Tag Archives: fire

Blues Buster: Gun

© Lisa Shambrook

© Lisa Shambrook

The barrel sat still warm in his hand, still soothing and fluid within his grip. He clenched his knees together and pressed his toes firmly against the soles of his shoes. The blazing fire in the hearth disguised the stench of sweat and the acrid smell that rose about him. He lifted the gun to his face gently brushing the metal across his stubbled cheek, like a lover would her lips. Blood pulsed through his body, muscles tensed, and his ears rang. He sat on the edge of the bed, sheets crumpled and dirty, and he inhaled as if a cigarette hung from his mouth.

For a moment he basked, letting the excited tension that consumed him relax and allowing heady delight room in his mind. The gun settled on his thigh, resting with ease and the sense of a job well done.

He closed his eyes and exhaled, enjoying the moment as you would a long-awaited gulp of whisky. The fire crackled and spat and the bed beneath him shook.

His eyes sprang open and his head whirled, as if he’d forgotten his deed, as if he’d neglected the woman sitting wide-eyed and terrified at the top of the bed.

She sat upon the pillow, curled up tight beneath a cherry-stained, yellow-streaked sheet. Tears ran muddy rivers down her cheeks and pale, rigid fingers clutched the bed sheet up to her neck.

He gazed at her and her eyes stared like a rabbit’s right back. She shook like a leaf in a gale, uncontrollably and violently. The yellow puddle beneath her seeped through the sheets and he failed to supress his curled lip of disgust.

She refused to look away and his finger, resting on the gun, trembled. He looked to her side and his heart thumped, his excitement growing ever richer. Beside her, the black-haired body, the mound in the bed, blossomed red, wine red…blood red. He chuckled and his eye twitched.

She shrank against the wall, her skin stuck to it with the sweat of fear.

He lifted the gun again, stroking the barrel with quivering and calloused fingers, and watched her shaking body writhe. He shuddered in anticipation. She spoke, or at least words tried to leave her mouth.

“Didn’t get that, sweetheart?” he drawled.

“No one will love you, not ever, no one…” The words escaped with a vitriol he hadn’t expected from one so afraid for her life.

The gun brushed his arm, and he licked his lips, twitching again involuntarily.

“No one,” she repeated, suddenly forgetting her fear and leaning forward. “When they see what you did…you’ll have no one,” she hissed.

He lifted the weapon to his lips, but it was cold, the metal unforgiving, and his arousal vanished. The hate glistened in her eyes, black as night, and flashing crimson as demon against the red firelight roaring in the fireplace. Spittle frothed on her pale lips and revulsion spat. “They’ll hate you!”

Her intonation took only a split second to invade his fragile mind, to infect the deepest parts of him, to turn his rage inside out.

The gun gleamed in his hand, and the shivers that twisted down his spine grabbed at his heart. He shook the gun at his wife then turned the muzzle toward his face, caressing the beloved metal that threatened to curse him. It sang in his hand, whispered in his fevered mind and the kiss it offered burst like summer rain as his mind splattered across the bed and his unfaithful mate.

(587 Words)

An explosive tale for this week’s Blues Buster over at The Tsuruoka Files prompted by the song ‘Gun’ by Emiliana Torrini.

Blues Buster: Not From Here

My Blues Buster for The Tsuruoka Files…written for the prompt song: ‘I’m Not From Here’ by James McMurtry.

Not From Here

Rain stings my face, tiny pinpricks in the swirling wind. My elbows press tight against my side, my lower arms at right angles, tense, hands outstretched. The wind whips through my hair, and I dare not lift my hand any further to brush it away, so it remains stuck to my cold, wet cheek.
I open my eyes and squint at the panorama.
The city spreads before me, grey and distant. The tall buildings, the banks and offices, rise, as rigid as my body, towering over the streets and its inhabitants. Smoke coils from the government buildings, huge billowing clouds of soot and ash, and my lip curls.
I yearn for the rolling hills of green and a clear cerulean sky as I stare at the city below. I don’t belong here.
My toes claw inside my trainers and my arms shoot out from my side as a vicious gust of wind whistles past. I lick my lips and close my eyes. My heart races, my eyelid twitches, and my chest constricts. My mouth is dry and I can barely breathe. My frame sways and my leg muscles stiffen, my feet desperate to grip and I almost lose my balance.
I open my eyes. The undulating meadows of my childhood are as lost as this city and I would no longer belong there either.
My fingers stretch out as sirens permeate my fractured psyche. I stare at the cars moving aside in slow columns as fire-engines snake through the narrow streets, and people, strangers, swarm like ants, and I let my tears fall as biting as the rain on my face.
The wind picks up again and I lurch, my heart in my mouth. Sweat oozes beneath my thin shirt and I shiver.
Beneath me, chains clang against metal, the sound vibrating up the steel, tickling my feet through the rubber soles of my shoes. I want to fling back my head and scream, let my howl echo across the flat overcast skies. I don’t move.
The scream bubbles in my throat and dies upon the desert dryness of my tongue. I blink, no longer seeing the burning city below, but just a blur of tears and rain.
The girder rocks beneath my feet and my arms steady me as the wind shrieks its rage winding round my legs. The hook shakes under my feet and the jib arm sways. I teeter.
My mind reels and my heart sinks slowly to the pit of my belly. I let a smile curve on my lips and now, light-headed, I lift my arms, embracing the city as flames lick the horizon behind the business quarter.
I welcome this final moment, a moment of belonging, and then the gale that feeds the flames below whips my legs from beneath me and I fall. Maybe, this time, I’ll end up where I belong…

(479 Words)

5. Blues Buster Not From Here

Photo manipulation
by Lisa Shambrook
(Please do not use without permission)