The Blog Propellant · writing

Words, Words, Words


Louise slept in. Why not? It was the weekend. She didn’t have to be anywhere; she didn’t have to do anything except whatever she chose to do.

Downstairs, she thumbed the switch on the coffee maker, already prepared from last night and pulled her robe tight; cinching the belt before stepping outside to collect the paper. She shuffled her feet a bit and smiled. She enjoyed the sensation of the rough driveway concrete. It felt cool on the bottoms of her bare feet.

Spreading the paper on the kitchen table she decided to skip the scrambled eggs today. She wanted to live on the edge, so she tucked a couple of strawberry pop-tarts in the toaster and added three spoons of sugar to her coffee before carrying it over to the table. As she eased her bulk into the kitchen chair and took a sip, she caught sight of the kid she had tied to a straight backed chair in the next room. His eyes were wide with terror as he watched her take her breakfast.

“I’d offer you a pop tart,” she said to him, but with all those layers of duct tape over your mouth you couldn’t eat it anyway. Never mind, I’ll deal with you later.” She turned her attention back to the headlines.

Too many words but I had fun writing this morning.

Daily Prompt · Random Scribbles · writing

Daily Prompt; Blank

Daily Prompt; Blank

Vern took a look at the daily prompt: Bank.

That’s not too hard. He thought to himself. A lovely piece of free form verse might be in order today.

He would call it “Kid Kenny Embarks on a Life of Crime”

Kid Kenny strapped on his chrome plated pistolas
then rode down the street past Miss Perkin’s gladiolus,
and pushed open the door of the bank
only to find that Grizzly Hank
had already cleaned them out.

Or, perhaps a flash of prose by a similar name.

It was high noon when Kid Kenny rode into town. He tied up Ole Paint in front of the bank, drew his pearl handled revolvers, and kicked open the door. The new schoolmarm, Hermione Perkins, watched him come in.

“Oh Kenny,” she swooned, “Thank God you’ve come. It was horrible, Grizzly Hank just cleaned out the vault.” She gathered her skirts and ran to the door. “He just rode off. He went thataway,” she pointed towards the edge of town past the saloon. “If you hurry you can most likely still catch him.”

Thinking quickly Kenny decided not to become an outlaw today. He mounted Ole Paint and took off in hot pursuit of the robber, Grizzly Hank.

Miss Perkins might be grateful.


Vern read over his ideas – he rewrote, he edited, he agonized, and bled on the page as he had heard that Hemingway had been known to do.
Or was that Red Smith?
Maybe, Amy Tan?

It didn’t matter; both efforts were worthy of high praise and were sure to win him the admiration of his peers. He would publish them both.

He checked the link of the daily prompt to establish a pingback and noticed to his horror, that he had gotten it wrong. The prompt wasn’t bank.



It was blank.








The Blog Propellant · writing

TBP’s On-line Writer’s Guild #15

TBP’s On-line Writer’s Guild #15

  1. she loved storms
  2. Oh no, not again!
  3. Just like Ricky

Blanche crouched low on the balcony of unit 402, number 57 rue du Ormond. She glanced at the silenced 7.62×51mm M40 that she had assembled and readied. The rifle was her favourite and she was looking forward to using it on this job. That is, if she were allowed to complete this job; if Ricky didn’t have the same assignment. She knew that her minders would often assign the same targets to them both. Lately, Ricky had been getting there first.

Today would be different. Today she had a view of the embassy building where the motorcade was to begin. The ambassador would be getting in his car there. If luck were on her side she might be able to finish the job before he even got in the vehicle. If there was no shot while he was in the open, she knew that the limo would be coming up the avenue. She would have several hundred meters and she would be able to sight on him through the windscreen. An easy second opportunity. The day was cool and cloudy. There would be no glare on the glass and Ricky had to be further down the parade route. This would be her kill, she knew it.

She heard a noise from the balcony below. The sound of the doors opening and shutting, she froze and listened. Whoever was below was quiet, but she picked up the unmistakable sounds of a sniper rifle being assembled. Oh no, not again; that would be Ricky. It couldn’t be anyone else. Ricky used the AI Arctic Warfare Super Magnum and he would be putting it together right now, on the balcony right below her.

“That you Ricky?” she asked in a stage whisper.

“Hullo Blanche,” she heard in reply.

“You gotta go somewhere else Ricky,” she went on, “this is my nest. Go find your own.”

“I don’t think so, Blanche. I quite like it here. You should move.”

“No way Ricky, I was here first.”

There was silence from below. Blanche listened. She wanted to pick up the sounds of him leaving but she heard nothing.

“Still there, Blanche?” he finally asked.

“Still here,” she said, “I’m waiting for you to leave.”

“That’s not going to happen. There’s a storm brewing. No wind but rain is pretty much assured. The only other viable vantage point for this would be the park. The park’s fu’ther down the parade route and would leave me unprotected from the storm. I’d get all wet”

“I love storms.” Was all she said.

“Let’s do this one together, Blanche, shall we? You know, in unison, on the count of three, all that. They’d have to pay us both then.”

She was quiet as she considered his proposal. It was just like Ricky to come up with an idea like this, but she might be able to use it to her advantage.

“All right, Ricky,” she said to the balcony down below her. “I’m game.” She looked at her watch. “I expect the ambassador to show within the next few minutes. You count and we’ll do it on three.”

“Right.” He said.

They both went quiet then. Blanche was peering through her scope, breathing slowly. She had the butt of her gun pressed against her shoulder. She knew Ricky was doing the same thing and when the activity picked up at the embassy building; she knew the ambassador was about to come out to his limo. She held her breath.

First man out of the door was a bodyguard, she watched him scan the embassy grounds and then signal back inside. Blanche began a long slow exhale.

“Ready, Blanche?” Ricky asked as the ambassador came out from the building.

He started counting, “One… Two…”

Both rifles fired simultaneously pffht. The ambassador went down.

Blanche began disassembling her piece preparing to go.

“Ricky, you prick, you cheated.”

“Only because I knew you would.” He replied.


Daily Prompt · Random Scribbles · writing

Daily Prompt; Orderly

Daily Prompt; Orderly

Marco pushed the wheeled cart between the rows of cages. He didn’t have to announce that he was coming, the squeaky wheel on his cart allowed the inmates to hear him coming from the end of the cell block. He paused outside one of the first barred doors.

“Artie, your book is due. You need to give it back today.”

“I wanna renew it, Marco? I ain’t done with it.”

Marco sighed and pulled out the green cloth covered ledger that he used to record the ins and outs of the library books. He studied it for awhile and finally said, “You know you’re only allowed two renewals. This’ll be your second one. I can let you keep it for another week, but you’ll have to give it back next time.” He held out his hand, “Give it up, man. I need to stamp the card.”

“Pinche Orderly.” Arte spat as he picked up the book with his island sized paw and pushed it between the bars.

Marco kept his eyes on the death’s head tattoo that decorated the back of Arturo’s hand. He stayed back from the bars, and reached carefully for the book. Artie had been known to lash out, in the past and the little orderly wanted to be careful. He opened the front cover, pulled the card and picked up his stamp. He checked the date was right and bounced the business end off the ink pad then onto the next line of the card, careful to position the mark properly. He blew on the damp purple ink to dry it before inserting the card back into the sleeve that was glued to the inside front cover.

He noticed the title as he handed it back to Arturo, “Ornamental Horticulture”. The deaths head tattoo seemed to grin as the convicted man took back the volume.

Reading and fighting were the only two sources of entertainment inside these walls. Marco was glad that Artie had chosen reading, for the most part.


Daily Prompt · Photos · writing

Photo Challenge; Spare

Photo Challenge; Spare

We found her downtown.
She’d been missing more than a week.
She sat on the sidewalk,
Leaning against the wall
In front of O’Neills.

Her hair was dirty, stringy
Black circles under her eyes.
She had lost a lot of weight
Weight that she really couldn’t afford to lose.
She looked tired.

“Why don’t you come back home, Ginger?”
“We miss you. We want you back.”
“I’m never going back there,
“This is so much better.”

“Where are you sleeping?”
“I don’t need to sleep”
Where are you eating?”
“People give me stuff,
“I make do.”

“You can’t live your life this way!”
“Why not?”
We stood to leave. “You know you can always come home.”
“Not gonna happen.”
We started walking back to the car. Tears, choking.

“Mom, Dad – wait up”
She was running to catch us
“What is it baby?” her mother asked, hopefully.
“Do you think you could spare a couple of bucks?
“You know, for old time’s sake.”

Today’s picture is worth 139 words.
I had no photo but I had some mental images that I wanted to share.


The Blog Propellant · writing

He Seemed Like Such a Nice Man

Monday Moment with…Tony

“You understand, Luke, what the consequences are, if you plead guilty to the charges, as they’ve been read?”

“Yes your honor, I do. I truly do.”

“It is my understanding that you intend to do this anyway despite advise to the contrary by counsel. That you intend to mount no defense on your own behalf and plead guilty, as charged. Do I understand this correctly?”

“Yes your honor, you do.”

“Well, OK then, I guess we ought to get straight on it then. Ahem, Anthony Lucas Lovell; you stand accused of the following crimes against the people of Alabama. You are charged with malicious auto theft for stealing a patrol car from a sworn officer of the law, who had radioed in a 10-7b, and was inside “Bob’s Donut World” on Central Avenue. How do you plead?”

“Guilty, your honor, but the keys was in it.”

You are further charged with armed robbery, including malice and aforethought for the act of using a counter pen torn from the lobby counter in the 1st Bank of Centre Pointe and threatening the teller, Miss Mary Beth Parsons, with said pen whilst lifting the bills from her cash drawer. How do you plead?”

“Guilty, your honor, Miss Parsons was my Spanish teacher in the fifth grade. I didn’t really mean no harm.”

“Lastly, you are charged with mayhem and creating a nuisance.”

“Guilty, your honor.” Luke hummed a few bars of some unrecognizable tune that had been stuck in his head all day. It was ‘Rock n Roll Music’ – the devil’s music. Didn’t help his case much.

“Hold on, son. I want to make sure I understand this.” The judge studied the papers he clutched in his hand. “It says here that in addition to the mayhem and nuisance business, you are further charged with temerarious driving, and the exhibition of extortionate speed, philately, spelunking, playing the accordion, and impersonating a gynecologist.”

“Guilty, your honor.”

“Luke, I’m afraid I’m gonna have to throw the book at you for this ghoulish behaviour. You undertook quite the crime spree. I sentence you to hard time, and order you to report immediately to Draper Correctional Facility in Elmore County, Alabama.

Hey Tony, Hey Ms Rose – no malicious intent with this post. I’m just entertaining myself. Let me know and I will take it down if you want.

Random Scribbles · The Blog Propellant · writing

Mari, From El Paso

  1. They were seven when they left Abilene
  2. It wasn’t as much fun as I had hoped
  3. Maybe I’ll just stay here for awhile

They were seven when they left Abilene. They were new graduates from the university there. For the most part they sat together in the middle of the bus on both sides of the aisle and told stories. Comfortable with one another as old friends are wont to be.

California, that’s where they were bound, fame and fortune beckoned. Bill had studied theatre, Andrew knew lighting, Amy and Katherine had voices like angels. Mike had a screenplay that was almost finished and Walter craved the adventure. Walter had convinced Susan to come along; and she came because she loved him. She didn’t want to be the one left behind. She didn’t want to be standing at the depot in Abilene waving goodbye as he disappeared from her life forever.

They stopped in Big Springs for fuel and bathrooms. They stopped again in Van Horn. When they pulled into the station in El Paso the driver announced that they would be here for an hour and a half. He suggested the Jackrabbit Cafe, across the street from the depot if they were hungry.

Walter and Susan stayed on the bus, making out. Amy and Katherine decided to hunt for souvenirs in the gift shop. Bill tagged along with the girls and Andrew decided a walk was in order. He wanted to stretch his legs. Only Mike went to the Jackrabbit.

The waitress there was a young girl, maybe 18. She had dark hair and her name tag said “Mari”.

“What can I get you?” She asked Mike when he took a seat at the counter. She had a pencil behind her ear and a pot of coffee in her hand. Her order pad was tucked in an apron pocket.

“A cup of coffee would be nice.” He smiled at her and thought about what it would be like to spend time with her; maybe a picnic on the side of a stream, or visiting an art gallery downtown.

She smiled back. “Just passin’ thru?” she asked.

“Maybe,” he said. “Now that I’ve met you I’m rethinking that.”

“Well, I recommend the Monte Cristo,” she told him. “Esteban makes a mean Monte Cristo and he can make the fries extra crispy if you want.”

“Who’s Esteban?” Mike asked.

“Esteban’s the cook.”

“A Monte Cristo it is then, with extra crispy fries” he ordered and she scribbled it on the ticket, went back and slid it onto the wheel in the window. He watched her make her rounds, speaking with the customers, topping up their coffees, making change, and sliding bills onto their tables.

Straightaway though, she came back to Mike and they talked about why he was going to California. They talked about his screenplay and his dreams.

She asked if he had to be in California to sell a play in California. They flirted shamelessly till he had to leave. He put money on the counter top and turned to go.

“Hey,” Mari called him back, “you know, they’re hirin’ at the gas station.”

Mike waved goodbye to her and hurried across the street. The driver was checking tickets at the door. Mike took the first two steps up, to board the bus before he stopped and turned back to the driver. “Can you get my luggage out from below?” he asked. “I’m thinking, maybe I’ll just stay here for awhile.”

Mike waved to the others as the bus pulled away.

They were only six when they left El Paso.

Thirty one minutes to write. I spent less than a minute to edit. One of these days I’ll learn to spell “souvenir”. I read it and figured I would let the raw character of the writing slip through my fingertips. Hope you enjoy the unedited me.