OLWG #20 – Untitled

I’m back to Flash Fiction this week. Just over 750 words to cover a few moments of time shared by three people in a bar in San Diego

 Written for OLWG #20

Near Balboa Park; autumn afternoon, clear skies, light sea breeze –

“Hey, bud,” he hailed.

I paid him no mind.

“Hey, hey, bud,” he shot again.

I stopped, made eye contact, “My name’s not Bud.”

Ida been surprised if it was. Come over here a minute wouldja? I wanna put a bee in yer bonnet. I wanna tug on yer coat a bit. I wanna make ya an offer ya can’t refuse.”

I moved about half a step in his direction.

“What?” I asked.

“Gotta smoke?”


“Couple bucks, mebbe? Some spare change?”


“Let’s step in here,” he indicated the red door to the barroom he was standing in front of.

I looked at the neon sign in the window: The Red Door.

I had lots of time, a drink sounded good, and it wasn’t a dark alleyway that he was luring me into so I followed him inside.

“This is better,” he said, “Less interruptive.”  We made our way to a Naugahyde booth at the back and slid in on opposite sides of the table.

“Whaddaya drinkin?”

“Beer’s good.”

He waved at the bartender, “Hey tarbender; Red Stripes. Cain’t be too careful,” he said, “we don’t want a lotta people in on this deal. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”

A thin, fair skinned, dark haired girl floated across the floor to our booth and slid in next to me. My new friend rolled his eyes, “go away Nadine, this don’t concern you.”

“Aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend, Ace?” she asked.

“Nadine, this is Bud… Bud this is Nadine. Now get lost Nadine, we’re talkin’ business.”

“My name’s not Bud.”

“That’s OK,” she said, “my name’s not Nadine” she extended her hand and we shook.

The bartender ambled over with three Old Fashion glasses that he sat in front of us. Ace talked him out of a cigarette. The glasses had some kind of whiskey in ‘em. It certainly wasn’t beer.

“What’s this?” I asked.

Not Nadine picked up her glass and took a sip, “Southern Comfort,” she informed me.

Ace lit his smoke and drained his drink; he motioned the bartender for another.

He looked at me “I got a truckload of, shall I say, commodities that I need to sell quickly. I’ll make ya a really good deal.”

He stopped talking and we sat on opposite sides of the table, looking at each other. Finally he picked it up again.

“Whut ya say, Bud. Ya in?”

“My name’s not Bud.”

“Whatever, are ya in?”

I looked at Not Nadine. She was leaned back comfortably in the seat smiling and shaking her head. I looked back at Ace.

“What kinda commodities?” I asked.

“Oh, you know, the regular kinda shit; appliances, TV’s, stereos, toaster ovens, mixers,” he watched my face, “Oh, and some power tools too. Drills, Skil saws, sanders, and the like.”

I picked up my drink and took a sip, grimaced, I hate Southern Comfort.

“I’ll need to see the goods, and I’ll need to know the price.”

“Sure,” he said, “let’s go.” I looked at Not Nadine who was still shaking her head.

I reached for a napkin and pushed it across towards him. I set a felt tip marker on top of the paper napkin, “Whole truck full?”

He nodded.

“Write down on that paper what you want for the entire load then fold it in half and give it back to me.”

Ace uncapped the pen and shielding the paper with his right hand, he thought for awhile and when he made a decision; he tucked his head down and wrote something down with his left. He folded the paper in half and pushed it back towards me. He put the pen in his pocket. Not Nadine watched both of us carefully.

I didn’t look at what he had written; simply covered the napkin with my hand, “No doubt, you have represented a fair price here, Ace, but I can tell you right now that you’ll be lucky to get twenty-five percent of this figure from me. You still want to talk?” I watched his laryngeal prominence, also known as his Adams apple; move up and down as he pondered my offer. Finally, he nodded. “OK then,” I said, “let’s go look.”

Not Nadine slid from the booth, “Can I come?” she asked.

“It’s all right with me if it’s all right with Ace.” I said, “OK with you, Ace if Not Nadine tags along?”

This week’s prompts are:

  1. my name’s not Bud
  2. Southern Comfort and smoke
  3. pull on your coat

OLWG #19 – Nothing is Real

I’m hung up on Ginsberg’s “American Sentences”
I wrote four of them for this prompt response.

OLWG #19

“I’m so confused right now; I just don’t know what to believe anymore.”

“Nothing they tell you is real. They’ll lie, it’s about controlling you.”

“But you haven’t heard what they said about you and the things that you did.”

“So, some of it might be real but ALMOST nothing they tell you will be.”


This week’s prompts are:

  1. Dirty little secrets
  2. The cure is worse
  3. Nothing they tell you is real

OLWG #18 – How Me, Dad, and Uncle Vinnie Found Hell

OLWG #18

When I woke this morning my mom was standing there like she’d been watching me sleep.  When she saw my eyes open she clucked her tongue, the way she always had, and smoothed my hair back off my forehead.

She smiled, “Sally, you made it. We weren’t sure if you would for awhile, there was some heated debates going on.”

“What are you talking about, Ma?”

“We wasn’t sure they was gonna let you in, but looks like they did, allright. Did you really kill all those people on that bridge?”

I knew immediately what she was talking about, but I was confused. “That was wartime, Ma. How’d you find out about that? Wait a minute… what are you doing here? You passed on years ago. Where am I?” I looked over her shoulder and saw my dad’s mother, Gramma Nonie; my dad, and my sister Carmella. “You guys? None of you can be here either. What’s going on?”

Carmella leaned forward, “This is heaven, Sal,” she snapped her gum, “this is heaven and we’re all here ‘cause we’re dead. You’re dead too.”

“Dead – No, I’m not dead. I don’t feel any different. I’d feel different if I was dead.”

My mother just looked at me nodding her head. “Yeah, we all thought that too. We doan though, and despite what your sister says, I’m not sure that this is heaven either. I mean, your father is here with his mother. Your Uncle Vinnie’s here too. That doan seem like heaven to me. I never liked those people… Well, maybe your father for a year or two. I shoulda left him, but the family, ya know, and the church; I was stuck.”

“Ma, I don’t want to hear this. I can’t be dead, what…”

My father interrupted me, waving his hands, “Course you’re dead Sally. What’s the last thing ya ‘member?”

Everybody turned to look at me.

“Me and a couple of the guys were doing a job on the hill. I opened the safe, and got the cash in a bag. We were getting ready to leave when I saw the red lights flashing through the window. I hightailed it out the back with the bag in hand. I don’t know what happened after that.”

“You was prolly shot by the cops while you was tryin’ to ‘scape,” Dad said, “at least that’s what it’ll say in the report.” He pointed his finger at me and he grinned that lopsided grin that everyone loved so much, specially the ladies, which was why my mom and dad hadn’t gotten along real well.

I sat up in the bed and my Gramma Nonie came around and took my hand, “You just need a little time to adjust, Sally,” she said. “Let me make you somethin’ to eat. What can I get you?”

“I’m not hungry Nonie, thanks. Who else is here?”

“Family, it’s all family,” Ma butted in, “unfortunately, it’s all his family.” She made an obscene hand gesture towards my father.

My dad frowned, “Enough of that shit, Rosie. Knock it off, and all of youse get the hell outa here. I gotta talk to Sally.” Everybody started mumbling and turned away, shuffled off. Dad watched ‘em till they were out of earshot then he turned back to me. “I told you not to work for Jimmy. I told you that years ago, but you wouldn’t listen. Dangerous work, I said. Working for Jimmy’ll get ya killed, I said, but you wouldn’ listen to me.  Nooooo, you only saw easy money, booze, and broads. That’s what you wanted; and I hate to say I tole ya so, but I tole ya so.” He slapped the back of my head like he had done when I was a kid.

“Hey, shit. Dad?”

He smacked the back of my head again, “watch yer fuckin’ mouth. Yer mother’s right over there.”

“OK, OK sorry, but what difference does it make now?”

“Listen Sally, yer mother’s right. I don’t know where we are but it doan seem like heaven to me. Me an Vinny, we’re plannin’ to get outta here, but it ain’t easy. Now doan point and doan look but you see that hill over my shoulder? The one with the single tree growin’ on the top.”


“There’s a fence just the other side o’ that tree, youse caint see it from here. Bob wire. We just need to get to the other side o’ that fence an we’ll be home free. We go tonight after yer mother and sister get ta sleep.”

Everything worked smoothly till we were walking down the backside of the hill and heard my Ma’s mother, Gramma Rosie; after whom my mother was named. She was cackling and hollering, “Well, look who’s come ‘a callin’,” she shouted.

This week’s prompts are:

  1. I don’t feel any different
  2. Life in flip flops
  3. Go easy on the cayenne

OLWG #17 – American Sentences

OLWG #17

Naked, sweating, entwined, there are no secrets between us anymore.
I place pen to paper, I wait for inspiration; I wait, I wait.
Staring into your eyes across the table… Like looking at the sun…
What? Another ultimatum? Really? You like this game this much?

My Manuscript, Final Draft

My blood – You see it there between the lines? Does it add to the story?

It was written in a little less than 25 minutes total.

The prompt this week was:

  1. American sentences

All I Have Left


So this is how it all comes down?
This is where I am now?
All I have left is

my laptop,
my words,

half a pack of smokes,
her email address,

a bottle of Mescal and,
a loaded gun

It’s a given that I will drink the liquor and the cigarettes, I will smoke
But then what? The laptop isn’t worth much – it’s loaded with music, mostly blues and jazz, all pirated

I should probably be in jail

What are words worth? I never made much money from words,
but then that was never my intention
My goal was to connect
To connect with people

Most recently to connect with her

I have her email address
I have her phone number
I see her almost daily, but
I’ve failed to connect

I should write her a letter, express my undying devotion
I should write her a poem, pour my soul onto the paper, onto the screen

I could send it to her through the ether
I could print it on 80# linen card stock –

the colour of unbleached muslin

– designed to impress

I could send it through the post; special delivery

I’ve tried all that before but no one ever cared
I’ve been dismissed as an airhead, a blatherskite, a hocicón

I still have the piece though. The flat trigger Glock and two bullets
One in the chamber and
One on the table; standing next to the bottle

I’m too scared for this shit