OLWG #298- Old Jack Chance, Himself

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.



His pale horse stood tethered behind,
waiting,
patient
 

I knew who he was. I’d been looking for him.

Death himself leaned over the back of the headstone and smiled
Like he was accustomed to being in charge

He carried no scythe – a clipboard instead
He wore no dark, tattered cloak – preferring blue coveralls, apparently. Neatly pressed; creases.
Scarlet piping along the seams, buttoned cuffs, an embroidered nametag: “Mort.”
His face was not shrouded, shadowed maybe, with about three days of growth.
 

Studied his clipboard
and pulled a pencil from behind his ear

Puzzled a bit
“You must be McGilker?” he said.
I shook my head.
He flipped pages, slowed, stopped, and asked
Kunz?”
 

I didn’t answer
“Then who are you? You might be in the wrong place.”

Straightening his back, he stood taller, waiting for my response.
 

“Or you might be,” I spoke calmly, “I’m not here by chance.”
“Chance?” he flips more pages slower and slower.

“Oh, here you are, Jack Chance. You’re early.”
 

“I’m not early,” I closed the space between us,
“You’re late.”

A bone-handled, straight razor appeared in my hand as I moved closer;
Mort began backpedalling.
I struck,
I struck again,
and again.
 

I decided to keep the pale horse.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. hacemos todo despacito (we do everything slowly)
  2. the mirror tells me that I’ve aged
  3. your troubles will be like mine

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

OLWG #297- Temples Crumble

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.



Junior’s earliest memory was watching his mother picking weeds in a small patch of grass that he assumed was somewhere in Kansas.

But, he couldn’t tell Dr Ambrose that. Dr Ambrose wanted something to happen. He wanted action. So Junior lied.

“It’s hard for me to say for sure, Doc.” Junior paused to study the therapist and think of something dramatic to tell. “I have a lot of early memories that seem to stand alone; I lack context for them. Don’t know why I even remember them.”

“Hmm,” the Doctor intoned as he worked to assign great import to that observation. “Which one seems earliest to you, Junior?”

“I guess that would be my mother crying as she worked in the kitchen. I don’t know what she was doing, probably cooking, and I don’t know why she was crying. As I said, I don’t even know why I remember this. Just that I do. In my memory, she is wearing a frilly white apron and facing away from me. I must be sitting in my high chair. She might be looking at the sink, at the stove, or out the window. I only remember that she was crying.”

“Any others?” Dr Ambrose asked.

“Well yeah, I have a rather vivid memory of my father and me. He’s driving the car, and I’m lying on the passenger seat. I remember my dad drove a grey and pink station wagon. Well, maybe I don’t recall the car itself, but I’ve seen photos of it. I might just be assuming that was the car here. He has a cloth bag filled with cash. Well, I presume it’s cash. He keeps pulling what I remember as paper bills from the sack. He laughs as he covers me in money. I’m crying, and he’s driving fast.

“I believe, Doctor, that you know of my father and who he was. He was Ethan Barden. He was a bank robber. Not a very good one. Wound up getting himself killed by the FBI during a gunfight just over the river in Missouri. I think I was almost five years old.”


This week’s prompts are:

  1. yeah, technically it’s illegal
  2. how does she act around children
  3. clouds make the wind blow

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

OLWG #296- Rosillaquipo Ranch

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.



Raymond woke in a hospital bed. His entire body ached, and he began taking stock of his various appendages, starting with his head, which hurt like a motherfucker. There was a cast on his leg (hanging in traction). His left buttock was numb although the feeling returned about halfway down his thigh. He glanced downwards and pulled his hospital gown out of the way.  Bruises and red discolouration wrapped around his hip from the back and almost reached his manly parts. There was a lingering sulphurous odour permeating the air. He tried to move, he tried to get up but the elevated leg precluded that. An alarm began to sound.                                                                

A nurse hustled into the room; shaking her finger at him, “Please Mr Avendano, stay in the bed, you can’t get up. Not yet anyway.”

“What the hell,” Raymond said as he eased back onto the bed, plastic crinkling noises almost masking his question. “What happened? Where am I?”

“You’re at Pinnacle General, but you know that.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t know that. Who are you?”

“I’m Nurse Manners, but you know that too. We visited for almost an hour last night.”

“Nurse Manners? Is that what I should call you?”

“Yes. That would be fine.”

“Well, Nurse Manners, even though we have already discussed these things, my original question still applies. What happened and why am I at Pinnacle General?”

“You don’t remember, do you?” Nurse Manners shook her head slowly back and forth, pityingly. We’re not sure of all the details, but Carter James told Sheriff Meeker that your little European convertible went off the road just this side of Blanket Creek. The verge is pretty smooth there, so you went all the way to the Rosillaquipo Ranch fence. That’s at least fifty yards or more. You took out five fence posts and hit a power pole. The pole broke and one of the wires caught a rattlesnake. The snake was killed or almost killed, right next to your car.

“By the way, Roger from the service station towed your car into the shop. He says the front end is busted up pretty bad, and he wants to talk with you before he starts working. I told him we’d let him know when you felt well enough to do that.” She paused and looked at me, nodding her head with a questioning look haunting her eyes.

I waited for a few ticks and figured that she must be waiting for me to acknowledge something. “OK,” I said, and she picked the narrative back up, ‘Well then, where was I? Oh yes, Carter says that you shook your head and stood up on the seat. When you went to jump over the door and get out, he saw a big flash, like lightning. The doctor thinks that you probably hit the power wire with one hand and touched the metal car body with your foot. You got electrocuted, and that’s probably when your hair caught fire. You know that nothing smells worse than burnt hair.

“You fell, broke your leg, and landed on the snake. He bit you on the butt. Carter James called 911, and that’s how you ended up here, at Pinnacle.” Nurse Manners reached over and patted me on the leg, “Can I get you something, anything? Maybe some ice chips or a drink of water?”


This week’s prompts are:

  1. got a job, dealing faro
  2. she was a ‘good girl’
  3. in a town this size

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

OLWG #295- Poliosis

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.



Martie was 12 years old and in grade seven; when she noticed the first grey hair. It grew at her hairline, just to the right of centre of her forehead. She panicked and plucked it out. That afternoon, when she returned home, she hurried to the bathroom to look in the mirror. A close examination revealed that two grey hairs now grew in the spot where she had, just that morning, plucked the one.

She pulled out the two new ones, did her homework and went to the kitchen for a snack. Her mom was there, fussing over something: probably dinner, but maybe not. They visited for a while before Martie headed back to her room.

She wanted to call Sherry. Sherry was currently feuding with Elaine, and Martie wanted to catch up on the situation. She glanced at her reflection in the full-length mirror on the back of her door.

Shit! More grey hair. She peered closer at the mirror and saw four of them. Carefully, she isolated each one, wrapped them individually around her index finger and pulled them out by the roots.

Damn, this is beginning to hurt. Mom had a few grey hairs, but Mom was old. Grey hair was normal for seniors.

Martie inspected her hairline but was unable to spot any more silver. She phoned Sherry. They gossiped for almost an hour about Elaine. Martie learned that Rose was now feuding with Sherry. That was OK, though. 

Because Rose was a bitch anyway.

Martie decided to see if she could help her mom with dinner, but she glanced at the mirror again. Shit, more grey hairs? What’s going on? She left them this time, determined to hurry and ask her mother about them.

“Mom,” Martie began when she got to the kitchen.

“What’s up Mar?” her mother answered.

“Look at my hair, Mom. It’s turning grey.” Martie told her as she pointed to her hairline. “I don’t think I’m old enough to have grey hair. That’s for old people.”

“Hey,” Mom stopped her, “Hey, I’m beginning to get grey hair.

“Yeah, that’s what I mean. You’re old. I’m not.”

Martie’s mom leaned down and looked where her daughter was pointing. She studied the situation for a bit, pushing the hair around some. Finally, she sighed and said, “You might be right, Babe, but I’m not that old, and you don’t have that many grey hairs, maybe eight or so. I don’t think you need to be concerned.”

“That’s the problem though, Mom. This morning I had one. It’s been less than twenty-four hours, and now I have eight? I pulled the one I found this morning. Two grew back, and I plucked them, then there were four, and now you’re telling me there’s eight. What’s up with that?”

“You’ve been pulling them out?” Mom asked with a hint of urgency in her voice. “Don’t do that. If you pull out a grey hair, two grow back in its place. Every time you do that, you double the number of grey hairs! My mother taught me that. I thought you knew it too.”

 When she graduated from High School, Martie flipped her hair to the other side of her head. That allowed her grey streak to shine. When Principal Chavez shook her hand and gave her her diploma, he leaned in and said, “I love your hair tonight. Grow more sparkles, Martie Spencer. Brighten the world.”


This week’s prompts are:

  1. onomatopoeia as a weapon 
  2. a thimbleful of coffee
  3. raise a flag, I’ll tear it down

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

OLWG #294- Forth or Back?

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.



Ryan was working late in the lab when it happened. He was experimenting with a standard Boost Bar, Abbott-Upton model 7102, and Audrey’s most recently completed Adjustable Power Band, wanting to observe the resultant Distributed Didactic Definitions. Ryan watched as the generated curves tended higher than expected, then dipped. He studied the printout strip as the didactics settled into a synergistic dynamic that resembled nothing less than a simple sine wave. The frequency was a perfectly devolved radical blockchain.

 Ryan took photos. He twisted the oscilloscope knobs to record the events, and scribbled furiously in his lab book. He watched it until the wee hours to make sure before calling Audrey.

 “What?” she answered, sounding as if she had been sleeping.

 “Audrey? It’s Ryan. Are you awake?”

 “Ryan?” She fumbled as if trying to recognise his voice, “I’m awake now, but I wasn’t. It’s barely three o’clock.”

 He explained what he had been doing. He described the tests he had run using her new Power Band and the 7102. He told her about the resultant devolved blockchain. She asked a few questions.

 “I’ll be right there,” she announced and hung up the phone.

 Moments later, when she arrived at the lab Audrey was full of questions.

“Does it allow for forward travel only?

Backward travel only?

Are there limitations on how far we can go?

Can we shuttle back and forth at will?”

 Ryan held his hands out to try and calm her down. “I need to model it again with the new data we’ve collected before knowing for sure. I’m analysing what we have, and I can start loading the new constants into the simulator in an hour or so. Probably by lunchtime, we’ll know more.”

 Audrey sat down as the enormity of what was going on began to soak in.

“I’m thinking, Ryan, we should start with baby steps.”

 He grunted in agreement.

 “We shouldn’t attempt trips of more than a hundred years at a time until we learn more. Which way do you want to travel first, into the future or the past?” She paused as if waiting for him to answer.

 When he didn’t answer immediately, she blurted out, “Future.”

 As she answered her own question, he spoke over her, “Past.” He turned his head. His eyes bored into her, and she glared back at him.

 “This is something we will have to agree on.” She grinned.


This week’s prompts are:

    1. wheels on a gravel road
    2. lay your lily hand in mine
    3. bring a gnome costume

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

OLWG #293- Hooked

Prospero Año Nuevo.

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.



John bent over his phone and stared at his app.
He studied the photo of the auburn haired girl who called herself Christine.
Christine loved hiking, fine dining, sipping wine, and dogs.
She was also fond of walks in the rain, and real gentlemen.
John swiped right and posted the photo he was using as himself that he had scanned from GQ.
He moved on to the next page…Evangeline!


This week’s prompts are:

    1. where I come from
    2. freight trains and trucks
    3. laundry on the line

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

OLWG #292- Scars

Happy Christmas, everyone. 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.



Coop sat up straight in his bed
He was wet with sweat
His breathing laboured
He knew he wouldn’t get back to sleep. He slid out of bed softly and quietly, so as not to disturb Angie, and padded softly to the kitchen.

The clock read 0320
The whisky, he kept atop the fridge, called
Cooper… Cooper, and he knew he couldn’t fight it
 

Two fingers in a “tall cut” old-fashioned glass that had belonged to his father
He studied the amber liquid for a moment and shrugged his shoulders
Downed it in one draught
Poured another

Did it again
 

and again a third time
 

It had been like this since his return from Kandahar – Some wounds are slow to heal – Some scars are slow to form


This week’s prompts are:

  1. drenched with blood and whisky
  2. bolt of lightning
  3. does she know how to use chopsticks

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

OLWG #291- Home for the Holidays

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.



Wanda was a large woman.

Wanda was the matriarch of the well-known and prosperous Lewis clan. That’s the Lewis family of Sugar Land, Texas. Not the Lewis Family of Lake Chicot, Arkansas. Wanda had been married to her husband, Earvin almost 50 years. It was 2015 when all of Wanda’s three children last came back to visit at Christmas.

Her middle child, her only daughter, Quinn, arrived at the family home first. Quinn was single. She was a successful pharmacist who played with men, chewed them up and used them for pleasure. Quinn owned three drug stores in Big Beaver, Pennsylvania and was considered a community leader, successful in her own right and on her own terms. She took good care of herself.

Quinn hugged her mother, “You look great, Momma,” she said. “How ya doin’?”

“You look beautiful, too, Quinn. When are you going to find yourself a good man?” She pulled her daughter in close again for another hug, then held her back at arm’s length and took a good long look at her daughter. She sighed, “Your Dad’s in the Den watching the game. Why don’t you go in and say hi.”

Quinn nodded her head and moved away to see her father.

Her youngest son, Todd, was a single man. A rarity among men, he was, for the most part, sensitive, caring, and good-looking. He’d brought his partner, Grant, along on the trip. Todd hugged his mother, and then he made the worst mistake of his life.

“Damn, Momma,” he said, “I can hardly get my arms around you anymore. How’s your health?”

“I’m good, Todd. I’m good. I’m just getting old, and I’ve been married to your father for a long time.”

Todd shrugged his shoulders and thought little about how his mother had answered. Then he slipped away and into the kitchen with his husband, looking for something to eat.

About an hour later, Wanda heard the unmistakable roar of her oldest boy’s car in the drive. David was unmarried, a doctor, and he drove one of those Chevrolet muscle cars; easy to recognize the sound of the exhaust system. David burst through the screen door and hurriedly hugged his mother.

“Damn, Momma! You’re getting big. Are you making healthy food choices these days?”

She clucked her tongue, “Shame on you for talking like that, David, shame on you and your brother, too. You both know better than to speak to your Momma like that.”

Todd wandered back into the room and found them both glaring angrily at him. “What?” he queried.

“Listen close, boys, I’m only going to say this once… When young, single women come home, they look to see what’s in the fridge and then go to bed. An old married woman comes home; she sees what’s in bed and then goes to the fridge. No more comments on my weight, y’hear!”


This week’s prompts are:

  1. espinado
  2. a burgundy polish hides her claws
  3. the lunch counter, downtown

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

OLWG #290- Mad Mouse

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.



I arrived to pick Chrissy up that Saturday at about noon; I was taking her to the amusement park, Western Playland. We planned to ride the ‘Mad Mouse’ roller coaster. Her dad answered the door, and I introduced myself. He gave me the third degree to the point that I was becoming unsure if she would be able to go with me. I must have said something that he liked, though, and eventually, he called her from the back end of the house and told her I was there.

When she came out, she looked great, wearing a red miniskirt and a frilly white scoop-neck blouse with cap sleeves. On her feet, she wore shiny, black, patent leather Mary Janes; that reflected the inside of her thighs. They had clunky soles and mid-size heels paired with ankle-high, ruffled, turned-down socks with red hearts embroidered around the top. She wore her dark hair in a shoulder-length bob with the ends curled in and straight-cut bangs. When she smiled, her face lit up. She walked across the room, took my hand in hers, and turned to wave goodbye to her dad.

“Uhm, hold on a minute, Chrissy.” her father said. She and I both paused, and she turned to look at him.

“Yeah, Dad,” she queried politely.

“Uhm, I just remembered that you can’t go out today. Your Grandma’s coming. She should be here within the hour. She wants to see you.”

“Jeeze, Dad,” Chrissy complained. “I didn’t know she was coming. Why didn’t you tell me? Where’s Mom? I should be home before dinner. We were going to ride the Mad Mouse, and this isn’t fair!”

Her dad gave me the ole ‘side-eye look,’ and I knew that Grandma wasn’t coming. Dad didn’t trust Chrissy, or he didn’t trust me, or he didn’t trust Chrissy and me together.

“That’s OK, Chrissy.” I said, “We can go next weekend.” I nodded to her dad, and he nodded back. I knew without a doubt that when I came next weekend, she would have on baggy jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt, but that was OK. She would still be Chrissy.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. here we go again
  2. postcards from Paris
  3. it replaced wine tasting

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

OLWG #289- Red Mule

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.



When Sheriff Allison led his men onto The Windy River Ranch, Alcorn met him about a half mile from the house. He had a red mule and his lever action .44 Henry Rifle in hand. He shot a single round into the air to get everyone’s attention.

“What’s your business here, Sheriff?” Alcorn shouted.

“Take it easy Mr Alcorn.” Sheriff Allison tried, “We’re here to investigate the theft of a mule from the Doolin Ranch. It was a red mule, just like that one you got with you. Do you happen to know anything about that?”

“This here’s my mule, Sheriff. What are you suggesting?” Alcorn worked the lever on his .44 calibre rimfire, ejecting the spent cartridge.

“I’m not implying anything, Mr Alcorn. I’m just asking about your mule.”

Alcorn squinted against the sun and cocked his head slightly, “I reckon my mule ain’t none of your business, Sheriff. You, and your men, might be best served by turning around and getting off my land.”

It was about that time when a shot cracked from a distance, the sound echoing from the surrounding hills. Alcorn blinked his eyes and slumped forward as if in slow motion. Allison quickly scanned the surroundings and spotted Greer Doolin riding out from the tree line, his Winchester on his knee.

“Damnit, Greer. What the hell are you doin’?”

“Just fetching’ my mule, Sheriff. Just fetching’ my mule.” He paused before adding, “Thanks for your help.”


This week’s prompts are:

  1. gave all my money to the rich
  2. thick foliage and intertwined vines
  3. all the way to Cortez

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