Zozo 23.02.23-

Written in 10 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard

Late August


Some nameless beach on the east coast of Vietnam

Me, Boomer, and Ed, taking it easy with a few local girls

Drinking beer, smoking pot, listening to loud music, carrying nothing deadlier than a bayonet

When Boomer had asked if I wanted to come, I thought, why not? It might be good to get away from camp for a few hours. I floated into town and woke up Kimmy, she was good to go. Ed had purloined a Jeep and we travelled the 90 minutes to the coast.

Ed had his girl, May, and Boomer brought that mangy brown and grey cur that always hung out around the camp, the one he had named Reno.

At the coast Ed pulled the Jeep in behind a grove of trees and we piled branches on it. A half-hearted effort at concealment.


time’s up – step away

The prompts:

  1. out of my life
  2. why not?
  3. a cool breeze in the summer

OLWG# 300- Shawty

Written for OLWG# 300

When Anne first walked into Club Paradise and asked to speak with Nell, she first spoke to Rocket.

Rocket was a long, lean redhead who was tending bar that spring night. A light rain was falling outside so Sister Anne’s habit was a bit damp, water beaded on  her shoulders.

“What can I get for you, Sister?” Rocket asked.

“Nothing for me, thank you. My name is Sister Anne from the “Congregation of the Sisters of St. Frumentius” and I wonder if it would be possible to be granted an audience with Nell? I understand that Nell is the proprietor of this establishment. Yes?”

“Yes,” Rocket confirmed. “What is it you would like to speak with her about? She doesn’t donate a whole lot of money to religious causes.”

“I’d like to speak with her about getting access to the girls. I’d like to speak with any of the girls who would agree to speak with me.”

Rocket’s eyes narrowed and suspiciously she asked, “What do you want to speak to the girls about, Sister?”

“I’d like to speak with them about their choices.” Sister Anne replied. “When I was younger, before I was called by the church, I spent a few years doing what they are doing. I’m not trying to convert them, or anything, I just want to ensure that they know the options that are available.”

Rocket picked up a phone from under the bar and punched in a couple of numbers, “Nell?” she asked, “Rocket. I’ve got a Sister from the Congregation of St. Frumentius out front who would like to have a word with you.”

There was silence from Nell’s end of the line, “Shit,” she finally answered, “Is she a short girl, name Anne?”

“I think so, yeah.”

“I’ll be right out. I haven’t seen her in yonks!”

Rocket hung up the phone, smiled, and addressed Sister Anne, “She’ll be right out.”

This week’s prompts were:

  1. it’s just not the right job for me
  2. unabashedly so
  3. lost my faith on the way down

OLWG# 299- The Sprite

Written for OLWG# 299

Come with me, the sprite said
Come with me and taste the moonlight
She was beautiful, so I agreed, she took my hand, and we climbed the mountain

I scooped a handful of moonlight from a drift near the top of a ridge trail,
where it reflected off the wet snow, seeming to promise fulfillment,
but the snow only made the moonlight soggy

I licked the moonlight that illuminated my lover’s breast as she slept,
but it was not sweet, as I had hoped
her repose had rendered the moonlight spiritless and inert; it did not respond

As I turned to leave my companion, she pointed out a bowl of black grapes;
the grapes were large, and glowed in the light streaming through the window
I bit down, but that promise of sweet and juicy was unfulfilled

That moonlight was comparatively tasteless, bland

This week’s prompts were:

  1. it’s only moonlight
  2. soggy, tasteless, inert
  3. a buckskin stallion

Missing State Writers- February 2023

Written in ten minutes time, with some friends in Capitan

Ed Turner took a sip of whatever god awful thing he was drinking and said, “Nobody’s gonna believe that, Mike.” That shit only happens in the movies.”

You’re wrong” Mike argued. Shit like this happens all the time. The hero gets the girl, everything ends happily ever after and the story is tied up like a nice neat package. Happens all the time.

“No it doesn’t,” Ed argued. If that were true. I’d have a beautiful blushing bride, I’d have a successful business, lots of money, and Marla wouldn’t be gone to the city with Jimmy Branson right now.”

“Doesn’t mean it had to happen that way” Mike said. “Maybe if you’d paid more attention to Marla she would’na gone to the city with that prick, Branson. Maybe if you had finished school you would have a bucket full of money. You need to be the master of your own destiny. Quit whining.”

The prompts were:

  1. that shit’s only in the movies
  2. sloe gin, southern comfort, and orange
  3. great things happen

Zozo 16.02.23- Jean

Written in 10 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard

Jean ran her fingers through her hair and wrote quickly. She hoped, in her heart that she could read her piece first and that TN and Virginia had kept it short. Jean volunteered at the library and knew that she was in for another long afternoon there, but she had brought two packages of Sour Patch Kid’s candy to eat and a jumbo sized can of Arizona Iced Tea. The Arnold Palmer variety, where the dark tea was mixed in equal portions with a tart artificially flavoured lemonade.

Artificial lemonade was not her favourite type of lemonade but she knew that these days a girl had to take what she could get. Thursday afternoons at the library were story corner days for the pre-schoolers and Jean was prepared to read stories filled with young blonde girls and sheep. Some black sheep and some snow white sheep. Next week she would be better prepared. She wanted to read stories of Sirens and Sailors. She wanted to read stories of magic carpets, golden calves, and open sesame doors.

She wanted the stones to roll back and reveal the imaginations of her young charges, who hungered for adventure, something other than the opinions of their parents, instructors, and Sunday school teachers. She was going to expand the horizons of these youngsters…


time’s up – step away

The prompts:

  1. another long afternoon
  2. no doggone good
  3. fingers through her hair

Zozo 09.02.23- A Depth Charge

Written in 15 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard

Eileen was a barista she spent her working life making coffee.
She was good at it.
She believed that she could intuitively know what a person would order when they walked in the door.

Usually she could. For example when Old Mr Anderson came into the shop she knew that he was going to order a medium sized dark roast in a ceramic mug (a big ceramic mug).
That wasn’t so much intuition as it was knowing that that was what Old Mr Anderson always ordered, but it was a belief or a faith that he would ever continue to do so

But when Ben Simons came into the shop, with the crew from the Market, that first time Eileen knew, from the moment he walked through the door, that he was going to order a “Shot in the Dark” or a “Red Eye” or a “Depth Charge” or whatever you wanted to call it.
A cup of brewed coffee with a shot of espresso poured in.
It was all coffee but the shot added another dimension to the drink that wouldn’t be there if you ordered only brewed or if you ordered only espresso

Jessica was taking the orders that day, writing them down and laying them on the counter for Eileen to deal with chronologically.

The Market crew order came up and there was Rod’s Mocha, Ellen’s Latte, and Bud’s double with Vanilla and Soy milk. Conspicuous by its absence was the “Shot in the Dark” for the new guy, Ben.

“Hey, Jess” Eileen queried her coworker, “Where’s the Shot in the Dark?”

“No Shot in the Dark,” Jess replied.

“Doesn’t that new guy want one? You don’t even have a drink order for him.”

“He just wanted a glass of water. I got it for him. Don’t worry.”


time’s up – step away

The prompts

  1. what is his coffee order
  2. like a cat in a tree
  3. playing cards

OLWG# 298- Breakdown in Hatch

Written for OLWG #298

I was talking to the counter man at Sparky’s, across the street from the Conoco Station, in Hatch New Mexico. His name tag read Hiroyuki. He told me that he would be getting off work soon. Said he’d been there since four o’clock making donuts.

He asked me “How long you planning on sticking around town?”

“Not sure.” I told him, “My car’s broke, but there’s this guy called Booster,” I paused, but he didn’t say anything so I pointed across the street and picked up again, “at the Conoco Station. He says he’s going to fix it up. Guess I’ll be here till then, at least. Maybe longer if I can find some work.”

“Booster? Booster you say? Well if Booster’s working on your car you might be here for a while. He’s not a very good mechanic. You might be able to speed him up a little bit, if you ask his sister out. The FFA is hosting a livestock auction at the fairgrounds, all week. All kinds of animals and livestock are on display. Imogene, that’s Booster’s sister, is a bit of a chicken fancier and she’d most likely love to go. She’d be a good catch, ‘ceptin for Booster. He’s real protective of her. He’d probably work as fast as he could, to keep you away from his sister.” He laughed and refilled my coffee cup. He kept going, “Imogene keeps the books at the Conoco, and she’s there now.” He pointed across the street with his chin, “That’s her weather-beaten old Pinto parked at the side. I shouldn’t be talking though; I don’t work fast these days, neither. Fuck, nobody in this town does.” He turned his head and looked at the big mirror, behind the lunch counter. “Look at me. I’m an old man already.” He shook his head, lost in reverie for a moment. Changed the subject and asked, “Oh, well; anything else I can get you?”

“No, but I thank you, sir. I need to go over and strike up a conversation with Imogene.”

This week’s prompts were:

  1. hacemos todo despacito (we do everything slowly)
  2. the mirror tells me that I’ve aged
  3. your troubles will be like mine

Zozo 02.02.23- Helen

Written in 20 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard

She stood on my porch looking like a drowned cat. Her hair was wet and dripping. She shivered from the cold, but on the plus side the fabric of her dress clung to her body, provocatively.

“Helen, Jesus, get in the house. I have a fire going in the den, I’ll get you a towel.” I couldn’t help but stare as I watched her come through the door and head for warmth. Wet clothes looked good on her. I broke from my reverie and headed to the linen closet for a towel. I handed it over, reluctantly, as she huddled next to the fireplace. “I’ve got coffee on, or I can make a pot of tea.” I said, and waited for her.

She trembled, “Coffee would be good.”

I snagged a mug as I entered the kitchen and rushed to the coffee pot. Pouring coffee with one hand and snagging the sugar bowl with the other I rushed back to the den where Helen was drying her hair with the bright beach towel. Her cream coloured blouse clung tightly to her breasts and I tried not to stare, as I proffered the cup.

“What are you doing out in this weather?” I asked and forced myself to look at her eyes.

“I came to ask if you’d be my Valentine.”

I laughed, “You look so cold and miserable.”

“Will you?” she repeated.

“Of course, I will.”

“Then let me get out of these wet clothes. Do you have a blanket I can wrap up in? Can I borrow your sweater? Is the electric blanket turned on, on your bed?” She held her hand out for me and I took it. She smiled. We walked together down the hall.


time’s up – step away

The prompts

  1. in from the rain
  2. the people who have walked beneath them
  3. you’re my valentine
  4. I can wait

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