OLWG #120- Chance

This week’s prompts are at the bottom.
Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

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



Wallace and Vivian looked at one another over the white tablecloth that was stretched across the table between them. These two had been friends for a long time; ever since Vivian and her husband Ben had moved into the neighborhood by Wallace. By the small suburban ranch house where Wallace and Bea, had raised their girls and where he had continued to live after he had lost Bea.

Wallace was at a pretty low point when he first met the new couple that moved in next door. He’d been struggling for a reason to go on, but Bea had come to him in his dreams. She told him that he needed friends and that he should take this opportunity to welcome the new neighbors properly. “Labour day is coming up,” she said, “invite them over for a barbecue.”

He did; and the rest is history. Those three friends palled around together for years until Ben was killed by a drunk driver on his way home from work; leaving Vivian a widow.

Now, almost eight years later Wallace wasn’t feeling very confident, finding himself at a restaurant with Viv. He was wearing a necktie and a jacket, she was wearing a gown that glimmered in the low light where they ate. A gown that had been suitable for attending the opening of his daughter Marsha’s first play. Vivian looked great, but she was just his friend. Right?

She reached across the table and took his hand in hers.

“Wallace, why don’t we go to my house and have a nightcap?” she asked.

“I don’t know, Viv? How ’bout we just stop off at Tudor’s for a drink? Then I can drop you at home afterwards.”

“Because I really want you to come have a drink at my house. And, if you’d like, I want you to spend the night, and let me make you breakfast.”

Wallace’s Adams Apple heaved as he tried to swallow with a dry mouth.

“I don’t know, Viv… we’ve always been friends you know. I’m not sure if I should risk that. I wouldn’t want to lose you.”

“I’ve felt the same way for a long time,” Vivian said as she stared at the tablecloth and rubbed the back of his hand with her thumb, “why do you think I’ve waited this long? One part of me wanted you to ask, another part of me was scared to death that you would. Recently, I decided I want this more than I fear this and that I should take the bull by the horns; do the asking myself. What do you say, Wallace? Wanna take another chance on love? Wanna take a chance with me?”


This week’s prompts are:

  1. ambidextrous
  2. a cheap motel
  3. John’s long gone

  1. 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!

     

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OLWG #119- When You Just Have to Have More

This week’s prompts are at the bottom.
Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

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



Wayne dropped the shot glass into the mug of beer that sat in front of him on the bar. He lay his head on the bar and watched it drop like a stone, then savoured the ‘clink’ of glass against glass when it hit the bottom. He smiled a sad smile and glanced down the bar where a guy was watching. Wayne picked up the mug and downed it in one go. The guy was still watching. It was at that moment that Wayne realized that this guy had been watching him for a long time.

“You got a problem, buddy?” Wayne asked him.

“No… no, I don’t, but the way you’ve been drinking I think you may.”

“You think I have a problem? You’re right. My problem is a cute little spinner with curly dark hair who goes by the name Belinda. That’s my problem.”

The guy picked up his drink and moved down, “Mind if I sit here?” he asked.

Wayne waved his hand and the guy sat down.

“Wanna talk about it?”

“No.”

“OK,” the guy said, “I’m Steve. Let me buy you a drink.” He signalled the bartender, “Another boilermaker for…”

Wayne piped in, “Wayne, I’m Wayne.”

“Wayne here and a whisky, neat, for me.”

The barman nodded and turned away, getting to work.

“So what happened, Wayne?” Steve asked.

“Belinda happened. She’s a one-woman wrecking crew.” Wayne began to warm to the story. “I met her about a month ago at the track. One thing led to another and pretty soon she had a key to my apartment and was talking about moving out of her place across town.”

“I don’t hear a problem yet,” Steve said and he put some money on the bar. He saw the drinks coming.

“No, it was great until she got a call from an ex-boyfriend named Leyland. She didn’t tell me about it for a couple of days and when she did, she explained that he told her he had found this great investment deal and wanted to let her in. Low risk, high return, you know. Just one catch – only cash. She told me that she sampled the deal with a couple of hundred dollars and it worked exactly the way he had said it would. She got back almost fifteen hundred bucks in just a couple of days. She wanted to know what I thought. She said that she could most likely talk this guy into letting me in on it too.

“She invited him over to meet me and, he agreed, but suggested that I do like Belinda had done and go with a couple of hundred dollars at a time. I said OK. We all shook hands and he left with the understanding that we would bring him the cash before that weekend.

“Belinda and I talked about it that night, in bed. We talked about it over the next couple of days too and, by the time Friday rolled around we’d both decided to go all in.”

Wayne stopped talking and picked up the shot that the barkeep had left next to the foamy mug of lager and dropped it in. Again he put his head down to watch the two liquids swirl together. Again he smiled and this time he raised his glass towards his new friend, Steve.
“Cheers,” he said.

Steve lifted his whisky and raised it as well, silently coaxing Wayne to continue his story.

“Anyway, Friday morning, this morning, Belinda and I went to the bank. We went to her bank first and she closed out her account. She had almost ten thousand dollars. She showed it to me. Then we went to my bank, the one over on 17th street, across from the tire store. I started to second guess myself when I went inside. I had about eight thousand dollars in savings. I took out five thousand, but then as I was walking to the door, I thought ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’ so I went back and took out the rest.”

Wayne sat silent for a while and stared at the shelves filled with all the colourful bottles of booze decorating the wall behind the bar. He was kinda spacing out.

“What?” Steve asked anxiously, “what happened.”

With a monochromatic voice Wayne picked up the story again, “We were on our way over to Leyland’s when we stopped for fuel at the Valero station on West Cliff. Belinda sat in the passenger seat and I got out to pump the gas. I got things started and decided to step into the store there and buy a pack of cigarettes. When I came out she was gone.”

“Gone?” Steve almost shouted, “What?”

“Yeah, she was gone. She took my Land Rover too. The cash was in the door pocket in a bank envelope. She got it all.”

“Nooo,” Steve wailed, “What are you going to do now?”

“Not much I can do.”

“Well, you don’t need her anyway. Us guys, we should stick together. Who needs women?”

“What?” Wayne asked, kind of taken aback.

“Who needs women anyway?” Steve repeated, “All they are is trouble. Men can do anything a woman can do. You should come home with me. I can introduce you to some of my friends and we can party tonight.”

“I don’t think so,” Wayne said, “That’s not me. I’ve never done anything like that before. I don’t think I want to start now,” Wayne said hastily, “but I don’t care if that’s what you’re into.” he added, being politically correct.

“Suit yourself,” Steve stood, he looked longing down at Wayne, “Pity though. It would’ve been great fun.” He threw some bills on the bar and headed slowly towards the door. Wayne turned his head and watch his new friend walk away. When Steve reached the door he paused and then leaned in, to open it with his shoulder.

“Wait,” Wayne called after him.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. call in sick
  2. the diary beneath her pillow
  3. we can share a tic tac

    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 #118- Randall Turner

This week’s prompts are at the bottom.
Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

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



Randall Turner lived alone in the two-story house at the corner of Tenth and Court Street. The stucco home, with the big cottonwood growing in the front yard, and the wrap-around porch. He kept to himself for the most part. Didn’t have family, no close friends in town. Essentially, he was a loner . We all knew that he was a writer, but no one knew what kind of writing he did. Nobody had ever read anything that he had written. I knew his name because I’d introduced myself at the grocer’s shortly after he had moved to town.

He never turned his porch lights on so the house wasn’t very inviting. If you bothered to pay attention you’d see the lights inside the house turn on in the evenings and turn off about bedtime. Nobody realized that he had the inside lights on timers or that the bulb in the porch light had burned out. He kept his car in the garage. The yard got to looking a little rough, but that’s pretty common around here, these days, with the drought and all.

Now, Mr Turner, being a writer, had a lot of software on his computer. He used Microsoft products and Adobe products. He had grammar checkers, text editors, drawing products, he had all kinds of stuff. As is the fashion these days most of his apps were paid by subscription. Nobody owns software these days. You pay Adobe, or Microsoft, or whoever else a monthly fee and you get to use their software. Randall had his software payments set up for automatic withdrawl from his bank account. His utility bills and his mortgage were done that way too. Residuals and other regular payments were all on direct deposit.

So when Randall Turner, fell in the house, hit his head, and died it took a couple of years for anyone to notice. But, that’s how they noticed. His software subscriptions and automatic bill payments finally drained his bank account. That’s how they figured out he’d passed.

It seems that the folks from Microsoft sent a collector around because Randall hadn’t paid on his Office 365 subscription for almost a year. The bill collector looked through the windows and noticed skeletal remains on the kitchen floor. Rats don’t leave much. They identified the body by using his dental records.

I’m not very proud of this town any more and I’m none too proud of myself either, these days. I’m going ’round to Widow Patterson’s house now. It’s time for me to mow her lawn. You can walk along if you want. I’ve got about ten senior citizens that I check on regularly. They all live alone. Bill, Petey, and Fast Ed are each responsible for about the same. We don’t want what happened to Mr Turner to happen to anyone else. Nobody should be that alone.


This week’s prompts are:

1. take the blame
2. bell bottoms
3. dollar bills for the topless dancer


    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 #117- Skritch… Skritch…

This week’s prompts are at the bottom.
Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

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



We stand nose to nose in the kitchen.
You have your voice raised; as you
go on and on about what a shit day you had.
How your boss slapped you on the ass.
I try to tell you why I think I may be fired
over problems at the McNulty account.
We’re talking over one another like we always do.

And then, Bird comes on the box. His Savoy and Dial recordings drop to the turntable
from the stack and the needle settles in with a scratch; skritch… skritch… skritch….

And then

We’re clinging together in the middle of the kitchen.
Our feet planted firmly on the ancient linoleum
we sway gently back and forth.
Your arms wrap around my shoulders,
my arms go ’round your waist.
When you raise your lips and nuzzle my neck
I nip your ear and breathe in the clean scent of your hair.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. Where the grass grows uphill
  2. A hole in the sky for the birds to fly through
  3. Written in fire

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 #116- Campania

This week’s prompts are at the bottom.
Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

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



Mesalina called to her mother to say that she would be out. That she was going to draw water. That she would be back as soon as she could.

Ucello told his father that his amico, Ettore, had stopped by and mentioned that Signor Buonarroti was looking for boys to help cut a road to the Gulf. He said he would go to see about the job.

At midday, the lovers came together in the wood atop a small rise that lay almost midway between Herculaneum and Oplontis. Neither of them expected to return home. They intended to spend the rest of their lives together, and indeed they did.

The ground had been shaking for several days before the tryst, but they were not concerned because these things were common in Campania. Indeed everyone had become accustomed to such things.

Ucello and Mesalina paused their coupling when the mountain spewed debris and hot gases that produced a fall of pumice and ash to the south. They ceased their coupling when Vesuvian surges burned and asphyxiated the couple who lay entwined together in the wood. Who died in each other’s arms, their love cut short.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. That’s up to the professor
  2. Felix
  3. constantly walking on eggshells

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 #115- It’s Always Something

This week’s prompts are at the bottom.
Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

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



When Ryan went outside it was hot. Overhead the Arizona sky was clear and blue. Mary Lou was dozing on a chaise by the pool. Her bikini top lay on the cement next to her. Ryan carried a cricket bat behind his back and eased his way in the direction of her lounge.

Whoever was piloting the drone that hovered over the sleeping girl was obviously paying attention only to her and hadn’t noticed Ryan approach. About ten feet from the drone Ryan took two quick steps and cocked the bat. When he swung he knew it was a good shot. He drove most of the drone high over the back fence, He heard it land in the alley and startle a cat. Pieces scattered when they were knocked off both the drone and the bat on impact. Some of the drone parts went into the pool. Some were driven to the planter, where yuccas stood sentinel, some were propelled down to Mary Lou and others were knocked, helter skelter, around the pool deck.

The sound of the bat impacting the aerial peeping Tom woke Mary Lou who sat up straight in her seat. Her hand flew to her cheek where a small piece of broken plastic had hit, “Shit,” she yelled, “What’s going on?”

Ryan could see that she had suffered a small cut, it might bleed a drop or two. No stitches would be necessary, most likely, not even a band-aid. It was more like a boo boo than a wound. He sat down next to her and put his arm around her shoulder, pulling her close.

“It’s OK, baby,” he assured her, “the drone with the camera was back, but I took care of it this time. You OK?”

“Yeah, I’m OK,” she pulled her hand away from her cheek and looked at her finger for blood, finding only a trace. She reached down and scooped up her blue and pink swimsuit top, clutched it to her chest, and walked to the back door. Seemingly in no hurry, she went inside the house. Ryan went out the back gate and collected the main part of the black and silver plastic drone. One of the propellers was shuddering and still trying to spin. The machine was toast, there would be no fixing it, but Ryan brought it in anyway. He sat it on his workbench in the garage before following Mary Lou back across the deck and into the house. He wanted to see if there were any identifying markers on the flying spy ship. See if he could discover who it belonged to, so he could have a word with them, but he thought he should go check on Mary Lou first. You never know, he thought, she might be grateful.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. the final year of growth and liberation
  2. liquored up
  3. never going 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 and, have fun!

 

OLWG #114- Because, There’s Always A Cast

This week’s prompts are at the bottom.
Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

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



“Break a leg, Peter,” Molly gave him a peck on the cheek and a nudge towards the stage.

Peter nodded his head and his face took a determined set. On cue he made his entrance, assumed the rehearsed stance, and delivered his lines.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. Up all night
  2. Go on, grab hold
  3. from what I could tell

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!