Zozo 02.02.23- Miss Appaloosa County

Written in 25 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard

Lynette Evans stood holding hands with her daughter, Sara. Sara with no “H”

Sara had her hair in curlers, her tap shoes on her feet.

With the exception of the tap shoes, in lieu of cowboy boots, and the conspicuous lack of a Stetson hat, Sara looked every inch, like a rodeo queen. The mother daughter team waited to check in for the Little Miss Appaloosa County pageant and Lynette was certain that Sara going to take the crown this year.

Miranda Epps, the Miss Appaloosa County of no less than twenty-five years ago mingled with this year’s contestants. Talking to them, encouraging them and passing along tips about posture and the like. She spoke to their escorts, their parents, coaches, grandparents, whoever had brought the young girls; wishing them all the best of luck and flashing her hundred watt smile.

As she moved to speak with Lynette her phone rang. She held up a finger to shush Sara, pressed a button on the phone, brushed her long wavy brown hair, with golden highlights, aside and held the phone to her ear.

“Hello,” she said and paused; waiting for a response. “Slow down, Murray, slow down. Tell me again.”

“An explosion? At the laboratory? What happened?  The tooth whitener? Overheated? You stupid fuck! How could you do that? I swear you couldn’t find your ass with both hands! Is there anything left?”

Without another word she pressed the face of the phone to terminate the call. Spinning on her heel she marched towards the exit and disappeared out into the sunlight.

Lynette fished in her bag and withdrew her own cell phone. She dialled a number. “Jimbo, Listen carefully, you need to go out to Estancia and check out Epps Laboratories. Take your camera. There’s been an explosion.

“I don’t know how bad it was; get pictures and video if you can. We can sell it to the news channels. Miranda Epps just stormed out of here in a huff after speaking with someone named Murray.” She paused as she listened to Jimbo.

“I can’t go,” she continued, “I’m here with Sara. She’s about to be crowned the new Miss Appaloosa County.”

Sara heard her name and started dancing, her tap shoes sparking on the cement


time’s up – step away

The prompts:

  1. stranger’s cell phone
  2. separation
  3. beauty contest
  4. mishap at the laboratory
  5. person who will do whatever it takes
  6. eavesdropper

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