Prompts

OLWG #198- MicroPoetry– Playmates

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 three short verses below  (Monoku, Haiku and, American Sentence) are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them and, practice makes perfect.

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



when she turned six, Amanda realized that she alone could see them.

The ghosts had always

been there. They were ancient yet,

they were still playful

When Amanda was growing up there was always someone to play with.



This week’s prompts are:

  1. taking careful aim
  2. two step program
  3. there is only sorrow

You can start writing whenever you want, just write – and have fun!

Prompts

OLWG #197- Would You Recognize Her If You Saw Her Again?

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, practice makes perfect.

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



“No, her hair was parted on the right side.”

“Yeah, just like I’ve drawn it here.”

“Oh, sorry, I guess I wasn’t clear; parted on her right side, not ours.”

“Hmm, that’s easy to fix.”

“Maybe it should be just a little bit curlier too. Not too curly but curlier than you have it now, and her nose wasn’t as big as you’ve got it. It was long and kinda sharp like you show there, but not that wide.”

“OK, I can work on that; would you hand me my gum eraser? It’s just there by the edge of the table.”

“You got the scar right, and her mouth – spot-on. She was grinning, almost as if she’d just told herself a joke that she had never heard before. The smile lit up her eyes. She was sorta a pretty girl.”

“How’s this then?”

“I think you captured her. It’s an uncanny likeness.”

“OK then, we’ll get this picture in circulation. Thank you for your help, sir.”

“Will you let me know when you catch her?”

“I don’t know, sir. I only do the sketches. You’ll need to speak with someone more directly involved in the investigation.”

“I’d like to speak to her when you catch her.”

“I can’t make any promises, sir.”

“Looking at your picture, I realize how pretty she is. I wonder if she’d agree to have a cup of coffee with me. Or maybe dinner, nothing fancy, you know. Maybe a Cobb Salad at the club. What do you think? Huh?”



This week’s prompts are:

  1. listen as the wind blows
  2. rollin’ boxcars
  3. I tend to break things occasionally

You can start writing whenever you want, just write – and have fun!

Prompts

OLWG #196- Excerpt From a Screenplay (of sorts)

This week’s prompts are at the bottom (way down, so keep scrolling). 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, practice makes perfect.

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





This week’s prompts are:

  1. the wetness of his soul
  2. I voted
  3. overcome the legacy

You can start writing whenever you want, just write – and have fun!

Prompts

OLWG #195- Myrie’s Red Pickup

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, practice makes perfect.

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



The buzz of midday summer heat sang across the yard. It was almost unbearable. I undid the grey bandana I wore around my neck and dipped it into the ice, and water, filled steel tub what set on the porch. The sun still hung high, tending slightly towards the west; and the heat-bugs was singing louder than the sunshine. Their rales and trills echoed from the tops of the Mulberry trees where they hid, to the sides of Pa’s old house.

I tied the bandana back around my neck and fished a bottle from the same tub to hold against my forehead.

Pa was setting ‘n smoking in his ole rush chair, his eyes were closed and, he leaned on the two back legs so that his seat wound up propped against the clapboard side of the house. His ancient yellow dog lay in the dust next to the porch.

It was a hot one all right.

We all heard it before we saw it. Judging from the grinding gears and backfiring, we knew it had to be Myrie in his rusted red Ford truck. I grinned because I knew that Ole Man Myrie’d have his truck loaded with fruit. Caribbean music would be playing on his AM radio and he’d have mangoes and June plums. Julie mangoes too, not the common ones that we used to chuck at cats when we were kids. He’d have cut sugar cane, and guavas. Guavas that he’d swear had been picked in St. Thomas only yesterday. Occasionally he’d come with Otaheite apples. I found myself hoping he’d have a couple bunches of guinep today. You gotta work a bit to suck the food off the seed of a guinep, that’s what the English call ‘em, the Spanish call ‘em waya, but it’s always worth it, especially this time of year when they is just startin’ to sweeten up good.

Mr Myrie was more’n half-blind and shouldn’a been drivin’ that old rusty truck, or anything else for that matter, but it was always great to see him.



This week’s prompts are:

  1. you born in a barn?
  2. if I don’t go I’ll never know what’s there
  3. that’ll be fun

You can start writing whenever you want, just write – and have fun!

Prompts

OLWG #194- Diablo Winds in a Sevenling

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, practice makes perfect.

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



The warm breeze blows across the barren, snow-covered slope

Not unlike a displaced Föhn wind

Screaming unabashedly down the western declivities of the Sierras

The Eastern villages are now fully engulfed

The fire – all-encompassing

The calm has past

and the storm is upon us



This week’s prompts are:

  1. I fall in love with you every day
  2. and no one even knows I’m gone
  3. be like snow

You can start writing whenever you want, just write and have fun!

Prompts

OLWG #193- The Grounds Girls

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, practice makes perfect.

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



On a recent trip to New York, I had one day where I could sleep late. I had no meetings scheduled until afternoon. I decided to go exploring. The Hotel thought I might enjoy the neighbourhood of SoHo, Beyond Broadway. The concierge told me that there is less foot traffic there, to the west, and more outdoor vendors. She told me that it was a combination of shopping and international cuisine. I stumbled across a coffee shop there named “The Grounds Girls”. I stopped in.

Inside I am drawn to an oversized sketch of a girl hanging on the wall. The artist’s name, Baptistee, and a price for the work shows on a plaque next to the drawing. The art is a mixed media piece done with coloured pencil and charcoal atop a pastel and watercolour wash. It depicted a girl; long-legged, poised, and slender. She glows with a café coloured complexion. A scattering of somewhat darker freckles splays across her cheeks and nose. Her hair is dark and curly, shot through with streaks of auburn and worn long, pulled to the back.

She has an affectionate smile that displays a hint of compassion; albeit somewhat sealed, like an envelope, not giving much away.

Hard to tell how tall she is because there is nothing else in the sketch for reference. You get the impression of “petite.”

She wears a light and flowing ruched blouse with a cowl neck and cap sleeves paired with skinny Capri pants. The trousers are of coloured fabric, patterned with stripes, with hints of rich wines and copper.

She looks like Marie, but it can’t be. Marie has never been to New York, she’s a West Coast girl. Marie wears a lot of Nicoline Gouin clothes. Marie carries herself regally and has an infectious smile. The sketch carries a price of $750.00.

I buy it. I’ll take it home and gift it to Marie.

It’s uncanny.



This week’s prompts are:

  1. just shallow socializing
  2. and then I heard this …
  3. she’s already cooler than me

You can start writing whenever you want, just write and have fun!

Prompts

OLWG #192- Honey Buttered Biscuits

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, practice makes perfect.

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



It was late afternoon on the 5th of January when Emmitt Dampeer returned to Firebase Ross. He and his team from the 1 / 7 had been on patrol in the Quế Sơn Valley. They were hot and tired. Emmitt went first to the showers to clean up and then to the Mess to get something to eat. The Plan of the Day had told him to expect fried chicken, but he’d been a Marine long enough to know that it would never taste like his momma used to make back in Natchez. Still, fried chicken was fried chicken and, usually, even the Corps fried chicken tasted better than the unrecognizable ‘mystery meat’ normally served in-country.

At the Mess tent, he spotted a few friends. He grinned and waved at Percy as he entered the tent. Tex let loose one of those loud whistles he was famous for and Emmitt pointed Percy out. He went through the line and got what looked like two pieces of soggy, dark meat chicken, cold mashed potatoes with a blue-tinted gravy, some wrinkled peas and a biscuit. He made his way over to sit with Tex and Percy after he picked up a dessert that appeared to be some kinda stewed apples.

“Hey guys,” Emmitt said. He clapped Percy on the back and sat down. “What’re y’all up to today?”

“Well, fuckin’ Tex done spent the day bitchin’ pissin’ and moanin’ in sickbay. Me? I been bustin’ my ass since oh-four-thirty. What about chu, Em?”

“Just got back from patrol,” Emmitt responded. He looked at his plate, “What the fuck is this shit? Shore don’t look like fried chicken!”

“It’s not,” Tex piped in, “but the biscuit ain’t bad.”

Em reached for his biscuit and took a bite, “Tastes like shit.” He said to no one in particular.

“Tole chu,” Tex laughed.

Emmitt looked over at Tex and said, “I surely do miss my momma’s fried chicken and honey buttered biscuits. When we git home both y’all boys gotta come to Natchez fer some. Let me know ‘fore ya show up though, I’ll hafta warn Momma.” They all laughed and, the rest of the evening passed quietly because the rains started. Everyone took shelter in their tents.

In the early morning hours of the 6th the base was attacked with mortars, and sappers penetrated the wire. It was all quiet again by 4 a.m., but the 1 / 7 was left with 13 Marines killed. Emmitt Dampeer was one of them.

On the afternoon of the 8th, Emmitt was not available to receive the package that arrived for him, from Natchez. That batch of biscuits that his momma had sent went missing. No one noticed.



This week’s prompts are:

  1. sunburned and hungover
  2. the camera smiles
  3. fair dinkum

You can start writing whenever you want, just write!

Prompts

OLWG #191- Coffee & Churros

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, practice makes perfect.

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



Shelly had been running 14th Street Coffee for a while now. She had a routine and an established clientele, consisting of ranch hands and cowboys in the early hours, followed up by tourists till after lunchtime and truckers through the afternoon till she closed.

The Botticelli that her father had stolen still hung on the wall behind the register. Shelly had satisfied the Feds that the painting was a copy and they had finally quit sniffing around the shop trying to locate her dad. She liked the painting and kept the torn pieces of ancient parchment that documented its provenance in a fireproof lock-box tucked inside the box spring of her bed.

She had closed down the shop and put the chairs up on the tables. She swept and mopped the floors, wiped down the countertops, and polished the large chrome espresso machine. Finally running the dishwasher in the back and squaring the cups on the shelves below the painting. She made her way back to the kitchen to work on another batch of Churros.

Churros are pretty simple and quick to make. Quick and simple for everyone, except Shelly, to make. She threw away the first two batches but kept the third before making her way upstairs to finish reading “Wild Ducks Flying Backwards”. Molly was going to want it back soon and Shelly felt guilty for holding on to it for so long.

The next morning, Shelly opened her eyes and once again looked at red numbers on the clock across the bedroom – already four am. She padded to the kitchen to light the fire under the kettle, showered and pulled her new ‘Identical Charcoal’ t-shirt on atop her customary faded jeans and dusty boots before she went back to the kitchen and brewed her morning cup of tea.

Downstairs she turned on the heater and fired up the big Venezia machine. Three 20 cup pots began making a dark roast, medium roast, and the light “house blend”. She pulled cream along with four gallons of milk from the big chill box and put them in the small fridge under the counter. She checked that the sugar was well supplied, then tied a short black apron securely around her waist and looked around the store, assuring herself that everything was in order.

It was not quite 5:00 when Shelly raised the shade on the glass front door and waved to Ruben, Dusty and Caleb who were waiting outside for her to open. They were stomping their boots and rubbing their hands together to keep warm. She unlocked the door and hustled the cowboys in, “Git in here quick, boys,” she urged them like she did every morning, “don’t let all my warm air out.” They were regulars and Shelly knew what they wanted. Dark roast for Caleb, a latte for Ruben, and Dusty always wanted a cappuccino. She gave them each one of the churros she had made the night before.

Dusty left his on the napkin, “I had a big breakfast, Shelly,” he reasoned with her.

Caleb picked his up and slipped it into the pocket of his duster, “that’s quite the churro, Shel,” he said after pretending to chew the bite he never took. “You got these bad boys figured out. Don’t believe I’ve ever had one quite so tasty.”

Ruben took a tentative bite. As he began to chew his mouth formed into a grimace, “Shelly?” he began, “I believe that you need to buy churros if you want to offer them in the shop. This one is rubbery. It’s like eating cinnamon flavoured jerky. You make the best coffee in Lincoln County, but please give us a break on the churros. Please.”

She gave another one to Toby when he came in. He ate the whole thing. He didn’t comment on it one way or another. When the boys were getting set to leave she stood on her tiptoes and gave Toby a quick kiss. She could taste the sugar that had been on his lips as she watched the taillights disappear north, in the direction of Corona. They were all working for the Maxwell’s right now.

Maybe Ruben was right, she thought. Maybe she shouldn’t make churros



This week’s prompts are:

  1. let it wander around
  2. burning pyres
  3. I don’t like your haircut

Prompts

OLWG #190- Mostly

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 few this week. They are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them and, practice makes perfect.

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



How he’d waited this long without killing someone was beyond him. But he’d made it through … mostly. There had been that day near Kamdesh, in Nuristan Province.

 

It was early October 2009. He had been at COP Keating when the fighting broke out. He’d later heard that there had been an estimated 150 insurgents killed. He had no way of knowing how many he had been responsible for, but there must have been a couple; at least a couple. Two weeks after that, his CO had pinned a medal on his tunic. There mighta been one or two more for which he had never gotten medals. He wasn’t sure.

 

There was also Ms North. He’d only been about six or seven years old. Ms North was babysitting while his parents went somewhere, he couldn’t remember where. They were always going somewhere. Anyway, his mother had told Ms North not to let him swing in the apple tree. Then, she had told him the same thing, in front of Ms North.

 

She had said, “Stay out of the apple tree, Little Bill. Do as you’re told, and don’t give Ms North any trouble, ya’ hear? Your dad and I won’t be home till after bedtime, so we’ll see you in the morning.” Later, when he was swinging in the apple tree, he fell and broke his arm, it caused his parents to come home early. Ms North felt pretty bad about the whole thing. She had a heart attack that evening. Hell, that one might not have even been his fault. More like a coincidence, a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, maybe.

 

And there was that guy. That guy out by Ruby Falls but that was a case of self defence. That guy was looking for trouble. Yeah, Little Bill thought to himself, he’d made it through without killing anyone… mostly, but today might be his day.



This week’s prompts are:

  1. they did everything right
  2. leave it alone
  3. it’s a little too retro

Prompts

OLWG #189- The Preacher’s Wife

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, practice makes perfect.

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



Elsie hurried around the breakfast bar and picked up the phone. “Hello?” she tentatively spoke. As always, she toyed with the cord that tethered the handset to the wall by the back door.

“Elsie? It’s me.”

It was Adeline, from two doors down.

“Addy, good morning; how are you?”

“I’m just fine, Else. Listen, Cora’s over here and I think you should come over too – right away.” Lowering her voice, she added in a whisper, “Cora might be in some trouble.”

“I’m in my robe right now and I have a coffee cake in the oven. It’ll take me about twenty minutes. OK?”

“Quick as you can, Elsie.” Addie ended the call.

Oh my, Elsie thought to herself as she leaned down and peered into the oven.

In the bedroom, she pulled on her bright floral print shift and exchanged the slippers she had been wearing for her old flats. She looked in the mirror and patted her hair. Grabbed a sweater from the easy chair and made her way back to the kitchen. She checked the coffee cake – almost done.

“Fuck it,” she muttered and grabbed an oven mitt to pull out the cake.

Only fifteen minutes had passed before Elsie pushed the side door open at Addy’s house. She had brought the coffee cake along to share.

In the kitchen, she found Addy and Cora sitting silently at the breakfast table, staring at nothing. In the centre of the table sat a colourful, hand-made, Mexican walking stick. It was beautifully carved with snakes crawling up the shaft. The handhold was the head of an Aztec Eagle warrior with his mask.

Cora’s chin rested on both her hands and a cup of coffee sat in front of her. She had her mouth drawn downward, she looked worried.

“What’s going on?” Elsie asked as she sat her Pyrex dish, with the coffee cake, on the top of the stove. “I brought refreshments.”

Addy grabbed the cane, “Look at this Else.”

“I can see it. It’s beautiful. Where did you get it?”

Cora’s face fell even further as Addy explained, “You know Mr Santiago? He lives on the other side of Edgemere Avenue.”

“I know of him. I see him around. At the market, downtown, he sits at the park sometimes. I wouldn’t say that I know him, though. Oh, of course, that’s his cane. He has it with him all the time.”

“It used to be his cane,” Addy said as she glared at Cora.

Elsie could tell this wasn’t going to be good. She pulled out a chair and took a seat. She studied her two friends and waited.

“Go on, Cora; tell her.”

Cora straightened up a little and clasped her hands, resting them on the table. She still looked worried and now, maybe even a little scared. “Well, you know how I’m always attracted to beautiful things?” Cora began.

Elsie nodded her head.

“Years ago I used to be attracted to Martín.”

“Who’s Martín?” Elsie interrupted.

Cora tilted her head slightly towards her friend, Elsie. Then she continued, “Martín is his first name. His name is Martín Santiago. He was beautiful once, but it didn’t take me long to realize that his beauty was only skin deep. He was mean. Mean as a snake. I broke it off.

“This morning I went to Gayle’s Bakery for pastries. As I was walking home, I met Martín, on Dorado Street, with his cane. True to form he began cursing when he saw me. He has never forgiven me for dumping him, all those years ago. I crossed the street and he hobbled after me, shaking his stick. Finally, I thought I should stop and just have it out with him. After all, it had been years. Why couldn’t he let it go? But, it escalated when he swung his walking stick; I grabbed it and wrested it from him.

“That’s when he balled up his fists. I stepped to one side and swung the stick, as hard as I could, and hit him across the back of his knees. He crumpled. I ran here.”

Elsie made a tsk tsk sound with her tongue, “Is he OK?”

“I don’t know,” 

Elsie turned her attention to Addy, “You said ‘it used to be his cane.’ Do you know if he’s OK?”

“I said used to be; because, well you know – spoils of war and all that.”

“Well,” Elsie counselled, “I think we need to get rid of it. I think we need to get rid of it and feign ignorance. Cora, this never happened. Addy, you need to start a fire. Give me the stick.”

Elsie took the cane to the back yard and brought it down hard on the edge of Addy’s brick planter, the one with the geraniums, breaking it in two. She picked up the pieces and brought them back inside where she put them in the fire that Addy had started. They all three stood around the fire and watched the cane catch. Then Addy leaned down to close the screen.

“That sure was a beautiful walking stick,” Addy said.

Her two friends both nodded. After a while, Elsie went back to the kitchen and cut the coffee cake. She gave the biggest piece to Cora.



This week’s prompts are:

  1. wind carries both the bad news and the good
  2. bury them naked
  3. Chinatown