#FlashMobWrites 1×12

Welcome to #FlashMobWrites Week Twelve

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: “and lonely these nights”

Ruth Long: “I breathe you in”

BONUS: Did you ever notice that the rules mention “random prizes”? Well we have a beauty on deck for this week’s winner: A personalized, refillable leather journal.

Imagine your initials here.

Imagine your initials here.

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

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91 thoughts on “#FlashMobWrites 1×12

  1. 188
    By Wakefield Mahon

    I breathe you in, jasmine and lavender mingle with something wilder, something primal. Your ragged breath fills my ears, a boost to my pride. The heat of your skin causes mine to tremble. I taste your lips, acacia and honey. Am I drinking you or are you devouring me? I don’t care. I want to shatter the clock, to steal this moment from eternity and hide it in my heart. A thousand thieves couldn’t steal it back.

    But you tell me that you have to go and that I have to let you. The salt of my tears is bitter after the sweat of your skin.

    The second hand of the clock slows to a crawl. It must be broken.

    How long will you be in DC? New York is your home. The bright lights, the people, the music and the magic. Don’t you miss them? Don’t you miss me?

    You laugh and tell me not to worry. You promise you’ll be home soon, and I believe you. The news anchor tells me you’re lying.

    The clock stops.

    You’ve left the track. Glass breaks. Metal twists. Screams fill a silent room. My heart turns end over end. It can’t be real. No, you are the truth and the television is lying. I scream at the screen. Shut up! But it won’t, they keep telling me the terrifying news.

    I calm down for a moment, there is still hope. The phone rings. I answer. My hope evaporates in the wind. Silence.

    Shattered and lonely, these nights drag on forever, ever since that iron horse carried you away.

    Tonight I see you again. I see your smile and relief floods my heart. Sweet acacia and honey are still mine and they will always be. I’ll hold you in my arms forever and never let you go, even though it’s only in my dreams.

    311 words
    @Wakefield Mahon

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Double D Deal

    “That’s Double D, then.”

    He blinked then laughed. “I guess it is.” But he sobered when she didn’t match his smile. “Is this a problem?”

    “N-no.” Moira straightened her shoulders and met his gaze steadily. “After I left home and moved to Denver, I got involved in the lifestyle, as a submissive. It was the best way for me to relax and retreat from the overwhelmingly negative energy in the city. I was so lost and lonely. These nights seemed to drag on forever, and the lifestyle took me away from that. It was good for a while, but eventually I found it became too demanding for me.” She shrugged and the corners of her mouth turned down. “It turned out it wasn’t something I wanted.”

    Aiden’s gut sank. Damn, I am too kinky for her. “So, you can understand why I didn’t want to tell you.”

    Her brows lowered. “Why, because you think you’re too kinky for me?” He clenched his teeth to keep his jaw from dropping. “The lifestyle in Denver, with the people there and the sickness I couldn’t avoid, wasn’t what I wanted. Yes, I’m still submissive, but only to the right person. A competent Dom. Those I met in Denver…weren’t.”

    Hope expanded in microbursts in his chest, but he reined them in. Walk softly here. “So the lifestyle doesn’t bother you?”

    She shook her head, but her expression remained stoic. “No, but it takes a lot to earn my trust, and my submission now. I prefer to live without BDSM than put myself in the position of mistreated submissive.”

    Anger flared. “Someone hurt you in the lifestyle?”

    She dipped her chin and looked up at him from under her brows. “Yes, genius, and you don’t have any cause to get angry. You took a hiatus for eighteen years, remember? If you wanted to initiate me into this lifestyle, you shouldn’t have pulled your Houdini act. As it was, I figured it out on my own and learned exactly what I do and don’t want.”

    “And what do you want, Moira?”

    “For starters, I need my partner to understand who I am and what I’m worth, rather than what I can be for him.” She rose and headed for the closet, dropping her towel. He swallowed hard at the glorious expanse of skin and her beautifully rounded ass. “Second, I want someone who will be around for me when I need him, not when he needs me.” She threw a long t-shirt over her head and blocked his view. “And third, he has to understand I’m me, as I am, not as he’d like me to be on his pedestal.”

    She retrieved her mug and handed it to him while drawing him upright. “So that’s my deal. But I’m too tired tonight to negotiate, so off you go to your room and I’ll see you in the morning.”

    “Moira—”

    “Good night, Aiden.” She pushed him out the door and firmly closed it behind him.

    499 #WIP500 words
    @SiobhanMuir

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Time

    Beep. Beep. Beep. Whoosh.

    The endless parade of mourners remained as relentless as the infernal machines. He should be proud Sade impacted so many lives. Ariel, the Seelie King’s Seducer, haunted the hallways like some pale wraith—an avenging warrior keeping the Reaper at bay. King Oberon and Queen Tatania had appeared. Their magic did nothing.

    Caleb’s mournful howl could be heard at moon rise each night. How had she described him? Foster brother. Best friend. Guard dog. Werewolf. Yes, he was all of those.

    Crevan, Le Vielle of the Gargoyle Sentinels, perched with Roman on the ledge outside Sade’s window. His magic, too, had failed. The Witches, the Elves, the magic of modern medicine all failed.

    Sade was dying. The truth shredded his heart.

    “Damn you.” The curse was a mild one, unlike the many Sade spewed. Sinjen ran the tip of his finger along her arm. “Open your eyes, Sade. I want to see the flash, the heat of your emotions. You owe me that much, at least, for loving you as I do.”

    Against orders, he crawled onto the hospital bed, ignoring tubes and wires. Sinjen gathered her into his arms, wincing at her flaccid muscles and drawn features. Dynamic. In life, Sade was dynamic—full of passion and fire, anger and justice, fearlessness and vulnerability. God how he loved her.

    “Do not leave me, darling girl. I refuse to live in this world without you. If you go from this life, I will walk into the sun to follow you. I will go to whatever Hell awaits me for it can be no worse than this existence with you gone. I pray only that I will be able to see you in the Summerlands from my prison.”

    Sinjen cupped her cheek, turning her head to nestle against his shoulder. With a gentle thumb, he opened her lips and his mouth covered hers. He inhaled. “I breathe you in.” Exhaling, he felt her chest rise. “I breathe you out. You are my everything. You stole my heart away but in doing so, returned the soul I lost a millennium ago. How do I repay the debt between us? My love is a pale reflection of what you have given me. I have not left your side and lonely these nights have been.” A pulse throbbed in her throat. A simple answer. She would live if he changed her. Could he live with her hate? Tears of blood red splashed on stark white bandages.

    Laying his cheek against the top of her head, he held her. A minute could have passed or a day. Time had no relevance. Even the bite of dawn could not drag him from his vigil. He refused to succumb to l’morte d’aube; day death held no sway over him.

    “Where you go, I follow. Into shadows. Into sunlight. Always.”

    The eternal machines continued their siren song, the broken promises they offered no longer enough. Dawn peeked over the horizon. The time had come.
    ****
    500 words
    @SilverJames_

    Liked by 4 people

      • Thank you! Being compared to Charlaine as a writer and storyteller is high praise. I have lived with these characters for a very long time and I know them intimately. I’ve missed writing in their world as my career took me into different worlds with different characters. I’m looking forward to getting deeper into the Penumbra world–book instead of the quick fix of flash fiction–later this year.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Silver. Woman. This scene continues to rip my heart out. I think you may need to write faster. But… don’t you DARE spoil how this ends in flash fiction!! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, as I mentioned Wednesday, I have no clue what Sinjen will actually do. I’ll find out when I write the book. But it would really help if you’d STOP picking inspriations that feed into this scene,. LOLOL I bought this song, BTW for when I finish the scene and the book. Because the Penumbra books have defined soundtracks. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

    • In just the few snippets I’ve seen of this, I am so curious about and invested in the outcome of this scene and story! I am in awe of how deftly you manage to have this many characters in a scene and maintain their individual personalities. Amazing and so much fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. GRIEF

    “And lonely these nights…”

    I hold the pen gently, tracing the words. Yesterday pulls against tomorrow, trapping me within this place. Not today, that word holds too much hope. Nostalgia swirls within my unsettledness, wrapping my thoughts in a noose of regret.

    More crying. No more tears. No! I feel anguish creep toward my center, crawling through my veins, pulling my lungs tight. It’s like being tied down, strangled slowly. I have to get out of here.

    ***

    The taxi settles to a stop in a street-wide puddle. Damn. When I step into the pothole, bits of trash and grease grasp my nylons. I give him the address, and the forward momentum thrills in my stomach – a sudden burst of aspiration. Maybe I’ll outrun him.

    I pick at the debris, noticing the red polish on my toes. When did I do that? “If we ever have a daughter, I know she won’t color in the lines. Look at your toes.” Oh god. His words. His voice.

    My thoughts split in a flash of memory. The numbness rips, desolation floods over me. I pound on the glass between us. “Cabbie? Can you hurry?”

    ***

    In the club, the musical pulse keeps my heart beating. “Where is he?” I search between the people. At the bar. I rush forward, slamming myself against him. “Help me.”

    Raine wraps his arm around me. “Meesha?”

    My tremble turns to sobs, and he pulls me hard against him, settling his mouth over mine. His hunger leaches the anguish from me, and I taste a touch of whiskey. I focus on the pressure, pushing against him, and, moments later, I feel the change in his posture.

    He whispers near my ear, “Let’s get out of here.”

    ***

    When I wake, a soft light drenches the room in hints of morning. We’re wrapped in sheets, wound around each other. I lay this way until he pulls himself from beneath me, clearing his throat.

    “What happened, Meesha?” He pulls my journal from the bed stand, reading quietly, “And lonely these nights…”

    I can see the struggle in his face. “I miss him.” It’s all I can offer.

    “I miss him, too.” Raine says, leaning forward, grasping at clothing on the floor.

    Things are turning awkward. I squeeze his thigh. “No. Don’t.” Raine freezes. Don’t go. I add, “I can’t find tomorrow.” He relaxes against the mattress.

    “I’ll stay.”

    399 Words
    @msbbrumley

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Now that you are gone
    My face, feels frozen
    My heart empty
    A heavy burden
    I did not ask for
    I feel so alone

    I reach for you
    You’re not there
    My heart grows heavy
    My chest feels tight
    Tears streak across

    I grieve so hard
    I think I’ll die
    But the sun comes up
    The sun goes down
    And still I linger on
    Existing in place
    Though I fill numb

    I wander like a zombie
    Idling away hours
    Filling time that never ends
    Scheduling things to do
    To take my mind from you
    Days never function
    As they did

    People speak of you
    To comfort me
    But solace is not nigh
    There is only one thing
    I seek though I cannot have
    Only in you can I find I abide

    I stare at pictures
    I think of you
    Morning noon and night
    Begging all the fates
    To bring you back
    But nothing changes

    To fill the void of absences
    And lonely these nights
    I inhale the fragrance
    On your pillowcase
    Unwashed for fear
    I lose the aroma
    The essence of you

    Still contained in a signal atom
    A bouquet that contains a trace
    Memory of me touching you
    Loving you, kissing you
    I breathe you in to save the scent
    A musky smell
    That I taste on my lips

    It tangs so sweet
    Lingering on my palate
    Filling me with warmth
    It touches my tongue
    And lingers on my nostrils
    Memories flood my senses
    Of passionate nights and days

    I fall asleep the pillowcase
    Beneath my head
    And dream of you
    Alive for a few hours
    I am in your arms again

    I wish I could stay
    But morning comes
    Wide- awake, I beg for sleep again
    But still I carry on
    Alone, apart from you
    I hold you near
    Your pillowcase clasped in my hand
    @SweetSheil
    308 Words

    Liked by 6 people

  6. HARRY’S ROOM by E.F. Olsson

    Renee was at the door with her overnight bag. I was hoping she would cancel again – I knew she hated doing this as much I as did – but here she was. We were never close growing up. When mom died we promised to check in on each other but I never intended to uphold my end of the deal.

    At some point she developed OCD. But me, as a single mom, I drifted to the other end of the cleanliness spectrum. If Harry made a mess, I told him not to worry we’re just creating memories. Now, Renee is here to box away those memories. A dirty house was acceptable on her first visit, but on the second visit, I heard all about it.

    She wanted to see Harry’s bedroom. I spent most the morning cleaning up his toys like I do every morning – except I kept the dust on the dresser – she ran her finger through it then swiped it away. I was hoping to capture his hand in it one night.

    “Did you even vacuum yet?” Renee asked.

    “I told you. I can’t.”

    “This house is just too big for you, Debby. You should think about selling it.”

    “I can’t leave, Harry.”

    “Listen to yourself. Harry isn’t here. This is just a house.”

    “You don’t understand.”

    “You expect me to believe that your son’s ghost comes through the motor of the vacuum? That he’s still plays with his toys?”

    “You came tonight didn’t you?”

    It was odd having company at the house. And lonely these nights have been since Harry’s death, I still felt alone in our awkward silence. I could have found better conversations at the bar.

    She stood and stretched. I half expected her to say she was leaving. Maybe I was only hoping. Then it happened. The thump sound against the wall. My heart skipped a beat. I know her’s did. She turned to look and never blinked once. Not even when the tears came. Only I didn’t know if they were tears of happiness in knowing Harry was here, or tears of fear because he was.

    I guided Renee to the edge of the hall. She listened as a little boy played in his room. The toy box was being shuffled through. The giggles she missed while he was still alive.

    “Lay down. Next to his door,” I whispered. She was hesitant at first but did. In the sliver of light beneath the door, his shadow moved. Renee jumped back. She gripped the wall.

    “Don’t open it,” she muttered.

    “I don’t anymore. I just listen. When I do, he leaves me.”

    Renee quickly grabbed the door handle and pushed it open. Cool air pressed against our faces. Harry was there, then vanished. His toys were spread out across the room.

    “I’m so sorry,” Renee said grabbing my hand.

    For a moment I felt a bond with her. “He’ll come again.”

    “I’m leaving. I can’t stay in here.”

    She was gone.

    @EFOlsson
    500 words

    Liked by 6 people

    • Sad, yet sweet. I especially like the moment when they lay down and see Harry’s shadow, and his mom says she just listens. In her place, I don’t think I could bear to leave the house, either.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Having been though the death of my sister’s child, I have to say this piece seriously shook me up. If we’d experienced something like this, we’d have enjoyed many afternoons with our faces pressed to the bottom of my nephew’s door. You’ve done a really wonderful job with this piece. Thank you. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Crowbar City Reverie

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

    Quarry landed on his feet, sprung tight into a western roll and tumbled smoothly down the short embankment. I crumpled into a fleshy heap and went head over heels, and slightly sideways, coming to a rest against some dried prickly desert flora that I would never work up a fondness for, whatever the hell it was…

    The air in my lungs blasted out of me like I was a blown tire.

    The train was gone in a flash and all was quiet.

    I swore I would stay in my huddled and accordioned condition for the rest of my days.
    Why would a sensible man seek any more movement in an already troubled life?

    I rested there, scrunched up in my cramped comfort.

    Quarry walked over and glanced down.

    “That could have gone a little better.”

    “I was thinking the very same thing. You’re okay?”

    “Barely a scratch. You?”

    “I need a moment.”

    “Fine! I’ll get the lay of the land and be back in five.”

    “You do that, John.”

    Quarry wandered up the slope. I moved one aching limb at a time until I was stretched
    out full and wide like a snow angel staring at the desert sky.

    “Desert air; I breathe you in. You are welcome into my tenderized lungs.” I took a deep
    breath and waited for the pain; lung-punctured; rib-fractured. I was expecting the worst.
    There were no clouds in the yellow sky. Something flew over; a vulture or a very small
    plane.

    Quarry returned.

    “How is the land laying, my friend?”

    “I think we are in for a bit of a hike, Woody. There is a fair piece of flat nothing between
    here and civilization. No guarantee Crowbar City is even semi-civilized.”

    “After Italy, I have ever lowered expectations,” I volunteered from my still prone and
    loving it vantage point.”

    “Infantry?” he asked.

    “The 34th. A ton of marching. Salerno. Anzio. I swore I would only walk to the store after
    I was demobbed.”

    “Well, I guess that’s what we are about to do, soldier.”

    Johnny helped me up from my sandy bed. He pulled me up the slight slope and we
    made tracks.

    I hoppled; he held back. We had no option but to follow the tracks, pace ourselves,
    watch and wait as the sun rose in the sky, reminding both of us how bright and deadly
    she was, how thirsty we were, would become.

    Just as I was beginning to imagine my lovely bones bleaching in the sun, the tracks
    dipped down and green foliage appeared. And then, off in the distance, a fine country
    road crossed over the tracks.

    I suppose I had become use to expecting death. War demands it. You can’t let it
    immobilize you but it’s everywhere you look so there is no big surprise when it grabs
    hold.

    To the right of the tracks, along that miraculous lane, stood salvation, an inviting
    farmhouse.
    500 words
    @billmelaterplea

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Best Beloved

    I breathe you in, the faintest hint of your scent still lingering on your pillow, unused this past week.

    Never to be used again.

    I won’t wash it, except with my tears. I’ve done that many times already but still the salt water wells up like the sea, limitless and unending.

    It is these little touches of you that anchor me, that I cling to – distraught me is better than old me, the me before we – and I hang on bitterly… all definitions of that word disturbingly, distressingly relevant. If I ever needed you before, then with an oath that puts my past swearing to shame, I need you now. I always will.

    I fear what will happen when time blunts my grief. I don’t want it to, I rage at how unfair it is, but as everyone has been telling me, time, time, time heals all wounds. Instead of consoling me this platitude sends me deeper into despair. Your face will blur in my mind, softened by temporal distance. Does that mean your fingerprints on my soul, the gentle reshaping of me from what I was to what you believed I could be will also revert? That I’ll sublimate back into the siren call and stupor of the bottle and booze? The demon you delivered me from. You were my saviour, my solace. What good is a benediction if it doesn’t last? Redemption revoked is a cruel joke.

    Self-recrimination burns, my thoughts should be of you, not myself. Or that other hackneyed phrase: think of the children. They’ll need me even more now. Surely I should be weeping for them. I’m grateful to your parents for picking up the slack, since… since… I’m grateful. I know it can’t last, that I’ve got to rise above it. As you would. As you would want me to. Expect me to. Hope I would.

    They’re hurting too, but they don’t really understand.

    The three-year-old is enjoying all the distractions, how could she not? I don’t blame her. Not much. How do you explain with proper gravitas that mummy’s not coming back when people are providing her with balloons another small joys? They mean well I am sure. I envy her smiles, so much like yours.

    The tiny one cries, reaching out for arms that can’t enfold her (that can’t enfold me) throwing my incompetence as a parent in stark relief. You were always better at everything. They need me, but they need you more. I need you more, an order of magnitude more.

    Your mother and father were always distant in your stories of family life, they can’t grasp my loss. Some of that is cultural I am sure, but partially it’s because they don’t – no-one does – have the fervour we have.
    Had. Fuck.

    FUCK!

    I miss you.

    From now till I join you, I’ll be alone and lonely these nights.

    491 words
    @davejamesashton

    Liked by 3 people

    • Such turmoil in this. The emotional tornado of grief, bitterness, loss… it swirls through these thoughts, laying bare the desperate need at the core.

      Like

  9. Can I humbly ask for an upbeat prompt next week please? Reading all the entries was heart wrenching, so many moving stories.

    It didn’t help I was drinking to get in character, as well 😛

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Tang

    You didn’t exist until the day we were playing tag on the school field and I was running full tilt to get away from you. I caught my foot on a root, tripped, and you cannoned into me. We went sprawling together. Dry grass in my mouth, freshly-baked earth and you, panting, sweaty, smelling of boy, pinning me down. Something inside me flared as you rolled off me and extended a hand.

    Later, much later, I breathe you in with your kisses. Cheap aftershave and that stuff you use on your hair, and I try to tell myself that you’re the same as all the other boys. I don’t believe it, though, not until a few months later when I catch a strange floral top note and immediately think of my friend Jennifer.

    I dress carefully. I want to look classy, to show that I’ve moved on. I make Paul buy a better suit, choose him a suitable tie. We hold hands in the church; he squeezes mine when the priest says ‘man and wife’. In the receiving line I peck Jennifer on the cheek, then move to shake your hand. You pull me in for a quick hug, and though your aftershave has grown more expensive underneath it you are just the same. After the food I plead a migraine. I can’t trust myself.

    Sometimes you ask me why I don’t wear perfume any more. ‘I loved the one you used to wear, what was it?’ I still wear it, but not when I’m with you. We won’t be caught out.

    Now, when I think of you, I smell lilies. The church was filled with them; they were heaped on top of you. Sweet, cloying, drowning you out, like that retouched photo on a stand. Jennifer’s version. But on a hot summer day I can go down to the meadow, lie down in the grass and close my eyes, and there you are again. Just a boy, new-made, and I’m just a girl waiting to be fallen over.

    @lizhedgecock
    341 words

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Somewhere in the first year of being a widow I met a friend. Zane and I were both widows. Cancer had taken his wife the year before it stole my husband. We hit it off right away. He loved my three kids and they loved him right back.

    Two years later, we got married. Life with Zane had been amazing. But there was one day out of the year where Zane wouldn’t do for me.

    “Jimmy?”

    I looked at the door to the bedroom my new husband and I shared. Zane settled onto the bed and rubbed my back. I clutched a picture of Ethan in my hands. He was smiling, his brown hair flopping into his glass-green eyes. The glass on the black frame was smudged with tears and finger prints.

    “I made dinner. Sara’s down for her nap, much to her protest. I cuddled with her till she fell asleep.”

    I reached for a tissue and wiped my nose and eyes. “I miss him. How did it get to be three years already?”

    Zane pulled me up and hugged me. “Time flies, trust me. It’ll be five for Christine soon. Is there anything I can do?”

    I shook my head. “No. You’re doing enough.”

    “It doesn’t feel like it.”

    I hugged him back. “You’re doing fine. It’s just—I get sad and lonely. These nights leading up to his anniversary seem to last forever. What’d you make for dinner?”

    “Sandwiches. Okay, I went to Carol’s and got sandwiches. I thought that might make you feel better. I told her what today was and she sent something along for you.”

    I let Zane pull me to my feet. I cried onto his shoulder, certain the pain would never get better. How Zane got through his wife’s anniversary was beyond me. We walked downstairs and I smiled.

    In the middle of the table was a vase of my favorite flowers: red, blue, and pink carnations. I plucked the card out and the tears started up fresh. They were from Ethan’s parents.

    I sat down, wiping my eyes. Next to my plate was a medium sized box. Confused, I tore off the wrapping paper and opened the box. Inside was a picture of me and Ethan with our two oldest kids. It was taken at Carol’s shop the day she opened it. All four of us were smiling, holding up a sign that said “Now open for business!”

    “Tell her I said thanks,” I said. I picked up my sandwich: corned beef on rye with mayo and tomato. “I love it.”

    Zane smiled. “She thought you might. She’s got a bigger version hanging on the wall. She wants you to stop in, says it’s been a while.”

    I nodded. I wiped my hands, then propped the picture by the flowers. My Ethan was gone forever, but at least I had good memories.

    @Aightball
    481 words

    Liked by 3 people

  12. “Viscount Graham!”

    Flashbulbs popped as we exited the morgue. The swarm of media persons surrounding us startled me so bad I forgot to walk.

    “What the hell is this?”

    “Bollocks,” Graham muttered. “I thought Carlisle agreed to contain this news. Who the bloody hell leaked to the media?”

    “Viscount, is it true you’re working with the Miami P.D. on a vampire murder case?”

    “Is Miami P.D. aware of your connection to the vampire?”

    “Was Baroness Lindhurst a victim?”

    So many questions. Viscount? Baroness? How did they know so much?

    “I can’t—I—”

    “Breathe.”

    “You—”

    “In this excessively awkward moment, as much as I should explain some things, I would appreciate nothing so much as getting out of here.” Graham linked his hand with mine. “Could we, please?”

    The comfort of my Jeep sat parked some two hundred feet away. Might as well be two hundred miles.

    “I don’t think they’re going to let us leave.”

    He grinned and the cameras exploded. I felt the anonymity I treasured—and occasionally relied on—slipping away.

    “Never been subjected to the media circus?”

    “Can’t say I have.”

    “I’ll get us through the mob. You be the getaway driver.”

    “Wheelman,” I said. “Yeah, I can do that.”

    Graham guided us quickly through the crowd. They parted like the Red Sea in front of him. I kept my head down and scurried along in his wake. The reporters continued to fire off questions, to which Graham offered a, “No comment.”

    We made the safety of the Jeep and the tires squealed as I punched the gas. I almost stalled out, the truck lurching in protest as I ground the shifter into second gear. By fourth gear, I felt the return of my equilibrium. I just drove, not particularly caring where I was going. Away was enough for the moment.

    “Let’s stop somewhere,” he said after fifteen minutes or so. “I need something to eat.”

    “People know you.” Food could wait until I had some answers.

    “Yes, well.” He shifted around in his seat. “My grandmother has chosen a very visible life. That visibility trickled down to her children and then their children.”

    “You’re royalty?”

    “Very minor.” He reached for the dashboard and cranked the AC up. “I prefer the title I’ve earned.”

    “Detective Inspector.”

    “Indeed. I’ve worked to be recognized as something more than a royal playboy and eligible bachelor.”

    “I didn’t know,” I said. “I mean, I didn’t recognize you. I still don’t.”

    “I know,” he said softly. “My best moment of the night was you not knowing me.”

    “Oh?”

    “For a few wonderful minutes, I got to be an ordinary man.” I caught his smile out of the corner of my eye. “Flirting with an extraordinary woman.”

    “Extraordinary?”

    “You didn’t see you in that dress.”

    My cheeks flamed.

    “Giving me hell and choking on a wine you hated.” He made a small, contemplative noise. “Barefoot and gun toting.” His gaze drifted out the window to the road racing by. “Positively extraordinary.”

    @caramichaels
    500 WIP words

    Liked by 2 people

  13. It’s a siren’s call. It’s the wine dark sea lapping over my toes, drawing me deeper. It’s the velvet night closing in around me, warm as honey on my ice chilled skin. It’s a summons, implacable and irresistible. It demands an answer.

    I’m lying in bed. The sheets are wrinkled and smell of salt and must, the scent of a person decaying from the inside. I have been here for days, not sleeping, not dreaming. I can’t close my eyes. I lie there staring at the crack snaking across the flaking ceiling and think of nothing.

    The nothingness lies heavily on my chest pinning me down. Perhaps that’s why I can’t move; the nothing just weighs too much.

    I haven’t left the house for weeks because I’m weighed down by nothing.

    Or is it months? It’s hard to remember. The days and nights blend together like smudges of charcoal, indistinct.

    I think of nothing. But I hear the call, over and over at the edge of my awareness. I sink deeper into the darkness, drifting into the water. It feels right this way.

    In the bed, I don’t move. I don’t lift an arm or turn over to my side. To move would disturb me and I don’t want to be disturbed. It’s better this way. I’m embalmed in my own silence. If I move,
    I might feel that jagged pain in my chest that heralds tears. I might feel the agitation in my blood, the unbearable scratch of anxiety itching at my skin. I might act.

    Movement means remembering that there are knives in the kitchen. A razor blade by the basin. A pistol in the gun cabinet downstairs.

    A soft sound from the doorway. A soothing murmur. Footsteps across the floorboards. I don’t look round, don’t greet her but she touches me anyway, uncurling my fingers and pressing you against my palm. I recognise your shape, my siren, tiny, round and hard. I’ve held you too many times, consumed you, as you consume me. Your potency makes a lie of your size. Lifting you to my face, I breathe you in.

    The waters close over my head.

    @charitygirlblog
    359 words

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s always just a bit awkward, you know one of you has to make a move but for some reason it’s stalled and you are just sitting there unsure.

    You have been enjoying the evening so far but all of a sudden things have become stilted and strange.

    There is a charge in the air now, you can feel that something is about to happen, it’s up to him, really he should know that but you can’t figure out what he’s trying to do by making you wait so long.

    His hand comes up, reaches over but hesitates at the last second and then drops back to his side. You look over and see the perspiration is heavier on his face. He looks hot and bothered and not at all like he did when you first met.

    Should you say something? His eyes flick up towards your face but never quite meet your eyes and you are starting to get a little worried.

    He was supposed to take the lead, you had it all planned out. You were going to follow his lead and let his moves dictate yours but now… What now?

    Ahhh finally, his hand comes up and rests on the table, he pulls a handkerchief out of his shirt pocket and dabs at his brow. He is visibly trying to calm himself down, you can see that. Breathing in and out, very slowly, his eyes have more focus and his face is not as pale.

    You sit forward in your chair, waiting but trying to not look to eager, this could be the move that starts something big for you. He takes a slow sip of water and is very deliberate in his movements, the glass placement back on the table, his hand hovering over the table.

    He picks up his knight.

    “Check Mate” he says in his soft voice.

    You look down, confused, how did you not see it, you were too busy following instead of attacking.

    So now it’s back to the drawing board, the books, and lonely these nights will be planning and preparing for the next tournament.

    352 words

    Liked by 2 people

      • OH I put the wrong one up, my words in the last sentence are in the wrong order, can I edit my comment in some way or do I need to add a new one?

        Like

      • Either way. If you want to repost, I can take this one down. Or I can fix this one. However you want to do it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Cara, can you please fix this one, it will save any hassle as you have shared it and it’s wonderful that you have.
        Thanks to the JuNoWriMo crew for linking to you….
        Please change the last paragraph to:

        So now it’s back to the drawing board, the books and I will be lonely these nights planning and preparing for the next tournament.

        Like

  15. The Man In The Shadows

    The house is dark and quiet when Margot arrives home after work. She leaves the car in the driveway, skirts the sprinklers on the back lawn, and dumps her jacket and bag on a patio chair.

    The wind shifts, chasing damp birch leaves and lilac petals across the cement until they bump into something on the patio, something quiet and patient and warm.

    She reaches into her bag for smokes, lights one, and takes a slow drag. “Now that you’ve caught me smoking, I suppose there are no more secrets between us.”

    “An endless list of riddles to unravel, perhaps, but no more secrets,” says the man in the chair beneath her kitchen window.

    She takes another drag, turns, and hands him the cigarette. “Its a little late for a social call, Detective Jacobson.”

    He inhales and exhales several times before rising to stand beside her. “I’m not feeling particularity social, Ms. Connolly.”

    “You want to talk about it,” she says, glancing at his shrouded face, knowing the shadows under his eyes have nothing to do with the late hour.

    “Talk? No.”

    “Working such a tough case, it’s easy to get worn down and lonely -”

    “These nights, I’m so tired I don’t even make it to the bed. I pass out on the couch with my shoes still on. But standing here, I breathe you in and smell hope.”

    She lifts a hand to his jaw. “You’re not here about the case, are you?”

    He laces his fingers through hers, brings her hand to his mouth and kisses her palm. “No.”

    “Then we need to talk,” she says, nodding toward the chair where she’d found him.

    He retreats into the shadows and settles into the chair.

    She follows, penetrates his personal space and stradles his lap. “What’s on your mind, Sean.”

    He lifts his face and brushes her mouth with his, a question in the stutter of his breath, and a sigh of contentment when she answers.

    Behind them, in the dark, sprinklers whisper and lilacs tremble.

    – – – –
    @bullishink / 390 ineligible words

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Rebecca crept up to the large pillar that was stood between her and the window. She could see people swirling around in front of it. The party had been going on for some time. Skin glistened with the heat of the room. The alcohol was flowing freely and the smiles were lopsided.

    She held her breath as a pair of French doors opened. The couple laughed as they stumbled out, holding onto each other closer than was appropriate. She frowned, fingers scraping against the stone of the pillar. She didn’t focus on the minor pain compared to following the couple as they made their way down the steps and towards the hedge maze. There was further laughter from inside, people calling out to the couple with ribald comments.

    Rebecca clenched her teeth together, blinking rapidly at the sudden stinging in her eyes. She waited until the doors closed, muting the music and merriment within, using the shadows to follow after the couple.

    He swore that she was the one he wanted. He promised that they would get married. Never mind that her family didn’t have a lot of money. He SWORE to her that it was true love! Her hands clenched in the skirts of her clothing.

    Rebecca followed the giggling couple as they went through the maze. She had to stop when the noise muffled where they wore. From the sounds, they had partaken a bit much of the alcohol. She knew there was a private gazebo in the center because she had met her love there many times. He swore that she would be the only one.

    The laughing got loud as she turned the corner into the center. It faded away to soft moaning and moist noises. She had to stop THAT before it went too far.

    “Thomas! I’ve been waiting for you! What are you doing with this woman!”

    There was a curse and the woman gave a short scream as the couple jumped apart. Her love stood up and peered at her. “Who are you?”

    “It’s me. Rebecca. How could you forget about me? You told me that I was your love. You promised me! I have been waiting and lonely these nights. You said you would come for me!”

    Thomas moved into the light and stopped, staring at Rebecca. His eyes were wide. “What in the hell?”

    “Thomas, you promised you would love me forever.”

    “But you’re dead.”

    Rebecca paused, her hand reaching out to grab hold.

    He jerked back, tripping on the stairs. “Stay away from me!”

    Rebecca stared at him, shards of memory of their last night that she could remember. She frowned at the phantom pain on the back of her head. “I’m dead?” It would explain why she never remembers going home. She turned her head towards him, feeling the anger build. “You killed me!” Her fingers curled into claws. “You bastard!”

    The distance from the house muffled the screams from those in the maze until it went silent again.

    500 words
    @solimond

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Merlin flexed his wings as he soared through the black sky, a black dragon on a black sky. He knew he was nearly invisible. Beneath him was the Kingdom of the Fairies, ruled by Queen Eyela, and King Stephan.

    The kingdom was under siege, surrounded by Angels. Angels bent on destroying wild magic. Bent on destroying the fairies, and their magic, the dragons, and their magic. Bent on ridding the world of magic. Magic that brought wars, and death.

    The fairies, though skilled fliers, and well trained warriors, were no physical match for the Angels. The Angels were faster and stronger. They could fly higher, turn tighter. Angels were masters of the skies. And masters of war.

    Merlin knew something the Angels didn’t. The magic didn’t exist. It was technology, a gift from the children of the human race. The intelligent machines.

    Merlin was a dragon. Genetically, he was a modified human, created by the machines. He could use the machines, they did his bidding. On his world, the world named Cylinders, the machines were everywhere. In the air, the dirt, the water, the food. They flowed in his blood.

    He waited for the darkest part of night. When the moon sank beneath the horizon, and only the stars were left. When that time came, he would deal with the Angels.

    “Are you ready, machines?”

    “We have always been ready.”

    He almost laughed. “I breathe you in. I breathe you out. I imagine what I want. And you give it to me.”

    “You know how the technology works. You know how we work.

    “And yet, you do nothing to stop the Angels.” Merlin knew the machines would not interfere. They would only act when he, and others with magic wished them to act. They would on do what those with magic wished them to do.

    And the magic wasn’t really magic. It was communication with the machines. The ability to talk directly to them, in their language. “You know what I will do when the time comes.”

    “Yes.”

    When it was time, Merlin tucked his wings close to his body. He plunged from the sky, sword like claws fully extended. He sliced into the Angels outside the kingdom’s walls. He placed himself between the angels and the walls, then called on the machines. He hovered in the air. As he pushed his wings forward, toward the angels, the machines did as he asked. His wings spawned the wind. The wind grew into a storm. It howled. It blew everything in its path away.

    The Angels were helpless before the storm, blown to the ground, blown into the trees, into the sky. Their wings broken, shattered, useless in the wind.

    Merlin settled to the ground. He screamed, the wound of metal sheets being torn in half. He knew Mystica heard. He knew, soon the war with the Angels would be over. And he wondered if any of the Angels would survive.

    490 words
    @LurchMunster

    Liked by 2 people

    • I always enjoy reading snippets from the world of Cylinders! I love how Merlin is so dedicated to sweeping away the imbalance of the old world and ushering in a new and balanced existence!! 🙂

      Like

  18. Pingback: #FlashMobWrites 1×12 : Breathe You In My Dreams | My Soul's Tears

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