Midweek Musings 1×02

Welcome back to Week Two of our new feature Midweek Musings, where we provide you with a song prompt for inspiration. Full guidelines are provided at the end of this post, below the song lyrics.

As a big fan of adventure stories and ensemble casts, I love a good anthem. You know, the kind of song that floods the speakers in the theater as Iron Man and Captain American kick villainy to the curb.

That’s what we’re offering up this week, a full throttle feel good anthem by newcomer Ella Eyre titled “Together.” It’s short on lyrics but long on rallying the troops! How will it fuel the storyline for your adventure ensemble, star-crossed lovers, or feuding clansmen?

TOGETHER

It’s all right, all right
It’s all right, all right
It’s all right, hm

So many times has it all been said and done
In the end it’s the fight that’s just begun
Understand that it’s days like these
When the world is so hard to please
It knew my heart has found a home

‘Cause it’s not about me
It’s not about who I want to be
It’s not about you
You know that we are better off as two

‘Cause we are, we are, we are, we are born
Yeah, we are, we are, we are, we are born
Together (It’s all right, all right)
It’s all right (It’s all right, all right)
Together (It’s all right, all right)
It’s all right (It’s all right, all right)

These games they will always end the same
‘Cause neither you or I will take the blame, oh
Sometimes we go too far
But I like it the way we are
Right here I give your heart a home

No it’s not about me
It’s not about who I want to be
It’s not about you
You know that we are better off as two

‘Cause we are, we are, we are, we are born
Yeah, we are, we are, we are, we are born
Together (It’s all right, all right)
It’s all right (It’s all right, all right)


The Guidelines:

  • This is a non-judged free write session.
  • Use the prompt anyway you’d like.
  • Post anytime between now and next Tuesday.
  • Keep it under 1,000 words.
  • Leave encouraging comments for other participants.
  • Most of all, have FUN!
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15 thoughts on “Midweek Musings 1×02

  1. “Are you awake enough to drive?” Graham asked as I settled behind the wheel of my Jeep.

    “Is someone offering options?” With a fierce yawn, I turned the key. The engine rumbled to life, the dormant AC blasting hot air. “I’m fully prepared to discuss naps before autopsies.”

    I followed Carlisle along Fair Isle Street, back to mainland Miami. We headed south on Bayshore, before cutting west to pick up US 1 South. Miami traffic defied the rules of the road, and the six mile trip to Sunset Drive took almost half an hour.

    Graham was well acquainted with my road rage by the time we reached our destination.

    “The people of Miami have no idea how grateful they should be you’re not an actual witch.”

    I heard the grin in his voice.

    “Half the population would be wiped out by your curses.”

    “It’s not my fault people can’t drive.”

    The job occasionally necessitated trips to North Star Pathology, one of Miami’s premier private pathology labs. Carlisle, with his city plate, parked right at the door. I had to settle for space half a block down the road. Graham stepped out to the sidewalk, umbrella in hand.

    I glanced to the sky. Only a few wisps of cirrus cloud dusted the brilliant blue.

    “Don’t think it’s going to rain anytime soon.”

    “This is not for the rain.” He opened it, settling the portable shade against his left shoulder.

    Shaking my head, I hopped down to the street and scooted around the hood of the Jeep before a beater Toyota blaring something jangly and Spanish mowed me down. Graham offered a single finger salute as the car tore down the street without even a courtesy brake tap.

    “That’s the spirit,” I said. “You’ll have this road rage thing down in no time. Just make sure you’re carrying at all times. People tend to take offense when you find fault with their driving skills.”

    “Or lack thereof.”

    “Duh.”

    “If you keep the channeling of the universal auras to a minimum, I’d be happy to escort you toward the prospect of air-conditioning.” He canted his elbow toward me.

    “You’re surprisingly chipper about this.” In the ballroom, I’d seen the emotional turmoil beneath the charming armor. I knew that storm still lurked under the calm surface he presented now. “There’s a diner across the street. You don’t have to do this.”

    “I appreciate the offer, Kelly. But yes, I do.” Sadness edged into his smile and crept up, darkening his eyes. “This moment isn’t about me or what I want.”

    The one thing he might truly want, no one could give him.

    “I couldn’t save her. The least I can do is help avenge her.”

    “Help?” I pursed my lips. “No plans to go Lone Ranger on me?”

    “Despite the limited time we’ve spent together, it’s already been established in my mind that we make a decent team.”

    Most people found my life and my career too strange to relate to. So I didn’t have many friends, and I had even fewer human friends, but I had enough to recognize the warm, squishy blooming in my heart. I slipped my hand around his arm, my fingers curling around the muscled bicep hidden by fine, blood-spattered cotton.

    “Let’s do this, then.”

    Carlisle’s eyebrows would have disappeared into his hair, if he had any. As it was, they attempted to rise all the way to the top of his head as we walked into the serene lobby of North Star.

    “Give it a rest, Matt.” I stepped away from Graham and smoothed the ruins of my dress. Anticipating the rules of lab attire, I loosened my ponytail and coiled the mass of my hair into a bun. “You’re just regretting your lack of gentlemanly ways.”

    He snickered.

    “C’mon, your ladyship. Doc’s just about to start the show.”

    Graham stiffened lightly and Carlisle—points for the detective’s keen powers of observing when he’d stuffed his foot in his mouth—swore softly.

    “I’m sorry, man,” he said. “We don’t usually do these with friends of the victims.”

    “We don’t usually do these.”

    “Yeah, that either.” Carlisle rubbed his head.

    “I suppose there’s some comfort in knowing vampire mass murders aren’t an everyday thing.”

    Carlisle and I both offered a fervent amen to that.

    Recessed lighting, music of the light classical persuasion, and the scent of woodsy florals on the air combined into a soothing atmosphere. And expensive. Scythe’s services didn’t come cheaply, and his lab reflected where the money went far more than the lobby.

    Dr. Nathaniel Scythe met us in the corridor leading to the main lab. At six and a half feet tall, he topped Graham by at least a few inches, and dwarfed Carlisle’s more average height. Me? Well, he curled his arm around my head and drew me in for a side hug. My face mashed against his ribs.

    “Hari wants to know when you’re going to come see us for something other than a dead body, kid.”

    “Scythe, I’m not a kid. I officially look older than you now.” Forty was fast approaching on the birthday horizon. “The last time we went out, who got carded?”

    “That bartender was flirting for tips,” he teased. “You just weren’t his type.”

    “I’m not anyone’s type.” I shoved him back a step, ignoring Carlisle’s spontaneous coughing fit. “Where is Jackson, anyway? I need to talk to her.”

    “About this case?”

    “About how a woman becomes a vampire in the middle of a dinner party.”

    “We may have an answer to that problematic issue.” He glanced between the three of us. “Who’s the eagle eye who spotted the needle track?”

    “I did,” Graham said.

    “Well done.” Scythe shook his hand as they walked. “I would have found it anyway, but it was nice to see someone else is paying attention. These two never find the interesting clues.”

    I lifted my head to the ceiling, praying for patience.

    “Come along, Kelly,” Scythe called. “We’ve a murder to solve.”

    @caramichaels
    1000 WIP words
    *huzzah!*

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Four Winds from a Tempest
    997 Words *WIP*

    Gale Arioch felt a shudder slide through the ship as he descended into the wind currents. Two calloused hands clutched the half-circle shape, pressed over gray duct tape wound around the two ends, fashioning padding for the handle. Always worse before it gets better, he thought.

    “Zephyr!” He bellowed over his shoulder.

    “I’m coming, I’m coming.” Zephyr Arioch answered in the timid voice that belied the in-born skill she possessed. A red braid hung over each ear, a smattering of freckles adding to her perpetually youthful look. Swinging a leg over the co-pilot’s seat, over-stuffed cargo shorts jingled as she plopped into the bucket chair, snapping and fastening the harness with a practiced hand.

    “Who needs sleep?” She wrapped her hand around the matching controls.

    “Strapped in?”

    “Stop bossing, brother.” Her answer held only lighthearted teasing.

    Descending over the Maroon Waters of Shorian, Gale scowled with concentration as the control wheel bucked forward. He squinted into the glare from the white star lighting the solar system, a larger blue white star shining just behind, but over a parsec away. “Easy, we don’t have six months to rebuild this time.” The hull groaned, complaining against the wind shear. He glanced over at his sister. “No repeats.”

    “Agreed,” she growled. Then, pursing her lips, beads of sweat formed on her forehead, as the muscles in her arms flexed. “I blame Gust.” They pulled hard, both leaning to the right, forward then back. “Shame Sirocco didn’t come along,” she said, thinking of her absent twin. “Coulda been a family reunion.”

    Gale laughed, “Fancy a revolt, do ya?”

    Zephyr’s answering snicker faded in a grunt when the ship made a sharp dive toward the reddish waters, a light rain beating against the cockpit glass. The white light shining through the thin clouds blushed the sky a rosy hue.

    “Pink is not my favorite.”

    “Have you ever seen a pink rainbow in iron skies? You might like it.” Gale said, through gritted teeth. Zephyr did not answer, so he continued, “Alright then, hate pink, but it’s the prison planet, and you know Gust is innocent,” Gale added. “Nearly there.” Their banter fell silent, fighting the ship and the winds, Gale praying the patchwork hull would hold together.

    Somewhere, the sound of metal ripping signaled the harsh landing behind a cliff, inside a crater on the barren surface. Gale laughed wildly. “Made it!”

    Zephyr was leaned forward over the control panel, studying lights and checking read-outs.

    “Whatever that was…” Gale said as he watched her tap dials. “It wasn’t bad enough to make Mama scream at us. Hopefully, it wasn’t bad at all.”

    Gale unstrapped before adding, “We’ll look her over before we leave.” Reaching underneath his seat, he retrieved two energy pistols. The long barrels glinted in the sunlight shining through the cockpit, the end pinched to help focus the beam. “There’s another under yours.”

    Zephyr already stood, but stooped to pick up the firearm, tucking it into her belt. “Off we go. Be back in a bit, Mama.” Her hand caressed the walls as she strolled toward the hatch.

    Gale looked at Zephyr’s hand. “For good luck?” She nodded. Thinking a moment, he shrugged, then ran his hand along the same path she’d chosen. “For luck, then.”

    ***

    “Gust!” Gale clapped his twin brother in a hug, giving a playful tug to the wiry, unkempt beard trailing down the broad chest, eyeing the tattered clothes and fresh bruises on his face. “Been here a while?”

    Gust Arioch harrumphed. “Funny man.” He massaged his wrists. “First time they’ve let me see visitors without handcuffs.”

    Loosening his hold, Gale lowered his voice to a whisper, switching to their home-world dialect. “We’re here to get you out. Some of the guards are sympathetic. Zephyr’s up top.” Gale leaned slightly so his utility vest flashed open. The lone swinging prison light glinted off the aluminum grips of two weapons tucked in his belt.

    “Three of four winds in one place…” Gust grinned. “They don’t stand a chance.”

    Stepping back, they strolled toward the guard. With a wink, Gale pulled the thick door open. The guard winked back, keying the old school walkie-talkie three times. Once through the door, Gale pretended to trip, pressing the second pistol into Gust’s hands. Gale lifted his brows and mouthed, “Ready?”

    Gust answered with a slight drop of his chin.

    Throwing a grin at the camera behind them, Gale spun. The yellow energy pulse left the barrel, decimating the camera in a shower of sparks. “Go!”

    Gust charged down the narrow hall, gun held high. Gale waved at every camera before blasting it in an identical shower of fireworks. The surge blew out light bulbs as they went. Doors clicked and opened. At the third, Gust grinned at Gale in between the shadows. “Man on the inside, Gale? Is that what took you so long?”

    “Naturally.” Gale sent a volley of energy pulses toward a squad of gray uniformed, black helmeted soldiers, pinning them inside a room off of the exit hallway. As they ran by, he haphazardly shot into the room before pulling the door closed and melting the handpad. He donned a smirk when the soldiers began pounding and yelling.

    Another door clicked open and the twins exploded onto the windy surface. Zephyr leaned against the Misher stone entrance. Green eyes twinkling, “Well, I was just about to leave you two behind.”

    Gust grabbed her in a bear hug, then tossed her into the dune crawler. Cheerful, Gale threw himself into the vehicle, enjoying their reunion. Gust frowned at Zephyr. “Sirocco?”

    “Not this time,” Zephyr answered, patting his arm. “She stayed back to keep up the fight. ’Sides, your favorite sister came last time – my turn.” The engine revved, tires spinning red dust into the air as she caught a gear.

    Gust laughed. “That it was, Z.” He turned toward Gale. “Take me to Mama!” The three fiery haired criminals raced across the flats, each thinking of home.

    @msbbrumley

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Simply Red
    871 words (WIP)
    @SilverJames_

    Duke Reagan lowered his head to his sniper scope. And swore. Just like the last time he’d sighted in on that face. Then the view had been mud huts and the African savanna. Now he was in the freaking South American jungle watching a multi-million dollar villa built on the side of a hill. And just like last time, the face in the crosshairs was the same. She hadn’t changed in the last two years.

    This was the face that haunted his dreams, that left him awake and aching, so hard and wanting no cold shower could dent his need. It was impossible. Dr. Cory Prince here in the Ecuadorian jungles? At the villa of a fuckin’ drug lord? Then again, why was he surprised? After all, the first time he’d seen her, she’d been in the company of an African warlord.

    Fraser Kincaid snaked up beside him but didn’t speak. Duke was still a little freaked out that the guy could turn furry in the blink of an eye, despite having worked—however briefly—with the former Army SpecOps guys collectively known as the Wolves. Still, Kin was a hellava special operator. “We have a complication.”

    “Aye. She’s American.” A Scottish burr smudged Kin’s reply. “I suspect from the way you’re scowling there’s a bit more to the story.”

    More? Hell yeah there was more. He’d made her kill that warlord, right after his whole SEAL team had been blown to shit and he’d lost his eyesight. He didn’t explain any of that to Kin, saying only, “I’ve run into her before.”

    Which was the world’s biggest understatement. Eye glued to the sniper scope, Duke glared at the woman who’d proven his nemesis every time their paths crossed. Her eyes remained the clear blue he remembered but he was shocked to discover her hair was red. In his dreams, her hair was blonde. Or brown. Even black. Never red.

    He had a thing for women with red hair. Hated them. Completely and absolutely. He’d dated one redhead who’d ruined his life and now here was Dr. Cory Prince, with her long legs, lush curves, and that deer-in-headlights expression as she recognized him. Could Fate fuck with him any more?

    The odds of finding her here in an equatorial jungle in the house of the man they’d been sent to destroy were a little too pat for him; the situation in Africa a little too similar to the current mission.

    “Your call, mate.”

    Yeah. His call. He was the damn mission boss. Part of him wanted to put a bullet in her brain. The rest wanted to strip her down and fuck her blind. Decisions, decisions. And he decided this was above his pay grade.

    “Call Mother.”

    His men’s eyes focused on him then Tank and Dalton exchanged a look. Yeah, they weren’t feeling the love either. Uri hunkered down next to the compact radio unit. Moments later, Mother’s voice crackled from the speaker.

    “We got a situation,” Duke started.

    Mother cut him off. “Did you get her?”

    The men exchanged uneasy glances and Duke snarled. “You wanna explain what’s going on, Mother?

    “Take out the effing cartel, Duke. Bring the little bird home. We’ll talk then.”

    “You sure this isn’t a set up?”

    “Would I do that to you?” She paused a beat before continuing. “Don’t answer that. If I want your ass, I’ll take it out myself. Your team is clear.”

    “Mother?”

    “Trust me. I have you covered. All of you. Get this done, Duke, and come home.” The radio hummed to silence.

    He dipped his head back to the scope, stared into frightened blue eyes, and wondered just where home might be. This wasn’t about him, or the doctor. This was about the mission. All the personal shit could wait. He inhaled. Exhaled. Gave the order.

    “Extract her before we blow the villa, Kin.”

    “I’ll retrieve her then. What is it American cowboys say? Yippee-ki-yay, motherfuckers?”

    “No, that would be John McClane, the cop character in the Die Hard movies.” And didn’t that just sum up his personal hell. Duke scrubbed at his forehead. The team was out of options. They had to cut the head off the cartel and no matter how much part of him might want to leave Dr. Cory Prince behind to suffer the consequences of her actions, he couldn’t do it. Not and face himself in the mirror every morning for the rest of his life. “Get her out, Kin. We’ll cover your six.”

    “My arse appreciates that, Duke.” The cocky Scot gave him a one-fingered salute before disappearing into the jungle foliage.

    “It’s time to party.” He muttered the words but Tank heard them. So did Dalton, Uri, and Fionn.

    “Fitting, since the gang’s all here.” Tank nudged his hip with a boot. “Like old times.”

    “Speak for yourself.” Duke settled back into his firing position, doing his best to ignore the smirks and snickers from his teammates. So what if he didn’t partake in their shenanigans when they were between missions. His fucking dick had a mind of it’s own when it came to fucking. And the fucker had just decided it liked redheads. Dammit.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. FREEBIRD

    Never thought I’d be sorry to say goodbye to the Shiloh Valley Veteran’s Hospital. Spent most every day of my eighteen month residence daydreaming about the moment I’d bust out. Always imagined myself hauling ass out the front door and hollering ‘freebird’ until I didn’t have any voice left.

    Didn’t quite turn out like that. Reason being the guys thought we should say our ‘goodbyes’ over turkey on rye. When I say ‘the guys’ I mean the Puerto Rican and nobody crosses the Puerto Rican.

    So this morning, after I get my walking papers, I head to the cafeteria, hoping for a few moments alone to nut up and get myself in check. But Jimmy McNulty is already in the courtyard holding down a table in the shade. The shade is to protect the Puerto Rican’s healing skin. She arrives shortly after I do and in her wake, comes the final member of our crew, Leonard Kane, his eye bandages covered by sunglasses.

    It’s straight up noon when a cafeteria server delivers our trays and per years of ingrained training, we make short work of the food. Takes ten minutes to polish off the sandwiches and fruit, thirty seconds to stack the empty trays and five to lob the trash in the container an arm’s length away.

    “So, you’ll be back once a week, right,” McNulty says, his tatted knuckles tapping the stacked trays.

    “Thursday afternoons, peaches,” the Puerto Rican says, putting a scarred hand on McNulty’s arm to calm his agitated energy.

    Kane elbows me. “Man up, Hurley. Admit you chose that day based on Doc Laugero’s schedule.”

    Before I can defend myself, Ja Chung, Shiloh Valley’s lead prosthetics technician, appears at our table with bottles of apple juice. “Okay, troublemakers. Farewell toasts and then I’m hauling Hurley off the premises.”

    We’re three bottles into our ribald toasts when I realize I’m not ready to bug out. Yeah, I want the hell out of this hospital but I can’t imagine life without these people. We’re from different military branches and sustained different injuries but together, we’re a cohesive unit.

    McNulty and the Puerto Rican, given name Ventura Cruz, are supposed to bail sometime next month but release dates are sketchy around here. And who knows when Kane will get cut loose. After his prognosis took a turn for the worse last week, looks like he’s in for another surgery or two.

    So here I am, in no hurry at all to hit the road. But I’m supposed to go home with Chung, get settled into an apartment next to his, and have dinner with he and his aunt. “Hey, Chung? You think your aunt will be pissed if we put dinner off until tomorrow night?”

    He polishes off a bottle of juice and grins. “Depends on what you have in mind.”

    I wink. “I’m feeling lucky, you know? Like maybe today is the day I’m going to win back the cash Cruz swindled me out of at last week’s poker game.”

    McNulty and Kane burst into guffaws.

    Chung settles onto the bench beside Kane. The two play cards as a pair since Kane needs Chung’s eyes. “Only thing Aunt Hyo likes more than dinner company is a good game of five card stud.”

    Cruz wipes her mouth with the back of her hand, pitches her empty bottle into the trash without bothering to glance at the can. “How are you going to ante up, Marine? Last time we sat across from each other, I bled you dry.”

    A honeyed voice behind me says, “I’ll cover his bets.”

    Kane lets out a low whistle. “Luck is definitely a lady today.”

    McNulty greets the newcomer with a polite nod. “Afternoon, Dr. Laugero.”

    Cruz grins at the doctor and says, “I apologize in advance for lightening your wallet, Neve.”

    I rise to offer Laugero, my former physical therapist, my seat, but she stops me with a hand on my shoulder and slides onto the bench beside me. “I was hoping we’d get some time together before you left, Sargent Hurley. This is perfect.”

    “You may not think so if Cruz gets on a roll,” I say, trying to ignore the firm warmth of her thigh pressed against mine but feeling grateful there’s enough left of my upper leg that I can enjoy the contact.

    She smiles. “Cruz doesn’t scare me, Sargent. I’m tougher than you think.”

    “I hope so, for your paycheck’s sake,” I say, chuckling.

    Cruz produces a pack of cards.

    McNulty shuffles.

    Kane deals.

    Chung reads Kane in.

    Laugero leans in to peer at my cards.

    Me? I sit there trying not to grin like a nutcase. My hand is full of hearts. A royal flush, no less.

    In that moment, I finally figure it out. Home isn’t a building. Home is where your people are. And right here, under this crooked oak tree, getting robbed by the Puerto Rican, trading one-liners with friends, and sitting a little too close to the good doctor, my heart is home.

    Turns out I’ve been a freebird all along.

    – – – – –
    @bullishink / 967 words

    Liked by 1 person

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