OLWG#124- Billy, Roxanne, and the Pirate

 Written for OLWG#124

He worked with the paper and pencil. The tip of his tongue protruded from the corner of his mouth.

“Whatcha doin’, Billy?”

“I don’t need any help, Roxanne.” He said to his sister, twisting his sketch pad to the left and then back to the right.  He spun his pencil and tapped the rubber on the tabletop. He spun it back then turned the page and found a new blank sheet of paper. He glanced down at his lap.

“What are you trying to do?”

“Get into art school, I’m gonna do it too.”

“You are not, Billy. You’re not old enough for art school.”

“There’s no special age for it, and it’s free”

“No way.”

“Way!” he reached down to his lap and pulled up a sheet of paper, obviously torn from a magazine. He showed it to her, “see, it’s from The Art Instruction School in Minny, Minny apple less. All I gotta do is draw this pirate, and mail it in before the end of the month. I’ll be famous before I’m a teenager.”

Roxanne blew a raspberry into the palm of her hand, “You’re such a dork, Billy. It’s some kind of trick. Can’t you see that?”

He said not a word, but collected his sketch book and pencil. He climbed down off the chair and headed for the hallway. At the last minute he came back and snatched the page from the magazine back off the table. He tucked it between the sheets of his pad. Roxanne watched as he walked down the hallway and into his bedroom. She heard the door close and the lock turn. Shrugging her shoulders, Roxanne picked up the telephone receiver and dialed a number. It was a number that she knew by heart. Humming to herself, she waited while it rung at the other end.

“Oh, good afternoon Mrs Bradford, this is Roxanne Cole. May I speak with Trish please?”

The prompts were:

  1. not a place for good boys / girls
  2. I don’t need any help
  3. The cutest


Sleeping With the Fishes

I wrote this for the Tuesday Writing Challenge at Go Dog Go Café

Carl’s feet were heavy
The concrete shoes anchored him
Beneath the waters

Use the phrase “beneath the waters” in a piece of prose or a poem.


OLWG#123- Three Degrees

 Written for OLWG#123


Gilda pulled the fox fur collar higher up on the back of her neck and eased through the back door of the caboose, then closed it behind her. She stood on the deck and leaned on the horse head cane that her daddy had given her. She breathed deeply of the cool mountain air, as hills and trees raced past in the opposite direction. Mostly a mix of Pine and Aspen. The Pines stood tall on the ridges. The Aspen huddled in the gorges and sheltered areas, where they were most comfortable.

She watched the landscape dance by in time with the rhythmic clack of the wheels. Soon enough, the snow began. The train continued to climb until they were high enough for the snow to dust the rails behind them, she tossed the cane and used only the curved safety railing for support. When the snow began covering the wooden sleepers that supported the rails she stepped quietly off the back of the train. No one noticed.

Gilda never arrived in Denver, she never met the rancher who waited there to meet her.


It was early morning in Denver when the last train pulled away from the platform and Ben Vega, who worked at the station, began extinguishing the gaslights illuminating the platform. He noticed a well-dressed man seated at the far end of the platform holding a small bouquet of wildflowers. Drawing closer he recognized the man as the owner of a mid-sized spread situated higher up in the surrounding mountains, The Alemán Ranch.

Colton Alemán was a cattleman whose family had been ranching in these parts for years. Drawing closer to the rancher, Ben noticed the man was crying. He sat down on the rough-hewn bench and put his hand on the rancher’s shoulder.

Alemán had ordered a bride from back east. Maybe she hadn’t made it this far west. Maybe something had happened.

They sat that way for a few moments before Vega took a deep breath and spoke, “Station’s closing Colton. You can’t stay here.”

Alemán said nothing but nodded his head, he stood and started walking down the platform to leave.”

Maybe she’ll get here tomorrow, Colton. Come back tomorrow. I’m sure she’ll be here tomorrow.”


Ben had been in Denver for less than a year when he began working for the railroad. He took the job of sweeping the platform and taking out the trash. He would also do odd jobs for the stationmaster. When he wasn’t working he would ride out to the Hilton’s place. They ran a large Stage Stop on the plains East of Denver offering food, drink and lodging to the stagecoach passengers and staff. Ben would go there because it was far enough away that he wouldn’t be recognized.

Ben would get all liquored up on that roadhouse whisky and moan about his true love, back East. She was the reason he’d come to Denver in the first place. Her daddy had refused to permit them to be wed. Ben was too coarse a man, too vulgar for his daughter, Gilda.

Gilda deserved better than the likes of a Vega boy. He wouldn’t hear of it.

The prompts were:

  1. Roadhouse whisky
  2. a horse head cane
  3. he was crying

OLWG#122- Short Form Verse

 Written for OLWG#122

American Sentence

An approximation of pi needn’t be exact, just round it up.


What Is It?

Is it Lust? Is it
Love? Am I smart enough to
know the difference?



A chill climbs my spine
Cool air rises from the grave
Your eyes lock with mine-
Across the pit we connect
Each of us buried a friend

The prompts were:

  1. round ‘em up
  2. am I smart enough to know the difference?
  3. burying my friends

Never Play Cards With a Man Called Doc

I wrote this for the Tuesday Writing Challenge at Go Dog Go Café

I pushed through the swinging doors of The Nugget Saloon looking for a card game but sidled up to the bar to get a read on the establishment first.
“What’ll it be?” the barman asked.
“Whiskey and a beer.”
Before we could continue our discussion there was a ruckus at one of the tables. A cowboy stood quickly, knocking his chair down as he pulled a gun, apparently because he had lost a big hand. He was quickly dispatched by a gambler with a fast draw on the other side of the table. The barman excused himself and went to drag the dead ranch hand out the back door. He told one of the girls to go fetch the doc and then busied himself cleaning up the remaining blood on the floor. There wasn’t much mess on the chair or the table so a mop erased the scene relatively quick.
I went to take the seat that had just been vacated and signaled the barman to send my drink over to the table.
The five remaining players nodded their assent as I pulled out the chair with a questioning look on my face as if asking, “Mind if I sit in?” I introduced myself, “I just came in on the two o’clock stage. Name’s Chance,” I said, “Doc Chance.”
Three of the men sitting at the table pushed their chairs back, scooped up their cash, stood and left. The other two remained sitting, but shaking their heads.
The guy to my left finally pushed away from the table too. “Sorry, Doc,” he said as he stuffed his winnings into his pockets and stood, “I just can’t do it.” He walked to the door.
Last guy leaned back. He was the one who had shot the cowboy, “not much of a game with only two players,” he said. He picked up my beer and downed it, “I’m willing to wait if you are, Doc.”

Write anything around the theme or words: Trapped in my ancient fear

Who, Exactly was Yvette Bouchard?

I wrote this for the September 26th Flash Fiction Challenge

Yvette accepted the post-coital Cohiba offered by the bearded writer from La Plaza Vieja. He was writing his memoir. She tucked the bed linens around her waist, leaned back against the worn headboard, and told him about France, her life before la Habana. Before coming to Cuba.

He listened carefully as she smoked and wove her tale, “… But Paris was a very old city and we were young and nothing was simple there, not even poverty, nor sudden money, nor the moonlight, nor right and wrong nor the breathing of someone who lay beside you in the moonlight.”

The prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about someone unremembered. Is it a momentary lapse or a loss in time? Play with the tone — make it funny, moving, or eerie. Go where the prompt leads you!