OLWG# 176- Benjamin Thorne

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The words below were written for practice.
Practice makes perfect.


“Miss Tess, there is a rather unsavoury character to see you. He had the gall to come to the front door, but I have seated him in the pantry so your parents won’t have to deal with him. You might want to hurry before he finds the cooking sherry. Would you like me to accompany you?”

“Thank you, Gillian. What do you mean, unsavoury? Do you truly believe that I require an escort?”

“I’m sure I don’t know, Miss.”

“Very well; in the pantry you say? That seems a rather uncivilized waiting area for our guests, don’t you think? I’ll attend to him myself. Your presence will not be required.”

“Yes, Miss,” Gillian replied as she backed from the drawing-room.

Tess straightened her skirts, pushed her spiral curls up and headed towards the pantry. She found a tall lean man there, of indeterminate age. The skin on his hands and his face had leathered as though he had lived outdoors all his life. Crow’s feet radiated from the corners of his eyes; they etched and furrowed deep. He turned upon hearing Tess enter and his eyebrow twitched upward before returning to its rightful position on his face. He smiled displaying a mouthful of broken and rotted teeth along with a few gold ones. He wore a sailor’s tricorn hat pushed to the back of his head. The smell in the room was horrific.

Tess wrinkled her nose against the overripe aroma that emanated from the man.

“May I help you, sir?” she asked.

“Be you Tess Chadwick, the daughter of Lord Thomas, and acquaintance of Captain Thorne, master of the schooner, Quail?”

“I am,” she answered.

“The Captain sent me with a message for you Milady. He said to tell you that The Quail sails for the China Sea with the tide. Until that time he will be at the Black Horse Tavern on the waterfront. He asked me to give you this note.” He proffered a small envelope which Tess eagerly took and tore open. She read the note written in Benjamin Thorne’s hand.

She read:

My darling Tess,

I am sending this note in the hand of my trusted mate, Mr Géroux. 
You can rely on him and he knows not what I write. 
My ship sails with the tide, bound for the South China Sea. 
I need to see you, Tess. 
I want to ask you to wait for my return. I will wait for you 
to come to the Black Horse, but the rising tide lifts all boats. 
I cannot wait for long. Please come.

All my love,


Tess turned her face toward Mr Géroux, “When is the tide?” she asked.

“Not more than six hours, Milady.”

“Can you take me to the Black Horse?”

“Indeed, I can. We should make haste yet, time is getting short.”

“Wait here;” she instructed him, “have you a means of conveyance?”

“I have a steed Milady, but he is tired. It would be best if you had your own mount.”

Tess ran from the pantry to the kitchen where she knew she would find Gillian lurking nearby. “Gillian? Quickly have Matteo ready Dancer. I need a regular riding saddle, not a side-saddle. Make up a story to tell my father.”

“Very well, Miss. Safe travels. Come back again, please.”

This week’s prompts:

  1. what I write
  2. rising tides lift all boats
  3. I’ll be at the Black Horse Tavern


OLWG#174- Pentastich

This piece was written for OLWG# 174

It’s chill up here, but you take warmth from the blanket of stars

It’s dark up here, but you’ll see with the sunrise

It’s bright up here, but you cannot touch the sun

It’s clear up here, but you can smell smoke from the fires

It’s quiet up here, but you can hear the world breathing

The prompts were:

  1. the world breathing
  2. it ain’t gonna be pretty
  3. lust or love

OLWG#172- Micro Poetry to Celebrate our Dystopic Past

This piece was written for OLWG# 172

rocket girls have choices, but rocket boys always become rocket men


it’s as clear as the nose on his face; the boy’s a scrapper – always was


“I don’t wanna do this”
“you’re the one who wanted babies”
“but can’t there be another way?”
“maybe we could steal them”
“OK lets get to it”


The prompts were:

  1. the nose on his face
  2. can’t there be another way?
  3. rocket boys

OLWG#171- Bright, Golden, Warm

This piece was written for OLWG# 171

Step outside, I am clothed in sunlight


Straighten my necktie,
Shoot my cuffs, and smile


Choose the lot at the corner of
East Cesta and Hurricane Street
Glimpse the yellow dome of the capital


Weave through the crowd in the street
Lift two wallets, one from a gentleman’s coat pocket
The other plucked from a Georgia Jay shoulder bag
The prize though is the Rolex


The prompts were:

  1. you can be sincere and still be stupid
  2. sunny place; shady people
  3. not even the poets

OLWG#170- Bouncer

This piece was written for OLWG#170

When Big Jim woke up the room appeared shrouded in fog. His head felt as though it had been filled with molasses, and there were two Victoria’s leaning over him, studying him. He blinked his eyes a couple of times and shook his head, gently, the two Victoria’s merged back into one.

“What the hell happened?” Big Jim groaned. He tried to sit up.

“Stay put,” Victoria advised, “if you try to get up now you’ll fall down again.”

“Who are you? Are you a doctor? What happened?”

“I’m no doctor, and what happened is that I clocked you. You’ve been out for almost ten minutes. Manny called the paramedics and they should be here soon.”

Big Jim started to re-awaken to his surroundings. He recognized the dark wood paneling of ‘The Dizzy Dog’. The Labatt’s sign glowed blue neon in the front window and he could hear the crack of the pool balls from the table at the end of the bar. He could just about see Manny wiping glasses behind the bar.

“But, what happened? Why did you hit me?”

“Cause you’re a drunk, Jimbo. Victoria replied, “When that old Credence song came on the box you kept asking me to dance. You wouldn’t take ‘NO’ for an answer. Then you grabbed my ass, I wasn’t expecting that; especially not from you. I spun around and caught the side of your head with a roundhouse right. I’m not here to dance, Big Jim. I work here.”

“Jeez, Vicky, can you help me up?” he extended his right hand for an assist.

“I’m not going to help you up Jim. Stay down until the ambulance gets here. You were out for a good while. We got liability issues to think about. You get up when the medical professionals say you can get up – not before, and if you call me Vicky one more time I’ll hit you again.”

The prompts were:

  1. give credit.
  2. shrouded in fog
  3. he went that-a-way

OLWG#169- Honkey-Tonk Beer Belly

This has been written for OLWG#169

Alani pulled the car into the lot and found a spot near the front door. She and Maya had been reviewing the rules.


“OK,” said Maya, “it’s a catch and release game, right? And, you have to take a photo; or it doesn’t count, right? Do you have to get them to buy you a drink or is a picture enough?”


“A pic will do,” Alani responded. She looked at the clock; digital numbers glowing green on the dash and added three hours. “We’ll meet back here, in the car at 1 am.” She reached for the door handle.


Maya put her hand out and stayed Alani, “Wait a minute, how about this? We judge by weight tonight. What do you say? This could be a good place for that.” She flashed her crooked grin. 


Alani leaned against the door just enough for the dome light to come on. She could hear the country-western music; the beat pulsing against the windows on the front of the building. “Ohhh, alright. I hate it when we do that, though.” 


“Well, how do you want to do it? Length of their beard? Size of their hat or wait, wait; maybe their belt buckle?”


“No, weight’s fine, but it’s not my favourite. Give me a three-minute head start.” Alani took a deep breath and climbed out of the car. She paused by the wooden door of the chosen Honkey-Tonk and adjusted her breasts. Giving a thumbs-up to Maya, she pulled the door open and disappeared inside.


Maya waited the agreed-upon three minutes and stepped out of the car. She adjusted the waistband of her skirt to raise the hemline a good two inches. Inside, he had to wait a few seconds for her eyes to adjust to the darkness. Then she scanned the room for Alani. 


There she was, in one of the first barstools. She was toying with the straw in a tall thin glass and talking to a huge man with a bulbous nose that was red from drinking. The man threw his head back, roared with laughter then nodded. Alani got up and turned his stool so that he was looking away from the bar. She pulled out her phone and held it at arm’s length. She rested her other hand high on the top of his thigh. When he smiled, she snapped a picture.


“Damnit,” Maya said out loud. Alani’s going to be tough to beat tonight. 

The prompts were:

  1. let them go
  2. bulbous
  3. bandit cash

OLWG#168- This is the City

This has been written for OLWG#168

I was typing reports in the squad room when the phone on my desk trilled.

“Mulvaney,” I answered as I picked up a pen and got ready to write. I listened but wound up putting down the pen. I knew the location; I didn’t have to write anything. “I’m on my way.” They’d found another victim down by the boardwalk. That made five.

I made my way downstairs and took the city-owned slick back from the car park. When I got to the scene I ducked beneath the yellow crime scene tape and checked in with Davidson, the uniform at the perimeter. I spotted Romero leaning over the body and lit a cigarette as I headed over. He motioned and scooted off to the side as I approached. Photographers and CSI personnel swarmed the vicinity.

“Check it out, Joe.” Romero, opened, “Same as the other ones. Eyes have been burned out of her head. She hasn’t been dead long either. I’d estimate less than half an hour.”

I studied the dead girl. She’d been a real looker with flawless skin the colour of café au lait. She was long and lean, a curly brunette dressed for the job; looked like she worked downtown. Looked like she worked maybe for a lawyer, a doctor, or at the paper; something like that – very professional.

“Got an ID, Romero?” I asked.

“Lois Peters,” he replied. “She dropped her purse, right here. Driver’s license picture matches the vic. She lives, or lived, about a block from here on Laurel Street. Nothing seems to have been taken from the purse, she has about a hundred dollars in her wallet. We should be able to rule out a robbery.”

I caught movement down on the beach from the corner of my eye. “Everybody, keep your heads down,” I shouted but didn’t panic. Davidson didn’t listen. He looked up and immediately began to claw at his eyes. I picked up the scent of burning flesh, but it was too late for him. I knew he was a goner.

I pulled dark glasses from my jacket pocket; the ones that I’d had made for viewing solar eclipses. These mothers were dark and I studied the beach. The problem was immediately obvious. There was a fat man in a speedo standing up about halfway between where we stood and where the waves lapped against the sand.

That’s the kind of thing you can’t un-see. I ran across the strand towards the perp. The running was hard; I wore brogues that fought the loose sand with every step. From about ten feet away I dove and took him at the knees. When he went down, I punched him in the face to discourage any resistance. Then I cuffed him and scooped sand on top until the most offensive parts were covered.

“Don’t move,” I ordered, “You’re under arrest. It looks like it’ll be for a double homicide, and that’s only for today, along with creating a nuisance. If we can tie you to the deaths of the other four girls, you’ll be gone for a long time. They’ll lock you in a hole so deep someone will have to pump in the sunshine.”

The prompts were:

  1. running late
  2. a fat man in a Speedo
  3. an old orange cat

OLWG#167- Drabbles

These three drabbles have been written for OLWG#167

Ines closed her eyes and endured. She stared at Robert’s ceiling and wished she was on top. It’s always better to be in complete control. She longed for the signal from her compagni.

Robert was vulgar. He smelled of sweat, stale wine, and urine, his back was covered with coarse, dark hair. He proudly displayed a giro vita sporgente dalla bella vita.

She had spied her weapon immediately upon entering his room.  The cord to his reading lamp would do nicely; she had killed many men with a garrotte, and she knew that this would not be the last time.


In a small Midwestern town lives an old woman, Ines, and her grown son, ‘Berto. They keep to themselves, for the most part; homebodies, who don’t socialize.

One day in mid-October, Ines answers the door to find her new neighbour on the stoop. The sun glinted through the blue glass of the sidelight casting Ines in a Swiss Topaz hue.

“Yes?” Ines said; her accent was faint.

“HI, my name is Elaine Caldwell. My husband, Paul and I just moved in next door. I thought I would introduce myself.”

“Nice to meet you, Elaine.” Ines replied. She shut the door.


‘Berto sat at the kitchen table watching Mama wipe down her knives. Mama had several knives that she kept rolled up in a heavy piece of Muslin hemmed in red thread; the roll she kept hidden beneath a loose floorboard at the top of the stairs. ‘Berto knew that Mama had been with the resistance during the war.

Still sometimes Mama took her knives and went out at night. The next day she would wipe them all down and return them to the Muslin wrap. When she thought he wasn’t watching Mama would hide them once again beneath the floor.

The prompts were:

  1. she stared at Robert’s ceiling and wished she was on top
  2. take care of your tools
  3. blue glass

OLWG#166- A Question of Courage

This piece was written for OLWG#166

It can be used to fight disease
Wielded skillfully: it can be employed to defeat your enemies
It needs only to be displayed to cause fear to cower

But, I’ve got no further use for this suasion
I will put it away
My disease has left, or is at least in hiding
My enemies are now our enemies; my brothers and sisters share their strength

I have grown accustomed to unease and disquietude
I accept them as constant companions

The prompts were:

  1. I’ve got no further use for these
  2. writing is like sex
  3. courage is a weapon