20May 2017 – Writer’s Guild: More Stolen Prompts

Prompts stolen from The Orange County Writers Guild:

  1. The Thermometer of Success
  2. Back in the Days of Yore
  3. The Moon is a Friend for the Lonesome to Talk to

Travis tentatively picked up the phone and dialed Benny’s office for the third time today. This time Benny answered using a lousy falsetto. It was definitely Benny, not his girl. Travis couldn’t remember the girl’s name but he could remember her tits. She had really big tits.

“Pettifog Agency, how may I direct your call?” Benny squeaked over the phone.

“Benny, it’s me; Travis. You gotta help me out man.”

“I’m sorry but Mr. Pettifog is in a meeting. May I take a message?” a poor attempt to continue the ruse.

“Benny, you’re not fooling me man. I know it’s you and I need your help. I need a gig. Quit fooling around.”

“All right, Travis you got me.” Benny admitted returning to his normal voice. “But I can’t get you a gig. You’re persona non grata. I even had to take your picture off the wall in my lobby. No hall in the country is gonna touch you, let alone book you. Five years ago you filled the Filmore, and then when… well you know… you broke your thermometer of success Travis, all the mercury spilled out and poisoned both your life and mine. I still have sharks leaning on me every day.”

“Come on Benny, you owe me. How’s your wife?”

“Don’t go there, Travis. Let me work on it. I might be able to book you into the Flame Room in Bakersfield, but I’ll be calling in a lot of markers. You’ll have to find your own transportation and print your own show-bills.”

“Do it, Benny, and thanks.”

25 minutes writing – 10 minutes editing
“Over the Rhine” on the Box to distract me.
Thanks OCWG. I’m stealing your prompts again! Just like old times.

13 May 2017 – Writer’s Guild: Stolen Prompts

Prompts stolen from The Orange County Writers Guild:
1. The ocean is mighty
2. Opening the cabinet door I found a bowl of scrambled eggs
3. Just google it

I finally got home – at about 7:30
the sun was just beginning to set over the Sullivan’s swing set, next door.

Lawn was too deep
weeds were higher than the porch. It was only Wednesday –
long time till I could mow and clean up the garden.

Grimacing, I opened the door – it smelled bad and it was cold inside the house, but
I ploughed my way through the dirty clothes and
the greasy, empty fried chicken buckets.
I was heading for the kitchen
I was hungry but something wasn’t right!

No dirty dishes.
The sink was clean.
The counter-top sparkled.
Hoping that I had been visited by the kitchen elf, I crossed my fingers
and opened the fridge.

Damn! Empty.

I let the door swing shut on its own volition and held my breath as I reached for the freezer door
maybe some ice cream?
A single ice cube was frozen to the bottom of the compartment. A jar of peanut butter stood proudly next to it.

Then it hit me;
there could be only one explanation. I scrambled to open cupboard doors where I found dust lying heavily around freshly washed melamine dishes. I found Mama Kitty in the cabinet below the sink – hmmm.
Finally the only cabinet left, the only one I had not looked in, was the short one above the fridge. Opening the cabinet door I found a bowl of scrambled eggs.

I knew it! Grandma was here and I found her cuddled up, in her sleeping bag
napping in the tub.

Smiling, I touched her shoulder and watched her eyes pop open,
“Grandma,” I said, “why didn’t you tell me you were coming?”

“I wanted to surprise you, Todd. Doesn’t look like  Becka’s been around for a while. She leave you again?”

Grandma always called me Todd, even though my name was Ken.

“Yep, ‘fraid so.”

“I cleaned the kitchen.” She said, climbing out of her bedroll and stepping out of the tub, “You don’t have a lot of food…
We can go shopping and finish cleaning if you take tomorrow off to drive me
to the market and take care of the yard.”

“Yeah, let’s do that. How long can you stay Grandma?”

“Well, I think maybe a couple of days. I hear your cousin Connie might need me up there in Toronto. I hope it’s not snowing there already.”

“You hungry, Grandma? There’s a new Italian place on the West side
that’s supposed to be good. My treat.”

The OC Writers Guild has a new book out.  An anthology.
Vol. 1

Get it on Amazon!

Daily Prompt; Final

Daily Prompt; Final

Daniel was standing outside the church; in the sun with his eyes closed and his face turned upwards. The heat felt good on his face and he wanted to loosen his tie and take off his suit coat. He was startled when she tapped on his shoulder.

“Hey,” she said.

It was Jeanine. She was in his chemistry class at school but he had never seen her at church before. Jeanine was one of the ‘Goth’ kids. She always spiked her hair; she had a lot of piercings and always wore short black skirts with grey or dark red tops that hugged her curves. Not today though. Today she had donned a knee length sun dress. A sun dress with a floral print done in pastel colours, greens, and blues, and pinks primarily. The hues of her dress served to deepen the violet of her eyes and he couldn’t help but stare. Her eyes were mesmerizing. Daniel had always thought she was pretty but they ran in different circles. He had never known how to approach her. Now the tables had been turned and she was approaching him.

“Uh, hi Jeanine, what are you doing here? Uhm, I… I mean I’ve never seen you here at church before. Do you come here normally or is this your first time?”

“We come here all the time but we usually come for the second service. If you’re always here for the first then it makes sense that we haven’t seen each other. We came early this week because of Mother’s Day. My brother’s home on leave and we’re taking my Mom to brunch at that restaurant on 7th Street… You know; the one down by the harbor. I got all dressed up and everything.”

“You uh, you look really nice,” Daniel stammered and he felt his ears getting hot. He knew that he was blushing and that only embarrassed him more.

“You think so?” she asked. She turned a little pirouette making the hem of her sundress flare outward. She laughed.

He laughed.

The stood awkwardly together in the bright sunshine; his hands in his trouser pockets her hands holding one another – twisting; both of them searching for something to say.

Finally she nudged his arm with her elbow, “Finals next week. I’m so excited. We’ve only got to get through these and we can graduate.”

“Oh God,” he replied, “I’m dreading them, especially Chemistry.”

“What do you mean – especially chemistry – you’ve done great in that class.” She was clearly surprised by what he had said.

“I struggle with it. I don’t really understand it. I have to memorize shit, er sorry, I meant stuff, to pass the tests.”

“Really? I thought you were a brainiac? Chemistry isn’t really that hard. I can help you study if you want.”

“You would do that for me?” It was his turn to be surprised.

“Sure… can you come to my house tomorrow after school? I would start tonight, but my brother has to go back to his boat tomorrow. I want to spend a little more time with him and my mom today. I’ll see ya tomorrow.” Janine smiled and waved at him with her fingers, turned, and wandered through the ornately carved doors back into the church.




Suddenly, I was awake. Sharp. Alert.

I kept my eyes shut, but remained still; listening,
trying to suss out what had disturbed my slumber.

I heard the fan oscillating – back and forth in the corner.
I heard the sea breeze kicking gently around the house.
I heard the channel buoy bells.
I heard Sandy breathing softly next to me.
These noises were all normal; they should not have pierced my veil of sleep.

I heard Noctern stir on her pad at the foot of the bed.
Whatever it had been the dog had heard it too.

I moved only to open my eyes.
A quick, staccato yip burst through the window and I knew the sound.

It had come in from the South; probably from the gulch.

I heard it again. It was closer this time, much closer than Arana Gulch.
The sounds of a scuffle and a mewling that was quickly silenced, as if it were only an echo from somewhere far away.
Three muted howls announced to the night that the hunt had been successful.

Noctern let out a heavy breath and settled her head back down.
In her mind, it was over.

I waited until I heard the pack pass; their claws ticked softly on the pavement,
the pads on their feet pounded an easy tattoo as they retreated into the darkness.