OLWG · writing

OLWG# 197- Louise Lewis, An Evening in the Life

A Haibun – Written for OLWG# 197

It was late when Louise parked at the edge of the lot and started her trek towards the casino. She wore a pair of low top Converse sneakers and carried her black ankle strap shoes, planning to change in the ladies room. On the way, she studied the sky. The moon was high – Holding water. She felt good when the doors slid open, and she stepped inside. After exchanging her footwear and freshening her lipstick, she studied the tables. The one she selected was not yet crowded and had been cold until she picked up the bones. She put her chips on hi-lo and rolled a two. Let the good times roll.


Betting on the twelves

The hard way, boxcars, snake eyes

Betting on aces

This weeks prompts were:

  1. listen as the wind blows
  2. rollin’ boxcars
  3. I tend to break things occasionally
OLWG · writing

OLWG# 196- Devil of Fire

Written for OLWG# 196

I pushed open the swinging door and, the place got real quiet.

It took a little time for my eyes to adjust to the low light. There were six tables, all filled. An empty stool beckoned from close to the centre of the bar. A tall, dark-haired girl stood behind a row of beer towers; she leaned against the chill boxes and wore a white collared shirt with black jeans. An apron hung loosely from her hips.

I threaded my way to the empty stool, hoisted myself into the seat and put my right foot on the brass rail, where it’s supposed to rest. Nodding to the woman behind the bar, I looked at the rest of the punters. First, I glanced over my right shoulder, then my left. Still, no one spoke. The only sound was Gary Stewart, woozily singing low about an Empty Glass from the torn speaker of an AM radio perched at the end of the bar. All eyes were on me, the stranger in the room.

“Can you get me a shot and a beer?” I asked the girl. I spun the stool around and looked at the other customers. We all studied each other for a moment until I broke the silence, “Don’t look at me,” I said, “I voted for the other guy.” It seemed like forever, but finally, a deep-throated laugh began. Slow, it emanated from somewhere in the back, far from the front door. Others joined in as if I had just told the funniest joke in the world. The whole place was chuckling, giggling, belly laughing.

My drink came, I heard her set it on the bar, and she whispered, “This one’s on the house.”

This weeks prompts were:

  1. the wetness of his soul
  2. I voted
  3. overcome the legacy
OLWG · writing

OLWG# 195- Jacob and Jenny Plan an Adventure

Written for OLWG# 195

When Jacob went to Jenny’s house on Christmas Eve, the excuse was to spend time with old friends and exchange holiday gifts. Both of them wound up filled with Christmas spirits; they split a punch bowl filled with Jingle Juice that Jenny had made from a recipe taken off a Martha Stewart website. Martha apparently believed in making Jingle Juice with both Vodka and Tequila. At least that’s what Jenny told Jacob that night.

As the evening progressed, the two fell deeper into a spinning well of intoxication. Pauses in the conversation grew longer, and their heads sank closer and closer to the table. It was about a quarter after two when Jacob suddenly sat up straight and focused his attention on Jenny.

“Jenny, what are you doing on the 6th?” He asked.

“Dunno, why you ask?” she answered her eyes at half-mast.

“Me and some of my boys,” he paused and stared through her. When his eyes focused again, he continued, “Me and some of my boys are thinking about going to DC, taking over the capital building. Wanna come?”

Jenny ladled out another cup of Martha’s Jingle Juice. She took a long drink and said, “that’ll be fun.” She seemed to consider it further, “Maybe not,” she continued, “I’m supposed to go to a work retreat in Mexico sometime in February, and I’m looking forward to that.”

“Won’t matter,” he assured her. “We prob’ly won’t get caught anyway.”

“Well then, sure. I’d love to go.”

This weeks prompts were

  1. you born in a barn?
  2. if I don’t go I’ll never know what’s there
  3. that’ll be fun
OLWG · writing

OLWG# 193- женщина (zhenshchina)

Written for OLWG# 193

I was at my desk, headphones clamped to my ears so I could listen to Mrs Lagounov gossiping with another woman, I assumed to be her neighbour, and who went by the name Voronin.

Voronin’s daughter, called Masha, had recently become engaged. I took careful and thorough notes of the ongoing conversation between the two. The wedding sounded like a blast; they had gone over the guest list and discussed the dinner menu. Just two older women talking, and then I heard this…

Mrs Lagounov inserted an off-topic observation into the conversation, “My garden is full of weeds this year, and the herbicide isn’t working.”

Voronin replied with no change in her tone, “Perhaps you should use a shear to clip the weeds.”

Lagounov said, “Shears are too indiscriminate; besides, weeds must be pulled out by the roots. Perhaps you could come and remove them, for the standard fee?”

“I’ll meet with you tomorrow, in the usual place, we can discuss the details. I was thinking of serving Kissel for dessert. What do you think?”

I wrote down what they had said, verbatim, and pressed the yellow coloured button that would alert my supervisor. In almost no time, my supervisor and two managers were at my desk. The two subjects whom I had been surveilling were already returned to discussions of Masha’s upcoming wedding.  Voronin was questioning whether or not it was appropriate for her daughter to wear white.

This weeks prompts were

  1. just shallow socializing
  2. and then I heard this …
  3. she’s already cooler than me
OLWG · writing

OLWG# 192- An Even Trade: Ziggy for Michael

Written for OLWG# 192

It was dark when Andy woke up. He was on his belly, he was cold, his mouth was dry, and he could hear the ocean waves hitting the beach. But, he lay still and tried to figure out where, exactly, he was and how he had gotten there.

Images played through the fog in his brain. Family picnic at Stockfolk Edge – Beer, Lots of people, Mom, Dad, Donny, Liz, Beer, Uncle Marty and his New Wife (The Waitress), Beer, Beer, cousins by the dozens, more Beer, maybe some whisky.

His back itched.

Pushing himself up, he turned over and sat in the sand. The moon reflected off the whitecaps and shone like dotted lines in the darkness. He rubbed his face and grimaced. Realizing that his back still itched, he reached behind and scratched. Bringing his hand back around, he found blue painters tape stuck on his fingers.


It was about that time that he noticed the dog sitting at his feet. It was a tan Chihuahua with big dark eyes.

Then he began to remember. The dog’s name was Paco, or Pancho, or Rocco or something like that. He reached out to check the bone-shaped tag that hung on Ricardo’s collar (maybe it was Ricardo). It read Ziggy. Hmm?

He scratched his back again, more blue tape.

Looking around, he noticed that he and Ziggy were the only ones on the beach. He pulled himself to his feet and looked around for his shirt… he couldn’t find it, it was gone. He looked at Ziggy and vaguely remembered, maybe he had been gifted the dog. He envisioned a small, ginger-haired, girl, with a gap between her front teeth and a spray of freckles across her nose. He had a vague recollection of her telling him that she needed to find Ziggy a new home because of his flatulence problem. She was sensitive and could no longer care for him. Andy recalled drunkenly agreeing to take over the care of her pet.

He struggled to his feet and tucked Ziggy under his arm before stumbling in the direction of the car park. Falling into his car with the dog, he took stock of the situation and determined that he might be sober enough to drive. The clock on his dashboard told him that it was almost three o’clock in the morning. He made his way slowly to Michael’s house.

Once there, Andy fixed a peanut butter sandwich for the dog and crawled into bed with his fiancée, Michael. Andy’s parents didn’t know about Michael. Andy hadn’t figured out how to tell them, but he would. He would do it soon. Andy fell asleep.

When he came to, his head still hurt. Michael was standing over him with a cup of coffee.

“Where were you last night?” Michael asked, “Who’s Liz? And where did the dog come from?”

“You know who Liz is. I’ve told you about her.” Andy answered, “I was at my family picnic yesterday. What dog?” Ziggy and the ginger-haired girl had receded into a gauzy blur.

“You were at a picnic till three-thirty in the morning?”

“Well, yeah. I got a bit tipsy and fell asleep on the sand.”

“I know about Liz because you have her name branded on your back. The dog’s name is Ziggy.” Michael handed over the coffee.

“Liz is my sister.” Andy said, “I got the dog from a girl who couldn’t keep him anymore.”

“The dog smells horrible, and I don’t believe that shit about your sister. You told me your sister’s name is Ann.”

“It is,” Andy was scrambling now, “Ann is her middle name. Her first name is Elizabeth. I grew up calling her Liz, but now she goes by Ann.”

“Yeah, right,” Michael seemed to have a jealous streak that Andy had never seen before.

“I’m being straight with you, fair dinkum, Liz is my sister.” Andy was pleading.

Michael scowled, “What happened to us, Andy? I can’t trust you anymore. You need to leave. Take your stinky dog, but I’m keeping your black tee-shirt!”

“I don’t care – you can have it!” Andy called for Ziggy and the two left together. It was done.

Later, much later, Liz hugged him and told him she was sorry about Michael.

She told him that when she’d noticed him sleeping in the sand, she had written her name on his back with painters tape that she’d taken from the bed of Donny’s truck. She thought it would be funny, and when Andy showed her that it was still on his back, they both laughed. It was funny.

I have been slow in getting things done for a couple of weeks. This one was fun to write and I am getting closer to catching up. I’m not off the hook yet, but I’m getting closer.

This weeks prompts were

  1. sunburned and hungover
  2. the camera smiles
  3. fair dinkum
OLWG · writing

OLWG# 191- Hastily Thrown Together

Written for OLWG# 191

When out the back garden there arose such a crash,
I sprang from the bed to see what had been smashed.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
T’was the patio furniture, smashed beyond all repair.

It’s the Varner’s dog, Boomer, they just let it wander around all night

I have been slow in getting things done for a couple of weeks. I stole some Christmas verse that, I’m told, has been in the public domain for a while. I altered it, somewhat, and tossed an American Sentence in at the bottom. The result made me smile so I went with it.

This weeks prompts were

  1. let it wander around
  2. burning pyres
  3. I don’t like your haircut
OLWG · writing

OLWG# 190- Youth

Written for OLWG# 190

Cadence snuck out of the house that night. She went to meet Kit and it was harder than she expected it to be. Even as she lifted the window in her bedroom she was wondering if she had waited long enough. How could she be sure her parents were really asleep, maybe they were reading? Would Kit really be waiting? Or, had he fallen asleep at home?

She took dark streets to the club and to her relief, Kit was waiting. She smiled when she spotted him in the lot, leaning against his bike. She knew it was a Triumph Thruxton. Kit loved it but it looked a little too retro for her taste. He called it a “café racer” and she loved to sit behind him as he drove. She would wrap her arms around him, press her body next to his, close her eyes, and listen to the sound of the engine. She loved the rumble of the big machine. She loved Kit and she knew that he loved her too. That was why they were leaving together tonight. Next stop was a Las Vegas Wedding Chapel, the first one that they could find.

Cadence expected they would spend a few days in Nevada for a honeymoon and then return home as a newlywed couple. She thought that she would ask her Gramma if they could clean out the old garage apartment and live there. No one had occupied it since Papá had passed away.

I have been slow in getting things done for a couple of weeks. I need to catch up, so for this piece I used my 25 minute suggestion. I then gave myself an additional five minutes. Now I’m posting without editing. Apologies for the truncated story. This one was a tough one.

This weeks prompts were

  1. they did everything right
  2. leave it alone
  3. it’s a little too retro
OLWG · writing

OLWG# 189- Sedition

Written for OLWG#189

He got in from GA on the evening of the 5th,

took a costly, but shabby room in Chinatown.

It afforded a short walk to the Capitol. He paid cash,

and walked it twice that night.

The first time, down 6th

the second time, 7th

left on Pennsylvania for a little less than half a mile.

He had to find his way to the Grant Memorial

his designated rendezvous point.

Alone, that evening, at Oyamel he

rehearsed the plan, in his head, for the next day

over and over again;





he thought that it might work. Even if not, what’d he care, he had been paid well.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. wind carries both the bad news and the good
  2. bury them naked
  3. Chinatown
OLWG · writing

OLWG# 188- Magic

Written for OLWG#188

Exploring the stalls and barrows I came across a crone offering pastries home baked

The flaky crust and coarse sugar dusting of an apple-centric tart intrigued me

In my pocket I found ₡200 and I held it out pointing to my choice

The old woman presented me my prize and waved away the crumpled bills I held

I bowed in thanks

I took a bite

Closed my eyes to savour the flavour and felt something happen

Something that had never happened before

Not without the aid of codeine or cleaning products

I felt my hair grow

I opened my eyes and the hag was holding up a mirror

My reflection showed a younger me

Long red hair gone the grey



My eyes widened amazed

Did this I pointed at the apple tart

Do that I pointed at myself in the mirror

The gammer nodded and reached for the tart as she lowered the looking glass

I pulled the pastry back

She shook her finger at me like a primary school teacher and held out her hand

Reluctantly, I returned it as she demanded

She smiled at me

I smiled back

She waved me away

I turned to leave

Wait I blurted your cake made me younger

“It did,” she said

And then she was gone

This week’s prompts were:

  1. the magic of your wares
  2. they did
  3. it’s what I do between the bars