Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 3.08

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 3, Week 8.

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 little on the long side, but it’s an intense listen…

It’s, “Flash”, by Joan As Policewoman. Here’s the link; https://youtu.be/Imx9jpSLwAE

This week’s Judge is… well… it’s me!

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday July 24th.

Now… Go Write!!!


Posted on July 21, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Pattyann McCarthy

    Tripping with Jack

    Sally and Jack, in a faded black Plymouth De Luxe flew through the indigo night, hurtling down the long, barren Rt. 66 somewhere after Albuquerque, New Mexico. The number one hit, ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry’ blared from the radio, while she cried. Open windows blew the parched desert heat against her face; a scarf wrapped her hair, necessities for their trip nestled in the trunk. Jack was content riding alongside, his head out the window, ears and hair streamlined behind him, a posture he adopted since they left Chicago. He pulled his head in and turned to face her, whimpering, nosing her with his cold wet snout.

    “I’m okay Jack, I’m okay boy.”

    He licked her arm, soothing her and stuck his head back out, his mouth pulled back into a grimace, the air pummeling his face. Sally smiled.

    The Mid-Point Café back in Adrian, Texas was their last stop to gas the car and restock supplies in the middle of no-man’s-land.

    An icy bottle of Coca-Cola stood between her thighs, a carton of Marlboro’s lay on the seat, an opened pack in her shirt pocket; ‘Tommy’s shirt,’ it held his scent. She stuck one between her lips, and pressed the dashboard lighter. Lighting it, she exhaled gray smoke curling out the window into the dark behind her. She looked to the passenger side where Tommy sat so often, he wasn’t there. Just an echo of an ethereal memory, a ghost graced the seat; she glanced down at the urn. He’d never sit next to her again, but she could ‘feel’ him on this long journey.

    They shared everything, her and Tommy. They were best friends, and his bright as the sun smile bowled her over. She fell hard for him. He was her first love, her forever after love. He was so tender with her, so gentle, his hearts’ rhythm matching her own. His passion parted her soul like the Red Sea, never holding anything back, and she parted his. They had a joyous marriage for ten years wrapped inside each others love before he got cancer, dying at the age of thirty-three. Now, she’s taking him home to the sea, honoring his wishes. She’s devastated; their time passed so quickly.

    Her thoughts went back . . .

    Lying inside a cocoon of blankets, weakness his shroud, he couldn’t eat or drink anything. He lay helplessly shitting himself and she didn’t mind cleaning him. Watching him day and night as he slept, emaciated, his half-hooded eyes gave her chills. Her husband was disappearing. She felt a black feather fluttering in her heart; she knew his death was near. She crawled onto the bed, spooning behind him, holding him as tight as she dared; she was going to miss him. Sally knew a piece of her soul would die too. He turned and kissed her, she slowly inhaled his breath. “Now your breath will always be inside me my love.” Tears silently fell.

    She thought about the black flag on her car the day of his funeral, fluttering like butterfly wings as they wound their way through Chicago, her heart painted jet black, deep rivers of tears flowing. She lost her soulmate and she was lost in breath-stealing heartache . . .

    As the sun rose, heating the oven of the day to broiling, they barreled through the Painted Desert. Colorful earth-toned striations of mountain and rock stood bold against an azure sky; unusual formations reached towards the feathered clouds above. Sally kept going, stopping only to grab gas whenever she came across a straggling station or to potty Jack, grabbing a quick bite, and sleeping on the side of the highway.

    They passed through Two Guns and an Old West Town in Oatman, Arizona and after days that seemed forever, they finally reached the Pacific.

    Holding Tommy’s urn, Jack sat quietly whimpering by her side. “You’re home Tommy, finally, and I miss you desperately. This journey’s been incredible, and I’ve cried deep rivers, but I’m ready to start healing. Farewell Darling, til we meet again. Let the ocean wash away your soul.” She sprinkled him into the water and fell to her knees as the ocean carried him away.

    WC: 696 @Pattyannmc


  2. Method of Madness
    400 words

    She could have walked away. She kept telling herself that but she knew it was the sort of lie people told themselves when they were in too deep to let go.

    She was as much a prisoner to the situation as if she’d been locked up.

    She wasn’t sure if acknowledging her involvement freed her or made her more of an accomplice in her own demise.

    She looked out across the water as it washed over the hood of her car and started drawing her deeper in.

    She knew she needed to get out, but she also knew it was too late. It had been too late when she’d driven into the rushing water.

    That had been her first mistake.

    No, that wasn’t right it was the final mistake in a series of mistakes.

    She could trace it back to the party, to seeing Geoff and his friends. She could trace it back to the rum and coke that turned into three rum and cokes.

    She could trace it back to the moment she saw Geoff curled up on a couch with Edna, her one time best friend.

    She’d ignored the storm, ignored the warnings, ignored the flashing lights that said ‘don’t go any further.’

    And there was no excuse for what she’d done or tried to do. She shouldn’t have gotten behind the wheel, she shouldn’t have done a million things but she’d done them anyway.

    She sighed and grabbed the arm rest as the front end pointed downward and the car began to take on water.

    She watched in morbid fascination as the headlights lit the area around her.

    She wondered if the lights would go dark before her vision did.

    Part of her wanted to fight, but part of her just wanted it to be over with.

    Was she supposed to let the water in? She tried to open the door but the pressure was too much. She remembered something about equilibrium, and was proud she could remember that much after the rum and cokes.

    Finally, almost too late she began to panic and couldn’t remember what she was supposed to do.

    She pulled at the door, banged on the glass and then screamed.

    As she saw the rescue divers and realized she was in a pool. She felt relief wash through her as she remembered her biggest mistake: there were some serious drawbacks to method acting.


  3. [i]Papillon[/i]

    As they entered the final car, the duo realized that a miracle would have to happen if they were to find a seat.

    “I will hang on to the camera bag.”

    “Yeah, you do that, Buddy!” Ranji snapped while shoving the bulky suitcase on the overstuffed luggage rack. He kept one eye on the camera bag.

    “I can’t believe, I got it,” Buddy gloated.

    “Don’t count your eggs before they’re hatched.” Ranji’s voice had an edge that could have startled anyone, but Buddy maintained his calm. The days when Ranji controlled the operation were about to become a thing of the past. The image trapped in his camera was his ticket to freedom, the release from Ranji’s clutching claws. The three hours of cramped railway compartment was a small price to pay for the flight to the blue skies for the rest of his life. In spite of the bone-crashing swarm of people, his reverie continued uninterrupted until the very last stop. The entire compartment was vacated before Buddy could bring himself to let himself move. The camera bag was attached to his arm like the Humerus bone. It was an integral part of him.

    “Come on!” Ranji was already on the move before Buddy had a chance to inhale the brand new air of Ratnagiri and exhale the stale Mumbai aura. Casting off the old feelings of inferiority was as difficult for Buddy as leaving the family behind. He didn’t know how to navigate the world without the good old shackles anchoring him to the ship of security – Ranji. Ironic — the prey had latched onto the good graces of the hunter. But he had that damning image in his camera, his last chance for salvation. The monsoon chill in Ratnagiri air pierced through his bones, but his grip on the camera never loosened.

    Ranji never worried about the small flies like Buddy. The images in some silly camera could not keep the [i]papillon[/i] like him encaged. He could flutter away in the darkest of the clouds and the brightest of the sun. The lightness of his wings could outfly any hefty load. The spirit of his candor and liberty was unfathomable.

    The afternoon sky soon yielded to the dark ink of the winter night. The duo descended from the railway bridge, and the stony steps led them to the crowded auto-stand. Unbeknownst to Buddy, Ranji motioned the driver of the rickshaw at the far end.

    “Sir,” the charming face of the driver swiftly grabbed the luggage and loaded it inside. “May I,” his smile disarmed Buddy, and he let go of the camera bag. The driver sped off.

    Rani’s smug smile cut through Buddy’s heart. He knew the images in his puerile camera were gone to the incinerator along with his hopes.

    464 words


  4. Pattyann McCarthy

    It’s a great story Pratibha. Loved the ending, tough I feel sorry for Buddy. Poor guy. 😦


  5. Melancholy

    698 words
    by Alicia VanNoy Call

    Her name was spoken only in whispers:
    The Weeping Woman.

    She lived in a cottage deep in the Black Forest, shadowed with a tangle of branches and wide brown leaves. The cottage was sweet once, with red sills and flower boxes. A swept yard. A blue door and a brass knocker. But the sills had fallen and the flower boxes filled with mold. The yard weed rank, littered with fallen twigs. The door peeling. The knocker lost somewhere, green in the tarnished soil.

    And always the weeping.

    It filled the clearing where the cottage leaned. The sound of her sobs threaded its way through the dark trunks, between the vines of ivy and stretched cobwebs. Over fallen logs and into empty fox holes.

    It was said that anyone who ventured near her cottage would fall under the spell of the Weeping Woman and be doomed to carry her melancholy to the end of their days. That part of the forest was avoided, by hunters and woodsmen alike. No child dared venture beyond the boundaries of the village.

    Except for Henry.

    Henry was born and orphaned the same day, so the midwife took him in. She raised him as one of her own, but Henry grew wild and strange, roaming the forest from almost the time he could walk. He did not heed the warnings of his foster mother, or other children in the village. He felt at home among the crooked trees, his feet kicking through drifted piles of leaves. He would hear snatches of a woman’s voice in the forest, and it filled him with longing. Henry would come back to the hearth at suppertime, his stockings full of nettles and his hair full of twigs, his foster mother clucking over him. She made him promise, upon his heart and soul, that he would venture no further than the line of old oaks that bordered the stream.

    Henry promised, but he vowed that as soon as he was old enough, as soon as he was his own man, he would seek out the Weeping Woman and ask her why she wept.

    On the day Henry turned eighteen, he packed a knapsack, kissed his foster mother on the cheek, and ventured into the forest. He walked far that day, following the stream that gleamed and babbled between smooth stones, until he heard the voice. It was faint and sad and he thought it sounded like destiny.

    Henry followed the sound. It grew louder and louder, until his heart ached with sorrow and tears fell from his own eyes. He walked faster and faster, and the forest became darker and darker, until he burst suddenly into the clearing where tilted the cottage of the Weeping Woman.

    Henry stood on the doorstep, and knocked. The weeping did not abate.

    He pushed at the door, which opened with a great creaking. The room was full of shadows and dust, and the sound of infinite sadness. Henry stepped inside and moved from room to room. He found broken furniture, rotted linens, empty crockery. But he didn’t not find the Weeping Woman.

    He called into the darkness. “My lady, I am sorry to hear such sadness. I would do anything to bring you just a moment of comfort.”

    The sound of weeping seemed to rise in pitch and volume, until it was almost a shriek. And then it suddenly fell silent.

    Henry turned in the heavy quiet and there before him stood a woman in white. Her hair was undone, long around her shoulders. Her skin pale, hands and feet bare. Her eyes, red rimmed and shining.

    “My lady,” said Henry. He bowed, cheeks wet with tears.

    “Would you really do anything?” she asked in a voice rough with crying.

    Henry held out a bouquet of violets. The lady did not touch them but smiled.

    “Would you stay with me?” she asked.


    His name is spoken only in whispers, a lad said to have gone to comfort the Weeping Woman. He lives with her in a cottage deep in the Black Forest and it is said that anyone who ventures near will hear only a vast and dreadful silence.


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