OLWG#102- Family Reunion

 Written for OLWG#102



Matilda woke to the sound of breaking glass. She bolted up in bed and saw the curtains billowing inwards. The window was shattered and a large rock lay on the floor. Leaving the lights off she slid into her slippers and crept across the room, staying below the window sill and slowly raised her head to peek clear. She needed to determine what had happened.

It was dark out, there was a new moon and she couldn’t discern much, but as the cobwebs of sleep slowly swept out of the corners of her mind she thought she could see a figure crouching beneath the Mulberry tree.

“I’ve got a bead on you,” she shouted, “and I’ve called 911. Move a muscle and I’ll blow you away.”

“Mattie, is that you?” The dark figure straightened up. “I wasn’t sure I had the right house.”

“I told you not to move, sucker. Freeze… NOW.”

“Matilda, it’s me. Dad… You don’t have a gun. You don’t like guns.”

“Dad? Is that really you?” she asked. It sorta sounded like her father but she had to be sure. “Step to the porch, Dad. I need to see you.”

The dark figure, who was claiming to be her dad, raised his hands and began crab walking towards the front porch. His left leg wasn’t working quite right, but it didn’t seem to slow him down any. When he got close to the steps the motion activated lights blinked on. The man turned his head and raised his hand to shield his eyes from the sudden glare. Mattie could see his long grey hair and whiskers. He wore tattered clothes but she knew it was him. The peg leg gave him away.

“I’ll be right there, Dad.” She said as she turned away from the busted window and headed to the front door.

As she opened it he muttered, “Christ, Mattie turn out the light.”

She did as he asked, pushed open the aluminium framed screen door, to run out into his open arms. They embraced for a while and then he pushed her back, “Lemme get a look at you, girl. It’s been a long time.”

She smiled and led him inside and back to the kitchen, at the rear of the house.

“You want some coffee,” she asked, “or, I’ve got whisky if you’d rather.”

“I’d rather,” he said; so she opened the cupboard and pulled out a fifth, about half full, and a couple of double ‘old fashion’ glasses. She poured two fingers into each one and slid one to her Dad.

They both took a drink and Matilda narrowed her eyes to stare at her father, “Where have you been for so long, Dad?” she started, “Do the cops know where you are? Do they know you’re here?”

“They don’t, girl and I cain’t be here fer long neither. I’m on m’ way to Kansas City to meet up with Razor Ray ‘n Dickie. Ray says there’s a fat bank there – a fat bank that’s just beggin’ to get knocked over.” He picked up the bottle and poured himself another bracer; downed it. “Whatcha doin’ these days, Mattie?”

“Working a long con with a new crew.” she grinned, “It’s just starting to get interesting. You want in?”

“Thanks, but I can’t, girl. I could use a little seed money though? Can ye spare a little fer yer old man?”

“What do you need, Dad?”

“What I need is five large, if ya got it. What I’d like is for you to come to Kansas City with me. Whadda ya say, Mattie? I’d be just like old times.”

“I can’t go with you, Dad, I’ve got work to do here and besides… you’re on the lam. If you get caught on this job with Ray and Dickie they’ll never let you out of jail. What good is a fat bankroll if the only place you can spend it is the prison commissary?”

“I’m not gonna get caught darlin’ so don’t worry yer pretty little head about that. After this job, I’m thinking about retiring. Go somewhere where no one knows me. Wanna come along? The mountains or the beach, huh, which ye prefer?”

Matilda pushed her chair back, stood and walked out of the kitchen. She was gone for about five minutes and when she returned she had a handful of hundred dollar bills. She sat back down and poured another shot for them both. She laid the hundreds out on the table in stacks of ten till there were five stacks. Then she took two of the bills and tucked them under her glass.

“There’s your five grand, Dad, I’m keeping two hundred back, to pay for the window you broke.” She held up her drink, “Cheers,” she said.

“Ching Ching,” her dad said and they clicked the rims of their glasses together. He stood and took one step back.

“Thanks, Mattie. I’m good fer it. You know I am. I should be back through this way in a month or so. I’ll stop in. Take you to dinner.” He turned and headed towards the front door, his peg leg tapping on the hardwood floor.


This week’s prompts were:

  1. Do the authorities know you’re here?
  2. as you slept
  3. what became of forever?

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OLWG#101- Feliz Cumpleaños

 This one’s a little late but it’s written for OLWG#101



Guadalupe was preparing a special birthday breakfast for her son, Javier. Una Desayuno especial de cumpleaños. That was what she had gotten him for his birthday. It wasn’t wrapped very well because she didn’t know how to wrap breakfast, but it would be her gift to him. The plan was to wake him when breakfast was almost done so she was surprised to hear him coming down the hallway, but pretended not to notice.

“Mamá?” she heard him whisper from the kitchen door. She turned around.

Javier stood, looking at her, he wore his pyjamas and held his left arm. He dropped it on the kitchen floor.

“What happened, Mi Hijo?” she asked him as she scooped the small arm up off the floor.

“I think I must have slept on it wrong. It fell off.”

“Pobrecito, what are we going to do?” she asked him.

“I don’t know, Mamá. Can you fix it?”

“I’m not sure Hijo,” she said, “let’s have breakfast and see if we can figure it out. Mira, hice Chilaquiles, y Feliz cumpleaños. ”

She handed him back his arm, “Here, take this to the table while I finish. What would you like to drink with this?”

Over breakfast, the mother and son discussed ways to fix his arm.

“I could tape it, or staple it back on.”

“Do you think that would be strong enough, Mamá?”

“Maybe it would be if I used duct tape; but probably not. I could borrow a hammer and some nails from Señor Ramirez, next door.”

They discussed using glue, or some screws or putting on buttons, snaps or even a zipper; but nothing seemed right.

“Can’t you sew it on Mamá?”

“Well, that might work if I use a really tight stitch and if I have some thread that will match your skin. I don’t think you’d want me to sew it on with pink thread, would you? Maybe green?”

“No thank you Mamá.”

Guadalupe checked her sewing basket and found a spool of thread that was almost an exact match and she spent the rest of the morning with Javier sitting on her lap while she sewed his arm back on. It was a wonderful way for Lupe to celebrate his birthday, all that cuddling with her boy, but Javier didn’t have as much fun.


This week’s prompts were:

  1. los pobrecitos
  2. the present was poorly wrapped
  3. bottle of emotions

OLWG#100- One Hundred

 Written for OLWG#100



After hours with no respite, the sound died.

The silence weighed heavily.

Oppressive.

Jimmy looked wide-eyed at Marney and swallowed.

She watched his Adam’s apple move up and down.

He licked his lips and turned his attention back outward.

“You know what’s going to happen now,” Marney, matter of factly.

“No, they’re not going to do it. I won’t let them.”

“You can’t stop it.”

“I can try.”

Jimmy picked up a stone, tested its weight in his right hand. He picked up a heavy piece of tree branch that he could use as a club or a bat and swung it with his left.

“I’ll try and distract them,” he said as he looked down the slope, “you try and get around them. If you can make it back to the river, you’ll be golden.”

Marney chose that moment to act. She stood up and waved her arms.

“HEY, ASSHOLES – I’M OVER HERE,” she yelled. Turning she started to run laterally across the slope, away from Jimmy. Under her breath, she said, “Let me get started and then run, Jimmy. You got this.” In an instant, she was gone. The noise picked up again. There was a frenzy from below. They were after her.

Jimmy watched her go and cautiously began moving from rock to rock, making his way back downhill. Soon he could smell the river.


This week’s prompts were:

  1. I won’t let them
  2. the sound died
  3. the crack of noon

OLWG#99- Bob and Carol? Ted and Alice?

 Written for OLWG#99



Melissa slowed the car as she approached the intersection. Reaching over she shook Dwight’s shoulder and studied the road signs. The Milky Way was a grand display in the inky sky.

“Darrel, honey? Darrel? I think I’m lost. Which way should I go from here?”

Trevor slowly opened his eyes and studied his surroundings. To his right there was a pole covered with highway signs. There must have been thirty signs and arrows on the pole – correction, poles, lots of poles – there was a forest of poles and they held up signs with highway numbers, and village names. There were signs claiming ‘East’ or ‘West’ and arrows that pointed in every direction. He rubbed his eyes.

“Jeeze, Gertie. Where the hell are we?”

“If I knew that I wouldn’t have had to wake you up.”

“I don’t know why you woke me up anyway. I can hardly spell ‘map’ let alone read one. Have you seen any gas stations? Maybe we can ask for directions.”

“There’s been nothing on this road for a long time, Ed. No gas stations, no towns or farmhouses. Hell, there’s hardly been any traffic even. Don’t you have a GPS system on that fancy phone of yours?”

“You’re right. I do.” Warren patted his trousers and found his phone in the left hip pocket. He leaned to his right and pulled it out; turned it on and waited. After only a short time he turned the screen and showed it to Belinda, “no signal,” he said.

“Shit,” she replied, “What are we gonna do?”

“Don’t panic,” he said, “let me think. My wife would know what to do.”

“What would she do?” Elizabeth asked.

“I think she’d keep going towards one of those towns listed on the signs. She’d stop and ask directions there.”

“We should have brought her along with us then.”

Roger was silent. He turned his head and glared at Amanda, “I don’t think she would approve of us, Betsy. It’s probably better that she stayed at home.”

The engine chose that moment to cough, then stutter, and then stop and wheeze.

Tanya and Mark looked at one another, eyes wide.

“How far back was that last gas station?” he asked.


This week’s prompts were:

  1. I’m broken
  2. one for the road
  3. That’s not what I do

OLWG#98- Right?

 Written for OLWG#98



Randy took the stairs down from Veronica’s apartment. It was only five floors and he usually chose stairs over elevators. Outside, he raised his arm and hailed a cab. He could have simply cut across the park but there would be less explaining to do if he returned home in a cab, he’d told Amber that he would be at a trade show in St. Louis. It was just a little white lie. Nobody could get hurt.

Right?


This week’s prompts were:

  1. outside, he raised his arm and hailed a cab
  2. A little white lie
  3. woken by the silence

Missed out on the first one but I figure you can just apply that to the author. It’s all good then.


OLWG#97- We Went Wrong Somewhere

 Written for OLWG#97



“Of course we used to tell them that stuff. Me and Muriel, we taught Santa Clause theory over the dinner table. We proffered Easter Bunny conspiracy scenarios as we drove them to Sunday school and then back home again, after stopping at Golden Corral for a lunch buffet. We talked about the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, honest lawyers and politicians, not to mention the military industrial complex. We did all that stuff, but something still went wrong. Damned if I can figure it out.

“She left home in OhFour and we haven’t seen her since. She kept snakes when she was a teenager, but get this; she didn’t keep them as pets. Oh no, she raised them for food. Not food for her though. No, she wouldn’t eat them. She was a very picky eater. About once a month or so, she would box one of them serpents up and mail it to an orphanage in China. All because her mother, or maybe it was me I don’t remember for sure, had once tried to convince her to clean her dinner plate by telling her about ‘all the starving orphans in China’ who would be grateful for her liver and onions, or her Brussels Sprouts, or whatever it was that she wasn’t eating at the time.

“Is that what they call those tiny cabbages? Brussels Sprouts? I think it is. You know what I’m talking about don’tcha, those little green balls’a shit that people either roast, or fry, or boil, or whatever? They’re horrible but they are supposed to be good for you so her mother and I would choke a couple of them down and force the kids to eat the rest.

“Anyways, right before she left home for good, she packaged up one of her snakes to mail to China. There was a knock at the front door and when I answered it; there was a Postal Inspector, or a US Marshall, or an FBI guy, or one of those other puppets from the authoritarian regime. He asked for her by name so I called her downstairs. They arrested her on the spot for sending live snakes through the mail. Led her away in handcuffs, they did. We asked where they were taking her but they would only say ‘a detention centre, not too far away.’ I wish she’d write, but it’s been, what? Fifteen years now? Not a word?

“We had a bit of hope when the paper said that the government announced they were going to reunite parents and children who’d been separated at the border. Then Muriel pointed out that we don’t live anywhere near the border. I still wanted to believe though.

“It’s getting harder though, as each day passes.”


This week’s prompts were:

  1. He was a lout
  2. she kept snakes
  3. of course we used to tell them that

Missed out on the first one but I figure you can just apply that to the author. It’s all good then.


OLWG#96- Bombay

 Written for OLWG#96



I could hear the periodic calls coming from the bottle that sits on my table.
At first, they were
teasing,
enticing,
inviting.

I ignored them and their ‘come hither’ tone slowly changed
They became angry. Perhaps because
I wouldn’t join them
I wouldn’t come to play

They began to yell and to berate me. Say ugly things about my mother.

I was having none of it so,

They began to scream.
at first, it was constant, a cacophony of noise that almost drove me mad, but
their persistence is waning; and now I hear only one scream at a time.
They’re angry with me and
justifiably so; because I won’t go there. I won’t come in. I won’t capitulate, become one of them.

I could.
I would be so easy.
I’ve been there before and it’s wonderful for a while, but I don’t want to go back.
I’m almost ready to throw the bottle in the street.
I envision the crack and shatter of glass on concrete,
but something holds me back.
Something dark. Something strong. Something blue.


This week’s prompts were:

  1. blue Bombay Sapphire
  2. one scream at a time
  3. justifiably so