OLWG · writing

Zozo Writers- Coopon

Written with Carrizozo Writers



When Martha unleashed her temper
it was a whirlwind
tearing through the house
up the stairs
down again
searching relentlessly; until it found him
 
Once located; he was macerated
chewed up, bloodied, spit out on the sidewalk and stomped on
 
“I’m sorry, Martha, it slipped out,” he cowered,
“I know I should have said coo-pon
“I wasn’t thinking
“it won’t happen again.”
 
“Come here.” She reached for him
cupped his chin
looked him in the eye
“Let me take care of you
“I have a salve that’ll help”

 


Playing with pronouncing differences between ‘coupon’ and ‘coupon’

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 231- Easy Money

Written for OLWG# 231



It started as a sort of “mini-reunion.” I had come across a post on my Facebook. Ronny Mueller (aka Wrench) had found me. He had posted a picture of the five of us when we were young and stupid; in Cambodia. We were never officially in Cambodia, but here was this photo. I recognized it. It depicted me, Wrench, Buddha, Ghost, and Leeroy, in Cambodia.

There was nothing posted other than the photo. No names, no places mentioned, no explanations. Only the photo. It was a reminder of things that, I would have preferred to forget. In the picture, Wrench stood smiling. He held a cigarette clamped between his teeth and a CAR-15 held across his chest. I perched on a fallen tree with my flask in hand, raised to the camera. My KA-BAR strapped onto my vest and a Mark 22 Mod. 0 “Hush Puppy” with suppressor height sights on my hip. A full-bearded Leeroy sat on the damp earth leaning against my fallen tree. His Stoner 63 propped next to him He seemed to be picking his teeth with a ‘CB70. Buddha had his ‘M79 Thumper’ resting upside down on his shoulder. His jacket sleeves cut off, his biceps bulging. Then there was Ghost. Ghost wore mirror finish glasses and had a Smith & Wesson Model 12 on his hip. He had taken both the glasses and the gun off an unlucky Slick pilot we had come across in an LZ near Cu Chi.

I commented on the photo. I wrote the single word “Wrench” followed by an interrogation mark. Four days later, I got a PM advising me of a reunion at a rented cabin on the Platte River. I had to go, and we were all there, except for Leeroy. Nobody had been able to find him; Buddha said that knowing Leeroy, he was most likely dead.

Buddha collected me at the airport in Columbus and gave me a ride to the cabin by the river. The river was spotted with sand islands. It could have been described, more accurately, as a braided stream at that point. Wrench was there waiting for us. We sat out under the trees drinking and telling stories.

Ghost was due to arrive in the morning before lunch. He did too. He pulled in on a 1953 deep skirted Indian Chief Roadmaster and still carried that Model 12 on his hip. During the afternoon, we sat by the river, drinking brown whiskey. At one point, Ghost got serious and told us that he had an inside line, an easy way to make big money. I got the feeling that he was, in fact, telling me and that if they had been able to find Leeroy, I probably wouldn’t have been invited.

I stood up and set down my glass, “I wish you the best of luck, Ghost,” I announced, “but I’m too old for easy money. ‘Sides that – easy money is very seldom easy, I want no part of it.”

“Sorry to hear that, TN,” Wrench interjected, “You going home tomorrow?”

I looked at Wrench. I looked at the others, “Yeah, I guess I am. I’m going home tomorrow.”

Buddha raised his glass and looked at the sun, through the whiskey, a faraway look in his eye. “Then today we drink.” He tilted his glass back, downed the liquor, and smiled. We all did the same.

I never heard from those guys again, my brothers. Maybe they got away with it.


This week’s prompts were:

  1. there were no screams
  2. easy money
  3. whisky in the shade

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 230- Another Unfinished Story and the Three That I Fucked-up Accidentally (tacked on at the end)

An unfinished story. This one, written during a race against the clock (25 minutes) for OLWG# 230



Ferris found himself sitting at a table for two in the Polo Bar downtown. He was beginning to worry. He had swiped right when he saw Hester’s photo and profile on the dating app. They had exchanged messages through the app (maintain your privacy – never surrender your email address or your cell phone number) and both had agreed to meet here. Get to know one another. See if they wanted to take it any further.

Tonight

Six-thirty

Ferris had arrived early (about twenty after six). Since that time he had checked his watch at least 372 times. It now read six-thirty-four.

What if she had stood him up?

She had probably peeked through the window, spotted him and changed her mind? The photo he had used on the app looked a little like him, but a buff him, not the real him.

Maybe she was lost?

Had she been mugged walking across the park?

Murdered on the subway?

So many things could have gone wrong, and he was beginning to gnaw on his thumbnail when he felt a tap on his shoulder. He started and looked around. It was Hester, no doubt, she looked just like her photograph. She was beautiful, and she smiled.

“Ferris?” her voice was musical, her smile was bright, and her eyes sparkled.

“Yea, yes, uh huh, I’m Ferris,” he stammered as he tried to stand.

“I’m Hester,” she said with a giggle.

Ferris stumbled, a little, as he stood to hurry around the table and pull out her chair – ever the gentleman.

Hester nodded and took her seat. Ferris went back around to his seat. The two sized each other up for a moment before Hester took the lead.

“You look a little different from your picture,” she started.

“Uhm, sorry,” Ferris interjected before she could continue, “that photo was a couple of months old. I’ve grown a bit. You look exactly like your photo.”

“Do you think so? I’ve heard that the camera always adds a few pounds. I don’t know?”

“I’m having a Pepsi,” Ferris said. “Would you like something to drink? Appetizers?”

At that exact moment the waiter appeared at their table. His pencil hovered above his order pad and he stared at Hester, “Oui moiselle?”

“Je voudrais une bouteille de l’eau mineral. Non-gazeuse, s’il vous plait.”

The waiter put his pad into the pocket on his black apron. Without saying a word, he spun on his heel and disappeared back to wherever it was that he had come from.

Meanwhile, Ferris knew immediately that he was in love. He wanted to grab Hester by the hand. He wanted to kiss her hand, kiss her arm over and over, all the way up to her neck. Like that guy on that TV show, Don Addams or Gomez Addams with his wife Morticia. That was a good show, but he refrained from kissing her.

“You speak French, Hester?”

“Yes, yes, I do. I speak: well, English, of course, but also French, Leonese, and Klingon. That’s about it. What do you do, Ferris?”

Ferris worked nights, cleaning office buildings in the Financial District. “I work on Wall Street,” he said. “What about you?”

Hester would go to work at about 2:00 in the morning. She made donuts at Mojo’s, on Fifth Street. “I’m a pastry chef,” she answered.

“Cool, but with your language abilities, shouldn’t you be working as a translator? Maybe at the UN or somewhere like that?”

“I suppose I could do that, but I enjoy the creativity that comes with my current job.”

Whoops – Time’s up! Step away from the keyboard




This week’s prompts were:

  1. cotton to
  2. letters from strangers
  3. patiently lying

Here are the three I accidentally deleted…Sorry

Bill Miller went into his office that morning, as he did every other day. Just like there had been yesterday, there were dozens of tubs stacked against the wall by the office door. Each tub contained hundreds of letters and he intended to open every one of them. There were thousands of them. They were from members of his flock and most all of them contained cash donations. They were small donations, for the most part. There would be Five dollars here, Ten dollars there, but always folding money. Not always dollars either, he received donations from all over the world. He accepted blue money, red money, brown money; the currency mattered not. It was all spendable.

It was easy to fleece strangers who believed everything he said.

##

I’m sorry Professor; I just can’t cotton to what you’re saying. I think you have it all wrong. The world doesn’t work that way, people don’t act that way. It’s not that easy, it’s not that predictable, and it’s not always black and white, not binary.

But it is, don’t you see? We are creatures of habit. We are doomed to repeat our failures, our debacles, and our deeds. That’s the way we’re programmed. History has proven this time and time again.

##

Edna sighed and tried again, “No honey, that’s not where babies come from. Babies come from the garden. Your father and I found you when we turned over the leaves of the tomato vine. I really don’t know what you’re talking about.”

writing

Awakening

Written for: the fun of it


Chayton Tokula left Stillwell, bound for California almost six months ago. He hadn’t been in a hurry. A man could always find work. On this trip, he earned travelling money by sweeping up at Greyhound stations, cooking in roadside coffee shops, or pumping gas at Texaco stations. A butcher by trade, he’d taken more than one job at a small meat processing outfit. He did whatever he had to, to earn a bit of cash, something he could eat off of, and help him make it a few miles further down the road.

The land changed as he hitched and hiked west, the differences more apparent and rapid as he got nearer to the coast. He had come a long way. There were still mountains; he liked mountains. The grasses were greener, the trees more plentiful. The air smelled different.

One morning, north of Salinas, Chayton stood at the edge of an empty artichoke field and puzzled as he breathed in the salt air. He had never smelled anything like this in his life. He inhaled deeply and smiled. Tomorrow, he would look for work. Today was for smelling, soaking it all in.    

 





OLWG · writing

OLWG# 229- Father Malachi

Written for OLWG# 229



These days, when Father Malachi prayed, it was only because it was a necessary part of the ritual. He no longer believed in the power of prayer, but he would never admit it. Long ago, he had determined that God didn’t listen, or maybe she couldn’t listen; he didn’t know which.

He still believed though. How could he not?

How could he not believe when he looked up at the evening sky. When he absorbed the colours of the breaking dawn or watched the myriad ways that light can filter through heavy grey clouds at midday?




This week’s prompts were:

  1. almost never prayed
  2. she can’t hear you anymore
  3. notice the light

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 228- More Nondenominational Short Verse

Bits and Pieces, written for OLWG# 228



three six-packs
eighteen beers
put three back – express checkout

###

Milena let me take her to Montreux,
Firenze, and St. Tropez (where we followed in the footsteps of Bardot)
We climbed to the castle walls in Larochette
In Seville, I let her slip away.
She was a free spirit; I was never going to hold her for long.
I am thankful for the time we had together.

###

“See that large white house, across the water?”
“Uh-huh, I see it.”
“I want them all killed. I want the house burned down. Sift through the ashes and bring me what you find. I want the nails and picture hooks. I want their teeth, I want the gemstones, I want anything left after the fire.”




This week’s prompts were:

  1. burn it down – for the nails
  2. world traveller
  3. 15 or less

writing · WU

Short Verse of No Particular Denomination

Written for Ms Rose’ In Person Prompt Event


Lisa rested her hands in her lap and pondered spending her winnings.

###

Marty tried to see beyond the darkness. It’s just a tunnel, he thought, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Then he remembered the clown. Why is there always a clown?

###

“I’d like a pizza dog and an Orange Julius, to take away,” Donna ordered politely.

“This isn’t Orange Julius,” the spotted high schooler informed her, “this is Orange Delight. Orange Julius is in the Eastside Mall.”

“Can I get a pizza dog and an Orange Delight, then?” Donna countered.

“Well you can get an Orange Delight, but you’ll probably be disappointed. It’s nothing like an orange Julius, and we don’t have a pizza dog, but we have sauerkraut.” The kid paused and stared; waiting for Donna to consider her options.

###

Billy marched across the stage and plucked the proffered diploma from the chancellor’s hand. This is it then, he thought. What the fuck am I going to do now?




The prompts were:

orange delight; Mona Lisa; tunnel; wide open universe



OLWG · writing

OLWG# 227- Song of Sánchez

Haibun, written for OLWG# 227



Sánchez downed the shot of Tequila in one and sucked the lime. Leaning to the side, he reached beneath the table to remove his boot and ended up tugging on the left one for what seemed an eternity. Finally, giving up and switching to the other one, which came off smooth-like. He smiled. His gold tooth shone in the desert sunlight, “Only have three toes on this foot,” he explained. He hooked his right hand around the boot heel, swung his arm back and launched the scuffed ‘Tony Llama’ at a pack of mangy curs that had been edging ever closer to us, looking, and hoping for a handout. The dogs scattered, but not too far. Single booted Sánchez waved to Maria, signalling for another bottle.

###

I smoothed my lapels
imagined Arizona
Someplace, not New York




This week’s prompts were:

  1. street dogs
  2. old shoes
  3. imaginary Arizona