OLWG · writing

OLWG# 261- The A to Z Guide of Families and Family Life

Written for OLWG# 261

Peter’s family moved from Live OakTerrace to HighPoint Heights at the end of his first year Jonathan Doerr High School. As one might expect, this necessitated his transfer to Stephen F. Austin School of the Arts.

He met Ellen Grisham at Austin.

It was love at first sight.

Peter was so in love with Ellen and so excited about being in love that he went home and told his father. “Dad, I’ve met a girl at school, and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. We want to get married and raise a family together.”

He expected his father to be supportive but was shocked when his dad pulled him out to the garage, “Ellen Grisham, you say?” Peter’s dad almost whispered. He seemed nervous.

“That’s right, Dad, she’s beautiful. She and I love one another.”

“Peter, you can’t date Ellen Grisham. Please don’t say anything to your mother, but as a young man, I sinned. My flesh was weak; and I slept with women outside of my marriage. Ellen Grisham’s mother was one of them. Ellen is your sister. You can’t do it son. It would be unnatural.”

Peter was heartbroken, but he took his fathers words to heart, and he cut ties with the young Ms Grisham. Although heartbroken, Peter was young enough to bounce back. After several months he met Angela Bishop. Peter again went to his father and, guess what? He told Peter that Angela Bishop was also his sister.

Devastated, Peter had no choice but to betray his father’s confidence, and he went to seek advice from his mother.

He told his mom everything. He told her about Ellen and Angela. He cried as he told her how her husband, his father, had betrayed her all those years ago.

Mom smiled sadly and pulled Peter into an embrace.

“Don’t you fret about that shit, boy I knew about his philandering ways.” She pressed his head into her shoulder.” If you want to date any of those girls, you feel free to go ahead and do it. Hell, date them both. I’m going to tell you the truth now. He’s not really your father.”

This week’s prompts were:

  1. bellyful of gin
  2. remember what it feels like to fall
  3. death comes like dawn

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 260- A Formidable Doubt

Written for OLWG# 260

Sam and Evelyn were sipping coffee and sitting in the sunshine that streamed through the kitchen window.

“Jimmy never came home last night,” Sam said to Evvie, “He didn’t call either. He better be in the hospital, or I’ll put him there.”

Evvie shook her head, “He probably just got drunk and spent the night at one of his buddies places,” she said.

The girls heard a key in the front lock, and the door pushed open, but the chain was on. It didn’t open very far.

“Sam? Sam, open the door.” they heard Jimmy calling through the narrow opening. “Samantha, let me explain.”

She got up from the table, walked over and slammed the door in his face. She quickly turned the deadbolt and went back to the table.

“Up yours, Jimmy, I don’t want to hear it,” she hollered over her shoulder. She got almost halfway back to the table, stopped and turned around. Back at the closed front door, she said softly, “I dropped your stupid dog off at your mother’s house, Jimmy. I told her that you were out sleeping around. I told her that you’d probably be moving back in with her soon.

“I’ll pack your shit up and get it to your mom’s someday, Don’t come looking for any of your shit here. I’m keeping your black Sonic Youth tee-shirt, though.”

“No, Sam. Samantha, you can’t do this,” he said softly from the other side of the door.

“What’s her name, Jimmy?”

“Sam?” he pleaded.

“Do you even know her name, Jimmy? Huh?”


“Her name’s not Sam. That’s my name. I’ll find out, though, and I’ll tell everyone. Go away now. I don’t want to talk to you anymore.”

When Samantha got back to the table, Evie gave her a thumbs up, “Damn girl,” Evvie said, “it’s getting cold in here. You have a jacket I can borrow?”

This week’s prompts were:

  1. don’t want to hear about it
  2. sweet revenge
  3. getting cold in here

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 259- Mr Field’s One Night Stand

Written for OLWG# 259

It was about an hour before midnight, and the rain was rolling in when he pulled off the freeway and stopped at the signal near the Belden Village Mall. His destination was the Residence Inn on Broadmoor Circle. It was around the backside of the mall, off the beaten path enough that you had to be going there to go by there. He had never been there before, so it was unlikely that he’d be recognized or remembered.

Parking in a dark section of the lot, he grabbed his soft leather valise, pulled his hat down low, turned up the collar of his raincoat and made his way inside. A petite woman with mousy brown hair and acne scars  sat behind the check-in counter. She turned her attention from the magazine she held, to him, as he drew near.

“Help you?” she asked.

“Hi, Tiffany,” he squinted at the copper coloured name badge she wore on her lapel, “I have a reservation,” he said, “My name is Fields, Tyson Fields.”

She typed the name into the system and studied the screen, “Yes, sir, I see your name, but unfortunately, your credit card’s been denied. I’ll need to collect payment, how would you like to do that?”

He sighed and rolled his eyes, “This is the last time I use this Marshall BankCorp card. They have been nothing but trouble. How about if I give you cash for tonight?”

“Of course Mr Fields,” she smiled at him, “Cash works. You still want the single king for $68.00?”

“That’s great, can you put me on the ground floor?”

She typed a bit more and smiled at him as he placed three twenties and a ten on the counter. She scooped up the bills; pressed some keys on her keyboard, they both heard the ding sound of the cash drawer opening. She dug out a couple of singles and handed them to him. They both smiled.

Handing over his key-card, she informed him that room 145 was down to the end of the hall, on the right-hand side.”

He took the card and turned toward the corridor she had indicated. He turned back and asked, almost as an afterthought, “Tiffany, where would be a good place for a guy to find a drink. And, maybe some …companionship around here?”

She held up one finger, picked up the phone and dialed a three-digit extension, “Hey, Denise,” she said into the handset, “Can you come and take over the desk? I gotta go,” she paused, “yeah, right now.”

Pushing up her breasts and throwing her shoulders back, she said, “The Thirsty Dog Tavern is just up the road in Morningside heights. When Denise gets up here, I’ll be happy to show you.”

This week’s prompts were:

  1. like what you see?
  2. the rain rolls in
  3. grew up tough in Morningside Heights

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 258- A Strong Woman, One of a Kind

Written for OLWG# 258

My Great Grandma was a strong woman. She, her husband, and their four daughters had a gold mine in New Mexico that they worked together until the late 1800’s when he was killed in a poker game. She took the girls south, where they homesteaded a ranch in the Permian Basin. She was tight, she was stern, and I never saw her smile. Life was hard for her, raising daughters on her own and sending them all to college. College educated women were rare in those days, but all four of her girls were college graduates.

She would wear her shoes on the wrong feet every other day, in order for them to wear out evenly and last longer. She wore long black dresses, devoid of ornamentation, and kept her hair pulled back into a knot at the base of her neck. She died in the 1950’s, at the ripe old age of 100. My sister and I used to visit and sit with her when my Grandma and my mother would go ‘tend to things on the ranch. We’d sit in silence on rocking chairs in the shade of the porch, sipping lemonade garnished with a sprig of fresh mint pinched from the garden. Occasionally she would make a comment about the weather.

“Hot today,” she would say. Or, “I reckon, it might rain.”

We were not expected to react. We might nod in agreement, but nothing more; we were children, after all.

When my sister suggested I write something about my great-grandmother, I resisted. “I write fiction,” I’d say.

“Try it,” my sister would argue with me. “You might enjoy it.” She explained that she had done all the research and could spoon feed me all the information I needed.

“I don’t like writing true stories,” I’d argue back. “Fiction is more forgiving.”

We been going back and forth on this for years. This piece is the compromise, and you, the reader, have to decide how much is fiction and how much is truth. Sorry to lay this burden on you. Let me know what you decide.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. the world took her smile
  2. fiction is more forgiving
  3. brushed your cheek

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 257- Unspectacular

Written for OLWG# 257

I met the seventeen-year-old Kwin Ginerisey at my parent’s house on Thanksgiving of 1941. She was a gamine girl – petite, with a sharp, angular body and bone structure. Kwin was lithe and lean. She was spectacularly equipped with small breasts and narrow hips. She was leggy and coltish, with large eyes and wispy, childlike features. I was smitten.

Mom worked downtown as a secretary to Mr Berkowitz at Frost Brothers on Houston Street. Kwin, with her looks and talent, was a star, selling cosmetics and fragrances at the make-up counter on the third floor. Mom thought Kwin and I would be a cute couple, and she wasn’t averse to playing the role of matchmaker. Mom worried about both of us. She was also concerned about the wars in Europe, and North Africa. Mom decided to pair Kwin and me. She recognized that she couldn’t do anything about the foreign wars, but she could introduce Kwin to me and me to Kwin. We hit it off right away and began dating. It was only a few weeks later, in early December, when the foreign wars were suddenly closer to home, and the United States could no longer remain neutral. I signed up with the Navy and shipped out before Christmas, soon finding myself embroiled in an ugly war in the Pacific.

Kwin relocated to Fort Worth and went to work at Consolidated Aircraft, were she became a “Wing Mechanic.” She helped build hundreds of the four-engine B-24 Liberator bombers. I didn’t come home until October of ’45 after the end of hostilities in August of that year. Security regulations did not allow me to communicate with my loved ones about my return home. I knew that Kwin would be in Fort Worth. I took a bus from San Antonio. I was leaning on her front steps when she got home from work on Friday, the 12th of October. She took me upstairs, and we did not re-emerge for four days. She was still the long, lean gamine girl I had left at home when I went overseas. She now wore her blonde hair long, and that afternoon when we were reunited, it was pretty dirty, but she cleaned up just fine. She looked like the girl I had left behind, but her face was different. I think that she looked wiser, somehow.

We never did get married in the conventional sense, but I changed my last name to Ginerisey, and the two of us raised a family. We lived together as man and wife until she passed away in 2009. She was 85. She’s resting now in Holy Oak Gardens. There’s a space next to her reserved for me.

The kids have been gone for a while now. We lost Raymond in Vietnam. I think it was 1968. His sister, Shannon, lives just outside Seattle with her husband, Eugene and their kids. I usually hear from them on my birthday and at Christmas. Charles Ray and his husband, Ruben, live in South Beach. They are childless. Kwin was proud of all of them, and so am I.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. long blonde dirty hair
  2. and I sleep in your hat

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 256- It Begins Again

Written for OLWG# 256

It begins with a familiar voice
the one I attribute to my mother
I don’t always want to hear her in my head,
but occasionally what she says makes sense
sometimes it’s appropriate.

Usually, though she brings others
my father, her sisters, my sisters, or voices
I don’t recognize.

That’s when it gets raucous,
confusion ensues, but only I can hear it
chaos, but
only I can hear it,
only I can hear it.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. silent chaos
  2. never reveal your true age
  3. one of these mornings

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 255- Sin la Rienda

Written for OLWG# 255

Floyd woke up struggling to breathe.

He knew right away what was wrong.

The fire had gone out.

He sprang to work, knowing that he needed to work fast, else he wouldn’t get to watch the fight tonight; he’d already ordered it too, already paid for it. It was a promising one, Abrogado vs Michaels at the ProNaF in Juarez.

Twenty-five bucks! Damn, no time to fret over it though gotta move.

He jumped from the bed and ran towards the front room. Kneeling by the fireplace screen, he reached his hand out. Cold! Nothing left but ashes. Glancing up through the window, he saw that the sky was grey, growing darker, pulling away.

Not much time left, he grabbed some kindling to throw in the fireplace. Followed by some thin sticks of firewood from the bin which he laid on top. Two logs across the andirons, and he was ready. Floyd struck a blue tip match and held it to the kindling.

Come on! Catch, Catch, damnit!

Finally, a small flame appeared. As it grew large enough to catch the twigs, he pushed and manoeuvred it beneath the two larger logs. Floyd grabbed a girlie magazine that he had been looking at earlier; he thought of Miss May as he fanned the flames. They began to grow, and the logs were beginning to catch, so he threw some green wood into the fire. He was still struggling to breathe.

Smoke! Smoke! He thought it was working, but he couldn’t run outside to check until the flames further engaged the larger logs. It seemed to take forever, but it truth, only a few minutes elapsed before he felt confident enough in the fire to venture out the front door and into the yard. He held his head back and gasped for breath as he watched. He watched as the sky slowly lifted, pulling away from the earth. He turned his attention to the chimney; there was smoke, but only a few wisps. Floyd huffed and puffed his way back inside.

Gotta get the fire going. Gotta get smoke.

In the cabin, the fire was out. The logs never caught fire. Not fully anyway. Floyd was fighting to breathe. He was losing his peripheral vision. He fell to his knees in front of the fireplace.

Fuck, I had one job! Only one job – how could I blow it so badly?

Floyd was the first of millions to die. He was nearest to the connection when it broke. The rest of the earth followed him in its own time and was gone by the time the fight would have started. It didn’t take long, not long at all, sin la rienda.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. the difference
  2. hold your head back
  3. chimney smoke tethers the sky to the house

OLWG · writing


A shipmate posted a poem of prompts for NaPoWriMo 2022.

I couldn’t resist that he encouraged me to write haiku and to break all the rules. I didn’t break them all, but I made a mockery out of most of them

The curved cement curb around the parking lot is cold at night
It’s OK though, Mom will be here, she’s picking me up. I ‘spect she’s almost here by now.
The yellow haze of lights make it tough to see approaching cars

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 253- Aubagne

It was a slow day at the bookstore today, so I got to write
Written for OLWG# 253

I looked up from my drink when I heard the door swing shut. I saw KC threading his way between the empty tables, heading in my direction. He signalled Rhonda for a couple of drinks.

“I’ll have whatever Jimbo’s drinking,” he said.

“You sure?” Rhonda asked.

KC nodded his head, and when Rhonda went to work, he sat down at the bar, next to me, “I been driving up and down Alvarado looking all over for you, Jimbo. Whatcha doing?”

“Not now, KC. I’m trying to get drunk.”

About that time, Rhonda brought over our drinks. KC tossed a couple of bills on the bar. She picked up the money and hovered. I finished the one I’d been drinking in a single gulp and reached for the new one.

KC took a sip of his and grimaced, “Jeeze! What the hell are you drinking, man?”

Rhonda smiled and answered, “Scotch and coke. I asked if you were sure.” She chuckled and faded back down the bar. KC pushed his drink away, grabbed a handful of peanuts and began chewing.

As KC struggled to get the nasty drink taste out of his mouth, I told him that I was here hiding from Linda.

“Aren’t you and Linda supposed to be getting married in a couple of months?”

“I’m having second thoughts.”

“What do you mean, Jimbo?”

“She’s turning into a control freak, man. I’ve been getting the silent treatment for over a week now. I don’t even know why. She doesn’t like my dog anymore either. Wants me to surrender Dillan to the pound. Says that he stinks.

“One of her friends from High School came to town a week or so ago and wanted to hang out. Linda didn’t want to invite her over to the house. Eventually, she did and, I was told what to wear, told not to drink too much, and told what to cook on the barbecue. I cracked a joke over dinner, and Linda reacted with nothing but wide eyes. I’m telling you man, that shut me up right there. Didn’t talk for the rest of the night, she couldn’t ‘a been happier.”

KC had another sip of his drink before remembering that he didn’t like it. He shook his head and almost spit it out. “Sounds tough, man.”

“It’s getting tough, KC. It’s getting tough. I’m telling you, she has her teeth in deep. I been worrying about what I was going to do, but I think I’ve solved that problem.” KC just nodded his head, waiting for me to elaborate on my plan. I took another slug of Scotch and coke.

“I’m joining the French Foreign Legion.”

“Bullshit,” KC called.

“No bullshit,” I replied. “I’m going to Aubagne. I booked a flight for tomorrow.”

“So, you gonna tell Linda, or are you just gonna leave?”

“I’ll probably tell her just before I go to the airport. She’ll probably be pissed off, and it might be kinda fun. Ya know, something she can’t control.”

“What are you going to do tonight?” KC asked.

“Dunno, get drunk, get laid. I’m open to suggestions.”

This week’s prompts were:

  1. driving down Alvarado
  2. sink her teeth in deep
  3. don’t be praying for me