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Flame In My Bloodstream

Day 11 of Flash Fiction Month.

Today’s challenge was “Hybrid Genres”. I had to choose two genres and write in a non-linear narrative style. I chose Western & Slice of Life.

The prompts I used: 

“He was a bastard and a drunk, but he was her only hope.”

S.O.B.” by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Jolene” by Ray LaMontagne

This is my favorite one I’ve written so far. 


As fist connected to jaw with a crackle and a crunch, Ray was home at last.

Word got around that a bandit died with a smile on his face. Some say he was mad, others say he died doing what he loved. Most folk believed that his poor unfortunate soul had finally found the peace he’d been searching for his whole life; a real redemption story.

Do bandits go to heaven?

He was twenty-six when he first met Jolene. She was a real angel. She lit a fire in men who weren’t too deserving of her love and Ray was one of them.

He sits at the bar holding his whiskey drink and takes a sip. His throat burns the way his soul did when he’d first kissed Jolene. He chuckles when he thinks about the way she pushed him away. Was it the way the hair on his face prickled her delicate ivory skin? Or was it the stench of alcohol that stained his tongue ever since he was a boy of sixteen? It was hard to tell then and now it was just a memory.

His momma was a real angel too. She had fiery red hair that went along with her fiery spirit and when that fiery spirit got out, she’d earn herself another fiery brand on her skin. Ever the momma’s boy, he’d run to her side trying to cool her down and sometimes he’d get caught in the crossfire. “Boy, you got your momma’s spirit,” she’d say to him. “Ain’t nothing getting in the way of your fire.”

Maybe that was why Ray loved that fiery sensation burning in his throat and through his whole body every time he took a sip.

Jolene’s fire burned blue. She was the type that you love loving until she disappeared on you like a will-o’-the-wisp. He found her face down in a ditch near this very saloon two years back after a fight had broken loose.

It was too late for him to do anything so he poured himself another one.

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