#FlashMobWrites 1×41

Welcome to #FlashMobWrites Week Forty-One

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).

  • 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 (or both!) 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: “forget it was real”

Ruth Long: “love to your limit”

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

 

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16 thoughts on “#FlashMobWrites 1×41

  1. How These Things Begin

    Thirteen miles from the house, he changed his mind, took the overpass, and drove into the parking lot of a low rent shopping strip. Most of the shops were vacant now that the new highway provided a straight shot to Denver. Crappy little Fuel-N-Food was dying a slow death on the south end. But there was an old school diner on the other end that would suit his needs, if the flickering red neon letters spelling out Country Café proved true.

    Left his helmet on the bike, shut off his phone, and pushed through the glass door.

    A feminine voice from the far side of the counter said, “We’re closed.”

    “Not what the sign says,” he said, sliding into a booth with a view of the front door.

    A woman with freckles across her cheeks and dark hair pulled back in a messy topknot came out of the kitchen. “Guess the dishwasher didn’t flip the sign. But you can forget about turkey and pumpkin pie.”

    “Trust me. Last thing I want is the holiday experience. That’s what I’m here to forget.”

    “It was real bad, huh?”

    “Can’t say that about this year. About ten minutes ago, I remembered last year’s disaster, turned off the highway, and ended up here. Just need a sandwich and a cup of coffee before I head back home.”

    She glanced back at the kitchen. “I could fix a roast beef or egg salad sandwich.”

    “And coffee,” he said, turning the cup on the table upright.

    She eyed the clock, a slight frown tugging on her lush mouth. “Long as you can be finished up and out of here in thirty minutes.”

    “No problem. Got a newspaper I can read while I’m waiting?”

    “You can’t entertain yourself for five minutes?” she said, switching off the ‘OPEN’ sign.

    “Sure I can,” he said, getting up and coming towards the counter. “I’ll get the coffee started while you knock out the sandwich.”

    A flash of anxiety flitted across her face. “No, no. There are newspapers and magazines over by the door.

    As he was thumbing through the stacks, a sheriff’s car pulled into the lot. He said, “I thought you turned off the ‘open’ sign.”

    Her face popped up in the cook’s window and she didn’t need to say anything for him to get the idea things were about to get dicey.

    He calmly locked the front door and walked to the kitchen. Two men were lying on the floor, trussed up and gagged, and the pretty little waitress had her gun aimed at him. “Fucking holidays. Guess if you can’t fight ‘em, join ‘em. Now, who are we about to rough up and why?”

    The laugh that bubbled out of her lovely mouth was sweeter than pumpkin pie and something other than his belly rumbled in hunger.

    – – – – – –
    @bullishink / 470 ineligible words

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Reprieve

    Out of the scorching heat, the jeep gingerly wound its way up and along the hilly grade. Ace had warned that the road was a goat path.

    In fifteen minutes, we reached a flat clearing and the home, we hoped, of reclusive war hero and State Senator, Roscoe Tyrell.

    “Not very ostentatious,” I observed.

    “Nope,” Quarry concurred.

    Tyrell’s stone and timber house looked to be 1000 square feet and was nestled naturally in the terrain as if it had been born of the earth.

    A large veranda jutted out, invitingly.

    A sharp rifle sound suddenly cracked the air.

    I hit the ground, hurriedly adjusting my assumptions about the level of hospitality we might expect.

    Quarry appeared nonplused, as if the occasional bullet taking wing was commonplace.

    Me, spiting dirt out of my mouth, I wouldn’t easily forget it was real. Bullets are always bloody real.

    “Put your carbine away, Miquel,” Tyrell’s soft voice flowed out from the dusky recesses of the Veranda. “I’ve met these travellers before.”

    From our left flank, an armed gunman moseyed towards us, his rifle lowered a speck, poised to be elevated if conditions warranted.

    Tyrell emerged from the shadows. He then stepped off the porch.

    I stood up, regained a smidgen of my elusive composure, and allowed my casseroled mind to wander down a few random prairie dog holes of deserted thought.

    “We rarely get visitors,” Tyrell said.

    It may have been my heat-ravaged imagination but I could have sworn that the sun, which had worn and weathered our motley mugs, seemed only to reflect kindly on Tyrell’s angelic visage.

    The Senator was weather-resistant.

    “I can see why that might be, Senator,” Quarry replied.

    “So…Quarry, isn’t it, what brings you to my door…? And, I’m sorry,” he glanced towards me in an obvious afterthought, “I forget…?”

    “Elwood Staples,” I answered. “Woody to my friends…and folks with firearms.”

    “It’s Quarry,” John confirmed, getting down to our business, which might be none of our business at all. “We had a couple of questions for you and…we also have some disturbing news. Hollis Shelby is dead.”

    Tyrell didn’t move a muscle. I had determined during last evening’s poker game that, for him, death would never be disturbing.

    “How?” he asked.

    “How, don’t know. Where? At his desk.”

    “And your questions?”

    “Both relate to the disappearance of Hazel Twigg.”

    “Barely knew Hazel. Different generation. Had a…reputation.”

    “Don’t we all,” said Quarry.

    “I only meant…they said…she believed you should love to your limit…and beyond.”

    “Seems like a sound Christian maxim,” I piped in.

    “Her personal…style aside,” John smiled, “We’ve been made aware, that she was part of a syndicate seeking to acquire the Internment Camp lands post war.”

    “She could have been. She clearly isn’t now.”

    “Could we discuss it further?” Quarry persisted.

    “Look, stay for supper…and the night. If I can tell you anything, I will. If not, at least we’ll have broken bread.

    “That’ll make the journey palatable,” I said.

    “Good. I imagine it will,” Tyrell agreed.

    500 bits of back and forth
    @billmelaterplea

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Pingback: Random Post – Guilt | Trials and Tribulations of Writing Fiction

  4. Guilt

    I try to forget it was real, but the ghost of his touch lingers. Nothing I can do will make it go away, and even if I keep myself busy, my mind eventually wanders back to that moment against the wall. Marcus’ lips were a temptation I never imagined succumbing to, and yet here I was – pining for another kiss.

    He sits at the other end of the couch, occasionally fidgeting with his glasses, eyes focused on yet another book as the same old copy of Doctor Faustus rests in my lap. I must have read it a thousand times, stealing glances at him between lines, between pages. Sometimes I think he managed to forget it happened, because we’ve gone back to normal. It’s been weeks and he’s made no hint, no indication that something happened between us. Well, nothing of consequence happened – it was barely a kiss – but there was something there. What would have happened if we weren’t interrupted?

    Abruptly, he gets up, shutting the book with one hand before placing it on the desk on the other side of the room. I pretend to be engrossed by my reading material. “How did your assignment go?”

    It’s the first time he’s alluded to anything relating to that moment. I completed my assignment a week ago. “It was fine. You were right – it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.”

    The assignment in question involved me tempting someone – a guy – into cheating on his spouse. They’d been married fifteen years and all it took was the bat of an eyelash and a few well-placed looks over a couple of days. Although we didn’t have sex, I still had to bathe for hours afterwards.

    He chuckles – not the response I was expecting – before settling into a smirk. “Good.”

    Marcus hovers at the door, apparently caught between saying something else or letting the conversation die. Something about the way he looks at me makes me want to pull the blanket closer around myself and bury my face in the book again. Instead I meet his gaze head-on, raising my eyebrow. Is he going to say something or not?

    “Do you feel guilty?” What the hell kind of question is that?

    “Of course. Why wouldn’t I?”

    “Most people like us don’t actually have the capacity for guilt – not after selling our souls.”

    “Well I didn’t sell mine, remember? Just because you don’t have a moral compass, doesn’t mean I don’t.” Maybe I could have done without snapping at him, but I don’t care.

    “I never said I lack a moral compass.” His words are quiet, and I find them hard to believe. He sold his soul – what kind of moral compass could he possibly have?

    “So you feel guilty?”

    “Sometimes.”

    “About what?” The question escapes before I can stop it.

    Instead of answering he offers me a smile – not cold, but also not entirely genuine – before walking away.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Car Trouble

    “Forget me. Here, I’ll make this easy. Get lost, bitch.”

    He turned on his heel and walked away. From me. He slid into his damn Porshe, roared away into the night. Forget him? Hard to do that when he ripped out my heart, stomped on it, and left me empty. How could I forget? It was real to me.

    That was then. Ten years I’d fought to regain my equilibrium. Ten years to feel human again. Ten years to get up the nerve to leave it all behind and start over. Ten years of looking for…me.

    And then my car died. On the side of a deserted road in the middle of the night and a big, scary biker was walking toward me. No, not walking. Stalking. I felt like…prey. I wanted to run, had no place to go, and he’d catch me. I knew that with complete certainty. Yes, running would be the worst thing I could do. With flight no longer an option, that left fight. Only…

    Good grief. He was huge. Well over six feet tall, probably close to 300 pounds—all muscle. Shaggy hair. My flashers alternately washed his sculpted face with yellow and night.

    “Problem?” His voice sounded like tires skidding on gravel.

    “No. I always park on the side of the road at midnight with my flashers on.”

    A grin tugged on his full lips and I suddenly wanted to throw myself into his arms and kiss him. Bad me.

    “Babe.” While still rough, his voice smoothed to hot coffee.

    I threw up my hands. “My car died. I have gas. Oil. The check engine light flashed on, the engine stopped, and let me tell you, fighting no power steering and going from 70 to zero is scary.”

    “Pop the hood.”

    He might as well have said, “Pop the buttons on your blouse.” Actions jerky, I did what he said, waiting for his verdict.

    Dropping the hood, he leaned in my window. “Serpentine belt shredded. C’mon.”

    “Excuse me?”

    “Babe.” He said that word like I should understand, was probably dense that I didn’t. “Can’t leave you on the side of the road. Get on my bike. We’ll deal with your car tomorrow.”

    Not stopping to think, I grabbed my purse. He took my keys, locked the car. I’d decided to move cross country and now my best friend’s words echoed in my mind. Don’t waste another ten years. Get out there, find what completes you then love to your limit.

    Okay. I could do that. Starting now. Except this wouldn’t be love. Just sex. With a scary biker. Who’d stopped to help. Wait. Did he even want sex with me?

    “Babe. Thinkin’ too hard. Just get on the bike. I don’t bite.” Again with the grin. “Much.”

    New me. Looking for real. Looking to stretch my limits to love. On the back of a stranger’s bike. If he murdered me, I wanted it to be worth the ride.

    “I will be, babe.”
    ****
    500 I-don’t-know-which-Nightrider-this-is words
    @SilverJames_

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Edge of the World

    When he reached the overlook, he stopped dead. The world fell away in a sharp decline as if he’d stepped to the edge of the Grand Canyon. The forest didn’t seem to have a problem and marched along the edges of the red and white rocks protruding toward the sun. The road he’d been following snaked down the walls like thin ropes clinging to the rocks and he could almost forget it was real. Only the cars sliding along its surface gave it reality.

    The sun warmed his shoulders as he leaned against the railing overlooking the edge. A rock squirrel didn’t think much of his intrusion and chittered at him before slipping behind a scrub oak. No one else had picked this particular spot to stand at the moment. Cyrus sighed and tried to enjoy the quiet and solitude, but his mind kept filling with images of satin dark brown hair in a tight bun and flashing hazel eyes over a beautiful set of large breasts. He’d love to stand here with Sadie and share in the lovely vista with her warm curves pressed to his side. He groaned and shook his head.

    Man, you got it bad. You need to go get laid.

    Probably, but he hadn’t had a girlfriend since before he retired from the Navy six months ago, and at the moment no one had captured his attention. Except Sadie. Who still hadn’t called or texted him.

    Cyrus pushed away from the wall at the edge of the canyon and strode out beyond the overlook building on a trail leading into the trees. He focused his mind on pushing his body, but at almost seven thousand feet of elevation, his breath soon sawed in his chest and he had to slow down to rest.

    Damn, I’m getting old.

    Thirty-four hadn’t seemed old when he retired from the Navy, but he’d figured he wouldn’t get much older if he stayed in. His reflexes had slowed and he was tired of the politics of Command. Just like his buddy Jon Rudnick. Men were getting sent into places where they had spotty or bad intel, or they weren’t sent in time to do any damn good.

    Cyrus shook his head, pushing aside the old frustration. He’d left that life behind. And I’m on vacation, dammit.

    Taking it slower in the way back to the car, he focused on the company he’d formed with Maddy and Ray. Ultimate Recon had been his solution to the same problem Jon wanted to address. Getting shit done when it needed to, rather than waiting on some fat idiots who knew next to nothing about the real problems. Jon had created GAPS, Cyrus had built Ultimate Recon, a company full of the best operators from all the Armed Forces except the Coast Guard. And if he could temp any Coasties after retirement, he would.

    Love to. Your limit is only two more people until we get more contracts. He nodded to Maddy’s voice.

    @SiobhanMuir
    499 #WIP500 words

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Jimmy Rickliefs didn’t ask for a stalker. He didn’t ask for someone to love him to the point of no return. Security was tight at shows and at home. Off the road, he wanted to be normal. The rest of the band could move around freely. But Jimmy had to have security no matter where he and his wife went. In case his stalker got any ideas.

    His band’s second album had catapulted them into the world’s eye. With increased fame came bolder fans. Security stayed close when fans surrounded the buses after shows.

    It wasn’t long before his stalker figured out how to get around security. Packages showed up at the house. Jimmy’s favorite flower, pink carnations, were delivered daily. Police investigated, arrested, charged the guy, issued a no contact order, but nothing changed.

    As he and his wife were getting ready for a night out with their friends, Jimmy dumped carnations in the trash and put the vase in the recycle bin.

    “Still want to go out tonight?” Allison asked. She buttoned her coat and he smiled when the buttons strained a little. “I’ll understand if not.”

    “Let’s go.”

    Allison offered to drive. They met their friends at The Watering Hole. The inside was dingy, stale cigarette smoke clung to the fake-wood paneled walls. But the beer was cold and the bartenders knew them by name. They had their first round on a corner table before they got to their seats.

    “Where are we going after this?” Jimmy asked. He grabbed a shot. Jack Daniels burned down his throat.

    “That new place, where Eddie’s used to be,” Aldon said. “Heard it’s pretty cool.”

    “Eh. I could do with staying here all night,” Allison said. Jimmy figured her glass of pop wasn’t enough but she couldn’t drink anything else.

    “Why aren’t you drinking?” Aldon asked. He grabbed a bottle of beer from the tray.

    Jimmy glanced at his wife. She grinned as she faced their friends.

    “It just so happens we’re going to have a baby in December!” she exclaimed.

    “Holy shit, that’s awesome!” Aldon said.

    The entire table raised their drinks to the soon-to-be parents. Glasses clinked, a few drops of beer splashed on to the chipped and worn wooden table.

    Jimmy grinned. “We’re pretty freaking excited.”

    “Let’s have another round!” Aldon shouted. The group could drink their weight in alcohol, so the first one was already gone. “We need to celebrate!”

    Two hours later, they stumbled out of The Watering Hole. Jimmy fumbled his seatbelt, but managed to get buckled in before Allison pulled out and followed the caravan to the newest bar in town.

    “That’s our luck, isn’t it?” she asked, when they hit the red light and everyone else continued on ahead. “Can you see where they’re turning?”

    “Looks like Warner St.,” he said.

    The light turned green and Allison started into the intersection. The last thing Jimmy remembered was his window shattering all over his lap before he passed out.

    @Aightball
    496 words

    Liked by 2 people

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