Zozo 25.05.23- ‘Ruby Woo’

The first part of this was written in 15 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard. I tacked on the second part last night because I thought it would be fun.

And it was.

When my truck broke down en-route to Safford, on Highway 666, I nursed it over to the side of the road; safe and out of the traffic lanes, but the Highway wasn’t very busy anyway, as I soon found out, waiting for a passerby to stop.

I waited for almost an hour, and only one small Japanese speedster zoomed past… didn’t even slow down.

I got out of the cab, grabbed my water bottle and commenced to walking. I went north because I had come up from the south and knew that it was miles to the closest town, that way, and it wasn’t much more than a wide spot in the road and a store that claimed to sell homemade fudge and beef jerky.  There were no tow trucks. No mechanics. No gas stations. I thought if someone came by as I hiked north, I could maybe bum a ride.

I walked almost forever for before hearing an approaching vehicle. As it neared I commenced to walking backwards and holding up my thumb. An old green pickup with a load of lumber sailed past, making headway towards the horizon. I turned around and watched it get smaller and smaller in the distance till I couldn’t hear his engine anymore. I watched as he pulled over and swung around, coming back. Slowing its approach as they drew near to me again and then pulled around and abreast of me.

The window slid down on the passenger side,

Stop – Your ten minutes are up! The rest of this I’ve tacked on later.

and an elderly woman; with a light blue wash on her grey hair, done up in a bee hive hairdo, wearing a pair of large framed, rhinestone, cat eye sunglasses, leaned over from behind the wheel. She was proudly displaying her ample cleavage framed by the lace and taffeta of her low scoop neckline.

“Good afternoon, brother,” she hollered over the truck’s sputtering exhaust system. “Can I offer you a lift?”

I lifted the brim of my hat and squinted at her face, “Thank you, ma’am. I would appreciate that. It’s beginning to get a mite warm.”

She stopped and I took off my hat before I pulled open the passenger door. “I need to find a mechanic or an auto parts store, ma’am. I ‘preciate you stoppin’.”

“I’m going right where you need to be then, brother.” she said. “Cactus Flat! That’s where I’m heading, and I’m going to the Tent Meeting at Salvation Salvage Yard. You’ll be sure to find what you need there.” She reached into her bag and pulled out a tube of lipstick.

Bright Red

We almost went off the road three times as she stared into the rear-view mirror to apply the unnatural tint. She smacked her lips, and used her nail to scrape a bit of excess from the corner of her mouth. She looked at me and smiled, “Like this colour? It’s called ‘Ruby Woo’ by LUXE. It’s new and I love it.” She smiled, and one of her front teeth was Ruby Wooed. I leaned back in the seat and feigned sleep.


That’s it… That’s all I got… Story’s done, for now

The prompts:

  1. junkyard theology
  2. that’s life
  3. the devil just left

OLWG# 313- GalacticGwen

Written for OLWG# 313

Gwendolyn Anne Roberts grew up in the Mint Ridge Neighbourhood on the south side of Hartford.

She hated it  
Too suburban
Too white
Too middle class
She longed for rough

She couldn’t move, still too young – Still lived with her parents Robert and Marge.
Robert was a CPA. Marge worked in the library.
Gwendolyn began writing her own background story.
In it, she changed her name to GalacticGwen (one word, two capital G’s),
Told people that she lived in South Boyd (it sounded grittier than Mint Ridge).
She exclusively wore only black clothes and safety pin earrings. She didn’t carry a bag, only took what would fit in her pockets, quit riding the bus – walked everywhere.
She listened only to blues music, or beatdown metal.
She started smoking and going out at night.
Joined up with a crew and robbed liquor stores with butcher knives.
It was her fault though. Or maybe it was her parent’s fault, or her teachers, Or old Mr Simmons, who used to live above the News Agent’s shop.

She hated Simmons. She was glad he was dead.


This week’s prompts were:

  1. galactic
  2. one of those rowdy girls from the edge of town
  3. a little short on mercy

OLWG# 312- I Ordered A Chicken And An Egg From Amazon. I’ll Let You Know.

Written for OLWG# 312

It was early evening in Bogalusa, LA when the small blue star, Andiroba, rose in the eastern sky. She was keeping a low elevation angle, barely clearing the horizon and visible for only a short time, but every night she was responsible for countless wishes.

You know the thing about “star wishes” don’t you?

I wish I may
I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight.

Andiroba could see all the wishes scattered, and strewn, in front of her like gold nuggets. There were all sizes, shapes, and kinds of wishes. There were the smooth ones, cold ones, shiny ones, the furry ones. Some of the wishes were beautiful, others were twisted and deformed. Some were bundled in blankets, some were naked, but she saw them all. Andiroba, and Andiroba alone, got to choose which of the wishes she would grant and which to ignore.

She tended to pass on the ones made for spite or hoping for harm on others. She might honour the altruistic and selfless wishes for love, or peace, but not always. Andiroba did not want to become predictable.

“Keep ‘em Guessing” That was her philosophy.

Long life or true love
These were quick, pieces of cake
World Peace was less so

This weeks prompts were:

  1. songs about truckers and trucks
  2. the furry ones
  3. strewn like gold nuggets

OLWG# 311- Chesa

I’m a bit slow on this one as well, but finally got it written for OLWG# 311

Anyone who can, please help me out with the verse in Myanmar. Let me know if I got it right, thanks.

Chesa had to cover for me at work again yesterday, and she wasn’t very happy about it. There was nothing I could do, though, I was sick again. It was another bout of gastroenteritis and I could tell that I was going to be out for at least a week, maybe two. The vomiting brought on severe abdominal cramps and the diarrhoea was almost a clear liquid.

Chesa was a good friend, who even spoke a few words of English. Of course, she spoke Myanmar (Burmese). She spoke Shan and the Pwo, S’gaw variants of the Karen languages. Working the flooded fields was her choice; she preferred not to draw attention to herself. She preferred to keep the devil at bay.

more than the extra work
She likes the extra pay
I try to help        

      myanmar haiku

This weeks prompts were:

  1. call the Devil, partner
  2. rabble, aftermath, adhesive
  3. no one speaks English, here

OLWG# 310- The Battle with Temperance

I’m a bit slow on this one as well, but finally got it written for OLWG# 310

I had been on a bender. A long and particularly difficult debauch when I was rescued by the Union. It was ‘The Temperance Union.’ They, who took me under their wing and told me the stories of the Big Cheese. They showed me the error of my ways. When they got their hands on me, they began moulding me into a better man. They pulled me from the bars and speakeasies that had been my safe place for years. They took my bottle of clear amber heaven, my lover, my mother, and, in its place, they sold me truth.

The Temperance Union freed me from the demon flagons and the arms of evil women only to drop me gently into the embrace of my redeemer.

I have spent some time marching with the Union, and it has been a long time since I coaxed the cherished notes of my libations from an ancient Quaich cradled in my hands. It’s even longer since I ran my fingers down the spine of an unblushing woman. Since I surrendered to my desire,

I ache for my base and degenerate ways. I want to taste the kiss of a wanton lover. I want to fondle the bottom of a whisky bottle one more time.

The time is nigh for me to turn from my temperate ways, part with the Union that gave me solace when I needed it, and return to my wicked ways.

Snatched by interventionists
from self-imposed suffering
and eternal hell-fire,
I want to spin in the winds of my own damnation.

This weeks prompts were:

  1. the bars and the speakeasy’s
  2. they’re selling truth tonight
  3. so, now you know the difference

OLWG# 309- Mandrill Hordes

I’m a bit slow on this one, but finally got it written for OLWG# 309

Travelling mainly at night, we made our way down the back roads, avoiding the market towns where people gathered and taking our food from backyard gardens and rubbish bins behind shuttered markets and eateries. We worked slowly down from the hilly interior to the savannahs in the east.

We spotted them in Gabon, easily recognizable by their red and blue skin, which would sometimes glow in the moonlight. They travelled the same manner as ourselves, blanketed by darkness, without fire, sans unnecessary sources of light or noise, and no livestock. Like us, they foraged for food, stealing as necessary.

Somehow, they found us. Aggressively, they closed and destroyed our rear defences. Skillfully, they repelled our counter-assault with fierce combat. More than half our numbers were lost in a brief battle, lasting no more than ten or fifteen minutes. We were woefully unprepared; even I myself lost an eye along with three fingers from my right hand.

Those of us who survived; have scattered, separated, fleeing into the night; I fear that as individuals, or meagre factions, we are more vulnerable than before. I worry our very survival is no longer assured. If ever it was.

This weeks prompts were:

  1. somehow they found us
  2. market towns
  3. muzzle monkey

Zozo 20.04.23- Last Chance

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

Last night at the Last Chance Saloon the guys at the bar, and the girls too, I don’t want to leave anyone out. I don’t want to change the names. I want to embarrass the guilty. I don’t care about protecting the innocent. Well, they all got into a discussion about politics. It was Peter Kilkenney, Sam Ambrose, Walter Jackson and his wife Denise. I think what started it was when Pete made a comment about the border and how the immigrants (read darker skinned folks) were taking advantage of all the real Americans (read white people). People like Sam, Walter and Denise. It went downhill from there.

Sam was a respected pillar of the community.
Sam owned the hardware store.
Sam always wore a Stetson hat and a rodeo belt buckle.
Sam the leader of the boy scouts.

Denise was a big haired blonde Southern girl.
Denise was a cheerleader in high school.
Denise was a sorority girl in college until she got pregnant and made her boyfriend, at the time, feel so guilty that he married her.
Denise who was the only daughter of a newspaper man and his wife, the socialite who gave all the best parties

That marriage didn’t last long and Denise spent four or five years as a single mom before she met Walter.
Walter, a god fearing, gun toting, Christian man.
Walter, who worked for his daddy.
Walter, who took her away from all that and demanded only blind obedience and fealty in return.


time’s up – step away

The prompts (that I never got to… I was too busy with character development):

    1. fox in the hen house
    2. my dad’s gonna kill me
    3. when we all wake up

OLWG# 308- Mayfly

Written for OLWG# 308

It was late when the German freighter, Mayfly, tied up at the port of Kulay Rosa, on the West African coast. She was loaded with counterfeit auto parts and machine tools.

Able bodied seaman, Manfred Henszlein, stowed the deck gear and checked in with his boatswain, “An Land gehen, Chief. Sehe dich am Morgen.”

“Yep,” the boatswain grunted back at him, without raising his head.

Manfred shrugged his shoulders and left the ship. At the end of the brow he paused and pulled out his bag of Kurmark tobacco and papers; rolled a cigarette and torched the tip as he walked toward the front gate where he checked out and proceeded into town to find a smoky bar.

Herrengedeck,” he ordered (a glass of beer served with a shot of Korn). As the barman worked Manfred removed his jacket, pushed his cap back on his head, and laid a stack of US Dollars on the bar. Like any sailor in the word, he knew how to make himself comfortable in a drinking establishment. US currency was always good and Manfred used it so that he needn’t bother with changing money at every port.

He didn’t sit alone very long before Babatunde slid onto the seat next to him. Babatunde had his woman, Efua, with him hanging onto his shoulder even as she kneaded the muscles of Manfred’s upper back.

The negotiations began.

This weeks prompts were:

  1. where the sailors come in
  2. fair and square
  3. a smoky bar

Zozo 13.04.23- The Poet

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

George was a poet, who went by Geo
Silly poems for the most part
A fan of Seuss
Couldn’t sell a thing
No publisher
No money
But he never gave up
The word “Tenacious” was his descriptive adjective

Then he met Ruth
He met her in Duluth
When they got together in a telephone booth
He invited her home to listen to his poems

Ruth was a cellist
She liked Geo’s work
and the two began to collaborate
He became her lyricist
She became his composer
and they began to share their work with the public
performing on street corners downtown
People liked them

Success followed
Money grew
They bought houses and fancy automobiles
They had children together

Several of them

And life was good


Geo met Martha

Who was everything that he believed Ruth used to be
Young, vibrant, talented, caring
Ruth hadn’t changed
Geo had just grown accustomed to her.
So he gave her the houses
Gave her the fancy cars
And the children; then he ran off with Martha

It didn’t take long for Martha to realize that Geo had nothing to offer her
No money, no houses
No fancy cars
Nothing, except a growing portfolio of silly poems and a complete inability to set them to music
So Martha left
She took up with a pharmacist from Akron

Geo hitchhiked south and bounced between Kansas and Missouri for a while
Eventually, he passed, peacefully, beneath a highway bridge on I35, near Sharps Creek,
in a snowstorm

He had nothing left

Neither Ruth,
nor Martha, knew what happened, cared what happened.

His children never tried to find him.


time’s up – step away

The prompts:

    1. just can’t shake it
    2. I got nothin’
    3. set to music

OLWG# 307- Wasting Time

Written for OLWG# 307

Caminé desde Barcelona hasta la Plaza Mayor
porque nadie me amaba allí,
¡solo para descubrir que nadie me conoce aquí!

Walked from Barcelona to Plaza Mayor
because no one loved me there,
only to find out that no one knows me here!

This weeks prompts were:

        1. what I remember most
        2. nobody loves me here
        3. from Barcelona to Madrid


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