Suddenly, I was awake. Sharp. Alert.

I kept my eyes shut, but remained still; listening,
trying to suss out what had disturbed my slumber.

I heard the fan oscillating – back and forth in the corner.
I heard the sea breeze kicking gently around the house.
I heard the channel buoy bells.
I heard Sandy breathing softly next to me.
These noises were all normal; they should not have pierced my veil of sleep.

I heard Noctern stir on her pad at the foot of the bed.
Whatever it had been the dog had heard it too.

I moved only to open my eyes.
A quick, staccato yip burst through the window and I knew the sound.

It had come in from the South; probably from the gulch.

I heard it again. It was closer this time, much closer than Arana Gulch.
The sounds of a scuffle and a mewling that was quickly silenced, as if it were only an echo from somewhere far away.
Three muted howls announced to the night that the hunt had been successful.

Noctern let out a heavy breath and settled her head back down.
In her mind, it was over.

I waited until I heard the pack pass; their claws ticked softly on the pavement,
the pads on their feet pounded an easy tattoo as they retreated into the darkness.


Daily Prompt · writing

Daily Prompt; Harmony

Daily Prompt;  Harmony

Trooper María-José Catalina Alleman eased her cruiser into the wide spot along the side of Highway 1313 and then backed in behind a grove of young growth redwoods. She hoped that it would be quiet along this stretch of two-lane tonight. She had some reading that she still needed to finish for school. Maria was taking classes at the community college and the demands of her job sometimes made it difficult to keep up with the demands from school. She did not want to have to choose between one or the other. Right now, she wanted both.

“Dispatch, this is 31.”

“Go ahead 31.”

“I’m on station at 1313 intercept.”

“Roger 31.”

She cradled the handset and reached for her tablet computer so she could call up her reading assignment. The window of her patrol car was down to allow her to hear the oncoming traffic even before she could see it, this allowed the benefit of being able to pay more attention to her reading without having to look up every time a car drove past.

She heard Ms. Purdy’s truck coming and flashed her lights so Ms. Purdy would know she was there. Purdy owned “The Market” which was where everyone around these parts bought their produce. Ms. Purdy always went home around this time of night and liked to know when Maria was about.

She looked back down at her tablet and noticed the “facebook” icon. One quick game of Candy Crunch wouldn’t hurt. Would it? It would only take a few minutes and she could get back to her reading and her job. Halfway through level 605 she heard a car coming towards her. It sounded like it was coming fast. She set the tablet down and waited to see who it was. It was Old Tom Jackson and she decided he wasn’t going that fast. She let him slide and picked her tablet back up.

About an hour and a half later she ran out of lives on her game but she had made it to level 608. She then played the Bejeweled game for a couple of hours or so. Traffic was light. She started to go back to her reading assignment but she spotted the “solitaire” icon. I’ll just play one game, she thought.

Suddenly her radio crackled, “31 this is Dispatch.”

She picked up the handset and looked at the clock. Where had the time gone?

She keyed the mike, “Go ahead, Dispatch.”

“Maria, it’s Stephanie, are you going to take a lunch tonight? Your shift ends in an hour and a half. You haven’t called in for a break, not at all. You OK?”

Right then Maria heard the unmistakable sounds of a big block Chrysler engine coming up from behind her and moving fast. The sound always made her think of those kids on her block who, on Saturday nights, would gather ‘round a fire that they had lit in a 55 gallon drum and sing acappella, in perfect harmony, all the voices blending, and working so well together.

As it screamed past her she could see it was a 70 ‘Cuda. It was the one that delivered 390 BHP. It was the one that had the 440 6 barrel intake, the one just like her dad had driven. Only this one was dark. The night and the shadows from the trees made it tough to tell for sure, but it was probably green or navy blue. Dad’s had been a red and black two tone. She glanced at the radar readout. That puppy was doing a cool 86 mph and this was a 50 mile zone. As he blew past she picked up her radio handset.

“No time for lunch right now, Dispatch. I got me a speed violation I gotta catch up to.” She started her cruiser, hit the lights and the siren and pulled off in pursuit. She wanted to get a better look at that Barracuda and, the chase was her favourite part of the job.

Daily Prompt · writing

Daily Prompt: Cranky

Daily Prompt: Cranky

“Well, look who finally got up. Did you sleep well David?”

“Damn it Darlene. Can you just shut it and get me a cup of coffee?” David said as he plopped his ass down at the table and stared at his wife.”

Darlene grabbed a cup and the Mr. Coffee carafe. She poured him a cuppa and set it on the table so that he would have to reach for it. He growled and mumbled as he fetched his coffee and took a sip.

“Jeeze Darlene, you didn’t put any sugar in it. Are you trying to poison me? Or what?”

She almost threw him the five pound bag of sugar and he poured a generous amount straight from the bag into his cup, splashing coffee on the table as he did so. He scowled. Darlene wrinkled up her face like she had just bitten into a lemon.

“Look at you David,” she said suddenly. “I’m not gonna let you go out of the house like that today.”

“What? What is it, Darlene? You don’t like my shirt? You don’t like my pants? Huh? What is it?”

“Yeah, David” Darlene spat the words out. “I don’t like your pants. You promised me you wouldn’t wear those pants ever again and now look at you. You got your cranky pants on. I swear to God I’m gonna burn them today whether you’re wearing them or not!”

David looked down at his trousers, “Ahhh, I’m sorry, Darlene. I just reached in the closet and pulled on the first pair I grabbed. I didn’t even notice.” He got up from the table, and headed back up the stairs to change. When he came back down he was wearing his old faded pair of 501’s and he stopped by the woodstove and stuffed his cranky pants inside.

“Sorry, baby,” he said and he pecked his wife on the cheek. She pulled him in close for another kiss then grabbed the box of Ohio Blue Tips and headed across the room to the stove. Darlene was smiling when she struck the match with her thumbnail and tossed it on top of those hateful trousers.





Miss Noodle was crouched behind the table that had been carefully positioned in the center of the coop. She was silent and scared. If Mr. MacGregor caught them meeting tonight he would surely roast them all. There was room for four to sit, but no one else had arrived yet. Wait, was that a noise? Was someone coming?

A low whisper crept through the door, “Noodle? Noodle, are you here?”

Miss Noodle kept her beak shut and crouched a bit lower behind the table. She ducked her head.

“Noodle? It’s me, Little. Are you here?”

“I’m here Little,” Miss Noodle replied almost as quietly and through a sigh of relief, “come inside, quick and be quiet.”

The two hens huddled together.

“Shhhh,” said Miss Noodle.

“Hush,” said Miss Little. “Do you hear that?”


“Sounds like someone singing in… French? Or maybe Italian?”

They listened, to a tuneless and quiet rendition of would could have been raucous music, indeed would have been raucous music – were it louder, creeping up through the floorboards into the coop where the girls huddled with their wings around one another for comfort.

“Oye cantinero,
Sírveme otra copa por favor
Quiero estar borracho
Yo quiero sentirme de lo peor,

Quiero tomar mucho para olvidar.
Quiero tomar mucho,
No importa el dinero…”

“That sounds like Spanish,” Noodle whispered, “It must be Alfredo. He wasn’t sure if he would be able to make it and, he’s probably drunk again.”

Miss Noodle cautiously peeked outside. Alfredo was lying on the ramp so she grabbed him by the spur and pulled him inside.

“Buenos dias, gallinas,” he shouted to them when he had managed to focus.

“Where’s Penny?” Little asked, a bit too loudly.

“She’s not coming,” Alfredo answered. “She’s not coming.”

“Shit,” hissed Little, “we’ll have to do this without her. Go on then, Noodle, call the meeting to order.”

Oye Cantinero lyrics by ‘El Tri”

Daily Prompt · writing

Daily Prompt; Heal

Daily Prompt; Heal

It’s late, or more accurately, it’s early.
I lie awake listening to her breathe, occasionally she turns beneath the linens and the quilt.
As I stare at the ceiling in the dark. Careful not to wake her.

Circumstance has placed her in a difficult position.

She is my rock, my touchstone, my support.
Vigilantly watching and caring as I heal.
I cannot thank her enough.