OLWG #83- Deserve

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. This short verse, I wrote for practice.  Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

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



As a boy, my Momma would call me home
and I’d run the other way
Later, when I’d get a whuppin’
I never thought it was deserved

As a young man my country called me
I didn’t run – I answered
They pinned ribbons on my tunic; though
others did much more

But, you? You attracted me! I pursued you.
You didn’t call at all
I don’t need the world; I just need you
I’m undeserving


This week’s prompts are:

  1. if I had enough
  2. drowning in words
  3. the phone trilled

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.

¡y próspero Año Nuevo!

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OLWG #82- KSCO

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The flash fiction, below, was written for practice.  Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

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



The triple towers of KSCO Radio, 1080 on your AM dial, rise from the waters of Corcoran Lagoon.

As a boy, my friends and I used to do a lot of things for entertainment. Some of it was normal stuff. We surfed, we experimented with skateboards, we hiked, climbed trees, fished, rode bicycles, tried to figure out girls and, all the other things that most boys do. We got dragged to church by our parents and we went to school on most school days.

I didn’t go very far with surfing, for whatever reason, it didn’t interest me. I also abandoned skateboarding. Polyurethane wheels hadn’t been invented yet. We bought “Roller Derby” #10 skateboards with steel wheels. Man, you hit a pebble with one of those wheels and it stopped, right now. When the wheel stopped, the board stopped; and the rider’s momentum would carry him forward resulting in a tumble. Injuries such as scraped knees and elbows, or worse, broken bones could result when that happened.

Speaking of steel wheels… trains have steel wheels. Most of the trains that came through in those days carried produce, cattle, poultry, and grain. Grain cars were open on the top and we would wait on the overpass for the trains to come beneath. When the timing was right we’d leap from the bridge into the grain cars. You had to stay on the top of the grain or you would sink in. If you went under and couldn’t get back to the top you would drown for sure. So you would lie on the surface with your arms and legs splayed out wide to keep you up. Then you had to “swim” to the side of the car and climb out. We’d usually travel two or three miles before we could get out of the car and jump free when the train slowed for the big curve by the tannery.

Hiking, biking, and climbing trees were great activities. They made us stronger without our even realizing it was happening. Tommy Parr got stuck up in a Redwood tree once in Nisene Marks and the Rangers had to get him down. Redwood trees can get pretty tall and it can be a long way up to the lowest branches. He had been free climbing up the trunk, like scaling a cliff, and froze before he got to the bottom branches. He couldn’t go up and he couldn’t come down. Looking back on it now, he’s lucky to have survived.

Girls were just confusing.

By now you must be wondering why I began this story with a mention of KSCO’s radio towers.

After Tommy’s run-in with the Redwood; the rest of us razzed him pretty unmercifully for a week or two and he had moped around feeling emasculated about the whole situation. Then he got the idea of scaling the radio towers. Truthfully, Tommy was a pretty good climber, he got higher up that Redwood trunk than I would have been able to. The towers were geometric; Tommy figured that they would be much easier to climb than that tree had been.

He dared us to do it.

There were three towers, there were six of us. That worked out to two boys per tower and the game was afoot. We invented a race. Each participant had to scale the tower and leave something at the top. It could be a ball cap, a tee shirt or anything else that you wanted to leave up there. Whatever it was, it had to be visible from the ground when we got back down. We decided that the next day, after school, we would meet in the car park at the radio station.

There were five us there the next afternoon. Leo didn’t show. I was ready to climb, Tommy was ready to climb, Stan and Jim were ready too. Raymond came with his little sister. She had a sucker in her mouth and red candy stuck all over her face and hands; it was even in her hair. Raymond’s mom had surprised him with babysitting duty that afternoon. He begged off the climb but said that he and Natalie would referee the event. We agreed and modified the rules to begin, and end, the race just beside the cattails at the edge of the lagoon.

We all four lined up at the water’s edge and Raymond called out, “On your mark, get set, GO,” and when he said go, we splashed in. Almost immediately two men ran out of the radio station and yelled at us. We got called back in and received a thorough talking to. Our only course of action then, of course, was to wait until dark and have another go.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. oyster
  2. lots of money
  3. while I was sleeping

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 and have a happy Christmas

OLWG #81- The Right Thing

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The flash fiction, below, was written for practice.  Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

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



Mandy lived her entire life in this small, damp seaside town. She had grown weary of the storms that continually battered the coast and vowed to leave for a climate more suited for her soul. So, when she graduated from high school she waited until the middle of a weekday night and took forty-five dollars from her father’s top drawer. She’d have taken more, but that was all she could find. As she was closing the drawer she spotted a monogrammed silver flask and on impulse snatched that as well. She packed a small bag and slipped out the front door where she made her way to the bus station.

At the depot she put the stolen money on the counter and told the agent that she needed a ticket to somewhere where the rains were soft, the winds were gentle, and the sun shone most of the time. The old man took her money and slipped it into his shirt pocket. He typed on the terminal, in front of him and printed a ticket which he pushed under the protective glass that he sat behind.

Pointing to his right he said, “take that passageway to gate three, but hurry the bus’ll be leaving in…” he glanced at the clock on the wall and pursed his lips, “’bout four minutes.”

Mandy grabbed the ticket and ran in the direction indicated. No one was waiting when she got to the gate and she began to panic. She rushed to the door and shoved it open so hard that it flew back and smacked the wall behind it. Smacked it hard, but she was relieved to see there was a bus waiting and the door opened as she approached. When she stepped up to enter, she looked inside. The driver was a young man, maybe 25 or 26 he wore tight black jeans with white socks that seemed to glow between his cuffs and his black patent leather shoes. His blue work shirt was tucked in at the waist and had the sleeves rolled up to display his guns. His dark hair was slicked back with a low fade. Rolling a toothpick in his mouth, he grinned at her with crooked ill-kept teeth.

“Where ya headed, doll?” he leered.

She said nothing, she handed him her ticket.

He perused it for a while and gave it back to her. “Find yourself a seat,” he said, “You’re in for quite a ride.” He pulled the lever that shut the door and Mandy turned, hoping to find a window seat. The bus was empty. No one was on board except her and the driver. A cold shiver tickled her spine. She walked about a quarter of the way back, tossed her bag in the overhead and took a seat on the driver’s side of the bus. Mandy began to have second thoughts and wondered if she was doing the right thing.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. ceramic drums
  2. a bee in your bonnet
  3. shadow children

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 #80- British Racing Green

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The flash fiction, below, was written for practice and hopefully will elicit a smile or two.  Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

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



I’m going to take the opportunity today to retell an old joke… Stop me if you’ve heard this.

Once upon a time; a young lady named Camilla, who had recently begun attending a respected university in New England, was driving home to Philadelphia for Christmas. Her housemate was flying home to Arizona and so, she loaned Camilla her car over the holiday. You know so Camilla could drive it to Philly.

It was a beautiful car. It was an old cabriolet, low, and long. It had plenty of leg room and there was a shelf fitted behind the seats where Camilla had stored gift boxes that she was taking back. The colour of the vehicle, she had been told, was British Racing Green (BRG for short). The V8 engine rumbled when she started it up and it was a blast to drive. It drew a lot of admiring looks from other drivers as she roared past them. It was a real head-turner. With the top up and the engine growling as it bounded along, she couldn’t help but sing as she drove. Inevitably her foot was a little heavy and as she neared Bristol Township our girl got pulled over by a Pennsylvania State Trooper.

Camilla eased her way to the side of the road and waited in the car as other traffic blew past. Finally, the trooper exited his Dodge Charger and made his way up to the MG approaching on the passenger side. She leaned over and cranked down the window. The officer flipped his ticket book open as he leaned down to study her through darkly tinted aviator Ray Bans. She watched her reflection in his glasses.

“I’ll bet you pulled me over to sell me tickets to the Pennsylvania State Troopers Ball,” she said, trying to lighten the moment.

The cop didn’t smile; he continued to stare as Camilla became even more nervous. Then he tapped the top of his pen against his ticket book, “Pennsylvania State Troopers don’t have balls,” he said with a deep voice that sounded a lot like the car she drove.

There was a moment of awkward silence before the trooper flipped his ticket book closed and straightened back up.

“You might want to slow down a bit, ma’am,” he said, “Have a Merry Christmas.” He turned and walked back to his car.

Camilla watched in her mirror as he got behind the wheel of his car and pulled back into traffic. She continued to sit for over a minute longer before she exhaled.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. fabulous
  2. the good guys
  3. Sometimes you just…

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 #79- Kumamotos

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The flash fiction, below, was written for practice and I’m not sure if I like it or not.  Practice makes perfect. Let me know what you think.

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



That morning I rose early, poured myself a travel mug of black coffee and drove to the Junior College in Aptos for the Farmer’s Market. It’s not far and my old truck made the trip. It’s reliable, that old pickup (knock on wood).

I meandered up and down the rows, taking samples where offered and squeezing some of the late-season stone fruits. Testing them, but I worried that it might be a bit too late and they would be past their prime. I picked up some Valencias ‘cause I wanted the citrus and there were artichokes fresh from below the south county line. Broccoli and cauliflower looked good so I stocked up. I turned the corner to make a pass down the last aisle and saw the Dekalb van. I’d been in the same grade as Janet Dekalb and played ball with her brother, Dixon.

They had tables of ice set up along the side of their truck and heaps of fresh oyster displayed. Janet stood at one end of an ice table. She wore a pair of heavy gloves and held an oyster-knife comfortably in her right hand. She was busy prying open shells, setting ‘em on heavy paper plates and handing them to customers. Her mom was collecting money at the head of the table. I watched Janet shuck oysters for a while and enjoyed the sweet and salty smell of the fresh shellfish, like the air down low, next to the sea.

I finally gave in to the temptation and dug some money from my pocket. I approached Mrs. Dekalb, who had to be over ninety years old by now and proffered the wadded bills. She looked up at me and smiled, “TN?” she said, “is that you? I haven’t seen you in…” she pondered a bit, “well in a long time. What are you doing?”

“Right now I’m hoping to buy some fresh oysters,” I answered.

“Put your money away, boy, and move on down the line. Janet’ll pick you out some good ones.” she turned her head and looked at her daughter, “Look who’s here Janet. It’s TN!”

Mrs. Dekalb reached up and wrapped an arm around my neck then shoved me towards her daughter.

Janet studied the Kumamotos on the table, not looking at me, “Hi” she said. She’d always been shy.

“Hello yourself, Janet, I didn’t know you guys worked this market. How’s Dixon? Where’s Dixon?”

“He’s up north,” she said. “We’ve got a mess of floats up in Tomales Bay. He’s running the farm. Mom and I take care of the marketing. How many do you want?”

“Half a dozen would be great, thanks.”

Janet shucked me six good ones, she set ‘em on a plate and pointed to a tray with condiments. She had shallots, cocktail sauce, grated horseradish, and slices of lemon.

“If you want some.” She told me.

“No, no thanks. I’ll forgo that stuff.” We stood there looking at one another. I couldn’t think of anything to say.

“Well, it’s good to see you, TN,” Janet was winding it up, “I, uhm, I probably oughta get back to work.”

“Yeah, yeah, OK; sorry.” I backed away across the aisle and watched Janet work as I ate.

She looked good. She still had a hundred watt smile and didn’t wear a ring. With my oysters done, I tossed the plate and shells – made my way back home and thought about how things used to be; about how different things might have been.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. Of course, she was surprised when I told her
  2. shielded his eyes
  3. the dog flopped

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 #78- Lattè and Anarchy

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The flash fiction, below, was written for practice.  Practice makes perfect.

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



Gary had lived in Westerfort for almost thirty years and on Alden Avenue for twenty-three of those years. Alden ran parallel to and was two blocks off the Boulevard. There was always plenty to do. The Boulevard had theatres, restaurants, and bars of all types. There was a lot of shopping; three bookstores and two music shops in a four-block span. There were sporting goods stores, clothing stores, toy stores.

Two blocks in the other direction was the Back Bay, a nature preserve consisting of brushlands, wetlands, hiking trails, equestrian trails, and bicycle paths. Gary didn’t have a view of the water from his house but he didn’t need one, really. He could walk two blocks and have one worth a million dollars. If Gary didn’t have to get to work he wouldn’t have to drive anywhere. It was all within walking distance of his house on Alden Ave. It was the perfect place for him.

It all started to fall apart on a Friday morning when Gary was drinking coffee and reading the local paper, he noticed a story announcing a new Starbucks that would be opening on the Boulevard. They planned to replace his favourite coffee shop, HuggaMug Café. HuggaMug was owned by Mrs. Linkseller and she had been a fixture on the Boulevard for as long as Gary could remember. He had never had a bad cup of coffee at HuggaMug Café.

Now Gary had tasted a cup or two from Starbucks and no matter which shop he bought the coffee from, he always tossed it in the trash after a few sips. It tasted burnt to him. He liked strong coffee, he liked full-bodied coffee. He didn’t care much for burnt coffee. The news that HuggaMug was to be replaced with a Starbucks was the worst news Gary had received since the vet told him that he had to have his old cat, Mr. Stitches, put down.

Why would they do this? There were already three Starbucks on the Boulevard. They didn’t need another.

Gary made it his mission to stop Starbucks. He circled petitions around the neighborhood. He attended council meetings. He wrote letters to the Editor of the paper. Starbucks was a juggernaut. They were unstoppable and before he could say Jack Robinson the warm and comfortable HuggaMug Café became a cold and institutional Starbucks.

Gary would stand out front of the new shop and try to talk people into boycotting – nobody cared. He tried using a bullhorn and accused Starbucks of trying to take over the world. He fell in with a hippie chick named Bittersweet who would come and help him with picket signs sometimes. He had no idea that she was an anarchist. She believed in sex, drugs, and firebombs. She just didn’t tell Gary about the firebombs right away.

It happened slowly, usually with pillow talk, and over the course of a few months, Bittersweet convinced Gary that Starbucks was the spawn of Satan. They were evil incarnate. They were ‘the man.’ She convinced him that if he were to destroy the new shop, society would recognize his contribution and shower him with adulation. She suggested that the city fathers might even erect a statue of him at the entrance to the Back Bay. Gary thought he was in love, thought he could be immortalized in bronze, thought he was contributing to the good of the community. He fell for it; hook, line, and sinker.

It was the weekend after Thanksgiving when Gary finally took action on behalf of his neighbors, the Proletariat. He tossed bricks through the front windows of the offending business and when the alarms began to sound he followed the bricks with Molotov cocktails. He stood on the sidewalk and watched the fire take hold as sirens screamed closer and closer. Then he ran for home, the only place he could think of to hide. Bittersweet would be so proud of him. He burst through his front door, excited to tell her, but she was gone. She hadn’t come with a lot of possessions. Some bell bottoms, a couple of empire dresses, a silver barrette that she wore in her hair, a pipe made from an old soda can, and a toothbrush. Everything was gone. It was as if she had never existed.

The red and blue lights from the police cruiser flashed through his kitchen window when the cops pulled up outside. It made him understand the impact of his actions. Their knocking on the door made him question his actions.

Where is Bittersweet ? What the hell have I done?

Gary realized then that he would give anything to turn back the clock. Turn it back to right before he had stuffed that rag down the neck of those bottles filled with gasoline, before he had loosed that first brick.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. an unmarked grave
  2. a high forehead
  3. “you’re early,” he said

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 #77- The Urban Fisherman

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The flash fiction, below, was written for practice.  Practice makes perfect.

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



Dabney started when he heard the ‘text message’ notification from his phone. Must be Porsche, he thought, and it was.

“Working late on the Coleman case,” she had texted, “Don’t wait up. Luv u.”

He glanced up at the clock and noted the time. He straightened his desk and got ready to tell Marilyn that he was calling it a day, but Marilyn had already gone. Dabney recalled her sticking her head in the door and asking if he had needed anything before she went home. He’d been distracted and simply waved. She was a wonderful administrator and if anything had required doing, he was certain that she had already done it.

Dabney took the lift to the ground floor and turned on Water Street, heading to the Metro, two blocks down. On the way, he spotted an old man with a fishing pole. The line was dangling into the water that was running along the street-side. Dabney paused to watch this urban fisherman; he was attired in dungarees and a long-sleeved work shirt, clean but worn. His shoes were old, yet polished. He was standing outside a pub, named The Goat and Vasectomy.

Dab considered his options. He thought the man appeared down on his luck. Porsche had left him to his own devices for dinner and pub food sounded as good as anything to him; besides he deserved a drink.

“Excuse me, sir,” Dabney addressed the old man, who turned towards him and pointed at his own chest to say, who, me?

“Yes,” he continued, “My name is Dabney. I work up the street and, well, I find myself, by myself tonight and I’m hungry. I thought I’d pop into this pub for a quick bite. I could use some conversation. Would you fancy joining me? My treat.” Dabney squared his shoulders and shot his cuffs as he waited for a response.

The old man studied him and then shrugged his shoulders, “Sure, why not? Thanks.” He reeled in his line and lifted the pole before he followed Dabney into the bar. There was a moment of some confusion, which of them should cross the threshold first, but they sorted it out.

Inside the two men took a table by the window and each ordered a whisky. They sized one another up. Dabney broke the silence when he pointed to the fishing pole, “Any luck today?” he asked.

“Yeah, yeah a little.” the old man answered. They dropped back into an awkward silence.

“How many have you caught?” Dabney continued, hoping to spur the conversation.

“You’re the eighth.”


This week’s prompts are:

  1. at the bottom of the off ramp
  2. is that my pencil case?
  3. broken

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