OLWG · writing

OLWG# 203- The Bounty Hunter

Written (promptly) for OLWG# 203

Kacela was knee-deep in the muck, making her way swiftly and quietly through the reeds at the edge of the intertidal zone. She’d been hunting Cooper for years, and now she was close. She believed that the man, now known as Charlie Ray, had used the money he’d obtained from the hijacking and bought this run-down marina at the edge of Côte du Golfe Marais. She was close, but she had found the marina abandoned when she’d wheeled her truck up to the pump hoping for an easy capture. He wasn’t there, but a cup of coffee sat steaming next to the old National Cash Register on the counter.

Cooper must have sensed what was happening. He’d fled into the marsh when she approached and hadn’t been gone long.  There was only one direction that he might have run and avoided detection. She headed that same way with her fingers crossed. Kacela hated snakes, and this landscape promised to be rife with them.

She’d always been a hunter. As a girl, she’d taken down the big cats that preyed on the village goats. As a young woman, she’d become a guide, taking European tourists, armed with either guns or cameras, in search of big game. It didn’t matter to her how her clients captured their prey. Death was not something with which she was unfamiliar. She accepted it.

From ahead came the thundering sound of wings beating. Countless dusky coloured birds burst from the wetlands like clouds of feathers intent on obscuring the sun. She knew she was close. She could almost smell the money she would earn by bringing in Cooper.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. smiling in the sun
  2. bread and morphine
  3. clouds of feathers
OLWG · writing

OLWG# 202- Attitudes and Platitudes

Written (promptly) for OLWG# 202

Live your life to the fullest
Be creative
Be bold
Reach out and help others
Kindle a love that might burn down your house
Be creative
Be bold
Bask in the warmth that ensues
Teach your children to be happy
Show them how to be creative
How to be bold
There is time enough for tears, and play
Steer clear the whimperers
Shun the complainers
Fill your spirit, and your place, with the positive
Live your life to the fullest
Be creative
Be bold
Reach out and help others

This week’s prompts were:

  1. tears in the sandbox
  2. whimpering and complaining
  3. it might burn down your house
OLWG · writing

OLWG# 201- Miss Santa Cruz County

Written for OLWG# 201

Sibley Fletcher, the newly crowned beauty queen from Aptos, sloped onto the stage to thank her adoring fans. She was as thin as a fishbone. Her eyes bulged, and her cheeks hollowed. It was almost as though they had been sculpted by the same wind and surf that formed the arches at Natural Bridges State Park. Her long blonde hair was piled atop her head; a few wisps fell loosely to frame her face. She raised her arms and began to speak, her voice: as soft as a whisper, “My first act as your Queen is to grant myself immunity for any crimes; state, federal or hate, that I may have committed in the past, or might commit in the future. I would also extend that same amnesty to my dear sister, Mirabel. Bless her heart.”

The audience crowded into the Louden Nelson Community Centre fell silent. This was truly unexpected. As Sibley lowered her arms, the sharp bones of her wrist brushed the delicate tiara she wore, knocking it slightly askew.

“Buried somewhere in Los Gatos Canyon are the bodies of both Hannah Sandoval and Bernard Medina. I do not recall the exact location; it’s been almost five years since I put them there, but it was near a big white rock and a twisted tree. The police should probably give the remains back to their mothers. They have been missing long enough.

“I must add, my dear subjects, that Hannah truly deserved what she got. She tempted my darling, Bernard. And, Bernard, well, he was collateral damage. Sometimes I still miss him. Mirabel and I didn’t bury them very deep. I’m frankly surprised that they were never found.

“My second act is to declare today, April the first, an official holiday, to commemorate my coronation as Queen Sibley. I declare that henceforth, on this day, there will be no mail delivery, and Ferrel’s shops shall provide free doughnuts to all comers. As truly befits a holiday of this import.

“Thank you, my subjects. I will strive to be a kind and just ruler.” She blew a kiss at the crowd, turned and walked off the stage. The spotlight went down and the house lights came up. The applause was deafening.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. thin as a fishbone
  2. buried somewhere in Los Gatos Canyon
  3. it fetters the will
OLWG · writing

OLWG# 200- Eleena

Written for OLWG# 200

Wait! What? 200? Really? That’s way cool, bitchin’

When ‘Big’ Jim Romero woke, he stayed still in an attempt to determine his whereabouts. He knew he was lying on his back. It felt like there might be a pillow beneath his head and, perhaps he had been covered with a light blanket. He was soaking wet; he was cold, shivering. No sound fell on his ears and, at first, when he opened his eyes, all he saw was darkness.

He closed them again and was instantly blinded by oncoming headlights and accosted by the loud roaring of a powerful engine. He lifted his arms upwards to fend off certain death and jerked back. At the last moment, the headlights swerved and left him unscathed. He felt a breeze as the oversized vehicle swept recklessly past.

He gasped and snapped his eyes open. It was still dark, but he sensed a presence, and then he felt a hand on his shoulder. He jerked again. The hand pressed down.

A voice lightly accented, “Be still, Mr Romero, be still, you’re going to be OK. We were worried about you for a while, but you’re going to be OK.”

Big Jim took a deep breath and opened his mouth to speak. He only managed a dry cough accompanied by a deeply pitched noise from his throat. He quit pushing upwards and fell back. The hand that had been holding him down relented and pulled away.

The voice again, “I’m going to raise your head a bit and get you some water.”

An electric motor hummed, and he slowly lifted into more of a sitting position. The hand on his shoulder again.

“Can you take this cup? Just take a couple of sips, don’t gulp it down.”

Big Jim tried but couldn’t take hold, or even feel a cup. Frustrated, he made a sound. It was more like an unintelligible grunt.

“Let me help,” the disembodied voice said. Big Jim felt the cup brush up against his lips. He raised his head a much as he could and took a couple of sips.

“How are you  feeling?” She asked, “You might feel a little disoriented and woozy, Mr Romero. Don’t worry about it too much. It’s the drugs and shouldn’t last too long. I’m going to turn this light on, but I’ll keep it dimmed down low. I need to take your vitals.” As the lights came up slightly, Big Jim saw a tall, slim woman who appeared to be in her late twenties or maybe, her early thirties. She wore scrubs with pictures of fish on a dark green background; her hair framed her face with ringlets and, she had flawless ebony skin that glowed when she smiled and lit up her eyes from within.

“What’s your name?” Jim croaked.

“Eleena,” she answered. Then she smiled again, and he watched as the light rekindled in her eyes.

“I am a little woozy, Eleena and you could be right. Maybe it’s the drugs, but I don’t think so.”

This week’s prompts were:

  1. I call shotgun
  2. maybe it’s the drugs?
  3. nightsweats
OLWG · writing

OLWG# 199- Miss Willa Pound’s Faro Hall

Written for OLWG# 199

“Well, the way I heard it was that it all started mebbe 70 or 75 years ago when a man named Edward Teller stepped off the train and into Miss Willa Pound’s Faro Hall, which was across the street from the depot. At Miss Willa’s, a man could find food, drink, gamblin’, and wimmen. Customers were encouraged to check their weapons at the door, but that rule was seldom ever enforced.

“In today’s world, we would prob’ly call Mr Teller by a title, like a mathematician. In them days, he was just a smart man who had a way with numbers.

“In Miss Willa’s Faro Hall, like most gamblin’ dens, the odds favoured the house. Miss Willa ensured that. Her Faro hall employed crooked Faro Banks, and she hired skilled people. Hired folks who were adept at cheatin’, either through card manipulation, with fair cards and a fair dealing-box, or through mechanical appliances. Like modified Faro boxes. A good cheat was better off cheating for the house than against, but Edward Teller was no cheat. Despite the odds, though, in short order, he was way ahead on his bets. His winning streak captured the attention of Miss Willa and her security man, a local guy named Benito Schull. Pounds and Schull watched closely but were unable to spot him cheating. It did not seem to matter how close they watched.

“Ed Teller was almost a thousand dollars up when he cashed in his chips and made to leave. Benito confronted Mr Teller as he walked from the cashier cage to the door. Teller, of course, protested; he had a train to catch. Schull flashed his blue barrelled .31 calibre pepperbox, dissuading Edward from re-boarding the train and convincing him to visit Miss Willa in her office instead.

“There is no record of the discussion between Miss Willa, Schull, and Teller, but I heared that Teller convinced Miss Willa and her man that he just had a knack for seeing the odds and understood the game. He told them that it was a matter of calculations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Schull promptly shot Edward Teller in the gut. He and Miss Willa watched as the man died on the office floor.

“Willa determined that a keen understanding of mathematics might not be a good thing for her business. She lobbied the city fathers to ban ‘rithmetic in all the saloons and gamblin’ halls in Emerson County, but that proved to be impractical. They compromised; addin’, subtractin’, and multiplyin’ would remain legal, but not long division. They figgered no one understood it anyhow.”

This week’s prompts were:

  1. guard this with your life
  2. just hush
  3. and that’s why long division is illegal in Emerson County
OLWG · writing

OLWG# 198- Flashing Lights / Raucous Music

Written for OLWG# 198

Taking careful aim, Carlos exhaled slowly and squeezed the trigger.

The narrow stream of water burst from the muzzle. It ran true and hit the target. The balloon inflated. It grew larger and larger until finally, it popped.

The crowd went crazy.

Buffy drew smoke deeply into her lungs and reached above her head. She pulled the oversized, plush, rainbow-coloured caterpillar from the wire overhead.

Leaning over the counter, she handed it to Carlos, who held the prize over his head for a moment before turning it over to Noemi.

Noemi beamed as she hugged both Carlos and the giant multi-coloured caterpillar with equal vigour!


The couple wandered off down the midway, their brief moment of fame fading into the night; while simultaneously being highlighted by the flashing lights and raucous music.

This weeks prompts were:

  1. taking careful aim
  2. two step program
  3. there is only sorrow
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