OLWG #48 – Heavenly Bodies

Written for OLWG #48

Nell and Beatrice (call me Trixie) finished up their breakfasts and slid out of the orange and brown Naugahyde bench seats at the coffee shop.

“Thanks, Bernard!” Nell hollered back towards the kitchen and both ladies waved goodbye to the staff as they headed out the door. “I think that Bernard’s kinda cute,” she offered up by way of conversation.

“He mighta been cute before he put all those tattoos on his neck and such.” Bea replied, “He mighta been cute before he put all those earrings in his cheeks, eyebrows, chin, and tongue,” she went on, “but I certainly wouldn’t call him cute now!”

At the bus stop Nell added, “I bet he can still get it up though.”

Immediately Bea stretched her neck and looked around, “Hush Nellie, you don’t talk about things like that here, somebody could be listening!”

“I’m just sayin’.”

“Well just don’t, damnit.”

“Ohhhh, listen to you.” Nellie sang, “Language like that can get you thrown out of here too, ya know.”

“Shit,” Beatrice said and she giggled. Nell giggled too. The friends stood at the stop smiling and laughing at the joke between themselves until their coach arrived. They boarded and made their way to the back where other people weren’t. They were on their way to work. Nell closed her eyes to nap and Bea pulled out a Good Housekeeping magazine to occupy her time.

They got off the bus at about a quarter till nine and made their way to the warehouse where they changed into their work clothes. Nell couldn’t let it go, “Do you ever miss it, Trix?”

“Miss what?”

“You know… sex. Physical gratification? Scratchin’ that itch?” Nell looked at Beatrice who appeared dumbstruck and horrified by what she was hearing. “Do ya think they have sex in hell, Trixie? We damn sure don’t have it up here. Or do we? Maybe I’m just in the wrong part of Paradise? Ya think? I’ll tell you what I think. I think I still look pretty good for a woman who passed away in her fifties.” She studied her reflection and smoothed her work smock down past her hips.

They left the locker room and plucked time cards from their respective slots to punch in; nine o’clock on the dot. They headed towards the factory where Nell tied loops to the stars as they rolled off the production line. Trix’s job was Quality Control. She’d take a look at the finished products and tuck a little tag in the package: “Inspected by No. 17” it would say.

Nell tried to pick up the conversation but Trixie wouldn’t let her, “Best not to even be thinkin’ about such things.” she said and they continued their walk in silence until a voice rang out from behind them.

“’Scuse me, Ladies, I beg yore pa’don.”

The girls turned around to find a slim middle aged man had just entered the hallway behind them. In unison, both Bea and Nellie asked, “Us?” as they pointed at themselves.

“Yes ma’ams, I do mean y’all. I’m new here and I’ve gotten turned around some. Ah’m tryin’ to find my way to the work-floor. Kin y’all point me in the right direction?”

“We’re going there now,” Bea said.

“Come on then, you can walk with us; we’ll show you the way.” Nell added.

He hurried to catch up. He shook hands with Beatrice, “Nigel Parsons, ma’am. From Fort Worth.”

“Nice to meet you, Nigel, this is my friend Nell.”

He took Nell’s hand and perhaps held it for a little longer than was necessary, “Ah’m most pleased to make yore acquaintance Miss Nell.”

“Oh,” she replied and fanned herself with her free hand. Bea had never seen Nellie at a loss for words before.

Nigel finally released Nell’s hand. He said, “I unnerstan’ that quittin’ time’s ‘bout five-thirty. Would y’all ladies be free to join me for a drink afta work?”

“Unfortunately, I won’t be available,” Trixie replied, “but Nell’s available. Aren’t you Nellie?”

“Why, yes. Yes I am. That would be delightful, Mr. Parsons. Thank you.”

He slid between the two friends and brushed Nell’s back with his finger tips. “Please, call me Nigel. Mr. Parsons was my daddy’s name.” He grinned and Nell tittered.

As they passed a door Beatrice pulled up, “I just remembered, I have to stop in here and clear up some things for my Supervisor. You guys go on without me.”

Nell looked back over her shoulder in time to see Trixie mouth “Be careful what you wish for Nellie. Be careful.”

Nell frowned and turned back as Nigel continued, “They tole me Ahd be workin’ in the bizness o’ manufactrin’ heavenly bodies, but I didn’t realize Ahd get ta meet one on my furst day o’ work.” Behind the couple, Trix shook her head. The man droned on, “Perhaps, after a drink, you could join me fo’ dinner? Do you enjoy games? I play a mean game o’ tiddlywinks.”

“Oh, Nigel,” Nell said and she looked back with concern at her friend who was pushing open the door of the Quality office.

This week, the prompts were:

  1. Hanging stars
  2. a ladies’ man from Texas
  3. tiddlywinks

Don’t think! Write!
You have 25 minutes but if it takes longer – just don’t tell anyone.

Daily Prompt; Cur

Daily Prompt; Cur

Carol was an outlaw. Born in Boston, he came with his family to the territory in 1864, when he was about five years old. They homesteaded a ranch just outside Bayard on the banks of The Whiskey River. His father was killed in a poker game when Carol was eight and his mother took up with a hotelier, named, August Blake. She abandoned the ranch to move herself and the boy to Silver City. Blake adopted Carol who then took on his name.

Carol Blake had almost a complete year of schooling at the one room schoolhouse in Silver City. He learned to write, a little, and learned to read a little too. It was there that he met, the two people who would help to shape his life. He fell in with William “Billy” McCarty and Juana Montoya Patron, whom everyone called La Tullida, as she walked with a limp.

Like most boys of the day, Carol and Billy were delinquents. They started by taking penny candies from the jars at the General Store, but quickly the severity of their crimes grew and soon they were robbing rooms of the guests at August Blake’s hotel. It was about that time that both teenage boys took a fancy to their mutual friend, La Tullida. All was well and good till the time that Billy found Carol with Juana and called him out. In the ensuing gunfight Carol Blake lost the ring finger and the pinky finger of his left hand, Billy was unscathed. Carol Blake slunk out of town, and drifted  to Arizona. There, with the help of his pistol, he gained a modest amount of notoriety by robbing stage coaches, trains, and the occasional bank. His picture was on the walls of most every Post Office. He continued to evolve into a merciless killer and outlaw who would not let anyone or anything stand in the way of something he desired. He cut a swath of terror across Arizona. The Yuma Weekly News published a story in ’76 where they called him and his crew of five, curs. Carol quite fancied the moniker and adopted the name Carol “The Cur”, aka Cur Blake.

It was about that time that word reached him about his old friends, Billy and Juana. Word was that they had gotten hitched and set up house somewhere back in New Mexico. “Cur” determined he would go back and extract revenge on his one time friend and rival, Billy. He just wasn’t sure where they were in the territory, and it was a large territory. He rode east to Silver City, figuring that was as good a place to start looking as any. On the ride he began to dream of rekindling his romance with La Tullida.


Blake pulled Cerveza, his pony, up short at the top of the hill overlooking the town he had once called home. He knew that Billy was a drinkin’ man and he figgered he might just start lookin’ for him at the saloon. He clucked with his tongue, pulled his hat low over his eyes, and moved the reins against the horse’s neck. They moved slowly down the hill and into Silver City. Outside the “Miner Saloon” he looped Cerveza’s reins around a post and pushed his way into the barroom. His reputation had preceded him and someone there recognized his face under the brim of his Stetson.

“Blake!” was whispered from the long bar and the whisper quickly spread.  He stood at the doorway allowing his eyes to adjust to the gloom inside. Slowly a hush fell and he moved deeper into the room, his spurs jangling with each slow, measured step. It was deadly quiet when Carol stopped and took a place at the bar.

“We don’t want no trouble, Mr. Blake,” the barman squeaked.

A grin spread and Carol replied, “Me neither.” The room remained quiet as the drama at the bar unfolded, the girls were watching from the landing upstairs. The gamblers were watching from the card tables. The piano man was watching from his stool. The tension was so thick it could be cut with a knife. “You know what they call me in Arizona?” he turned and asked the room.

No one answered “Cur Blake’s what they call me, and I’m lookin’ for Billy,” he said softly.

No one said a word. The silence pressed down suffocating all except Carol.

Blake held up his mangled left hand, “I’m lookin’ for the man who shot my paw.”

I had to rise to this challenge, I just had to. Sorry it’s so corny. Hope you got a smile out of it.

Questions (unanswered)

link it here:


So I saw this on Marilyn’s blog, Serendipity, and I was entertained by it. I figured I might have a go too. Gracias to Willow for asking.

Do you have a nickname? What do you prefer to be called?
In the Navy my name was Dad. My kids still call me that.

Do you have books on your shelf (ereader) that are begging to be read?
I’m working on “Y is for Yesterday” right now. It won’t take long.

Are you a doodler? What do your doodles look like?
Poetry or flash fiction

What do you do if you can’t sleep at night?
Read or write

How many days could you think you would last in solitary confinement?
I could last forever. I used to live on a submarine and, I enjoy my own company just fine.

Do you save old greeting cards and letters or do you toss them away?
I have some old ones. They are handmade by artists I admire. I save them. Store bought ones are normally recycled.

Who is the biggest pack rat you know?
My great-aunt Clint, she never threw anything away. Had four houses filled with stuff, and drove a ’40-something DeSoto. She passed away in an earthquake.

Were/are you a good student?

How often do you look at yourself in the mirror?
I have no idea.

What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?
I actually believed that adults, for the most part, knew what they were doing.

Do you re-gift items that have been given to you?
Maybe… why? Did you get something from me that you recognize?

Do you know the difference between a crocodile and an alligator?
One has a long narrow nose; the other – less narrow

Do you still read the newspaper?
There is nothing but advertising in the ones here now. I watch the morning news and weather on TV.

Are there any animals that frighten you?

Are you a collector of something? If so, what do you collect?
Woodworking tools, you can never have enough routers.

What is something about yourself that you hope will change, but probably never will?
I’ve never won the lottery. I hope that will change, but doubt it ever will. Does that count?

What’s a strange occurrence you’ve experienced but no one believes you?
See this: https://tnkerr.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/daily-prompt-worldly-encounters/

What’s something that amazes you?
Babies are the most amazing.
I often consider the difference between a liar and a storyteller to be insignificant and yet only one is socially acceptable. That’s pretty amazing too, although not as amazing as babies.

Do you prefer the blunt truth or would you rather people temper their words?
It depends on what they are telling me.

What’s one thing you’d rather pay someone to do than do yourself?
Pour concrete

What are the qualities that tend to draw you to someone new?
I like open, honest, a quick smile, and a good sense of humor

If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?
McCool, it was my Grandfather’s name.

Do you believe ignorance is bliss? Why or why not?
No, I don’t, but you’ll never know why ‘cause I’m not telling.

What (if anything) do you consider unforgivable?
Mistreating others

Do you ever break out into song just because you feel like singing?
This often happens when I’m driving

OLWG #47 – The New Riverside Children’s Home

Written for OLWG #47

Sybella Proud did not grow up like other girls. At least not the way that she thought other girls grew up,

but sometimes she dreamed it might not be all that different after all.

Then she’d catch a glimpse of her reflection in a darkened window and she knew.

Each night she would lie in her cot (near the end on the north side of the room).

She watched the spider high in the corner, and wondered why it stayed there.

In the morning all the children would rise before dawn and report for work. The breakfast bell would ring at 7:30 and they could come back to eat.

Some of the girls worked in the kitchen. Most of the boys worked in the gardens,

boys raised squash, tomatoes, corn, and cucumbers. Fruit trees. Rabbits, sheep, and lots of chickens.

Sybella Proud worked in the laundry. Washing, wringing, hanging things out to dry, ironing.

The good sisters would arrange to bring in laundry from the town.

The girls would fetch it, soiled, in the mornings. Deliver it back, clean, in the evenings.

The good sisters would count the pennies. Once a week, market day,

a few kitchen girls (usually the older ones) would set up a barrow in the middle of the block.

They sold produce and eggs.

New parents never came for Sybella Proud.

New parents wanted infants. Sybella was a wash girl. Too old.

New parents were not shown the laundry, or the kitchen, or the skinny, undernourished  girls who worked those places.

New parents were shown healthy babies, less than three years old.

Sometimes Sybella Proud would watch the town girls, playing dress-up or skipping rope.

She wondered what the point was.

She learned to tell the difference between town girls and Riverside girls.

It was the look in their eyes.

This week, the prompts were:

  1. playing dress-up
  2. watched the spider high in the corner
  3. in the middle of the block

Don’t think! Write!
You have 25 minutes but if it takes longer – just don’t tell anyone.

Daily Prompt: Fret

Daily Prompt: Fret

Danny clutched the case and pushed into the shop. Mendoza was perched on a stool at the counter caressing a Stratocaster.

“I been ‘specting you Danny, heard what happened.”

Danny set the case on the counter and popped it open. Inside was cradled his ’56 gold face Les Paul. The finish was dinged bad and the neck was bowed.

“Can you fix it?”

“I can straighten the neck and re-fret the fingerboard. The finish is probly done though. She threw it out in the rain, huh?”

“After she swung it at me; I don’t blame her, I prolly deserved it.”