OLWG #90- Pink Cadillac

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. I wrote the mess below for practice.  Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

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



It was just after midnight and, Officer Bradly Hartnell was patrolling on the southeast side of town. His assignment was to cruise from the airport to the cemetery in the area bounded by Piedras Ave., on the north and Edgemere Blvd on the south. He was getting tired and was about to call in a Code 7. He wanted to get a couple of tacos and a cup of coffee at Lupe’s. He also knew that Marisol would be working tonight. It was always pleasant to spend a little time with Marisol, especially when she wasn’t too busy and could make the time to slide into the Naugahyde booth across from him. She would ask him how his night was going. She always seemed genuinely interested in what he had to say. She listened to his stories and laughed at his jokes. They would talk about movies, books, and TV, but that night was a little different.

When Bradly pulled into the Taqueria’s parking lot he saw another prowl car there. He recognized Frankie Keene a patrol officer who worked out of the third precinct. Keene played third base on the softball team. Bradly had a memory of him being a pretty good ball player.  What was he doing here? Keene was inside talking with Marisol. She seemed pretty agitated.

Officer Hartnell entered the restaurant to find out why Keene was out of his jurisdiction and why Marisol was upset.

“Bradly, thank god you’re here,” Marisol said when she saw him push through the front door. She was standing in front of the counter along with Frankie Keene. Keene looked over his shoulder and he didn’t appear too happy to see Bradly.

“Hi, Marisol,” he said, “what’s going on here?”

Marisol pointed out the side window, towards the car park, “Did you see that pink Cadillac in the lot?” she asked, “According to Carmen and Esteban it was there all day and it’s been there my whole shift, so far.’

Brad, “I only noticed the patrol car. What are you doing here, Keene?”

“I was driving by, that’s all. I noticed the Caddy. We got a heads up on pink cars at our pre-shift huddle tonight. Did you guys talk about ‘em too?”

“Huh-uh, what about ‘em?”

“Been a lot of ‘em turning up around town. Nobody knows where they’re coming from. They’re all wiped clean. None of ‘em reported stolen. VIN’s trace back to Midwest states like Ohio, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and the like. Heartland spots. Recently deceased former owners. Kinda mysterious, really.”

“OK,” Bradly said, “Is this one of ‘em?”

“Maybe, but this one’s different.”

“How so?”

Bradly watched Marisol sit down at a booth, with his peripheral vision.

“This one,” Keene said, “This one has a lot of blood in the passenger seat and seventeen ears strung together with coat hanger wire dangling like fuzzy dice from the rear-view mirror. I’ve called it in.”

Hartnell turned and looked at the waitress who shrugged her shoulders and held her palms up.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. man-eater
  2. white noise
  3. just break the glass

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 and, have fun!

 

Advertisements

OLWG #89- Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. I wrote this little tongue-in-cheek piece for practice.  Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

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



Bertram (my friends call me Bert), was on holiday at the beach when he happened across a bottle tangled up in some kelp and sitting just above the high water line. He had snuck out early from the timeshare he was sharing with his wife and 2.5 kids. He’d gone for a walk. All by himself. It was good to get away from the clamour of his family. I mean, he loved them, and all, but it sometimes seemed that they just never stopped talking. Wouldn’t shut up.

The bottle looked pretty old, not just a Coke bottle or something like that; it looked special. It was tall and slender. Dark blue glass with a heavy round stopper in the top. He picked it up and was cleaning it off with his shirttail when guess what?

Yeah, a genie, bet you didn’t see that coming.

I know? Right?

Anyway, the genie says to Bertram, “Dude, thanks for letting me out of that bottle. I’ve been trapped inside for centuries. How can I repay you?”

Bert stares at the genie, afraid to blink, “Aren’t you supposed to grant me a couple of wishes?” he asks.

“I s’pose I can do that,” genie replies, “I’ll grant you two wishes. How’s that work for you?”

Bert, “That’s cool.”

“OK, what’s your first wish, Dude?” Genie.

Bertram closes his eyes and thinks for a couple of seconds before blurting out, “I wish I was rich.”

“All right,” says the genie, “What’s your second wish, Rich?”


This week’s prompts are:

  1. he leaned back and lit a cigarette
  2. Window to the stars
  3. ulterior altruism

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 and, have fun!

 

OLWG #88- Sausalito

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. I wrote this haibun for practice.  Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

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



Ellen left home in the middle of the night. She was sixteen and she ran off with a boy she went to school with. His name was Sam, but everyone called him Sausalito. He was of average height; he had dark hair that hung in ringlets framing his face. Ellen thought he was the best thing that had ever happened to her. He thought he was the best thing that had ever happened to her too. When Ellen came back she had been gone for 14 months. She said that she and Sam had been living inland, not far from the state line. I’d never seen her so skinny. She didn’t look well, but the baby she held in her arms looked healthy. She told me that his name was Sam and that he was my grandson. She said that she and Sausalito couldn’t take care of him anymore. She asked if I would. I reached out and took the child. Ellen turned and walked away without another word. I stepped out onto the stoop when she reached the street and watched her look over her shoulder as she ducked into an old black car; a fastback with tinted windows.

Like a thief, he stole
my baby, I hate him for
that. My daughter brought
me a perfect little man,
I’ll always love her for that.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. veinticinco
  2. pointy toed
  3. What do you have against theatres?

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 and, have fun!

 

OLWG #87- It’s Late, Go Home

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. I wrote the story below for practice.  Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

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



Jean and Lucinda were buzzed and bored. They sat on wooden folding chairs turned to allow them a view of the makeshift dance floor, which had been constructed with sheets of plywood laid side by side. Their table was covered with several sheets of heavy white butcher paper. There was a centrepiece consisting of a wooden box made of tongue depressors; it contained small, soft pine boughs and a bouquet of delicate flowers at the centre.  Each table was also equipped with a yellow and green box of crayons, the twenty-four count size. Rain was drumming on the roof of the canvas structure that had been hired for the reception. The band was playing a collection of sentimental crap, suitable for a wedding.

The bride had danced with her father hours ago, the groom and his mother had also fulfilled their obligation. Denny’s brother, Hank, was swaying on the dance floor with Karen Pavlesky. They were the only dancers left and seemed to be holding one another upright. Fascinated, Lucinda watched while Jean used a crayon to draw outlines around her hands which she turned into Thanksgiving turkeys. She did this in the way that children learn to do it in preschool. Some of the turkeys had solid brown circles drawn beneath their backsides.

Lucinda took a deep breath and asked, “Why are those turkeys pooping?”

Jean finished feathering one of her birds, “What?”

“Why are you drawing poop under the turkey butts?”

“These?” she pointed at a stack of brown orbs beneath one of the turkeys. “That’s not poop. It’s turkey eggs.”

“Oh, OK,” Lucinda said, “Why are you drawing eggs beneath the boy turkeys? For that matter why are you only drawing boy turkeys? There are no girl turkeys here so, where are the eggs coming from?”

Jean lay her crayon down and studied her friend for a while before getting up and making her way to the bar. With each step the heels of her shoes sank into the damp grass where the tables were sitting. She was struggling.

The band said something about calling it a night. They quit playing and began to pack up their instruments.

Lucinda stared at something that only she saw until Jean came back with a fresh bottle of bubbly. She poured some into a couple of glasses when she sat back down. The two friends sat in silence for a while.

“Hey…” Jean broke the silence. “See those two?” she waved her glass in the direction of Denny’s brother and his dance partner, still locked together on the dance floor.

“Yeah, I see ‘em. That’s Hank and Karen. I’ve known Hank for years. I went to school with his brother. What about ‘em?”

“Do you think they’re in love?”

Lucinda studied the swaying couple. The only couple on the dance floor, “No.” she finally said. “I don’t think they are. I think that they probably want to be, but… I don’t think they are.”

“Why would you say that?” Jean asked, “That’s kinda ‘a mean thing to say.”

“Well, it’s Karen Pavelsky.” Lucy.

“So?”

“So what?” Lucy again.

“Isn’t Karen Pavelsky allowed to be in love?” Jean.

“I dunno, maybe, but not with Denny’s brother; or even with Denny for that matter. She has secrets.”

Before Jean could react to that the bartender kneeled down between the two friends. “’Scuse me ladies but it’s time to go home. Can I call you a cab?”

“Can you take us home with you?” Lucy asked.

“What about them?” Jean indicated Hank and Karen.

“We’re just gonna turn out the lights and let them keep dancing.” the barman said. He held out his hands for Jean and Lucinda to get up.

 


This week’s prompts are:

  1. plucked it out
  2. Daniel has no idea
  3. I can’t do this

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 and, have fun!

 

OLWG #86- Freckled

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. I wrote the story below for practice.  Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

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



It was the final class before lunch, AP English, taught by Mrs Elden; only fifteen students. Nine of those fifteen kept their heads down and took copious notes. Another two spent their class time holding hands beneath the desks and staring out the windows, especially on fine days.

Ernesto Reyes never came to class and Kenny Pagel was always stoned. Ken had been known to drop a lot of acid because he liked the colours. Watching the colours occupied most of his time in school. All classes, not just AP English.

Red-haired Julie Argent handled her pencil adeptly and kept her notes concise. She paid attention and asked pertinent questions about the course work that seemed to intrigue, Mrs Elden.

I spent most of my time studying the fair-skinned Julie Argent. I believed that she was all I could ever want in a girl. Her hair fell just below her shoulders. She wore freckles strewn across her nose and on her shoulders, which I could see in the warm months when she wore sleeveless blouses. What fascinated me about Julie though, were her hands. They were always well manicured and like the rest of her, were generously speckled with sun kisses that flowed down her arm and spread out across the backs of her hands, below her fingers. Only a few freckles were bold enough to venture beyond her knuckles. I would dream of kissing each one.

Her fingers were long, slender, and dexterous. They looked like fingers I imagined a concert pianist or a harpist would have. I could envision her crafting elegant jewellery or performing delicate surgery with those hands and fingers.

Once I dropped a pencil and she returned it to me. Our hands touched and hers was soft and supple. She drew back when she felt my coarse raspy hand and noticed my nails, chipped, cracked and, chewed down to the quick. It made me feel coarse. I endured the entire semester studying Julie Argent, but I never summoned up the courage to ask her out.

Last year I flew home and attended our class reunion. I found myself sitting at a table with Julie Argent. She’s now Julie Reyes and her husband, Ernesto was there too. He clapped me on the back and tried to sell me insurance.  Julie is still slender and freckled but her hands have changed. Lots of scars and the colouration would be better described now, as piebald, rather than speckled. She wore long sleeves buttoned at the wrist and told me that she and Ernesto have five kids. She looked like she’d been tired for a long time

Ken Pagel was there too. He started a software company and now lives somewhere in Silicon Valley. I talked to him before he wandered off. He told me that he had eaten a handful of mushrooms before coming to the reunion and was starting to peak. I didn’t want to be there for that so I excused myself and went out to my rental car.

I sat and listened to the DJ playing Deep Purple and Grand Funk Railroad records for the old folks to dance to. Finally, I headed back to the hotel. It was one of those “tilt-up” places along the freeway. Next door was a bar named “Rhinestone’s Western World”. I thought I should stop in for a Boilermaker.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. she smiled crookedly
  2. at least a hundred
  3. dogs are barking

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 and, have fun!

 

OLWG #85- Nigh on Noon

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. I wrote the story below for practice.  Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

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



It was nigh on noon that Sunday and a thin black man, with a black hat, and a black suit leaned a folding chair up against the hot, white stucco wall of Mr. Lieberson’s Conoco station on U.S. Route 425. He sat right next to a old Coca Cola machine that sold dime bottles of Coke. At his feet sat a ceramic coffee mug with the handle broken off and a chip on the rim. Next to that was a clear bottle ‘bout half full of brown whisky. Man’s name was Ricky J. Parker and nobody knew what the J stood for. He’d lived in these parts just about as long as folks could remember. My daddy used to tell me stories about Ricky Parker from when he was a boy.

Old Ricky Parker glanced at the Coke machine, against which he had leaned his new, hollow-bodied guitar. He pulled off his black fedora and wiped his hand across his brow as he looked up at the sun; squinting through dark, dark glasses. He waited, waited for Sonny and Ray.

After a while he nudged his open guitar case with the toe of his Italian shoe and decided he ought not to wait any longer. He, Sonny and Ray had a deal with Mr. Lieberson. Mr. Lieberson would let them play in front of his gas station for ten percent of the take; they could play all day, every day if they wanted. Some days Lieberson would get a dollar, some days he could get as much as fifty dollars. Ricky, Sonny and Ray would split the rest.

That morning, Ricky picked up his guitar and began to play softly. After a extended intro, he started to sing.

“Boom, boom, boom, boom.”


This week’s prompts are:

  1. need to see an ID
  2. Some of them, with work and polish, can regain their former shine
  3. when your eyes are closed

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 and, have fun!

 

OLWG #84- Murder, Most Foul

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. I wrote the story below for practice.  Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

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



Katrina squeezed the contents from the eyedropper and into the glass. Keeping her back to him swirled it with a straw. She slipped the clear plastic tube into the pocket of her sundress and turned, handing him the drink. He took her wrist and stared into her eyes.

“I didn’t think I’d ever see you again, Katrina, after that thing with your sister,” he said.

“I shouldn’t be here,” she replied. She rose up to her toes and kissed his earlobe, pulling it between her lips. “I’m drawn to you, Leonard. I’m not sure if it’s because you’re a cad or in spite of it.”

He took a long pull on the drink and swallowed. Katrina smiled. The man had told her that the drug acted fast and she was anxious to see just how fast. Leonard put his arm around her waist and drew her in. She tried to pull away, to no avail. She could only hope that the man had been right.

When his grip loosened and he put his hand to his head, she smiled again, “What is it, dear? What’s the matter?”

“I don’t know. My head… I need to sit down.”

“Of course,” she slid from his grasp and when he stumbled towards the chair she drew her leg back and kicked him viciously between the legs. He crumpled to the floor, writhing in pain. Katrina moved to the chair and sat, watching.

“Katrina? How? What?”

“I know, honey. Right?” her eyes were smiling, “I’m a bit disappointed in the drug though. I thought you’d be vomiting blood by now.”

“Katrina, I loved you. How could you do this?” Leonard gasped and clutched his chest.

“You never love me, Leonard. You only loved yourself. You never loved my sister either. Now I’m going to watch you die. And, as for how I could do this – they named a fucking hurricane after me, Leonard. How could I do anything less than this?”

Katrina sat in the chair and watched as Leonard struggled. She watched as he slowly stilled. She watched until the sun dipped orange into the ocean beyond the picture windows. When it was well and truly dark she rose, collected her coat and bag, picked up her car keys from the table in the entry and left the house. Turning right she walked south for three blocks where she got into her car and drove down the coast highway. She traveled six miles and turned inland heading for the freeway on-ramp. She felt like celebrating.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. shush, listen
  2. legs akimbo
  3. Jack and Jill

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 and, have fun!