#FlashMobWrites 1×10

Welcome to #FlashMobWrites Week Ten

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 EDT (Eastern USA)
  • And ends: Saturday @ Midnight PST (Pacific USA)
  • 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. Choose one and include it in your story as given.
    • The prompt may be split between sentences, 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 or song themes in any way for your story.

The Prompts

Cara Michaels: “not what I’m drinking”

Ruth Long: “left to my own devices”

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

**EXTENDED END TIME**

ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED UNTIL 9PM EDT SUNDAY

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18 thoughts on “#FlashMobWrites 1×10

  1. Hope Springs Eternal
    499 words
    @SilverJames_

    “Here. Have a glass of self-pity.” Mother Goose slid a glass of single-malt scotch in front of Duke. He knew what she was doing by the sound of glass scraping on wood and the smoky scent of the alcohol.

    “Not what I’m drinking.” He couldn’t even work up the energy to reach for the sweating beer bottle at his elbow.

    “Oh? Could have fooled me.”

    “Dammit, Mother. I didn’t come in here for this crap.”

    “Then get your ass off my barstool and get the hell out, Duke.”

    “I’m fucking blind, Mother.”

    “Yeah, and?” There was no pity in the relentless woman’s tone. “Bear, get your butt over here. This whiny-ass SEAL needs an escort to the door.”

    The big bartender clapped his hand on Duke’s shoulder but he shook it off. Raising his head, Duke turned his head in the direction of Mother’s voice. “Did I piss in your Wheaties or something? I’m not a SEAL anymore. The Navy gets all twisted up when their snipers can’t see their fucking target.”

    “Yeah, and? Damn tired of repeating myself so you better listen to me, Duke Reagan. You can sit there like some crippled, bitter piece of shit or you can stiffen your spine and do what it takes to get your life back.”

    “What part of that did you not understand, old woman? Blind. Sniper. Not a SEAL.”

    “If you could get your eyesight back, what would you do?”

    What the fuck? “Not possible.”

    “Wanna bet?”

    “Every gawddamn doctor in Brooks Med Center, Walter Reed, and every Navy hospital in between all say the same thing. I’m fucked.”

    “Huh.”

    “You don’t sound impressed.”

    “I’m not. Excuses. That’s all you’ve got. Plus, I know things you don’t, Duke.” Mother leaned on the bar and he could feel the heat from her skin as she whispered in his ear. “Did you ever wonder about that last mission?”

    He stiffened but schooled his expression, saying nothing.

    “Yeah. Thought you might be wondering. You need to see my doctor. And when you’re cured, I want you back here, training. Your job ain’t over, Duke, not by a long shot.”

    He heard her fingers tapping on the bar and her silence stretched his patience to the breaking point. Still, he waited. If he’d learned nothing else about Mother, it was she had her own way of doing things.

    “What if I told you Surfer Boy and the Tank were still alive?”

    “Bullshit. They died. The next teams they served with, their next missions.”

    “So you were told.”

    “What the hell does that mean?”

    “It means they’re working for me.”

    Duke sat in stunned silence.

    “You’ll work for me too. Bear, take Duke to Doc Pemberton’s office.”

    “You think this is a done deal?”

    “Of course it is. You want to see. I need a sniper.”

    “Who the fuck are you, Mother?”

    “I’m your worst nightmare. And your best friend. We have the world to save. You with me?”

    “Hell, yeah.”

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Watch Your Six

    Felicia pushed past them and handed Aislynn the warrant. “These men brought you a warrant to search the premises.”

    “Ah, yes. Thank you, Felicia.”

    “Mistress.” The vampire bowed her head to Aislynn and stepped back.

    Aislynn read over the document while Chayse stood with locked knees, his hands curled into fists at his sides. Seething anger radiated from him, but he held himself still. Nik hated to make his brother face the subject of his addiction, but the only way to solve this case was through searching the succubus’s domain.

    “Very well. That will be all, Felicia. I’ll take them around and make sure they don’t disturb the players while investigating.” Aislynn gestured for Felicia to leave. The vampire grimaced, but nodded and left the room. “Now then, gentlemen, if you’ll give me a moment, I shall make myself more presentable before we take our tour.”

    “It’s not a tour, Lady Aislynn.” Chayse sounded as if he choked on broken glass. “We’re here to search your premises for the original crime scene.”

    “I’m aware of that, Officer Wolffe. But this is also a specialized club where the privacy of the members is strictly enforced.” Aislynn never lost her cool and a sense of pride filled Nik’s chest. That’s my lady.

    Aislynn shot him a surprised look and raised her eyebrows, but returned her gaze to Chayse when he didn’t answer. “I won’t be a moment.”

    She sauntered away into one of the side rooms while they waited in the foyer and Nik wrestled with the odd sense of proprietary connection he’d experienced. Other than the meeting a few days ago and this one, he’d never seen Aislynn. Why the hell do I think of her as mine, then?

    “Don’t let her get to you, Nik.” Chayse grasped his arm and squeezed. “She’s a succubus and very dangerous. Don’t let her refined ways and gentle voice fool you. Once you’re addicted to her, you’ll never be free.”

    “Come on, Chayse.” Nik scoffed as he shook his head. “That was one succubus years ago. How do you know Aislynn’s the same?”

    “Five years, Nik. It’s taken me five years to recover this much and I’m not even close to being a hundred per cent.” Chayse’s lips pulled back from his teeth in a furious grimace. “Five fucking years and I run across another damned succubus. The Goddess must have it in for me.”

    Nik scowled. “Let it go, man. It won’t get you the answers you need for this case. Focus on that and leave your anger at the door. Aislynn hasn’t done anything to you.”

    “Not yet, but it’s early.”

    “We’re on official police business. Suck it up.”

    “Left to my own devices, she wouldn’t be able to get anywhere near me, but I’ll do my damn job. Just watch your fucking six, Nik, ’cause I already saved your ass once. Not sure I have it in me to do it again.”

    @SiobhanMuir
    491 #WIP500 words

    Liked by 5 people

  3. John Quarry

    The war had ended. The country was throbbing with men who’d become accustomed to battle. They flooded back to home, to a million homes spread out across the breadth, the lonely depth of the country. Some squeezed back in to their old lives with hardly a ripple. Many took longer. Others, far too many, just kept wandering; overshooting their old lives, heading nowhere in particular, nowhere, except the gloom.

    A few reinvented themselves. One was John Quarry.

    Johnny was a shadowy spectre at one end of the boxcar when I clamoured on just before dawn that early spring day in ‘46. I was busted up from a pasting from one of the rail yard bulls and could barely heave myself aboard.

    He didn’t waste a second; got up, offered me a hand and pulled me up.

    “Thanks,” I said. “It was looking pretty grim.”

    An explosion of morning sun slammed in from the distant sky, illuminating my banged up mug.

    “YOU look pretty grim,” he said. “Come on, rest here.” He hauled me to his bundle and eased me down.

    My body felt like I had been crammed into a foxhole for a week. Nothing wanted to work. I stretched out and drifted off.

    The clackety-clack of the tracks woke me. Daylight was pouring in like a dazzling waterfall.

    Though I probably looked like a bombed out building, I felt a little better.

    “You slept soundly,” he observed. I nodded. He was leaning on the side wall of the boxcar, giving me a bit of distance. Even though he was sitting, I could tell he was tall, near 6 ft, and solidly built.

    The war had knocked the health out of me but he looked like he’d never been to war, though I guessed he had. Most of us had it, that gaunt glare of horror lurking in our eyeballs like rabid dogs waiting, either to strike, or run.

    “Where’s this heading?” I asked.

    “That way,” he pointed in the direction we were barreling.

    “How far you going?”

    “Till I get off,” he countered “You?”

    “Left to my own devices, until I get tossed off, I’d guess.”

    The soothing rumble took over and I grabbed some more shuteye.

    It must have been late afternoon when I woke up again. He was standing in the doorway. It felt like we were slowing down.

    “Where we at?” I queried

    “Place called Crowbar City.”

    “Never heard of it. You leaving?”

    “I thought I might try and start again in a place I’d never heard of. Yeah, I’ll give Crowbar City a shot.”

    I could have kept on going, I suppose. But something said I should hitch my wagon to someone who might actually have a plan.”

    “Mind some company?” I asked.

    “John Quarry,” he said reaching out to pull me up.

    “Elwood Staples,” I admitted. “Woody, to my friends.”

    The wheels were squealing as we entered the township.

    We hit the ground hard on the rocky outskirts of Crowbar City.

    499 words
    @billmelaterplea

    Liked by 4 people

  4. DAVID AND THE ANGRY GHOST by E.F. Olsson
    500 words
    @EFOlsson

    This is what happened:

    I was on the patio using an X-acto knife to free the pieces of my B-17 model airplane kit from its plastic framing. Maggy and Jill were playing next door on their swing set. I heard the side metal gate rattle open. A moment later, David appeared. He had a big grin. The one where his dimples showed and his eyes squinted tight like he was up to something. He was. He was holding the ouija board.

    “This is June’s. The one they used to talk to that angry ghost man,” he whispered.

    June’s story of talking to this ghost sounded believable. David became so fixated and fascinated by it that he wished to meet this ghost one day. Before I could even protest, David had the plastic, heart-shape planchette ready, his fingers firmly holding one side of it.

    “Right here?” I asked looking at the girls swinging.

    “It’ll be OK.”

    David began asking questions. We swirled the planchette around the letters. Finally, it began to stop and spell words. I looked at David, his eyes were wide and the smirk was gone.

    “I, A-M, H-E-R-E, N-O-W,” David spelled out. “About time a-hole.”

    David continued to ask questions and relay messages. My eyes hurt like the onset of a migraine. The metal gate started rattling. Then, behind David, an apparition appeared. The ghost was in black, slender, his skin was pale white, his face had no features. David had no idea he was there.

    “Kill David,” he said in a rushed whisper. He reached for the X-acto knife and lifted it to my face. “Kill David, now.”

    His voice was calming and it soothed me. It sounded like the right thing to do. I let go of the planchette. The ghost told me to stand, I did. He told me to swipe this knife at David, I did. A quick slice across the neck. David’s eyes rolled back into his head. He slipped out a gurgle. Blood oozed from his neck.

    “You wished to meet me?” I said speaking for the ghost. “Well, how do you do?”

    I hacked at David until his limp body slipped out of the chair. Blood pooled beneath my feet. Then, as quickly as it began, it was over. I stood there in horror at what I had done. In the pool of David’s blood, I was left to my own devices.

    What have I done?

    I don’t know what the first sound I heard was – the police sirens, the ambulance, or Maggy and Jill screaming bloody murder. But when I rose, I watched David. He stared wide-eyed up into the sky. His mouth agape. Dimples gone. I thought he would turn his head, smile, and reassure me that everything will be OK. He wished he could meet the ghost, now he has.

    The metal gate clanked open. It was a policeman. Gun drawn. “Just make sure June gets her ouija board back,” I told him.

    Now here I am.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. “Just the Roll of the Die”
    Word Count: 432
    @blurosemd

    Rosemary had been rolling cosmic dice for the last ten years and coming up with loser’s numbers. After each roll, a scene would appear before her eyes with a new existence to scratch up against. This last roll was a doozy landing her in a quiet backwards town on the edge of the great Superior Lake. More specifically, in a tired dirty bar whose business depended on the routines set by the hours of the restaurant next door.

    She had been observing her lover, a tall man that resembled more overgrown toddler than a future, pacing back and forth behind the counter cleaning each bottle and glass. Rosemary was looking forward to the 4:00 crowd to shuffle in and the jukebox to wake out of its coma. The routine was set, many didn’t have to order anymore. Her lover would spot the shifters and begin mixing each person’s drink. She thought to herself, “It is almost machine-like, timed forgetfulness.”

    One person in particular drew her attention everyday. He often rode a four-wheeler to the bar from his house six blocks away. Wearing camouflage pants and a gray faded shirt, Bobby, looked like a dependable teddy bear. At least, as long as no arguments started up involving him.

    Town gossip had whispered that he had recently been diagnosed with end-stage bladder cancer. In the last few weeks, folks had started to buy his drinks and sit next to him at the far edge of the bar. She found him to be approachable, often greeting him as he walked in through the back door.

    “Rosie!” he would answer and offer to buy the next drink. “Not what I’m drinking, Bobby, but thanks anyways.”

    A few weeks later, he approached the table near the bathrooms where she often sat with a glass of wine.

    “I’m moving back home to Maryland soon. My family wants me home.”
    “Wow, Bobby. I’ll miss you. When are you leaving?”
    “In two weeks. Tom will be back from his over the road assignment. He’s going to drive me home.”
    “Are you sure you’ll be ok? How far away is Maryland from here?”
    “Four days, give or take. Wanna come with me?”

    Rosemary just smiled and walked over to the dying jukebox with an offering.

    By the weekend, she had given up on her lover and was no longer welcome at the bar. His request was quiet and unassuming, just like his appearance. She would lie awake night after night. Promise of adventure whispering in her ear, making her feet and soul itchy. Rosemary had an answer.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. “Cyn and Redemption”
    Word Count: 494
    @denise_callaway

    Max pushed through the crowd. He loved her but that was the problem. As he stepped between her and the mob, they knew he didn’t see her as they saw her. His eyes were veiled by the love he felt for her. He didn’t see that her beauty had disappeared and she stood before them broken, wrinkled, a hag, to be generous. He failed to see the eroded promises. He could not imagine her many victims. He was snared and they knew if they didn’t break him free of her, he would be yet another of her notch on her belt.

    She shrewdly peered around the massive tree that was Max. Twisting a smile up one side of her face, she narrowed her eyes, studying the crowd. Max gave her the strength that she needed. Cackling, she answered the mob, “If left to my own devices, you might have won. But now…I have my sweet Max. You won’t harm him…and thus, you won’t harm me.”

    Max’s face was set. “She’s a witch and she’s ensnared you, Max.” The woman’s voice cut through the crowd. He knew that voice. Still, it didn’t matter. He was true to his beloved. “Cyn is not a witch!” he declared.

    The woman drew closer, “Cyn is a seductive mistress but she does not love you. She will use you, twist you, and when you are spent, she will drop you to pull in another to do her bidding.”
    Her familiarity was fighting its way into the haze of his thoughts. What was he before he was Cyn’s lover? He fought madly to recall. Then he felt Cyn trace a long nailed finger down his back. “My darling Max, can you see how jealousy has tried to reach out and grab you?” The haze snapped back and the madness continued to envelop him as he stared down the crowd.

    She stepped out of the crowd and he saw her. “I know I lost you and I searched for you for a long time. Max…even if you don’t remember, please don’t let her steal your life away. Maxi…”
    “Angela?”

    “You remember me, Max. This is good. Do you remember that last day we had together…before you took a walk in the woods? You were going to gather wood. Do you remember?”

    The haze over his thoughts began to pull back. He remembered laughing with her near the lake as they prepared to camp out for the night. She was preparing the fish to cook and sent him out for some wood. As he picked up one stick and then another, he heard a voice in the distance. It sounded like…a scream. Dropping the sticks, he ran towards the sound. As he rounded the bend, he saw the spray of water come off the lake. And then, nothing…he awakened to only memories of a life with Cyn.

    Turning, he said to Cyn, “You lied.”

    She laughed. “Of course I did. I’m Cyn.”

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I scrubbed that table all night, but the cocaine residue and the blood wouldn’t come off. I swept the broken glass into the dust pan. The glass tinkled when it went into the trash. I scrubbed blood out of the hardwood floors. My blood. A trembling hand touches the side of my head. The gauze I’d taped over the wound was rough, dried blood flaking to the floor. I need to change the gauze. The floor sways. I pull in a deep breath and close my eyes. My stomach flips as the room spins and I grip the nearest thing I can find.

    “That’ll teach you.” Something sloshed and I cracked my eyes open. He looked at the bottle in his hand. “That’s not what I’m drinking.”

    I try to take my hand back but he squeezes it tighter. He pulls me to him, the smell of alcohol burning my nose and mouth. I push him as hard as I can. He crashes to the floor, the bottles breaks, the spikes on his belt scraping the floor. Stunned, he looks up at me, his eyes dilated.

    “The fuck?” he slurs.

    “Don’t fucking touch me!”

    He smirks. “We’re going to finish what we started.”

    I run for the phone mounted on the wall and dial 911 as fast as the dial will rotate. I barely get a word out before he swings at me with his belt. I duck, wrenching the door to the basement open. I bring the phone with me, slamming the door behind me.

    “Our emergency address is 9221. We’re at 2887 150th St,” I shout to the dispatcher. “Please hurry. He’s got the belt.”

    The phone wrenches from my grasp and Jimmy faces me from the top of the stairs. My only chance is the back door. I run down the porch steps and out onto the gravel road. My legs burn as I run up the gravel, one mile to our neighbor’s house.

    The sirens are close. I see headlights and flag them down. The truck rumbles to a stop next to me.

    “Help!” I scream.

    “Jacoby, what’s wrong?” Eleanor, Jimmy’s adopted mom, asks. Her eyes widen when she sees her son. “Get in!”

    She gets out of the truck. I huddle in the truck with Hank, Jimmy’s adopted dad. He rubs my back, his eyes roaming over the black eye, the bleeding wound on my head. I flinch when Eleanor slaps Jimmy. The sirens pull into our yard, as Eleanor takes my husband’s arm and marches him down the gravel.

    “You’ll stay with us tonight, son,” Hank says. “We’ll have you looked at.”

    I nod. Hank drives down the gravel, stopping just short of our lane. Jimmy nearly bends in half to get into the back of the squad car without hitting his head. Someday, he’ll be sober. Someday, I’ll be safe.

    @Aightball
    477 words

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Pingback: Cyn and Redemption | Lost in a Field of Dandelions

  9. “If you are looking for a white knight, you will have to wait for a while.” Manoel gave Joey a pat on the arm tucked against his. “If you show any weakness, they will jump on you like hungry jackals and pick you bones clean. So, what are you doing for yourself? Seeking a way to get out of here that you so lament about?”

    Joey scowled. “If left to my own devices? Punch a few people in the face and escape through a doorway out.”

    “Ah, but there is a problem. Most doorways are watched. So if you punch a few people in the face, as you say, what’s to say that they won’t make sure that you never leave? We can be pretty cruel individuals that would enjoy setting dogs upon a person. Or draw something out slower. Perhaps put you on display for everyone and make your remaining life as torturous as possible. They might even charge for the show or take terms. Anything to relieve some of the boredom that plagues us. When you live for an extended amount of time, there comes a time when you run out of things to do.”

    She frowned. “How am I going to get out if it’s pretty much anti-human sentiment?”

    Manoel held up a finger. Not everyone is anti-human. But you have to play the game and curry some favor with those who might not see you as the enemy if they know that you might help pissing someone else they don’t like off.”

    “What exactly do you mean by that?”

    He chuckled and gave her a glance. “I might not a person or two who might be convinced into helping you get away. It might be difficult but you know some key information to use to your advantage. You just need to mind your tongue and say the right things in the right way.”

    Joey glanced at him. The corners of his lips were quirked up in a queer smile. She could see his eeyes shimmer as he glanced at her from the corner, as if waiting to see what she would say further and state the obvious. “Your buddy right?”

    “He is one that you could talk to. Yes.”

    “Yeah, because he’s just a great kind of guy. He’s maniacal.”

    “He has his moments. But when you look at the broad scheme of things, he’s about your only way out.”

    405 #WIP words
    @solimond

    Liked by 2 people

  10. “Stay here, please. Stay safe.”

    I didn’t explore why his safety seemed so important to me. Left to my own devices, I’d get the hell out of here and follow the sage advice of Ellen Ripley: Nuke the site from orbit. Smart woman, Ripley. She knew all about hostile species that liked to use humans as breeding sites. Fire was the only way to be sure to contain a vampire, and the more fire, the better.

    A nuclear strike on Miami Beach would be frowned upon, no doubt.

    I could be an asshole, sure. This job frequently called on me to be. Vampiric worms, demons, death—they didn’t distinguish between good people and bad. All they required was opportunity. So I’d taken out my share of loved ones. But even my moral compass wasn’t so damaged that I was willing to sacrifice a couple hundred people to kill one vamp.

    In particular, I found myself unwilling to sacrifice one English cop with a soft heart.

    Fuck me. I made a mental note to schedule a session with the staff therapist. I couldn’t afford to lose my edge. Too much empathy would only get me dead.

    It didn’t particularly surprise me to find English at my elbow. What did surprise me was the murmured guidance through the panicked people.

    “This way.” He shifted my course right.

    “Don’t do this.”

    “You think I should let her just kill everyone until you find your way to her?”

    “No short jokes, please.”

    His snort of laughter caught us both by surprise. His gaze found mine. Blue eyes. Pale and striking against his dark hair. Haunted by a moment.

    “It’ll be okay,” I lied. “I promise.”

    “I tell people that,” he said. “When I swear to find murderers. So I know it won’t be okay.”

    “It’ll be something you learn to live with, then.”

    He gave a stiff nod. “She’s straight ahead.”

    I weaved my way through running, screaming, freaking people.

    Like I’d told English, I’d killed a vampire once. Rather, I’d killed the host, a poor human enslaved to their appetites. I didn’t advertise it, because it’d been far more dumb fucking luck getting me the win than any skill on my part.

    The cluster broke some ten feet in front of her. It. One look and I believed this one would never return to a semblance of humanity. Some did, but this woman? A howl tore through the air as she finished her newest victim. She rolled wild eyes in every direction, searching for the next meal.

    “Not full yet?” I waved my gun-toting hands. The worms didn’t know the difference between one blood bag and the next, but she surprised me.

    Wary eyes narrowed on my guns.

    “Iris,” she said. A strange expression overcame her face. I wanted to call it relief. “You came. He knew you would.”

    The disquieting notion of a trap, baited to catch a very specific prey, left me frozen.

    “Thank you.” She smiled. “You’ve saved me.”

    @caramichaels
    499 WIP words

    Liked by 1 person

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