OLWG · writing

OLWG# 200- Eleena

Written for OLWG# 200

Wait! What? 200? Really? That’s way cool, bitchin’

When ‘Big’ Jim Romero woke, he stayed still in an attempt to determine his whereabouts. He knew he was lying on his back. It felt like there might be a pillow beneath his head and, perhaps he had been covered with a light blanket. He was soaking wet; he was cold, shivering. No sound fell on his ears and, at first, when he opened his eyes, all he saw was darkness.

He closed them again and was instantly blinded by oncoming headlights and accosted by the loud roaring of a powerful engine. He lifted his arms upwards to fend off certain death and jerked back. At the last moment, the headlights swerved and left him unscathed. He felt a breeze as the oversized vehicle swept recklessly past.

He gasped and snapped his eyes open. It was still dark, but he sensed a presence, and then he felt a hand on his shoulder. He jerked again. The hand pressed down.

A voice lightly accented, “Be still, Mr Romero, be still, you’re going to be OK. We were worried about you for a while, but you’re going to be OK.”

Big Jim took a deep breath and opened his mouth to speak. He only managed a dry cough accompanied by a deeply pitched noise from his throat. He quit pushing upwards and fell back. The hand that had been holding him down relented and pulled away.

The voice again, “I’m going to raise your head a bit and get you some water.”

An electric motor hummed, and he slowly lifted into more of a sitting position. The hand on his shoulder again.

“Can you take this cup? Just take a couple of sips, don’t gulp it down.”

Big Jim tried but couldn’t take hold, or even feel a cup. Frustrated, he made a sound. It was more like an unintelligible grunt.

“Let me help,” the disembodied voice said. Big Jim felt the cup brush up against his lips. He raised his head a much as he could and took a couple of sips.

“How are you  feeling?” She asked, “You might feel a little disoriented and woozy, Mr Romero. Don’t worry about it too much. It’s the drugs and shouldn’t last too long. I’m going to turn this light on, but I’ll keep it dimmed down low. I need to take your vitals.” As the lights came up slightly, Big Jim saw a tall, slim woman who appeared to be in her late twenties or maybe, her early thirties. She wore scrubs with pictures of fish on a dark green background; her hair framed her face with ringlets and, she had flawless ebony skin that glowed when she smiled and lit up her eyes from within.

“What’s your name?” Jim croaked.

“Eleena,” she answered. Then she smiled again, and he watched as the light rekindled in her eyes.

“I am a little woozy, Eleena and you could be right. Maybe it’s the drugs, but I don’t think so.”

This week’s prompts were:

  1. I call shotgun
  2. maybe it’s the drugs?
  3. nightsweats
The Blog Propellant · writing

TBP New Prompt #7- Chimes ‘n Shelby

When Chimes came to live at Mercer Park Zoo, she was probably eight years old and weighed exactly 63.5 kgs. She was the only Western Lowlands Gorilla at the park and, as such, commanded her own enclosure.

Coincidentally, on that very same day, Shelby Ellison began her first summer job, also at the zoo. She was sixteen years old and weighed exactly 53.9 kgs. She was the only summer intern at the park that year, and she was assigned to work with the primates. That was how Chimes and Shelby first met.

As time passed and Shelby worked with the primates, she realized that a bond had developed between the adolescent Gorilla and herself. Chimes would greet her when she arrived and would wish her adieu when Shelby went home in the evening. Shelby would sit with Chimes and tell her about her day. She would talk about her friends and things that were going on at home. Stuff that her brother was getting up to and the chores she had to do at home. Chimes seemed empathetic to the stories that Shelby shared. She listened intently. Sometimes Chimes would grow sad. Sometimes she would appear amused.

After a few weeks of visiting together, Shelby realized that Chimes was telling stories as well. She never spoke any words, but Shelby knew what she was saying. She worked out that Chimes was communicating telepathically. Chimes told her jokes. She told stories about Africa and the family and friends that she had left behind.  She spoke of her trip to New York, during most of which she had been sedated and had very little recollection. She told of the overland truck trip from New York to Mercer Park. The truck drivers would play the radio, and she enjoyed that. Of course, Chimes did not know the word “radio.” Maybe she didn’t know words at all. Shelby wasn’t sure, but Chimes was a communicator. She and Shelby could, and would, talk for hours at a time.

Chimes discussed the other Mercer Park Zoo employees and how they could not hear her in the same way that Shelby could. Shelby, in turn, learned about her abilities to communicate with the great ape as they rapidly became fast friends. Most importantly, Shelby learned to take nothing for granted. Chimes knew nothing of Western ways, bathrooms, bicycles, kitchens, cars, or the like; almost everything required explanation. At the end of that first summer, Shelby begged her parents to allow her to continue working after school. She had to promise not to let her grades slip, and eventually, they agreed. Shelby tried to communicate with others the same way that she talked with Chimes, but it was all to no avail. This special bond existed only between these two. She asked Chimes about it and was surprised when Chimes told her that it was the way that she communicated with all the other animals in the park. She did admit that Shelby was the first human who had ever responded in kind.

It was easy to get Mercer Park administrators to let her volunteer during the school year. The zoo loved volunteers and readily agreed to her offer. Shelby only wanted more time with Chimes, and she got it.

The girls grew up together. They’d spend their time talking about their families, Chimes family back in Africa, Shelby’s family, close by – in town. When Shelby brought her family to meet Chimes they only got to see her from the path that went by the enclosure. Shelby showed Chimes who her mother was, her father, her stupid brother, and her little sister. This, allowed Chimes to couple a face with a name when the two friends talked. Eventually, Shelby’s family became a proxy family for her friend.

When Shelby graduated from High School, she took a full-time job with the zoo, solely as a means to stay in contact with Chimes. She never told anyone about their bond. One day, when she was twenty-six and Chimes was 18.

Times up! Step away from your keyboard.

When I read this prompt along with the “special” request, the first thing that went through my mind was, “Oh shit!”

I have to admit that I was stumped. I decided to give myself a time limit, a deadline. I knew that would force me to begin putting words to paper (so to speak). At OLWG I usually give myself a twenty-five to thirty-minute writing time. This was harder, so I doubled my allotted time. Sorry, it did not get finished. I hope you found some redeeming value anyway. As for me? I still don’t know if I got it right…

Written for The New Blog Propellant Prompt #7

This week’s prompt:

Let’s speculate, shall we? Two beings with intersected consciousness.

This prompt has particular request: Because this is a prompt about speculation, try avoiding a story about a married couple, lovers, ex-lovers, friendship, or familial relations, etc. Need some ideas? Explore mythology as a place to start. Ask yourself, are they the same entity, or not? Is this a new discovery, or are they falling apart? Did they come by this state naturally, or was it imposed? Is their connection liked, or disliked? Is it threatening their status quo, or is it a dream beyond their known universe?

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 199- Miss Willa Pound’s Faro Hall

Written for OLWG# 199

“Well, the way I heard it was that it all started mebbe 70 or 75 years ago when a man named Edward Teller stepped off the train and into Miss Willa Pound’s Faro Hall, which was across the street from the depot. At Miss Willa’s, a man could find food, drink, gamblin’, and wimmen. Customers were encouraged to check their weapons at the door, but that rule was seldom ever enforced.

“In today’s world, we would prob’ly call Mr Teller by a title, like a mathematician. In them days, he was just a smart man who had a way with numbers.

“In Miss Willa’s Faro Hall, like most gamblin’ dens, the odds favoured the house. Miss Willa ensured that. Her Faro hall employed crooked Faro Banks, and she hired skilled people. Hired folks who were adept at cheatin’, either through card manipulation, with fair cards and a fair dealing-box, or through mechanical appliances. Like modified Faro boxes. A good cheat was better off cheating for the house than against, but Edward Teller was no cheat. Despite the odds, though, in short order, he was way ahead on his bets. His winning streak captured the attention of Miss Willa and her security man, a local guy named Benito Schull. Pounds and Schull watched closely but were unable to spot him cheating. It did not seem to matter how close they watched.

“Ed Teller was almost a thousand dollars up when he cashed in his chips and made to leave. Benito confronted Mr Teller as he walked from the cashier cage to the door. Teller, of course, protested; he had a train to catch. Schull flashed his blue barrelled .31 calibre pepperbox, dissuading Edward from re-boarding the train and convincing him to visit Miss Willa in her office instead.

“There is no record of the discussion between Miss Willa, Schull, and Teller, but I heared that Teller convinced Miss Willa and her man that he just had a knack for seeing the odds and understood the game. He told them that it was a matter of calculations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Schull promptly shot Edward Teller in the gut. He and Miss Willa watched as the man died on the office floor.

“Willa determined that a keen understanding of mathematics might not be a good thing for her business. She lobbied the city fathers to ban ‘rithmetic in all the saloons and gamblin’ halls in Emerson County, but that proved to be impractical. They compromised; addin’, subtractin’, and multiplyin’ would remain legal, but not long division. They figgered no one understood it anyhow.”

This week’s prompts were:

  1. guard this with your life
  2. just hush
  3. and that’s why long division is illegal in Emerson County
OLWG · writing

OLWG# 198- Flashing Lights / Raucous Music

Written for OLWG# 198

Taking careful aim, Carlos exhaled slowly and squeezed the trigger.

The narrow stream of water burst from the muzzle. It ran true and hit the target. The balloon inflated. It grew larger and larger until finally, it popped.

The crowd went crazy.

Buffy drew smoke deeply into her lungs and reached above her head. She pulled the oversized, plush, rainbow-coloured caterpillar from the wire overhead.

Leaning over the counter, she handed it to Carlos, who held the prize over his head for a moment before turning it over to Noemi.

Noemi beamed as she hugged both Carlos and the giant multi-coloured caterpillar with equal vigour!


The couple wandered off down the midway, their brief moment of fame fading into the night; while simultaneously being highlighted by the flashing lights and raucous music.

This weeks prompts were:

  1. taking careful aim
  2. two step program
  3. there is only sorrow
Poetry · writing

Triangle- A Poetic Text

Write the Story

Alex was a pickpocket,

a thief. He was a keeper of time,

husband to Mathilde

(who was kind, green-eyed, and fair).

Alex and Kirsten met at a neighbourhood barbeque

in the suburbs north and east of Odessa.

Kirsten was a coquette who quickly became his paramour.


They would sneak away for time together

She always carried a phone

to stay in touch with her mother.

He always kept a watch, a stolen timepiece that controlled time

ensuring that it ran linearly.

Until it no longer did.


One summer afternoon, Alex and Kirsten arranged a tryst

in a citrus grove near the river’s edge. In his haste,

he dropped his pocket watch. It fell from his waistcoat, landed on the river bank.

The clock disappeared, quickly covered in white sand

due to the lovers frantic coupling.


No one noticed for a time. Till the movement on Alex’ watch slowed and stopped,

 time went awry; time ran backwards, time ran in loops, time ran in circles.

Caught herself; in a vicious, repetitious loop Mathilde, eventually spied her

husband and his consort passionately engaged.


Kind, unassuming Mathilde – killed them both, shoved them into the current.

She tossed the phone after them and picked the watch up from the sand.

She fastened it around her neck. Like a locket.  


When she wound the mainspring, time eventually settled back down.

To again become linear, smooth, predictable, unavoidable.


Mathilde was a widow. She was the keeper of time.

Write the Story! March 2021 Prompt
The Blog Propellant · writing

TBP New Prompt #6- Peter Altenberg

Peter collected his mail and took a table at Café Central by himself, away from the ghosts of his friends: Kraus, von Hofmannsthal, Klimt, and the others. He plopped down on the cushioned bench beneath the window. As was the norm, his pockets were empty, his stomach was too, but that didn’t matter. He fully intended to pen some prose today, some poetry. Armed with his inkpot, his quill, and an armful of correspondenzkarten on which to write (because he thrived on the limitations that they imposed on his writing); he selected one and scribbled on the back:

“Ich habe zu meinen zahlreichen unglücklichen Lieben noch eine neue hinzubekommen

den Schnee! Er erfüllt mich mit Enthusiasmus, mit Melancholie.” *

*Excerpt from „ WINTER AUF DEM SEMMERING “, Written by Peter Altenberg, master of the aphorism, first published in 1913.

I chose to steal this, and use it as the verse for my Haibun.

Written for The New Blog Propellant Prompt #6

The prompt directed me to choose an image. I chose this one:

write an ekphrastic poem
write an ekphrastic poem

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 197- Louise Lewis, An Evening in the Life

A Haibun – Written for OLWG# 197

It was late when Louise parked at the edge of the lot and started her trek towards the casino. She wore a pair of low top Converse sneakers and carried her black ankle strap shoes, planning to change in the ladies room. On the way, she studied the sky. The moon was high – Holding water. She felt good when the doors slid open, and she stepped inside. After exchanging her footwear and freshening her lipstick, she studied the tables. The one she selected was not yet crowded and had been cold until she picked up the bones. She put her chips on hi-lo and rolled a two. Let the good times roll.


Betting on the twelves

The hard way, boxcars, snake eyes

Betting on aces

This weeks prompts were:

  1. listen as the wind blows
  2. rollin’ boxcars
  3. I tend to break things occasionally