Michelle



“Hello?”

Hi, is Michelle there? It’s me; I gotta speak with her.

“I’m sorry, that’s not possible.”

Please go get her, tell her it’s me.

 

 

I need to hear her laugh.

 

 

“I’m sorry, but there’s No Telephone to Heaven.”

What? Why not? There used to be!

“It was deemed way too dangerous.”


 

Daily Prompt; Tourist

Daily Prompt; Tourist



I arrived some time ago
not a tourist, no
my pockets hold no local currency
I cannot speak the language

as if I am mute

I roam the streets
In circles, I am sure
I see the same buildings
time and again
I am lost

I place my hat upside down when I rest;
collect a few coins

I was told my people were here
that this was the Promised Land
I would be welcomed
and it would be easy to assimilate

not so far

it was terrible back home
it is as terrible here
did I make the right choice?
will I find my own?

should I go back?
should I take my chances?

it’s beginning to get cold


 

Book Bandit Prompts – Complements of Anita

The Book Bandits gathered today to write. I understand that Riz and Jennifer are providing the prompts and Anita shared today’s set with me along with an exhortation that I should do something with them. They are:

  1. Miracles occur;
  2. I went to the woods
  3. Save one man at a time


I stood with my kids, looking at the tree line. They wanted to go on a hike in the woods. I wanted to take them but tree lines scared me. People hid inside tree lines and shot AK47’s at you and the day was changing. It had gotten oppressive and humid. The heat bore down on my shoulders like it hadn’t done in a long time. Things were changing, time was changing; the quiet day suddenly became noisy. Small arms fire was clattering around me and I ducked low. It was easy to distinguish the sound of an AK47. The AK sounded different than an M16. A lot different.

I pulled Emmy and Therese low into the grass of the LZ. Where was Linda? The kids needed her she had to come and get the kids. They shouldn’t be here. I hoped we wouldn’t be seen. We had our wounded nestled low in a shallow ravine not far from where the girls and I crouched. We were waiting for a medevac. I listened closely but couldn’t hear the sounds of the Hueys. Where were the Hueys?

The AK fire was more concentrated now and someone, about 50 yards to my left popped a red smoke. Maybe they could hear the choppers, I couldn’t. Then I felt them, that hard thump, thump, thump that rattled my teeth first and then moved deeper to shake my bones. It was unmistakable and the sound made me feel safer. I smiled, when I felt the wash of the first one coming in hard and fast. Automatic weapons fire raked the treeline from the open door of an accompanying gunship and the evac bird hovered low, never quite touching down. I took the girls and loaded them in. I went back to help move my injured comrades. We could only save one man at a time.

When the Hueys left, whisking my daughters to safety I crouched low and waited for the signal to enter the woods.

Voodoo was next to me maybe 15 yards to my left. He was calling my name. He shouldn’t be doing that – he was drawing attention to himself, putting himself at risk, but he wouldn’t stop.

“Santa Fe, hey Santa Fe,” he yelled. “Come back man.

“Hey Santa Fe, you’re scaring me. What’s happening?” His voice slowly changed and he started calling me by my real name, “Bobby, Bobby?” He put his arms around me and Voodoo became Linda. “Bobby, are you all right? Come back to me Bobby.”

Suddenly it wasn’t 1969 anymore. The AK47’s were replaced by the sounds of birds and the day was cooler and dry.

“Linda,” I said, “did you get the girls? Are the girls OK? Are they safe?”

“The girls are fine,” she said, “you scared them a little bit but they’re OK. Thanks for saving them. Are you OK?”

I took her hand and we started walking back to the picnic table, “Yeah, I’m fine. You know, I love you.”

“I love you too Bobby. I love you too.”


Thanks Anita!

Daily Prompt; Prophecy

Daily Prompt; Prophecy



I watched as Pauline stepped up to the roulette table with matching stacks of chips in each of her two hands. The gypsy woman had told her what was going to happen. The prophecy had foretold that on her initial bet, half of her money should be placed squarely on 17 black. Winnings, if any, should be collected and put aside. The gypsy fortune teller had specifically stated that any winnings off the first bet should not be used on the second bet.

For the very next spin, the other half of her money should be wagered on 25 red.

I watched her lean forward and place one handful of chips on 17 black. Resignedly, I shook my head and watched the croupier spin the wheel then send the ball careening in the opposite direction. I looked up at Pauline as she stared at the scene playing out in front of her. I realized that I was holding my breath.

##

Pauline had drained her bank account, sold her car, and convinced me that I should give her a ride to the casino at The Inn of the Mountain Gods. Reluctantly, I had agreed.

“This is crazy, you know,” I told her.

“No it isn’t,” she said, “and I’m not going to talk about it anymore. I’m just going to do it.”

“You’re going to lose everything,” I replied.

“Did your mama get over that nasty cold she had?” Pauline asked, abruptly changing the subject.

“Yeah,” I sighed, “she’s well now, thanks.” I surrendered. I had known Pauline all my life and I knew that she could be as stubborn as a mule. This was one of those times and her mind was set. We rode the rest of the way up the mountain in a comfortable silence. She spent the time looking out the window with a faint smile on her face. A light snow had begun to fall. The lot was full when we got there but I finally found a spot that was situated about as far away from the front doors as you could get.  We fastened up our coats and began trudging towards the casino.

Inside Pauline moved to go to the cashiers window.

“Hey,” I said and she paused, looking back at me, “I’m going to go get a drink. I’ll meet you by the roulette tables. Do you want anything?”

“Orange juice,” she said and turned back, continuing her way to the window. She was on a mission.

I went to the bar where I ordered her OJ and a double JD for myself. I slipped the bartender twice the tab and asked her to wish us luck.

When the ball clattered down to the wheel and began jumping around; I exhaled and took a sip of my whiskey. I wove through the crowd to Pauline and handed her the glass of orange juice as the croupier announced the winner.

“17 black,” he said as he placed the dolly on the table.

Pauline got taller when she jumped up on her toes, “That’s the first one,” she said, “would you collect my winnings? I don’t want to risk mingling the winnings with my second bet.”

When the table was ready, I scooped up her money. I had no idea how much it was, but it was substantial. I held the chips against my chest with one hand and finished my whiskey with the other. Pauline leaned down and placed her second bet on 25 red.

She clutched my arm, and sipped her juice as she waited for the wheel to spin. We watched, anxiously as the croupier set the ball in motion above the spinning wheel. Time stood still as we waited and watched. When the ball finally clattered onto the moving wheel and bounced from slot to slot I held my breath again and closed my eyes. I couldn’t watch.

Pauline’s grip tightened on my forearm and I knew immediately what had happened when she started jumping up and down, splashing orange juice on all the players in the immediate area. I opened my eyes and confirmed, with amazement, what I already knew had happened. The little ball was nestled snugly in the red slot marked 25.

A skimpily dressed casino employee brought over a pair of small gold painted buckets. I put the chips I was holding into one of them and Pauline put the winnings from her second bet into the other.

“Let’s go.” She said.

I looked at her, incredulous, “What? You’re ahead. You can’t leave.”

“I can, and I will,” she said, “I’ve done what I came here to do.” We walked back to the cashier’s cage collecting envious stares from the other gamblers we walked past. They saw our two golden buckets and knew what that meant.

I stood back and waited while Pauline took her winnings as a cashier’s check and 300 dollars in cash. She slipped a fifty back to the teller.

“Thanks.” She said then she took my hand and dragged me back out to the parking lot where we began the long, cold walk back to the truck. The snow had gotten heavier and was beginning to drift up against the curbs and to cover the scrub. I couldn’t help but grin when she stretched up and planted a little kiss on my cheek.


 

Daily Prompt; Awe

Daily Prompt; Awe



“Only two kinds of people are gonna stay on this beach: those that are already dead and those that are gonna die.

The Longest Day (1967)

“Every man who wages war believes God is on his side. I’ll warrant God should often wonder who is on his.”

Cromwell (1970)

“I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

Apocalypse Now (1979)

“Sweet Jesus, war does terrible things to people.”

Gangs of New York (2002)

“Shock and awe…”

Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003)


 

OLWG #18

  1. It was mockery
  2. I liked the way she spoke
  3. While the dog wheezed and sputtered in the other room
TBP
TBP


Wearing only shorts, I lay on the cool tile floor seeking relief from the heat, while the dog wheezed and sputtered in the other room. Poor girl, she was having as much trouble with the oppressive temperatures and humidity as everyone else was. I finished the last beer and knew it was only going to get worse now that there was nothing cool to drink. The water was unsafe. The beers were done, as were the coca colas. Eventually I was going to have to venture out to the market for supplies. I craved ice and wished for bottled liquids. Perhaps this time I would stock up on bottled water instead of beer and soda. That might be smarter. I dozed; off and on to pass the time.

As the afternoon waned and the shadows began to lengthen I sensed the respite promised by the evening. A breeze began to kick up and blew a bit of life back into the city. People began to take to the streets again; I could hear them as they passed by my curtained window. Almost reluctantly, but knowing it was vital, I picked myself up off the floor and pulled on a thin white cotton shirt and my Huaraches. With a few pesos in my pocket, I checked the dog’s water and walked out the front door, pulling my rolling cart behind me. It was a few blocks to the Mercado and I intended to buy lots and lots of water.

It was still hot outside, like a furnace, I estimated it to be at least 45 degrees and I considered going back in the house. No, I had to do this; else I would surely perish tomorrow. I trudged slowly up the hill to the end of the block, turned left and walked down to the store where I bought water. I filled my cart with water; water and three large bags of ice. I greeted Sr. Zuniga and asked how his day was going. His wife answered for him. In Spanish she told me that it had been a very good day for them. The weather was good for business. She was from somewhere down south and I liked the way she spoke. Her accent was lilting and soft. Zuniga was a lucky man. She was beaming as she scurried about the shop, staying busy by straightening shelves and making sure everything was stocked properly. She pointed out that they had watermelon and I took two of those as well. I would have bought them all but I was a little light on pesos, with no income anticipated until late next week. I had to conserve.

Melons balanced precariously atop my basket of ice and water, I headed home. The old dog, who lives in my house, greeted me when I got inside and sniffed around my basket to see if I had brought her something. My refrigeration system here consists of three old Igloo Ice Chests I keep them iced and anything that requires refrigeration goes into one of the coolers. I got the ice in the coolers and threw some water in there with them. The rest of the waters I stacked on the floor in hope that they might be kept temperate by the Saltillo tiles. I cut one of the melons in half and set one part on the rough wooden table. The other half I lowered into a chest. I would save it for tomorrow.

Slicing off several thick slabs of melon I sat at the table and ate. I offered some to the dog and we ate our dinner together. The melon was delicious, juicy and sweet. The old cur seemed to enjoy it as much as I did.


Oh, times up – 25 minutes passes fast when you’re crafting a story. I spent another five to edit. I choose 3!

Daily Prompt; Aimless

Daily Prompt; Aimless



The girl picked up the rifle, it was a Repeater that belonged to her dad. She pointed it in the general direction of the empty whiskey bottle that she had set on the fence post. She fired three times and the bottle, unscathed, mocked her. Setting the rifle down she snatched her daddy’s revolver and fired off three more shots. She could almost hear the bottle laughing at her now.

It wasn’t the bottle laughing though, it was Henry, standing behind her. Henry worked for her daddy and he was laughing at her.

“Henry Perkins, I’m gonna tell my daddy that you laughed at me and he’ll have your job. Is that what you want.”

“No Miss Ann, that’s not what I want at all. I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you. You just need a bit of instruction, that’s all.”

“And, you think you can instruct me how to shoot Henry? Is that what you think?”

“Yes ma’am, I do. Do you have more ammunition for those?” she nodded her head and kicked a bit of dust towards a couple boxes that sat on the ground near her. “Can I see that Winchester?”

She picked it up and handed it to him then stepped to the side. He raised the rifle, fired three shots and scarred the fence post directly below the bottle three times. He clucked his tongue and nodded his head before he handed the rifle back to her.

“The pistol?” he held out his hand and she gave it to him. He turned and faced the fence post holding the revolver loosely at his side. Shaking his shoulders he loosened up the raised the pistol and using the heel of his left hand he raked the hammer three times in rapid succession and put three additional scars on the post. They were neatly aligned in a row just below the ones he had made with the rifle. He spun the gun on his index finger and presented it back to her, butt first.

“Goddamn, Mr. Perkins,” she said as she took the proffered weapon from his hand, “that’s some fine shootin’! Can you teach me to do that?”

“I most certainly can, Miss Oakley. Anything can be taught to someone who wants to learn and is willing to practice. I reckon you want to learn.”

“I do, indeed, Mr. Perkins. I do indeed,” and that’ the story of how Miss Annie Oakley learned to shoot. She wasn’t always a sharpshooter. In fact, before Henry Perkins came along, she was aimless.