OLWG #273- Hard Times

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.

Things began to get difficult for Mark and Aoki when Mark lost his job at the mill. Aoki managed to keep them afloat for a while allowing Mark to look for work. Aoki was employed at the button factory that supplied the mill. When the mill began to cut back, both she and Mark knew it was only a matter of time before things would get tough. Sure enough, Aoki got let go from the button factory about two months later.

Late one evening, about a month after Aoki lost her job, the couple sat at the dining table. They were paying bills and reviewing their financial situation. Mark frowned. He told his wife that they might be able to survive in Hillsdale for one more month before they ran out of money.

“I hate to say this, baby, but we might have to move in with my parents,” Mark declared. Aoki grimaced and made a face.

“Nooooo,” she groaned and buried her face in her hands.

Mark hugged his wife in consolation. Soon they were kissing, then groping as clothes fell to the floor. Aoki sat up sharp when the doorbell rang, struggling in vain to cover her breasts with her arms. Mark snagged her blouse, handed it to her, and shoved her towards the hallway. He pointed to the bedroom and watched her scurry toward the back of the house. He struggled to button his trousers back up.

That task accomplished, Mark limped awkwardly to the front door. He pulled the window curtain aside and peered out to the front porch. His mother looked back at him and smiled. When he pulled the door open, his mother burst into tears.

“Mom?” he questioned as he leaned forward to hug her. “What’s going on? Where’s Dad? What are you doing here?”

“Your father went back to the truck to fetch the suitcases.”

“Fetch? Suitcases? What the fuck are you talking about?”

“Watch your language, Mark!” his mother brushed past him and breezed into the room. “Where’s that girl you’re married to? Did she leave you? It’s only a matter of time, you know. Go help your father with the luggage.” She clapped her hands to hurry him along.

“Aoki’s in the bedroom, Mom.” He glared at her, but managed to glance out at the drive. His father’s pickup sat in the driveway; piled high with cardboard boxes. That were lashed into the bed with tie-downs. He didn’t want to fight with his mother, so he thought he might try talking to his dad. He made his way down to the truck; his erection now faded and forgotten.

“Dad?” He questioned, “What’s going on?

“Your mother didn’t tell you?”


“Grab that case, and let’s get inside. I’ll tell you all about it.”

Back inside, Mark found Aoki and his mother glaring at each other across the table. He set the case he carried on the floor by the door, grabbed the last four cans of Coors from the refrigerator, and returned to the table setting the beers in the centre. He took his seat, reached for the closest beer and popped the top.

“OK, what’s going on?” Mark looked at his mom, then at his dad.

Aoki sat wide-eyed, rapidly shifting her gaze from her Mother-in-Law to her Father-in-Law and back.

His father cleared his throat and looked down at the table, “I lost the house, son,” he said. “I lost the business too. I’m a couple hundred grand deep into ‘Jimmy the Fish.’ Gambling, ya know. Your mother and I need to move in with you and Aoki. It’ll be temporary, though. Not long at all.”


“Go easy now, boy. Remember, your mother and I gave you a home for years. We raised you, fed you, and sent you to school. Your momma took care of your ‘owies’ for years. Do you know how much money we spent on Emergency Rooms and Band-Aids for you? Remember that time you broke your arm?”

Aoki stood up sobbing and ran back towards the rear of the house.

Mark’s mother pulled a long slim cigarette from her bag and lit it up. She blew smoke from her nose. His father’s feet tapped on the wooden floor beneath the table as he sipped his beer. He watched for a signal from his son through half-closed eyes.




This week’s prompts are:

  1. snow won’t stop falling
  2. speak my name in whispers
  3. Jan just told me, “we need to talk.”

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


3 thoughts on “OLWG #273- Hard Times

  1. Oh, bother. I had one in-law stay with us for abit… twice. Not fun at all. Would never, ever be my own parents. Never!! But… when times are tough. Them two gals are gonna have to figure something out.
    Here’s my offering; ‘Oh, Baby!’


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