"Dogs and Lust" - MWBB#50

My first Mid Week Blues Buster for a long while… MWBB#50 was from the The The song 'Dogs of Lust'
Check out Jeff's MWBB site by
clicking here.

Dogs and Lust
by A J Walker

The urban noise outside is assaulting my ears, stopping me think properly, I just can’t turn off. Thick curtains are keeping the room air raid black I’m sure, but my eyes are hurting from some brightness, which I can still see your face in – and your body.

I’m like an iron filing to you and you’re electromagnetic power. A super magnet that makes me helpless when I’m near, the feelings just rise up in me unbidden, however I try to fight it. Sometimes I don’t off course – we’re so much meant to be together, that it must be obvious to everyone.

This morning when we said “hello” I rose inwardly, and I fear outwardly too. That’s why I had to run. Someone must have seen it, maybe even you.

And now, as I’m lying here this evening alone in this painful darkness, I can’t get you out of my useless head. I know I must find someone else, before I go truly insane, even someone that can’t live up to you. But it’s so hard when all I can think of is you. It’s so hard.

I know you’re at home tonight, watching a film, having dinner, maybe a glass of wine. With your girl. The whole family caboodle – yes, with your husband too. I know I could love you so much more than he does – I know, because I already do.

There are hard-men dogs somewhere outside barking their territorial warnings again. I’m definitely staying in tonight.

Every path in this head-based maze of mine leads to you. I always find you but when I get there you’re inevitably just out of reach. I’m never going to get you in reality or even in my head. What cruelty, when even my own dreams are playing these tricks?

In this wicked darkness your face and your body is still here with me, looking like it always does – I can feel the electromagnetism flicking me on. The heating’s yet to burst up, but I am sweating cobs with the thoughts of you.

Two dogs outside barked their testosterone reminders of my solitary confinement.

I reached for the Laphroaig and last night’s sticky glass. I needed to get some serious drink in to wash away this lust. I foresaw waves of malty oblivion. I’ll drink to you and me of course, but please leave me after this first bottle – I want no dreams to remember tonight.

@zevonesque 406 words

"The Morning Coffee" - MWBB Week 43

The Morning Coffee

The bubbling kettle seemed aggressive in extreme as Scott’s head struggled to deal with it. He had tried turning away from the noise earlier, but the light streaming in from the window was impossible for him to take. He was trapped in a purgatory of his own making - in his own kitchen.

        He knew he needed lots of liquids but, right now, he couldn’t even face water. Coffee was all he could think of that may do anything for him. Scott’s special thick weekend blend was called for, which could probably wake a dead man; pretty much what it needed to do.

        In the living room he sat down in the clutter thankful for the blackout curtains. He could just make out the detritus from the night before: two empty bottles of red wine, a box of wine which he daren’t check, two wine glasses, a broken tumbler and crumbs of something they’d eaten - which were welded to the table by sticky splashes of red.

        As he drew a slug of coffee he saw a single white high-heeled shoe peeping out from behind a table leg and he could trace the linear outline of something over by the fireplace. He thought it may be a stocking, it would require investigation later.

        Scott mused that the best nights were always the unplanned ones, but right now he was thoroughly regretting last night as his heads were banging (he was sure one head couldn’t be this painful).

        ‘Scott!’ Christina’s voice came from the bedroom, ‘Scott, are you up? You making breakfast?’

        She already sounded at home - it was one night of drink fueled passion for him, now for the first time he wondered what it had been for Christina.

        He knew her most intimate measurements, but didn’t even know how she took her coffee. ‘Coffee!’ he shouted, ‘Breakfast
is coffee. How do you take it?’

        ‘Black and one sugar, please.’ Christina said as she walked in. Scott thought she looked surprisingly well, which made him wonder whether he’d done most of the drinking.

        ‘Have you seen another one of these anywhere, gorgeous?’ she said holding up a shoe with a single finger.

        Scott thought he had seen one somewhere but his head wasn’t working yet.

        ‘Not sure,’ he said.

(378 words)

MWBB Week 43 - Song 'Heartbeats' The Knife/Jose Gonzalez

"The City" - MWBB #41

The City

Patrick loved his city, he could amble round it for hours finding new things to like about it - new buildings, fragments of old architecture, fascinating people, great stories, histories - real and imaginary. It was alive and welcoming, vibrant and comforting - it was home.

          But now there was something wrong with the city, it wasn’t his any more. It bore down on him with imposing weight, making him feel claustrophobic, choking him. He now walked around the streets he’d known so well feeling lost and alone, even afraid. Its people were looking at him, thinking about him, talking about him, threatening him. So he walked quickly trying to escape its deadly grasp.

          He found himself in a cafe, holding a mug of coffee until it had gone cold. Not drinking a drop. He was facing the window, but not watching as life carried on out there in some remote fashion. Every now and again he’d see a face turn to him and look at him with pity or with anger, his soul laid bare.

          Life seemed to be continuing for others at an incomprehensible speed, while time for him stuttered to a halt. His heart was heavy, he could feel it pumping erratically and so slowly it was painful. A headache was spreading down his neck and into his arms and torso. If he waited in the cafe any longer it would reach his feet he was sure.

          ‘You want another?’

          Patrick nodded as the waitress prized away the mug from his hands, trying not to spill any.

          It seemed almost instantaneously that the next mug was in his grasp and he felt obliged to sip some.

          ‘Thanks,’ he said to the waitress, but she was already back behind the counter somewhere.

          The coffee - or the none conversation - seemed to wake him and he looked around the cafe. He remembered coming here with her several times. They’d sheltered from the weather - or the herds of shoppers - as comfortable lovers.

          He shook his head and punched himself in the chest hard. A man on the table nearby held up his newspaper higher - a paper thin wall to stop accidental eye contact with the weirdo.

          Patrick punched himself again. The action and the bit of pain was rousing him from his torpor. He was feeling better already, however temporary. The cafe had been their cafe, the city theirs too - for so long. He realised that’s what was wrong, it hadn’t been
his city at all.

          The split had been amicable enough. Neither had anyone else to go to, or so he thought, he missed her painfully but the decision, however hard, he knew would prove to be right.

          The city was bearing down on him - and was probably doing the same to her - it was upset by the shift in its foundations. The city would get used to it and, eventually, so would Patrick.

          The waitress came over again, ‘Glad to see you drank that one, do you want another?’

          Patrick smiled for the first time that day.


(505 words)
MWBB #41 from the song 'In a Lonely Place' by The Smithereens

"Howlin' For You" - MWBB

Out of the Bottle

On Friday night Susan and Natasha were in the Old Red Lion in Soho as usual. Susan was in one of her playful moods.

          Susan knocked Natasha’s elbow, ‘What do you reckon?’

          Natasha followed Susan’s eyes, ‘You’re an odd one Suze,’ she said giggling, ‘This place is full of attractive men and some look pretty well... well you know.’

          ‘Well off?’ Susan said.

          ‘Well, yeah,’ Natasha said, ‘May as well catch yourself a nice meal or two while you’re relatively young and pretty much single.’

          ‘Hey you know my feelings on that,’ Susan said, before draining her glass, ‘Anyway you know I like the quirky ones.’

          ‘You off then?’ said Natasha as Susan walked away from the bar towards the unsuspecting man.

          James looked taken aback as Susan barred his path towards the bar.

          ‘Excuse me, Miss,’ he said.

          ‘How very formal,’ Susan said, looking directly into James’ eyes, ‘Sir.’

          Susan was taken by his eyes. They were so intense. So unusual.

          James smiled, ‘I’m just going to the bar. May I get past please Miss.’

          ‘Why of course, in a while,’ she said holding out her hand, ‘Susan.’

          The next day she sent a short text to Natasha “His name is James and he’s an animal. I’m in lust. Think he is too. Not sure bout the size of his wallet but we aint been eating! Suze. x”

James had been a good boy for several years. It had been tough to begin with, but his perseverance paid off. Keeping his head low. Locking himself away. A very good boy.

          His first night out for three years was to celebrate his birthday - and to test whether he could get out there again properly in public - without mishaps.

          He had a big dish of beef chow mien at Lee Ho Fuchs and then headed with not just a trace of trepidation to the Old Red Lion. He had reasoned a nice old Victorian pub should be much safer than a bar packed like an old cattle market. The reasoning was solid, but there was no accounting for Susan being there.

          She’d pounced on him. Pounced. On him!

          Susan was all over him. Loved his eyes, she’d said in the taxi back to his. When she was there it was evident the eyes were not that important as the lights were soon off. Although it had been three years he’d thought he hadn’t missed nights like these. But Susan had reawakened him. The animal within him.

          In the morning Susan made James a cooked breakfast which he wolfed down. He couldn’t remember when he last felt this alive, but he was also a little worried about where it may end.

          ‘Want to see me again?’ Susan said.

          ‘You want to?’ said James, trying to hide his excitement.

          ‘Oh yeah!’ Susan said as she knocked off a crumb of toast from her top lip.

          James looked at the shirt she was wearing, ‘That my shirt you’ve got on there?’

          ‘Err yep. Don’t you remember tearing off my blouse last night?’ Susan said holding up what was left of it.

          ‘Did I do that?’

          ‘Oh yeah. And that howling during our first... well, you know.’ Susan grinned. ‘Such an animal.’

          James realised he didn’t remember much from the night and it worried him - a little.

          Susan had let the genie out of the bottle - well the hairy-arsed werewolf.

(566 words) @zevonesque

Mid Week Blues Buster #36 - this week's Mid Week Blues Buster from J Tsuruoka was a ballad "Howlin' for You" sung by Black Keys.


Weekly Flash Fictions

Trifecta 30
From the Trifectans!: Trifecta
33-333 words - Weekly from Monday to Thursday

Visdare 30
Angela Goff's: Visdare challenge
<150 words - Weekly from Tuesday

Jeff Tsuruoka's: Mid Week Blues Breaker
300-700 Words between Tuesday and Friday

Flash Friday 30
Rebecca Postupak's: Flash! Friday Fiction
Word count variable
and sometimes exact!
Dragons welcome.

Looking back I think I actually started with the Mid Week Blues Buster then quickly discovered Visdare after that, which I probably do the most (150 words, you can always fit in 150 words). Since then I came across Trifecta, which is great, and then more recently the Flash Friday Fiction.

All four are fun to do - else why would you do them - and they have a good community of people too.

So don't be afraid if you haven't done it before, if you are looking to put your toe in the water with a splash of flash fiction then give them all a go and see which one(s) suit you best.

…These are my favourites, other writing challenges are undoubtedly out there.

"West" Mid Week Blues Buster

Mid Week Blues Buster #35
This week's Mid Week Blues Buster from J Tsuruoka was a ballad 'I Am Going to the West' sung by Connie Dover (great voice, bit of a boring song).

Going West

Sue was looking out the window at the familiar view, the wheelie bins were strayed across the narrow footpath like an urban assault course.

          ‘Life is a young person’s game,’ Greig said.

          Sue was still feeling stunned.

          ‘It’s a great opportunity,’ she said, ‘Fab job and a bloody house thrown in. What’s to stop you?’

          ‘Yeah, it’s great,’ he said before taking a sip of coffee, ‘You’d be a fool not to take it.’

          Sue turned and faced the kitchen wall mouthing a swearword.

          ‘A house. A job. A great job in a great place. It’s what we wanted,’ she half shouted, ‘Plenty of time for you to find something there.’

          Greig shrugged and the silence lingered between them.

          He slurped his coffee to break the silence and palpable tension, ‘Look, I’m settled here. I’ll find something here, eventually. But I’m not going to up-sticks to move out west now. I’m past all that. It’s a young person’s game.’

          Sue looked at him not bothering to hide her anger, ‘You’ve said that already.’

          She’d been excited before telling him moving to the US - to Cali-for-ni-A! - and now she felt like she’d been punched in the solar plexus by a heavyweight.

          Later that day Sue went around to her friends in a terrible state and told her all that had happened. Fiona then told Sue what she wanted to hear, along the lines of: “too good for him” - “he’s an idiot” - “what is he thinking” - “dickhead” - “better off without him” - “let’s get drunk!” and after a couple of bottles of wine she did feel a bit like it could end up being a good thing.

          Meanwhile Greig rang his dad, ‘Cheers for doing that. She’ll do a good job for your business. She should never find out anyway.’

          ‘She bloody well better son!’ Greig’s dad said, ‘Trust your new woman is worth it.’

          ‘Oh yeah, she is,’ Greig said, ‘Maybe we’ll be both be over for Christmas.’

(330 words) MWBB


"A Beautiful Morning" - MWBB #34

A Beautiful Morning

A thin mist was drifting slowly across the low Cotswold hills giving them an ethereal quality. The watery grey sky was transitioning ever quicker through blues as the sun rose above the eastern hills and began to kill the mist. The sky was dotted with the large black flecks of jackdaws as their harsh calls were punctuating the quiet dawn. In short it was a stunning morning - one of those days which made you just happy to be alive.

          “Beautiful isn’t it?” the man said.

          “Stunning,” Daniel said, “Feel privileged to see it.”

          “Indeed, sir,” the man said following the flight of a jackdaw across the sky.

          Daniel could feel the sun begin to warm up the October morning, but it was still very cold and he couldn’t help a shiver.

          “That’s Raven Wood over there isn’t it?” Daniel said nodding over towards the copse at the base of the hill.

          “No sir, that be Hangman’s Copse,” he said, “Don’t know of any Raven Wood around here.”

          “Hangman’s Copse! Of course it is,” said Daniel.

          “Sorry sir,” the man said - looking like he wasn’t sorry at all.

          “There is a distinct lack of my brother in the landscape,” Daniel said scanning the horizon.

          “Yes, I’m sure you must be getting a little troubled by now sir,” said the man as he fondled the rope, “but we did say 8.30am so there’s still some time sir.”

          Close to the copse Daniel could see a river sparkling with little sun’s - it made him think again of the cut glass goblet he had stupidly stolen. He’d never seen such a thing of beauty and it had been a stupid spur of the moment mistake trying to capture it. So now he found himself on this beautiful morning awaiting the hangman’s noose.

          Daniel’s beloved Jenny had gone to get his brother - and the payoff for the hangman - twelve hours ago. Christopher only lived an hour away and alarm bells were now beginning to ring.

          As Daniel’s hope deflated a single magpie hopped along the track towards him and then flew up on to the nearby gatepost. It seem to look directly into his eyes and then from somewhere he thought he heard someone say sorry.

(371 words)
MWBB #34 - the song prompt was ‘Gallows Pole’ by Led Zeppelin

MWBB #33 and Flash Friday

A very quick burst of brain juice produced two rapid Flash Fictions this morning for Mid Week Blues Buster #MWBB and Flash Friday Fiction #FlashFridayFic

          MWBB #33 was using the Everything But The Girl song 'Missing' and as usual is for a story between 300 and 700.

          Whilst Flash Friday Fiction was a photograph of a drinking fountain with a prohibition notice on it. A nice short one this week - had to be
exactly 150 words.

Both MWBB and FlashFridayFic are paste in to the website - rather than link through - but for a change I've reproduce them below:

The Library Fountain

Libraries had been getting progressively strangled by governments for years. As they were starved of funds for books and building maintenance many of the customers stopped coming.

          Dingly Dell Library was seemingly bucking the trend with increasing numbers coming through the doors many keen to stay all day and enjoy the ambience. Some stayed so long they would fall asleep there and were difficult to get out. There always seemed to be a queue at the drinking fountain, which seemed odd to the librarians as it wasn’t as if the building was hot - the boiler needed replacement.

          By Thursday the local press were there reporting on queues waiting to get into the library. It was all very perplexing.

          On Friday afternoon and the “Class 2C Incident” the mystery was solved. The plumber who’d connected the tank at the Vodka distillery across the road to their water fountain was never identified.

The Dry Valleys

There’s some ignorant man sat opposite me - in your seat - looks constantly like he is about to pick his nose. I want him to so that I can look at him with disdain. He is in your seat - today.

          Two years ago you sat there and we talked as we always did - “soul mate talk” you called it. I sometimes have our conversations over in my head again, sometimes I tweak them a bit, sometime I invent new conversations too. Who am I kidding? I do it every day.

          Our last real conversation - two years ago today - had been about our favourite deserts, I’d said had to be the Chilean one - the one with the Nazca Lines and all that hokum - but you trumped me with the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica. They sounded properly fascinating them and I’d agreed that on our fantasy honeymoon the desert part of it would be spent in the dry valleys.

     He did it! - the ugly man thought I didn’t notice but he just picked his nose - I look at him with superior superiority through the window’s mirror reflection - in your seat.

     Over that last week we had sorted out our fantasy honeymoon destinations in terms of the tropics, cities, national parks, sporting events (because I loved you) and finally deserts. And then you left me without a word.

     Having this daily commute doesn’t let me forget you. We met here, we talked here, we gradually fell in love here, we realised we were soul mates here, how it was just meant to be - even though we both said we didn’t believe in any of that clap-trap I’m sure we both secretly did.

         Each day since I have sat in the same seat opposite yours - ignoring the morons who take the train with me. Most days we’ve talked.

     God I miss you Simon.

         It’s a special day today - two years since the McMurdo decision - so ’m going to walk past your house and talk with you there for a change. Where ever you are. Perhaps you can tell me why you left me here - alone. We were soul mates, strike that - we are ARE soul mates.

         Tomorrow if I’m strong enough I may visit your grave, but that would be like admitting you really did die in that crash. If I did that then I’m afraid that I wouldn’t be able to have these conversations with you anymore. And I’d miss that.

409 words

MWBB #33 “Missing” Everything But The Gir

MWBB#30 'Red Eyes and Tears"

Red Red Wine

Jan dropped her handbag and coat onto the armchair and took off her heels before visibly relaxing. She placed her shoes down neatly ready for tomorrow beneath the kitchen worktop, where she grabbed the bottle of wine she’d left out that morning. She plonked herself down onto the sofa and turned on the TV in one deft move. Her work night ritual almost complete.

In the dark a man watched. Entranced. He could feel his breathing shorten. Excitement growing. Quiet.

A woman on TV was wittering on about something, which washed over Jan as white noise, as the red wine started to seep through her system. Her cat meowed a gentle reminder by the bowl.

The man smiled. It was close.

Jan felt her head start to fill, expand and throb. This was too quick. She looked towards the bottle of wine as it pulsed on the table, she couldn’t focus on it, but eventually she managed to grab it. An expensive Rioja - she hadn’t bought it, she wouldn’t anymore as it had been Simon’s favourite brand, she avoided all things Simon these days. Fucking wierdo. She took another slug of the wine before these thoughts sank in.

Outside Simon smiled. She had drunk his wine. Without asking; without compunction. Easy. It was meant to be. She looked beautiful.

The room pulsated in reds and greens, flashing images splashed out to Jan who was struggling to feel anything but what was in her head. The woman on the TV then seemed to talk directly to her. She thought someone was singing. The effects seemed more sublime and enveloping with her eyes closed. She tried to keep her eyes open. Simon. Fuckwit.

Slowly the back door swung open and the cat darted out to the garden. Simon was soon stood over his Jan, stroking her hair.

Jan sensed some soothing pressure on her head, a soft massage moving the images around her head, manipulating the visions. Then she thought she heard a man's voice: love, death, peace, beauty, eternity. Her visions went bloodier with these words, the images harsher. She shivered and bucked, trying to duck away from them.

Her face was flawless. She was perfect. Why had she forced him away? They were perfect together, she made him whole. Every moment they had spent together was seared into his head, a hard drive permitting immediate recall of any moment: seaside ice-cream, Paris, that gallery in Vienna, London theatres, that cottage in Northumberland. His head was full of her - of them - and nothing else. They had to be together - it was meant to be. She’d made a mistake.

Jan was struggling to know what was real. Simon was with her though, she knew that now. Drink this. She couldn’t stop herself. Make you better. The pulsing speeding up. Red bloodier, head banging. Drink this. Feel it flow down, soothing. Flowing through you, filling you, taking you: to Simon.

Simon stroked her hair, elated, but something was wrong - her hair was a different style and shade, her lips a new colour, she had a nose ring - she wasn’t the same, wasn’t perfect. Simon could see that now. He let go of her head and it flopped back on the sofa, she was dribbling like a disgusting drunk. A red stain spread through the cushion cover, like a sunset blooming across the sky, above an embroidered purple and powder blue cat.

Jan spluttered and coughed. She could see blood - but that was probably in her head. The sound from the TV had gone, but her head was full of noise. She thought it may have been her heart pumping her thick blood through her, but there was no rhythm - it was inconsistent, first flooding her ears then disappearing in a wash, like a tide pulling back the waves, before crashing back in.

Her eyes opened suddenly and seemed to be looking directly at Simon. They were blood red and looked terrified, her face in a silent scream. There were tears streaming down her face as she spluttered out something red - which bubbled at the corner of her mouth. Then the bubbles stopped and she slumped. Simon saw her now as she truly was; ugly, disgusting, evil. Or worse, indifferent, average - like everyone else. She was all wrong.

He looked at his glass of Rioja. He’d made a mistake, they weren’t made for each other. He returned to the kitchen and poured the wine down the sink before dropping the glass in the swing-bin, which briefly revealed a shaft full of wine bottles and chocolate wrappers.

Simon left the house without looking back.

There was someone else out there for him: someone perfect.

This story was for the
Mid Weeks Blues Buster : Week 30
The song was 'Red Eyes and Tears' by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (BRMC to you)


MWBB #29, Flash Fiction, Visdare

After no submissions last week I've managed to do Visdare, Flash Friday and also MWBB. Slam Dunk!

Put up my first
Mid Week Blues Buster for a couple of weeks. Didn't like the song at all ('Stay' by Hurts), but hey gotta go with what you've got.

Click on this link to get to the stories for MWBB
Week 29.

The story itself is also reproduced below:

Can’t Say, Can’t Stay

Darren watched Clara walk down the road to a waiting car. She waddled a little comically as she struggled with her unwieldy bags. Her words were still ringing in his ears “emotionally stunted.” Clara had said it mid diatribe on the way out of the house. He’d remembered hearing that from someone else, he thought it was Melissa, though it may have been Michelle. Or Lisa. As Darren saw the car’s brake lights go on he closed the front door then headed for the sofa.

The thing is Darren didn’t disagree with it. He’d never been good at showing his feelings, he expected people to know what he thought of them without actually requiring proof of it, or heaven forbid just the damn words. Emoting was for other people. As a kid he never noticed he didn’t discuss them and he grew up a little distanced from his emotions. They were his, nobody else’s business. By his late teens he realised something was amiss, but it was too late and in any case emotions seemed far too much like hard work and not at all helpful. Keeping them hid would largely be a good thing. Surely.

Clara said she had left him because he had never said ‘I love you,’ but he had never said it to anyone. His thoughts were what would that really change? He would still be the same person. Surely they should just know. As she left Clara had said “If you ask me to stay I will,” but this seemed to be a roundabout way of her getting him to admit he loved her. He wasn’t going to fall for that.

‘Of course I bloody loved you. Sorry, love you. But they are just words,’ he muttered to the wall as he put the TV sound back on.

He flicked through the TV guide picking something he could watch which Clara wouldn’t have liked – just because he could.

He would miss her. Her warmth. That smile and her sense of humour. Her washing up. Oh, and the love making. There really was a lot to miss.

Still, if she really needed to hear just those three words once to make her stay – or for him to just say ‘stay’ – then perhaps it was her that was emotionally stunted, not Darren.

There was a Die Hard marathon on Channel 5, just the ticket. Clara had hated Bruce Willis. With the left over chilli in the fridge and Uncle Ben’s microwave rice, together with the box of unspecified red wine, Darren’s night was sorted.

The empty bed later though seemed bigger than he remembered and colder.

He’d had a good night though. He loved Bruce Willis.

(449 words)


MWBB & Trifecta - It's Istanbulicious

Completed a quick MWBB this week following the cue of a Police song 'Secret Journey'. A song about traveling to find faith, love etc. So how did I twist that around to be a story of 2005 and Istanbul then? Probably because football fandom is as close as I get to religion other than being in awe of the odd cathedral.

Check it out here.

Also got to do this week's new
Trifecta which is for 'Grasp' - as in comprehend. Wonder if that will get me to Istanbul too? 6 minutes of football that were hard to grasp… maybe yeah!

GRASP (verb)

1 : to take or seize eagerly
2 : to clasp or embrace especially with the fingers or arms
3 : to lay hold of with the mind : comprehend

  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words. 
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post. 
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response. 
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above. 
  • Only one entry per writer. 
  • If your post doesn't meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz. 
  • Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join us.
- See more at:

Mid Week Blues Buster - Week 17

The Mid Week Blues Buster is a weekly Flash Fiction competition where a song is provided as a prompt - last week's (Week 17) was Rag and Bone by White Stripes. Found out yesterday that I was awarded a second place in last week's. Even though there were only 6 permitted entrants this week I am still made up. Nice to get a bit of a mention and hear that it made a few people smile. The story was titled 'Locomotion', though I nearly called it 'Drag & Bone', see it reprinted below.

If you fancy having a go check out the
MWBB site each Tuesday for a new musical prompt.

In the meantime my story for Week 17 is below:


Every week Joe drove slowly around the estates of north west London in his rusty flat back wagon. The old speaker on the roof would crackle out with one of four familiar calls, none of which would be discernible if you didn’t know them. His 45 year old face was long and a little thin and his hair greying. Life had made him look older, but it was still a jovial and welcoming face.

The rag and bone was a throwback to the 19th Century rebranded since the 1990s as ‘recycling’ and he loved the simplicity of it. He just moved crap that was too big for the bins that people couldn’t get down to the tip. More often he was actually just taking stuff that people couldn’t be bothered dealing with. He loved other lazy people.

Occasionally he would hit pay-dirt of course. People not knowing what they were disposing of, the ignorance of the general public, was his very best friend. Joe hated the proliferation of TV programmes like Antiques Roadshow and Bargain Hunt. Still, each day he would drive his old banger of a wagon back to the yard packed with tat and at the end of his day he would be climbing into his new Merc to drive to his rather handsome home in the suburbs.

This particular Friday was to be a good day. A young man in a rush to clear his grandmother’s flat was stood by the road with some boxes. ‘Can you take these of my hands mate?’ the man called across to Joe.

‘Looks light, is it clothes?’ said Joe trying to sound friendly and slightly uninterested at the same time.

‘Yeah, just a few rags I’m afraid mate, a few books,’ the man said, ‘Sorry there’s nothing more interesting. She didn’t have a lot my gran.’

‘Pile them on the back then,’ Joe shrugged, ‘I’ll get rid of them for you.’

He loved ignorant people.

Back at the yard Joe was on his knees going through the boxes methodically, whilst a mix CD was blasting out classic songs from the 1960s. A smile grew wide across his cracked face. His eyes sparkled too and the years seemed to drop away from him.

‘Mary Quant, Ossie Clark. Oh my!’ Joe showed the dresses to Ted, the rather uninterested doberman pinscher, ‘Yves Saint Laurent!’

These vintage classics would sell for a small fortune on Monday. Better still though, today was Friday and there was one dress in particular which looked stunning.

‘His gran must have been a tall lady,’ Joe muttered. Ted emitted a low growl as Joe measured the navy blue dress against his torso.

Tonight was a big 60s night down the club, and on Friday nights Joe became Jo. He could feel his excitement rising as he closely studied his find. He couldn’t wait to be doing the ‘Locomotion’ in that dress.
(484 words)