Tuesday, September 13, 2011


This week’s prompt was to use music in a short fiction piece, any genre, with a limit of 750 words. I decided to use Def Leppard’s Love Bites. Sometimes it really can, you know…


“Love bites, love bleeds,
It’s bringing me to my knees…”

Rachel began to cry.

“That’s the one, Lionel. I hate the sound of it. That’s the song he always puts on when he…, when he brutalizes me. He calls it uniting our souls with love’s eternal flame or some such insane thing. His idea of foreplay is punching me with his fists, and then he rapes me. I just can’t take it anymore. I’d rather be dead than have him near me again.”

Lionel knew what he had to do. He’d only known Rachel for a couple of weeks, but she had stolen his heart the night they met. She’d stopped in at Gino’s for a nightcap and when he saw her tears, he had moved her to a corner table and begged her to unburden herself. She said she’d been to show her mom her latest bruises, courtesy of her husband, and said she desperately needed a friend. That was the beginning of forever for Lionel.

“Darling, Lionel began, “it is not you who needs to surrender your dreams. It is your bastard of a husband who needs to die, and I promise you, I will take care of everything.”

* * * * *

“Two birds with one stone, my pet. First, the sucker offs my old man after setting me up with the perfect alibi. Then, I worked my magic on him. I went on and on about how the police kept hounding me, tormenting me, accusing and driving me mad, pushing me right over the edge to who knows what. He couldn’t bear to see me suffer any more. He told me again that he would take care of everything.

The sap wrote a letter confessing to my husband’s murder, blaming it on a failed business deal the two of them supposedly had. After he had dropped it down the mail slot, he jumped off his 24th story balcony. To protect me. To save me. Can you believe our luck?

So, both my rich husband and my knight in a shabby three-piece are out of our way. The life insurance check has cleared and all the banks have released the accounts to me. Now, you and I can be together just like we planned. I‘m really glad this is over though. Running into walls and punching myself till I was black and blue got old really fast, you know? My moron of a husband was starting to get suspicious of my recent bout of clumsiness.”

“Live lives, love dies,
It’s no surprise…”

“Oh my sweet, don’t turn that song off”, Rachel smiled at her lover in the driver’s seat of her new Jag. “I just adore it. I always have.”

“Love begs, love pleads,
It’s what I need…”

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


This week's theme was the City of Lost Children. The topic was to look at the photo and to look into the child's eyes. The genre was open and the length 700 words. A heartbreaking prompt, but a lot of good will come from this week's challenge. Fiona and Tom will make donations to organizations dedicated to protecting our children for each story submitted. Fantastic idea, guys.


A woman and her kid just moved in across the street. With those needle marks up and down Mom’s arms, I doubt she’ll run the PTA’s bake sales. The girl looks 5-ish, skinny, wearing pj’s. What the fuck--it’s February. Mommy went inside and the kid’s on the stoop playing with dolls that have more clothes on than she does.

“Hi. My name is Katie, and I’m 6. You probably don’t want to play dollies with me, but could you sit and talk to me for a little while? We move around a lot and sometimes, I just get so scared being by myself”

I figured I’d clue this kid in on reality.

“Get used to it, kid. You’re gonna spend your life being scared of something. The ‘scared thing’ never goes away. Anyway, I’ve got to meet my boys downtown. We’ve got important stuff to do. And, put on a damn jacket or something, will ya? It’s starting to snow and you’re sitting there with your nose running and looking all nasty. Oh, and my name‘s Richie and I‘m 12, so don‘t bother me again.”

As I made my way to the corner to catch the #43 downtown, I heard the little gimp say she didn’t have a jacket. What kind of kid doesn’t have a jacket? I’ll bet her fucked-up junkie of a mommy has a jacket…

A week in Juvie wasn’t that bad. It’s snowing like a son-of-a-bitch outside and at least I was warm and got 2 meals a day. Used to serve all three, but the new Mayor made some cuts. You ever seen the size of him? He sure didn’t cut his third meal, that’s for sure. Crazy how stuff turns out. I don’t get grabbed for walking out of Danson’s with a $200 leather coat stuffed under my old denim one, but the 1 ounce bottle of $30 cologne in my jeans pocket puts me away. Glad I was able to stash the jacket in the alley before Detective Randall caught up with me. He’s not so bad really; he always cuffs me so I’ll look like a real bad-ass in the neighborhood on our way to the station. Have to keep my rep up, you know.

Those jerks at Danson’s just wanted their cologne back, so I get a week’s room and board and I still got the jacket. I was thinking about giving the one I‘m wearing to that pain-in-the-ass girl on my block. Stupid little idiot, sitting outside in the snow, playing with her dollies, with no jacket on. I know her mom’s inside shooting up, so maybe the kid’s better off outside. Don’t get the idea that I feel sorry for her or anything. She’s nothing but a headache, always wanting me to sit and talk and stuff. Like I’ve got nothing better to do. This jacket’s ready for the dumpster anyway. Giving it to her is no biggie.

It’s a good thing nobody found my stash. This jacket makes me look like I own this dump of a neighborhood; not that I’d want to though. Gotta find the kid. She’s probably out there sitting on her stoop in her pj’s again, nose running all over her…

Well, her mommy’s out there on the stoop, mumbling to herself. Junkie whore.

“Hey, bitch, where’s the kid?”

“What kid?” she could barely get the words out and it wasn’t even 8am.

“YOUR kid”, I shouted. I wanted to stomp her, but there were already people out.

“Oh her”, she came down the steps and started pacing back and forth in front of the building. “Hung herself in her room. Wound her jump rope on the closet door’s knob, swung it over, and looped it around her neck. Figures. Couldn’t ever do anything right, but THAT she does right. Now I’m going to have to move in to one those nasty shelters downtown cause with her gone, I won’t get my monthly assistance check. Selfish little slug…”

I tossed my old jacket in the dumpster on the corner. Going to catch the #43 downtown. The boys and I need to find someone to take down.


Just because.