Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 3.10

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 3, Week 10.

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.

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.

This week’s song prompt comes to us from an artist taken well before her time.

The tune is, “Say Goodbye”, by the late Eva Cassidy.

Here’s the link; https://youtu.be/QRY00XZk79U

***UPDATE***

I’ve been informed that the above link doesn’t work outside of the US.

Here are alternate links to the tune;

This week’s Judge is a first-time Judge here at the MWBB. Say hello to Angie Trafford, everyone!

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Friday August 7th.

Now… Go write!!!

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Posted on August 4, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on AngieTrafford and commented:
    Go and write me a story 😎

    Like

  2. Eva was watching the gas pump suck her bank account dry. Refilling her tank so she could put more miles between herself and the man she had fallen for. Cassidy had been her first true love, sure she had had flings, stands, dates, hook ups, wild nights but never had she fallen in love. She had fallen hard.
    Car filled, bank account no longer so, Eva got behind the wheel of her old Dodge Neon and aimed herself toward the interstate. In the corner of the lot stood a vanishing icon, an aluminum and glass box with a folding door. When had she last seen a phone booth? She backed the car away from the road and parked by the booth.
    Long minutes in the sun, her windows rolled down, dust and noise from the passing trucks filled her beat up car. Her few belongings gathering a layer of desert sand while she just stared at the booth waiting for the decision to be made.
    At last she opened her door and walked to the phone booth with all the change she could find in her ashtray and under the floor mats. She fed the black and chrome phone all she had and dialed the number she had written on a scrap of paper. It would have been easier to use a cellphone but she had left that behind, she didn’t want to risk having him call her. She didn’t want to risk him not calling her either. Three rings and his voice mail answered.
    “I had to call, I had to say why.” She hesitated, there would be a long section of muffled road noise on the message. “It is the moon, I love you but the moon.” She knew this sounded crazy. “The sky is beautiful, blue and clear…… look, I did it for you, the moon, the moon is full and I…..I change. I love you, I can’t help it. Goodbye.”
    Eva got back in the car, cried for a time, started the engine and drove on, deeper into the desert.
    Cassidy’s phone chimed to announce the presence of a new voice mail. That and the buzzing of flies were the only noise in the blood splattered apartment. Eva had left one night too late.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “Invitation”
    by David Parkland
    a flabby 689 words (sorry!)
    By the way – how do you do italics?
    @ParklandDavid
    #fdhowl

    Ten years after the smoking ban, the walls of the Queensbury Working Men’s Club were still nicotine yellow. Five young lads were paying their respects to the pool table, wordlessly watching the demise of the balls.
    Lights chased up and down the teak-sided machine of dreams like mice on a clock, all flashing watermelons and pound signs, their gaudiness echoed in the pattern of the migraine carpet, designed to render stubborn stains attractive by comparison.
    Pete Maltby admired the bubbles on his glass of Slalom, satisfied that the foaming head was well above the pint line.
    “You get that down you.” Brian said, taking a sip from his own.
    It was early in the day, but the pump lines were clean. No ashy taste at the Club.
    Brian wiped foam from his lip. “How long’s it been now, our kid? Two years?”
    “More like three, I think.”
    “Get away.” Brian ran a hand over his own head, fingertips brushing the micro-short stubble. “Has it really been that long? You should see our Danielle now!”
    And the phone was on the bar, so that Pete could admire the beaming, blonde and toothless face of his niece as she beamed from the screen.
    “Show us your marching, Danielle.” Brian’s voice crackled from the handset.
    Danielle fetched a little plastic mop from her play-set; held it out like the sword of truth. She stomped dumpy feet and made a frowny face.
    “What do we say when we’re marching, Danielle?”
    “Send dem back! Inna Yoonyun Jack!”
    Brian’s giggles in the video echoed those of his real-life self. “I’ll need to make sure she don’t do that when she goes to school next month! Can you imagine?” he wiped a tear from his eye. “Half the bloody teachers wear scarves on their heads. It’s like Baghdad.”
    Pete took a drink, keeping the smile fixed tight. Bloody good pint, though.
    “Dad’ll be glad you’re back. Mum’ll do her nut! You know what she’s like -Oh I’ve not cleaned!”
    The pool crew fed the table again, and balls collided in a joyful clatter.
    “I’m not going home.” Pete put down his glass. “I just came to see you.”
    “You’re joking?” Dad’ll be in later. Greg’s on his way. It’s gonna be like the old days – the warriors back together!” He raised a hand. Fingers outstretched; jaw proud.
    The Salute.
    “We need you back more than ever, our kid. There’s a storm coming. Us against them.”
    Pete watched his brother take a drink, fumbling at his pocket. “Let’s get a smoke.”
    They left the beers on the table, pushing past the community notice board with the poster advising people to call a number for confidential advice about drugs.
    Daytime traffic passed blindly by as Pete drew two Ravens from his pack of ten. Funny how being outside always made them taste better.
    Brian dissolved in smoke for a second. “So what’s going on?”
    It took Pete a long time to speak. “I came to say goodbye.”
    “You what?”
    “A lot’s happened in three years. I’m getting married.”
    The smile sparked in Brian’s eyes and lit up his whole face. “You’re getting what? You sly dog!”
    Pete didn’t smile back. Say it. Just say it.
    He took a breath.
    It didn’t take.
    Another drag on the cigarette.
    Just say it.
    “I’ve got a picture.”
    Brian’s face was alive. “Come on, then!”
    “There’s an invite as well. It’s only for you though.” Pete produced an envelope. “Open it when I’ve gone, yeah? My mobile number’s in there as well.”
    Frowning, Brian accepted it. His name was written in ornate copper plate.
    “After you’ve gone?”
    But Pete had already stubbed his cigarette out.
    “It’s up to you, Brian” he said. “If I don’t hear back from you, I’ll understand. I just wanted you to know why I left.”
    He’d timed it badly. Shame to waste a good pint. Bloody good lager, it was.
    But here was the path in front of him. And the road, and his car.
    And the keys finding the ignition. And the radio sparking to life.
    Four hours to back London.
    Where Shaheen would be waiting.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Shadow Dance

    The tavern was packed full of sweaty bodies; all male except the bar staff; all waiting for the lights to dim and the announcer to call the name of the next act.

    Robin fought his way to the bar. Ordinarily, he would have avoided traveling into town at all; especially in the Disunited States of all places, but on this occasion, it was an unavoidable necessity.

    He hailed the barkeep and pulled out his sketchbook. ‘Seen her?’ he asked turning a pencil drawing of a sixteen year old Rayven toward the perplexed woman.

    ‘She’ll not buy from someone she don’t know, mister,’ the barkeep said, pushing the sketchbook back toward Robin.

    ‘So you have seen her.’

    ‘Well I’ve got eyes; of course I’ve seen her! She’s here near’nuff every damn night. Brings me good business, she does. You’d better not be here to cause trouble.’

    ‘No, ma’am, I just knew her years ago.’

    ‘You sounds foreign, that’s no accent I’ve never heard, not like hers neither. And if you wants my advice, you’re asking for trouble dressing like that and coming in here,’ the barkeep said nodding at Robin’s attire.

    ‘Will she be here tonight?’

    The woman gave a huff and nodded to the stage. ‘She’s on next,’ she said before moving to serve another patron.

    Slipping the sketchbook back into his coat Robin turned as the lights dimmed and a feminine silhouette moved on stage.

    ‘Good evening, gentlemen,’ she said in a soft, sultry tone that kicked Robin’s heart rate up and shot the crowd of rowdy men into a frenzy of wolf-whistles, cheers and applause.

    Rayven. He hadn’t seen her in four years — not since he had been ordered to leave her; to stop interfering where he ought not — and though her voice was a little deeper and a little richer, it held no less power over him than it had on the last day he had been with her.

    ‘What is it to be tonight, gentlemen? Something fast and hard?’ her voice carried a smile.

    The crowd laughed in response, some cheered.

    ‘Or something slow and sensual?’ she asked.

    ‘A bit of both!’ someone shouted, and Rayven chuckled in response.

    A pure violin melody ripped through the atmosphere, so invigorating and intoxicating it had the crowd transfixed. Rayven’s musical prowess had always been mesmerising, though never in the literal sense — until now.

    As she played, lights began to circle the room illuminating and dimming in rhythmic response to the melody. The electro-magnetic illumination grew to the point that it added a buzzing backbeat to the violin as well as sparkling and throbbing light that enticed beating hearts to match the tempo.

    And in a flash of electric light, he finally saw her — wavy locks of long onyx hair tousled and wild; dressed in places with coloured beads, vibrant fabrics, and of course, inky-black raven feathers. Her skin was sun-kissed beneath the inscribed-casting tattoos that sealed her elemental powers, shown off between her short shorts and knee-high metal-plated buckled boots, and above her buckled leather underbust corset and sleeveless white barely-fastened shirt that showed of every millimetre of her full cleavage.

    She spun and pranced as she played, dancing to her own intoxicating tune; stepping off the stage and dancing her way through the crowd to Robin.

    Her appearance shimmered and split as the music changed key and tempo. The copies danced away to each entertain a section of the crowd distracting all from the coming conversation.

    Rayven lowered her violin and regarded him, anger clear in her expression. ‘You left me.’

    ‘I had to.’

    ‘No. You didn’t.’

    ‘I was ordered—’

    ‘You were a coward, Robin! You left me to fend for myself when I should never have had to.’

    ‘I’m sorry.’

    ‘Why are you here?’

    ‘The Emperor… your husband, wants you home. ’

    ‘Bully for him.’

    ‘Rayven—’

    ‘Don’t Rayven me! I’m not going. They can’t make me and neither can you. Do yourself a favour, and don’t come looking for me again, because next time… you won’t find me.’

    The melody faded, as did the fake image of her that stood before him, leaving an emptiness in the room and an ache in his heart.

    700 words
    @KarenGr4y

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pattyann McCarthy

    The Road Only Bends for the Mountain

    I had to leave you; I couldn’t stay. You never knew why, and you never will, though this distance makes you feel closer. I long to reach out and call you; tell you why I left. I know that’s not possible, and even if it were, you wouldn’t hear me. You wouldn’t hear the sound of my voice telling you how much I loved you; how much I love you still. You, wouldn’t, hear me. Electrical buzzing would fill your ears, or static crackling on the line masquerading as my voice. No, it isn’t possible, and I know my heart would break when you’d hang up on me.

    The striated sky is a perfect shade of blue as I travel the loneliest highway, the road stick-straight for eons, mountains ahead in the far distance, standing cadet blue against the brilliant azure. It seems I will never reach them as they taunt and tease with their vitality, while I have none. The hovering orb, lemony-yellow hangs overhead, though I’ve no need to cover my ice-crystal eyes. It does not bake my skin to angry red. Undulating deserts spread around me. Waves of heat flow like waters across drifting sands, its scorching fingers searching for my cells, pull away with nothing. It’s apt for me to be here on this lonely highway as I journey towards a destination I haven’t knowledge of, the top down, and wind blowing through my hair, heat endeavoring to warm my pale body, even though icy crystals invade my flesh. Unmoving water stands in my blue-black veins, vivid in their frozen boldness against my luminosity. I’m cold, so cold as I barrel unseen through unfamiliar terrain. I worry the intense heat of this kingdom I travel through is my destination, though if it must be, I am powerless to fight it; I know I’ve sinned.

    I think of you as I travel. I need not pay mind to the road for another road seized and swallowed me an age ago, while I drove before, trying to reach you, or so it feels an age. That night was so cold, leaving my husbands’ side to be with you. Anxious and wanting, I craved to be next to you, skin-to-skin, embracing in our passion. Yes, I was excited to be with you, as my car slid through crystalline streets blanketed in downy flakes of white. I can’t imagine how you must’ve felt when I didn’t come to you. How long did you wait for me? How much time has passed since then, I wonder. It feels as though I’ve been travelling unendingly.

    It was sudden, so sudden; I hardly knew it happened. You were in my thoughts then, too. That briefest second, crossing an unseen barrier, was terrifying and exhilarating. Two conflicting emotions raged through my soul in that profound moment that you will never hear of, never know. All you will understand is that I left you, alone, not ever knowing why. Not ever knowing what happened to us, to me. There were so many promises in our kisses, so much passion in our lovemaking. You made it impossible for me to stay with my husband. I wish I could’ve told you I’d made my choice; I was leaving him. You must think I stayed since I never came to you, and it breaks my heart that you’ll never know. Sadness crushes my chest bones that I can’t tell you, I chose you. It was always you. We were meant for each other, I know that. My choices had taken the promise of us, what we could’ve been and thrown them to the wayside. If I’d only listened to you and waited until the streets were clear to come to you, ‘we’ would still be; ‘I’ would still be. I wish you could know I didn’t choose to leave you.

    I travel alone as I finally reach the mountains that were ahead of me for ages. I will miss you as I leave my purgatory behind. The clouds thin the higher I go; the light brightens and the road has finally bent amidst the mountains, as I see where I’m heading, forgiven.

    @PattyannMc
    WC: 700 on the nose!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Unwise Love

    It’s a strange form of torture. It’s completely voluntary, after a fashion anyway. Then again I guess if I could stop it I would. I guess if you could stop it you would as well. But as is, we just keep at it. After years and years, and miles and miles we still do this every now and then. I can go ages without even wanting to call you. But if I’m honest I don’t go 24 hours without thinking of you at some point. I guess if nothing else that proves somethings not quite right about it all. I mean it’s been what? Twenty Five years since it ended. You got married and divorced, I got married and still am, though some days I wonder if I’m being fair to him. But when I can’t go any longer without…oh hell I don’t know what it really is I’m doing when I call you, but I guess when you boil it down I think I’m still trying to explain why I left. I think I’m hoping one of these days I’ll finally accept that it was the right thing to do. I know it was, and still is, the right thing. But knowing and accepting are not the same thing at all. Even though I can’t seem to truly let you go I can, and do, see you more clearly than I ever did when were together. Maybe that’s why I do it. Now I can clearly see your broken places that you still refuse to acknowledge so that all you can do is keep on marinating them in lies and sex and bitterness over slights committed by young girls so long ago. You used to wear your anger and resentment like armor but now, now you seem completely baffled by how life has shaken out for you. Yet the truth is that chair you are sitting in, you built it from the ground up so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to be surprised by how it’s shaped.

    What I can’t figure out is why I can’t shake you out of my heart. Except I guess as Patrick Rothfuss wrote, “In many ways, unwise love is the truest love.” This would have to be described as an unwise love that’s for sure, but in the end that’s the thing, it IS love. Even knowing all that I know, including that even if we both were single I’d never let you into my life again, for some reason I can’t banish you from my heart. This love carved a little room out for itself there and it just won’t go.

    So once again, I pick up the phone and dial your number.

    “Hi!” I can hear the smile in your voice and I feel that love, in that little room in my heart, start to flutter.

    “Hi.” You can hear the smile in my voice as well.

    From that point forward the specific words don’t really matter. Because in the end they’re just different ways to say the same things over and over:

    I left because I couldn’t breathe with your fear crushing my spirit,

    I left because my fear was making you hate me,

    I left because we kept breaking off pieces of each other trying to fit,

    I left because we were killing each other,

    I left because I love you,

    “Good bye”.

    @MissBliss
    Words: 557 not including title or Rothfuss quote 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. She saw him walk into the bar with his friends and ignored the flutter in her stomach as she finished polishing the glass she had in her hand, adding it to the shelf behind her. Would he recognise her? Part of her hoped he would, part of her hoped he wouldn’t. Either way he was heading to the bar and she was the only one to serve him.

    She turned as he arrived at the counter, and his reaction was immediate: frozen, mouth half open about to give her his order.

    “Hey Greg.”

    “Melissa! Shit.”

    She gave him a small smile. “What can I get you?”

    He blinked, like a visual stutter, and said, “They’re looking for you. They’re worried sick.”

    She sighed and gave him a resigned look. “I finish in fifteen minutes. I can talk then if you like, but for now I need your drinks order.”

    He seemed a little shell-shocked by her response, and gave her the order, but when she handed him the change, he said, “Come over when you’re done, we need to talk.”

    She watched him rejoin his friends, catching his eye a couple of times as he checked to see if she was still there. She finished up her afternoon shift, looking forward to being off her feet and not facing the hordes of tourists coming into tonight. With the holiday season warming up, it was getting busy in this little corner of Spain and it wouldn’t be long before the days would be the same as the nights, just one long party – except for those working.

    She poured a drink and came out from behind the bar, heading straight towards him. “Shall we sit outside? I need some air.”

    He was ready, and stood up immediately glass in hand, following her out.

    As they settled into their seats on the terrace, she asked the question that was foremost in her mind, “How do you know anyone’s looking for me? I shut down all my social media accounts when I left.”

    “Johnny PM’d me a few months after you left, on the off chance you’d been in touch and said something.”

    “Why would I do that?”

    Greg shrugged. “It was a shot in the dark. He clearly knew you used to PM me.”

    Melissa smiled. “Johnny knew everything. Him and Stacey are the only two I really miss.”

    Greg pulled a face. “What you don’t even miss your own children?!”

    Melissa’s smile dropped. “I’m sure they’re fine. It’s been three years. They will have adjusted by now.”

    Greg gently shook his head. “I didn’t understand it then, and I don’t now. Why did you go? Don’t you feel any remorse?”

    “Remorse? I didn’t commit a crime; I left my husband.”

    “But you hurt so many people!” Greg was angry. Melissa found that incredulous.

    “What do you care?”

    “I always cared. You knew that.”

    “Did I? How? From the one liners I’d get in response to several PMs?”

    “You had marital issues, I wasn’t getting in the middle of that.”

    “Exactly – so you do why I left.”

    Greg faltered. Melissa took the opportunity to sip her drink. Greg nursed his, but from his expression there was more to come.

    “Tell me Greg, what is it you want to say to me?”

    “I think you should call him.”

    “Who?”

    “Your husband.”

    “Why?”

    “To let him know you’re alive and well.”

    “And how will that help?”

    “He’ll know you’re okay, and the kids will too.”

    “I repeat, and how will that help – if anything it’ll make it worse.”

    “How?”

    “Hi Rich, hi kids, just calling to say I’m okay and alive, but I’m still not coming back.”

    “But it’ll give them closure at least.”

    “No it won’t, it’ll open old wounds.”

    “Don’t you want to see your kids again?”

    “Do I deserve to? They’re better off without me. I wasn’t making them happy – I wasn’t making anyone happy!”

    “You don’t know that.”

    “Oh yes I do.” There was an awkward pause. “Tell me Greg is that all you wanted to say?”

    He looked at her and murmured, “No. I want you to know I missed you too, and I was worried sick too.”

    Words 698
    @PurpleQueenNL

    Like

  8. *bleep* Missed word! GAH!

    “Exactly – so you do know why I left.”

    Like

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