OLWG #31- Solvent

 Hope that everyone reading this has a happy and prosperous New Year!

Prospero Año Nuevo as we say around here

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The story below is just practice for me. Practice makes perfect.

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



My professor tried to teach me that water, yes water, is the most powerful solvent on earth. I disagreed vehemently with what she was trying to tell us. I knew better. But, I kept the truth inside. I did not bring it up in class. I did not want to draw the attention to myself.

I knew though. I knew from when I was eight years old and playing ‘hide and go-seek’ with my older brother, Luke. He was ten. It was my turn to hide so I scurried quickly upstairs to the room that Luke and I shared as he stood in the corner of the den and counted to one-hundred. A usual, my bed was a mess but Luke’s was made. His bedspread hung low to the floor whereas mine was wadded and wrinkled on top of my mattress, atop of a tangle of sheets. I dove under Luke’s bed, giggling the whole time and concealed by the bedspread; thinking to myself that he would never find me there.

I could hear Luke counting slowly. My mother was in the kitchen cooking and I knew that my dad was in the garden harvesting whatever it was time to pick that season: whatever was ripe. Then I heard what I later realized was the shotgun blast that killed my father. Luke must not have put it together as he continued counting. Sixty-six, sixty-seven, sixty-eight… I heard the noise of the patio door being kicked in, the short scream from Mom that was interrupted by the second shotgun blast, the one that killed her.

The racking of a fresh shell…

the roar of a third blast…

the silence that was punctuated by the cessation of Luke’s counting…

the drone of footsteps climbing the staircase…

the creak of doors being opened in the hallway…

the rasp of my breath that stopped only when I clamped my hands over my mouth.

My bedroom door opened and I held my breath as I stared at the shoes in the doorway while the intruder studied the empty room, unaware of my presence beneath Luke’s bed.

I listened to the footsteps receding and stayed where I was. I stayed still and silent listening to the quiet house below. In those few violent moments my life was changed forever.

The killer was never captured. No motive was ever determined.

Blood.

Despite what my professor tried to tell me I learned that day that the earth knows no solvent more powerful.

Blood.


This weeks prompts:

  1. pierced like daggers
  2. CPA
  3. Strange but true

Go ahead and dive in,
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 #30- I Have Five Senses; I Need Hundreds More

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The story below is just practice for me. Practice makes perfect.

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



It’s almost Christmas. I have most of my preparations done. It’s easy for me this year; Christmas dinner will be spent at Lucy’s. It is difficult choosing her a gift. Lucy, you see, is beautiful, and she’s blind. I could paint her a picture. If I ever become famous it might be worth something someday. Or not.

But she would never see it. Lucy wouldn’t collect art as an investment. She would have it only, if she liked it or if someone she loved liked it.

I could buy her something. Something she needs. She says that she needs a vacuum cleaner and maybe I’ll get her one in the new year, but I won’t give someone I love, a vacuum for Christmas. That would suck.

I could buy her something she wants, but when she talks about what she desires; she speaks of adventures like rock climbing, and motorcycles. She longs for trips up north for the aurora borealis, or to go diving in the Maldives; where the ocean is so clear that the sea bed is visible from your boat when the water is more than one hundred feet deep below.

Rock climbing seems dangerous for a blind girl, likewise motorcycling; I cannot, in good conscious, provide either to her without a lot of preliminary research into the likelihood of her hurting herself; and a thorough understanding of how to avoid injury. I ask her about the Northern Lights and the tropical waters of the Maldives. I question about her reasons for wanting to see them.

“I’ve read about the lights,” she told me, “people have described them to me. I can’t help but feel that if I were actually there; actually beneath them, I would somehow capture the essence of what they are. I would see them with my finger tips, I could smell the ozone, I might hear them flickering in the cold air, and I know that I would savour the taste them on the tip of my tongue; each colour a different flavour. Even if I never actually see them, the effects on my other senses would help me to understand their beauty, the beauty that you would see but I would taste. I think the impact of their majesty would be just as intense for me as it would be for you.

“As for the Maldives,” she goes on, “just think about it for a moment; you or any other normal sighted person can see that deep through the water there, water that is clearer than anywhere else on earth. If you can do that then think what might be possible for me! Perhaps I could see a couple of feet deep into the water there. Perhaps I could catch sight of a fish swimming just below the boat or maybe some algae or plankton floating on the caps of the ocean swells. Do you know how exciting that would be for me? But even more compelling is that it sounds like a wonderful and romantic adventure. It might be that I wouldn’t see a thing but if I was travelling with the right person it would still be worthwhile.”

I bought her a ring and I intend to ask for her hand on Christmas day. Feeling quite confident, I’ve already booked passage for two to Male with follow on travel to Rangali Island. I want her to see a fish. Maybe next year we’ll travel to Alaska, Northern Canada, or Greenland and experience the Northern Lights. I really want to know what they taste like.

 


This week’s prompts are:

  1. Really? That old?
  2. Was she really invisible?
  3. Just as deadly as it looks

Go ahead and dive in,
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

OLWG #29 – Four Billion Stars

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The story below is just practice for me. Practice makes perfect.

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



Scene – Outdoors: Springtime, blue skies, a few puffy clouds peacefully scudding overhead. There is a slight breeze evidenced by kids flying kites in the distance. Kevin and Earline are walking through a city park with a still river in the background, maybe a footbridge, benches are spaced periodically along the path where they stroll. Earline, wearing a white linen sun dress, has her hands clasped in front of her; she is smiling and enjoying the day. Kevin wears khaki trousers and a white golf shirt. He’s studying his cell phone and typing intently. He seems to be paying no attention to his girlfriend.

 

“Jeeze, Earline, listen to this; did you know that there are 400 billion stars in the universe, and that’s just the ones we know about.”

“Do you believe that, Kevin?”

“Whadaya mean ‘do I believe it?’ course I do. It says so right here on the internet. I can make ya a hard copy later, if you need me to. Print it out.”

“Maybe you can just email me the link. I’ll look at it later.”

“K! I can do that.”

 

He turns his attention back to his phone. Then, sometime later…

 

“Kevin, I need to sit down. Maybe we could stop and rest on one of these benches?”

 

Earline steers Kevin off the path, under some trees, and around some freshly planted decorative beds, towards the next bench. A printed sign hangs on it. When she makes out the lettering and realizes that it says “WET PAINT” she adjusts their path towards the next one. Kevin leans against her, thwarting her course correction.

 

“What’re ya doin’ Kevin? We can’t sit on that one.”

“Why not?”

“Can’t you read it? It says ‘WET PAINT’.”

“Nah, it can’t be.”

 

The couple keeps walking towards the questionable bench. They are continuously pushing against each other to control their direction of travel. The push harder and harder, but Kevin outweighs Earline by at least four stone and so he prevails. They arrive at the bench with the sign, Earline is breathing hard from the strain of pushing her boyfriend, but they are both grinning.

 

“There!” she exclaims, pointing at the sign, “ya see it?”

“Ahh, bollocks,” Kevin says.

 

He puts his hand flat on the seat. It covers four of the green slats. The look on his face changes instantly and he lifts his hand off the bench seat, stares at it in disbelief, finally showing it to Earline, who bursts out laughing.

 

“You are such a wanker, Kevin,” she’s still laughing and pointing at him. “You’ll believe anything ya read on the internet, but if a sign says ‘WET PAINT’ ya gotta touch it don’tcha?”

 

Holding his painted hand up, in surrender he puts his other arm around Earline for a hug. She leans in close to hug him back, steal a kiss. When she does, he firmly clamps his painted hand on her bum, leaving four green stripes on her white linen sun dress. She pretends not to notice.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. Neither have I
  2. An impeccably dressed transvestite
  3. The birds at dawn

Go ahead and dive in,
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

OLWG #28

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The rooms depicted below are just practice for me. Practice makes perfect.

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



Change has come
time for us to part
you go east
I’ll go west
if we both get far enough
we might try again.

When we met
it was easy – to
fall in love
remaining
in love is so much harder;
I’ll ache without you.

You can find
another to love
but I won’t
even try
I dare not consider to
let you watch me die.

You go north
just walk, don’t look back;
I’ll go south
change has come
I dare not consider to
let you watch me cry.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. Ambassadoring
  2. Gratuitous sex and violence
  3. and there it was

Go ahead and dive in,
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

OLWG #27 – What is he Thinking?

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The ramblings below are just practice. Practice makes perfect.

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



9-5

The workweek’s closing in, it’s almost Monday; I’m beginning to choke.

 

The Divorce

When I was young my parents split up. My mother moved away.
No one ever told me why, “They simply agreed to disagree,” was the most that anyone would say.
Years later, I learned that another woman had been to blame.
So I asked my dad about her.

He told me that she had been a salty girl.
“She had ginger hair, and a face like mine,” Dad remembered.
“I fancied I loved her first,” he said, “then she left with your mom.
“But, that was so long ago. I just don’t care anymore.”

 

Come With Me Tonight

If I buy you breakfast in the morning, they’ll think that we’re married

 

Our War

Do you remember our war?
Recall what it was like?
Do you remember that big guy?
He always smelled like smoke and diesel fuel.
He only wanted to marry his girl, settle down, and get a job at the mill.
He used to tell me that he’d introduce me to his sister when we got home.
What was his name?
I can’t recollect, but I guess it’s on the wall.
We could probably find it if we looked.

Good times huh?
There must have been a few… but honestly, I can’t remember them.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. get away with it
  2. Here kitty, kitty, kitty
  3. You shouldn’t ask me that

Go ahead and dive in,
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

OLWG #26 – By Reason of Insanity

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The story below is just practice. Practice makes perfect.

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



It didn’t look good for ‘Mad Dog’ Mulvaney, and during the morning recess; his counsel told him so.

“Listen Mr. Mulvaney,, as your lawyer, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that they are about to convict you. When they do you’ll be lucky to get ‘life without possibility of parole’. I think we really need to change your plea from ‘Not Guilty’ to ‘Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity’. It’s the only chance you’ve got.”

“First of all, I’ve told youse not to call me Mr. Mulvaney. That was my dad’s name. Second of all, do ya really think that?”

“I do, I really do.”

“Well, I think that if they convict me I’ll have a great shot at getting’ it overturned on appeal. Ya know why? It’s on account of my incompetent counsel. Youse really suck at being a lawyer, ya know that?”

“I’m trying to fix that right now. Listen to me. If you get convicted and appeal… even if you win the appeal, it’ll take years to work through the courts. You’ll be locked up for eight to ten years at least. Probably longer, but if you get the insanity verdict you’ll spend two or three years in a posh psychiatric hospital. Then you convince some shrink that you’ve regained your senses and they let you out. That’s a lot easier, Mr. Mad Dog.”

“Tell me then, how do I convince them that I’m a whacko?”

“That’s the easy part. There’ll be an interview with some doctors. They’ll ask you questions and you’ll ask them questions. Give them crazy answers! Ask them crazy questions.”

“Ya sure it’ll be that easy?”

“I’m pretty sure that with what they know about the crime, and what they’ve seen of you in the courtroom so far that yes, it’ll be that easy.”

Back in the courtroom,  Mad Dog Mulvaney’s attorney told the court that a psychiatric evaluation would be prudent and that his client was prepared to change his plea, pending the outcome of that evaluation. The judge, hoping to forego a long and costly trial agreed and ordered the evaluation to take place the following Monday.

On the appointed day Mulvaney found himself sitting in front of a board of doctors who were peppering him with questions about the crime, about his childhood, about his sexual proclivities and he was doing a great job of convincing them to doubt his sanity. Finally, after three days of answering their questions he decided it was his turn.

“Hey, my lawyer told me that I’d get to ask youse guys a few questions too. When do I get to do that?”

The doctors huddled and conferred amongst themselves. Finally they broke apart and the bravest of them all announced, “If you have questions, Mr. Mulvaney, please ask them now.” Then he sat back in his chair and smiled.

“OK, ok, thanks a lot. I really only got a few questions to ask. You sure that now’s a good time?”

The doctor who had invited the inquiries raised his hand, palm up, “Please, sir. Ask away.”

Mad Dog shrugged his shoulders and asked, “Why do people constantly keep goin’ back to the refrigerator? Do they really think that something new to eat will have materialized when they weren’t looking?” He opened his eyes wide and stared at them, expectantly. They stared back at him, flabbergasted.

“That’s too tough a question, huh? Ok let’s try this then. Why did my mom always keep running over a thread with her vacuum cleaner? She’d do it a dozen times or more, then reach down, pick it up, and examine it, then she’d put it back down to give the vacuum one more chance. I never have been able to figger that out.” The doctors still didn’t answer, they merely continued to stare, dumbfounded.

After a couple minutes of uncomfortable silence he pointed up at the lights that hung suspended from the ceiling, “Who puts them dead bugs into inta those closed-up light fixtures up there? Look at ‘em, huh? Who puts ‘em in there?”


This week’s prompts are:

  1. You can learn a lot from books
  2. The gypsy woman said
  3. It won’t be available until April 1st

Go ahead and dive in,
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

OLWG #25 – Flexibility

 This week’s prompts are at the bottom. I’m exploring the poetic form of Shadorma this week, sharing with you what I have learned; and practicing. Practice makes perfect.

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



You guys may have noticed that I’ve been somewhat enamored with poetry of late. If you read this whole post you’ll figure out why. I thought I’d explore the mysteries of the Shadorma this week.

The Shadorma is a style of poetry written in stanzas with no set rhyme or meter scheme. It is a 6-line syllabic poem running: 3/5/3/3/7/5 giving a total of 26 syllables, and as near as I can tell, there are no other rules defining the form. I don’t have a lot of information on where or why it came about, but my research suggests that it may have originated in Spain. I have read that it originated out of a sense of frustration with Haiku. This may or may not be true but I like the idea. It makes me hope it is true.

A Shadorma may consist of one stanza, or an unlimited number of stanzas (a series of shadormas). I wrote a couple of them for this post. The first is a two stanza attempt about submarine warfare (I know, I know – not anyone’s idea of poetic). I titled it:

Steely Eyed

Iron men in
steel boats, protected
by depth and
quiet, wait
to dispatch death from below.
Run silent, run deep.

The death that
comes, bubbles up and
embraces
with a kiss;
bestowing rest and repose.
Run silent, run deep.

###

Not too long ago I found a Veterans Poetry Circle. We are led by a wonderful poet and teacher, Ruth. I believe that we are her first group of grizzled warriors but she has previously taught her craft to inmates of the local correctional facilities around here. I believe, truly that she could squeeze a poem out of a water pipe. It’s an honor to know her and absorb the skills she so generously shares with those of us who probably don’t deserve it.

We meet weekly and each week we all draw a word from a box that she carries. We then ponder and work with this word for a week. We can use it for inspiration and write something with it if we want. This week my word was:

Flexibility

We should seek
flexibility.
Strive to rise
above our
narrow ways, and always work
for an open mind.


OK – without further ado please note that this week’s prompts are:

  1. She smiled that way
  2. It’s a curse
  3. Money to burn

If you have more information on this form of poetry; share it with me, please. I’d love to know what you know.


Go ahead and dive in,
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun