Random Scribbles · writing

The Tragic Story of Mr. and Mrs. J. Sprat


Jack was rawboned and hollow-cheeked; he was as thin as a rake
His pursy bride was not
She leaned toward the ‘well upholstered’, rounded, ‘broad in the beam’

They met at an “All You Can Eat Buffet”
Due to dietary restrictions – bolstered by mating preferences
Immediate attraction on both parts ensued

Love at first sight, as it were
The courtship – aggressive
The marriage came quick

A match made in heaven, until they got sick
Jack developed a rare hemorrhagic disease resulting from fat malabsorption
His corpulent wife was stricken with severe coronary heart disease

They were both taken too young
Both were taken too young


OLWG · writing

OLWG#82- What the Hell Are You Telling Those Kids?

Flash Fiction written for OLWG#82

“Of course, I believe in Santa Clause, kids. I know he’s real and now I’m going to tell you how I know.

“When I was a younger man and recently married to your Grandmother I took a job as a travelling salesman. I had a ’55 Hudson Rambler that your Grandma thought was the cat’s meow. In fact that car is the reason we got hitched in the first place. I’d drive her up to the point and we’d climb into the back to look at the city lights and… well, that’s another story, I was telling you about Santa Clause.

“I was selling hardware and had a territory that covered West Texas, New Mexico, and a good bit of Arizona. I used my car to call on my customers and deliver the fasteners that they ordered from the factory. And, well; one year it was getting close to Christmas and I was heading home when my Rambler broke down just East of Lordsburg.

“You kids ever seen Lordsburg? Used to be a big railroad town, but since the trains go straight through now, there’s been some decline. It’s not like it used to be. I kinda miss it; they had lots of pretty girls and some really good watering holes there.

“Anyway, my car was broke down. A farmer, passing by, had a strong rope and offered me a tow into town. Since it was getting late and things were closed down, we left my car at the Sinclair Station (pushed around to the side of the garage), and I took a room at the Madeline Hotel, next door. It was a little pricey but I didn’t have a lot of options. The next day I went to the Sinclair and talked to the mechanic. My station wagon needed a new clutch and there weren’t one anywhere in town. He’d have to order a new one and it would take three or four days to get it in. He told me that it would probably cost around thirty dollars to get the clutch and install it. I was paying ten dollars a night at the Madeline. This was an expensive trip. That’s lots of money, least it was in those days. To top it all off the next day was Christmas Eve and that meant I wouldn’t get to be home for the holiday.

“Reluctantly, I agreed and used the pay phone at the station to call your Gram; let her know what had happened. I got dinner and retired to my room early.

“Next morning, Christmas Eve morning, I confirmed, with the mechanic, that the clutch had been ordered and that it would take three days to arrive and then about half a day to install, after that. I wasted the time by walking around town and taking lunch at the depot. I flirted with some ladies at a local bar they called Javelina’s and then went back to the Hotel where I studied my catalogues and went to sleep early.

“In the morning I woke and just lay in bed. It was Christmas morning and I was stuck in Lordsburg. I was feeling depressed and wallowing in self-pity. Eventually, though I had to get up and go pee so I got out of bed and pulled my trousers on. I tucked my nightshirt into my waistband, so I’d look a little bit presentable if I saw anyone in the hall when I went to the toilet. I opened the door and an envelope with my name on it fell to the floor. It had obviously been stuck in the door jamb while I was sleeping. I picked it up and carried it down the hall with me where I took care of my business before returning to my room and opening the note.

“It was written in an old fashioned hand, I still got it around here somewhere. It read:


Hope you don’t mind but I took the liberty of intervening 
in your automobile repair. I happened to have a clutch for a '55 
in my bag, so I dispatched a couple of my assistants, who are 
experienced in car repair, to the Sinclair Station, next door. 
They fixed your car. We also took the liberty of changing the oil, 
airing up the tires, and topping off your radiator.

You should still go leave a couple of bucks for the mechanic; 
he’s been good this year.

Merry Christmas

Santa Clause

“I looked out the window and saw my car, all washed and clean. It was parked at the curb in front of the Madeline.  I packed my kit, dashed downstairs and paid my bill I put some money in an envelope and stuffed it under the door of the Sinclair Station, with a note. I got in my car and drove like the devil so I could make it home in time to spend the afternoon with your Gramma.

And that, kids, is the reason I know Santa Clause is real.”

This week’s prompts were:

  1. oyster
  2. lots of money
  3. while I was sleeping

OLWG · writing

OLWG#81- Shadow Children

Free verse, loosely inspired by and written for OLWG#81

the old man sits in the window, warm with the fire,

and stares into the yard,

the yard that Martha tended,

shadow children play chase in the weeds

‘midst brown leafless shrubbery.

the brick path, laid so many years ago,

now covered with a thick blanket of brown and golden leaves

stirring slightly in the breeze.

I really must tend the garden, he says aloud, and

turns back to the task at hand.


the task at hand is, of course, sculpting drums

sculpting ceramic drums

it’s how he fills his days since Martha and the children passed.

build them and skin them

with drumheads of Afghani goat hide

decorate them using bright greens, blues, and Merlot coloured glaze

hang Tibetan prayer beads on, and always

watch the shadow children scamper among the weeds.


This week’s prompts were:

  1. ceramic drums
  2. a bee in your bonnet
  3. shadow children



“We’re lost.”

“We’re not lost, I know exactly where we are.”

“How do you know where we are?”

“I’ve got the map. I’m looking at the map. Pull over up here and I’ll show you.”


“OK, where are we?”

She pointed to the map, “We’re right here.”

“On the river?”

“No, on this highway.”

“What highway?”

“Right here where I’m pointing. On this highway.”

“You’re not pointing at a highway.”

“Of course I am. It’s clear as day.”

“The blue lines are rivers, not highways. The highways are marked in black. The freeways are in white.”

“How do you know?”

“Look at the Legend, it’ll show you.”

“Where’s that?”

“It’ll be in the corner somewhere.”


“Shit,” she said, “We’re lost.”

Carrot Ranch · Poetry · writing

The Wedding That Never Was

  I wrote this for the December 13th Flash Fiction Challenge

Seems that Cora was laid to rest that day at Mountain View Cemetery next to her husband, John Blackwell Holman.

She was buried with a photograph and a tattered wedding invitation. The photo showed a smiling young miner. Penned on the back of the photo in a woman’s hand: the name John Y and a date – September 1892. The invitation was hand printed:

Cora Kingston
John Yendow




The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about Cora Kingston. You can answer any of the questions history obscures or completely make up a Cora Kingston story. Go where the prompt (and the name) leads you.

OLWG · writing

OLWG#80- The Good Guys

A short bit of dialogue, written for OLWG#80

You know how it is, Annie. Sometimes you just want to give up. Say ‘Screw this’ and throw in the towel. Wanna beer?

Yeah, Ron; I do know how that is, and a beer would be good, thanks.

I just can’t seem to find the right woman. I can’t find that fabulous woman. I find all the women with problems. Psycho ex-boyfriends, a houseful of kids, or worse – I find the ones who are just looking for money. I don’t have any money! They never hang around very long.

I’m not looking for money. I don’t have any kids or psycho ex-boyfriends. I’ve only really been in love once.

How long have we been friends?

Since we were both five years old, your parents bought the house next door.

I wish I could find a girl like you.

You have. You just can’t see her.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. fabulous
  2. the good guys
  3. Sometimes you just…

Carrot Ranch · Poetry · writing

The Petroglyphs at Three Rivers

Know that this was written for the December 6th Flash Fiction Challenge

Istaqa was a sentry. The night threatened to be as cold as it would be long. He was not vigilant. He spent the night carving pictures of goats on the rocks surrounding his post. Come morning he would show the goats to Chosovi’s father. Chosovi would be his wife if Istaqa could present her father with sufficient goats, and a rifle.

The goats were a symbolic transference of wealth. The rifle was a true symbol of peace between their families. No warrior would arm his enemies.

Istaqa already had the rifle and by morning he would have enough goats.

The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about graffiti. It can be an artist, art or the medium itself. Get out your can of spray paint and go where the prompt leads you.

OLWG · writing

OLWG#79- Cabaret

A short piece written for OLWG#79

Wayne shielded his eyes to look out, over the footlights, and into the crowd. He was looking for Karen. He didn’t see her in the crowd. Maybe she didn’t come.

After the show, Wayne was back in the dressing room with the rest of the cast. His red sequined frock was hung on the rack, ready for tomorrow’s matinee. The blonde wig was perched on the table atop a Styrofoam head. Delicates were in the drawer, and the shoes were boxed up. Wayne was sitting with his head in his hands when Steven came in and flopped in the next chair.

“Wayne, there’s a bunch of us going to The Blue Lagoon for drinks. Wanna come?”

“I don’t know, Steven. I should go look for Karen. I’m worried about her. She didn’t come tonight, or at least I didn’t see her.”

“Did you tell her? Did she already know?”

“Yeah, I told her. I don’t think she had any idea. She said that she would consider coming tonight.”

“Oh… maybe you should have eased her into it. Maybe you shouldn’t have sprung it on her. Was she surprised? I mean, hasn’t she ever looked in your closet? Hasn’t she ever opened your underwear drawer?”

“Of course she was surprised when I told her. I don’t always dress this way. She’s never seen me in a dress. She might be having a hard time getting her arms around this whole thing.”

“Your whole thing?” Steven shot back, “You’re a heterosexual who likes to wear women’s clothes, there’s nothing weird about you. And, Karen’s so petite. There’s no way you’d ever be able to fit into her clothes so she doesn’t even have to worry about sharing. If she can’t come to grips with your one little eccentricity then you can always come live with me. I won’t kick you out of bed!”

“Get out of here Steven, you dog. Go to the bar with the guys. I need to find Karen. I like her. I think she might not understand.”

Steven stood and turned towards the door. Over his shoulder he called, “Good luck, Wayne.” and he was gone.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. Of course, she was surprised when I told her
  2. shielded his eyes
  3. the dog flopped





Chloe was standing on the sand with tears filling her eyes when I ran up.

“Where’s Jimmy?” I asked.

She didn’t answer. She pointed out past the mouth of the harbour.

I looked that direction and saw him paddling, small in the distance

lying on his board. He’d just rounded towards the south. He’d just cleared the breakwater.