Random Scribbles · writing

Picture Prompt #25: Contemplation


a-girl-and-her-croc“Do you really have to go?” she asked and reached for a cigarette.

“Yeah, they found another stiff off Mulholland. Dundee’s gonna swing by and pick me up. We need to go check it out. While I’m gone maybe you can look into changing this wallpaper.

“Have you seen my waistcoat?”

“I think you put it on the chair, but do you really have to wear it?”

“You don’t like it?”

“Kinda old fashioned.”

“Like the wallpaper, you mean?”

She sighed and looked around the room, “Yeah maybe so.”

“Doll, I gotta wear it. It’s my uniform. I’m an investigator!”


Random Scribbles · writing

The Blue Roan Mare

“Do you think we really gotta do this Denny? Huh? Do you really think this is gonna work?”

“I think it’s the best chance we got Darlene,” he looked in his side mirror signaling his exit from the highway, turning right on 14 he followed the map to the ranch. The blue roan mare, he called Spirit, was in the trailer and was quiet.

They got to the ranch and as he nosed the truck into the circular drive a big man came out the front door, pointed around the side of the house and waved Denny and Darlene on. Denny recognized the stables when they pulled around the house, funny how they hadn’t been visible on the approach. Denny stopped the truck in front of what appeared to be the tack room and he turned to Darlene.

“Darlene, just keep your mouth shut now, I don’t wanna hear a peep outa you. You’ll fuck this up like you did last time.”

“But Denny,” she started, “I was just trying to…”

He held his hand up, “Put a sock in it Darlene. In fact why don’t you just stay in the damn truck? We’re gonna need a quick turnaround on this one.” Darlene stayed put and Denny stepped out of the truck smiling, just as the rancher was rounding the trailer.

“Mr. Marlow?” Denny said as he stuck out his hand, “I’m Freddie Duran.” Darlene recognized the name on one of Denny’s many near depleted bank accounts in Albuquerque. “We spoke on the phone last week, about my horse. God damn, I don’t wanna sell her but we’ve hit a tough patch and I just don’t see any other way.” He was opening the trailer as he spoke and Spirit backed down and out. Watching in the mirror Darlene could see the rancher salivating as he looked Spirit over. She was a beautiful horse.

“That’s a nice piece of horse flesh Mr. Duran,” Marlow said lustfully as he stared at the horse, “can I see her move?”

“Of course,” said Denny and he led Spirit to a dry lot next to the stables. He led her in and shut the gate. The space was too small for her to get into a good gallop but she trotted and walked about, shaking off the effects of her confinement in the trailer. The two men leaned on the fence and watched.

“This is the best $10,000 I ever spent,” said the rancher as he handed over the cashier’s check he had carried in his pocket. It was his turn to extend his hand to seal the deal. Denny shook enthusiastically.

“I don’t want to tell you your business, Mr. Marlow,” Denny said turning on his way back to the truck, “But, I’d pasture her till bout sundown. Let her loosen up a bit. We been on the road quite a while and I’m sure she’s a little stiff.” He watched the rancher move Spirit to the pasture gate from the corral as he backed his truck up. He looked at the clock on his dashboard. 2 o’clock. He looked at Darlene and could tell by the way her lips were clinched that she was pissed. She’d get over it.

They headed for town and Denny exchanged the cashier’s check for cash at the 1st National. Then he drove down the street and deposited $9000 into his account at the Wells Fargo. They stopped at a diner and had a bite to eat while he got Darlene talking to him again. She was holding his hand when they walked back out to the truck.

It was almost 4:00 when they turned back onto the 14. Passing the turnoff to Marlow’s ranch they kept going and rounded the next bend. Denny could see Spirit in the pasture to his right. He kept moving till he was shielded by the trees and then pulled over. Darlene walked back to where she could see the blue roan while Denny opened the trailer. Darlene put her fingers in her mouth and whistled loud. Spirit raised her head and came running. She cleared the fence effortlessly and loaded herself into the trailer. Denny closed her in and he and Darlene got back in the pickup. Putting the truck in gear they accelerated away from there.

“Reckon we got 400 miles to go. What’s the name of the next buyer?” he asked Darlene.

“Richards,” she said, “Bill Richards. You wanna get off the 14 as soon as you can.”






Random Scribbles · writing

Windows to the Soul


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

I see absolutely everything. Except for the things I miss. I sometimes miss the big things.

The beast was clearly dead, beached, rocking gently with the undulations of the sea. I approached for a closer look. Her countenance was passive, nonthreatening; in stark contrast to her still bared teeth that were menacing, razor sharp needles designed for sudden and horrible annihilation.

Her eyes, her eyes were as big as a man. I leaned in close, hoping to glimpse her spirit, to no avail. They were glazed and clouded, blinded by death.

As I searched there for a spark, she blinked.


Random Scribbles · writing



Walk or run
Cake or death
Up or down
Black or white
Wrong or right

Ship or cruise
Yes or no
Stay or go
Sit or stand
Blonde or brunette

Left or right
Loose or tight
In or out
Now or later
Good or bad

Regular or decaf
Chevy or Ford
Red or blue
One lump or two
Chocolate or vanilla


“What’s the use you learning to do right when it’s troublesome to do right and ain’t no trouble to do wrong, and the wages is just the same?”

Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Random Scribbles · writing

The Texture of Obsession

Part I

Norman first noticed Cinnamon Dupree at Walter H. Eastman High School. He quickly became infatuated, obsessed. He set out to learn as much about her as he could. He took candid shots of her with his phone as he followed her around campus. He would draw her likeness in his sketch pads – over and over again.

For her part Cinnamon tended to give Norman a wide berth. She might have sensed something was a little off about him. She might have had good survival instincts. Norman did not have good intentions. One day, in early spring, she left her sweatshirt hanging on the back of her chair in Earth Science class. Norman tucked it into his backpack and took it home. He kept it under his pillow and slept with it every night for almost a year before using it, in his Junior year, to start the fire at The Lumber Yard.

After High School Cinnamon went to State and Norman went to the local Junior College. Her family moved away and he lost track of her but never forgot her. You never forget your first love. He had loved her dearly and knew, in his heart, that she had loved him too. He still loved her and had been true to her all these years.

Then one night several years later, on a business trip, he was having a drink in a hotel bar in Tampa when he saw her again. He knew that it wasn’t her but it looked like her. She was sitting at a table fussing with her cell phone. He had a red-eye flight to catch home and was just killing some time so he screwed up his courage and approached her.

He smiled and pointed at her, “Hey,” he said, “I know you. How do I know you?” He made himself appear puzzled. She looked up at him and smiled hesitantly. He thought the likeness was amazing so he pushed on.

“I know,” he said, “You went to Eastman High. You look great – haven’t aged a day.”

She was shaking her head, but smiling, “No, no; I didn’t go to that school but my sister did.”

“Who’s your sister?”

“Her name’s Cinnamon.”

“Of course,” Norman said, “Cinnamon Dupree. You guys look a lot alike. And, wait a minute; you have a spice name too, don’t you?”

“Saffron,” she said, “Saffron Dupree.” They shook hands and she motioned him to sit down; clearly having no recollection of who he was.

He bought her a drink and they talked about families – primarily her family because he kept steering the discussion back to her. She told him that she was a teacher and an aspiring writer. After several drinks, Saffron confided that she had a blog. He flirted shamelessly with her.

She kept talking, and he kept buying her drinks. Turns out that they were both in town on business; she for a convention and he was calling on customers. He found out that Cinnamon was married, and pursuing a career in health and fitness. Norman struggled mightily to contain the rage he felt that Cinnamon had not been true to him. A plan began to form.

Saffron was pretty drunk when Norman rose to leave.

“I have to catch a flight,” he told her. “Tell me the name of your blog so I can read some of the stuff you write.” She wrote the URL on a cocktail napkin and handed it to him. He gave her a quick, chaste hug before he turned to go. “Wonderful to see you Saffron, it was great to catch up with someone from home.”

“Wait, what’s your name again?” she asked as he was turning to go, “I’ll tell Cinnamon that I met you.”

“Roger Cumberland,” Norman told her, using the name of a kid who had been three years behind him in school. He looked at the napkin in his hand and read:


It should only be a matter of time now, he thought.

At the airport Norman found Saffron’s blog. Generally it was crap. Bad poetry and flowery prose, but every so often she revealed something, something personal. He opened an account under the name of Rosemary Whelan and started posting. He posted every day for a month while he silently and anonymously monitored Saffron’s blog. Then he hit the “Like” button on a love poem that she had written. Two weeks later he commented glowingly on a post about lost innocence. She thanked him.

Almost a month later she wrote a post about her sister, a personal trainer in DC. He clicked the follow button and Rosemary Whelan owner of the blog, “Flipped Over Sidewards” was officially linked to Saffron Dupree; and through Saffron to her sister, Cinnamon Dupree. Still it took almost eighteen months before he felt confident he could find Cinnamon in DC by using the clues provided in her sister’s blog. He booked tickets for that night from SFO to DCA and packed a small carry-on bag.


Inspiration can come from unexpected places.


Photo Challenge; Creepy

Photo Challenge; Creepy

This week, show us something creepy — because hey, we can’t take photos of rainbows and puppies every day. Well, okay, I guess we can. But let’s branch out anyway!

I took this photo at the Tucson All Souls Procession in 2008. When I saw today’s challenge I knew immediately this was the shot I wanted to put in. My Gratitude to the unknown model. She was a sport!

Modern Take on Vintage Photo
Modern Take on Vintage Photo

Random Scribbles · writing

Picture Prompt #24 – M is for Mother


“Hey Smitty, I got a new picture of my girl in the mail today, wanna see?”

“Man Chooch,” I said, “keep it down. We’re supposed to be on guard duty.”

“Oh yeah,” he said contritely, “here look. She’s a real peach! Got a photo of your girl Smitty?”

“No, man; I just have a picture of my mom. I dug the laminated photo out of my breast pocket.”

Photo courtesy of The Blog Propellant

He studied it, “What’s that mean, ‘No Reason Ahead’?”

“I made her pose there. Mom never needed a reason for anything. Whenever I’d ask her why, she’d say, ‘because I said so.’”

The Blog Propellant


Random Scribbles · writing

Animal Cruelty

Photo courtesy of The Blog Propellant

“Hide the ball, quick! Hide it.”

“Rudy, what’s up, man?
A game? Nah, we’re just here grazing. We didn’t even bring a ball.”

“Sure, I guess you can hang around but we’re just getting’ ready to split. I got one of my meetings to go to.”

“Hey, Vixen’s at cheerleader practice in that park on 17th street. If I didn’t have my meeting I’d go over there and watch. She’ll be jumping around in one of those short skirts, and she really likes when we support the squad. Yeah, that’s what I’d do.”


“OK, he’s gone. Donner, get the ball.”


Random Scribbles · writing

No es Nada Tonto

Eddie had pitched his show to all the major US and Canadian networks. Everybody passed. He tried England. The BBC, Channel Four, ITV, and Viacom all turned him down.

“Damage Control” was too good of an idea to give up on but he was running out of options. He was depressed. He was drinking during the day; his wife had taken the kids and gone to her mother’s house, in Cleveland.

“We’ll come back when you return to your senses.” She told him. She wasn’t a bad woman, and he wasn’t a bad husband but when he slipped into these funks she knew that it was better to keep her distance, let him work it out for himself.

That morning the phone woke him, it’s shrill trilling cut through his hangover like a knife. Groping for the receiver he brought the phone to his ear.

“Who are you, what do you want, and why are you bothering me?” he mumbled by way of greeting. He allowed light to creep in through slits of his eyelids and spotted the bottle on the nightstand. There was about an inch of brown liquor left in the bottom of the bottle. Just the ticket, he thought and grabbed it. As he tilted it up he realized that someone was talking to him on the phone. Sounded like Murray, his agent.

“Wait, wait, wait; Murray, is that you?” he asked.

“Yeah, it’s me. Who else would be calling you?”

“What is it, man? What’s up?”

“I was saying, I think I’ve sold your pilot. Can you straighten yourself up and be in my office by 1030 this morning? They want to meet.”

“What time is it now?” Eddie asked as he set the bottle back down and rubbed his face with his free hand.

“It’s eight o’clock now, Eddie. Look man, if you can’t do this I’ll try to reschedule, but these guys are going home this afternoon. I’m not sure when they’ll be back in the country.”

“They’re from another country, Murray? Tell me they’re from an English speaking country. Where are they from?”

“Televisa, Eddie. They’re from Televisa, in Mexico, and they want to start running ‘Damage Control’ on Canal de las Estrellas right away. They like the gritty urban setting and the juxtaposition of love and conflict between mother and son that you’ve written in. They told me they’ll see about expanding it to some of their other networks after the first season. This is a done deal Ed, we’re just negotiating the terms and conditions.”

“I can’t write in Spanish, Murray.”

“Doesn’t matter, Eddie. Doesn’t matter. You know what they said when I opened the discussions? They said, ‘No es nada tonto!'”

“What does that mean?”

“Literally, it means that it’s not at all foolish, figuratively it means that they think it’s smart. All you need to remember is that it means they like it, Eddie. It means they like it.”

“Alright Murray. I’ll be there.” He swung his legs out of bed and went to the kitchen to start a pot of coffee.