****Previous installment of Vivid Black Finding Answers

The chief’s Tahoe rolled in amid dozens of oozing, dripping, bleeding “zombies”. Henry watched, latex gloved and grim as the door swung open. Ray stalked over; his endless nightmare ride continued.


“Henry, you and McEwin caught this case and you’re not doing a damn thing. You two gotta stop screwing around and get to work. I want this to be finished!”

“Ray, you need to back off. My last shield said ‘Detroit Homicide’ and I don’t need you to accuse me of not doing my job. So, are you experienced? Have you ever been experienced? I have. Twenty years worth.”


You can find the full Vivid Black Series HERE

Lance and LeeRoy are celebrating what would have been Jimi Hendrix 70th birthday. They chose “Are You Experienced” as the 100 Word Song this week. While I’m not a fan, I did find inspiration in the lyrics and give you another installment of Vivid Black.

Lives Collide

****You can find the previous chapter of Vivid Black HERE ~~


Sarah Jane carefully concealed the Tracfone. At home, she habitually moved it from place to place and the ringer was always off. It was under her pillow when she slept, or in her battered sling bag, an expected accessory. Her dad was a great detective which meant he was also detective dad at home and if she slipped up it would wreck everything she’d accomplished.

Zombie Gauntlet was her obsession. Max sent texts to “Zombies” and “Normals” with the route and time of the next challenge. Sarah Jane was the top competitor since it began. She had a reputation and a record to defend with each challenge.

Two years ago she asked for a cellphone. She carefully planned her reasons and arguments.

  • Her friend McKinley had one and her parents were super strict.
  • It would give them peace of mind knowing they could get ahold of her any time.
  • She promised she would never go over her minutes and texts or use it in class.
  • She was 14 and had good grades.
  • She knew kids who got smart phones in the third grade.

Predictably, her parents refused. Her Dad said the kids who are in trouble have few or no restrictions and kids and cellphones are a dangerous mix. Her Mom said kids don’t have filters and that they have neither time nor experience to understand the privilege and responsibility. Ray and Leta steadfastly refused to back down.

For Sarah Jane calmness was a rare commodity. In the face of defeat, she succumbed to the potency of her adolescence and her fury exploded like a roman candle. She stormed off to her room stomping, shouting and venting her outrage at the unfairness.

The refusal broke something. Two years later the collision’s wreckage had spun their lives out of control. Her determination to get what she wanted and their dedication to safeguard her innocence cleaved the family. Sarah Jane became disrespectful, dishonest, and defiant. Her parents found they no longer recognized their own child. Their home felt like a pot on the edge of boiling all the time.

The phone gently vibrated the text “ZGC Oct2910 1115pm”, then “21st along park/cemetery. End Lake” Sarah Jane felt the adrenaline rise knowing in two days she would “slay” Zombies and cunningly defeat the horde and win another Challenge.

Ray’s dire warnings didn’t affect her. The danger appealed to her; it was intoxicating.


This chapter of Vivid Black was inspired by the prompt over at Write On Edge and their Red writing Hood prompt. Pat Benetar’s “Love is a Battlefield” is a no brainer for the backstory on Sarah Jane and the rift between her parents. This song came to me the moment I conceived it and it played through my head as I composed the piece.

Here’s what WOE gave us:

This week, you have 400 words to write about collision. It can be literal or figurative, large or small.

Crossroads and Porch Swings

**** Previous Installment of Vivid Black – The Emptiness


Suitcase stowed, ticket in hand, Ray slammed the Tahoe door resolutely, refused to look back. Henry watched the back of Ray’s head disappear in traffic. Ray’s running away wasn’t the solution. Henry knew misery, unwelcomed, always followed.

Walking into the office, McEwin’s docked iPod music  wormed into Henry’s head.

“What is that?”

“Punk. Rise Against.”

He snickered at “I won’t cross these streets until you hold my hand”

Needling, “Hey Jerrod, I wanna cross the street.  Hold my hand?”

Laughter and taunts rustled like paper crumpled.

“Shut it Henry!”

He thought wryly, “Ray’ll be back. He’s a porch kinda guy.”

Rise Against by Swing Life

Writing for 100 Word Song at Lances blog “My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog”. Dawn  @HappinessCubed http://www.happinesscubed.net/ chose “Swing Life” by Rise Against to inspire us.

Posers and Imaginations

*****Previous installment of Vivid Black – Deep Grief


It wasn’t the first time Henry  grabbed a difficult case. The media had spun this one out of control. Unfortunately the murders had happened on a“Zombie Gauntlet Challenge” route. There weren’t any zombies. Just posers and unleashed imaginations.


Linking up with trifecta and the 33 word weekend challenge.

This weekend’s prompt is a return to the 33-word formula. One of the earliest Trifextra challenges asked you to complete a story of which the opening five words had been given. And that’s exactly what we want you to do again this weekend.
Complete the following story in 33 words:
‘It wasn’t the first time.’ (The five words are not to be included in your 33 words)

Deep Grief

*****Previous installment of Vivid Black – Revolution: https://debbiesdays.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/revolution/


Jerrod McEwin grabbed Jacoby, and pulled him off of Henry. Henry, ruffled and flustered from the reaction ran a hand over his hair, then scrubbed emotion from his face, trying to formulate a response.

“Chief, Chief I’m sorry. We’ve got this! I’ve got this! Let the team do their job.”

Jacoby stopped struggling against McEwin, turned and walked away. Breath wrung out of his chest and pinpoints of light flashed in his vision. Emotions wild, uncontainable, mouth pressed hard into his arm he released a muffled, shuddering sob. His beautiful baby girl,  lay ruined, cold, under an ashen waning moon. CSU scoured for clues and evidence, seemingly ignoring the precious missing life.

The beauty and serenity of Solitude Lane was harshly violated by Sarah Jane’s murder. It jangled the senses as the views away from the violation imparted a peaceful autumn glow. The tranquil, winding paths led to park benches and mediation gardens where thoughts could be lost in a wave of whispering breezes. A sense of seclusion followed as each path led deeper into the heart of the park.

Henry approached Jacoby, knowing he had to give him something consoling, to release this boss, this dad from his need to stay. The team was uneasy as they tried to focus on their jobs. Jacoby, usually the one in charge, now the victims father hovered in and out. Henry put an arm over his shoulders and gently urged him toward the Tahoe.

“Chief, Ray. You gotta leave. The guys are chasin’ every shadow, every speck. You’re makin’ them skittish. Go home. Be with your family. I’ll stay with Sarah Jane. I promise.”

Henry ushered him to the open passenger door, and gently pushed him in. A uniform slid in the driver side and patiently waited for Henry to get the boss under control.

As the Tahoe pulled away, Henry turned and slowly drifted back into the chaos.


Linking up with:

Trifecta: Week Twenty Eight. This weeks word is WILD. Third definition:

3: a (1): not subject to restraint or regulation : uncontrolled; also : unruly

(2) : emotionally overcome <wild with grief>; also : passionately eager or enthusiastic

As always no less than 33 and no more than 333 words.


****Previous installment of Vivid Black – Absconded


Max grinned as he twirled the sweaty beer bottle and mentally marveled. He took the zombie walk fad exploding in cities and twisted it’s ear. Zombie Gauntlet Challenge had all the trappings; “zombies”, “normals”, mindless shuffling and terrified screaming.

The first challenge had a handful of players with fist bumps and cold brews at the end. Now, a revolution with hundreds. Max set routes to avoid pissing off the “Jones’” or the shop owners. Zombies do what zombies do and normals try to avoid them.

Unexpectedly, real death appeared.

He expected it to change things.

It did.

More people started playing.


Back with Lance at My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog to play with LeeRoy’s 100 Word Challenge. This week’s song “Revolution” by the Beatles inspired this post.

Find Vivid Black here:  https://debbiesdays.wordpress.com/vivid-black/

The Trouble in No Answers

Vivid Black begins here:


Henry Waters paced as he thumped his fist on his forehead. What happened? Everything was jumbled in his head. Sarah Jane wasn’t suppose to be there. Her dad warned his daughter to stay away from the Zombie Gauntlet and she promised. Waters spied Max behind the yellow tape, hands in pockets chewing on his lip, fighting shock.

Through clenched teeth he hissed, “Max, why was Sarah Jane here? Ray was under the impression she would stay away until these murders are resolved.”

Max’s face etched with fear and sadness answered, “Man, you know how that girl is, er, was. Thinks she’s knows, knew, everything she needed to know.”

Henry scrubbed his face trying to find questions to ask to get him out of the trouble he’d found. The Chief was on the way. He knew the trouble Sarah Jane found was now his trouble. His investigation had no leads; just bodies and every fifth Friday another innocent, surrounded in crimson.

A bright winter morning eight months ago, a body was found. Henry took the call with his partner Jerrod McEwin and CSU. Demarion Jones was viciously stabbed to death the night before. Deep bites covered his body. The investigation began and Henry was confident he would hang on to his record as best closer on the squad. Confidence waned into ambiguity as a pattern emerged with the third body. All the murders happened on a fifth Friday during one of those Zombie Challenges.

“Max! Sit on the curb and wait for me. We’ll finish this at the station.” He growled the order and pointed a finger to emphasize his words.

Blue and red wigwagged, capturing eyes while the siren’s shriek pierced hearing. Henry swiveled around as the white Tahoe rocked to a halt and Chief of Detectives, Ray Jacoby bound out of the truck.

He scanned the faces behind the tape, found Waters and stalked through. His happiness eaten away by grief and anger he grabbed Henry and snarled,

“Where’s my daughter!?”

After Henry shook his boss off, Max saw him shocked,  off balance as he searched for focus. Knowing the distractions, he chose to slide slowly into the crowd, absconded custody and went home.


After a number of comments expressed the thought the Zombie Gauntlet murder of Sarah Jane in my fiction piece “The Agony of Defeat” could be turned into a serialized piece, I decided to heed the advice. Thus, a yet to be named story continues.

I’m continuing the story using two prompts as inspiration.

First, Trifecta: Week Twenty-Seven

Use the word trouble with the following rules:

  • 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.
  • . trou·ble noun \ˈtrə-bəl\
    . the quality or state of being troubled especially mentally
    . public unrest or disturbance <there’s trouble brewing downtown>
    . an instance of trouble <used to disguise her frustrations and despair by making light of her troubles

Second, Write on Edge’s Red Writing Hood:

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood

In 400 words or less, write a story or memoir which relates to choices and/or consequences. Because of the word limits, you may choose to focus just on the choice, or just on the consequence. Remember to capture a moment using dialogue, action, and reaction.

Vivid Black: The Agony of Defeat

Two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane, shuffling and moaning. Sarah Jane’s surprise somersaulted her heartbeat, her hands darting to her mouth, shock and fear trickling through her. Stringy deformed shadows marched ahead of her as she gained her senses, rushing to retrieve lost ground.

Silently she thought,

“Oh no, not this time. Never! You’ll have to work harder than that.”

Her strategy to wind through City Park on Solitude Lane was deliberate, and on the route, but the hoard would unlikely wander here early in the game. At least she thought so. When she chose it, Sarah Jane was sure she would have time to formulate another successful defeat and escape to the “Safe Zone”. They were getting smart, but not smart enough. These guys were determined to break her streak and assimilate her into the hoard with their gnashing and tearing.

Jogging carefully down the path, she scanned ahead for more and occasionally peeking over her shoulder to monitor the two behind. The rules stated: “No Zombie shall run, jog or walk at a fast pace. Shuffling or dragging is the only acceptable mode of progress.”

The Normals goal is making it to the “Safe Zone” without being “bitten”, “scratched” or “damaged” in any way by a Zombie. No weapons could be used in their efforts. The Zombies have the advantage of surprise. They get to begin anywhere on the gauntlet route so the Normals need keen, sharp senses to avoid them.

The Zombie Gauntlet Challenge took place every fifth Friday and Sarah Jane was the only person to make it through to the Safe Zone every time. Twenty five Normals were challenged (many failing) to make it through the Zombie Gauntlet zone.

Heart pumping, and breathing steady, she looked back again to see the two closer. Squeezing her eyes narrow as she hissed,


Determined, she surged ahead, widening the space. Her focused attention was drawn away by the annoyance, and the task of watching her back, she didn’t see the broken armlike branch that sent her sprawling.

Face wide in an “O” of alarm, her arms flailing forward struggling to protect. Crashing, she rolled to withstand any damage from the “attack”. The face of the man who surprised her faded in and out of the shadows, intent on a despicable deed. The shining edge glittered in the moonlight, cleaving the darkness, and endlessly plunging in. She raised her hands to defend the slashing ruin of the relentless attack.

Found lying wet, red, open, and mutilated a “Zombie’s” human scream signaled true terror. Rules broken as others hurried to reveal the cause, discovering a lifeless Sarah Jane, Zombie Gauntlet champion. Reality overtook fantasy as she was defeated only by true death.

Continue reading Vivid Black with The Trouble in No Answers


I’m linking this up at Write on Edge. Cam gave us this weeks prompt for Red Writing Hood and gave a challenged to “advance the plot”. Here’s how it went:

For this week, I’m offering you this opening line:

“Two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane.”

If you are approaching this prompt from a memoir standpoint, feel free to use a narrow lane, a moonlit night, or appearance of someone seemingly from nowhere as a jumping off point.

You have 500 words.