OLWG · writing

OLWG# 265- Maja

Written for OLWG# 265



I was wet and cold when I spotted an illuminated sign that I hoped might signal some respite from the weather. “Maja” was spelt out in round, red coloured individual bulbs. I pulled my coat a little tighter and picked up my pace.

 

I had no idea what a Maja was, but as I came closer, I saw neon beer signs in the front windows, and I thanked the Lord for small favours. A bar was just what I needed.

 

I pushed in on the heavy oak front door and stepped from the rain into the welcoming gloom of the anonymous speakeasy. The Big Bopper was belting out Chantilly Lace from the box. I stood still and waited for my eyes to adjust to the light before taking off my wet jacket and weaving my way to the bar, watched over by a painfully skinny girl wearing tight jeans and a pink tank top. Straight shoulder-length blond hair fell from beneath a well-worn straw cowboy hat. She nodded her head to acknowledge my presence. I sat near the end and waited as she laughed with a beer-bellied patron, proud of his belt buckle.

 

Silently, a red-headed, lollipop-shaped girl slid next to me at the bar and put her hand on my shoulder.

 

“Buy me a drink?” She whispered in my ear, “just a Cuba Libre, nothing expensive.”

 

It was about that time that the barkeep showed up, “Get lost, Sam,” she said to the redhead, who frowned and skulked back into the shadows. I watched her fade away, then returned my attention to the bartender. She was watching me, waiting for me to speak.

 

“Shot and a beer,” I ordered. She slid away.

 

The redhead re-materialized next to my elbow while the bartender was gone. Glancing furtively down the bar, watching for the nurse, she startled me when she asked again, “Did you order that drink?”

 

I spun my head quickly and startled her, “Piss off, Sam.” I growled in a pseudo impersonation of my bartender, who returned with my order just seconds later with my drink.

 

“You gotta watch Samantha,” she instructed. “She’s a bad apple.”

 

“Ah, that’s OK,” I replied as I dropped a couple of bills on the bar. Then I held out a twenty, “Take five from this for yourself and give Sam Cuba Libres until this runs out.” I pointed to the money on the bar and added, “Keep mine coming ‘till that runs out.”

 

She smiled, spun around, and went to work.


This week’s prompts were:

  1. mended, broken
  2. I’m not here to meet nice people
  3. I’ve been good

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 264- Fan

Written for OLWG# 264



Sally raised her arms up high, clenched her fists, jumped up and down and yelled at the band, “I love you, Ace!!” Then, she grabbed the hem of her tight fitting tee shirt and raised it up under her chin. Catching the eye of the front man, she screamed, “Play something we can sing along with. Play something we can dance to!”

Ace Stewart smiled at Sally, and nodded his head. He looked at the neck of his guitar and began with the opening riff of the hit song Memories From My Paranoid Mind. Sally went crazy, she jumped up and down, pulled her shirt over her head and threw it on the stage. It lay crumpled at the guitar player’s feet. When he got to the bridge, Ace leaned over and picked up Sally’s shirt. He draped it over the headstock of his Gibson, shuffled to the front of the stage, and offered it back to Sally, who blushed and reddened from the top of her head to her waist.

Ace was smitten, “You might need this to get home safely.”

Sally reached up, took the proffered garment and smiled gratefully at the guitar player. “Thank you,” she mouthed. She looked at the stage and put her hand over her face. Her warm flush deepened, noticeably.


This week’s prompts were:

  1. through a hole in the wall
  2. play something we can sing to
  3. addicted to greed

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 263- Tragic Verse of a Sort

I took some liberties with the “smoke prompt” but it kinda works

Written for OLWG# 263



Mary Beth and the boys drove home as fast as they could when Daniel called with the news. The fire crews had the road closed at the bottom of the hill and wouldn’t let them through for what seemed like forever. When they finally got to pass…

They got to the house alright, but it was already engulfed in fire.


This week’s prompts were:

  1. engulfed in smoke
  2. sea of tears
  3. holy, holy, holy

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 262- The poet’s daughters

Written for OLWG# 262



Long ago, but not too far away from here, in the town of Galway, on the west coast there lived an unskilled poet known as Tadhg MacCadáin who had three daughters. In addition to his writing, Tadhg was a defender with a local Hurling club and proudly wore his togs of purple and gold.

 

I’m not here to talk about him, though, I want to praise his daughters: Calliope, and her sisters Thalia, and Erato. Each of them, grew up to be poets in their own right.

 

Let’s begin with Calliope the eldest sister. Don’t cross her, that girl has a temper. Calliope was a singer and a writer of verse. She wrote epic poetry and had an angelic voice. As a teenager, she entered a singing contest, not exactly like, but kinda like, The Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour. I hope you all remember that show. It aired in the US during the late ’40s and early ’50s. It was the one that catapulted Pat Boone and his famous white bucks to stardom. Anyway, she won by defeating the nine Pierides Sisters who she went ‘toe to toe with’ in the finals. It was no easy feat to win the Amateur Hour against the Pierides. They were accomplished, in their own right, and rumour is that they were a bit slutty, too. That always helped them glean votes in the competitions they entered, and they had gotten their start entertaining the troops on the battlefields of Troy they were pretty battle-hardened but not as good as Calliope MacCadáin, who won the competition fair and square. The other girls were not gracious losers and complained to Ted about how they had been robbed of the title that should have been theirs.

 

Calliope got tired of listening to their whining and complaining. Without warning, she turned them into a parliament of magpies. I told you she had a temper.

 

But, I also told you that she was a poet. She specialized in epics. She collaborated with Homer to produce Iliad and the Odyssey. In fact, Homer was quoted in the Athens Gazette shortly after publication that he would never have attempted such tasks without Calliope as a co-writer, and he would not have been able to complete them on his own. Calliope also contributed as a ghostwriter in the works of both Virgil and Dante. She received no credit for those works and, of course, no compensation for her tribulations. Those guys were misogynistic bastards.

 

Calliope had a younger sister, the middle sister named Thalia who wrote comedy and poems of rural, tranquil scenes. She is rumoured to have worked, in her later years, as a writer on the now legendary Rowan and Martin show, Laugh-In. She wrote memorable jokes and skits for the likes of Ruth Buzzi, Arti Johnson, Henry Gibson, Lily Tomlin and Alan Sues. Although she put in countless hours, she received no credit for her toils and products at that time of her career. In her memoirs, Thalia proffers the theory that this was because of her advanced age, grey hair, age spots, and crepe-paper skin. Actors and actresses were vain and self-centred in those days. Thalia faded into the shadows when standing in the presence of women like Goldie Hawn. She didn’t hold a grudge, though, the work paid up all her bills.

 

Like her sister, she contributed to the works of better known earlier authors as well. Her influence features in Hesiod’s Theogony, and all the works of Apollodorus and Diodorus Siculus, (it is most conspicuous in Bibliothēkē historica on which she collaborated in her early years). She and Diodorus lived together in a “walk-up” flat in downtown Agyrium. It was one of those cold-water flats and did not meet the comfort requirements of Thalia so she and Siculus broke up after only a short time.

 

After leaving Diodorus Siculus, Thalia took up with a guy named Apollo who treated her better and with whom she conceived an entire erotic dance troupe of brothers. Known as “The Korybantes.” The assumed personas of seven demigods, and performed, danced, directed and choreographed what was to become known as The Dance of the Mysteries of Samothrake. A salacious and vulgar dance performed by the nude brothers armed with spears and shields, accompanied by tambourines, drums and the cries of their mystic groupies.

 

One of her better-known solo works is the semi-autobiographical 76th Orphic Hymn which was dedicated to her sisters.

 

She was spared the temper of her older sister and never turned any of her rivals into alternate species, but neither did she realize the fame of Calliope.

 

The third and youngest of the sisters went by the name of Erato. A hottie who likes to flash her body for people on the roads and in the subways of Galway. She wrote romance poems about love and sex.

 

Her best-known work is a tragedy that tells the story of a young man, Seamus, and his girlfriend, Rhadine, who were star-crossed lovers from Lydacan Townland, east of Galway just beyond the airport. Rhadine was a young girl who was supposed to marry a rich man from the ancient city of Blackrock Heath, but instead, she chose to have a secret love affair with a dairyman called Seamus.

 

The man Rhadine was about to marry was a dangerous Irishman, with a sexy accent. When he learned of the affair, he killed both his future wife and her lover, Seamus.

 

Erato wrote the tale over the course of almost a month. She wrote in poetic form while sitting naked in the front window of her flat on William Street. William Street is famous for buskers who perform there and the people who film them. There is a lot of footage of Erato sitting naked in the window of her flat. Postcards can be bought for 20p at any number of barrows lining the street. Videographers would wait for days, hoping to capture her moving more than her right hand as she scratched her quill across her parchment. Did I mention that she’s a hottie; lithe and lean, petite, with tanned skin, kept flawless by frequent visits to Allure Beauty. A salon tucked into a corner of Corbett Court Shopping Centre not far from her flat. Women want to be her. Men want to be with her.

She is one of “The poet’s daughters.”


This week’s prompts were:

  1. inside my dream
  2. picture postcards
  3. it’s the plural of plankton

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?”

“Sam…”

“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