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.”
Luanne came back from town with a spankin’ new rocker.
Seat carved with a hollowing adze
Prolly five coats of some cheap varnish bought from the Depot
“Where the hell’d you get that thing? And, why?” I asked her.
“Bought it from Señor Obregón for fifty dollars.” She replied.
“Why? You wanna know why?” she’s almost screaming by this time. Itching fed a fight.
“OK, Douglas, I’ll tell you why. It’s ‘cause you been promisin’ to build me a rocker so’s I can sit on the front porch and you ain’t never done it. You been promisin’ fer nigh on five years. You ain’t never done it. I’m tired ’a waitin’. I’m tired ’a sittin’ on the stoop while you sit in yer dead Pappy’s wicker chair. Even that thin’s fallin’ apart. This here’s my chair, Douglas. Your fat ass best never touch the seat on my rocker. Unnerstan?”
I done screwed the pooch this time.
Too late to build her a chair now
I Shoulda done it years ago
I got the tools
I got lumber in the shop
What I don’t got is excuses
She couldn’t let it go though
She kep goin’
“I shoulda listened to my Mama. She said you was a lazy no good sumbitch. I tole her that she jist didn’t know you. I tole her you was a good man. She wouldn’ listen to me an I wouldn’ listen to her. I shoulda listened to my Mama.”
She slammed the rocker down on the weathered boards, that made the porch. Musta scared the shit outta Toby, cause he skedaddled out from under that porch like somebody’d lit off a string of firecrackers. That dog is scared to death of bangs.
I stood up, in a huff and marched to the truck. I got in and left. In my mirror, I saw Luanne sink into her new chair with a big smile on her face. After going through town, I made my way to the Obregón house over on the east side of town. The Obregóns had a nice place. Big adobe house, good size plot ‘a land. Señor Obregón made spendin’ money off a truck patch he had near the house and he made furniture in a woodshop set on the other side of the garden. Him and his whole family was sittin’ in the shade of a big Elm tree at a wooden picnic table that he prolly made by his own self.
I parked the truck ‘tween the road and his split rail fence. I got out and waved to the family, leaned on the fence and hollered, just loud enough to be heard, “Señor Obregón, I’d like to have a word with you if that’s possible.”
He nodded his head and handed a baby, who’d been sittin’ on his knee, to a pretty young girl I figgered to be maybe sixteen or seventeen. She was maybe a daughter or a daughter-in-law. There musta been fifteen or twenty folks drinkin’ iced tea and runnin’ around that picnic table. Another dozen or so kids were kickin’ a ball around in the dust that made up the front garden. Señor Obregón shuffled over to where I waited at the fence; his boots kicking up clouds of dust as he moved.
I introduced myself and asked him about the chair he had sold my wife.
“I’m sorry, Señor Fields,” he said, “all sales of handmade furniture are final.”
“I sorry Mr Obregón, I think you misunderstand, I want to know if you have any more of them, maybe some footstools, some low tables that might look good between the two chairs. Nothing too fancy though, my porch is a little rundown.”
Obregón smiled, “Come to my shop, I’ll show you what I have.” He gestured across the garden and I walked down the fence and through the gate. He said something in Spanish to the girl with the baby. She immediately stood up and headed to the house. He and I went to the shop, and as we neared the door he removed a large skeleton key from the pocket of his loose trousers. Unlocking the door, he reached in, flicked on the lights and stood back for me to enter.
He was a compulsive builder, that Obregón. The centre of the room was filled with his massive workbench, all kinds of saws and woodworking equipment. Around the perimeter was furniture. There was chairs, tables, benches, cabinets, bookshelfs of all sizes, butcher block cutting boards, and the like. Most was yellow pine, though I could smell cedar and juniper in the mix as well. I told him I wanted three more rocking chairs to match the one he had sold Luanne. I wanted footstools. I wanted tables to sat twixt the chairs – so’s I’d have a place to set a plate, a cup, or a book if’n I was out enjoying the porch on the morning. I asked him to pick ‘em out for me. When he was done, we carried the new stuff out to the truck. His sons, or sons-in-law, pitched in to help, and money changed hands. He gave me a very fair price and bout that time they young woman with the baby reappeared. She had a big glass filled to the brim with sweet tea. She held it out and I took it. The deal was sealed.
Luanne loves me again. She thinks the porch is the best room in the house. She might be right. I send all my friends to Mr Obregón for furniture. Best investment I ever made.
I think I’ll have him make me one of them big picnic tables, one like he has at his house, gotta wait for my tree to get bigger though. The Obregóns gave us a young Elm, like theirs. It has long slender branches but it’s growing. I can’t wait.
This week’s prompts are:
- a ruby red right hand
- laundry on the line
- bleu cheese and coleslaw
You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!