#MWBB Week 2.1 : Sally MacLennane

Once a year, on March 17th, those of us who haven’t died yet, celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day at the Sally MacLennane. This year was no different. My grandson wheeled me in, “Now, Grandfather. You know you’re not supposed to drink.”

“On this day, I drink, and you know it!”

Jamie, Liam, Conner and Dillon all raised their tankards and belted out, “Hear! Hear! We’ll drink to that!”

“I see Ryan’s not here this year,” I observed, as I studied the room.

“He took the train to Dublin three weeks ago,” Liam took another chug. “Should be with the others now.”

Dillon hollered at the barkeeper, “Bring Gavin his first round!”

“I’m on it! I’m on it!” came the answer.

Conner raised his drink, “Aye! Won’t be long before we’ll be joining them!”

Ah, I wished I were 50 years younger when the barmaid handed me my drink. She was grandly built, and my old eyes followed her as she walked away, her little kilt barely covering anything as her hips danced the way a pretty woman’s always had.

Jamie roared, “I see you’ve noticed our dear new friend!”

“I’ll drink to that!” I tipped my drink, and let the brown pour. “Well, Ryan, the least you could have done was drop a postcard in the mail when you got there.”

We drank away the night, into the early dawn. My Grandson joined right in, it wasn’t like he had a choice. We told the stories once again, of our wives, and sons and daughters, and of all our friends now gone, all gone, on the train to Dublin and beyond.

“Was Eathan that left first, as I recall.”

“Aye, he did,” Dillon agreed. “And we all cried like little girls that day, we did.”

Liam set his drink upon the table, “It was the first time one of us left.” He stared into his drink, “The first time.”

Conner shook his head, “He could have told us he was leaving. Going to Dublin and beyond.” He raised his drink and drained some more, “Was rather rude of him, you know. Not telling us about the train.”

And as the dark began to fade away, falling before the sun, we sat there at our table with our drinks, and remember every name.

What does it mean, when ancient men like us, get sloshed on Saint Patrick’s Day, you might wonder. It’s what old men do to live with the memories of all the friends and loves long gone, so we don’t feel so alone. And we never say they’re dead and gone, buried in the cold hard ground. That would be so permanent. It’s better, don’t you know, to leave hope and dreams alive. And say they’ve caught the train to Dublin and beyond. And someday know our turns will come, and we’ll ride that train, and join them.

In Dublin, and beyond.

480 Words

This is my entry for Year 2, Week 1 (Week 2.1) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other stories in the challenge.


#FinishThatThought Week 36 : Neon Blue

My stop was still several blocks away, but I stepped off the train anyway, just beating the closing doors. I ran, without looking back, through the terminal, up the stairs, to the street. Then, I kept moving, finding people to blend in with, crowds to hide in. Doing my best to get lost, and stay lost. I didn’t stop until an hour after I got off the train.

I hoped hiding in downtown Atlanta worked, at least for the night.

“Stupid! That’s what I am. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” I’d met her a few nights before, at the Island Breeze bar. She had white hair with neon blue highlights, neon blue eyes, matching blue lipstick and nails. I couldn’t look away. She wasn’t stick thin like those Victoria’s Secret models, she wasn’t a stick with bumps. She actually had hips. Oh, man, did she have hips.

She saw me staring at her. I couldn’t help it. She was different somehow. And my eyes kept finding her, and drinking in every detail they could. Every time she looked at me, I tore my eyes from her, and looked anywhere else as I took another chug of my drink.

Yeah. She found me. Came right up. “Why do you keep staring at me?”

“I keep trying not to.”

She’d laughed. “Oh, really? Why?”

I didn’t have an answer.

“You here alone?”

I nodded.

“Good. So am I.”

That’s how it started. I don’t know why, but I went back the next night, and she was there again. Instead of staring, and watching her, I walked up to the table she was at, and asked if I could join her.

“I’d love it if you would.”

I brought her home with me that night. Oh, what a night that was! Sex was something I hadn’t had a lot of, but I knew it would to find anyone better than her. The next couple of nights were great, with her taking what she wanted from me, doing what she wanted with me.

It was the fifth night when things got crazy. That’s when her wings came out. Yeah. Wings. Followed by razor-sharp teeth. Her neon blue eyes turned black. She locked all the doors, and windows.

She was a solitary fairy. You know. The scary kind. The mean kind. “You’ve been yummy,” she smiled this pure evil smile. “I think I’ll keep you around a while. And play with you.”

I ran. I don’t know how I got through the door. I don’t care how I got through the door. I ran. “You can’t run from me, love! I’ll find you! I’ll always find you. You will be mine! You will!”

How do I escape a dark fairy? And what did she mean by, “I’ll keep you around a while.” And what happens when that while is over?

Gods, she had sharp-looking teeth.

479 words

I wrote this for Week 36 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.

#VisDare 19 : Mirror

That night I slept on the sofa again. During the middle of the night, Alice woke me. “Leighla’s in trouble.”

I didn’t let her ask me, “How can I help?”

Alice hugged me, “We have to hurry.” She grabbed my hand and we raced back to the train station. We got on the same train that we’d ridden before, but this time there were supplies and weapons in the car. Alice started arming herself. I did the same. “These aren’t guns like you think.” I pulled out a gun. It’s barrel was solid, with no hole bored in it. “They shoot beams of particles.”

As we rode, I asked, “Is it Wraiths?”

Alice nodded. “They have her trapped outside the shack. So far, her shield has protected her.”

When the train stopped, we retraced our steps to the shack, this time stepping out of the mirror, into the room.

149 Words

This is the 15th piece in a continuing story I’m working through for Angela Goff’s Visual Dare. Please read the other entries in this week’s Visual Dare challenge.

#VisDare 9 : Alone?

The train left the tunnel, running above ground. It stopped at a train station. Alice extended her hand, and smiled, “Please?” I could not resist the light in her eyes, so I took her hand. She led me from the train.

“Welcome to Phoenix,” she gently squeezed my hand.

She laughed when she saw my questioning look. “Phoenix?”

“It’s a story you’ll learn, in time.”

We exited the station into a large courtyard. A tall stone monument stood alone, near the train station. Drops of water fell from the sky. I let go of Alice’s hand, and sat on the base of the monument.

Alice sat down beside me. “You’ve never seen rain, have you?”

“Rain?” I looked up, letting the small drops of water strike my face. “I think I like rain.”

I took her hand, and we sat in the rain.

147 Words

This piece is the sixth in a continuing story I’m working through for Angela Goff’s Visual Dare. Please read the other entries in this week’s Visual Dare challenge. I like all of them.

#VisDare 8 : Listen

The door closed behind us, and Alice kept pulling me along. We were in another hall, that led to a train tunnel. A train was waiting. Alice pulled me into a car, and thought, “Please, sit where you wish.”

I sat next to the doors of the car. The train started moving. “Listen, Alice,” I asked, my voice filling the car, “You’re pretty, so I don’t mind following you, but I’d like to know where we’re going.”

Two voices spoke in my head. One was Alice. I’d never heard the other. I didn’t understand either voice. When the voices stopped, Alice sat down beside me, and spoke, “I’ll  tell you where we are going, but first,” she looked at me and smiled. I thought she had a gorgeous smile, stunning eyes, and very kissable lips. “Do you really think I’m pretty?”

150 Words

This piece is the fifth in a continuing story I’m working through for Angela Goff’s Visual Dare. Please read the other entries in this week’s Visual Dare challenge. I like all of them.