#FlashMobWrites 1×47

Welcome to #FlashMobWrites Week Forty-Seven

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

We’re bringing back Jamie N Commons, because damn. The man can sing. And make me chair dance.

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: “on my knees”

Ruth Long: “tell me no”

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


61 thoughts on “#FlashMobWrites 1×47

  1. Prices and Consequences

    Taking a chance, Balder glanced up at the person holding him. A woman with hazel eyes full of wisdom wearing an ornate breastplate decorated with wolves smiled at him.

    “There, now. Feeling better, Balder?” Her voice held the music of the stars, ancient and seasoned, and some of his uncertainty faded.

    “Yes, ma’am.”

    “Good. I see you’re working on your recovery, and I’m very pleased.”

    He didn’t know why her pleasure meant anything to him, but it warmed his heart and threatened a blush across his cheeks.

    “Where am I?”

    “A safe place beyond time and consequence.” The woman tipped her head to the side. “I need you to do something for me, Balder.”

    Wariness filled his gut. “What?”

    “I need you to stay here in this town. I need you to put down roots and grow your family. And I need you to devote your considerable willpower to the people here. All people, including the Elder Races. Can you do that for me?”

    He clenched his jaw. “Do I have any choice?”

    “You can always tell me no.” She nodded. “But each choice, yay or nay, comes with prices and consequences.”

    He thought about all the choices that had led him to this moment, this place, and wondered if he was doomed to follow the same lonely path forever. His gaze drifted around the room, searching for answers in the comfortable furnishings and homey knickknacks. He almost missed the warrior standing in the corner, waiting for direction.

    He immediately recognized the woman who’d been on the porch. She wore her own breastplate, but hers had bears molded into the metal and looked like it had seen some action. Despite her forbidding presence, her brows pulled together in the middle and her jaw clenched as if she feared for someone.

    Probably the Goddess holding me. He didn’t know why he knew she embodied the divine. Nothing had been said or shown, but certainty hit his gut along with the comfort she provided.

    “And if I say no?”

    She shrugged. “You’ll continue on your path as you are now. You’ll get help and you’ll eventually heal. But it will take longer, be harder and lonelier. And there are people who need you.” She nodded her head toward the woman warrior in the corner.

    She needs me? That didn’t make any sense. Oh, wait. Maybe she needs me on my knees, with a sword in my gut. She didn’t look like someone who’d take kindly to him in any case.

    But he wanted things to change. He wanted to be free of the programming that had damned him to this hideous existence, and he wanted Tiffany to be able to move on from his horrible actions.

    “She needs me? To do what?”

    The Goddess winked. “I can’t let every secret out of the bag. Where’s the fun in that?” When he sighed, she patted his ears. “I will say you’re not the only one who needs to heal and find redemption.”

    499 #WIP500 words

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  2. The Search

    Ace was no slouch. That afternoon, he organized a search party of over 100 horsemen and thirty vehicles, and mapped out search co-ordinates that covered 200 square miles.

    Mid-day, Sheriff Squires visited. He was in a no-win situation. If he stonewalled the search, tongues would wag. If he supported it, he would be slamming the inaction of his predecessor.
    “I’ll assign deputies to assist, Ace. Politics aside, if this fool’s errand finds Hazel, good. If not, maybe that’ll give it a rest. Either way, the county will be the better for it.”

    He and Ace shook hands, Squires flipped a tight-ass smirk at Quarry, and then headed back to town to play out his part. “Was that ever an impressive display of bullshit walking,” Ace declared as Squire’s departed.

    By dawn the next day, Wednesday, June 5th, the army of volunteers had gathered at Ace’s Ranch and been issued directions on the area they should comb. Debriefing would occur at noon. The summer heat would be deadly by then. We didn’t want to lose anyone else.

    Because Quarry and I were ignorant of the terrain, aside from our small excursions, it made more sense for us to pursue our inquiries.

    We drove into Crowbar City to bring Gabi up to speed. Ace had already talked to her on the phone. We knew she would be doubly busy because Skully Jenks had signed on to the search.

    Pouring us coffee, she smiled. “I’m grateful for what you’re doing.”

    “Pretty slim odds.”

    “I know.”

    “Do you have a moment?” Quarry indicated the booth seat next to me.

    She scanned the Grill. “Business is quite slow…Something about a search party.”

    She settled in next to me. I felt her heat. She was a good looking woman, hard-working, bright-eyed. My wanderlust was experiencing a wandering eye.

    Quarry glanced at me, raised his eyebrows, shook his head, and got down to business. “Ace didn’t seem to know much about Senator Tyrell’s father? Do you?”

    “No, not really. I mean I knew him. And Hazel admired him…his forthrightness. What about him?”

    “He died around the time she vanished?”

    “The next day. Two awful shocks. I’m not religious but I was on my knees…”

    A dead end I was thinking. A coincidence and nothing more.

    “And that poor kid…”

    “What kid, Gabi? Tell me.”

    “No…okay, Hap’s son. Bobby. He worked for Hazel. Odd jobs, a bit of clean-up…dishwasher in a pinch. But what I meant was Mackenzie Tyrell got him the job. He was like a father….a grandfather, maybe, to Bobby. And Hazel, she took a shine to him, knew it wasn’t a bed of roses being Hap’s child. In two days, he lost two adults who…who cared about him.”

    “And after…?”

    “Hap reclaimed him. Hardly saw him after that.”

    “We’ve seen him…”

    “You have?”
    “The camp…and then…” I mentioned the window shade shadow at Granger’s house Sunday night…

    “Hap’s kept a tight leash on him…I’ve even imagined…Bobby knows…”


    “What really happened to Hazel.”

    500 new directions, possibly

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  3. Trapped

    I could hardly feel the sting of the impact when his knuckles made contact with my jaw. “Now, either you tell me-”

    “No…” My response didn’t come off as strong as I would have liked, given the amount of blood that dripped from my mouth after speaking, but he got the idea. It was enough to cut off his words and send him into yet another furious barrage of fists against my already beaten and bruised body. When he stopped, I lost count of how many times he’d hit me, glad his exhaustion and annoyance had caught up with him.

    “I’ll break you eventually – I have all the time in the world. Can’t say the same for you.” He grabbed a towel from a table on the far side of the room, wiping his hands clean of my blood. By the table, Adwin looked on, eyes hard. I wondered if my face, identical to his, ever wore a similar expression. Was it bad that I took satisfaction at the way his body contracted with each hit mine received? The session tortured him on some level, of that I was sure, which made it harder to accept that he just stood there and let it happen. He was even more careful to guard his thoughts from me, and I wondered if he’d somehow figured out a way to sever our psychic link to each other.

    “Saxon – just tell us.” It was the first time Adwin spoke up. “The sooner you do, the sooner this is all over.”

    “F-Fuck you.” Again, not as intimidating, but I got the message across. “Wh-What would mom…think? Or L-Lexia?” I coughed – more blood – and struggled to bring my face up to look at him. My entire body was on fire with the pain, making it more difficult to move than the chains subduing me against the wall.

    He had the grace to stay silent. Moments later, I was alone. Eyes closed, I did my best to focus on anything but the pain. Adwin, for all his intelligence, was a freaking idiot if he thought a beating and some chains would keep me restrained. I took a deep breath, surprised that I didn’t have any broken ribs, before focusing my energy on my arms. I made a mental note to thank Elle for teaching me that particular trick. Yanking both arms forward, I ripped the chains from the wall with more strength than I realized before falling on my knees.

    ~Elle! Can you hear me?~

    ~Saxon? Where are you? They lost me and I can’t sense you.~ Elle had to be close by if she could hear me.

    ~Not sure.~ It was a windowless room, so I couldn’t even look for landmarks. ~Just stay put. I’ll come to you.~

    I pulled myself up, grabbing the remnants of the chain and wrapping them around my knuckles, an escape plan forming. That bastard was going to pay the next time he walked through the door.

    500 WIP words
    note: the squigglies are supposed to denote italics because I couldn’t figure out how to italicize within a comment lol

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  4. Pingback: #FlashMobWrites – Trapped | Trials and Tribulations of Writing Fiction

  5. The power of the written word.

    The bell over the door rang loudly as John Doyle dashed into the shop. Taking the now ruined paper from over his head he looked around to see what kind of shop was saving him from getting drowned.

    He’d been in more than a few book shops in his life. But very few were like this one. For one thing it seemed to have a giant tree growing in the middle of it. Around the trunk there were various shelves nails all groaning under the weight of tomes of every shape and size. As he looked around he could hear voices. Voices he knew only too well. “It’s a simple business arrangement. After all it would be unfortunate if anything happened. We’d be helping you.”
    Turning the corner John smiled, “Still trying the protection rackets Louie?”

    “Officer Doyle, it’s always a pleasure to know that the city’s law enforcement professionals are taking such an active part in protecting us,” said Louie. “I don’t like it when people tell me no.”

    “Thank you both,” this time it was the shop’s owner that spoke, a petite woman with striking green eyes. “But my shop is quiet well protected. And I’ll be closing soon.” She turned her eyes to John and in an instant he felt like she knew him better than his own mother.

    John watched them leave and reached into his jacket and pulled out his card, “There’re not nice people Ma’am.”

    Taking the card she turned it over a few times as she watched him leave her shop. Running her fingers along the spines she smiled as she found what she wanted. Taking it she placed it on a table, and turning a few pages she turned out lights and shut up for the night.

    The next morning John stood outside the curious book shop. He could now see its name on the sign outside, Alexandra’s Library.

    “Good morning Mr Doyle. I hope it was an uneventful night?” The store owner said as she walked over to open up.

    Turning to her he pulled out his note book. “Not really, uniformed found Louie in a ditch, Terrified out of his mind. Gibbering about impossible shapeless things. The docs are busy trying to work out if he’s faking it or just lost his mind,” John said as he flicked a few pages over. “Wouldn’t know anything about that kind of thing would you?”

    “Mr Doyle, I run a book shop. Not a menagerie of monsters.”

    “Even so, I’d like you to come to the station, make a statement of what happened yesterday,” he told her.

    “If you insist, just let me check thing and I’ll be with you,” She told him as she went inside. Nothing looked out of place, a good night’s work. Walking over to the table she reached down and picked up the book she’d put there the night before. As she placed it back on the shelf the name of its author could be seen.

    H.P. Lovecraft..

    490 words


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      • Thanks Bullish,

        “Officer Doyle, it’s always a pleasure to know that the city’s law enforcement professionals are taking such an active part in protecting us,” said Louie. “I don’t like it when people tell me no.”

        I’d gotten used to writing longer stuff and I’d gone way over the five hundred and pruned a little to much when I was getting it to the right length.

        Thanks again 🙂


  6. I’ve been a troublemaker all my life. Up to today if you tell me no, I’d do the opposite just to spite you. I always thought I was born bastard and I’ll die a bastard; but today was a real eye opener. It was Valentine’s Day and although I’d usually had luck with the ladies; I’d never met one that truly captured my fancy. But if I acquired some cash then maybe I could find her the woman of my dreams.
    I’d planned the heist down to last detail; but then she had to wander into the bank right before I made my move. The dame was a looker and dang if she didn’t have eyes of blue and stood five foot two. Her hair was blonde that honey blonde that made you just want to reach out and touch it to see if it was real. I didn’t notice what she wore only that her figure was like a dream walking.
    She spotted me and she smiled… the kind of smile that sees right through to your inner soul. My heart skipped a beat and I felt weak at the knees. Suddenly I wanted to be a man she could trust a man who wasn’t a no-goodnik who would lead her down the garden path. Dreams of home and children entered my mind but how could I achieve any of this without a solid financial standing?
    I had to go ahead with my plan but first I had to ask her out. She hummed and hawed but I finally got her to agree to meet me around the corner for a coffee in twenty minutes. I admit my mind wasn’t on the task at hand anymore. I went to the teller gave her my notes and the next thing I knew the alarm sounded. A few seconds later my lady was there…handcuffs in hand arresting me.
    She told me she got down on her knees and prayed that it wouldn’t be me that robbed the bank. I apologised and she accepted. She’s decided to forgive me and in ten to twelve years with good behaviour, she’ll be my wife. Aren’t I the luck man? She’s definitely my Valentine. Happy Valentine’s day to you hope you are as lucky in love as I am.

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  7. Arresting Developments

    “Smoke Jenner, you’re under arrest.”

    Well, fuck. He was in a hellava bind but some perverse streak made him rock onto his knees. The cops surrounding him tensed, one keeping a hand hovering over the butt of his gun. Not that it mattered much. Even with his hands cuffed behind his back, Smoke could take them down. Hell, he could even if he wasn’t a Wolf. All that training forced on Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children didn’t evaporate once the uniforms were packed away.

    “This what you been dreamin’ about, babe?” He dropped his voice to a low purr. “Me on my knees, waiting for your orders?” He was no fucking submissive but from the fiery color flooding her cheeks and the splash of her geranium and clove scent drenched in damp heat? Yeah, he wondered if maybe Leigh didn’t have at least some curiosity. He hoped he’d get the chance to explore things with her.

    “Shut up, Smo—” She choked off his name and cleared her throat. “Err, Mr. Jenner.”


    Her hands fisted and she looked ready to slug him. “What were you doing here tonight?”

    “You gonna do this right here?”


    “Can I get off the fucking pavement?”

    She contemplated his question longer than was necessary before nodding to his guards. Before they could latch on to help him up, he surged from his knees to his feet, standing there loose-limbed, ready to take whatever came his way.

    Her eyes widened, lips parted and the tongue that had licked his dick like it was her favorite flavor of ice cream darted out to wet them. Said dick hardened in response. She had the motherfucker trained now. She glanced down, reddened again but damn if he’d apologize. She was his. His scent was all over her. He’d marked his territory and there wasn’t a Wolf or man in the world strong enough to take her away from him.

    Leigh lifted her chin, eyes narrowing as she realized her tongue was teasing her lips. Damn him. Why did he have to be so freaking sexy? And so totally not her type. She didn’t do bad boys. Well, in the romance novels she stashed in her locker, yeah. But real life? They were nothing but heartbreak slapped on chocolate cake topped with whipped cream and salted caramel sauce. They tasted pretty darn yummy until they made your stomach ache. Smoke Jenner would do that, way sooner than later.

    “Now tell me.”


    “I can’t help you if you don’t talk to me.”

    “Got nothin’ to say, babe. I didn’t do this.”

    Lord but she wanted to believe him. Twenty-four hours ago, she’d awoken in his arms, warm, sated, safe. But this man staring at her, his face stony, his eyes glinting like topaz jewels? She didn’t know him and her stomach quivered. Had she ever known him? He was a Nightrider, poster child for the baddest of the bad boys.

    And God help her, she was his biggest groupie.
    500 words “smoked” on the grill

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  8. “Lindhurst.” Grandmother’s strident summons didn’t convince me to move. My spot on the pavement was quite comfortable. “Lindhurst, get up. There are reporters.”

    “And I’m covered in blood and brains. Have been for some time. I’m certain they’re already writing their Pulitzer acceptance speeches.”

    “This is all her fault.”

    Despite Grandmother’s obvious irritation, her game face was spot on. Concern, worried smiles.

    “BAFTA is dying to know how you manage to rein me in, run a country, and still hit all the dramatic high notes?” I rolled my eyes.

    “Your behavior is positively shameful. Get up and we’ll go somewhere warm.”

    “And away from cameras.”

    “Of course, away from cameras, you fool.”

    “I’m waiting for Eidolon,” I said. “Kelly’s already been taken to hospital.”

    “Stay away from her.”

    “Not happening.”

    “I will personally find out how she is faring, but this association ends now.”

    “We’re not doing business, Grandmother. We’re trying to save lives.”

    “And failing spectacularly.” Her public face was wearing thin. “If you have any hope of making this ridiculous career of yours into something notable, you need to get out of that wretched girl’s shadow. She’s dragging you down.”

    “She’s saved my life. Twice. So while I appreciate the career advice, her shadow is about the safest place for me.”

    “Neither so-called saving would have happened if you didn’t follow her like a damn puppy.”

    “True.” I at least sat up so the reporters didn’t start wondering if I was dead. “But that would be because Mariele would have eaten me before the soup course. You can thank the wonderful cuisine at the fundraiser for introducing me to Kelly instead. Who knew an allergy could be lucky?”

    Grandmother’s wind-red cheeks paled.

    “Hmph.” Her discomfort coaxed me to my feet. “Mari speculated you’d known about the menu. Tell me no lies, Grandmother.”

    “I never wanted to hurt Mariele.”

    “No, just me.” My body ached everywhere. “Strangely enough, I believe you actually had some bright spot of genuine affection in your blackened heart reserved for Mari.”

    “You are a disrespectful ingrate, Lindhurst Graham. Just like your mother and that common husband of hers.”

    “Also known as my father.”

    I spotted Eidolon and Scythe across the street and waved. They crossed at the first break in traffic. The cold seeped into my bones, from more than the weather. Scythe helped me into a heavy coat that smelled strongly of dog. The instant relief from the deep freeze made up for the scent.

    “Go home. Find some less disappointing branch of the family tree to bequeath your sacred legacy to. I’ve found where I belong.”

    Eidolon and Scythe flanked me, backing my words without me asking. Solidarity. This kept Kelly fighting. Kept her standing long after she should collapse. The better I understood her, the more I knew I would do anything to be part of her world. Part of her strength.

    The Countess scowled.

    “We’re not done here, Lindhurst,” she warned as she retreated.

    “No,” I sighed. “We never are.”

    500 WIP words



    The welder was sparking and Fisticuffs was barking when a dark-skinned man with an unshaven jaw and rumpled t-shirt walked through the shop’s rolled up overhead door.

    Loveline switched off the gas and removed the helmet. “Didn’t expect you back until tomorrow. How was the business trip?”

    He crouched and gave Fisticuffs a good ear scratch. “Fine. You remember where we put that triumph caliper? I’ve been on my knees digging through drawers all morning.”

    “You bring back anything interesting?” she said, stalling as she considered how best to answer his question.

    He stood and tossed a ball for the dog. “A 1987 Bonneville Triumph.”

    Damn it. “Oh.”

    “I know that ‘oh’ well enough to know I’m not going to like whatever you say next.”

    She took the cover off one of the sculptures on the worktable.

    “Sweet design,” he said, coming to stand beside her. “But I thought we agreed you weren’t going to break into my salvage yard or warehouse anymore.”

    “I didn’t break in,” she said, touching the leather cord around her neck before realizing the mistake.

    He lifted the cord out of her jersey to reveal the key looped on the end. “No need to break in when you have the key, hmmm?”

    She avoided his dark eyes. “Figured someone ought to have a spare when you’re gone on business.”

    He tugged on the cord until they were hip to hip. “Gus has one.”

    “But Gus isn’t always there when -”

    “When you need something while in the heat of designing?”

    “Yeah. So, you want the key back?”

    “Nope,” he said, letting go of the cord and stepping back. “But an invoice or a heads-up would be nice when parts walk off the shelf.”

    “People who break in don’t leave invoices, Ari,” she said, grabbing Fisticuff’s leash off the workbench. “But people with keys have better manners.”

    “That so?”

    “Yep. Can’t say the same for their handwriting,” she said, whistling for the dog and bending to hook the leash to his collar when he trotted to her.

    “I know all about your handwriting. Your signature looks like a pen exploded.”

    “Geez. What does a girl have to do to get a little credit from you?”

    “Stop pilfering keys and parts, for starters.”

    “Well damn,” she said, tugging on the chain of the overhead door to close up the shop. “I was hoping this invoice thing was gonna buy me enough credit for dinner at the Smokestack.”

    He chuckled, the familiar rough pitch tinged with the weariness of his business trip. “I’ll need to verify the existence and legibility of the alleged invoice before we can discuss dinner but soup and salad luncheon seems a fair reward for your caliper confession.”

    She grinned and tugged on the leash. “Hurry up with the pee-mail, furball. Baked potato soup and cobb salad are waiting for us two doors down.”

    – – – – –
    477 ineligible delectable lunches / @bullishink

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  10. Words:491

    Charms of Ash

    Ruenna gathered her skirts and stepped up onto the bridge that connected the mainland to the island in the inland Ahfara sea. Ash fell from the fabric where the embroidered charms’ power had already been used and the charms had lost their integrity.

    “Even if you tell me no I must still follow,” she told her sister. “I cannot leave them to fight alone.”

    “But you will leave me?” Ruaha asked. “The pillars around the island will close and you will be trapped.” She wiped at her eyes with fingers stained with ash.

    “I shall be back before you know it. We will slay Elame and this wretched war will be over forever. And the Airus will open the pillars once more.” She touched her hand to her heart. “You wove these charms for me and they will keep me safe,” she smiled.

    “Promise me we will see each other again,” Ruaha said, her voice caught in her throat.

    “Before the week is out. We will celebrate peace together in the halls of the Ruon.” She leaned down and kissed her sister on the top of her head. “We will live to see peace and so will our children,” she whispered.

    “Go with the blessings of Agrai,” Ruaha said softly and watched her sister run along the bridge, following some of the other Ruon who had already made it to the island. Her red dress, stained grey with ash here and there, stood in stark contrast against the blue of the water. Ruenna looked back as she reached the island and then disappeared from sight. One by one the runes on the crystal pillars around the island lit up with an indigo light and locked those who were on the island inside.

    “Agrai protect you, Ruenna” Ruaha said and the blessing was taken up by the other Ruon who stood by her – all except one. Instead, he lunged forward with his knife, stabbing her in the chest and shouting the war cry of the Vidolf. Yet when he withdrew the knife he only lived long enough to see that it was not stained with blood before Ruaha’s husband bore him to the ground and ended his life by sending the power of the charms he wore on his clothes into him.

    Ruaha felt the pain from the knife, but the strong charms she wore was keeping her alive. She sent the power from the charms embroidered at the hem of her dress to the spot where she had been stabbed and the charms slowly lost integrity and turned to ash.

    “Ruaha?” Her husband said, staring wide-eyed at her.

    “I need to get to Holt Haliern,” she said. “The book must be kept safe.”

    “But that will take a week at least!”

    “Then these charms must last a week!” she sobbed and looked back at the island. “Agrai keep her safe,” she prayed and tears of fear fell from her eyes.

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  11. I sank to the floor in the living room. The phone slid under the TV stand. My husband fumbled to get the handset, forcing it between his shoulder and ear as he rushed to check on me.


    My sobs overwhelmed me. One more day, she need to wait one more day. A few hours and I’d be on the plane. But she didn’t have a few hours.

    “Oh fuck. Okay, we’ll see what we can do. Thanks for calling. What?” He nodded. “Unless I can change it, our flight leaves at eleven tonight. Yeah, I will. Love you, too.” He set the handset on the couch, then smashed me to his chest in a tight hug. “I’m going to call the airline, okay?”

    I nodded, my shoulder shaking. “I want her to wait. Did you tell Jo that?”

    Jo was my Aunt. She was sitting with my mom out in California, as a hospice nurse said the end was near. We’d been out a month ago when mom’s doctor said the cancer treatments weren’t working. We went out two weeks ago to help make the decision to put her on hospice. I’d wanted to stay but mom said no, hospice didn’t mean it all ended tomorrow. It meant being comfortable until the end. Now, I wished we’d stayed.

    “I told her. She said your mom’s orientated and she knows people are there. She’s able to hold short conversations. But she’s fading fast,” Jimmy said. His voice cracked, because she was as much his mom as mine. We’d recently found his family but he didn’t know them well enough yet.

    “Want me to call mom and dad?”

    “And have them come down.”

    I crawled onto the couch. Jimmy’s adopted parents had been there for through mom’s entire cancer ordeal. Jimmy called and fifteen minutes later they walked in.

    “I’m going to call the airline,” he said.

    Eleanor drew me into a hug, her wrinkled hands clasped behind my back. “Oh honey,” she breathed. “We’ll go out with you like we planned, okay? Hank, go with Jimmy and get our flight changed, too, please.”

    I sat up on the couch and let Eleanor hold me. “Tell me no. Tell me she’s not going to die before I get home.”

    Eleanor shushed me. “I don’t know, honey. But she knows we’re coming. Hopefully that’s enough to make her hang on.”

    I closed my eyes, but it didn’t contain my tears. Eleanor helped me up and held me while I sobbed. “I need to talk to her one more time.”

    “Come with me.”

    Eleanor sat me at the table and put a box of tissues in front of me. She put the kettle on and soon a steaming cup of chamomile tea was on front of me. I sipped the bitter lemon drink and dried my eyes. I wasn’t ready to lose my mom. I bowed my head and prayed she’d hang on until I got home.

    494 words

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  12. Kiss of Shame

    497 words


    Eyes. Eyes everywhere. All looking at me, forcing me down on my knees, pushing me further, ribs crushed against cold stone, prostrate. They waited for me to beg forgiveness. But even as my body betrayed me, the words they wanted would not come. My mind remained defiant. I had sold my soul to the Devil and I had every faith my new master would come to my rescue. All I had had to do was deliver him the Abbot – and it had not been entirely unpleasant. Such lapses behind cloistered walls were common knowledge but the outside world never came to hear of it. Unfortunately I also had a tendency to lapse with both sexes when delivering much needed succour and consolation in the village. And I forgot to be discrete. The elders demanded such outrages be punished.

    “You broke your vows,” said the Abbot, ignoring the hypocrisy of his words. “Such failure is not permitted.”

    A hand reached down, grabbed my robe and I felt the kiss of steel as a knife ripped through the wool of my habit. Cold air brushed my flesh and I trembled. My tormentors mistook this as a sign of fear. They were wrong. The sting of the first lash took me by surprise and I cried out.

    “Your prayers will not help you now,” said the Abbot mistaking my action.

    “And what of your own vows of brotherly love,” I whispered, barely able to speak. “What of your indulgences? You broke your vows,” I continued, turning his own words back on him, “such failure is not permitted.”

    My truths angered him further and the flogging continued until the floor swam with my blood, my sweat and the tears of my hate. Eventually, blessedly, I lost consciousness.

    When I awoke it was to find my brother monks still surrounding me, watchful guards over a miscreant soul. Slowly they began to walk around the chamber, their voices gradually rising in prayer, the flickering candles causing their shadows to dance in grotesque accompaniment.

    I almost gave up hope at that point. But then I felt the chill in my bones begin to dissipate as the earth beneath me groaned and shifted. Fissures appeared, cracking open rock and stone, releasing my Master’s flames into the world, announcing his arrival.

    I felt the scratch of his nails as he lifted me up, the stench of his foetid breath.

    “You have done well,” he said, an evil grin slitting his face. “Such worthy servants are hard to find.”

    “We are the Lord’s servants,” said the Abbot, his face white, his trembling hand clutching the crucifix at his neck.

    “No,” said the Devil, reaching out and ripping the chain from him. “That is something you have not been for a long time. Yet I will not take your Abbey from you. Together we can achieve great things.”

    His laughter echoed maliciously through the chapel.

    “Come,” he said. “You may kiss me.”

    And he gave them his benediction.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. YOU GIVE LOVE by E.F. Olsson

    It was hot. The truck’s engine was running and was barely pumping out any cold air. It wasn’t even cool air. Sam tapped his hands on the grimy steering wheel.

    “Bomp. Bomp. Bomp. Sweeeeet Caroline!” The passenger door rattled. Sam stopped singing to Neil Diamond so he could reach over unlock the door. Gwen slid in. She looked panicked. Her hair was distraught. She nodded for him to go ahead.

    With a rumble and the squeal of the tires. They sped away. Gwen checked the rearview mirror to see if anyone had seen them. No one was there.

    The song on the radio changed. Sam smiled. He looked over to Gwen. She was fighting back tears.

    “Damn. I love Hall and Oats,” he said.

    “How can you listen to anythin’? Do you know what I just did?”

    “It’s a classic,” Sam said then started to sing along: “Whoa-o-whoa. Oh-whoa. Oh-whoa.”

    She quickly clicked off the radio. They sat in silence as the truck roared down the interstate. Sam looked over. Gwen was watching the rearview mirror.

    “No one’s comin’. At least for a couple of days. No one knows but us.”

    “I did what you said. I had the pillow over it.”

    “No one’s the wiser.”

    “But…” Gwen stopped the regard what had just happened.

    “Baby, baby. I get down on my knees for you. Get down on my knees,” Sam sung louder. “If you would only love me like you used to do. Oh-whoa.”

    She smiled. “Where are we going?”

    “The cottage. We’ve been at the cottage all day. Remember?”

    “But the lady across the street saw me. She was watchin’ from the front window.”

    Sam slammed on the brakes. The truck screeched to a stop.

    “What are you doin’?” Gwen asked. Her voice cracked.

    “We have to do something about her.”

    “Oh, Miss Kernan.”

    “Are you sure? Absolutely positive she was there?”

    Gwen lowered her head. She didn’t answer. Sam turned the truck around and headed back.
    “But what if someone else sees us? We can’t shoot up the neighborhood.”

    “I’ll do anything to be with you, baby,” Sam said.

    “I know. My parents won’t be stoppin’ us now.”

    “But I will take my chances if it means we can be together forever.”

    “I can’t shoot poor Miss Kernan. She’s so sweet.”

    Sam chuckled. He cleared his throat and began to sing: “Bring back that lovin’ feelin’. Oh that lovin’ feelin’, ’cause it’s gone, gone, gone.”

    Gwen held the pistol between her legs. She frowned. She waited. Tears dripped from her cheeks. Sam brought the truck to a stop in front of Miss Kernan’s house, across the street from her house.

    She knocked on the door and waited.

    Sam watched from the truck. He turned the radio back up. It was Bon Jovi with You give love a bad name.

    The door opened. The old lady let Gwen in as Sam sung the song, “Shot through the heart and you’re to blame!”

    (494 words)

    Liked by 2 people

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