Carrot Ranch · writing

A Woman Scorned

I wrote this for the September 19th Flash Fiction Challenge

It was early morning when Enrique crept home. Treading softly and turning his key slow; he eased the door inward. He started when a heavy glass ashtray bounced off the wall and shattered. Mesmerized, he watched as pieces of glass scampered across the dark blue tile floor. It brought to mind ‘la galassia via lattea’ it was beautiful. So was the dark-haired fury who came in quick and attacked.

“Ma il mio amore, eravamo in pausa.” Enrique shouted as he tried in vain to dodge her blows.

Marida continued to pummel him. Her fierce countenance set and forbidding.

The prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about an interlude. It can be a pause between two key moments, the pause between acts in a play, an intermission, or a temporary amusement Go where the prompt leads you!

OLWG · writing

OLWG#120- John’s Long Gone

 Written for OLWG#120

Dennis dropped into The Log Cabin Bar on State Highway 6 like he did most Friday nights. He was drinking heavy and cutting up with a couple of the girls, he didn’t know, who were working the room. The dark-haired one introduced herself as Darla. The redhead claimed her name was Eleven. He wasn’t sure if he could believe her or not.

The night was getting on and, after a time the girls quit competing with one another. They offered him a cut rate if he wanted to have a threesome, but he would have to pay for the hotel room. He agreed, immediately, and slugged down the rest of his drink, and grabbed a handful of peanuts from the little green plastic bowl that Sweeney made available on the bar to keep his customers thirsty.

The Y-Knot Motel was a couple doors up the road. They offered about ten cabins and sweet rolls in the mornings. It was private and Dennis opted to leave his truck in the lot at the bar so he could walk to the motel with the girls, who were gathering their bags and wraps as he went to settle the tab with Sweeney.

“Listen, Dennis,” Sweeney clasped his elbow and leaned in to whisper, “Are you fixing to leave with those two women?”

Dennis slowed down a bit and nodded his head. He kept his mouth shut.

“Those two are trouble, man. That Darla, she’s got a regular customer around town who can be a bit possessive. He’s a hardass. You might want to leave her here and just go with Eleven. You know?”

“Thanks for your concern, Sweeney. I reckon I can handle myself. We’ll be OK.”

It was Sweeney’s turn to nod before he turned and ran Dennis’ credit card. Bout that time the girls caught up and he offered each an arm and they sauntered out the front door. There was a big rig parked on the Highway. An 18 wheeler. The whole scene was backlit by the bright lights of the gas station across the street. A man leaned against the passenger side of the truck. The man wasn’t tall but he was big. Barrel chested, with a bull neck, he looked solid. Dennis and the two girls stopped.

“Darla,” the big man said, “why don’t ya’ll just git on back home now?”

Darla’s eyes got wide, “John, I’m working. You should just get home and I’ll see you when you come through again next week,” she pulled on Dennis’ arm to get him moving again. “Let’s go!”

The man she referred to as John continued on as if he hadn’t heard, “Eleven? Is that you? Does your momma know what you’re doing? You prolly oughta run on home too.”

Eleven said nary a word, she just stared down at the pavement. Dennis let the girls slide off his arms and held his hands up in front of himself. He turned to Eleven. Put his hand on her shoulder.

“’Scuse me just a minute, darlin’,” he turned to Darla; said the same thing.

He turned back to John and Darla blurted out, “You gonna talk to him, man? How ’bout you ask him if his wife knows what he’s doin’? Huh? Her name’s Kylie or Kayleigh or something like that. How ’bout it John? What’s Kayleigh think ’bout you ‘sociatin’ with the lot lizards up here in Emily? Huh? What’s she think about that?”

The air grew still and quiet. The only sound was the diesel running smooth and calm. It was John’s turn to be silent. He stared at the three people in front of him. No one was moving. Then he turned and walked around his cab. Dennis heard the driver’s door open and close. He saw John climb behind the wheel and put his rig in gear. They all watched him pull away, northbound on State Highway 6. They watched his taillights move further and further away ’til they faded from sight.

Eleven broke the silence, “He’s right. I oughta go home and check on Momma. She’s been doin’ poorly lately. I should get back.” She started walking towards the back of the lot.

Darla said, “Sorry, Dennis, I just can’t do this now.” She gave him a peck on the cheek and headed for an old Hyundai Accent that she had parked one row over. She made her way to the car and climbed in. The car started before she rolled down the window, “How ’bout you, Dennis? You got a wife somewhere?” She buzzed the window back up and headed away.

Dennis watched her pull out of the lot, he didn’t answer her question. He scanned for Eleven but she was nowhere to be seen. He was standing alone in the car park of The Log Cabin Bar. It was late, he was alone and too drunk to drive. He trudged in the direction of his pick-up. Good a place to sleep it off as any.

The prompts were:

  1. ambidextrous
  2. a cheap motel
  3. John’s long gone

I’ve been writing this one off and on for a couple of days now. I spent too long and then I spent even more time trying to figure out if I wanted to hit the ‘Publish” button or not. Today I decided that I should. I think I got all the prompts.

Carrot Ranch · writing

Old Friends

I wrote this for the September 12th Flash Fiction Challenge

 She was sixty-three years old that year, but age didn’t deter from her excitement about the gaily wrapped gifts staged beneath the tree. There was one though, that stood out. The wrapping was heavy brown paper. Once wrinkled, but now rubbed smooth, it was an old shopping bag from The Seventh Street Market. A store that had closed almost forty years ago. She’d saved this gift for last and cradled it in her hands turning it over and over. It was rather diminutive, not large. 

Neatly lettered in the corner she could read: “Happy Christmas, Clarissa – With Love,  Hayley.” 

The prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the greatest gift. Answer it as if it were a question, or show what it could be. Go where the prompt leads you!

OLWG · writing

OLWG#119- Good Help

 Written for OLWG#119

Justine picked up the phone on the second ring. Always on the second ring. Pick up on the first ring and people think you’re anxious, let it ring too many times and they get pissed that you are making them wait so Justine always picked up on the second ring. She didn’t recognize the number that came up on caller ID so she used her professional greeting, “Good morning Justine Kiddo speaking, how can I help you.”

She always said ‘how can I help you,” rather than “how may I help you,” because she thought it sounded more sincere, more homey, less pretentious. The last thing that Justine wanted to do was sound pretentious.

“Hey Kiddo, it’s me,” the caller said by way of identifying himself.

Justine brought her hand up to her breast in surprise, “Mr Sullivan?” she asked. The boss had never called her directly before.

“The one and only,” he replied, “Kiddo I tried to get hold of Barry but his line’s busy. I go directly to voice mail when I try either Ruben or Roxanne. What the fuck’s going on there?”

Mr Ramirez and Ms Renata are in a meeting, Conference room two. I’m not sure where Mr Green is. I haven’t seen him yet this morning. Is there anything I can do to help you, sir?”

“You’re really the only one there, Kiddo?”

“Oh no sir, there are lots of people here. Production is in full swing. I’m assuming that they started at 6:30, as usual. Some of the engineers are here and the kitchen staff is working already. I can take a message for Mr Ramirez and give it to him when he gets out of his meeting if you’d like.” Justine paused and waited for Mr Sullivan to speak.

“Yeah, OK, Kiddo. Would you please tiptoe into that meeting and let Roxanne know that I had to call in sick. She’ll know what to do from there.”

“Of course, sir. Would you like me to inform her why?”

“What do you mean, Kiddo?”

“Do you want me to let her know why you’re sick? A cold, perhaps? Food poisoning or a 24-hour bug, some other minor malady? I can.”

“No, that’s OK. Just tell her I’m sick and won’t be in today. If there is something urgent they can call me but I’d rather be left alone if possible.”

“Very good, sir. I can call up Mittagessen and have a nice container of chicken soup delivered. Would that help?”

“No, that’s OK Kiddo but it won’t be necessary. Don’t forget to let Roxanne know. I’m going back to bed now.”

The phone went silent. Justine moved the phone in front of her face and looked at the receiver for a moment. She shrugged her shoulders and pulled her purse, to her lap from its spot beneath the desk.

The prompts were:

  1. call in sick
  2. the diary beneath her pillow
  3. we can share a tic tac

Carrot Ranch · writing

A Few Good Men

I wrote this for the September 5th Flash Fiction Challenge

Gunnery Sergeant Michael Paxton kept his head down as he worked his way forward. The fighting had died down somewhat, but the enemy knew he was still there. There was constant gunfire directed toward him, but they mustn’t have known exactly where he was. The rounds weren’t hitting all that close.

That ‘boot,’ Bim was the last man in, but when Paxton found him, it was too late. Undeterred he hefted Pvt. Bim over his shoulder and carried him back to the LZ. Where the quick and the dead waited together, waited for the Hueys; no one left behind.

The prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that shows true grit. You can use the phrase or embody the theme. Who or what has true grit? Go where the prompt leads you!

OLWG · writing

OLWG#118- The Topless Dancer

 Written for OLWG#118

Donnie tucked the blue and grey polyester shirt into his white bell bottoms and buckled the wide, white double pronged belt. Sitting on the edge of the bed he pulled on his white Stacy Adams’ before checking out his reflection in the mirror. Combing his hair, tucking it behind his ears, he yelled as he rumbled downstairs.

“I’m going out, Mom. Don’t wait up.”

His mother, in the kitchen, took a long drag off her cigarette and stubbed it out in the glass ashtray she had stolen from a motel in Chatanooga. The front door slammed shut and she muttered, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” She used a fork to turn the fried steak in the pan on the stove.

On the front walk, Donnie looked left and then right before heading right towards 53rd. On the way there, he detoured into Sam’s, where Sam himself stood behind the bar mixing drinks for the Glinskys. The Glinskys lived two doors down from Donny’s Grandpa. He’d known them all his life.

“Donnie,” Sam greeted him, “whats going on?”

“Not much right now, Sam. Good evening Mr and Mrs Glinsky.”

Mrs Glinsky smiled and her teeth slipped a little, “Howsh your mother, Donald?” she lisped as she brought her hand to her mouth.

“She’s fine Mrs Glinsky, just fine.”

“Well, give her our best.”

Turning his attention back to Sam he went on, “We’re doing Brandon’s bachelor party tonight at Teasers.”

“Jeeze, is that place still open?” Sam fired back.

“Teasers will always be open. It’s an institution. Hey, can you break three twenties? I need some dollar bills for the topless dancers.”

“Yeah, sure Donnie. Just get it from the register.”

Donnie held up some twenty dollar bills to show Sam and he punched ‘NO SALE’ on the register. The drawer popped open. He counted out sixty ones, and put a single twenty into the drawer while palming the other two. He slipped those two into his pocket and held up the handful of ones for Sam to see.

“Thanks, Sam,” he said.

“Donnie, have fun, tell Brandon I said congratulations and call me if you need a ride. I don’t want you driving tonight. You hear?”

My time’s up. No time for editing so this is really rough and I didn’t get to finish it. Sorry you get what you get today.

The prompts were:

1. take the blame
2. bell bottoms
3. dollar bills for the topless dancer