OLWG #260- The Drywall’s Lament

It was May of 2017 that OLWG was introduced to the world. Help me celebrate five years of prompts.

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.



The first turning point came when Arthur got thrown out of school; he lost all his velocity. The experience took all the air from underneath his wings.

 Arthur had been chasing a major in Contemporary Social Issues when he had to leave Holder University in his sophomore year. A field of study that entailed watching reruns of The Simpsons and South Park. He augmented his studies by chasing the adoration of co-eds. He also liked the joys of liquor and hallucinogenic narcotics. It was a great ride while it lasted. He had managed to become affiliated with the boys of Kappa Kappa Kong. He had gotten to know quite a few of the girls from Pi Lambda Who. Ahh, he missed those girls of Pi Lambda Who.

 With his tail between his legs, Arthur slunk back home and went to work for his father, hanging drywall. He began to get his shit together but still had a ways to go. He cut way back on the alcohol and hallucinogens. Both were expensive indulgences for a man who hung drywall.

 The Lambda Who girls would rarely venture this far from the city. So he chased, caught, and married a teacher known as Becky to her friends and as Miss Meadows to her students.

 Working for his father allowed Arthur rapid advancement in the company. When the boss suffered an illness, Arthur took over the family business.

 As owner and Chief Executive Officer of the drywall company, Arthur still hung a lot of drywall, but now, he could afford to drink again. So he did. He realized that he had lost his taste for hallucinogens, though. There were always other drugs, he found. The type of drugs that were still fun and that he could use in his pursuit of other women. Women who reminded him of his long lost Lambda Whos. His wife, Becky, was not interested in drugs. Other girls were. Arthur chased them all.

 Arthur was beginning to feel that lift again. He was picking up speed and regaining confidence when it all started falling apart.

 He caught Rhonda at The Liquid Lounge on the south side of Indianapolis. She was fast and liked to take risks. She was a party girl who increased his buoyancy in ways that his wife could not. Rhonda was an expensive catch and a bad habit. Lying to Becky did not come as easy as he had thought it would, either, and soon Arthur’s mental health began to suffer. His business began to suffer, and his marriage failed. Becky got the kids and the house. Rhonda went looking for someone else. Arthur became miserable, but he evolved, though not in a good way. He turned into an old, mean, sad, and cantankerous man.

 No one liked him. He complained about how unfair his life was. What with losing his business, his family, house and party girl. He was always in a bad mood. One day everything changed. Overnight, Arthur became happy. His neighbours noticed. His children noticed. They suspected a trick, so they questioned him, a sort of an intervention, as it were.

 “What happened to you?” they asked.

“Nothing special,” he replied, “All these years, I been chasing happiness. It was useless. I made up my mind to live without happiness. Guess what? I’m happy now. Oh, that – and Rhonda came back with her wife, Marigold. We have an open relationship.”


This week’s prompts are:

  1. don’t want to hear about it
  2. sweet revenge
  3. getting cold in here

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

OLWG #259- 18. October. 2005

It was May of 2017 that OLWG was introduced to the world. Help me celebrate five years of prompts.

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.



Lefty Kade was a wife and the mother of two boys, Jimmy Curtis and Eggar Warren Kade. She also worked as an office manager, running the Administration department at the cotton mill. She supervised a staff of six. Lefty lived in Fenwick, about half an hour’s drive East of Natchez, on Highway 98 with her husband, Carl, and their boys.

 That morning she got up first, as she always did, and packed lunches into brown paper bags for the boys, all three of them. She poured a cup of strong black coffee with chicory before padding back to the bedroom she shared with Carl and gave his foot a nudge.

“Morning,” she said as he smiled, reached around and patted her butt. He tried to pull her into the bed with him, but she resisted. “I gotta get the boys ready for school,” she admonished and hurried out of reach, “I’ll have breakfast ready in about fifteen minutes. Hurry up, or your eggs’ll be cold.” She chased her voice as she yelled down the hall, “Get up, boys. Get up, Jimmy Curtis, get up Eggar,” then she sang, “Git up, git up ya lazy critters, we need the sheets for tablecloths – it’s almost time for dinner.”

 The morning got busy. The men got off to work and school. Lefty got the kitchen cleaned up, poured herself a warm mug of coffee, and sat down at the table. She lit herself a cigarette and shook the match out,  squinting her eyes again’ the smoke.

A testing sip of coffee,
A deep draught of cigarette,
A slow shake of her head,
Not one of them had wished her a Happy Birthday.

Lefty found a maple-glazed doughnut on her desk, with a single pink candle stuck in and burning. Her boss, Mr McConaghy, stuck his head around the door, “A little bird told me you turn forty today,” he said, “you don’t look a day over thirty-nine, and don’t you dare start colouring your hair.” He laughed and backed out before she could react.

 She shook her head again. People make assumptions about women like her, women of a certain age, women with short hair, comfortable clothes, and practical shoes. She knew that. Hell, she’d even used it to her benefit. But the words still stung.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. like what you see?
  2. the rain rolls in
  3. grew up tough in Morningside Heights

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

OLWG #258- wet dream zoetrope

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.



I peered around the door into the room where Arabella lay in the large bed. In repose, she was cushioned by thick duvets and soft pillows; her inky locks softly splayed around her head. A narrow shaft of golden morning sunlight streamed into the room and glinted from the loupe she wore over her right eye. She seemed to be at peace.

I took a step closer. Arabella quickly rolled from the bed, grabbed something concealed beneath the pillow and threw it toward me. It pierced my shoulder and passed through. The tray in my hands fell, clattering to the floor. I turned my head, sank to my knees, and saw a long thin arrow point buried deep in the heavy wooden door.

“Cyril?” she gasped as I slipped into unconsciousness. “I thought you were Doctor Shaw. I thought you were returning for the chalice. I’m so sorry, Cyril.” I like to think that she kissed me then…


This week’s prompts are:

  1. the world took her smile
  2. fiction is more forgiving
  3. brushed your cheek

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

OLWG #257-

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.



She shivered at the edge of the sea and smiled.
“Come and get me,” she called to him.
He didn’t hear, but
the waves heard and came rushing.


This week’s prompts are only two:

  1. long blonde dirty hair
  2. and I sleep in your hat

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

OLWG #256- Love During War – Одеса Україна

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.



Anichka had gone out on the town and brought a man home. He had told her that his name was Mykyta. They spent two days together, wrapped inside one another, arms and legs akimbo, making love, with the TV turned on. Television was how they learned about the reality of the Russian invasion. It had moved from hypothetical threat to war. 

That night Anichka and Mykyta clung together in the dark until the wee hours. 

 

When she woke, he was gone.

All that remained of him were the socks he lent her;

she still wore them on her feet

There was a note on the fridge: 

 

“Hope to see you again

“I’m sorry, but I need to do this.”


This week’s prompts are:

  1. silent chaos
  2. never reveal your true age
  3. one of these mornings

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

OLWG #255- A Full Bottle of Whiskey and a Paper Wrapped Pickle -A Detective Constable Cameron Adventure-

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.



“Poor lass,” DC Cameron said, scowling at the bottle and surveying the scene, “O’Leary, do you have a cause of death?”

“A bit early to tell for certain, sir. The autopsy has not started, and the investigation has just begun.”

“Don’t give me that patter, man. I need your best guess.”

“With only a perfunctory investigation, one could suppose that she got drunk, fell, and hit her head.”

“Don’t be stupid, man. The bottle is unopened. It’s quite full. and what; would be the significance of the damn pickle?”

“My guess, sir, is that she just hadn’t gotten to it before she fell. Over here, in the bin, there is a wadded bit of grease-proof paper. Again, sir, it is early in the investigation, but one might hypothesize that the paper contained a Reuben sandwich and that the pickle; was served on the side. As to the unopened bottle, sir, there is an empty one, just like that, here in the bin.”

“How do you conclude that it was a Reuben sandwich? What is a Reuben sandwich, anyway? It might just as easily have been a Rook sandwich.”

“I sniffed the paper, sir. It presented a medley of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and a rose coloured spread with horseradish and some variety of pepper sauce. There are also rye bread crumbs. I must admit that at this point, it’s all assumption. I might very well be incorrect. Additional investigation is warranted, but you did ask for ‘my best guess.’ I have obtained an ID on the deceased, sir. It appears that she is a twenty-six-year-old American from a place called Omaha. Her name is Tracy Chase, and she’s been in the country for less than a week.”

“There is a photograph of a young man I found in her handbag. The name, Caron, is written on the back.”

O’Leary handed the snapshot to DC Cameron, who glanced at it, “My God, O’Leary! I recognize this man.”


This week’s prompts are:

  1. the difference
  2. hold your head back
  3. chimney smoke tethers the sky to the house

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

OLWG #254- The Habs

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.



The sign next to the door read “Red-Line Sports and Social Club.” It sounded like a perfect place to catch a hockey game, so I pushed the door open and made my way into the noise. I paused a moment to look around and get my bearings. There was a hostess counter dead ahead. I steered in that direction and found a young lady with large breasts and a tight tee shirt.

“I’m interested in watching a hockey game,” I told her.

She advised me to sit at the bar, “Montreal and Boston will be on the screens behind the bar in about ten minutes. Will you be eating or just drinking?”

I nodded, “If it’s a good game, I’ll most likely be doing both.” She grabbed a menu and escorted me to a good stool at the bar. She put her hand on my shoulder, leaned down and whispered something I neither heard nor understood before she faded away, back in the direction from whence we had come.

I sat and waited for the bartender to notice I was there. I’m a fan of dark beers and good service. It didn’t take long for me to have a tall glass of Trois Pistoles sitting in front of me. I was beginning to relax. I leaned back and paid attention to the television. It looked like they were singing “Oh Canada,” the game was about to begin.

Montreal scored early, and then the game settled into a defensive battle. It was about midway through the first period when she came and sat on the stool next to mine. Her attention was directed exclusively on the game and the Guinness that she had ordered. She was petite and nice-looking, looked like a French girl. She seemed chic, subtly sexy, natural, relaxed, yet casually elegant. Her eyes and her hair were both dark. Her lips were natural and smooth, with enough colour to enhance, just a little, nothing overpowering.

It turned out she was not the least bit shy nor demure. She slapped me on the back when Montreal scored. She was a fan, yelling and cheering as the game progressed. As the puck moved from end to end on the ice, she slapped me on the back again, a bit harder, when the Bruins buried one at the end of the period tying the game one to one.

“Fuck those guys,” she turned to me and said, “They didn’t earn that one. Putain de bordel de merde.”

“Not a Boston fan, then?” I asked her.

“Never,” she said with heavily accented English. “My two favourite teams, as a girl, were the Nordiques and whoever was playing Boston. Now, even the Nordiques have gone. Avalanche, bah.” she held two fingers vertically in front of her lips and spat on the floor. Suddenly, it seemed she remembered that we were strangers. She stuck out her hand, “I’m Catherine,” she said; by way of introduction.

“Stan,” I shook her hand, “nice to meet you, Catherine.”

“Likewise, I’m sure,” she replied, “Can I buy you a drink? Is that Trois Pistoles?”

“It is,” I said, impressed, “thank you, but you needn’t buy me one.” I smiled.

“It is rare that I see people drinking Quebec beer, and I am from Quebec. Please indulge me.”

I agreed, and soon two fresh beers appeared: one for each of us. When the second period started, we both watched the game. We fell into a comfortable silence broken only by the occasional outburst of disappointment or glee as the play unfolded on the screen.

I bought the next round, and Catherine bought the one after that. It was the end of the third period when Catherine threw her arms around me. Her hated Bruins had lost. We pulled apart, and she held me at arm’s length, studying my face, “I don’t normally do this, Stan, but I want to make an exception tonight. I’m strangely attracted to you. I wonder if you’d be interested in spending the night with me. I’ll even make you breakfast in the morning. What do you say, huh?”

Her question made me a little uncomfortable, “I’m flattered, I am, but I’ll have to pass. Nothing against you, mind, you’re beautiful, it’s just…” I let my response taper into silence.

“So, you’re asexual,” she said. “Does that mean you can never, uhm?”

“No,” I said. “It means I’d rather not — well, not most of the time.”

She sighed, nodding. “All right, then, suit yourself. I’d love the chance to change your mind though.” Then she smiled. It was brilliant, and that almost did change my mind.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. light puddles in the street
  2. why the long face?
  3. God loves a drunk

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

OLWG #253- Lunch at The Brickwork Bistro

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.



The day was young, but Gertie was already on top of the world. She and Bryson were seated at a small café table and separated from the sidewalk by only a fence of ornate wrought iron.

It was, after all, lunch with her agent. It was also, lunch with the love of her life. The two were the same, but the decisions she needed to make were difficult. It wasn’t an easy choice that she faced. Bryson seemed to be pressing her for a decision, and he seemed to want it right now.

She looked up and studied the sign that hung above the door.

“Brickwork Bistro”

How did they wind up here? Did it matter? She struggled to put her decision into words. She didn’t know if she would be required to explain her choice. She didn’t want to justify her decision to Bryson or this other man. She didn’t know the other man’s name, for sure, but he had told them that he was called Morris.

Bryson leaned over, and he whispered, “You know whatever you choose, I’ll be right here.”

She leaned into him; she knew that. “Ok, then,” she said breathlessly, “I’ll have the Ruben. I’ll have the Ruben and a beer.”

Bryson smiled, happy for her. Morris scribbled on his order pad before he tucked it back into his apron pocket. He smiled then and shook his head. Without another word, he offered a terse grin, spun on his heel, and vanished in the direction of the kitchen.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. driving down Alvarado
  2. sink her teeth in deep
  3. don’t be praying for me

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

OLWG #252- Living with Mary Alice…

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.



Mary Alice Walker was one of those folks who just kept turning up in my life. We met the first time oh, I guess…it may have been in sixth grade. The Registrar walked her down from the office to our classroom. She got introduced to everyone during second-period Spanish class with Sra Montes. That day at lunch she set her tray down next to mine.

“You’re new here,” I said flatly, and she nodded her head.

“You’re kinda new here too,” she answered. I did not acknowledge her, and we silently accepted each other’s company. We didn’t speak again for the rest of the day.

The next day at lunch, I asked her how she knew I hadn’t been here long.

“Not sure,” she said, “I just knew it somehow.”

“What else do you know about me?” I asked.

“I know that you’re smarter than you let on.” Standing, she carried her lunch tray across the cafeteria to sit at a table by herself. She left school at the end of that year. She told me that her dad had gotten transferred to Fort Sill.

The next time I saw Mary Alice was several years later in San Francisco. I had just gotten back from Vietnam. She was working as a “dime a dance girl” at the USO in the city. We seemed to recognize one another right away. She gave me a small wave, not much more than a wiggle of her fingers when I came into the ballroom. Then she blew me a kiss and made my face light up; she made my night. She glanced over her shoulder, turned and melted into the crowd behind. I searched the rest of the night to no avail. I couldn’t find her.

When I was forty-two, the multinational company I worked for sent me to a meeting in New York. I got caught in traffic on my way to the airport and almost missed my flight. I made it by the skin of my teeth because they had a maintenance issue on the plane. Once on board, I made my way aft and found my place. It was a centre seat on the starboard side. That’s what happens when you arrive late; you get little choice in seating.

Imagine my surprise when I found the adjoining window seat occupied by Mary Alice Walker. We chatted about nothing in particular until the meal service began. She ordered gin and tonic before her meal and ended up taking two. I asked for a beer. The conversation wove back and forth between sports, shopping, current events, and family. She told me that her father had passed away about eight years ago.

I expressed condolences, “I’m sorry,” I said in the vanilla way of conveying regret for her loss of a man I had never known.

“Oh, don’t be sorry.” She immediately said, “I’ll see him again next time, just like I’m seeing you again now.” She paused and studied my face. “You used to be such a beautiful man,” she sighed.

“What are you talking about?” I asked. I held a sceptical smile on my face.

“I guess it’s time for me to explain,” she started. “Do you believe in reincarnation?” She paused, but not for long enough for me to answer. “It doesn’t matter if you do or not. It doesn’t even matter if you know what it is. I’m going to start at the beginning. Reincarnation is the rebirth or the fresh embodiment of a soul or being, and it’s real. Most people never remember their previous lives, future ones either, but that’s a little advanced for this discussion. You and I have been through lots of lives together, and you used to be a beautiful man.

“Did you see me in San Francisco that time?”

I nodded my head, “I looked for you, but you vanished.”

“Denver? San Antonio? Buffalo?”

I shook my head at each of those suggestions.

“Do you remember Rome?” She asked.

“No, I’ve never been to Italy.”

“They called it the Roman Empire in those days. I always believed that was your most successful life, but, unfortunately, it was a short life.”

“What are you talking about, Mary Alice?”

“You were killed, murdered. Are you sure that you don’t remember any of this?” She asked.

“No,” I shook my head.

“You were a performer and plaything in the court of Romulus Augustus. In  486AD  Romulus was deposed by the Herulians, and Odoacer wanted you for himself.”

“What?”

“When he discovered that you were not female, he had you killed.”

“What?”

“You were stoned. Your corpse was desecrated by Odacer’s men.”

“So, in one of my past lives; I was a drag queen?” I asked her.

She nodded. “A good one, too; unfortunately, you were… ahead of your time.”


This week’s prompts are:

  1. the house at Johnson Slide
  2. can you hear them watching?
  3. so I followed her

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

OLWG #251- Best Eaten Cold

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.



Other women craved pickles, ice cream, or maybe Mexican food. Me? I craved my next-door neighbour. I knocked on his door and took a step or two back. Waiting, I cupped a hand below my watermelon-sized belly, but I kept my other hand choked up on the bat handle held behind my back.

He looked me up and down and smiled, inviting me in, offering me a drink, “Gertie,” he said, “I haven’t seen you in, what,” his eyes stopped on my belly, “almost nine months?”

“That would be about right, Mr Sawyer.” He pushed open the screen door, and I stepped inside as he cleared the way, Mr Sawyer was already moving deeper into the house, so I shut the heavy front door and flipped the latch. I hurried to catch up with him before he could realize that I was lagging.

“You like red wine, don’t you, Gertie?”

I nodded my head, but he couldn’t hear my nod.

“I don’t have any red in the house, but I have a Pink Zin. Will that do?”

I gagged a little bit at the thought of a pink Zin, “Maybe just a glass of water for me, sir.”

##

They found him almost a week later. He was flat on his back, lying on the kitchen floor, badly bruised, and wearing one of those strap-on pregnant bellies; stuffed with rocks.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. don’t take him seriously
  2. tired of goodbyes
  3. strike another match

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