OLWG · writing

OLWG #5 – Hijo


This weeks prompts:

  1. There’s a hole in my sock
  2. Do as I say, not as I do
  3. Wait, is that a monkey?

Esperanza shook out the match and drew on her freshly lit cigarette as Alfredo walked through the kitchen door from outside. The screen swung as he turned and noticed the look on his mother’s face. He grimaced, and too late he tried to stop the door from slamming.

“Sorry, Mama,” he gently closed the heavier wooden door.

“I got a call from your school today, Fredo,” she said to him. “They told me that you would be late today. They told me that you were smoking between classes and that you had to serve a detention.”

“Sorry, Mama.”

“We’ve talked about this, hijo. I don’t want you smoking.” She stubbed the barely smoked cigarette out in the ashtray on the table.

“But, Mama,” he pointed at her full ashtray and shrugged.

“No hagas lo que hago. Haz lo que te digo.”

“OK, sorry Mama.”


the twenty-five  minutes slipped by too fast. I didn’t get much story in, but maybe just enough character development.

What do you think?

OLWG · writing

OLWG #4 – Marni’s Revenge


This weeks prompts:

  1. Time to excavate our relationship
  2. A twenty dollar shine on ten dollar boots
  3. It’s a handicapped spot

I found Marni in the parking lot at the market. She was scurrying back and forth
pushing stacks of shopping carts around.

What the hell are you doing Marni?

Collecting shopping carts. Why?

You know that they have people who work here that do that, don’t you?
You don’t have to do it.

Go home, Ed. It’s probably going to get ugly soon.

Marni, what are you going to do?

I’m just gathering their carts…
… they’re scattered all over the lot.
Need to be consolidated. I’m helping them, see.

Where are you going to put their carts Mar?

I’m going to put some of them in those parking spots.
Starting with the one over there.

Over there?
It’s a handicapped spot.
You can’t put all their carts in that handicapped spot!

Jeeze, Ed. I know that. There are way too many carts for that one spot.

What are you going to do with the rest of the carts then?

I’m thinking of blocking the doors. I’m thinking that would be a good idea.

Why? What did they do to you?

To me? Nothing to me, but they’re not going to fuck with my Grandma anymore.

She looked over by the entrance to the lot.
I followed her gaze
and saw her car parked and ready for a quick getaway.
I saw her Grandma sitting in
the front passenger seat, smiling.
I waved and she waved back.
She was a sweet woman who never had an unkind word for anybody.

we have to get them all staged before we push them in front of the doors.
Let me help.
Have you gotten the ones from the far end of the lot yet? Down by the Home Center?

Not yet.
Thanks, Ed.
You better hurry.

I tucked my head down and started jogging in
the direction of the Home Center.

Daily Prompt · writing

Daily Prompt; Blossom

Daily Prompt; Blossom

We got to the test site base camp in the late afternoon of July 14th, and had traveled quite a distance to arrive at the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range that day. All told there were about 400 of us there.

They weren’t ready for me or my team when we got there so we moved into the camp and got something to eat. It was about eight o’clock that evening before word came down that we were on. My team worked under the code name “FLASHPOINT.” There were six of us and we worked in pairs. Victor and Loretta went to the northwest edge of the site, Larry and Rick went to the east, while Brenda and I drifted to the south. We stayed in contact with one another until everyone was in position and then shifted to radio silence while we set up our equipment and instruments.

Brenda was excited and she talked continuously; to me, and to herself, and to the night sky about what she thought we would see and about the benefits of this technology.  She was giddy with anticipation and looked forward to analyzing the data we expected would be gleaned from this first test. She was a talented engineer and scientist. I shared her ebullient anticipation but I lacked her loquaciousness. We worked straight through until almost 0400 on the morning of the 16th when our preparations were complete.

About half an hour before we completed our set up, Larry and Rick had broken radio silence to announce, “B Team standing by,” which was their announcement that their preparations were complete and they were ready.

At 0358 Brenda broadcast, “A Team is standing by.” Victor and Loretta announced their readiness at 0514 and we all knew that from that point it would be exactly 15 minutes until the test commenced. We expected things to happen fast when it began so we settled in on our folding chairs, where we could watch the equipment. We waited and at 0527 I reached over and took Brenda’s hand. We sat like that until it happened.

We felt it first. The earth jolted and the ground began to shake. It was immediate; there was no slow buildup or early tremors that we had anticipated. We had been wrong about that, but before I could register our miscalculation we saw it. In the blink of an eye there was a dome of light to the north of us. It must have been at least 500 feet high and then it blossomed into a mushroom shape of smoke and dust as the glow grew wider and higher. Brenda and I were both thrown backwards to the ground and everything went black.

I learned later that Larry and Rick were both killed as a result of the initial blast. They were the closest to the test site. Victor died less than three days later. Loretta lasted five. Brenda was hit by one of the spectrometers that had been thrown by the force of the explosion. It killed her immediately. It’s been a year now and somehow I’m still around. I sleep a lot and I have my moments of clarity, but for the most part I’m confused. Some days I can’t remember my name, or the future that Brenda and I had envisioned for ourselves. I get bad headaches that resist the best efforts of the doctors to treat. I’ve lost over 48 pounds due to the nausea and my inability to keep food down.

The symptoms are getting worse, not better. I think Brenda and I will be reunited soon. I hope so.



OLWG #3 – Tamara Tammy

OLWG #3 Three Vignettes

This was not what she needed right now

Tamara stood in the center of the crowded elevator, facing forward, staring at the numbers as they counted down. She was parked on the B5 level, deep underground. At almost every floor the lift would stop and the doors would open, the ride was interminably slow. Sometimes people would try to squeeze on; sometimes they would frown, gesture with their hands, and say something about waiting for the next one.

Whoever was standing behind her had their hand on her ass. She couldn’t see who it was as they were so packed into the cramped space that she couldn’t turn enough to look behind her. This was not what she needed right now but she decided to let it go. She thought that they were so jammed up on this car that everyone in this thing might have a hand on their ass. She took a deep breath and held it till the doors opened at the next floor, the twenty-first.

“Excuse me,” she said, “this is my floor.” She began trying to move forward; trying to get to the doors before they slid shut again. As she stepped into the empty hall the hand fell away. She turned and saw that she was the only one who had exited the lift. She pursed her lips and exhaled.

Was this what I went to school for? So I could get groped in a crowded elevator?


Nothin’ special

Tamara was sitting on the couch waiting; waiting for Grandma and Grandpa to get there. Mom was in the kitchen fixin’ dinner. She was making chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes, and a cherry pie. Mom always cooked a fancy dinner when Grandma and Grandpa came to visit. Tamara was always on her best behavior then too. When they came to visit it was always special. Tamara smiled when she thought about her grandparents.

Grandma wore sweaters, gave the best hugs, and always smelled really good. Tamara loved to sit next to Grandma, to snuggle in close. Grandpa was magic. He could make quarters appear out of thin air or pull them from behind her ear. He always kept candy in his pocket and shared it with her.

Tamara heard the car pull up, in front of the house.

“They’re here!” she shouted and jumped up running to the door. She waited with one hand on the knob and when the knock came she pulled the door open and jumped into her Grandma’s arms.

Grandpa tousled her hair, “I brought you somethin’, Tammy.” He said.

“Ohhh, what?”

“Eh, nothing special.” He grinned as he reached into his jacket pocket.


I have to find a way to tell them

Tammy got home first and collected the post. As she rifled through the letters she saw the one that she had been expecting. She clutched it to her breast and pushed the rest of the mail back into the box.

Upstairs in her bedroom she tore the envelope open and unfolded the single sheet of paper that was inside. She was in! The letter announced that she had been accepted and offered a full scholarship at State. It was like a dream come true. Mom would be disappointed. She had wanted Tammy to go to the Junior College in town for her first two years.

Dad had wanted her to go to North Texas, his alma mater. It didn’t matter, this was what she wanted.

I just have to find a way to tell them, she thought. She clutched the letter and went back downstairs. She thought she might rummage through the kitchen for a snack and wait for her parents to get home. Everything was starting to come together just as she had hoped.

Daily Prompt · writing

Daily Prompt; Imaginary

Daily Prompt; Imaginary

I had left my car with my mechanic and hadn’t seen it in almost a week so I was hoofing it, or riding public transportation, everywhere I went. Imagine my surprise when my old friend Jess stepped up on my bus from the stop at Silver Fir and Grand. Damn, he looked just the same as he had all those years ago. He recognized me right away too and came down my direction. I stood up and we shook hands before hugging one another.

“Jess, I didn’t expect to see you. I haven’t seen you in years! How long’s it been?”

“Like ya said little man, it‘s been years.”

I said, “Hey don’t call me little man. Call me by my name. Call me Will. You haven’t changed a bit. Don’t you age?”

“Nah, I’d only age if you wanted me to but you would have needed to do that, like, years ago. Like when you were still six. It won’t work now. It’s been too long. I’ve had too many other friends in the interim. You know Will, of all the friends I’ve had in my career you’re the only one who just disappeared. You never even said goodbye to me. It was just… one day you were there and we were playing; the next day you weren’t around.”

“Of course I didn’t say goodbye Jess. You were my friend, my best friend and, probably my only friend, at the time; but you were imaginary. You weren’t real. Anyway that was about the time that Mr. Lindsey sold his house and Ricky’s folks moved in from California. I became friends with Ricky and Audrey. Ricky was real man, we could play catch and ride bikes together. He wasn’t just made up.”

“Oh yeah Will; we used to play catch and ride bikes.”

We didn’t play catch Jess I was just throwing the ball up in the air and catching it. We were pretending to play catch, but it was only me. And, you never had a bike.”

“I did so. I had that shiny red and chrome Schwinn that you gave me for Christmas. Don’t you remember?”

“That never really happened Jess, I had to make that up so we could play like we were riding bikes. You weren’t really riding a new bike. It did have a nice bell on it though.”

“Come on Will. Let’s let bygones be bygones. I’m willing to pretend that you didn’t desert me. Waddya say? Where’s your friend Ricky now huh? How come he’s not around? I’m here cause I’m a much better friend that that Ricky guy ever was. Where is he? Huh?”

“Ricky’s been dead since 1968 Jess, Vietnam. You’d been gone for years when that happened.”

“Oh shit man, I’m sorry. What about his sister? What was her name? Where’s she?”

“Audrey? She grew up and we got married, but it didn’t last very long. She left me for Debbie Honneycutt. They’re still married and living in Santa Fe. Have two kids in college. We send each other cards on our birthdays and at Christmas.”

This visit from my old friend Jess was turning into a real bummer. I hadn’t thought about Ricky in a long time and I hadn’t heard from Audrey on my birthday this year. I needed to call her.

“Jess, I’m on my way home from work. You wanna stop and get a beer or something?”

“That sounds pretty good to me. Maybe we can have a catch after?”

There’ going to be new prompts at The New, Unofficial, On-line Writer’s Guild on Sunday. That’s tomorrow. It’ll be fun. We can write stuff and maybe play Parcheesi later!