Imogene’s Flight

OLWG #1 – The prompts are:

  1. Miss Wilson did her best to hush the class
  2. But that’s not what it said
  3. The cool breeze blew in the back of her hospital gown

Imogene risked a look over her shoulder as she scurried down the street, the pavement cold on her bare feet; her eyes were wild and her shock of curly blue hair untamed, manic. A cool breeze blew in the back of her hospital gown. The gown that she could not hold closed and continue to move as quickly as she felt she needed to.  She needed to look like she did this every day. She needed to appear as if nothing was out of the ordinary, she needed to blend in; but she was clipping down the street wearing nothing but a pastel blue hospital garment that was tied only at her neck in the back.

How do you make that look normal?”

She thought that she had been lucky to get away from the infirmary at all. She had heard them coming and moved when they began whispering outside her door. She hid behind it; and when they came in, with weapons drawn, she had managed to slip out the door, unseen, and down the passageway to the exit stairs.

Now she was on the boulevard, moving towards 32nd Street, against the flow of pedestrian commuters emerging from the subway exits. Her attire assured that she stuck out like a sore thumb.

She had to get inside. She had to find clothes. She didn’t have much time before they would be on her again so; she ducked down a narrow alleyway and through the open kitchen door of a diner. Could she find clothes here?

“Probably not,” She thought to herself, “but at least it gets me off the street, out of the open.”

Someone was coming from the front and making no attempt at stealth, Imogene picked up a knife from the prep counter and crouched low. The knife was a prop, she wouldn’t be able to use it and she knew this, but if she could scare someone enough to give her their clothes? Well?…

Five minutes later, wearing an ill-fitting black suit and a white button down shirt she left the diner. She still had no underwear, but that was a little less obvious now. She tugged a purloined watch cap down to cover her unruly hair. She was still barefoot and stood out, but maybe not as much as she had before.

“The waterfront,” she thought to herself, “that was where this all began. I need to go back there if I ever want my life back.” She took a left on Ocean Street and turned up her collar.

Time’s up – 27 minutes (I cheated to get that last short paragraph in). No editing – this is raw and not very pretty. It could be the germ of an idea that I might develop later though.


Daily Prompt; Radiate

Daily Prompt; Radiate

Russell was a pirate and
he sailed the seven seas
till he finally found the atoll
Where the Spanish treasure was believed
to be.

Russell dropped the anchor
from the ship he’d named Lenore,
he had three able seamen
row him to the shore
Where the Spanish treasure was believed
to be.

Russell led his crewmen
behind a dune, inside the trees.
He double-checked his compass while
his eyes studied the scene
then he marked the spot for the men to dig
Where the Spanish treasure was believed
to be.

Russell tilted back his tricorn
found a spot out of the sun
the crew toiled for hours,
Russell sipped his rum.
They removed a musket, and then a skull,
Then the banded chest came too, the very chest
Where the Spanish treasure was believed
to be.

Russell used his flintlock,
his sabre, and a knife
to kill his trusted crewmen,
to rob them of their lives.
He cut the straps and broke the locks
that kept the coffer quite secure
then raised the lid of the ancient box
Where the Spanish treasure was believed
to be.

Russell gazed into the glow
it radiated gold
he laughed aloud, finished his rum
it was a glory to behold.
The first mate waited through the night
in the morn he came ashore.
There was no trace of Russell so the Mate assumed command
he turned Lenore and sailed away, ever bent to seek the place
Where the Spanish treasure was believed
to be.

I’m not sure if I like this or not. I leave it up to you – dismiss it or not, you choose.

Daily Prompt; Infuse

Daily Prompt; Infuse

Twenty-five year old Alexa Jones set her overnight bag down and stood on the sidewalk staring at the old house. She ignored the bright yellow cab that had brought her as it pulled away from the curb. It had been years since she had been home. She hadn’t stayed away because of the people who lived here. She had gotten along fine with her mom and dad. It was the house.

Her parents had bought that house when Alexa was sixteen years old and for her it had never been a happy place. The house seemed to be infused with evil and a dark angst. It hadn’t taken her long to realize that the house was haunted. It scared her to death. She tried to talk with her parents about her fears, but they wouldn’t listen, or take her seriously. They were not scared and were not going to move, they told her. No, she could not go live with her grandparents, or with friends. She just had to suck it up, make the best of it.

Alexa lived in the house for two months before she ran away. She avoided the obvious places where teenage runaways would go. She stayed away from LA. She stayed away from New York and other big cities. She found a small high desert town in eastern New Mexico where rents were cheap, jobs were available, and folks minded their own business.

She passed herself off as a recent college graduate and signed a lease on a one bedroom adobe that she could afford. She got a fake ID, and a job at the Dollar Store. She kept to herself and began taking on-line classes to get her GED. She got the GED when she was still sixteen and immediately signed up for on-line college courses. At the age of eighteen she was the manager at the Dollar Store and had several employees reporting to her. She had a BA from Smitherton. When she was twenty she ran for city council and found herself being appointed Mayor. She phoned her mother and spoke to her for the first time in four years. She found out her dad had passed away six months before.

Alexa rebuilt her relationship with her mom but never returned to that house. Mom came to visit her several times and was proud of what Alexa had done with her life. Although she was proud of her she was also a little upset at having been excluded. They had a few arguments about this but in the end both sides decided to let it go and concentrate on the now. Resentment, Alexa knew, could fester and abscess. Unchecked, it could destroy her rekindled relationship with her mom.

Now that her mother had also passed Alexa found herself staring at the house, the house where only spirits lived. She stood on the walk and listened to the house. It called her. She felt the fear. The funeral was tomorrow. Over and over she asked herself, what was I thinking, I can’t do this.

She picked up her bag, whispered into the breeze, saying her goodbyes to her mom. She turned her back on that hated house and began walking towards the freeway. She figured she could stay the night at the motel by the on ramp. Tomorrow she would find a way back to the airport and then home to New Mexico. It would be good to get back there and she knew her mother would understand.

Like writing prompts?

20May 2017 – Writer’s Guild: More Stolen Prompts

Prompts stolen from The Orange County Writers Guild:

  1. The Thermometer of Success
  2. Back in the Days of Yore
  3. The Moon is a Friend for the Lonesome to Talk to

Travis tentatively picked up the phone and dialed Benny’s office for the third time today. This time Benny answered using a lousy falsetto. It was definitely Benny, not his girl. Travis couldn’t remember the girl’s name but he could remember her tits. She had really big tits.

“Pettifog Agency, how may I direct your call?” Benny squeaked over the phone.

“Benny, it’s me; Travis. You gotta help me out man.”

“I’m sorry but Mr. Pettifog is in a meeting. May I take a message?” a poor attempt to continue the ruse.

“Benny, you’re not fooling me man. I know it’s you and I need your help. I need a gig. Quit fooling around.”

“All right, Travis you got me.” Benny admitted returning to his normal voice. “But I can’t get you a gig. You’re persona non grata. I even had to take your picture off the wall in my lobby. No hall in the country is gonna touch you, let alone book you. Five years ago you filled the Filmore, and then when… well you know… you broke your thermometer of success Travis, all the mercury spilled out and poisoned both your life and mine. I still have sharks leaning on me every day.”

“Come on Benny, you owe me. How’s your wife?”

“Don’t go there, Travis. Let me work on it. I might be able to book you into the Flame Room in Bakersfield, but I’ll be calling in a lot of markers. You’ll have to find your own transportation and print your own show-bills.”

“Do it, Benny, and thanks.”

25 minutes writing – 10 minutes editing
“Over the Rhine” on the Box to distract me.
Thanks OCWG. I’m stealing your prompts again! Just like old times.

13 May 2017 – Writer’s Guild: Stolen Prompts

Prompts stolen from The Orange County Writers Guild:
1. The ocean is mighty
2. Opening the cabinet door I found a bowl of scrambled eggs
3. Just google it

I finally got home – at about 7:30
the sun was just beginning to set over the Sullivan’s swing set, next door.

Lawn was too deep
weeds were higher than the porch. It was only Wednesday –
long time till I could mow and clean up the garden.

Grimacing, I opened the door – it smelled bad and it was cold inside the house, but
I ploughed my way through the dirty clothes and
the greasy, empty fried chicken buckets.
I was heading for the kitchen
I was hungry but something wasn’t right!

No dirty dishes.
The sink was clean.
The counter-top sparkled.
Hoping that I had been visited by the kitchen elf, I crossed my fingers
and opened the fridge.

Damn! Empty.

I let the door swing shut on its own volition and held my breath as I reached for the freezer door
maybe some ice cream?
A single ice cube was frozen to the bottom of the compartment. A jar of peanut butter stood proudly next to it.

Then it hit me;
there could be only one explanation. I scrambled to open cupboard doors where I found dust lying heavily around freshly washed melamine dishes. I found Mama Kitty in the cabinet below the sink – hmmm.
Finally the only cabinet left, the only one I had not looked in, was the short one above the fridge. Opening the cabinet door I found a bowl of scrambled eggs.

I knew it! Grandma was here and I found her cuddled up, in her sleeping bag
napping in the tub.

Smiling, I touched her shoulder and watched her eyes pop open,
“Grandma,” I said, “why didn’t you tell me you were coming?”

“I wanted to surprise you, Todd. Doesn’t look like  Becka’s been around for a while. She leave you again?”

Grandma always called me Todd, even though my name was Ken.

“Yep, ‘fraid so.”

“I cleaned the kitchen.” She said, climbing out of her bedroll and stepping out of the tub, “You don’t have a lot of food…
We can go shopping and finish cleaning if you take tomorrow off to drive me
to the market and take care of the yard.”

“Yeah, let’s do that. How long can you stay Grandma?”

“Well, I think maybe a couple of days. I hear your cousin Connie might need me up there in Toronto. I hope it’s not snowing there already.”

“You hungry, Grandma? There’s a new Italian place on the West side
that’s supposed to be good. My treat.”

The OC Writers Guild has a new book out.  An anthology.
Vol. 1

Get it on Amazon!

Daily Prompt; Final

Daily Prompt; Final

Daniel was standing outside the church; in the sun with his eyes closed and his face turned upwards. The heat felt good on his face and he wanted to loosen his tie and take off his suit coat. He was startled when she tapped on his shoulder.

“Hey,” she said.

It was Jeanine. She was in his chemistry class at school but he had never seen her at church before. Jeanine was one of the ‘Goth’ kids. She always spiked her hair; she had a lot of piercings and always wore short black skirts with grey or dark red tops that hugged her curves. Not today though. Today she had donned a knee length sun dress. A sun dress with a floral print done in pastel colours, greens, and blues, and pinks primarily. The hues of her dress served to deepen the violet of her eyes and he couldn’t help but stare. Her eyes were mesmerizing. Daniel had always thought she was pretty but they ran in different circles. He had never known how to approach her. Now the tables had been turned and she was approaching him.

“Uh, hi Jeanine, what are you doing here? Uhm, I… I mean I’ve never seen you here at church before. Do you come here normally or is this your first time?”

“We come here all the time but we usually come for the second service. If you’re always here for the first then it makes sense that we haven’t seen each other. We came early this week because of Mother’s Day. My brother’s home on leave and we’re taking my Mom to brunch at that restaurant on 7th Street… You know; the one down by the harbor. I got all dressed up and everything.”

“You uh, you look really nice,” Daniel stammered and he felt his ears getting hot. He knew that he was blushing and that only embarrassed him more.

“You think so?” she asked. She turned a little pirouette making the hem of her sundress flare outward. She laughed.

He laughed.

The stood awkwardly together in the bright sunshine; his hands in his trouser pockets her hands holding one another – twisting; both of them searching for something to say.

Finally she nudged his arm with her elbow, “Finals next week. I’m so excited. We’ve only got to get through these and we can graduate.”

“Oh God,” he replied, “I’m dreading them, especially Chemistry.”

“What do you mean – especially chemistry – you’ve done great in that class.” She was clearly surprised by what he had said.

“I struggle with it. I don’t really understand it. I have to memorize shit, er sorry, I meant stuff, to pass the tests.”

“Really? I thought you were a brainiac? Chemistry isn’t really that hard. I can help you study if you want.”

“You would do that for me?” It was his turn to be surprised.

“Sure… can you come to my house tomorrow after school? I would start tonight, but my brother has to go back to his boat tomorrow. I want to spend a little more time with him and my mom today. I’ll see ya tomorrow.” Janine smiled and waved at him with her fingers, turned, and wandered through the ornately carved doors back into the church.


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