OLWG #236- Too Close to Home

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”

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


In the box, I found a silver blister pack with 14 round pills.
Each pill was marked “OC” on one side and; the number “80” on the other.
What are these?
Pills
Why do you have them in this box with these pictures of Mom?
Those are what was left of the package after your mother passed.
But, she died of respiratory depression.
Yeah, that’s how they work.
You still haven’t answered my question. Why are these in this box?
Those are for me.
I miss her, we had a pact, but I’m a coward, and
haven’t worked up the courage yet.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. doesn’t mean I don’t love you
  2. c’mon down
  3. shattered when it hit the ground

You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!

OLWG #235- Reckoning

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”

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


Aldon was an elf. He baked cookies in a secret location deep inside the forest. He had done for as long as anyone could remember. His pulchritudinous wife, Ciradyl, was a petite beauty with a spray of freckles tossed across her cute upturned nose. She wore her tobacco brown hair long. She had been married to Aldon for as long as anyone could remember. Aldon had initially been drawn to her by her pointed seashell ears, which peeked attractively from beneath her luxurious locks. Together they had birthed two strong sons: Erendil and Turgon. Both were now grown and had families of their own.

 Aldon also kept a mistress, a beautiful elf with smooth skin coloured of mocha. She called herself Zeale. Zeale was also slender, but her hair was blonde and worn in a pixie cut. She proudly displayed her lovely cuspidate ears by pushing her blonde locks behind them. She had also borne Aldon two children, twin elven daughters of unsurpassed beauty and poise; Ochyllyss and Oluevaera. Zeale was exotic and spoke with an accent.

 Although Zeale knew of Ciradyl, Erendil and Turgon, Ciradyl had only suspicions of Zeale. She had presumed as much for several hundred years, but she had no proof, and she didn’t want to believe it was true. The clinical term for this condition was “Denial.” She did not know about Ochyllyss and Oluevaera.

 Ciradyl would have been happy living in Denial forever and might have done so had she and Zeale not come face to face in Keebler’s Market on the eastern edge of the forest. Zeale immediately recognised Ciradyl and decided to introduce herself. After all, they both loved Aldon. They already had that in common. Perhaps they could become friends.

 It didn’t work out that way.

 Jealousy is a chimaera.

 And, when Ciradyl found herself confronted with proof of what she had suspected for so long, she unleashed the green monster. She screamed and showed her fangs. Zeale, in disbelief, quickly retreated. Ciradyl reached for something to throw and came up with an apple from Keebler’s produce display. She flung it with all her might down the bread aisle, striking her adversary, high on the back, knocking her down.

 Aldon’s wife Ciradyl was taken into custody outside Keebler’s Market as she tried to make good her escape. Zeale refused medical aid on site. Aldon has some serious explaining to do.

 


This week’s prompts are:

  1. an African Doctor
  2. scold me
  3. two-pot screamer

You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!

OLWG #234- Yolanda’s Song

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”

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


Yolanda wasn’t a hard woman to work with
she was, well, she was a unique woman to work with;
she played fast and loose with the rules.

She cussed like a sailor and drank like one too,
she could fix anything with string,
she played fast and loose with the rules.

She took me in; under her wing.
She taught me about life.
Life, death, and love; acceptance, rejection,
and the blues.

She played fast and loose with the rules.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. a jealous heart
  2. how’s it gonna end
  3. love this city

You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!

OLWG #233- Of Traitors, Women, and Hats

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”

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


Branwen chased her black slouchy cap down the alleyway and, as she got close, believing she couldn’t miss, she pounced, soiling her chemise dress. She watched helplessly as the wind pulled the cap further away and around the corner where it headed east on Waller toward Buena Vista Park. She lifted herself on her forearms, looked down, took in the state of her dress, and decided that the hat should be considered lost.

She stood, crossed her arms across her breast, turned and headed back home. Disappointment etched clearly across her face.

Two blocks down, Ana Maria Lopez de Casas Cordero was exiting her taxi. The cab that had brought her home from visiting her grandchildren. She was struck by the knitted black hat. Initially, she didn’t recognize it for what it was, but she snatched it from where it had stuck, wrapped around her leg. She shook it out and stuffed it into her carrier bag. She was deferring closer examination and analysis until she could get inside.

After checking, she thought it might be a hat, but it seemed too long, more like a sock, but it was too big for a sock. Then she realised it was a bag. A soft, knit shopping bag of some sort, it looked as though it might be perfect for cradling delicate bayas when carrying them home from the market. She decided to keep it and threw it atop the washer. She would need to make sure it was clean before she took it shopping.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. gently used love letters
  2. be still my heart
  3. bottom of the deck

You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!

OLWG #232- First & Only Job

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”

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


Tony’s heart broke when it happened. He wanted to cry but felt compelled to hide his tears when he saw Agosto and Jack riding their bikes down Central. They were riding away from him, but he didn’t want them to see him crying if they turned around. It was a hot day, mid-July. School was out for the summer.

I should probably start this story at the beginning. Tony had been doing chores around the house that summer. His Momma had been paying him a bit for the work he was doing. He was spending his money at the Nogal Market on sweets. Star-shaped biscochitos that the widow, Mrs Henderson, baked herself. She also offered crescents, hearts, and circles of homemade peanut marzipan. He bought Paletas, Vero candies (spicy and sweet), and the like.

On this day, he bought a Maracuya Paleta filled with condensed milk. It hadn’t been out of the wrapper for long at all, and he hadn’t gotten to fully enjoy more than a taste or two when it dropped. It didn’t just fall on the pavement either. It fell in the dirt. He leaned down to pick it up, now covered with that fine rose-coloured sand that was everywhere around here. He dusted off some of the sand and tried a taste, too gritty. It was done.

Tony checked his pockets but didn’t have enough money to get another. He looked over his shoulder, through the window of the small store and saw Mrs Henderson watching him from behind the counter. She beckoned him back inside.

“That was unlucky,” she said, and Tony nodded his head, “would you like another?” She asked.

“Yes, ma’am,” he replied, “but I don’t have enough money to buy another.”

“I could give you a job. You could earn some money and buy another. How’s that sound?” Tony nodded his head, said nothing. “You gotta talk to me, Tony. You can’t be shy and work in a grocery store.”

“Yes, ma’am, that sounds good.”

“Can you start right away?” Mrs Henderson asked.

Tony nodded his head. Hrs Henderson’s mouth turned down at the corners. “Yes, ma’am,” he added quickly.

She reached beneath the counter, pulled out a white apron, and tossed it to him, “Put this on. In the back, you’ll find a broom and a dustpan. You can start by sweeping up the store and the back. Do a good job, but don’t take all day. There’s a mop and bucket back there if you need it. Do you want me to call your Momma and tell her where you are?”

Tony nodded again, then quickly added, “Yes, please.”

“When you get done in here, could you go sweep up in front of the store as well? We don’t want anybody else losing their treats to the dust on the walkway.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Tony worked for Mrs Henderson, cleaning up, for the rest of that summer. He worked at the market on weekends and afternoons until he graduated from High School. When he went to ENMU he worked that first summer too. After his second year at University, Mrs Henderson told him that she was ready to retire. Tony went to the Credit Union and got a loan. He quit school, bought the store, and went to work full time at the Nogal Market. Mrs Henderson taught him how to keep the books; she introduced him to all the suppliers and made him promise, above all, to take good care of his customers. Soon she was working for Tony, making the biscochitos, and marzipan in the back. She taught him to do the same things that she had done for years.

Tony worked hard at the store, and one day…

Several years later…

A young boy, Amador Ventura, came into the shop…

He bought a Maracuya Paleta, counting his pennies on the counter and handing them over to Tony in exchange for the cold and creamy treat…

Tony watched as Amador opened his Paleta and carefully placed the wrapper in the receptacle on the curb outside the market…

Tony watched as Amador took only a couple of tastes of his treat before it dropped to the pavement…

Amador blinked back his tears and checked his pockets, but, at least to Tony, it seemed apparent that the boy didn’t have enough money to get another Paleta…

When the young Mr Ventura looked up at him, Tony beckoned him back inside…

That was unlucky,” he said…


This week’s prompts are:

  1. no tears, no more
  2. it might kill you
  3. outside of Natchez

You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!

OLWG #231- the little things

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”

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


Frank and Joan met at a ‘Parents Without Partners’ potluck in the basement of the Baptist Church on D Street. They had a lot of things in common. They began dating right away and would get away together whenever possible. Joan had been a widow for thirteen years, Frank – a widower for six. Both were writers; both had teenage offspring. Frank’s daughter, Rosemary, was sixteen and Joan’s boy, Morse, was two months older than Rosy. Frank and Joan began collaborating on short stories almost as soon as they started seeing one another socially. The stories were pretty good and enjoyed moderate commercial success.

Frank liked action and science fiction stories.

Joan liked Romance.

The differences were not much of a problem. They managed to write a love story set on the moons of Saturn; it got published in The New Yorker. Another appeared on the pages of Harper’s where two assassins, star crossed lovers, were hired by opposing factions to rub each other out; but somehow managed to live happily ever after.

Joan didn’t know how to tell Frank what the real problem was. Every time he would put two spaces after a period, she wanted to declare nuclear war. It was apparent to Joan that Frank thought commas and semicolons were effectively the same things; discussion of the differences was not suitable for pillow talk, so Joan tended to endure, and she assumed the role of “long-suffering paramour.”

On his part, Frank tried talking to Joan until he was blue in the face. She insisted that plurals demanded apostrophes, and when dealing with possessives – apostrophes should be handled on a case by case basis; sometimes yes, sometimes no.

By this time, the reader will have figured out that Frank and Joan’s relationship could not last very long. Things had seemed so promising at first. Sometimes it’s the little things that get in the way.

On a positive note: Morse and Rosy started dating soon after their parents split. They plan on attending State when they get out of High School, and they’re both saving themselves for marriage; wish them luck.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. there were no screams
  2. easy money
  3. whisky in the shade

You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!

OLWG #230- Understanding The Moon

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”

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


Beverly and Walter were parked in his truck at the river when she opened her mouth and, without thinking about what she was saying, she told him that she might be pregnant. She thought it was a lie at the time. She was trying to get him to change his mind. She wanted him to enrol at the Junior College. She wanted to live happily ever after with him. Most of all, she did not want him to go to Vietnam.

“Are you sure?”

“No, I’m not sure, but I’m late.”

“How late?”

“About a month.”

“Jesus, Bev, and you’re just now telling me? Get up, get dressed.”

He pulled his trousers back on, buttoned up his shirt, slid over behind the wheel and turned the key to start the engine.

He revved it a couple of times and backed away from the riverbank as Beverly fastened her bra. He was speeding back towards the highway as she did up the buttons on her blouse.

She was dressed and had slid across the bench seat, to be near him, before he pulled onto the 58, heading east.

“Where are we going, Walt?” she asked.

“Going to Vegas to get married,” he answered.

 Beverly frowned, “I can’t marry you, Walt. I’m not even out of high school, and you – you’re about to join the Army or some shit!” It all came out a little harsher than she had intended.

They argued about it for almost 125 miles, but Walt was adamant, and by the time they changed roads and got on the Interstate, he had Bev almost convinced.

“Should I call my mom?” she asked.

“No way,” Walt replied, “she’ll try to talk you out of it, and I’m not going to let that happen. You can call her in the morning after we’ve done it and there’s nothing that she can do about it.”

Beverly sighed, smiled, and rested her head on Walter’s shoulder, her hand high on his thigh. She settled in for the ride.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. cotton to
  2. letters from strangers
  3. patiently lying

You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!

OLWG #229- Love, Dad

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”

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


In the summer of 2012 Imogene Dodsworth changed her name to Krauss after her father, Samuel Dodsworth, was convicted of killing 50 women between 1992 and 2005. He received 50 sequential sentences of 33 years each. Those were the ones that he confessed to, although since that time, DNA evidence has linked him to as many as 93 additional murders, and authorities suspect he was involved in the deaths of at least 200 women.

 For almost ten years, Imogene Krauss lived alone in a cabin on the jagged green island of Monhegan, Maine. No one here knew her past. No one here knew about her father. Imogene, herself, had almost forgotten all of those things, all of the horror. She worked the front desk at The Island House, a bed and breakfast that was not too far from the harbour and boasting a nice view of Mañana Island. Life was good.

 It was nigh on Thanksgiving in 2021 when Imogene came home and found it. It was setting just inside the screened porch on the front deck of her cabin. She had received a surprise delivery of a holiday flower arrangement, complete with a note that read:

I’ll be home for Christmas, & I can’t wait to catch up.
Love,
Dad


This week’s prompts are:

  1. almost never prayed
  2. she can’t hear you anymore
  3. notice the light

You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!

OLWG #228- El Malpais

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”

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


Not far to the west of town is a piece of public land that features more than 125 square miles of lava field. The flow is young, geologically speaking, only about 5000 years old. Around these parts, we call it  El Malpais, which is Spanish for The Badlands.  It’s a beautiful place, but if you get off the beaten path it can also be a dangerous place.

When I met Marina in school, we used to sneak away to El Malpais for romantic weekends. On Saturday nights, we would climb to the top of the Vista Point carrying an old horse blanket. We’d lie naked beneath the iridescent fabric of the Milky Way and marvel at the beauty of nature. The stars provided the light. The breeze would provide the aromatherapy, and we would comfort one another as we learned the fine points of love.

Marina never finished school. Her father was killed. He wound up as collateral damage. He took a stray bullet fired by a small-time hood who loosed a stray shot while holding up a gas station. Marina’s dad was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Marina held it together for a while. She lived on her own, in her father’s old adobe, but eventually, she had to move away, and we lost touch.

She saw me again forty-six years later and recognized me.

I was shopping at El Matador Market in Old Mesilla, and so was she. It was like we had never been apart. We slipped, easily into conversation, like my hand still slipped so easy into hers. She smelled sweet, like desert rain.

“Can you join me for dinner?” I asked, “La Posta?”

“I shouldn’t, TN. I’m a married woman now, living in Seattle. Dan and I are here on vacation. He was interested in seeing where I grew up. He’s a New Englander and knows nothing about the Southwest.” We stood looking at one another, “So here we are…I certainly didn’t expect to see you. You stayed, huh.” It wasn’t a question, but I nodded my head in assent.

We never did have dinner that night. She went back to wherever she and Dan were staying. It was four more years before I saw her again, in the El Matador. This time I recognized her.

“Marina! You’re back! How are you? How’s Dan?” I was determined to present myself as a friend to both her and her husband. Not as a lover from ages ago.

This time she invited me to La Posta for dinner. She told me that I could pick her up at the Alyvia, on the Square. She was in room fourteen. She said that Dan had been killed by a drunk driver about six months earlier. She told me that she was more than happy to see me.

After dinner, we spent the night in room fourteen of the Hotel Alyvia. The dawn brought a cool Friday morning, and we drove together to El Malpais. There is no waiting period on a marriage license in New Mexico. With the help of the County Clerk in Lincoln, we got a license and found an authorized local who agreed to perform the service.

We got married atop El Malpais’ Vista Point at sunset. We spent the night naked on an old horse blanket and learned that our bodies still fit together just as easily as when we were young and as our hands had done four years earlier.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. burn it down – for the nails
  2. world traveler
  3. 15 or less

You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!

OLWG #227- Secret Library

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”

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



Hanna was feeding the dog and watering the plants at her parent’s house while they were vacationing. She was poking around, waiting for Cricket to finish eating, when she came across the blanket covered trunk on the high shelf in the garage. How had I never noticed this before? She wondered as she pulled the blanket off and raised the lid to peek inside.

Books, magazines, letters, and postcards filled the inside. She grabbed a book and looked at the worn printing on the broken spine.  D.H. Lawrence, it read, the title was illegible. Next to that book was a paperback titled “Sabbath’s Theatre” by Philip Roth; and “Bad Behaviour” by a writer named Gaitskill. Others by Dennis CooperSalter, Winterson, and Yuknavitch.

Tucked in with the books were lots of old, vintage postcards. Some displayed pictures of nude women and others showed naked men. Sometimes, they were full-frontal depictions; sometimes, the models were turned or strategically draped. Others showed men and women on the same card, entangled together, arms and legs akimbo. Hannah felt her face getting warm.

The magazines ran the gamut, with one exception. There were copies of Penthouse, Parade, and Mayfair. Conspicuous by their absence were the Playboys. There were some older ones that she had never heard of with names like “Titter,” “Wink,” and “Whisper.” There was a short stack, maybe eight or nine issues, of a magazine called “Filament,” and several issues of one called “Viva” that featured photos of men.

Had she stumbled on her parent’s private porn collection? Is that what this was? Why was it hidden in the garage? Why not under their bed? She’d have to ask them when they got home from the islands. She wanted to have a long discussion with her mom, maybe with her dad, too.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. street dogs
  2. old shoes
  3. imaginary Arizona

You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!