OLWG · writing

OLWG# 297- Clouds Make the Wind Blow

Written for OLWG #297



Remember when we would go to Paris
We would ride the Metro
A few Francs or a couple of Euros
We could go anywhere we desired

The Metro was our means of transport
It wouldn’t exist if Parisians didn’t need to get around

When clouds need to travel
They can ride the wind
A few Euros or a couple of bob
They can go anywhere they desire

The wind is their means of transport
The wind wouldn’t exist if clouds didn’t need to get around


This week’s prompts were:

  1. yeah, technically it’s illegal
  2. how does she act around children
  3. clouds make the wind blow

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OLWG #296 Maybe Verse of Some Sort

Written for OLWG# 296


Veronica Jones was a good girl attended church every Sunday morning a cheerleader and President of the Honour Society at Lakeside Academy for Girls, and a member of the Ambassador’s Club, too Somehow word got out that she was seen up on Preston Rd. with a boy, Tyler Hanson, Preston Rd. is little more than a dirt track that winds into the woods off Hwy 380 The kids use it You know… In a town this size, well, it didn’t sit well with folks around here the word is that even Faber College might be reconsidering the scholarship; previously proffered
The prompts were: 
      1. got a job, dealing faro
      2. she was a ‘good girl’
      3. in a town this size
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OLWG# 294- Gibson Ridge

Written for OLWG# 294



Steve turned up the gravel road that was the way to reach the summit of Gibson Ridge. He was driving his Mom’s car: a four-door 1954 Rambler “Cross Country,” the one with the fixed front fender skirts.

His parents had driven to the coast for the weekend. They had taken Dad’s ’62 Chrysler New Yorker because it was roomier. The morning they left, Dad pulled him aside and cautioned him not to be driving his mother’s car while they were away. He was not covered by auto insurance and, as he was not yet fourteen years old. Steve would not even be able to get his driver’s license for almost another year. Yes, they trusted him to stay at the house with his older sister; they did not trust him to drive without a parent in the car.

“I promise, Dad.” Steve crossed his heart to show his earnestness and wished them gone already. He wanted to take that car and cruise up and down Fletcher Blvd with his friends. Steve longed to wheel into the Beacon Drive-In and have Chrissy Hamilton skate over to take his order. He wanted to order a vanilla shake and share it with her. Instead, he was driving up a gravel road with James, riding shotgun, Larry, and Mike in the back seat. Larry had promised that some upperclassmen were having a bonfire and “kegger” at the overlook on the Ridge. He said that there might be some girls there.

He better be right.


The prompts were: 
      1. wheels on a gravel road
      2. lay your lily hand in mine
      3. bring a gnome costume
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OLWG# 292- Gaijin Haibun

Written for OLWG# 292

#####

Jia Li Walked from the Hostess Podium at the front of Aiea Chop Suey to speak with Mr Zau. “Sir, do you remember those sailors who filled the entire restaurant last week?” “The submariners? Of course I remember them. Are they back?” “One of them is back, sir; the big one, the tall one, with the stooped shoulders.” “Ah, yes, he was a tidy eater.” “That’s him. This time he has brought a young woman with him, ang moh. He says that she has never eaten Chinese cuisine. Where would you like me to seat them?”

“Does she know how to use chopsticks, can she manipulate the kuàizi?”

#####

The prompts were: 
    1. drenched with blood and whisky
    2. bolt of lightning
    3. does she know how to use chopsticks
Authors Note: What little Chinese I know, I learned when I lived in Singapore. Although ang moh can be viewed as derogatory in some Asian cultures, It is not viewed that way in SQ. I mean no offense. Thank you for your understanding.
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OLWG# 291- The Marriage

Written for OLWG# 291

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Her name was Acantha Espinado and I first met her at “Alegría de Vivir.” That’s the lunch counter downtown, on Piedras Blvd., across from the bank. “Alegría de Vivir” translates from the Spanish to “Joy of Living” in English, “Joie de Vivre, in French, “Lebensfreude” in German. It was a good name for a lunch counter, a bakery, or a restaurant. Acantha worked there behind the counter. She would take orders, deliver food, refill coffee cups, and work the register. She seemed to be a hard worker, she smiled easily, and her dark eyes sparkled.

 We married when she was twenty-one years old. I was eighteen. She was a vision of loveliness; I thought I had died and gone to heaven. At night, in our room, she would trail her long, turbulently coiled, dark hair down my torso – ecstasy.

How was I to know?

A whirlwind courtship followed by unplanned, spur-of-the-moment nuptials left me no time to contemplate the gravity of our actions. I never even considered the implications of her name. I had not yet noticed that her favourite burgundy nail polish was little more than a way to conceal her claws. Or that her quick and easy smile was just a distraction, a way to obfuscate her fangs. Or that her thick, tightly corkscrewed hair, was styled to hide her horns. Eventually though, I noticed.

The marriage didn’t last long. I ran away, and now I live here, off the grid. I am in constant fear that Acantha will find me again. I have nowhere to run to next.

#####

The prompts were: 

    1. espinado
    2. a burgundy polish hides her claws
    3. the lunch counter, downtown

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OLWG# 289- A Fish Shack on the River

Written for OLWG# 289

#####

TN first met Graciana Cortez when he stopped for lunch at a shack on the river that served nothing but freshly caught catfish and the kind of fried cornbread that locals called hush-puppies. For five dollars, you could eat your fill of fish and cornbread. Then choose from a bottomless jug of sweet tea or a bottle of warm beer to quench your thirst.

He sat at a long folding table with about ten other diners. The floor was soft with coarse sawdust, and a mangy yellow dog sat against the wall by the door. Tables sat covered with butcher paper, stapled at the corners to ensure they did not curl. And the server would carry in a large, well-used, and dented stockpot heaped with fried fish; pour it out on the table with the newsprint soaking up the grease. Eating was a free-for-all as everyone reached for the fish as soon as it hit the tabletop. A second server would follow with a similar presentation of the hush-puppies. You were encouraged to eat as much as you wanted but were not permitted to take any away.

He was in Big Thicket country, and the twisted road lay flanked by thick foliage and intertwined vines. The heavy tree canopy perpetuated a glow of gloom and iridescence despite being early afternoon. Graciana dragged a heavy, wheeled, red suitcase. She approached him in the car park after he had eaten his fill in the nameless shack that might vanish tomorrow. It might be burned to the ground when the butane-fueled fire, which super-heated the cooking oil, spread to the paper, or the sawdust, used for decor.

“Hey, Mister,” she began, “My name is Graciana, and I need a ride west. Are you going that way? Could you maybe help me out?”   She was a no-nonsense girl that was clear. She had laid out her case and made her request. Now she waited, watching him with doe eyes that sparkled hopefully. TN could feel himself falling into those eyes where he knew he would be lost forever. He didn’t care, though. He had already decided to take her wherever she wanted to go. He stayed cool and asked, “How far are you going?”

“As far as, well, as far as you are willing to take me,” she said. “I’m going to Cortez. My mother told me that my father was named Cortez and that he was from a place with the same name. I intend to go to all places named Cortez. I want to see if I can find him. I’ve done the research: there are five cities with that name in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Florida, Colorado, and California.” Again she paused and studied TN with her deep eyes – those big beautiful eyes.

TN shrugged his shoulders and resigned. “From here, we should probably go to Colorado first. If we need to, we can go on to Nevada and California. Then, if we still haven’t found him, we could swing east to Pennsylvania and drop down to Florida. What are you going to do if you find him?”

“I’m not sure. Probably introduce myself, and ask if he knew my Mama. If he says yes, I could either hug him or kill him. I don’t know yet.”

TN looked at the diver’s watch he wore on his left wrist. It sounds like we’re going to be busy,” he said. “Probably should get moving.” He reached for her suitcase. She readily released her grip, and they moved across the dirt lot to his old van.

#####

The prompts were: 

    1. gave all my money to the rich
    2. thick foliage and intertwined vines
    3. all the way to Cortez

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 287- Justine


Written for OLWG# 287



What kind of wine does one serve a ghost?
Not the cheapest wine.
Neither, the top shelf;
not for the likes of Justine.
 

Justine, whose
frank point of view,
ready wit,
reckless nature,
generosity,
inimitable good temper,
and high spirits
were known far and wide.
 

Justine, whose indiscretions appealed to an entire generation, long past, that welcomed her as the antithesis of Puritanism.
 

I expect her to visit my room tonight so,
I’ve laid in fine cheeses, oysters, and caviar.
I’ve considered
a Sauvignon Blanc,
or an Albariño?
(a reliable ‘go-to’ with seafood)
Perhaps, dry Riesling?
 

No, Champagne! I’ll pick up a bottle at Walmart.
The bubbles should contrast with the soft texture of the oyster.
The umami flavours of both should work together.
 

Now:
What to wear?                                                   


This week’s prompts were:

  1. ghosts in my room
  2. the cheapest wine
  3. what were we thinking?

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 286- Three Thoughts at Random


Written for OLWG# 286



Roadside Attractions

Dad, can we visit the world’s largest ball of string?
Do I look like Lewis and Clark?

Visiting the US

Exchange students! Young, high school aged girls – cute and giggly. They came into the shop in two waves of three. The first was from Germany, next – España, third was Italian. Then came Japan, Czechoslovakia, and a mystery country (I believe she was a bit shy as she scarcely spoke). I took the time to talk with her, and the mystery country turned out to be Greece. The young lady was from Kefalonia. Years ago, Mattie and I had stayed a month, or so, in her Grandfather’s hotel on the island’s south coast.

Turns out that we may have known her mother, too; she was called Anthea. Anthea had lived and worked at the hotel. She was the only one there who spoke English, and may have carried our luggage when we arrived, although she couldn’t have been more than eight years old at the time.

Spätherbstwetter

Cold this morning, when I woke, my Weather app told me it was 10O F at 0600.
At 0830, I left for the bookstore and noticed, beneath the pecan tree, lay a thick blanket of brown leaves.
Yesterday the leaves were on the tree.
They were a light shade of yellow.

The cold took ‘em, ever’ one.


This week’s prompts were:

  1. Lewis and Clark
  2. living in a cheap hotel
  3. the woman he’d met in Greece

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 284- Nat


Written for OLWG# 284



I first met Natalie on a Friday night in late November of 1983. She leaned against the window of the DP next door to the Dominion Theatre on Tottenham Court Road in Camden. She was dark-skinned. Her complexion consisted of all the colours that make midnight. That is, if you were to look away from the full moon hanging low in the eastern sky.

 Peter Tosh was playing that night.

 Natalie and I soon fell into an easy banter, and we hung together during the show. Afterwards, we ran through the rain and shared a drink at a tiny, non-descript place in Soho. We shared a mattress on the floor of her flat in Brixton. In the morning, we shared a breakfast and made plans for later that day.

 That evening as agreed, I knocked on her door just before dark. We were going for dinner. She came to the door wearing nothing but a smile. We missed out on dinner, but we played Strip Monopoly all night. She won the last time I landed on ‘Fleet Street,’ but I felt that I had won as well and that she had wanted that.

In total, Natalie and I shared almost a month. She disappeared before Christmas that year. Looking back, I realize I should have seen it coming, but I was blind and taken by surprise. One afternoon, I went to Brixton, but her space was empty. Empty save for a single sheet of lined paper ripped from the pad she always kept next to her bed. It read

Nat


This week’s prompts were:

  1. truth becomes imperative
  2. you wanted more
  3. we played Monopoly all night

OLWG · writing

OLWG# 283- Dinner Out

Written for OLWG# 283



A rhinestone chain ran from her cat-eye glasses to the nametag she wore pinned to her light blue uniform with white trim and turquoise piping.

The nametag read “Marge.”

She had three water glasses in each hand and set them down on the table in front of us. My brother began passing them around. In the pocket of the short white apron that she had fastened tight around her waist, she carried her order pad, at least three stubby pencils, and a handful of nickels and dimes.

“Good evening. Welcome to “The Wild Pigeon Cafe. Can I get you something to drink?”

“What’s the Special tonight?” Dad.

“Tonight, we have a delicate macaroni pasta topped with a provocative American cheese sauce. It comes with your choice of sides. You could opt for a heavy slab of Murray’s famous meatloaf or a lightly breaded and deep-fried fish stick from the refrigerator section at the Farm Store.”

Hmmm, Dad mused, and Mom scowled when Marge flashed her pearly whites at him.

She kept on with her pitch, “The pasta pairs well with Coca-Cola or, not surprisingly, with our sweet tea, too. I’ll give you a little time to decide and then take your dinner orders when I come back with your drinks.

She pulled out her pad and one of the yellow stubby # 2’s and glared back at my mother, waiting for a drink order.


This week’s prompts were:

  1. this was a mistake
  2. a provocative cheese sauce
  3. if you close your eyes