March 2013

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02 March 2013

The prompts were:
1. Cupcakes, Punk Rocker, Chopsticks
2. Cold Case
3. Crystal Ball, Geisha Girl, Dive Bar

Begin writing
The dog sat on the roof, hunched over his typewriter.

“It was a drak and smarmy night” he wrote, cursed, pulled the paper from the platen, crumbled it and tossed it into the trash can.

“It was a drink and sloppy night” he pecked out before repeating the ritual of the tossed page.

He was getting good at that ritual.  He had been trying to start this novel for years.  Once or twice he had even gotten the first sentence right and begun the second.  “Suddenly a snot ran out” had condemned more than one ‘2 line short story’ to the landfill though.

Pushing away from the typewriter, he considered how much easier it must be to type if you had hands instead of paws.  Faster too.  Heck, everything would be easier.  People with hands don’t appreciate how difficult it is to maneuver chopsticks without thumbs or that you have to use your mouth to take the wrapper off your cupcakes and muffins.

You are effectively blocked/banned from a multitude of professions too.  You can’t be a carpenter if you can’t hold a hammer.  You can’t be a punk rocker if you can’t reach across the neck of your guitar.  That’s why he took up writing.  Although he was unable to grasp a pen or pencil he had thought that a typewriter would allow him to flourish as an author.  How many years had he invested in the pursuit of this dream and never gotten more than two sentences on the paper?

Lucky for him that round headed kid kept bringing him food.  Lucky for him that round headed kid always brought dog food and not Kung Pao Chicken.  That kid understood the problems that dog’s had with chopsticks.  That round headed kid was a great friend, they could eat together, play baseball together and go on walks together.  Maybe he should give up writing and just hang with that kid until he could break into the theatre.

Time is up. Put down your writing implements and step away from the paper. 

09 March 2013
The prompts were:
1. It was mind blowingly amazing
2. It didn’t impress me much
3. All right you smart ass
4. Three thousand miles to Graceland

Begin writing

Ricky and I stood on the rim of the canyon gazing below.  It was mind blowingly amazing.  The colors, the rock formations, the sheer depth of the gorge took your breath away.  I said as much to Ricky and he shrugged his shoulders, “It doesn’t impress me much” he said, “it’s nowhere near as impressive as Waimea Canyon.”
I carefully considered his opinion and then promptly dismissed it.  I told him “Waimea is awesome, I’ll grant you that but this is the Grand Canyon.  The GRAND CANYON! And, I think it lives up to it’s name.”
Ricky shrugged his shoulders and tried to look bored, “Let’s get back on the road, vato.  We still got 3000 miles to Graceland.  If we keep moving we can make it to Oklahoma by tonight.  Unless you make us stop in Roswell to visit the ‘Area 51 Museum.’”
What?” I was dumbstruck, “There’s an Area 51 Museum in Roswell?  We gotta go!”  I hadn’t even known about that.  I had hoped to convince Ricky that the petrified forest outside Shiprock was worth a stop.   Maybe the reservation at Silver City or the galleries in Carrizozo but I could forego those attractions for a chance to see an ‘Area 51 Museum’.

“No, there’s no ‘Area 51 Museum’” Ricky grinned, “I’m just fuckin’ with ya!”
“All right you smart ass,” I was pissed off now, “then we are going to drive the Southern route.  We’ll stop in Deming and take in the Rubber Duck Races.  Going East from there is nothing but desert.  I know we are going to Graceland but we gotta enjoy the journey, not just the destination.”
I realized we had somehow made it back to the car park and were standing next to my dusty, rusty old car.  A 1992 Buick Roadmaster – The Ride – !  I got behind the wheel and fired up the car,  Ricky fired up a J and I pointed The Ride towards Truth or Consequences.  From there it was an easy, albeit roundabout trip to to Pie Town and then the SETI site not far from Socorro.  Oh, we were going to drive all day, all right but, we weren’t gonna be very close to OKC by nightfall.

Time is up. Put down your writing implements and step away from the paper. 

Have you noticed just how little you write in 25 minutes?


16 March 2013

The prompts were

1. Erotic Karma
2. Chicken bones, a fake ID, a book of matches
3. Halftime

Some background before I share my story –

Wow! Quite a collection of prompts.  I had no preconceived ideas or inspiration and then I got hit with these prompts which only served to further confound me.  My fellow “Book Bandit” Frank was sitting next to me today.  Frank is a very talented writer and, about the same time as I wrote the root beer story Frank had written about a Doctor who grew orchids, killed his wife, went on the lam, had “the operation” and returned years later, as a woman, to re-buy his house.  The house where he had killed his wife.  So, apologies to you Frank.  I think this story came out simply because you had the unfortunate luck of sitting next to me today.

Begin Writing

Frank had gotten out of prison on a “compassionate” parole.  He was 92 years old and the judge had deemed that he was no longer a danger to others.  There were conditions though.  Cross dressing was strictly prohibited, horticulture was allowed but no orchid cultivation would be tolerated, vegetables were encouraged.  He was not allowed on the west side of the city.  Could not get closer than a 5 mile radius of his old house.  The ankle bracelet monitoring system was designed to ensure compliance with that restriction.  His parole officer would monitor the others.

Immediately after his release Frank planted some tomatoes in the yard and began plotting how to grow orchids again.  God, he loved orchids.  He figured he would need a fake ID and procured one from an independent businessman he had met on the street.  His new friend Spike was only too happy to sell Frank a stolen drivers license in the name of Beatrice Jones.  Beatrice was only 67 years old but Frank had kept a trim figure in prison and looked younger than his 92 years.  There was even a passing resemblance if no one studied the photo too closely.

Using his new identity Frank had rented greenhouse space from a farmer about 2 miles east of town.  He had been forced to turn on the charm a bit to get Farmer Perkins to lower the rent but, Frank had impersonated his dead wife for years undetected and he was able to fool the farmer easily.  It didn’t hurt that he had looked quite striking in the flowered frock he had worn out there that day.  Frank had surmised, rightly so, that farmers retired early and rose early – so Frank would dress carefully, just in case, and visit the greenhouse only after 8:30 at night.  He seldom ever saw the farmer.

While in prison Frank, with his exceptional intelligence and his background in horticulture had secretly developed a formula for a “miraculous” plant food.  He got the idea for his discovery while spreading bone meal in the prison garden.  Frank had begun experimenting with different types of bones to try and develop a “super food” for orchids.  He knew that his wife’s bones would work well but he no longer had access to them.  Ground chicken bones turned out to be the ticket.  Ground fine enough the bones could permeate the mulch and release the nutrients that they carried for the orchid.  As orchids do not require soil and will shoot roots from above ground it was important that the bones be ground fine enough to suspend in a solution and spray onto the plants as well.

Time is up. Put down your writing implements and step away from the paper. 

23 March 2013

The prompts were:
1. Mustache, tube of lipstick, ray-gun
2. Total recall
3. The finish line was in sight

Begin writing

She surveyed the faces around the table and intoned mildly, “I like killing people.”  Her expression and tone belied the context of what she had just said.  I wasn’t sure I had heard correctly.  I was about to ask when she looked up and repeated, “yes, I like to kill people.”  She didn’t appear to be overtly dangerous.  I couldn’t see any weapons so I started to wonder how she killed people.  Was she a sniper who killed from a distance?  Was she a ninja who killed and then disappeared, undetected, under cover of darkness?  Did she kill with a knife or a bomb?  Poison?  Maybe she killed with kindness?  Maybe she knocked ‘em dead from a stage?  I studied her from across the table but her countenance yielded no clues.

I looked closely at her and did not sense any particular malice in her behaviour or any hint of jucularity either. I believe what she says but I am skeptical.  I mean this was so random.  Maybe I need to approach this from another angle.  I thought about what she had told us.  She had said, “I like to kill people.” I need to analyze that statement.  It is quite bold.  She spoke without remorse or fear.  She spoke openly, not like it was a confidence or a secret.  She might as well have said, “I like going to the beach” or “I like bacon.”  She was unconcerned about any consequences or punishment.

My thought process was suddenly interrupted when she pushed back from the table and stood.  She raised her arms to those of us around the table as though she was presenting us with a gift.  She raised her wings and spread them.  Where did those come from?  How had I overlooked them before?  They were magnificent.

“I am Loki” she said, “I am Yama, I am Azrael, I am the angel of death.  I am going to rain destruction from the sky on all your sorry asses.”  Passive was no longer the appropriate description here.  She now commanded the room.

“Oh, lighten up lady” muttered the kid sitting next to me. It was the last thing he said before he burst into flames and collapsed on his chair – nothing more than a pile of ash and floating bits of carbon.  The heat that had immolated the kid had been intense but, aside from the damage it had done to him there had been little effect.  Some smoke curled up from his seat and my eyebrows were a bit singed.  I noticed a faint aroma not unlike a burned electronic component.

No one had moved so I slid down in my chair and then under the table.  I heard a roar and a laugh.  The room began to get dark and then it got loud.  Real loud.  It sounded like a freight train had run into the building.  Lights were flashing and chaos was everywhere.

Then suddenly – silence.  The sprinklers came on and it was akin to rain.  I stayed put for a while and then stuck my head out from under the table.

Time is up. Put down your writing implements and step away from the paper.

30 March 2013

I missed this meeting – see ya next week

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