OLWG #80- British Racing Green

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The flash fiction, below, was written for practice and hopefully will elicit a smile or two.  Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.



I’m going to take the opportunity today to retell an old joke… Stop me if you’ve heard this.

Once upon a time; a young lady named Camilla, who had recently begun attending a respected university in New England, was driving home to Philadelphia for Christmas. Her housemate was flying home to Arizona and so, she loaned Camilla her car over the holiday. You know so Camilla could drive it to Philly.

It was a beautiful car. It was an old cabriolet, low, and long. It had plenty of leg room and there was a shelf fitted behind the seats where Camilla had stored gift boxes that she was taking back. The colour of the vehicle, she had been told, was British Racing Green (BRG for short). The V8 engine rumbled when she started it up and it was a blast to drive. It drew a lot of admiring looks from other drivers as she roared past them. It was a real head-turner. With the top up and the engine growling as it bounded along, she couldn’t help but sing as she drove. Inevitably her foot was a little heavy and as she neared Bristol Township our girl got pulled over by a Pennsylvania State Trooper.

Camilla eased her way to the side of the road and waited in the car as other traffic blew past. Finally, the trooper exited his Dodge Charger and made his way up to the MG approaching on the passenger side. She leaned over and cranked down the window. The officer flipped his ticket book open as he leaned down to study her through darkly tinted aviator Ray Bans. She watched her reflection in his glasses.

“I’ll bet you pulled me over to sell me tickets to the Pennsylvania State Troopers Ball,” she said, trying to lighten the moment.

The cop didn’t smile; he continued to stare as Camilla became even more nervous. Then he tapped the top of his pen against his ticket book, “Pennsylvania State Troopers don’t have balls,” he said with a deep voice that sounded a lot like the car she drove.

There was a moment of awkward silence before the trooper flipped his ticket book closed and straightened back up.

“You might want to slow down a bit, ma’am,” he said, “Have a Merry Christmas.” He turned and walked back to his car.

Camilla watched in her mirror as he got behind the wheel of his car and pulled back into traffic. She continued to sit for over a minute longer before she exhaled.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. fabulous
  2. the good guys
  3. Sometimes you just…

Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

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OLWG #79- Kumamotos

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The flash fiction, below, was written for practice and I’m not sure if I like it or not.  Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.



That morning I rose early, poured myself a travel mug of black coffee and drove to the Junior College in Aptos for the Farmer’s Market. It’s not far and my old truck made the trip. It’s reliable, that old pickup (knock on wood).

I meandered up and down the rows, taking samples where offered and squeezing some of the late-season stone fruits. Testing them, but I worried that it might be a bit too late and they would be past their prime. I picked up some Valencias ‘cause I wanted the citrus and there were artichokes fresh from below the south county line. Broccoli and cauliflower looked good so I stocked up. I turned the corner to make a pass down the last aisle and saw the Dekalb van. I’d been in the same grade as Janet Dekalb and played ball with her brother, Dixon.

They had tables of ice set up along the side of their truck and heaps of fresh oyster displayed. Janet stood at one end of an ice table. She wore a pair of heavy gloves and held an oyster-knife comfortably in her right hand. She was busy prying open shells, setting ‘em on heavy paper plates and handing them to customers. Her mom was collecting money at the head of the table. I watched Janet shuck oysters for a while and enjoyed the sweet and salty smell of the fresh shellfish, like the air down low, next to the sea.

I finally gave in to the temptation and dug some money from my pocket. I approached Mrs. Dekalb, who had to be over ninety years old by now and proffered the wadded bills. She looked up at me and smiled, “TN?” she said, “is that you? I haven’t seen you in…” she pondered a bit, “well in a long time. What are you doing?”

“Right now I’m hoping to buy some fresh oysters,” I answered.

“Put your money away, boy, and move on down the line. Janet’ll pick you out some good ones.” she turned her head and looked at her daughter, “Look who’s here Janet. It’s TN!”

Mrs. Dekalb reached up and wrapped an arm around my neck then shoved me towards her daughter.

Janet studied the Kumamotos on the table, not looking at me, “Hi” she said. She’d always been shy.

“Hello yourself, Janet, I didn’t know you guys worked this market. How’s Dixon? Where’s Dixon?”

“He’s up north,” she said. “We’ve got a mess of floats up in Tomales Bay. He’s running the farm. Mom and I take care of the marketing. How many do you want?”

“Half a dozen would be great, thanks.”

Janet shucked me six good ones, she set ‘em on a plate and pointed to a tray with condiments. She had shallots, cocktail sauce, grated horseradish, and slices of lemon.

“If you want some.” She told me.

“No, no thanks. I’ll forgo that stuff.” We stood there looking at one another. I couldn’t think of anything to say.

“Well, it’s good to see you, TN,” Janet was winding it up, “I, uhm, I probably oughta get back to work.”

“Yeah, yeah, OK; sorry.” I backed away across the aisle and watched Janet work as I ate.

She looked good. She still had a hundred watt smile and didn’t wear a ring. With my oysters done, I tossed the plate and shells – made my way back home and thought about how things used to be; about how different things might have been.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. Of course, she was surprised when I told her
  2. shielded his eyes
  3. the dog flopped

Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

OLWG #78- Lattè and Anarchy

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The flash fiction, below, was written for practice.  Practice makes perfect.

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.



Gary had lived in Westerfort for almost thirty years and on Alden Avenue for twenty-three of those years. Alden ran parallel to and was two blocks off the Boulevard. There was always plenty to do. The Boulevard had theatres, restaurants, and bars of all types. There was a lot of shopping; three bookstores and two music shops in a four-block span. There were sporting goods stores, clothing stores, toy stores.

Two blocks in the other direction was the Back Bay, a nature preserve consisting of brushlands, wetlands, hiking trails, equestrian trails, and bicycle paths. Gary didn’t have a view of the water from his house but he didn’t need one, really. He could walk two blocks and have one worth a million dollars. If Gary didn’t have to get to work he wouldn’t have to drive anywhere. It was all within walking distance of his house on Alden Ave. It was the perfect place for him.

It all started to fall apart on a Friday morning when Gary was drinking coffee and reading the local paper, he noticed a story announcing a new Starbucks that would be opening on the Boulevard. They planned to replace his favourite coffee shop, HuggaMug Café. HuggaMug was owned by Mrs. Linkseller and she had been a fixture on the Boulevard for as long as Gary could remember. He had never had a bad cup of coffee at HuggaMug Café.

Now Gary had tasted a cup or two from Starbucks and no matter which shop he bought the coffee from, he always tossed it in the trash after a few sips. It tasted burnt to him. He liked strong coffee, he liked full-bodied coffee. He didn’t care much for burnt coffee. The news that HuggaMug was to be replaced with a Starbucks was the worst news Gary had received since the vet told him that he had to have his old cat, Mr. Stitches, put down.

Why would they do this? There were already three Starbucks on the Boulevard. They didn’t need another.

Gary made it his mission to stop Starbucks. He circled petitions around the neighborhood. He attended council meetings. He wrote letters to the Editor of the paper. Starbucks was a juggernaut. They were unstoppable and before he could say Jack Robinson the warm and comfortable HuggaMug Café became a cold and institutional Starbucks.

Gary would stand out front of the new shop and try to talk people into boycotting – nobody cared. He tried using a bullhorn and accused Starbucks of trying to take over the world. He fell in with a hippie chick named Bittersweet who would come and help him with picket signs sometimes. He had no idea that she was an anarchist. She believed in sex, drugs, and firebombs. She just didn’t tell Gary about the firebombs right away.

It happened slowly, usually with pillow talk, and over the course of a few months, Bittersweet convinced Gary that Starbucks was the spawn of Satan. They were evil incarnate. They were ‘the man.’ She convinced him that if he were to destroy the new shop, society would recognize his contribution and shower him with adulation. She suggested that the city fathers might even erect a statue of him at the entrance to the Back Bay. Gary thought he was in love, thought he could be immortalized in bronze, thought he was contributing to the good of the community. He fell for it; hook, line, and sinker.

It was the weekend after Thanksgiving when Gary finally took action on behalf of his neighbors, the Proletariat. He tossed bricks through the front windows of the offending business and when the alarms began to sound he followed the bricks with Molotov cocktails. He stood on the sidewalk and watched the fire take hold as sirens screamed closer and closer. Then he ran for home, the only place he could think of to hide. Bittersweet would be so proud of him. He burst through his front door, excited to tell her, but she was gone. She hadn’t come with a lot of possessions. Some bell bottoms, a couple of empire dresses, a silver barrette that she wore in her hair, a pipe made from an old soda can, and a toothbrush. Everything was gone. It was as if she had never existed.

The red and blue lights from the police cruiser flashed through his kitchen window when the cops pulled up outside. It made him understand the impact of his actions. Their knocking on the door made him question his actions.

Where is Bittersweet ? What the hell have I done?

Gary realized then that he would give anything to turn back the clock. Turn it back to right before he had stuffed that rag down the neck of those bottles filled with gasoline, before he had loosed that first brick.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. an unmarked grave
  2. a high forehead
  3. “you’re early,” he said

Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

OLWG #77- The Urban Fisherman

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The flash fiction, below, was written for practice.  Practice makes perfect.

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.



Dabney started when he heard the ‘text message’ notification from his phone. Must be Porsche, he thought, and it was.

“Working late on the Coleman case,” she had texted, “Don’t wait up. Luv u.”

He glanced up at the clock and noted the time. He straightened his desk and got ready to tell Marilyn that he was calling it a day, but Marilyn had already gone. Dabney recalled her sticking her head in the door and asking if he had needed anything before she went home. He’d been distracted and simply waved. She was a wonderful administrator and if anything had required doing, he was certain that she had already done it.

Dabney took the lift to the ground floor and turned on Water Street, heading to the Metro, two blocks down. On the way, he spotted an old man with a fishing pole. The line was dangling into the water that was running along the street-side. Dabney paused to watch this urban fisherman; he was attired in dungarees and a long-sleeved work shirt, clean but worn. His shoes were old, yet polished. He was standing outside a pub, named The Goat and Vasectomy.

Dab considered his options. He thought the man appeared down on his luck. Porsche had left him to his own devices for dinner and pub food sounded as good as anything to him; besides he deserved a drink.

“Excuse me, sir,” Dabney addressed the old man, who turned towards him and pointed at his own chest to say, who, me?

“Yes,” he continued, “My name is Dabney. I work up the street and, well, I find myself, by myself tonight and I’m hungry. I thought I’d pop into this pub for a quick bite. I could use some conversation. Would you fancy joining me? My treat.” Dabney squared his shoulders and shot his cuffs as he waited for a response.

The old man studied him and then shrugged his shoulders, “Sure, why not? Thanks.” He reeled in his line and lifted the pole before he followed Dabney into the bar. There was a moment of some confusion, which of them should cross the threshold first, but they sorted it out.

Inside the two men took a table by the window and each ordered a whisky. They sized one another up. Dabney broke the silence when he pointed to the fishing pole, “Any luck today?” he asked.

“Yeah, yeah a little.” the old man answered. They dropped back into an awkward silence.

“How many have you caught?” Dabney continued, hoping to spur the conversation.

“You’re the eighth.”


This week’s prompts are:

  1. at the bottom of the off ramp
  2. is that my pencil case?
  3. broken

Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

OLWG #76- Spirits

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The flash fiction, below, was written for practice.  Practice makes perfect.

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.



It had been a long night for Ace Addison. He’d picked up Janis before six and they told her parents that they were going to grab a bite at Buzz Burgers and then go catch that new action movie at the Palace Theatre, downtown. They did get burgers but they didn’t go to the show. They went instead to The Point.

Ace and Janis had been going steady for almost two months. They had discussed tonight for a couple of weeks and had agreed that this was the time. They were going to do it. They were going to go all the way. They had planned it, to make it perfect. Ace had bought and brought flowers, chocolates, and condoms. He believed he had everything covered. Janis had told him that she was still committed. That this was something she wanted to do, but at the last minute, she changed her mind.

Ace got pissed off and he drove away leaving her at The Point. He left angry and talked some college kid into buying him a bottle of tequila at Leo’s Liquors. Before long his conscience got the better of him and he drove back The Point to look for Janis. Hell, she liked tequila and he could offer her a few drinks – try to talk her into reconsidering.

A quick search didn’t turn her up though. Janis was gone. He was certain that she was going to be mad at him too. She might even want to break up. Ace didn’t want to break up. He liked Janis and maybe he had pushed a little too hard for this. He could wait. He hoped he hadn’t fucked things up too bad.

Now despondent, and maybe still a little resentful, Ace drove to the old churchyard. He parked next to the rusted wrought iron fence that ran along Ash Lane that marked the eastern edge of the cemetery. He turned KZYA up loud and started drinking while he listened to the Rockin’ Randy Reeves show. After a few long hours of raucous music and more than a few long pulls on the bottle, he passed out. Ace wasn’t a very experienced drinker. When he woke it was cold, dark and quiet. To make matters worse, his car wouldn’t start. He remembered that the radio had been cranked and he figured that he had killed the battery. He scooped up his precious bottle of spirits, got out of the car, and hopped the fence into the graveyard. He hoped he could find a service station on the other side and get someone to give him a jump.

So, Ace is sipping tequila and walking through Potter’s Field. There’s a fog moving in. He looks at his watch and sees that it is midnight, straight up – The Witching Hour. A tapping sound falls on his ear, tic tap tic, and he sees the faint glow of a lantern on the other side of a small rise ahead. Steeled by tequila and against his better judgment, Ace ventures to investigate; fearing that it might be a haunting. Drawing near he spots an old man with long matted grey hair and a matching beard. The gaffer’s got a hammer and chisel. He’s concentrating as he chips away at a headstone, a monument that’s spotted with moss and grime from the years.

Ace speaks up, “Hey?”

The old man turns his head and looks at the boy, “Hey, yerself lad.”

Relieved to find it’s simply a caretaker Ace laughs and says, “You scared me; I thought you were a ghost. What are you doing working in the middle of the night?” he takes another pull from his bottle.

The old man grins at him, exposing ill-kept teeth, “Those idiots can’t never get nuthin right,” he says, “they misspelt me name.”


This week’s prompts are:

  1. tell me about it
  2. blue mesa
  3. you would if you loved me

Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

OLWG #75- ?’s

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The short verse, below, was written for practice.  Practice makes perfect.

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.



Remember when you asked me why I loved you? Why I was attracted?

I think I spouted some shit about your flowered dress. About how nice you looked wearing that dress, the first time I saw you.

If that’s what I said you should know that it was bullshit. There was much more to it than that, but that was the easy answer. I chose the easy answer.

More likely, there were other reasons; or a combination of many reasons.

Was it your laugh?

Your smile?

Your turn of phrase?

The turn of your ankle?

Might it have been that joke you told? Or the glimmer I thought I saw in your eye?

Perhaps it was the colour of your hair? Or the way it hung over your shoulder and covered your eye until you pushed it back? You pushed it away.

Or maybe, maybe it was just that summer dress?

Ya think?


This week’s prompts are:

  1. a hundred dollars in her purse
  2. loquacious
  3. Kitty came home

Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

OLWG #74- Jacy

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The short story, below, was written for practice.  Practice makes perfect.

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.



Jacy sat amongst the regimented and identical bleak white headstones and talked to her father. His name was carved on one that lay near a Live Oak not far from the back fence. She came here a lot when she needed advice, or had to think things through. Jacy had never known her father. She knew a few things though. She knew he was the only man her mama had ever loved and that he had been killed ‘by’ the war. Not ‘in’ the war, but ‘by’ the war. Her gramma made sure that she had understood the difference.

Kordell Williams had been twenty years old when he brought the war back from overseas. Seems that he couldn’t leave it alone, couldn’t go back home without it.

Some parts he could touch; he brought home a Purple Heart, pinned on his tunic, and some shrapnel lodged in his hip. The doctors had saved his leg. The Morphine helped with the constant pain, it helped a lot.

Some of what he brought home was less tangible; they called it ‘Battle Fatigue’ in those days. Doctors didn’t understand it. Most thought it was a character flaw.

“Man up,” was their advice and painkillers were their treatment.

Catie was happy. Her young husband was back and she was ready to start a family.

He found work at the foundry. She was soon ‘with child’ and, on the outside, the Williams’ family seemed to be ‘All American’ and maybe they were, but Kordell’s mood swings were becoming more frequent, volatile, and violent over time. He slept with a Forty-Five under his pillow; he had taken to heavy drinking . Soon, the Morphine wasn’t enough. He began to supplement it with street opium and black tar.

Jacy was only a few months old when Kordell lost his job and Catie began losing her world. The stealing had started small but it grew fast. He had an expensive habit now as well as a family, and he had no job. Even though he was only taking a few tools from work and pawning them, the Foundry was unforgiving. Kordell moved up in the world after that and began holding up liquor stores and gas stations. Catie left him when she found out and Jacy was not even a year old. Kordell died when his daughter was 17 months old. Her mama went to join him two days later. Catie was assisted by a Saturday Night Special. A cheap revolver that she bought from Mr Patterson, an angry man who lived down the block.

Jacy went to live with her grandparents. She lived with her father’s parents but was always close to her mom’s folks as well.

Now, things were changing again. She needed to talk to her daddy about it.

“Gramma passed away last weekend, Daddy. You probably already know that. I want you to know that I’m going to be OK. I’ve only got one semester of school left. I’ll finish, but I don’t know what’s going to happen after that. I’ll try and make you proud. I’ll really try.” She fell silent, then fell asleep. When she woke it was dark. Jacy Williams sat beneath the night sky and listened to the cars on the freeway. Cars that she could hear, but couldn’t see.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. I don’t think I ever said that
  2. I really need you to
  3. watch this shit

Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun