OLWG #46- George Harrison Used to Live Here

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The work below was written for practice ’cause practice makes perfect.

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



Leaning in I pay the cabbie his fare, dropping the notes into his outstretched palm. He takes the money and speeds away into the night. I straighten and move tentatively to the edge of the pavement. The regatta begins on the morrow and I have wagers to place. There should be a Ladbrokes around here someplace. I need to find it. I need a whisky too, and most importantly, I should find suitable lodging for the night.

It was dark, it was quiet, it was late, I wasn’t quite sure where I was but I could smell the river so I followed my nose; carefully navigating the cobblestones, still slick from an earlier misting. I hadn’t gone far when I was pulled up suddenly, startled by the sight of a stocky, red-bearded man standing at the entrance to an alleyway. He wears jeans and a waistcoat over a button down shirt; he beckons me over. I am reluctant to go. He looks almost fierce and I am but a gambler. What if he means me harm, I pause and study him as he reaches inside his mac to remove something.

I fear a blade or a piece, but it’s neither. He holds forth a necklace, a long gold chain, and puts it in my hand. It’s a locket. I open it and see a four-leaf clover, held pressed beneath a small glass pane on the left side. The other side of the locket frames a small portrait of my mother. She is younger in the photo than when I ever knew her, but I recognize her straight away. Her hair is longer and worn in a style I never saw. She’s smiling and looking straight at the camera. She looks happy.

“What the fuck?” I question and look up at the man. He’s gone. I still have the locket.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. what a rush
  2. on the corner
  3. don’t slam that door

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.

Have fun

Advertisements

OLWG #45- Storytime

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The work below was written for practice ’cause practice makes perfect.

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



“Tell us a story, Grampa!” the kids all sang as they danced around my legs.

I was afraid that I was going to trip over them so I agreed, “Go sit yourselves down around my chair,” I told them. “Except you Jenny,” I singled out one of the oldest granddaughters, who was maybe nine, “can you fetch me a beer out of the fridge, please honey.”

She tucked her curly hair behind her ear and nodded before she scurried off towards the kitchen, “Don’t start without me, Grampa. I’ll be right back.”

While she was gone I got the little ones settled in on the floor around my feet. I picked up the baby and pulled out my pocket square. I balanced him on my knee and wiped his nose. When Jenny came back she popped open the beer and took a little sip from the can.

“Hey,” I said smiling. She smiled back at me and handed me my drink before settling in at the back of the half circle on the floor.

I love when these kids are smiling.

“Did I ever tell you kids about when I used to be a pirate?”

“Yeeessss,” they all shout back.

“How about when I used to drive a tank in the army?”

“Yeeessss,” they all shout back again.

“What about when I was a cop?” I quizzed them.

They all looked at one another, puzzled. One of the tow headed twins, I think those boys belong to Lorraine, wiped his nose and shook his head.

“Don’t think so Grampa,” he said, “tell us that one.”

Another curly haired little girl, mighta been Jenny’s younger sister, asked “You were a policeman, Grampa?”

“Yes I was.” I leaned down and looked her in the eye, “but I got fired.”

“You got fired?” she asked incredulously. “What happened?”

“Well, I’ll tell you what happened. It was a day like most other days I had as a cop till sometime after midnight when I had just gotten done with a shootout. Some bad guys had ambushed me out on the highway and there had been bullets and hand grenades flying everywhere. When we all ran out of bullets we commenced to throwing rocks at one another till finally I won. I radioed for the paddy wagon and waited with the prisoners till O’Shaunessey came out to drive ‘em all back to the calaboose.”

“What’s a calaboose?” that tow headed boy asked. Jenny shushed him and it got quiet again. They were all waiting for the story to continue.

“A calaboose is a jailhouse Tim,” I answered him.

“I’m Tom,” he said back.

“Yeah, I knew that, I was just making sure you were listening. Anyway, I was driving around on the bad side of town and I spotted a man speeding down the road. He was going really fast. So I pulled him over.

“I asked him politely, ‘Are you aware of how fast you were going, sir?’ He tells me, ‘Yes I am. I’m trying to escape a robbery I was involved in.’ I raised my eyebrows and asked, ‘Were you the one being robbed?’

“The man casually replies, ‘No, I committed the robbery.’”

I looked around at all my wide eyed grandchildren. Even the baby seemed to be entranced. I continued the story.

“I asked him, ‘so you’re telling me you were speeding…AND committed a robbery?’
“’Yes,’ the man says quite calmly. ‘I have a hostage and all the money in the trunk of the car.’

“Well now he was making me angry. ‘Sir, I’m afraid you have to come with me.’ I said and I reached in the window to subdue him.

“’Don’t do that!’ the man yelled fearfully. ‘I’m scared you will find the gun in my glove compartment!’ I quickly pulled my hand out. ‘Wait here,’ I told him and I called for backup on my radio.

“Soon cops, cars, dogs, and helicopters were everywhere; they were all over the area. The man was cuffed and taken towards a waiting squad car. However, before he gets in, my Sergeant walks up to him and says, while gesturing at me, ‘Sir, this officer informed us that you had committed a robbery, had a hostage and stolen loot in the back of your car, and that you had a loaded gun in your glove compartment. However, we didn’t find any of those things in your car.’

“The man looks my Sergeant right in the eye and just as cool as a cucumber says, ‘Yeah, and I bet that liar told you that I was speeding too!’

“I got fired the very next day.”

“Whoa,” Jenny said, shaking her head, “That sucks!”


This week’s prompts are:

  1. at least fifty pounds
  2. never my intention
  3. Geronimo Greene

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.

Have fun

OLWG #44- The Linesman

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The work below is a drabble, written for practice ’cause practice makes perfect.

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



Meanwhile, Clancy is sitting on the long stone steps that lead to the library. It’s the main branch, downtown. A book of poetry is balanced on his knees; a book from which his name has been omitted.

“Hello?” Donna says. There’s no reply. She shivers and terminates the call. When she drops the phone on the cushion, it rings again.

“Quit calling me Clancy,” she screams, “just quit!” This time she slides the phone under the cushion – hiding it.

Clancy hasn’t read the book, has yet to crack it open. The book’s overdue. There’s sure to be a fine.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. black or white
  2. use this
  3. bullshit

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.

Have fun

OLWG #43- The Pockets of the Dead

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The work below is practice and practice makes perfect.

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



A while back, I met a man who’d been a doctor in Vietnam. “The rule was,” he said, “Save ‘em if you can. Do everything you can, but remember that you can’t, you won’t, and you’ll never save ‘em all. And, when you can’t save ‘em; you follow protocol.

“The first thing you gotta do is ID ‘em, look at their dog tags. Then go through their pockets and put what you find into an envelope. Put the envelope into a plastic bag. Fill out all the papers and send ‘em home; wherever home had been.

“Saigon, Sydney, Abilene, New York, Hanoi, Marseilles

“It doesn’t take long to become accustomed to the smell. To become inured to the idea of death. It all becomes more real, even as it becomes less real, becomes more abstract. In that world, it is always feast or famine, busy or idle; and to pass the down time, when there are no new dead or injured, you read the small blood splattered notebooks that the dead clutched in their cold hands or, more likely, they carried in their pockets when they were brought in – letters from home; snapshots of wives, girlfriends, parents, and kids; journals filled with recollections of war; sketches of where they’ve been and the people they’ve met – buddies, whores, strangers off the street.

“Many carry poems – some are handwritten, some are torn from books, some are lightly scented with perfumes from half a world away.”

“Poems? Why Poems?” I asked.

“Maybe,” he said, “just maybe; poetry, well written, can resonate with the soldiers and the grunts; can strike a chord with those who walk in the shadow of death.”

My new friend asked them all about this. Each and every one, but their lips were sealed. It seems that the dead take their secrets with them.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. Drinking alone, and pregnant
  2. This just isn’t doing it for me
  3. that’s rich

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.

Have fun

OLWG #42- High Society

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The work below is practice and practice makes perfect.

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



Thaddeus lifted the chair and moved it away from the table, careful not to drag the legs along the floor.

Patricia swept her lustrous Marquis de Le’on taffeta gown to the side and slid in to take the seat that Thaddeus had proffered. The entire maneuver took only a few seconds and appeared to have been choreographed, as it was executed so smoothly, “Why, thank you sir.” Patricia offered. Thaddeus merely nodded his head to acknowledge her polite gratitude.

No sooner had Thaddeus taken his seat across the table from Patricia than a tuxedoed waiter materialized at his shoulder.

“Madame, Monsieur,” he greeted the couple as he bowed deeply from the waist.

Patricia extended her arm, elbow straight, and offered him her hand, “Roland, how delightful,” she addressed the waiter as he leaned over the back of her hand.

“Good evening, Roland.” Thaddeus muttered with a flourish as he looked on, “could you fetch us some bubbly? I quite fancy a ’63 Lemures tonight. You do have that?”

“Of course sir,” Roland replied. He dipped his head and backed away from the table.

Once certain that Roland was out of earshot Thaddeus took Patricia by the hand, “Darling,” he began.

“Yes, my love?”

“I’m not quite sure how to broach this, but there’s something I must tell you. It’s of a slightly delicate nature.”

“Well, should it wait then, Thad? We could discuss it after dinner; when we’re alone.” she pursed her lips and smiled ever so slightly, teasing him.

He paused as if considering her proposal, “No, I think not, Patricia. I believe we should discuss this now.”

The sommelier chose that moment to arrive with the Lemures, distracting both Thaddeus and Patricia who devoted all their attention to the presentation of the wine. Once the bottle had been accepted, the glasses poured, and service staff had retreated; the two locked eyes again.

“Now, what’s so important, Thad? What’s so important that it can’t wait?”

“Not a thing Patricia.” Thaddeus laughed and waved it off, “Don’t you worry your beautiful head about it.” He picked up her glass and handed it to her. Then he raised his glass, she lifted hers, and they rang the rims together lightly.

Ting.

He saw Roland across the room and caught his eye. Very slightly, he shook his head from side to side. Roland rolled his eyes and turned away. He had other diners to take care of.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. the last time…
  2. Let her go
  3. the usual crowd was there

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.

Have fun

OLWG #41- A Short Vignette Exploring the Chicken and the Egg

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The work below is practice and practice makes perfect.

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



Nicole pressed the phone against her ear and listened to the ringing on the other end. She prayed that the answering machine would pick up.

“Hello?” Nicole heard her grandmother say from across the ether. She grimaced and took another drag off her cigarette.

“Hi, Gramma,” she said, “It’s Nicole. I…”

“Nicole? Is that you?” Gramma interrupted. “It sounds like you’re smoking again! You know you shouldn’t smoke. It’s not good for you. Wait a minute, I’ll get your grandfather.” She heard her grandmother yelling, probably over her shoulder; probably out into the yard, “Herb? Herb? It’s Nicole on the phone. She wants to talk to you. I think she’s smoking again.” Then back on the phone, “Nic, you never call us. You should call us sometimes; you know we like to hear from you. Oh, OK, here’s your grandfather.”

Grampa came on the line, “Nicole, honey? Is that you?”

“It’s me Grampa. I just called to, …”

“Your Gramma says you’re smoking again, honey. You know that’s not good, don’t you?” He paused.

“Yeah Grampa, I know that, but listen, I wanted to, …”

“Honey, I can’t stay on the phone long. The pool girl is here cleaning the pool. I, uhm, I need to go watch her. I have to watch her and make sure she does it right. She’s wearing her blue bikini again today. Let us hear from you. We never hear from you anymore,” and with that, he hung up the phone.

Nicole frowned and listened to the dead line, “OK then, Grampa. Tell Gramma that I wanted to wish her a happy birthday.” she looked at the face of her phone and pressed the button to terminate the call. She sighed deeply and stared out the kitchen window at the back yard. She watched the grey Dickie birds play in the trees for awhile, then she sat her phone down on the counter top and reached for the bottle on the window sill. She shook two Tramadol into the palm of her hand and then swallowed them dry. She returned her blank eyed stare back out to the birds in the yard.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. Pull my thumb
  2. It’s just a figure of speech
  3. Have we seen this already?

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.

Have fun

OLWG #40- Exelauno

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The work below is practice and practice makes perfect.

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



Today is March Fourth – Exelauno Day.

It’s just another day of the year. It’s just a date; a square on the calendar, a place to write the details of your doctor’s appointment or your dinner date. It’s a holiday, a holiday where you work towards the achievement of your dreams. It’s a day to make an effort or to take a risk. It’s a day to refuse to let excuses come between you and your goals. It’s a day to do something that makes you happy.

On March Fourth (March 4th), I try to make a special effort to improve my life, improve myself and “March Forth” toward my dreams and highest aspirations.

It’s called Exelauno Day because “exelauno” is an ancient Greek verb that means “to march forth,” at least that’s what I’ve been told, and if it’s not true…

…well it should be true.

So this Exelauno Day; I’m asking you to take a risk. Write something and use the prompts you’ll find at the bottom of this post. It’ll make you happy. It’ll make me happy too!

Thanks guys!


Only gonna give you a single prompt this week:

  1. least common denominator

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.

Have fun