OLWG# 253- Aubagne

It was a slow day at the bookstore today, so I got to write
Written for OLWG# 253

I looked up from my drink when I heard the door swing shut. I saw KC threading his way between the empty tables, heading in my direction. He signalled Rhonda for a couple of drinks.

“I’ll have whatever Jimbo’s drinking,” he said.

“You sure?” Rhonda asked.

KC nodded his head, and when Rhonda went to work, he sat down at the bar, next to me, “I been driving up and down Alvarado looking all over for you, Jimbo. Whatcha doing?”

“Not now, KC. I’m trying to get drunk.”

About that time, Rhonda brought over our drinks. KC tossed a couple of bills on the bar. She picked up the money and hovered. I finished the one I’d been drinking in a single gulp and reached for the new one.

KC took a sip of his and grimaced, “Jeeze! What the hell are you drinking, man?”

Rhonda smiled and answered, “Scotch and coke. I asked if you were sure.” She chuckled and faded back down the bar. KC pushed his drink away, grabbed a handful of peanuts and began chewing.

As KC struggled to get the nasty drink taste out of his mouth, I told him that I was here hiding from Linda.

“Aren’t you and Linda supposed to be getting married in a couple of months?”

“I’m having second thoughts.”

“What do you mean, Jimbo?”

“She’s turning into a control freak, man. I’ve been getting the silent treatment for over a week now. I don’t even know why. She doesn’t like my dog anymore either. Wants me to surrender Dillan to the pound. Says that he stinks.

“One of her friends from High School came to town a week or so ago and wanted to hang out. Linda didn’t want to invite her over to the house. Eventually, she did and, I was told what to wear, told not to drink too much, and told what to cook on the barbecue. I cracked a joke over dinner, and Linda reacted with nothing but wide eyes. I’m telling you man, that shut me up right there. Didn’t talk for the rest of the night, she couldn’t ‘a been happier.”

KC had another sip of his drink before remembering that he didn’t like it. He shook his head and almost spit it out. “Sounds tough, man.”

“It’s getting tough, KC. It’s getting tough. I’m telling you, she has her teeth in deep. I been worrying about what I was going to do, but I think I’ve solved that problem.” KC just nodded his head, waiting for me to elaborate on my plan. I took another slug of Scotch and coke.

“I’m joining the French Foreign Legion.”

“Bullshit,” KC called.

“No bullshit,” I replied. “I’m going to Aubagne. I booked a flight for tomorrow.”

“So, you gonna tell Linda, or are you just gonna leave?”

“I’ll probably tell her just before I go to the airport. She’ll probably be pissed off, and it might be kinda fun. Ya know, something she can’t control.”

“What are you going to do tonight?” KC asked.

“Dunno, get drunk, get laid. I’m open to suggestions.”

This week’s prompts were:

  1. driving down Alvarado
  2. sink her teeth in deep
  3. don’t be praying for me

OLWG# 252-

Written for OLWG# 252

Pulling the heavy overcoat up to my chin, I settled into the meagre shelter provided by the stoop of the small Bodega on Calle Ocho about a block off Piedras. I close my eyes and listen to the sounds of the late-night / early-morning.


Rats in a dumpster. Rats in an alleyway, a few doors down.


I hear the faint, percussive beat of cumbia music wafting from an open window of a walk-up some distance away. Then I hear a sound that seems out of place for this neighbourhood, this time of night. I hear the muted staccato click, click, clicking of high heel shoes on cement pavement.


It’s a woman.


The sound of her steps grows stronger as I make myself grow smaller in the doorway. She is drawing near but fails to notice me as she passes. I can smell her perfume. In the glow of a distant streetlight, I see her handbag. I check the pockets of my greatcoat. I touch the bottle in my pocket; feel the cellophane wrapper around my pack of cigarettes.


It’s a woman with money.


She has a knit shawl wrapped tight around her shoulders to protect against the cold. I follow her but feel a myriad of bleary eyes follow me from every window of every red brick apartment building that rises above me on the street. I can hear them watching. It’s too risky, and I don’t do these things anyway. What was I thinking? I slink back to the bodega and crawl back into the doorway. Slide into the inky dark of dreamless sleep, and forget her.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. the house at Johnson Slide
  2. can you hear them watching?
  3. so I followed her

Zozo Writers- 21.Mar.2022

Written in 20 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers

I clasped my hands behind my back and kept putting one foot in front of the other.
the all important energy of life
constant motion

I meet people make friends
I leave people abandon friends
All on account of motion
Constant motion
accumulating nothing

I ask myself why?
Why am I driven to live this way?
This can’t be normal
What makes me different?
what makes me avoid the things that others crave?

There’s a sign ahead
Too small to make out what it says
Probably the name of some impending town
does it matter?
what is the difference between this town and the next?
they will each be filled with people
some more full than others

Men to clap on the back and shake hands with
swap stories
Women to raise the bar
Make me strive to be better.

These people exist in every town
not all women make me want to be a better man
some of them make me want to run away
hide my head beneath the covers of my bed

Not all men are meant to be bonded with
many make me want to throw up.

If I get to know them better will I still want to vomit?
It’s easier to just keep moving
avoid attachment
Pass like two ships in the night.

Break bread with some
avoid others like the plague

I’ve passed the sign
I didn’t read it
I don’t know the name of the impending town
Does it matter?
Probably not.

It’s easier to just move on
put one foot in front of the other.
Seeking motion
the all important energy of life
constant motion.
There is nothing more satisfying than simply passing through…leaving
accumulating nothing


time’s up – step away from your keyboards and notebooks

The prompts:

  1. pockets full of nothing
  2. Midnight Rodeo
  3. ask yourself why

The Angel Christophe

Written with some friends in Capitan

Christophe was a part-time guardian angel for a shop assistant in Henley. He also had a side gig driving a lorry from Dover to Boulogne and back twice a week.

He was getting tired of driving and was thinking about asking the boss if he could move to full-time work in Henley, where he looked after Miss Ginny Holmes. Miss Holmes worked at the bookshop on the High Street. Lately, he was feeling that he might be falling for her. Lord knows she needed his help. This year alone, she would have suffered from innumerable paper cuts if not for his diligence. He had also kept her from once being crushed beneath the wheels of a taxi. He had physically pulled her back and cautioned her not to read as she wandered the streets.

She was young, a true rose of a girl. Always with her head in the clouds or her nose in a book. He wanted to ask her to join him for coffee at “The Angel on the Bridge.” Would she accept? Would she turn him down? There was a pretty significant age difference. Do you think she knows just how sizeable a difference it is?

  1. he hung up his halo and accepted sin
  2. Christophe was a guardian angel when he wasn’t driving a truck
  3. more than just the servant of a higher power

OLWG# 251- And So It Begins

Written for OLWG# 251

Newlywed Andy and his bride Janelle drove four hours to attend the candidate’s rally.
They wanted to understand what all the fuss was all about.
On the way back, they rode, mostly in silence.
Passing through Weston, Janelle reached out and turned down the radio.
She cleared her throat and spoke up. She was testing the waters with Andy.

“I don’t think I like that guy,”

“Why not?”

“He seems divisive.
“He seems spiteful.
“He says a lot of mean things.”

Andy looked at her.

“Don’t take him seriously, Jan.
“He’s a politician, trying to get elected.
“Politicians will say anything to get elected.
“You know that.”

She shook her head.

“Yeah, but he’s different.
“He scares me.
“You aren’t going to vote for him?
“Are you, Andy?”

They sat together staring out beyond the windscreen.
Andy lit another cigarette.
The only sound was that of the wheels on the asphalt highway.

“Probly not, honey.
“Probly not.”

This week’s prompts were:

  1. don’t take him seriously
  2. tired of goodbyes
  3. strike another match

OLWG# 250- Sandoval

Written for OLWG# 250

Sandoval tightened the last nut,
straightened up,
and wiped his wrench with the shop rag that he kept tucked into his hip pocket.
“Well, that oughta work, Ms Bustamante.”
He smiled as he returned the rag to his pocket.
Estella Bustamante used her hand
to cover her mouth when she smiled back.
She had never liked the gap between her front teeth,
but she had always been fond of Sandoval.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. Oliver and Virgil
  2. we can see your pants
  3. well, that oughta work

Zozo Writers- 08.Mar.2022

Written in 20 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers

Buffalo Bill flashed his crooked smile. It lingered on his face for a few seconds longer than it needed to before he spoke, “So in summary, Miss Oakley, I want to offer you a position with my wild west show. We travel from town to town. We anticipate that you display your incredible shooting skills. Of course, you would be bunking with me, and catering to my every whim. My every desire.”

Annie began slowly shaking her head from side to side. “I don’t think that’s going to work, Mr Cody. I like the part about getting paid to be a sharpshooter, but bunking with you is not going to fly. You’re too old and way too ugly. I don’t fancy you in the least.” She watched his eyes and waited for his reaction.

“Sorry to hear that, Miss Oakley. You’re not going to get one without the other.”

She drew one of her “mother of pearl” handled six-shooters from it’s holster and pointed it at Cody. “Would you like a private demonstration of my abilities, Buffalo? May I call you Buffalo? Or, is that too familiar? It won’t hurt much.” His eyes grew large and round.

The hot smell of cordite suddenly filled the room and Buffalo fell backwards, dead in his chair. Annie had plugged him in his chest, dead centre. She was right though, it hadn’t hurt much. The legend of the Wild West had died almost instantaneously.

Annie stood, twirled her pistol and slid it back into her holster. She left Bill’s wagon, mounted her palomino, and rode off into the sunset.


time’s up – step away from your keyboards and notebooks

The prompts:

  1. dead centre
  2. town to town
  3. It won’t hurt much


Written for the helluv it

The Reverend Clifton Reist was a travelling preacher. He was known for his ecstatic Pentecostal fervour; today, he was on a roll. Filled with self-righteousness, he spoke down to the unfortunate souls seeking redemption at his feet.

Everything changed when Sister Mary Claudette Çiller burst into the revival meeting and interrupted. “Sisters and brothers,” she shouted to the gathered worshipers, “Pay no heed to this charlatan. Gather your loved ones, gather your possessions, and leave this place. Go home and seek salvation on your own. You need not this imposter for salvation. Seek your own peace and place with God.”

Momentarily taken aback by the interruption, Reist quickly gathered his wits. He drew himself up to appear ever larger, standing on the dais. He shouted for quiet, “Hush, you false prophet. Keep away from these good people.” He spread his arms, “I do not allow a woman to speak,” he said, quoting St. Paul.

Mary Claudette rose on her toes and squinted her eyes, “and since when does any woman need your permission to speak?” she asked aloud, then she added, “all ye, seeking deliverance from the power and penalty of sin should immediately leave this place and seek penitence on your own, seek penitence elsewhere.”

Almost as one, the crowd dispersed, leaving Reverend Reist and Sister Çiller staring at one another across the empty tent. As the dust slowly settled, Mary Claudette spread her arms and raised them high. She paused for only a moment before she shrieked.




Lightning struck

Down from the heavens, it came and ignited the tent. In a flash, the shelter was gone…

…So was Clifton Reist…

…So was Mary Çiller…

There were no prompts – There was no time.

Zozo Writers- 01.Mar.2022

Written in 15 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers

“Let’s try this again, shall we,” Annabelle twisted her long dark hair and tossed it over her shoulder. “We may have gotten off to a bad start.” She straightened up in her seat and positioned her pencil over the notebook that sat in front of her.

“Your question was, ‘Where do I see myself in five years, and what contributions did I feel I could make to Acme Corp?

“I didn’t mean to imply that I would be the head of Marketing. That is your job, Mr Miller.” She nodded her head slightly in the direction of the stern-looking interviewer seated at the table across from her. “I meant to say that I hoped I could bring a few unrecognized yet beneficial tools and resources to Acme’s marketing department. And, if you would allow me to introduce you to these things, we may be able to double, or even triple, the annual income. My ideas are brilliant, after all. Better than anything that your current marketers have deployed to date.

“I recognize that I am blowing my own horn and making promises that you have no reason to believe, yet, but that is because you don’t know me yet and have no concept of my innate brilliance when it comes to the fields of product design and placement. I am extremely capable of claiming things that may or may not be the truth. I have no shame and know how to lie to a roomful of potential investors. I assure you that I more closely resemble PT Barnum than Robin Hood.

“Hire me, and we’ll all be rich beyond our wildest dreams, or we’ll all be locked up. Come on, guys. Go hard or go home.”

The prompts:

  1. useful tools and resources
  2. follow the sun
  3. let’s try this again

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