Zozo 02.02.23- Helen

Written in 20 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard

She stood on my porch looking like a drowned cat. Her hair was wet and dripping. She shivered from the cold, but on the plus side the fabric of her dress clung to her body, provocatively.

“Helen, Jesus, get in the house. I have a fire going in the den, I’ll get you a towel.” I couldn’t help but stare as I watched her come through the door and head for warmth. Wet clothes looked good on her. I broke from my reverie and headed to the linen closet for a towel. I handed it over, reluctantly, as she huddled next to the fireplace. “I’ve got coffee on, or I can make a pot of tea.” I said, and waited for her.

She trembled, “Coffee would be good.”

I snagged a mug as I entered the kitchen and rushed to the coffee pot. Pouring coffee with one hand and snagging the sugar bowl with the other I rushed back to the den where Helen was drying her hair with the bright beach towel. Her cream coloured blouse clung tightly to her breasts and I tried not to stare, as I proffered the cup.

“What are you doing out in this weather?” I asked and forced myself to look at her eyes.

“I came to ask if you’d be my Valentine.”

I laughed, “You look so cold and miserable.”

“Will you?” she repeated.

“Of course, I will.”

“Then let me get out of these wet clothes. Do you have a blanket I can wrap up in? Can I borrow your sweater? Is the electric blanket turned on, on your bed?” She held her hand out for me and I took it. She smiled. We walked together down the hall.


time’s up – step away

The prompts

  1. in from the rain
  2. the people who have walked beneath them
  3. you’re my valentine
  4. I can wait

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 297- Clouds Make the Wind Blow

Written for OLWG #297

Remember when we would go to Paris
We would ride the Metro
A few Francs or a couple of Euros
We could go anywhere we desired

The Metro was our means of transport
It wouldn’t exist if Parisians didn’t need to get around

When clouds need to travel
They can ride the wind
A few Euros or a couple of bob
They can go anywhere they desire

The wind is their means of transport
The wind wouldn’t exist if clouds didn’t need to get around

This week’s prompts were:

  1. yeah, technically it’s illegal
  2. how does she act around children
  3. clouds make the wind blow


OLWG #296 Maybe Verse of Some Sort

Written for OLWG# 296

Veronica Jones was a good girl attended church every Sunday morning a cheerleader and President of the Honour Society at Lakeside Academy for Girls, and a member of the Ambassador’s Club, too Somehow word got out that she was seen up on Preston Rd. with a boy, Tyler Hanson, Preston Rd. is little more than a dirt track that winds into the woods off Hwy 380 The kids use it You know… In a town this size, well, it didn’t sit well with folks around here the word is that even Faber College might be reconsidering the scholarship; previously proffered
The prompts were: 
      1. got a job, dealing faro
      2. she was a ‘good girl’
      3. in a town this size

ZOZO 12.01.23- Friday Nights

Written in 15 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard

Larry dragged himself out of bed and, with eyes half open, stumbled to the kitchen. His hair was wild atop his head. The stubble on his cheeks was coarse and sandpaper rough. His boxer shorts did not hang straight, they were twisted around his waist, misaligned. The taste of battling dragons lingered in his mouth.

He had one thought. He needed a pitcher of bloody Marys to cut the pain lurking in the shadows behind his eyes. To silence the screams of the dragons, put them back into their lairs, and organize his thoughts.

Saturday mornings.
Saturday mornings suck.
Why do others always villainize Mondays, when it takes all day Saturday to approach even a semblance of normalcy.
Saturday mornings suck.

Friday nights, on the other hand…
Friday nights were fine! True freedom
On Friday nights Larry was always rich. Money was no object.
He was handsome,
good looking,
funny and entertaining.
But when Saturday morning rolled around, his head usually hurt. Hurt bad.


time’s up – step away

The prompts

  1. lonely indecision
  2. bloody Marys
  3. Friday night


OLWG# 294- Gibson Ridge

Written for OLWG# 294

Steve turned up the gravel road that was the way to reach the summit of Gibson Ridge. He was driving his Mom’s car: a four-door 1954 Rambler “Cross Country,” the one with the fixed front fender skirts.

His parents had driven to the coast for the weekend. They had taken Dad’s ’62 Chrysler New Yorker because it was roomier. The morning they left, Dad pulled him aside and cautioned him not to be driving his mother’s car while they were away. He was not covered by auto insurance and, as he was not yet fourteen years old. Steve would not even be able to get his driver’s license for almost another year. Yes, they trusted him to stay at the house with his older sister; they did not trust him to drive without a parent in the car.

“I promise, Dad.” Steve crossed his heart to show his earnestness and wished them gone already. He wanted to take that car and cruise up and down Fletcher Blvd with his friends. Steve longed to wheel into the Beacon Drive-In and have Chrissy Hamilton skate over to take his order. He wanted to order a vanilla shake and share it with her. Instead, he was driving up a gravel road with James, riding shotgun, Larry, and Mike in the back seat. Larry had promised that some upperclassmen were having a bonfire and “kegger” at the overlook on the Ridge. He said that there might be some girls there.

He better be right.

The prompts were: 
      1. wheels on a gravel road
      2. lay your lily hand in mine
      3. bring a gnome costume

ZOZO 05.01.23- Nancy Pérez-Quiñones

Written in 10 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard

Elizabeth held her breath as the emcee announced the winner.

“Miss Alamogordo!” he exclaimed and the crowd went wild. Liz turned to the right and spotted the winner down the row of beauty queens.

It was Nancy Pérez-Quiñones.

Of course, it was.

And, she was feigning surprise.

She wasn’t surprised.

In fact, Nancy was probably the one who had stolen Liz’s own lucky underwear.

The French cut pink ones.

The ones that, had she been wearing them today, would have ensured Liz’s coronation.

Nancy was from Tularosa. She knew that Liz had lucky underwear. They had attended grade school together. Liz had worn those panties when she won “Otero County Rodeo Queen”. Elizabeth had foolishly told Nancy that she attributed that win to her new found lucky undies.

Fuck Nancy Pérez-Quiñones!

She was such a bitch.

What had that malicious she-devil done with the charmed undergarments?


time’s up – step away

The prompts

  1. beauty contest
  2. blood
  3. lucky underwear


OLWG# 292- Gaijin Haibun

Written for OLWG# 292


Jia Li Walked from the Hostess Podium at the front of Aiea Chop Suey to speak with Mr Zau. “Sir, do you remember those sailors who filled the entire restaurant last week?” “The submariners? Of course I remember them. Are they back?” “One of them is back, sir; the big one, the tall one, with the stooped shoulders.” “Ah, yes, he was a tidy eater.” “That’s him. This time he has brought a young woman with him, ang moh. He says that she has never eaten Chinese cuisine. Where would you like me to seat them?”

“Does she know how to use chopsticks, can she manipulate the kuàizi?”


The prompts were: 
    1. drenched with blood and whisky
    2. bolt of lightning
    3. does she know how to use chopsticks
Authors Note: What little Chinese I know, I learned when I lived in Singapore. Although ang moh can be viewed as derogatory in some Asian cultures, It is not viewed that way in SQ. I mean no offense. Thank you for your understanding.

OLWG# 291- The Marriage

Written for OLWG# 291


Her name was Acantha Espinado and I first met her at “Alegría de Vivir.” That’s the lunch counter downtown, on Piedras Blvd., across from the bank. “Alegría de Vivir” translates from the Spanish to “Joy of Living” in English, “Joie de Vivre, in French, “Lebensfreude” in German. It was a good name for a lunch counter, a bakery, or a restaurant. Acantha worked there behind the counter. She would take orders, deliver food, refill coffee cups, and work the register. She seemed to be a hard worker, she smiled easily, and her dark eyes sparkled.

 We married when she was twenty-one years old. I was eighteen. She was a vision of loveliness; I thought I had died and gone to heaven. At night, in our room, she would trail her long, turbulently coiled, dark hair down my torso – ecstasy.

How was I to know?

A whirlwind courtship followed by unplanned, spur-of-the-moment nuptials left me no time to contemplate the gravity of our actions. I never even considered the implications of her name. I had not yet noticed that her favourite burgundy nail polish was little more than a way to conceal her claws. Or that her quick and easy smile was just a distraction, a way to obfuscate her fangs. Or that her thick, tightly corkscrewed hair, was styled to hide her horns. Eventually though, I noticed.

The marriage didn’t last long. I ran away, and now I live here, off the grid. I am in constant fear that Acantha will find me again. I have nowhere to run to next.


The prompts were: 

    1. espinado
    2. a burgundy polish hides her claws
    3. the lunch counter, downtown


ZoZo 15.December.22- A Couple of Prompts means A Couple of Go’s

Written in 16 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard

First Go

You’ve changed, she said

I should hope so

The old you would never have said that. Why did you say that now?

I thought about her question for a while, because, I’m not that old me, anymore, I replied This is another me. I didn’t like that other guy anymore. I grew weary of having him around. No one liked him. He was a Dick.

Well, you weren’t that bad, although you did tend to revel in your authority, or at least the authority you believed you had.

Yeah, you hit the nail on the head there. I learned about authority when I decided to change.

I learned about authority when I began to remake myself.
I figured out that the only one I could even pretend to have authority over was myself, and I had no business trying to tell anyone else what to do or when to do it, or how it should be done.

You’re still kind of a Dick though, she advised.

I know, but I’m working on it.

Second Go

Detective Constable Sue Holmes pushed open the door of the ancient brick garage beneath the bridge and shone her torch into the gloom. The stench was overpowering and she backed out. She pulled a scarf from her jacket pocket and tied it around the lower part of her face. She went back in and looked around.

Later, on the hand held, she called it into the precinct.

“I’ve got a possible 187,” she reported to dispatch, “although, it looks more like a sacrifice than a simple murder. You should send backup and a coroner. I haven’t found his head yet. I’m still looking.”


time’s up – step away

The prompts

  1. looks more like a sacrifice
  2. another me
  3. the apple revels in its authority


Missing State Writers- December 2022

Written in twenty minutes time, with some friends in Capitan

Old John was stocking the shelves with the good stuff when the bell rang, and Robert walked stiffly into the shop.

They grinned at one another and said nothing for a while. Finally, John broke the silence, “Good to see you, brother. Great to see you. Wasn’t sure if I ever would, again.”

“Hey,” Robert said, “I’m an innocent man. They let me out. A reparations cheque is on the way, and I’m looking for work.”

“I can’t offer you a job. You’ll need to talk with Catherine about that. She’s the boss.”

“And I will speak with her, but I was hoping you could put in a good word for me.”

The two old friends shook hands, and John reached up for a bottle of 25-year-old whisky from the top shelf. “Let’s turn the sign around, close the store for a while, and have a drink together, just like old times.”

He picked up his walking stick and moved slowly to the front door to lock it. He handed Robert the bottle, “Crack this open. I’ll be right back. How long’s it been?”

“Twelve years, four months, and fifteen days. Give or take….”

  1. top shelf booze
  2. back on board
  3. wasted and wounded
  4. an innocent man