Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 3.05

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 3, Week 5.

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 comes to us from the Department of Art Imitating Life (or vice versa). The tune is the cruelly ironic, “Rehab”, by the late, great Amy Winehouse.

Here’s the link; https://youtu.be/KUmZp8pR1uc

This week’s Judge is author and ace word-wrangler… Cara Michaels!

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

Now… Go write!!!


Posted on June 30, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Word Count – 461


    He was built like a tower, tall and strong, his hands broad yet long. If you split him into an apartment block the lift doesn’t quite reach the top floor, his mind a closed door.

    His dreams are in the basement his thoughts always low, he has many times reached the depths of depravity, no deeper could he go.

    I have been assigned to be his mentor in this apartment called jail, the walls he tries to derail. If his block had an address it would be Mentally Deranged lane, he feels no pain.

    He tries to smile but it doesn’t beguile. It’s shaped like a sneer its coldness jeers. I’m meek in his presence but fascinated by his essence. It’s unfortunate that although not everything fits well, his parts don’t really gel, women fall under his spell. I find that he gives me palpitations, and would lose my job for him no hesitation. I think that I can change him my common sense dim.

    We’ve had conjugal visits that no-one has approved, the apartment block has moved. He brings me to heights never before reached, security has been breeched. I approve all his mail and hover over fine detail. He gets what I approve of not the ladies swearing undying love.

    We plan what we’ll do when he is free I’m already breaking the binds of matrimony. My divorce is looming the costs booming. I’m mesmerised and leading the way to my soul’s demise.

    I’ve reported that I think he was temporarily insane and therefore now that he’s well to keep him locked up there’s no gain. Lauded for my credentials my lift would go to Suite Presidential.

    His release date is set, the prospects make me wet. On the blessed day I await with bated breath, hidden from colleagues view, can’t show myself, not yet. He walks through the gate and no emotions does he demonstrate. I wait until he gets some distance from the prison and toot the horn with precision. Three beeps we had agreed, when we were planting the seed. His steps quicken as I beckon.

    About two feet from the car he collapses I couldn’t tell how much time lapses. Blood spurts from his shirt he is mortally hurt. Standing there triumphant is a dad in his daughters photos clad. He is avenged her killing to go to jail he is willing. He salutes me with glee I fall to my knees in misery.

    I now reside in hell no-one rings my bell. I owned up to everything reality stings. Sacked in disgrace I hide my face. He haunts my days and nights I write my plight. It’s become a best seller, its reviews stellar. It brings me no enjoyment, I pen my torment.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jaxson sat on his usual bar stool as he ended another day of existence on the miserable planet Earth in his usual way. Drinking himself to oblivion.

    “It’s a good thing you live a couple blocks from here, and walk home every night.” Lexi was his bartender, at least he thought of her that way.

    “Another one, Lexi. I can still remember what I did at work today.” Work had sucked, but it always sucked.

    “Another fat white dude scream at you?”


    Lexi laughed, shrugged, “White people. I tell you.”

    Two years earlier was when the last of the three kids went to college, and he’d kissed another $60,000 bye-bye, and watched the day he could retire drift further toward the horizon.

    A week after his baby girl started classes on the far side of the state his wife of 25 years told him, “Get out.” She’d had enough. The romance was long dead, the love too. She’d waited for the youngest to get out of the house, and then filed for divorce.

    She got the house, of course. And the car, cats, and furniture.

    He was too old to fight with her, so he moved out, and wound up in a single wide trailer in a park filled with Latinos on the edge of town. With plastic dishes, a pint-sized fridge, one TV (but no cable), a sofa, which served as his bed, and a tiny bathroom that consisted of a shower, a sink, and a toilet, all of which surrounded a 2 square foot slab of vinyl flooring.

    Way he figured it, he was a quarter million in debt, and would have to work until he was 243 to pay it off.

    Lexi’s was a gift from the universe, and he knew it. A bar a couple of blocks from the trailer park. She’d told him she opened it for the Latinos. “They got no place of their own.”

    “You’re a good one, Lexi.”

    She set another glass on the bar, “You keep telling me that.” She propped on her elbows, “You gonna listen to them? Get help somewhere? Dry out?”

    Jaxson chugged half the glass, savored the burn in his throat, “Nope. Not going. Not getting help.”

    “You that set on dying?”

    “Yeah.” He would have smiled, but didn’t remember how, “Gonna drink myself to oblivion. Then let them bastards collect on that debt!”

    “You’re a sick bastard, Jaxson, you know that.”

    It was 0100 hours when he staggered to the toilet in his trailer and puked. Puking didn’t bother him so much. The blood he coughed up every morning, that bothered him.

    “Not going to rehab. Going to drink myself to death.” He stretched out on his sofa, still wearing his clothes. “Then let them bastards collect that debt!” He passed out.

    That night, he had the same dream he always had. The one where he wondered why he was still alive, and why the universe wouldn’t let him die.

    490 Words


  3. Intervention

    Though it had been less than five years since Volodya and the rest of the clan had left Amalia behind, it seemed far longer. In truth, such a span was barely an eye blink for a vampire. It had been five very momentous years in which her kind as well as many other paranormal species had finally emerged from the shadows of legend and into the chaos of the world at large.

    This, of course, meant certain compromises. Vampires were required to register their existence with all governmental and law enforcement agencies. Additionally, there were issues with the vampiric dietary preferences. From science came relief in the form of synthetic blood products proven to allow subjects to survive and thrive without need for human victimization.

    As the leader of her clan, Volodya made the decision they would renounce their anonymity and join the greater society they were being offered acceptance by. Met by vehement protests from Amalia and a handful of others, the elder vampire was adamant his decision was in the best interests of all. Having been undead for nearly four hundred years, he spoke of times when their only choice had been to cower and hide or be driven to extinction. It was far past time, he maintained, to end their exile and live within the acceptable bounds of the modern world.

    This was a decision Amalia could not, would not abide by. In all fairness, the fact she was a vampire at all owed to her rebellious nature. Having snuck out to an after-hours club in the city, she had been bitten and turned by Volodya on her way back home. Freed from her repressive upbringing, Amalia reveled in the freedom her vampiric lifestyle provided. She gloried in the strength, the invulnerability, the heightened awareness provided by her altered state. Ironically, she now felt more alive…more vital than she ever had while she was still among the living.

    It was those enhanced senses that drew her from her reverie in a flood of overwhelming input. Concentrating…reaching outward with her mind…she could scarcely believe her perceptions. Despite her warnings, they had returned? She could smell the unmistakable scent of her father’s cologne. She could hear the hushed voices of her mother as well as her brother, David.

    That they were here, in her inner sanctum could only mean it was because Billy had allowed them in and that gave her pause. That she must punish him for this transgression was not in question. That she had any desire to do so was. Her relationship with him was…complicated. He was her confidante, her sometimes lover, her servant and, yes, the protector of her immortal body while she slept. What he, most certainly was not was “some verkakte Renfield” as her father had so unwisely described him during his prior visit. She had narrowly avoided tearing him limb from limb that night.

    To her Billy had grown to be so much more. He was possibly the only being, human or undead, who understood her fierce need chart her course in an uncertain world with no hand on the tiller but her own. He was the only one who accepted her for who and what she was with an unwavering sense of certainty that she, reluctantly, admitted she simply could not do without. He was, in every sense of the term, “her man” and this infraction of her cardinal rules disturbed her greatly.

    But there would be time to deal with his transgressions later. For now, she must focus on her misguided family and this, their latest albeit if she had her way their final, intervention. She would not surrender herself to one of the Paranormal Adjustment Centers. She would not kowtow to the self-appointed guardians of “proper” societal behavior. She could and would face the future in her own way and on her own terms. Of that she must, somehow, once and for all convince them.

    Resisting the urge to burst in upon them with talons and fangs extended and crimson eyes blazing, she glided silently up the stairs. It was going to be a very unpleasant day for one who was only at her best at night, she mused.

    700 words


  4. Annabelle giggled as she stood up, and attempted to make her way through the crowd that seemed to have magically formed in the tiny club. How long had she been here? She didn’t know anymore … and didn’t really care. She pushed through a group of guys and staggered as one pushed back. Her laugh was cut short by the pain of her bony hip hitting a pillar. She growled and shook a fist at the pillar, causing the guys to laugh. She laughed with them and continued to move towards the toilets.

    She fixed her eyes on the door and made a beeline for it. She remembered being twirled around at one point, and she was sure someone put a hand up her skirt, but before she knew it she was staring into the dimly lit mirror in the toilets, trying to focus on her reflection.

    She ignored the bags under her eyes, and how her cheeks had sunken into her jaw line, while she attempted to tidy up the lipstick that had smeared during the last line of coke. She wasn’t sure if she improved it, but it wasn’t important; what was, was the rock she had just scored. She pulled it out of the tiny pocket in her tiny skirt, and held it up between thumb and forefinger. She licked her lips. This could finally do it!

    She reached into her other pocket for her little foldable pipe and lighter. Then, taking a surreptitious look round the toilets to make sure no one had seen her, she lurched into one of the cubicles and banged the door shut, fumbling with the lock to secure it.

    She pushed the little rock into the pipe bowl, imagining the rush before she’d even brought the lighter up to it, and fell back onto the toilet seat once she did.

    When she woke, Annabelle cracked open an eye, but immediately closed it again due to a harsh white light that glared down from the ceiling. She tried to move her hand up to shield them, but found it tied down. Another peep revealed wrist straps tying them to the side a metal bed.

    “Morning Annabelle. How are you feeling?”

    She didn’t recognise the voice, and wasn’t going to risk opening her eyes again – the pain of the light was too much. She tried to ask her own question, but gagged instead.

    “Easy honey, don’t try to speak, we need to take you intubation tube out first. Come, help me sit you up and breathe out hard as I pull, okay?”

    An arm came round her back and Annabelle felt herself being lifted.

    “One, two three, and blow hard!”

    Annabelle did, feeling something hard drag along her throat, reducing her to a coughing fit.

    “It’s okay honey, drink this and it’ll feel better.”

    This time Annabelle opened her eyes and squinted at a paper cup being handed to her. She took a sip and managed to croak, “Where am I?”

    “You’re in the Mount View rehabilitation hospital.”

    “How did I get here?”

    “You were brought in by your family after you were resuscitated by paramedics two days ago.”


    “Yep. You OD’ed I understand. You were found unconscious in a toilet in a club. For a while they weren’t sure they would make it. You’re lucky to be here.”

    Annabelle groaned.

    “You hurting, honey?”

    Annabelle nodded, a tear running down her face.

    “Where’s the pain?”

    Annabelle tapped her chest on the left, and mumbled, “My heart.”

    The nurse checked her pulse. “Is it a sharp pain?”

    “It’s broken.”

    “What?” The nurse was looking at her watch, counting.

    “They know I didn’t want to come here, but they brought me anyway.”

    “They care about you, honey.”

    “No, they don’t. They only care about their ‘good name’. Daddy’s little girl can’t be seen to be on drugs.”

    More tears tumbled down Annabelle’s face. She looked down at herself, the bag of bones she had become, and then at the wrist braces holding her. If only they had left her just a little big longer, it would be over. Now she had to start all over again.

    Words 692


  5. – Rehab Redux –

    Ian had picked a hell of a week to attempt sobriety. The trouble he’d sown had finally grown strong enough to cage him. Without warning, every terrible thing he’d ever done came crashing over him, engulfing him, drowning him. He prayed to take the punishment on himself but that was a bargain not even the devil himself could strike. His moment of reckoning was at hand.

    The overly solicitous nursing staff and the ingratiating familiarity of the doctors drove him mad. He craved anonymity, wished to escape the prying lenses of the parasites who faithfully recorded his every faltering move in this unfamiliar territory.

    A doctor came to hover in the doorway. “I know this is a terrible imposition, Raven, but my son will never forgive me if I don’t ask for your autograph.”

    Ian staunched his animosity long enough to scrawl his signature across the paper the doctor indicated on his clipboard.

    Another doctor came into the room. “Raven, … ”

    Ian corrected him. “It’s Halsey. Ian Halsey.”

    “Of course, sir. The next twenty-four hours are most critical. If he makes it through that, then we can begin to consider what course of treatment to follow.”

    “Your staff has been standing around gawking at me for an hour while my brother is fighting for his life. I want a specialist called in or I want him moved to another hospital.”

    “Mr. Halsey, he’s receiving the best possible care right here.”

    “Is he? Or is it that your hospital receives enormous publicity while I’m here?”

    The doctor blanched. “If there’s nothing else, … ”

    As soon as the doctor left the room, someone else came to stand in the doorway. He looked up with a grimace.

    A young woman waited for his acknowledgement. “My name is Daryl Aragón. I’m with the … ”

    He came to his feet, fists clenched. “You’re another media whore. Get the hell out before I call security.”

    She held her ground. “I’m not here representing the paper. I came to offer my help.”

    He changed his tack. “Come here.”

    She remained in the doorway. He walked to her with his best swagger and opened the buttons of her blouse. She didn’t flinch during his inspection.

    Her fingers refastened the buttons without fumbling. “I’m not wearing a microphone, Mr. Halsey. If you’re done with the dramatics, let’s step into the hall to talk.”

    “You have sixty seconds, right here, right now.”

    She handed him a business card. “This hospital has no empathy for substance abusers but this clinic specializes in … ”

    “My brother is NOT a junkie!”

    “Maybe not, but my brother was. He had a habit and died right here while the staff deliberated what ‘course of treatment’ to assign him.”

    Ian studied the business card. “This clinic, they’ll treat him right?”

    “With all the dignity he deserves. They’re a private facility with the best equipment and top notch doctors. And as a bonus, the grounds are locked down, so you won’t be subjected to a media feeding frenzy every time you step into the corridor or go to the cafeteria.”

    He nodded. “How am I going to get him out of here without the media crush?”

    “After your behavior, I don’t owe you any more favors but I have an idea that might work as the perfect distraction, if you’re willing to sacrifice your newly restored reputation.”

    Thirty minutes later, a media feeding frenzy broke out on the front lawn of the hospital. From out of the midst came a small woman with a microphone. “My name is Daryll Arragon. I am speaking to you tonight from the DiSalvo Hospital. We’ve confirmed that Ian Halsey, known as ‘Raven’ to music fans, was admitted here just over an hour ago after a near fatal drug overdose. Looks like the bad boy rocker is headed back to rehab.”

    While a riotous question and answer session followed, a private security team loaded the Halsey brothers into an unmarked van and removed them from the hospital premises. Neither god nor the devil had been able to get Halsey out of a hard spot but someone with the proper motivation and a little savvy had.

    – – – – –
    @bullishink / 697 words


  1. Pingback: Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 3.05 | susanburns1968

  2. Pingback: #MWBB 3.05 : Rehab | My Soul's Tears

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