the children spilled out in the hall like the beans spilling from an open burlap sack. Heads bobbing in the crowd, Incomprehensible squeals coming out of their open mouths, they ran in all directions, leaving behind flying papers and buttons fallen from their raggedy shirts. These small people, my kids as we teachers proudly refer to them, turned into big devils in the playground. Don’t get me wrong, I love their mischiefs and the little scamps themselves, but I can’t help but to think of the end of the school day.

    I look for her. Just then, Jeremy comes running towards me carrying a kite that he made out of his math paper. I smile and give the kite string a tug. I notice the green remarks, not one smudge of red ink on his paper. His trousers are frayed at the bottom, and the shirt has smears from several days of lunch. He grins proudly and dashes away chasing his kite.

    When the recess ends, I watch the kids struggling to contain their playground energy and return to my classroom. I allow enough time to let them settle. I read the first verse of Jabberwocky aloud, and the whole class chimes in with “The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!” Just when we come to the last verse, the classroom phone begins to ring. I pick it up and listen to Mrs. Randall, our principal. She asks me to excuse Jeremy to her office; he has an urgent call from home. I don’t know what to think, but I know it can’t be anything good. I know what happened last time. Once again, I look for her.

    I didn’t see Jeremy for the few days after that. Then one morning, as I was nearing the school, I noticed him walking to the school. His shirt was a little more fouled and his face a little somber. I didn’t want to intrude on his privacy at the moment.

    It took him few minutes to warm up, but once he was in the classroom and among the kids, he perked up. It didn’t take him long to snatch Leslie’s colored pencils from her desk to tease her. All was well in the world. That day, I thought I found her.

    A week later, once again Jeremy was absent. I prayed that day hoping it was just a casual absence. “If wishes were horses.” A small bell kept ringing in my mind all day. Against my better professional judgment, I requested permission to call him at home. Mrs. Randall, bless her heart, did not allow it. I spent that whole week in torment, trying to find the elusive ‘her.’

    Jeremy showed up the next day. His shirt had gotten grubbier. He looked like he had not slept all night. I took him aside. “The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!” he said. “What?” I tried to keep my voice quiet for the sake of the other kids. I led him into the hall and closed the classroom door. “What are you talking about?” I was about to ask when Mrs. Randall showed up. “His dad attacked his mom last night, and police took him into custody.” She whispered so only I could hear.

    Where is she? I need her right now.

    Jeremy’s dad is out the next day. His mom won’t press charges. The kids will squeal during the recess. The drunks will continue to crash the cars. The riots on the streets will go on. The bombs in the middle-east will continue to tear the world apart. Complete strangers will call me by the n-word. The Earth will become so hot that it will melt. And, I will keep looking for Peace.

    626 words
    @needanidplease
    Note: The change of tense is deliberate.

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  7. The Last Nemophilist

    Overhead, the merest hint of a breeze moves the leaves. They make a mellifluous sound that seems to place a silken covering over the trees; a gentle whisper to my ears. Each step I take, I place with care. I wish to make no extraneous sound that might disturb the natural elements of this place. I try not to stare and so find my eyes darting everywhere. What is there to see, down here at the base of the trees? I see dappled shadows that cause the undergrowth to look thick, sturdy and unwieldy. But this is false as I place each foot in front of the other with no hindrance from the straggling stalks, stunted bushes and miniature trees around me.

    I look up and try to focus on the canopy. It is so very high above me that I find it difficult to focus on the growth amongst the varying levels of light and shade. I am thankful for the canopy that protects this place. It protects it, and me, from the harsh elements that want to crash through to burn and destroy this haven of tranquillity. Without the canopy, this hallowed place would have succumbed already to the desertification that has destroyed the civilisation of a complete world. Where else can life survive without such covering protection? The answer is simple and straightforward; nowhere. It has all gone in a single generation. All those centuries of worrying about climate change; of damage being done by the human population. Then for no reason ever recognised or understood by all the mighty scientists and best thinkers it was the source of all our warmth, our crops, our weather that was the cause of our demise. Yes sir, our good old Sun of some billions of years decided to flare up and expand its position in the Universe. In doing so, it dumped inconceivable wave after wave of protons, neutrons, accompanied by all kinds of radiation onto this world and just frazzled the whole damn shebang, except……this canopied haven.

    So, I place my feet one in front of the other and make my way forward. Forward is a subjective term because no matter which way I turn, that would be my way forward. I am slowly making my way from what I believe to be the centre of the forest outwards to check how far it is to the perimeter. As I walk, I try to find a thought in my mind as to how I got to the centre. I don’t recall having my camp there. In fact, I don’t recall meeting or talking to any of the elders before I set out. Now that is just confusing. As I walk, I find that the light is less subdued than earlier. I am beginning to see streaks of brightness like solid lightning bolts shafting their way through the canopy and the trees. My vision is fading in conjunction with the increase in light. My head is becoming lighter and lighter. I stumble to my knees. I can’t feel the ground on my knees. I lie down with my face looking straight up at the canopy. The canopy is dissolving as I watch. This is the way it must be. I am the last. Without me, the forest and all its treasures will vanish. Without the last Haunter of the Woods, the forest cannot exist.

    Word count 568
    @ScotsJamaican

    My thanks to K M Buckland who put the word Nemophilist out there on FB and coincided with the prompt being “The Forest.” My whole life is definitely turning kind of X-files at the moment!
    Nemophilist
    Ne`moph´i`list
    n. 1. One who is fond of forest or forest scenery; a haunter of the woods.
    Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by C. & G. Merriam

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  8. They left Rose at the northern edge of the Black Mountains with her hands and feet tied so she couldn’t walk. Her father never looked back. The other men nodded, and patted him on the back, and spoke of how it was best for everyone.

    Rose sat with her hands tied behind her, and her ankles bound. She pulled her knees in, and wished she could figure out how to untie the ropes. “This is not what I wanted for my birthday party.” Her tummy growled, and her head hurt.

    She watched the sun move through the sky, the clouds come and go, and birds as they flew by. She leaned back, and stared at the sky. “I hope Daddy comes back soon, and feeds me, and takes me home.”

    It was hard, but Rose rolled to the top of the hill she was on. She sat up, and looked around. In one direction, the hills grew bigger and turned into mountains with black tops. To either side of her were hills. She’d never been so far from home she couldn’t see it. But she couldn’t see it anywhere. Her father, and the others were gone too. She couldn’t see them anywhere.

    In the opposite direction from the mountains, the hills grew smaller, and she saw a big forest a long way off. It looked better than the mountains behind her. She rolled to her knees, and then managed to stand.

    She started hopping toward the forest. She fell over a few times, but she got the hang of it, and before long was hopping along. It kept her busy, so she didn’t think about being hungry, or thirsty, or alone.

    When it got dark, Rose sat down. Something was horribly wrong. “Why isn’t Daddy coming to get me?”

    Rose cried. “This isn’t what I wanted for my birthday.” It was getting cold and her feet and hands hurt from being tied together. She was thirsty, and hungry. And scared. She heard noises. Scraping, rustling, chirping, popping, clicking, scratching noises. She cried, and cried. “Why did you leave me here, Daddy? Why?”

    That’s when she saw the fairy. The fairy with a broken wing. That fairy smiled, “Did they leave you here? Alone?”

    Rose nodded, “My Daddy left me here.” She wanted to wipe the tears from her cheeks and rub her tired eyes. “He told me to never talk to strangers.”

    “Oh,” the fairy smiled and sat on the ground. “Is he coming back?”

    Rose wanted to say yes. To jump up and down and say, “He’s coming back for me!” But her father hadn’t come back all day. He and the others had gone away. They’d left her, and somehow she knew, “He’s not coming back, is he?”

    “Oh, little one,” the fairy frowned, “I’m so sorry.” The fairy held her and she cried for a long time.

    When Rose stopped crying, the fairy untied Rose, then helped her clean up. The fairy even had clean clothes for Rose. “Look at you! Such a pretty girl!” Then, the fairy pulled a jar of water from her bag, and let Rose drink all she wanted.

    Rose wasn’t afraid of the fairy anymore. The fairy held out her hand, “You need someplace to sleep, don’t you?”

    Rose nodded.

    “My name is Mystica. I live near here, in the forest, with my daughters, Sunshine, Musica, and Dream.” She held her hand out for Rose to take. “What’s your name?”

    “Rose.”

    “What a pretty name!”

    Rose took Mystica’s hand. “I have an extra house you can stay in. And lots to eat. If you want to visit.”

    Rose nodded, “OK.”

    Mystica picked Rose up, carried her on her arm and stepped forward. Rose blinked. The hills were gone. They were beside a lake in the middle of a forest. Three other girls were playing by the edge of the lake. Mystica put Rose down. The other girls rushed over, and hugged her, and welcomed here. Before long, all four of them were playing.

    Mystica smiled. She’d found Rose in time. Another child with the gift of wild magic was safe.

    683 Words
    @LurchMunster

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  1. Pingback: Where My Pulse Lives | Bohemian Nerd

  2. Pingback: The sirens call | AngieTrafford

  3. Pingback: Mid-week Blues Buster, Year 3 week 2 | Project Gemini

  4. Pingback: #MWBB Week 3.02 : A Forest | My Soul's Tears

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