#FlashMobWrites 1×04

Welcome to #FlashMobWrites Week Four

Come one, come all! This is an open flash fiction challenge with a musical inspiration, hosted by authors Cara Michaels (formerly of #MenageMonday, #WIPflash, and#RaceTheDate) and Ruth Long (of the wicked fun #LoveBites and #DirtyGoggles challenges).

Mob Rules

  • The challenge begins: Fridays @ Noon EST (Eastern)
  • And ends: Saturday @ Midnight PST (Pacific)
  • Word count: 300-500 (no less, no more)
  • We love you and wish to heap praises (and random prizes) on you, so be sure to include your name (no, it doesn’t have to be your real name) and a way for us to get in touch (Twitter handles are encouraged)
  • A prompt choice is offered by each judge.
    • The prompt may be split, but no order change or dropping words.*
    • Words may be added before or after, not in the middle.*

The Inspiration

For your musical enjoyment only. You do not need to reference the video in any way for your story.

The Prompts

Cara Michaels: “here comes the rapture”

Ruth Long: “I’ll play the harlot”

Now pick your prompt and post your story in the comments below!

*What does this mean? Well… here are examples using our prompts:

  • YES: “I’ll play,” the harlot said with a smile.
  • NO: “Does he come with the rapture?”
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27 thoughts on “#FlashMobWrites 1×04

  1. Library Blackout

    By the time Drake reached the Library’s doors, he felt better than he had in centuries. The guilt and sorrow had sloughed off and he found a new purpose in his life. He hadn’t figured out all the ways he would put it into practice, but past actions could no longer dictate the present. A smile cracked his lips as he threw himself into the warmth of the Library’s silence.

    Some of his motivation faded as a rank scent hit his nose. Dear Goddess, has someone left a rotting thing in the trash somewhere? He paused and scanned the stacks. No one had stayed this late except Dr. Lance and Tommy, but maybe the janitorial staff had missed something noxious. Drake ducked behind the circulation desk to check the trash cans, but only fresh bags greeted him.

    He frowned and systematically walked the stacks, sniffing for the source of the odor. He found Tommy in the kids’ section, but only waved as he tracked the stench. It seemed to be intensifying toward the Archival office. You have to be kidding me. Did Lance leave something to rot in my office? Drake strode for the Archival doors, wondering why the man had shut them.

    He grasped the handles on the doors and pulled them open. A blast of brilliant light and stench streamed over him. Drake threw up his arms to cover his eyes as he nearly gagged on the air reeking of garlic and rotten meat. A hideous droning accosted his ears as he recoiled, but before he could get out of the light and stench, something crashed into the back of his skull.

    Drake dropped to the floor with a shout, seeing stars and swallowing bile. What the fuck?

    Before he could scramble up, someone tackled him back down and wrenched his arms behind him. A voice muttered something over him so full of evil, Drake gagged again.

    “Be still, foul beast. Thou art mastered.” The thick, rancid voice coated his skin and the man slammed him to the floor as he bound Drake’s hands behind him in wet, hard nylon rope. “For thou shalt be cleansed from this town and this world, and thy soulless muck shall be cast out. Though I cleanse the world of thee, I’ll play the harlot no longer than necessary. Thy filth shall be purged and humanity will be saved.”

    “What the fuck are you talking about?” Drake struggled, his fangs cutting through his gums as his fury rose. “Get off me!”

    “Silence!”

    The blow to the back of his head ensured it.

    @SiobhanMuir
    430 #WIP500 words

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Overslept (revised)
    Wordcount: 492
    James Patrick Allen – @genreaspired
    Prompt: “Here comes the rapture.”

    It was the sense of the morning being too late that woke him. His eyes snapped open and took in the too-bright light coming in through the dorm blinds.

    “Shit!”

    He bolted upright from bed, checking the time on his phone. Sure enough, the clock read 10:56. Fully forty-five minutes into class.

    “Alarm didn’t go off! Again!” He tugged on his pants and stuffed his things into his bursting backpack, and ran out.

    The halls of the Humanities Building were empty, populated only by an abandoned mop and bucket, echoing with his running foot steps. He took the stairs at the end of the building two at a time, sobbing for air by the time he reached the fourth floor. As he entered the frosted glass door he was stunned to find the room empty. The clock on his phone read 11:13. The clock on the wall agreed.

    “The hell?”

    Giving it up for a loss, he went left to find food. To his dismay the cafeteria was abandoned He’d have to hoof it to the gas station and risk a hot roller hotdog. The parked cars on campus set off no internal alarms, gave him no cause for panic. It wasn’t until he left the boundaries of the university and found the cars sitting stalled and empty on the roads that he began to worry.

    Munchies forgotten, he walked the length and breadth of the small college town and found not a single person. He tried to dial up his room mate – no answer. Parents – no answer. Fuck, his professors – no answer.

    The doors of a 24-hour diner turned out to be unlocked. He let himself in and found plates of cold eggs and pancakes, abandoned half-eaten burgers, and melted malts. The place smelled of burnt food and coffee. No one was around to stop him from rummaging a cold cut sandwich from the fridge.

    “The lights still work. I still have cell service. What the hell?”

    When he’d had his fill (and snuck a beer) he walked back to campus and his car. Someone would still be out there somewhere. Maybe?

    The certainty of this, the faith of it, began to wane around 6:00 that night. Halfway across the state, and not another soul to be seen anywhere. Just abandoned cars, empty towns.

    The man approached him at a grocery store as he raided for supper. He didn’t realize the man was even there until the man cleared his throat.

    “Thank Christ! I thought everyone was gone!”

    The man considered him, eyes masked by sunglasses. “They have. You’re all that’s left.”

    “You’re pulling my leg. What about you?”

    “Last one out turns off the lights.”

    He began to shake, his appetite going as dry as his mouth. “Turns off the lights? What do you mean?”

    Wings unfolded from the stranger’s back. “Did you oversleep? You shouldn’t be here. Here comes the rapture, and last one out turns off the lights.”

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Pingback: #FlashMobWrites 1×04 : Here Comes The Rapture | My Soul's Tears

  4. “We always looked to the stars for redemption.” Blue shook her head. “For someone to save us from the daily fires.” I could tell she cried. “And one day, new stars appeared.” That was us. My humans, from my Earth. “They grew brighter each day.”

    “It was us. I’m sorry.”

    Blue rested her hand on my shoulder. “It was not you. It is not your fault. It is the fault of others.” She continued her story.

    …….

    The stars grew brighter, and closer. We rejoiced. God the Father had sent his angels, his people, to rescue us. To take us to heaven. Where we would live in peace. Where we would love each other. Help each other. Where we would build a new world.

    We gathered, thousands of us, as we watched the stars grow, watched them become ships, sailing through the vacuüm of space. Angels from Heaven. We watched the ships grow closer each day.

    On the day they arrived, thousands of us gathered to watch the first ship land. We watched purifying fire from it scorch the earth where it would land. We waited. Until doors opened. Until a strange bipedal being, so very tall, walked out, with a flag, and a book. A dozen more like him surrounded him. They guarded him. Protected him.

    We heard his words, in a language we did not know. “In the name of God, the Father, and his son, Jesus the Christ, we establish this foothold on another lost world. We commence the process of bringing another world from darkness into the light.”

    He shoved the post holding the flag into the ground. He waved at the other angels around him. They faced us. They drew strange sticks from their clothing. They waved them at us. Beams of light slaughtered hundreds that day. And the man who planted the flag proclaimed, “Here comes the rapture, to yet another lost world. We shall cleanse this world, and bring it into your holy fold, our Father. Amen.”

    ……

    I knew the truth. They were Christians, from my world, my Earth. Spreading through the galaxy. Hell bent on rescuing the planets everywhere from the hands of the devil. Cleansing one planet at a time, bringing it into the fold of Christianity.

    “It’s why we’ve come, Blue.” I place my hand on her shoulder. “It’s why I’ve come.”

    She looked at me. Her eyes filled with so many deaths. So much loss.

    “We’re going to stop them.”

    412 Words
    @LurchMunster

    Liked by 4 people

  5. On the Board

    Vern sat on his longboard, out at the very cusp where the combers formed. He rode the swell of the nascent waves, idly watching the seabirds as they swooped in the onshore breeze. There were many promising waves but Vern kept on waiting, rocking gently, enjoying the view.

    Gavin paddled over, amazed to see someone so old sitting there placidly with salt water plastering the few remaining wisps of hair to their head.
    “Woah, I hope I’m still catching waves when I’m your age! Show me what you got, you must be a deadset legend.”
    Vern shook his head. “You’re wrong, son. I’ve wasted my whole life sitting on boards doing nothing.”
    “Righteous!”
    “The wrong sort of boards – not out here but on dozens of corporations. My grandson will be visiting soon and I bought this as a gift for him but I think I’ll have to get him another one. I’ve only been doing this for a week and I love it.”
    “No shit, that’s awesome! Let me show you some moves my friend, he’ll be stoked to see what you can do!”

    With gentle coaxing and plenty of practice over the next few days Vern finally managed to stand up and ride a wave most of the way in, only falling off when he tried turning too sharply and he felt a twinge in his artificial hip. Spitting out water he came up smiling. Eager for more he turned and paddled back out to where Gavin waited.
    “You’ve got it man! I can see it! You’ve got the surfing bug bad!
    “I do at that! Can’t believe I waited so long to do something like this. The last trump could sound, but I wouldn’t go. Here comes the rapture – a new wave, not heaven!”
    With that he turned and went racing in on the foam, shouting in pure joy.

    313 words
    @davejamesashton

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I chewed on my pen, my sketch book open on my bed. Halloween was approaching and I hadn’t finished my costume design. Huffing out a breath, I leaned back and picked up my book. I’d sketched out my body and so far, all I was wearing was a red and black corset. No way my parents were going to let me out in only a corset for Halloween.

    I sketched a pair of black heels and black fishnet stockings, with garters. If I left the house in that, my parents would flip. I needed a parent friendly outfit until I got to the party and could change. I added a long, fitted, red and black dress and nodded. Hair I was rubbish at, but my friend Monet would help there.

    Satisfied, I glanced at the calendar. I had about a month to get my outfit together. Since I didn’t know how to sew so I was at the mercy of whatever I could find locally and on the internet. The trick was not to let my parents find out about the outfit. I’d never get to go to the party if they found any of the racier pieces.

    “Eliza! Monet’s here!”

    I closed my sketchbook and ran downstairs. “Come on up!”

    Monet ran up the stairs with me and we shut my door to keep my parents out. If my dads knew what we were doing for Halloween, they’d never let us be friends again. I grabbed my sketchbook and flipped to my costume.

    “So, I’ll play the harlot,” I said. “What are you going to be?”

    “I don’t know yet. I’ve been sketching, but nothing looks good. What’s your outfit going to be?”

    I handed her the sketchbook, explaining my idea. She grinned as I pointed out the details and explained my plan.

    “This is brilliant. But won’t Alise’s dad have a fit?” she asked. She stared at the drawing, then grinned. “You need wings.”

    “That is the glory of Sean and Amy going away for the weekend. Alise has the house to herself and therefore, no one complain about our skimpy costumes,” I said. I sketched a pair of black bat wings onto my back and nodded. “You’re right. Now, let’s see your sketches. Then, we need to go shopping.”

    Monet had sketched out an outfit similar to mine, but in all black, with horns on her head and a pointed tail. It was perfect: The Harlot and The Devil. Alise’s party was going to be the talk of the high school, that was for sure.

    “Let’s go into Omaha. I bet Maude’s has most of what we need,” Monet said, once I’d approved her design. “Where are we going to hide stuff?”

    “My folks never search my room. We can stash it all on the shelf in my closet.”

    We made a quick list and then headed downstairs and out to my truck. Halloween couldn’t come fast enough!

    @Aightball
    491 words

    Liked by 5 people

  7. In a cold, grey room Suzi sat shivering. She wasn’t sure this time why for she had lived quite well in her grey room for a few months now. The room itself although it often seemed endless and empty was well furnished if still a little sparse. She did actually feel a little lonely. Food would be periodically pushed through an opening in the door so she knew she was not completely alone even though she didn’t see a soul. Suzi remained a little fearful however she generally felt calm for she wasn’t harmed in anyway and the tasks were hardly a nuisance. She had always been naturally careful to protect what she had so each time food was delivered she kept what she could and therefore had enough always to sustain her if they were not able to accommodate at any time. The one thing she missed however was coffee! Whoever her captors were they were not keen to include the luxuries in the menu!

    Sometime after she had awakened in her grey room she had begun hearing strange sounds and since she could not make them out she would sit and time them by her window. Every two days a muffled scream would begin far away across the house which would follow by strange whirring noises. Suzi hoped it wasn’t what she imagined it was. Today was, as usual, no different from the others and when the noises started she drifted away to block them out. She thought back to when she made experiments with her brothers and their parents drank rather foul tasting lemonade in the bid to encourage the children. She thought about the treehouse they made with its yellow walls.

    A click brought her round to see her next meal curiously sitting on the table under the door slot! Suzi threw her book at the door and shouted “what’s happening out there?” There was no answer. There never was any answer. Suzi had had enough and threw herself down on the bed and screamed into the pillow. No one should live in such a vacuum. It wasn’t right , people needed other people to bounce ideas off and just be conscious of their humanity. A second click announced the arrival of her next task and a whispered “don’t distress yourself, it’s nearly over!”

    Suzi completed the tasks and waited two days before listening again. This time she stared at the door slot in determination of catching the mysterious delivery person. She was not completely disappointed. When the click came the voice whispered “it worked! This time you won’t have another task, here comes the rapture, it’s thanks to you that it worked!”

    “Yes” Suzi thought, “I ought to be pleased but rapture it is not! Suzi still sat in her grey room but this time she felt it might be deserved for the noises and screams had been through her own developments. Apparently her tasks had saved lives but this did not thoroughly appease her.

    (500)

    Liked by 3 people

  8. “Exactly what kind of place is this?” I eyed the surplus of sinuous architecture. “And how have I never known this was here?”

    The stone seemed alive, stretching left and right, up and down, as though any moment it might fully find its shape. And that shape might be beautiful. Or terrible.

    “Paradise caters to a certain clientele.” Elvis hooked my hand around his arm. “A clientele we need to emulate to get through those rather impressive doors.”

    His meaning acted as an ice shower.

    “Oh, hell no.” I yanked my hand away from him. “Do not go thinking I’ll play the harlot in some fucked up Fae game.”

    He laughed at me.

    “This isn’t funny.”

    “No, a ghrá.” He stripped his shirt off with businesslike efficiency. “But your rather sexist assumption that I might expect you to amuses me.”

    My jaw dropped. Half-naked Elvis was only part of the reason.

    I’m sexist?”

    His right eyebrow and corner of his mouth rose in tandem.

    “Well I can only guess you expected to play the professional here on the basis of your possession of certain attributes.” He captured my hips and drew me closer, inch by inch.

    “You mean breasts and a vagina.” I sounded way too breathy for comfort.

    He huffed a laugh that was little more than a bumpy exhalation.

    “When we walk through those doors, you won’t fool anyone. They’ll know you as human. And they’ll know me.”

    “As what?”

    “After five hundred years of fighting to be free?” He made a soft hrumph sound. “I’ve been a bit of everything. But I’ve especially been owned, and pawned, and little more than a disposable toy. Time is especially good at twisting creativity into cruelty.”

    “Anything to liven up the party, huh?”

    “Yes.”

    “So, people fucked you for kicks.”

    “You’re not one for poetry or soft words, are you?” He kissed my forehead. “Allow me to romance you, just a little, a ghrá.”

    “I don’t need romance.”

    He wrapped his arms around me anyway, and I let him.

    “But I do.” He rested his cheek on my hair, and mine found a spot just above his heartbeat. His skin was cool, despite the warm, humid night. “It gives me strength to face what comes next.”

    “Which is what?”

    “Facing my past.” A light shudder ran through his lean frame. “You humans, with so few years on your shoulders, avoid the past like it’s a fiery plague. Imagine what accumulates in centuries. Some of the things inside here have millennia on their clocks.”

    I listened to the rhythmic thump, just blood pulsing through veins at the urging of a muscular reflex. The heart beat or the body died. It was simple. Natural. There was no magic or mystery involved. Yet as I listened, I felt my pulse sync with his until I exhaled as he inhaled. I inhaled as he exhaled. And my hands linked at the small of his back and held him close.

    “Okay. A little romance, then.”

    @caramichaels
    500 WIP words

    Liked by 6 people

  9. Janine stood shoulder to shoulder with her neighbours, conscious of the rows both to the front and the rear of them. “You think it’ll take long? I’m missing a nude life-drawing class for this and it’s supposed to be a hunky guy this week!”

    Mr Peters, the husband from number 17, looked disparagingly at her down his shoulder, his moustache twitching in one of his usual sniffs. “I’d have thought you’d welcome a free-pass into the promised realm,” he said, his eyes boring through her as though he could purify her soul by sheer will alone. “A moral bankrupt like you needs all the help she can get, although I’m sure you can get used to the smell of brimstone if you have all eternity to acclimatize.”

    Turning to her left, the daughter from number 21 was grimacing at a boy from the row behind. He was taking advantage of the confusion, his mother intent on keeping the attention of the man behind Janine. And with some reason. Maybe he’d have been a good choice for her drawing class. Speaking of which…

    She turned back to Mr Peters. “Do you know where the people that brought us here are? Maybe they’d know when it’s going to happen. They seemed to be in a god-damn hurry to bring us here. With all the guns and dogs and buses with guards at the doors they used to bring us here. It’s not like we had any chance to ask any questions.” She looked up the row toward the end, hoping to see a guard or anyone who looked like they might have some authority. No-one. Just lots of other people like her. All of them just as confused as she was. “Are you sure about them being Revelationists? I mean, what kind of second coming is it when you’re hauled out of your homes at gunpoint, bussed out to the middle of nowhere and then told to stand together in lines waiting? I mean, how are we meant to know when it happens? Will there be a countdown, ‘Five, four, three, two… here comes the rapture’?”

    Mr Peters sniffed again. “I’m sure they’d be happy for you to leave. Nobody likes a nay-sayer. You’d just spoil everything for everyone else…”

    And then the automatic gunfire began.

    (twothirdsrasta@gmail.com)

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Pingback: #FlashMobWrites: “Let It Go” | Bohemian Nerd

  11. “LET IT GO”
    Word Count: 350
    @blurosemd
    Prompt: “I’ll play the harlot”

    The theme song for “Frozen” came on loud and proud across my phone’s speakers. Where was I? At work of course–hobnobbing with second graders with chubby cheeks and teeth like piranhas. I had to take the call, her life really did depend on it.

    “Hello, where is she?”

    “Where have you been? The State of California has been looking for you everywhere. They even put a warrant out for your arrest.”

    “And I didn’t answer just to listen to you threaten me. Where. Is. She?”

    “What’s your address?”

    “Ask your lawyer. In fact, I bet if you got onto a damn computer you could find it yourself.”

    My voice had lowered to a deep whisper as I crouched down near the life-sized replica of Barney tying his shoes. I could tell eyes were staring at me, every single person in here now had reason to hate me.

    “What do you want? It’s not my fault that I owe so much. You try living in the North country. I’m earning your money now, just wait a little bit. ”

    I heard a small voice in the background. It reminded me of worn, abandoned used up old jeans, her voice.

    “Meet us at the library at 3:15pm today in the conference room. I wouldn’t be late.”

    They were gone.

    Two hours later, I was reading up on the lives of water beetles inside the battleground. I saw a shock of black hair and a green raincoat, my body ran cold.

    “I’m ok, I’m ok. I can do this, I can be here.” Damn, I couldn’t see her. What was he pulling, thinking I wouldn’t be here.

    “So, where did we leave off last time? I love how you did your makeup and your skin…I hate the way you tease.”

    “I don’t see you coming through on your promise. Where is my daughter? I’m paying you, I’m playing your damn game. I’ll play the harlot this time, ok?”

    “I’ve got a picture of her right here. She’s tucked away nicely.”

    I reached inside my pocket.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Common Ground
    Word Count 360
    @mishmhem
    #FlashDogs

    Michael Worthy watched in disbelief as the captain turned his notes and research over to to his pet detectives from Major Crimes. He fought to remain civil as he watched all his hard work taken from him. He stiffened and barely remained civil when Evans smiled at him.

    Michelle Roberts and Jack Evans were everything he wasn’t. While he had the brains and investigative skills, they had the looks and ‘cool’ that seemed to make everything go their way and he hated them for it.

    Three months he’d focused every waking moment on the investigation and now two hotshots were pushing him aside to make their careers off of his hard work.

    He hated them and everything they stood for. Which was why he was totally dumbfounded when they requested he be assigned to their investigative unit.

    “Why me?” he growled in disbelief. “Isn’t enough you took my research… my case?”

    “Your research, yes,” Michelle answered. “Your case? Your case was a snatch and grab robbery… it led to to a smuggling and murder for hire ring: something much more up our alley. We have the experience needed to make this case. We have our cover stories in place and we have a reputation… well… they have a reputation we can use. You have the research down pat…”

    “We’ve got the cajones,” Evans interrupted with a smile.

    “Speak for yourself,” Michelle answered with a dismissive nod before turning back to Michael’s report. “So… Reyes, the man you like for their ringleader… he likes to hang out at… the ‘Cracked Claw’…” She paused tilting her head.

    It took Michael a moment to realized she was prompting him for details. “It’s a bar/seafood dive… Maryland Blue Crab… oysters… a pickup bar.”

    Michelle gave a weary nod as Evans grinned evilly.

    “Looks like you get to play the harlot,” he teased Michelle.

    “It’s a gay pickup bar,” Michael corrected.

    “Oh,” Evans said, then shrugged. “Guess I’ll play the harlot.”

    It was then Michael realized that Evans and Roberts didn’t care about the glory— all they cared about was getting the job done, and that was something he found he could work with.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Next Time
    497 words by
    Alicia VanNoy Call
    @callthewriter

    “Here comes The Rapture,
    trailing clouds of glory,
    to reap the righteous
    and end the story.”

    ~Dominick VII

    The clock blinks red in a silent alarm. I sit up in the dark. The grey girl rolls away, one hand curled over her shoulder. I tuck the bedclothes around her silvery skin. I kiss her neck, under the gills, and catch the scent of her floral perfume. She coos in her sleep.

    I crawl around to find my clothes. My boots are under the bed. I grab my belt, the knapsack, a couple of ration bars.

    The door clicks shut behind me and I dress on the stairs. Shrug into the white tank, zip the jumpsuit up to my clavicle.

    I pause on the mat, almost going back in. Would she want to come? She doesn’t strike me as the type.

    I sling the gun belt low on my hips, take the stairs at a jog while I pull up my hair. It bounces, unruly, around my waist, winding this way and that. Yellow and purple and blue, the locks as many shades as my temperament. After my deadeye aim, my hair is my best feature.

    Even before sunrise, the street is bustling. I prep the bike and in another minute, I’m weaving through market traffic. Food vendors and spice merchants set out their wares. The smell is intoxicating, but the predawn sky is starting to glow.

    The Rapture will come to the beach. At sunrise. I know because I dreamed it last night.

    I reach the end of the street and clear the square, turn toward the sea, opening the throttle.

    They’ll take me this time. I can feel it.

    When the dunes come into view with their waving grasses and the air snaps with the tang of salt, I slow. My hair has come free of its knot, streaming behind me like a flag.

    There is a small group down on the beach. They cluster, kneeling or standing, in various attitudes of prayer. I glide to a stop. The sun is peeking just over the blue horizon at the same moment a ship materializes on the beach. People stand, raising their arms.

    The Rapture.

    I run toward the beach, slide down a dune. The Rapture’s hull opens, a yellow light spilling over the congregants.

    “Wait,” I call. The morning breeze combines with the ship’s field, whipping my hair into my eyes. I trip, falling into the sand.

    When I look up, the beach is empty, save for a single man. The Rapture has departed.

    He stands looking out to sea, then turns to trudge up the beach. When sees me, he plops down.

    “Left behind again, huh?” he asks.

    I shrug.

    “What’s a nice girl like you running away from?”

    “I’m not running,” I say.

    “Yeah,” he says. But I can tell he’s not convinced.

    Day is well started when he finally stands up.

    “You’ll get ’em next time,” he says.

    “Yeah,” I say. “You too.”

    Liked by 2 people

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