OLWG#85- Little Missy Alexander

A troubling story that I wrote for OLWG#85

“Ye must be very careful with the children ye pick,” the old crone informed the young couple who sat across the desk from her. “Some ‘o dem kin be a bit rough ‘round the edges if’n ye catch me drift.” She spat and hit the shiny brass spittoon in the corner of the room. The lady in the visitor’s chair cringed, the faint trace of a smile graced her young husband’s face.

“This here orphanage,” the stooped old woman continued, “this here place can take some ‘o the natural luster offen em, but all chilluns is good at heart to a certain age. With a little work and polish they can regain their former shine, their natural gloooow.” She drew the last word out and flashed a well practiced but ineffective smile at the young couple. She wiped her nose on her sleeve. The wife counted three missing teeth. “Didja see anyone ye liked when ye walked thru the yard, then?”

“Yes, perhaps,” the young husband answered. He was anxious to begin the negotiations. “There was a girl in the play yard. She was standing alone, by the climbing frame.  She was freckled and her hair was a dusty blonde colour, and fine, she had a page boy cut and wore a red checkered sleeveless shift. We’d like to talk with her, if that’s possible?” The old woman nodded knowingly, “Uh huh, uh huh,” she muttered, “that’ll be Missy. Missy Alexander.  Are ye sure about that one? Bit ‘o a prima donna, that one. Ye know, the Sister ain’t here and I shunna do it; but I’ll let ye pick again. Don’t think ye’d be happy with Missy Alexander, ya know. Wanna have another go?”

“I don’t think so,” the young man reiterated, “if you could fetch her and give us a room where we can get acquainted, it would be most appreciated.”

“As ye wish, as ye wish. I’ll send someone to fetch Missy if ye insist,” she mocked him, “need to see an ID though,” she clucked her tongue, “need to see an ID.”

The man dug in his pocket for his wallet and the hag lifted her chin to yell at the door, “Hiram? HIRAM?”

A tall thin boy of indeterminate age stuck his head in the door, “Yessum?”

“Go out in the yard and collect Missy Alexander. Take her to Visitin’ Room B. We got some paperwork to take care of and we’ll meet ye there shortly. Stay with her in the room ‘til we arrive. Don’t leave her alone.”

“Yessum,” he ducked out and disappeared.

The young man produced his papers and the old woman began filling in the first of what would be many forms.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. need to see an ID
  2. Some of them, with work and polish, can regain their former shine
  3. when your eyes are closed


A Hand-Carved Cameo

She was a handsome woman, never without a walking stick or a parasol, depending on the occasion. Her chrome plated derringer always close at hand. Cinched tight in the hollow of her neck, on a dark ribbon, she wore an ivory cameo with a silhouette of her mother. A silver flask of rye was kept tucked into her beaded handbag for medicinal purposes, of course.

enrichment, in no particular order

  I wrote this for the January 10th Flash Fiction Challenge

art and artists
knowledge and teachers
buildings, builders and architects
children and discovery
dogs and cats
food, farmers, ranchers
coffee and mornings
freedom and soldiers


big skies in Montana


friends and family
oceans and boats
giving without taking
help and contributors
confabs and conversationalists
ideas and thinkers
jobs and colleagues
mountains and fresh air
music and players
amor y novias


New Mexico and wide open spaces


poetry and poets
sculptures and sculptors
seabirds and majesty
shipmates and brothers
when a plan works
stories and storytellers
wives and daughters, or husbands and sons
books and authors
cake and ice cream

The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the idea of enrichment. Use many of its different manifestations or explore reasons why it matters to the character. Go where the prompt leads.

OLWG#84- The Hills

A little something I found amusing and wrote for OLWG#84

Mark was shocked when Rita suddenly paused the game they were playing on the basement TV.

“What the fuck, Rita?” he dropped his controller and glared at his wife.

“Shush, listen,” she said. “I think someone’s at the door.” Then he heard it. Faint knocking sounds floating down the stairs. “I’ll go.” Rita said and she set her controller on the cushion and stood to hustle up the stairs.

Mark leaned back, grabbed his Budweiser and took a long pull on the can. He tried to make out the muffled conversation from upstairs. After a few exchanges that he couldn’t quite discern he heard Rita call.

“Mark… Mark, come on upstairs and meet the new neighbors.”

Mark raised his arms and sniffed his pits. Satisfied he pulled on his tee shirt and bounded up the steps, taking two at a time. When he got to the entryway he saw a blond headed man and a yellow haired woman in conversation with his wife. The strangers both were engaged in animated conversation, poised with hands on their hips, and legs akimbo. They each wore khaki pants, and light blue pull over shirts, of the same hue. Mark cleared his throat and the attention of the group shifted to him.

The blond man immediately extended his hand and introduced himself. “Hi,” he said, “I’m Jack. Jack Hill and this is my wife, Jill. You must be Mark.”

“I am,” Mark said with an unsuppressed grin, “did I hear you correctly? You guys are Jack and Jill? Jack and Jill Hill?”

“You did,” replied Jack, “and, believe me; I think we’ve heard all the jokes.”

There was an awkward silence and then another knock echoed through the hall. Rita leaned around Jill and pulled the door open to an adolescent male who looked a lot like a younger version of Jack.

“Oh,” Jill said, “this is our son.”

“Let me guess,” Mark said as he reached out to shake hands with the young man, “your name must be Bill? Or Gil, right?”

The boy laughed, “No sir, my parents wouldn’t do that to me. I’m Phil. Pleased to meet you.”

At this point Mark laughed out loud, enjoying the levity in his new neighbor’s names. “Do you have a daughter?” he asked, “Is her name Lil?”

“We do have a daughter,” Jill Hill interjected, “her name is Beverly.”

This week’s prompts were:

  1. shush, listen
  2. legs akimbo
  3. Jack and Jill

The Right Bank

  I wrote this for the January 3rd Flash Fiction Challenge

The night was wet.
Not with raindrops, but a heavy mist hanging in the air without ever seeming to fall on the pavement.
Luc moved up the Rue des Barres, away from the river as gargoyles from Église Saint-Gervais watched from above.
Glancing over his shoulder he caught a shimmer illuminated in the single streetlight below.
Only a flickering,
as though the lamplight were refilling a space hastily vacated by whatever he had not seen.
There could be no doubt. They were on to him again.
He quickened his pace and remembered Aubree; her dark hair, and her laughter.

The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a character who looks back. It can be a metaphorical reflection or a glance in the rear-view mirror. Who is looking back, and why? Go where the prompt leads.

Show Time


Elizabeth looked at her reflection and sighed. She’d cleansed, moisturized and applied primer. She was ready for the next step. Betsy liked heavy foundations and dug through her drawer for a new makeup blending sponge; dampening it first she dipped it directly into the pressed powder and went to work. She dabbed and blended before applying setting powder with a small fluffy brush.

In the mirror she turned her head left and right, she liked what she saw so she pulled on a black scoop neck blouse and fluffed her hair

OLWG#83- Short Form Poetry

Micropoetry written for OLWG#83

Drowning In Words
American Sentence

If I had the courage I’d do it; tie weights to my ankles – jump in.



If I had enough
time.  If I had the patience
If only I had…



She waited.
Sitting by the phone.
No books or
Patient. When the phone trilled, she
listened to it ring.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. if I had enough
  2. drowning in words
  3. the phone trilled