Random Scribbles · writing

Teachings of the Ancients


Photo courtesy of Barbara W. Beacham
Photo courtesy of Barbara W. Beacham

The petroglyphs told the story of an unusual event.
They told of a time long before we declared war on the white man,
the war that we lost.

The petroglyphs depict the arrival of the goat head men from the sky and show how they taught our ancestors the mysteries of the universe.
The goat head men spoke to us of spirals, and staircases; even spiral staircases;
they taught us how to hunt house cats with butter knives,
and they revealed the shape of Illinois.
Most importantly they taught us how to skewer a hot dog with a stick allowing even the simplest of us to cook over a campfire without burning our fingers.

Or perhaps, Grandson, perhaps – the petroglyphs depict none of this.
Perhaps they simply offer a glimpse into the mind of a sleepy sentry.
A guard, standing watch on a warm summer night,
writing poems with pictures,
trying to stay awake.


Random Scribbles · writing

I’m Innocent, I Tell Ya

Rocky stared into the light, unblinking, he hoped he looked innocent but had a feeling that he had overlooked something.

“Honestly officers, I don’t know what you’re on about. I was at home, alone, asleep, nowhere near the chicken house. I didn’t take any eggs. You got the wrong guy.”

Detective Simmons sat behind the light, “Let’s see,” he said, “known offender, known MO, no alibi,” he paused to let Rocky sweat before he continued. Pointing he said, “You’re still wearing the mask, Rock. We got you red handed!”

“No, no, no,” Rocky protested.

Simmons went on, talking over his suspect, “We got a eyeball witness Rocky.

“Benny, what’s that chick’s name, the vic, what’s her name again?” he asked the uniformed officer who was standing by the door.

“Noodle, Detective. Her name’s Noodle.” The uniform reported.

“That’s right, Noodle,” he said almost to himself. Then turning his attention back to Rocky Racoon he continued, “Chicken Noodle picked you out of the lineup Rocky. She fingered you for stealing her eggs. You’re going back to the big house.”

Rocky sneered then. The only weapon he had left seemed to be defiance.

Image provided courtesy of GrammarGhoulPress
Rocky – Image provided courtesy of GrammarGhoulPress
Random Scribbles · writing

AKA Spider Queen of the Andeluvian System

Mission Not So Impossible, Part 2
You can discover what this is all about here: Part 1 and here: Part 2

The rear portal opened and Roger, Andeluvian Spider Prince and heir to the throne, shuffled his eight legs from the cloud of pixilated space dust into the throne room. He placed his blaster and a collection of silken sacs on the gredunza, opened the food storage locker and removed a container of E-317.

“Hello, Mother,” he said to the queen who was seated on her throne, surrounded by her attendants.

“Don’t drink directly from the container,” Queen Kirkland admonished, “get a glass.

“How was your day, Roger?”

“It kinda sucked, Mother. It seems that a certain professor, named Marron, from the Algenian School is attempting to extort us. It seems that she came across documentation of our trip to the planet Mehico. She is threatening to publicly question our immigration status. I believe she intends to demand we make public our birth certificates as well.”

“What? That’s ridiculous? What documentation could she possibly have?” The queen fired the questions at him as he tilted up the container of E-317, took a drink and sat it back in the food storage locker.

“Roger! Get a glass.”

“Sorry Mother.

“It was the journal that I wrote. The one you suggested I write about that trip to Mehico.”

“I read that journal, Roger. There is nothing incriminating in it. What does she think she has? That trip was a long time ago and is a matter of public record! No one can tie us to the massacre in Hachipipi. We were at a state dinner with the Ambassador.”

“Yes, I know, Mother. I think that Ms. Marron is simply trying to stir up a tempest of public sentiment and doubt. It’s not clear to me what her ultimate motives are though. There must be a reason that she wants to start an uproar. Or perhaps there’s not, perhaps she’s just a loony.”

The queen repositioned her eight legs tucking them underneath her. “That’s just crazy Rog. If your father, the Spider King, were still alive he would simply execute her.” The queen tilted her head and three of her eight eyes glazed over, “I miss him so. I miss the way the web would shake when he came home. I miss the simple delight he would get out of eating the children.” Her eyes refocused and she stared at him, “I’m not sure how you managed to escape his mandibles, Roger. But I’m glad that you did.

“What are we going to do about this troublesome Professor Marron? Do you need me to summon her here? Shall we invite her into our parlor, as it were?”

“It’s OK Mother, I’ve taken care of it.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’ve killed her mother. I’ve killed her and dismembered her. The pieces are in these bags.” He waved one of his eight legs at the silk sacs on the gredunza next to his blaster. “I ate her head but you can have the rest of her, if you’d like. There’s enough for a couple of meals, I think.”

Madeline Kirkland, aka Spider Queen of the Andeluvian System held her arms out wide and then wrapped them around her son. He hugged her back and they stood motionless for awhile, embracing, savoring the moment. After an appropriate amount of time she twisted his head off and began to feast.

Suddenly she remembered her attendants, “You guys can have the professor, if you’d like,” she indicated the sacs Roger had left by the portal.



Random Scribbles · writing

Bible Readings

I’m going to ramble a bit here. Please forgive the disjointed nature of this post.

I was a good reader when I was a boy. I was a voracious reader when I was a boy.

I think it would be nice to be remembered as a reader and a writer but it’s too late for me to claim that legacy now (more on this later – first I want to address the word ‘begat’ which is what this prompt is all about).

My mother and father used to take my sisters and me to Sunday Bible School meetings regularly. There was no getting out of it. You might be too sick for regular school but you better be in the hospital if you were going to use illness as a means to avoid Sunday School.

There was really only one thing that put me off of Bible School: because I was a good reader it always came up where the “adult” who supervised us would say, “TN, would you like to share with us a scripture that is near to your heart?” or words to that effect.

The first time this happened, I was surprised but I was willing to go for it. I opened up the bible on the lectern to the book of Genesis and announced, “I would like to share with you today from Genesis chapter 11, verse 10.    Ahem, ‘These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood. And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah. And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.’ ”

As I read this to all the scrubbed, shiny faced kids seated at the low tables in front of me I knew that this was not quite what our instructor had had in mind when she asked me to share. I was a little unclear on the actual meaning of ‘begat’ but I knew that I was just reading a list of unpronounceable names and that it wasn’t very inspirational or near to my heart.

“OK then,” said the teacher, “that was certainly an interesting selection, TN. Maybe for next week you can prepare something and we can try again. I apologize for springing this on you.”

“Yes ma’am,” I replied, “I’ll be ready next week.”

I promptly forgot all about it and when the next week came and I had to share a scripture I thought that Genesis was probably not the way to go so I zoomed ahead to First Chronicles and read, “And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be mighty upon the earth. And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, and Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn, and Heth, and Arphaxad begat Shelah, and Shelah begat Eber.”

I died inside a little bit with each word and there was that guy Arphaxad again. Why did he keep turning up?

Week three and the teacher prodded me again, “TN? Would you like to share a beloved scripture with us today?”

“No ma’am, I don’t think so. Maybe you should ask Doug or Rosemary instead.” I stood up from my place at the table and left the room. Then I left the church and went across the street to the park. I met some older kids there and it was on that day that I learned to smoke Lucky Strikes. I never went back to Bible School again, but I smoked Lucky Strikes for decades.


I promised to tell you why I won’t be remembered as a literary prodigy. It’s quite simple really; my older sister is the chronicler of the family history. Next to my name is the name of my wife and below that are our children’s names. Beside each name in the tree is a short blurb about that person. Next to my name is typed, “Rough, Tough, and Damn Good Lookin’ too.” See, no mention of reading or writing at all. This will be my legacy. I’m stuck with it.


Random Scribbles · writing

AKA Missy Peaches

The back screen door opened and Roger shuffled inside, dumped his school books on the kitchen table, and opened the refrigerator.

“Don’t drink from the milk container,” his Mother admonished, “get a glass.

“How was school?”

“It kinda sucked, Mom. I got an F on my English paper.”

“What? How could you get an F in English? What paper?” She fired the questions at him as he tilted up the gallon jug of milk and took a drink.

“Roger! Get a glass.”

“Sorry Mom.

“It was that paper that you helped me with. The one you suggested I write about our trip to Mexico.”

“I read that paper Roger. It was good. How could you get an F? I based my last book on that trip and it made the best seller list!”

“Yeah, I think that was a big part of the problem. I think that Mrs. Brown read your book and she said my story sounded a lot like a novel she had read recently. She accused me of plagiarism. That’s why she gave me the F.”

“That’s crazy Rog, you were there too. Of course the stories are going to sound alike. We were writing about the same experiences. Do you need me to go talk to her? There’s a difference between plagiarism and inspiration.”

“If you do, Mom, you’ll blow your cover.”

“What do you mean?”

“Mrs. Brown thinks you’re just Madeline Kirkland, single stay-at-home mom. She doesn’t know that you’re a writer. She doesn’t know that your nom de plume is Missy Peaches. If you go in and tell her who you are; you’ll lose your anonymity in town. I know how much you value our privacy. I’ll take the F it won’t hurt my GPA that much. I do really well in that class.”

Madeline Kirkland, aka Missy Peaches held her arms out wide and then wrapped them around her son. He hugged her back and they stood motionless for awhile, embracing, savoring the moment, right there in the middle of the kitchen.



Random Scribbles · writing

Picture Prompt #20


Ten quid and all the time in the world, that’s what Nigel had in his pocket when he pushed open the garden gate and stepped out onto the pavement. He turned up towards the High Street and started whistling a nameless tune, he was going to get a bite at the new Chinese take-away and eat it at the pub. He quite fancied a pint or two with his mates – Ginny was working tonight too so that was a bonus.

At the Mei Garden Take-Away he got a double order of Kung Pao Chicken. Mrs. Lee packed it up and sent him on his way. He went straight to the Royal Oak and was pleased to see Ginny behind the bar, William and Paul were holding down a small table by the window.

“Evenin’ Ginny,” he said, “Can I have a pint o’ Best and another of whatever Paul and William are each havin’ for them.”

She nodded, “whatcha got in the bag, Nigel?” she asked him. “Better not be cats!”

He leaned in close and whispered, “I got some take-away from that new Chinese place up the road. Can ye bring us a couple o’ plates and some forks too, Ginny?”

“Aww, geeze Nige,”she screwed up her face, “ye canna let Malcolm see ya eatin’ outside food in here. He’ll lose it!”

Nigel smiled at her and she put three bowls and three forks on the bar, “go on then, eat fast and bring these back here as soon as ye finish, so I can wash ’em up. I’ll fetch the beers.”

Nigel leaned over the bar and gave her a peck on the cheek, “Yer a peach Ginny, ya are.” He turned and headed over to the table with William and Paul. “Hail fellows well met,” he bellowed as he doled out the bowls and split up the Kung Pao. Then more softly he added, “Eat quickly lads or face the wrath of Maid Ginny and Sir Malcolm.”

They all tucked into their food. Ginny brought a round of drinks and when they finished, Paul took the incriminating evidence back to the bar. Their crime had gone undetected, as Malcolm was still out back, doing whatever it was that he was doing back there.

Nigel went through the bag but Mrs. Lee had only sent one fortune cookie.

“We only got the one, lads,” Nigel said to his mates. “I reckon we oughta give it to Ginny on account o’ her being so accommodatin’ an all.” It was agreed; and when she brought the next round they presented her the biscuit with plenty of fanfare and aplomb. She opened it straightaway, studied the small slip of paper for a moment, folded it in half and slipped it into her brassiere; she winked at the lads and turned back to the bar.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, Ginny, what’s it say?” they all asked.

Ginny just looked back at them over her shoulder, she smiled, popped half of the cookie into her mouth, and kept walking. She waved to Mr. Skipworth as he came through the door.

OK – I’m going to tread all over TBP territory and issue a challenge. If you actually read all the way to the end of this, and you’re not too shy. Continue it on your blog and link it back to TBP here. This, of course, will be in addition to your response to the original prompt.

Might be fun.

Random Scribbles · writing

An Affable Woman


Jake had been under the truck for at least an hour. But, he based that guess on the height of the sun, and truth be told, he really wasn’t sure how long he had been out. The sun was dipping towards the west but there was still a lot of daylight left. He took stock of his situation. He was on his back under the truck. He was sore all over and he couldn’t move his legs. He could feel his legs but he couldn’t move them, he thought he must be pinned somehow. He remembered picking up the block of ice from the ice house. He’d watched Lester load it into the back of his truck like it was nothing; as if it were light as a feather. He recollected getting on the road back towards the farm but then he had seen the Widow Perkins. She was picking her way across a fresh mowed field going somewhere – God knows where. In her one hand she held the leash of that damn skunk she kept as a pet. He was prancing along next to her looking all high and mighty. In her other hand she held a bright pink parasol, keeping the sun at bay. He was distracted and had begun slowing down to watch her walk.

Yes, Jake thought to himself, Widow Perkins was a handsome woman. She held herself well and she won a lot of blue ribbons in the cooking contests at the fair every year. A man could do worse than sporting the Widow Perkins on his arm. She was affable too. Only problems Jake could see were that she was deaf as a post and she kept that damn skunk. Maybe it reminded her of her late husband. Jake resolved that he would call on her in the fall after the harvest was in.

With that decided; he reached forward and cranked open the bottom of the windscreen on his ‘Model A’ truck. It was a fine summer day. Maybe a mite warm, but a fine day nonetheless.

No sooner did he get the windscreen open than he heard a slight noise that he didn’t recognize. It seemed to be coming from the engine. Listening to it, it grew louder, until it sounded like a passel of giggling 12 year old girls. Then it popped; it didn’t explode, per se, just popped. He thought it sounded like a champagne cork might sound, but having never heard a champagne cork he couldn’t be sure. Steam began to billow out from the truck’s radiator. It blocked his vision and the front tires veered hard to the right. The tremendous impact that resulted from his collision with the tree drove his chest into the steering wheel and the block of ice through the back of the cab before the truck rolled over. Before he lost consciousness he watched the Widow Perkins, as she kept walking away. Of course, Jake thought, she hadn’t heard the accident. She couldn’t hear the accident and when he woke, she was gone, so was her skunk.

Jake was now remembering some of the details of the crash. He turned his head and looked towards his feet hoping to see what had his legs pinned. He saw that it was the heavy block of ice that held him down. He thought that might be lucky, I simply have to wait for enough of the ice to melt and I’ll be free. I’ll have to walk back to town. There’ll be no traffic on the road, but I’ve done that before. He settled in to wait and he must have dozed.

He was chilled when he woke, but there was still light so he knew he hadn’t slept too long. He figured it must be near 8:00. He looked down at the still large block of ice and tried to move his legs. He managed to rock the block of ice a bit, it won’t be long now. When the ice moved Jake felt an almost liquid warmth move along his leg. He reached down to scratch behind his knee. When he brought his hand back up it was stained crimson, covered with blood. He sat up as far as he could and looked. Both his legs were gone from the knee down. The block of ice must have taken them during the crash, and then it had served as a compress to staunch the flow of arterial blood. As it melted it would gradually become a less effective tourniquet,  and Jake knew he would bleed out. He was going to die under a rolled over pickup truck. Killed by a big block of ice in the middle of summer and there was nothing he could do about it.

He didn’t panic though. His first thought was to ward off the chill, so he felt around for that piece of old horse blanket he normally kept behind the seat. He found it and covered himself. It was only about half a blanket but it covered him from the waist up to his chin. That feels better.

He thought about Belle and how she and his daughter had died in childbirth. He thought about how they now lay next to each other on the side of the hill, back o’ the house, with a hand carved stone marker being all that there is to testify to their very existence. The baby had been stillborn and Belle followed her straight away. At first he’d been angry with them both but eventually he had come to terms with it. It hadn’t been their fault. It had just happened. Who knows why?

He was getting colder and closed his eyes, maybe just a short nap. He thought about the Widow Perkins and wondered what had possessed her to take up with a skunk. Wondered how come, nobody ever knew why.


Random Scribbles · writing

It’s a Circus Out There

Laying my finger tips on the keys I wait for inspiration to descend – trying to channel brilliance from the ether to the screen

My hands are poised Waiting to act solely as a conduit for someone else’s thoughts, and words

Someone more eloquent, more articulate than I

My muse, in the M3, is muted; making camp on the Murphy-bed




Her heels dug in, headstrong and hardened

She doesn’t know that I can see her as She peers sadistically out from the wide angle lens of the Leica on the mattress, and I smile

She’s enjoying this

Tormenting me

Random Scribbles · writing

I’ll Fly Away


Photo courtesy of Barbara W. Beacham
Photo courtesy of Barbara W. Beacham

Delphine always wanted to pilot her father’s plane and when he forgot his keys on her tenth birthday, she knew that taking off would be easy.
She thought landing, would be too.
She snagged his keys off the dresser,
laced up her walking shoes.

It was quite a trek to the airport, the one where Daddy flew. Two hours were spent walking there, and her anticipation grew.
She was excited, hot, and sweaty when she settled in the seat
She shut the door, and belted in
Then looked down at her feet.

Reluctantly, she climbed back out
She locked the plane back down
Sighed and shrugged her shoulders,
Started walking back to town.

She hadn’t thought it through, she admitted to herself –
she couldn’t reach the pedals, she kicked herself and then.
Remembered, after all, that she had only just turned ten.
She’d come back when she was taller
And she’d try it once again.