Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 3.12

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Year 3, Week 12.

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.

***Except… since I fell asleep before posting the MWBB last night we’re going to extend the deadline to MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on SATURDAY***

This week’s tune comes to us from the glorious 1980s. It’s a happy little tune called… “The Bitterest Pill (I Had to Swallow) by The Jam.

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

This week’s Judge is… me.

The challenge opens the moment you read this post and runs through MIDNIGHT on SATURDAY AUGUST 22nd.

Now… Go Write!!!!!


Posted on August 18, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Bouncing Back
    643 words

    As Ian paused to check his tuning, he studied the audience around him. It was hard to read their faces in the dimness beyond the spotlight, but he was sure he’d caught a glimpse of Iona.

    He smiled, as thoughts of Iona McPherson came to him, he found he wanted to kick himself. Iona ‘Roberts’ was a married woman, married to his, former, best friend.

    He had wished them every happiness, and even played at their wedding but it had been too hard to see them together. If things had been different, if he had been the one running five minutes late— he’d have met Iona first…

    He sighed and focused on his guitar. Digging up old memories in the middle of a gig was the wrong thing to do. The people had come here to feel good— not suffer through his collection of melancholy ballads.

    He touched his guitar and felt a song all but well out of the strings and he had no choice but to play along.

    For the next half an hour he played rollicking, hard rocking, happy tunes until he ended with the tenderest ballad he knew.

    As the cheers died down, he want over to the bar, picked up a hard cider and sat down as the jukebox took over his duties.

    He’d almost forgotten about Iona until he found her sitting across the table from him.

    “Iona!” He called, pushing away the thoughts of her with Fitz. He stood and gave her a hug and a cursory kiss on the cheek. He signaled the bartender to bring him another hard cider and studied the woman he’d loved so long ago. It seemed almost childish and petty as he realized how much he’d missed her.

    “What brings you to the Dregs?” He looked around to see if he could spot Fitz, but stopped when he felt a gentle hand on his arm, Iona shook head.

    “He’s not coming,” she told him, her expression hurt and lost.

    “Iona?” He let his performer’s facade drop as he took her hand in his.

    “You’re hands are cold… what’s happened?”

    “I came home early…”

    Her voice was so soft he could barely hear her and even as he fought to hear, he knew he didn’t want to hear.

    “I wanted to surprise him but…” she paused then he felt his heart race. “He wasn’t alone.”

    Ian sighed and patted her hand. “Have you talked to him?”

    “About what? How he cheated on me? How he lied to me?”

    He nodded, and after an awkward silence he said. “Is there anything I can do?”

    “You were his best friend… did you know he would do something like that?”

    Ian sighed. “I didn’t know he would. I only know he could… hell anyone can given the right justification.”

    She frowned then snorted. “At least you didn’t say reason.”

    “Reason? No… this is something you justify… make excuses for to tell yourself you’re not a bad person.”

    “You think I should go back to him?”

    Ian shook his head. “I think you should talk to him… I think you should finish this one way or the other.”


    “I’m not saying forgive him— I’m saying find what you need to move on… with him or without him… you need to know your path.”

    He felt his heart race as she studied him, her hand warm in his.

    “I bet you wouldn’t do something that stupid.”

    “You’d be surprised…” he answered.

    Iona gave him a dubious look. “What’s the worst you’ve ever done?”

    He chuckled and gave her hand a gentle squeeze. “I let the girl of my dreams walk out of my life with a man who would later cheat on her…”

    She nodded sympathetically then froze.

    When he met her gaze he realized… she wasn’t rebounding… she was heading in the right direction.


  2. We all just sat there in complete silence when the news got broken. Nobody wanted to be the first person to say anything, just in case it turned out to be the wrong thing totally. Looking back on it now, I don’t even think there was a wrong thing that we could have said. The fact remained that, nobody wanted to be the first person to say anything at all.
    The silence stretched until it became unbelievably uncomfortable. The doctor coughed slightly and adjusted the clipboard that he was holding. “I am sorry that these were not the words you were wanting to hear, but this is not the worst I could have said. I am actually very confident that, with the prescribed treatment, we will be able to aid Colin to make a full recovery.”
    “Thank you, Doctor,” I mumbled as I reached for my husband’s hand. I never thought I would be in the room where I was told that my young son had leukaemia. The doctor had mentioned that they believed it was treatable, but that meant giving my baby boy chemotherapy which is something I did not want to happen. I was well aware the chemotherapy would make him feel very ill, and it was not something that I wanted to watch him go through.
    Mind you, the other option was much worse.
    My husband, Gary, looked at me pointedly before he looked back at the doctor. “We don’t really have a choice in this, do we?”
    “Of course you have a choice, and whatever your decision will be it will be respected within this hospital. If you do not wish to proceed with any treatment then we will provide as much support for you as we can in what time Colin may have left.”
    I shook my head. “We can’t just give up on him.” My fingernails bit into Gary’s hand as I thought about the future. “I just hope that he understands that we are making him feel worse in order to make him feel better.”
    “In my not be as bad as you think,” Gary stated as he stood up to shake the doctors hand. “Thank you anyway for seeing us and explaining everything.”
    “When would you like us to proceed?”
    “No sense in delaying this, so what is the quickest that you can set this up?”
    “We can start this afternoon.”
    I grabbed at the desk as I bolted to my feet. I was suddenly in a panic, because I had so much to explain to Colin before everything started. How much was I going to tell him? There were literally no answers to the questions in my head. “That will be fine,” I stammered out as I made my way from the room and back towards the ward that contained my son.
    Days turned into weeks, and then I was sitting at my son’s bedside as they started the second round of chemotherapy. As they handed him the tablet that was going to help with the nausea he turned to me and grimaced. “This is the bitterest pill.”
    I smiled through the tears that had just sprung up behind my eyes. I looked away from him as I thought that he was wrong and the bitterest pill was actually mine because I had to watch him suffer.

    would count: 556


  3. The Bitter Pill

    You should’ve been more careful, she repeats to herself again, but she is too far at this point and retracing her steps would be ludicrous. The leaves crunch under her feet. Some swirl away in pirouettes. A rabbit scurries out of a hole covered by the fallen leaves disturbing the swirling pattern, but her stride remains unbroken.

    Roger must be back now at her mother’s place. When will he discover it? What would he do? Brushing aside all the unnerving thoughts, she pushes along. She remembers the feel of Roger’s nimble fingers brushing her face, his dark eyes full of smile. You must forget that, she reminds herself. The path lies ahead of her. The trees and the critters would soon be out of sight.

    She stumbles on a brown and red root vegetable. She hasn’t been hungry all day, but now the smell of homemade stew fills her nostrils. A few satisfying crunches and seasoned potatoes and carrots would melt in her mouth. No, she won’t be in that kitchen again! Her steps continue to follow their steady pattern. She follows her destiny.

    She hasn’t seen Mimi and the gang since last month. Mimi’s pearl earrings sometimes cast a pink glow on her cheeks. She looks beautiful then. What would Mimi think? Will they still be friends? What about the baby? The baby’s shrill cry from across the thin walls of the condo often woke her up in the middle of the night. She would run over to Mimi’s and rock the baby to sleep again. Will the baby remember her? It’s moot point now. She casts that thought aside. The steps keep moving.

    The green canopy above starts to open up. Rays of bright sun peek through the sparser green branches. There is a faint hint of lavender ocean breeze. The scent is familiar. Where has she smelt it? Can she forget it like so many things she has cast aside since she made that terrible error in judgement? A single sunny day has altered so many constants in her life. She has accepted her destiny. There is just one more thing she has to cast aside to fulfill her destiny.

    Ready? Ocean is foaming. The waves break on the rocks like bubbling champagne. The silvery sand feels cool under her weary feet. She imagines Josh carrying a heavy pail filled with water and sand, his bare legs covered in wet sand. She thinks of his silly grin, and her heart skips a beat. She has to say goodbye to her son. Her resolve wavers. For a flickering moment, she wants to retrace her steps and go home.

    But home without her little Marla won’t be whole. She could not go back to that sunny day and make the car unspin. She cannot put herself back together. If she stays, she will break everyone else around her.

    She has to give them Roger and Josh the chance to be unbroken.

    The waves are calling. She rushes to them.

    500 words


  1. Pingback: The bitterest pill | AngieTrafford

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