OLWG #228- El Malpais

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.

Not far to the west of town is a piece of public land that features more than 125 square miles of lava field. The flow is young, geologically speaking, only about 5000 years old. Around these parts, we call it  El Malpais, which is Spanish for The Badlands.  It’s a beautiful place, but if you get off the beaten path it can also be a dangerous place.

When I met Marina in school, we used to sneak away to El Malpais for romantic weekends. On Saturday nights, we would climb to the top of the Vista Point carrying an old horse blanket. We’d lie naked beneath the iridescent fabric of the Milky Way and marvel at the beauty of nature. The stars provided the light. The breeze would provide the aromatherapy, and we would comfort one another as we learned the fine points of love.

Marina never finished school. Her father was killed. He wound up as collateral damage. He took a stray bullet fired by a small-time hood who loosed a stray shot while holding up a gas station. Marina’s dad was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Marina held it together for a while. She lived on her own, in her father’s old adobe, but eventually, she had to move away, and we lost touch.

She saw me again forty-six years later and recognized me.

I was shopping at El Matador Market in Old Mesilla, and so was she. It was like we had never been apart. We slipped, easily into conversation, like my hand still slipped so easy into hers. She smelled sweet, like desert rain.

“Can you join me for dinner?” I asked, “La Posta?”

“I shouldn’t, TN. I’m a married woman now, living in Seattle. Dan and I are here on vacation. He was interested in seeing where I grew up. He’s a New Englander and knows nothing about the Southwest.” We stood looking at one another, “So here we are…I certainly didn’t expect to see you. You stayed, huh.” It wasn’t a question, but I nodded my head in assent.

We never did have dinner that night. She went back to wherever she and Dan were staying. It was four more years before I saw her again, in the El Matador. This time I recognized her.

“Marina! You’re back! How are you? How’s Dan?” I was determined to present myself as a friend to both her and her husband. Not as a lover from ages ago.

This time she invited me to La Posta for dinner. She told me that I could pick her up at the Alyvia, on the Square. She was in room fourteen. She said that Dan had been killed by a drunk driver about six months earlier. She told me that she was more than happy to see me.

After dinner, we spent the night in room fourteen of the Hotel Alyvia. The dawn brought a cool Friday morning, and we drove together to El Malpais. There is no waiting period on a marriage license in New Mexico. With the help of the County Clerk in Lincoln, we got a license and found an authorized local who agreed to perform the service.

We got married atop El Malpais’ Vista Point at sunset. We spent the night naked on an old horse blanket and learned that our bodies still fit together just as easily as when we were young and as our hands had done four years earlier.

This week’s prompts are:

  1. burn it down – for the nails
  2. world traveler
  3. 15 or less

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

5 thoughts on “OLWG #228- El Malpais

  1. One never knows truth from fiction. When we read sometimes we want it all to be true.
    We crave happy endings. I liked this one.
    I wrote mostly nonsense to fit with Quickly’s (The Rabbit promptress) – but hey it could be true?
    I actually read an article called the ‘Bonfire of the Vanity’… And the author did burn it her back yard.
    Burn it down – just for the nails…


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