OLWG#143- The Optimist

This was written for OLWG#143



 

I don’t know if she’ll ever invite me up to her bedroom again.

Least not for anything more than fixing the light switch, but I keep my hopes up; and my expectations high.

 


The prompts were:

  1. sacred ground
  2. talk deep into the night
  3. the evening’s shot

Did I hit any of them? All of them?


OLWG#142- The Last Anyone Ever Saw Of Him

This was written for OLWG#142



Simon had to leave Oklahoma in a hurry. It was about 2:00 AM when he climbed out his hotel window in Rosston and headed to the Kansas state line. He made it to Ashland in a little less than an hour without spotting a police tail. He’d been planning on going to Ashland anyway; just not quite this soon.

It was still early when he rolled into town, so he found an all-night coffee shop where he could get a stack of buckwheat pancakes slathered with butter and syrup. A side of bacon and a bottomless coffee rounded out his morning. Passing time with Clarisse, the waitress, he learned that there were a lot of churches in town. Clarisse also told him, in no uncertain terms, that Ashland folks were devout churchgoers and God-fearin’ folk.

He told Clarisse that his name was Simon Garver, he never used his real last name, and that he was a bible salesman just come up from Oklahoma. He added that he had just gotten the job as Territory Manager and was trying to familiarize himself with the lay of the land and who the customers, and the potential customers, might be.

Clarisse told him that her last name was Jones and that her phone number was 555- 3279. In fact, she wrote it on the back of his hand with the blue ball point pen she normally used only to write on the food tickets that she passed to the kitchen.

“What’s the area code here in Ashland?” Simon asked.

“We’re six two oh,” Clarisse advised. She added that to his hand. “I get off work at eight. I can show you around town some this morning, if you want.” She added. “We got a few Christian bookstores here in town.”

“That’d be great,” Simon said, “You sure it’s not too much trouble?”

“No, not at all.” She smiled that smile that used to make her Momma nervous, when her Momma had still been alive.


The prompts were:

  1. that was the last anyone ever saw of him
  2. Simon doesn’t like you
  3. selling bibles

OLWG#141- I Finally Understand

This was written for OLWG#141



I slowly raised my head and waited for the dust to settle. The ringing in my ears was deafening but I could hear the thump, thump, thump of heavy artillery somewhere nearby.

I felt alone and looked over where Harry lay on his back in the dirt.

“That one was close, huh?”

He didn’t answer. Looking closer, I noticed a thin trickle of blood running from his ear. The concussion must have been stronger than he was. He wore a smile and his eyes were open, but unfocused. He looked as if he’d died happy.

I had met Harry in Primary School. He was an Army brat whose dad had been transferred to Fort Munson, nearby. I think we might have been in third grade, maybe fourth. We became fast friends and grew up together. We learned to smoke at the same time; we learned to drive at the same time. I dated his sister, Katherine, for about six months in high school. That didn’t last but my friendship with the both of them endured. Harry and I were like brothers; we fought with one another. We gambled; played cards for cigarettes, pitched pennies, snuck across the border to Mexico so we could bet on the dog races, drink tequila, and go to the strip shows.

I pulled out the small spiral notebook I always carried in my pocket and the small stub that served as my pencil. Sitting in the cold damp dirt I studied my friend. After a while I began writing down some thoughts:

Lying here on this blood soaked ground
So far from home
I finally understand
I never hated them – I merely feared them
I finally understand

I ripped the single page from the wire rings that bound it to all the other pages, folded it twice and slipped it in Harry’s breast pocket. Then putting my hand on his shoulder, I let the sounds of the battle fade. Maybe I said a prayer, but probably not. I’m not much of a precant.


The prompts were:

  1. throwing pennies
  2. when the dust clears
  3. watch me go

OLWG#140- Ole Miss Pearlie

This was written for OLWG#140



“Who’s that lady sitting in the yard across the street? And why does she look so sad?” Melissa asked.

“That’s Ole Miss Pearlie,” Ellis told her, “she’s ‘bout a hunnerd an fifteen years old. She’s not really sad, but she’s blind as a bat and her eyes is all white. If it’s not raining Momma goes ‘cross in the morning and helps her out to her lawn chair underneath that big Poinciana tree. She sits there and enjoys the weather and gossips with the neighbors who might be walking past. In the afternoons, in the summertime, Momma sends me over with a big glass of iced sweet tea and I’ll visit with her for a few minutes. She’s lived here in Tishomingo County here whole life. She can tell a lotta really good stories about the old timey days. Wanna go talk to her?”

“Is she scary?”

“Nope.”

“We should take her something; maybe a glass of tea? You said she likes tea.”

“I got something even better than that. CORNBREAD, ” Ellis almost yelled it out, “Wait here a minute.” He jumped up and ran into the house, the screen door slammed as he disappeared into the gloom off the kitchen hollering for his Momma.

Melissa sat on the stoop and watched Miss Pearlie across the street.

“What’s yore name girl?” Miss Pearlie hollered from over the street and under the Poinciana.” Melissa flinched – she was supposed to be blind.

“Melissa.” The girl called back.

“Are you a friend of Ellis’?”

“I’m his cousin.”

“Course you are. Course you are. Why don’t y’all come cross the street and let me get a look at you? It’s OK, I’ve known Ellis and his Momma for a long time so I’m not a stranger.”

“How are you going to see me?” Melissa asked.

“Oh, Ellis told you I was blind, did he? Well, he’s right, but I can see with my fingers. I can see with my nose and my ears. I can also see with my tongue, but don’t worry none; I won’t eatcha.” The old lady smiled at her own joke.


Well that took all of my twenty-five minutes and maybe a little bit more. Probably a good thing too as I don’t know where I was going with it!

The prompts were:

  1. jump
  2. sad eyes
  3. Mississippi corn bread