OLWG #53- Single Point Perspective

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The story below was written only for practice, because practice is what makes perfect. I was considering where inspiration comes from. How we treat our muses and how that can impact the shape, texture, scent and feel of our work.

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



Peruda was sipping coffee out back when the knock sounded on his door. He didn’t move. He let Nekane answer it and he stayed put. He was contemplating his current work; how it affected him when he studied it as it sat on the easel.  He liked the way it was taking shape. He liked the texture that was developing, especially in the shadows. He liked the palette. Like most of his work it was large. His inspiration had been a photograph that he had found buried deep in his mother’s papers. The photo was a road, running straight and true, fading, ever smaller into the horizon. Barbed wire fences paralleled the road on both sides. The photographer had been standing in the middle of the road when he, or she, snapped the shot. Wooden telephone poles stood like sentinels between the fence on the left and the road’s shoulder.

This classic example of single point perspective was broken only by the pickup truck. Peruda knew, instinctively that the truck was red; he knew this, even though the photo was black and white and had faded to browns – sepia tones. He also knew that when the truck had left the road it had been traveling at excessive speed. Somehow he was aware that the accident had been fatal. The driver had been killed when he was thrown from the fast moving vehicle as it rolled five times before coming to rest, wheels down, listing slightly, and perpendicular to the road.

The painting was abstracted, impasto; the lines from the knife heavier in the umbra than in the highlights. It was taking shape.

He wished his mother were still alive so he could ask her about the photograph. Had she taken the shot? Who had been the driver whose lifeless body lay out of sight in the deep weeds of the ditch, beyond the graveled berm of the road?

“Peruda?” Nekane called from the house, “Peruda?” She stepped from the doorway to the patio. “There are two policemen at the door asking for you. Shall I show them in?”


This week’s prompts are:

  1. we need you again
  2. I love you anyway
  3. I’m not that kind of girl

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

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OLWG #52- Another American Mass Shooting

This week’s OLWG is number 52. Do you all realize what that means? It means a year. A year’s worth of prompts that some of you have been kind enough to play along with. Speaking of prompts, the ones for this week are at the bottom of this post.

The two Haiku below, I wrote for practice, because that’s what makes perfect.

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



He hears the voices
from the graveyard again, they
tell him what to do.

They’re telling him to
kill himself, but in truth; he’d
prefer to kill you.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. what’s one more or less
  2. everything else is complicated
  3. we say goodbye in circles

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 #51- Here, There Be Monsters

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The story below was written only for practice, because practice is what makes perfect.

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



“You told them you didn’t want to come to bed, right?” he asked her.

“Of course I did, Seymour. I always tell them that. That’s why they come up and we peek in the closet every night. They do that to assure me.” She slipped out of the bed and made her way to the desk where she opened the top right hand drawer and pulled out her pack of playing cards; the blue ones with the angels riding bicycles towards her. One right side up: the other upside down – unless you turned them over of course. Then it was the other right side up and one upside down.

She went back and sat in the bed. Seymour pulled the covers up to her waist and tucked her in. He took a seat closer to the foot of the bed and crossed his legs, Indian style.

“I hadn’t thought about it till now,” Seymour noted, “you do look in the closet with your parents every night. You told them there was a monster that lived in the closet, didn’t you?”

“Duh, I didn’t want to tell them that you lived under the bed. They might see you. Its better this way, you’d probably just scare them.” She shuffled the cards three times and put the pack face down on the duvet.

“Did you tell them I was all scaly and had bad breath?”

“No, I told them you were big and hairy. I said you had long sharp teeth and claws.” They both got a chuckle out of that. “Come on, cut ‘em!”

Seymour cut the cards, “Cut thin, always win.” he said. “What are we playing tonight?”

“Let’s start with a little five card draw,” she answered, “maybe tonight will be your lucky night. Did you bring the cookies? You were supposed to bring the cookies tonight.”

“Oh yeah,” he said and hopped to the floor. He dropped to his stomach and disappeared under the bed, quick as a wink. He slithered back out with a plate of green things that oozed like open sores and another plate of chocolate chip. “I brought your favourite,” he offered her the plate of toll house cookies and climbed back on the bed. “Try not to get any chocolate on the cards tonight. I’m pretty sure that’s how you managed to beat me on Tuesday.”

She started dealing, “Are you accusing me of cheating? Them’s fighting words.”

“I’m not accusing you – I know you cheat!” He looked at his cards. He had a seven, a three, a pair of Jacks and an Ace. “I’ll take two.” He said and discarded the Jacks; she gave him two new cards off the top of the deck.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. You are not what I expected
  2. some myths are prophecy
  3. Tell them what?

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 #50- A Pocket Full of Bottles

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The story below, brings back Tommy and Consuela because I kinda liked them. I wrote it for practice, because that’s what makes perfect.

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



He stepped up onto the bus, showed his pass to the driver and walked to the back row. He took a window seat. Not too many people on the bus this morning so seats were available. As he slid across the seat he reached into his pocket and pulled out one of the plastic bottles and checked the label. ‘Stolichnaya’ Tommy grinned and leaned back in his seat; he was happy when he got a bottle of the good stuff. He screwed the top off, swallowed the contents in two gulps and tucked the empty bottle between the seat cushions. With the sun shining on his face he reached into his pocket two more times before he got to his stop. The first time he came out with a brown bottle of cognac. It had a picture of a deer head on the label; lots of antlers. It tasted like shit, the second time he got Cuervo Gold, so much better than that deer stuff.

Tommy signaled his stop at 17th and Capitan. Harbor Liquors was singing to him. He looked at his watch. Almost 9:00, the liquor store opened at 9:00. The Oil Change Shop was about three blocks further down Capitan he could have stayed on the bus but then he would have missed the liquor store. He needed the liquor store.

“Mornin’ Tommy,” the register guy waved absently before turning his attention back to the racing form he had open on the counter.

“Hey Jordan,” Tommy answered as he headed back towards the coffee maker. He snagged a few small bottles from the shelf on the way, slipped ‘em into his jacket pocket. He poured a cup of coffee, added milk and sugar, but he kept his eyes on Jordan, who in turn kept his eyes on his racing form. He grabbed another couple hands full of bottles on his way back to the register without checking the brand. He laid a couple of bucks on the counter.

“Gracias, Jordan,” he said.

“Yeah, yeah, see ya tomorrow, Tommy.” Jordan kept his head down as he studied his racing form and grabbed the cash. He punched ‘NO SALE” on the NCR. The drawer popped open, he pushed it back shut and stuffed the cash in the pocket of his shirt.

Tommy pushed out of the shop and hurried down the street where he greeted Mr. Killdeer at exactly 9:15, “Morning, boss.”

Killdeer looked at his watch and smiled, “Good morning, Tommy; nice to see you here early as usual.”

“Yes sir, Mr. Killdeer. I want to be ready to work at opening time, not just arriving to work at opening time.”

Killdeer’s smile broadened, “Got a meetin’ tonight?” he asked.

“Yes sir, right after work.”

“Why don’t you take off a couple minutes early tonight, Tommy? Don’t want you late for your meeting. You’re doing so well. We’re all proud of you, you know.”

“I may take you up on that, sir,” Tommy said, “Thank you.” He turned and headed out to the bays to get ready for work. He rolled his eyes when Killdeer couldn’t see. That fuckin’ Killdeer was starting to sound just like Consuela, he thought to himself.

 


This week’s prompts are:

  1. She’s one of them
  2. your journey is your own
  3. Double jeopardy

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 #49- A Meeting After Work

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The story below, I wrote for practice, because that’s what makes perfect.

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



“Consuela? Consuela?” Tommy called through the front door screen. He stood on the hard packed dry dirt of the front yard. The old yellow dog lay up on the cement stoop, chin on his front paw and a green bottle fly perched on his ear.

Consuela emerged from the gloom at the back of the house and stopped about halfway to the front door. She had the baby on her hip and eyes shone with concern for her husband.

“Sup, Tommy?” she asked.

“I’m gonna leave for work now.”

“OK, Baby,” she said. “Your lunch is in the kitchen. Can you come straight home tonight? I need your help with Rosalita, y tu mamá viene.”

“I’ll be home as soon as I can, but I have a meeting tonight after work.”

“Oh, that’s right, Tommy. I forgot.” She hurried back to the kitchen and then came to the door with his lunch wrapped in a brown paper bag. She pushed the door to stand on her tip toes and give him a peck on the cheek. “I’m so proud of you, Baby,” she smiled and rubbed his arm, “You’re doing so well.”

“Thanks,” he mumbled and spun around. He paused at the chain link gate for a moment before pushing it open and stepping out of the yard. He closed and latched the gate, waved goodby to Consuela and Rosalita, then started walking away on Encinal Street towards La Fonda, where he could catch the bus to mid-town. Tommy worked for Mr. Killdeer at the oil change shop. It was a new job and a condition of his probation. He’d only been at this job for a couple of weeks.

Tommy patted his jacket pocket to check that the collection of small plastic bottles were there as he rounded the corner.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. I forget how it goes
  2. It’s a blessing
  3. I can’t hear you

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 #48- Effective Communication

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The story below, I wrote for practice, because that’s what makes perfect.

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



It was dark when Peter woke and cracked open his eyes. He stayed still listening and trying to figure out what had awakened him. He heard Easter breathing softly in the bed next to him. He thought that there might have been something else, something moving. Something teasing the edges of his consciousness.

“Concentrate,” he told himself. “What is it?” he puzzled as he began to pick up a pattern in what he was hearing. It almost sounded a bit like cars on a freeway in the rain, but it was soft as if the freeway were miles away. Motion was what he was hearing. Something breaking a path through the air, it was motion, but it was surreptitious, furtive.

At that moment Easter rolled over in her sleep. The sound of motion ceased as her arm found its way over Peter’s chest. Her nose nestled next to his head, and her soft breath returned to the slow regular rhythm of deep sleep. Gradually, cautiously, the unseen movement resumed, accompanied by the sound that defined it.

Peter could feel it now as well as hear it. It felt like a gentle rumble or a rocking it was soothing and he was beginning to dismiss it as nothing, when it changed. No, it didn’t change it remained, but there was another sound; even softer than the one that had awakened him.

Easter, he knew it was her, he felt her lips moving gently against his ear. “Do you hear them, Peter?” she was asking, “Be still.”

He moved his finger against her hand to confirm that he did indeed hear them.

“They’re coming from beneath the bed,” she whispered. “There must be thousands of them in here now. They’re on the walls and the ceiling; down the hall.”

He wrapped his fingers around her hand.

“Fire,” Easter moved her lips. She mouthed the words without actually saying them, but Peter understood. “We need a sudden all-embracing, comprehensive fast moving fire; it’s our only chance to survive.”

Peter and Easter remained motionless, touching in the darkness as they both tried, in vain, to conjure the cleansing firestorm that might set them free.

“I love you,” Peter mouthed the words without speaking them.

I love you too,” Easter thought to herself.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. Hanging stars
  2. a ladies’ man from Texas
  3. tiddlywinks

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 #47- Sybella Proud

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. I wrote this little story strictly for practice ’cause practice makes perfect. I kinda like this one.

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



Sybella Proud, she has a story, but I’m not going to try to tell it all right now. For now, you need only know that she was named for her mother, Sibyl, who died in childbirth. The rest of her life was almost as tragic as the circumstances of her birth. When she was not quite ten years old, this happened.

###

Mrs. Reardon unfolded the note that had been delivered to the classroom. She pulled her spectacles down to the end of her nose and studied what had been written on the small yellow sheet of unlined paper.

“Is this an immediate summons, Mr. Sawyer, or are we allowed to finish the lesson?” she quizzed the older student who had delivered it.

“I believe it is rather urgent, ma’am,” the lad advised, “Mr. James instructed me to escort her back to his office straight away.”

Mr. Bryson James was the headmaster and he liked to frighten the students with tales of his ancestors, Jesse James and his older brother, Frank; the infamous outlaws. However, the relationship was never very clearly defined.

“Well, I guess it can’t be helped then,” the elderly Mrs. Reardon sighed and she fussed with her dress as if she didn’t like the way it lay across her ample bosom. “Miss Proud?” she called to the class. Sybella rose and stood next to her desk.

“Yes ma’am?” Sybella sang meekly.

“Please accompany Mr. Sawyer to the office. You will have to catch up with the class when you return.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Sybella repeated and she scurried over to take her place next to the boy. They immediately began the trek down the scuffed wooden floors of the hallway.

“You’re ‘bout to be arrested.” Jimmy Sawyer said to her with a leer. “Sheriff’s down there with about a dozen deputies. They’re askin’ bout you.”

“Don’t you fib to me, Jimmy Sawyer. There’s no such thing as that goin’ on. I’ll tell your mama,” she threatened him.

Jimmy didn’t answer they just continued to walk until they reached Mr. James office where they found that it was almost like Jimmy had said, there stood Sheriff Feeney and two of his deputies. They all turned and looked at the students when they came through the door.

Sheriff Feeney cleared his throat, “Ahem, is this the young lady?” he asked the headmaster. Silently, Bryson James nodded his head. Feeney continued by asking the young girl, “Is your name Sibyl Proud?”

“No sir; I’m Sybella Proud. Sibyl Proud was my mama.”

“I understand that your mama has passed on, and that Arnold Proud was your daddy?” he continued asking questions, Sybella just nodded her head to affirm that Arnold Proud was indeed her father. “Miss Proud I am here to inform you that your daddy, Arnold Proud, was shot and killed this very afternoon by my deputies in the course of their duty; as he was robbing the Lafayette County Bank and Trust offices in downtown Lexington. As duly appointed officers of the court we have been assigned to transport you downtown where they’ll put you in the new Riverside Children’s Home ‘til such time as the good sisters can find you new parents.”

Sybella stood mute, trying to understand what was happening. Jimmy Sawyer was dispatched back to Mrs. Reardon’s classroom to fetch any personal belongings that Sybella might have left there. Just like that her life had changed forever.

Sybella Proud age 10

This week’s prompts are:

  1. playing dress-up
  2. watched the spider high in the corner
  3. in the middle of the block

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