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# 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;

anarchy,

chaos,

mayhem,

pandemonium,

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# 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

Thinner

Fitter

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

OLWG# 187- Spontaneous Combustion; No Time to Scream

Written for OLWG#187



None of Robert Raynott’s friends or neighbours had heard from him in weeks. His elderly neighbour, up the lane, had called the local police for a welfare check after she had been unable to raise him either by knocking on his door or ringing his cell. Officers found his remains in the kitchen.

When he caught fire and died, at his home in Derby; it marked the end of the Raynott family name. Robert had been preceded in death by his older brother, Richard, and his father, Patrick. The two elder Raynotts had been drivers. They were killed in an accident on the M40 many years prior.

Evidence gathered at the scene, and testimony from the coroner confirmed that the fire had been fast and intense. The wooden chair seat on which he had perched was scorched but not burned. Both feet were intact as were his boots. The right leg, below the knee, remained, although cauterized at the end. The rest of Mr Raynott was little more than a pile of ash.



This week’s prompts were:

  1. pray for them
  2. there was no time
  3. his office phone was ringing

OLWG# 186- Three Guys Walk Into a Bar

Written for OLWG#186



Patrick and Pete are in their local sippin’ on pints. There’s a couple ‘a fellas tossing arrows at the back. Mary’s workin’ the bar. It’s quiet ‘cept for Van Morrison softly singing about snow in someplace called San Anselmo over the speaker mounted high in the corner near the front.

Patrick says to Pete, “Pete, didja hear the one ‘bout the three guys? An Englishman, an Irishman and a Poet walk into a bar …”

“That’s only two.”

“Whatcha mean, that’s only two?”

“Think ya heard me Pat. I said that’s only two.”

“Two what?”

“Two guys.”

“No, it’s three. An Englishman is one. An Irishman is two, and the Poet; well the Poet is the third. Right?”

“Nah, the Poet is the Irishman. I never met an Irishman who wasn’t a Poet. Have you, Pat?”

Patrick watches Mary leanin’ on the bar for a couple minutes. The neon light flashing on and off through the window her heavy breasts resting cross her forearm Then he looks at his beer for a time.

“That queers the whole joke then. I can’t tell the joke if only two guys walk into the bar.”

“Change it up then.” Pete says.

“How?”

“Maybe make ‘em an Englishman, a Poet, and a Mexican? Or a Swede? How ‘bout a ‘Merican?”

Pete hears the thunk of a dart hitting the board in the back. He turns his attention to Mary as she pushes a stray wisp of curly red hair behind her ear. Catchin’ her eye he points at his nearly empty pot, then at Pat’s. She straightens up and walks over as the boys finish their beers.

Mary watches Patrick gulping down the dregs in his glass, clears her throat and says, “Don’t matter where they’re from, Pat.”

“Ah, Mary; you don’t know what ye’re talkin’ ‘bout.”

“They could be from anywhere! They’s jist three guys. Jist three guys.” She scoops up the empty glasses and turns to go fill them.

Pat shrugs on his coat and is shuffling towards the door. Mary turns just as he pulls the door open, two pints of beer in her hands.

“Pat,” she warbles, “where ya goin’? I gotcher drink right here.”

He pulls his cap on his head and walks out to the street.

“There goes the poet, then.” Says Pete.



This week’s prompts were:

  1. girls lit by neon
  2. don’t pray for me
  3. An Englishman, an Irishman, and a Poet

OLWG# 185- The Old Victorian

Written for OLWG#185



After that last house, my wife, Alicia, pulled the realtor aside, “Jessica,” she began gently, “I think Ed and I are going to have to find another agent. This arrangement with you doesn’t seem to be working.” She paused and studied the carefully arranged face of the young Citadel Partners representative. Only a slight quivering of Jessica’s lower lip gave away any emotion.

Quickly re-gathering Jessica answered, “Why? Is something the matter, Alicia?”

“I believe so, yes. Every house you have shown us these last few days has been well past the ‘Sell By’ date.” Alicia pivoted her shoulders around and gestured at the old Victorian behind us, “I mean, look at this Jessica. The siding is falling off; the house needs a new roof, new paint; the screens on the porch have all rotted in the sun. It looks like the garden hasn’t been tended or cared for in decades. There was mouse poop all over the Formica countertops in the kitchen, and I don’t even want to guess what that stuff was in the upstairs bathroom.”

I was paying close attention while pretending a keen interest in a good-sized crow perched on the picket fence.

“Well, I told you it was a bit of a fixer-upper.” Jessica looked like she was ready to cry.

Alicia changed her tactics, “Jessica, when we first spoke, Ed and I told you we had a budget of around 1.6 million dollars.”

Jessica nodded her head and wiped the corner of her eye with the back of her hand.

“And, this one is only 1.45,” Jessica squeaked.

I could almost see the lightbulb come on over Alicia’s head, “You need this commission, don’t you?” she asked.

Jessica nodded her head and looked down at the cracked sidewalk where a dandelion peeked through.

“Okay, listen up, Jessica. Ed and I will stick with you. We’d like to help, but you gotta show me something better. You need to show us something better. We don’t need anything grand or palatial. Just show us something more move-in-ready. Can you do that?”

Jessica nodded again, “I’ll take you guys back to the hotel and do some more research this afternoon. In the morning, I’ll collect you early, and we can have another go.”

Alicia smiled, “Not too early though; okay Jessica?”

“Yes ma’am.”



This week’s prompts were:

  1. needs more salt
  2. past the “Sell By” date
  3. show me something better

OLWG# 184- Confusing

Written for OLWG#184



Brian sat in the third row along the windows. He was sort of ‘half listening’ to the boresome Mr Chesboro discuss the impact of individual colonial militias against the British in the early days of the American Revolution. His attention had diverted from revolution by a murder of crows on the lawn in front of the school.

Danny Parr sat one seat closer to the front of the class, and one row over. Brian turned his attention from the birds to the width of Danny’s shoulders and his narrow hips. He knew that Danny had no trouble attracting girls. Maybe, Brian thought, he should start working out. Maybe he could sculpt himself to look like Danny Parr so that he could attract girls too. He might even be able to attract the attention of Danny Parr. He knew that he should want to attract the attention of girls. Girls like Linda Baldwin, or Amy Juarez. Girls who were popular and had hourglass figures. Sultry girls, sexy girls, with shiny hair and damp lips, but honestly he found himself more attracted to Danny Parr.

The whole situation was confusing. Brian knew that his parents would understand if he could gather the nerve to talk with them about it. After all, his dad had married Jim the day after his divorce finalized. Mom spent a lot of weekends away with her girlfriends and came home with stories of shopping trips and visits to museums. Uh-huh…



This week’s prompts were:

  1. prosaic
  2. labourious
  3. boresome

OLWG# 183- Hookahs and Callipitters

Written for OLWG#183


she lies beneath the willow

recovers, beneath the tree

thinks about tea parties, and

all the things she’s seen

“drink me”, “eat me”

she cannot reach the key

the bandersnatch…

a jabberwock…

the white knight…

and a hare…

she decides she’s gotten over it

she no longer cares

it wasn’t she who stole the tarts

and yet, was swarmed by playing cards

no more looking glasses

there’s been enough for her

all done with rabbit holes

haddock eyes

and queens

especially the queens



This week’s prompts were:

  1. she just gets it
  2. she lies
  3. all done with mirrors

OLWG# 182- Trevor

Written for OLWG#182


When Trevor first learned of his posting to the Queen’s Guard he was so excited he couldn’t hardly breathe. He was gonna be a ‘Flash Harry’ with a bearskin hat.

Along with his orders he got an economy class ticket on Continental Airlines. He was supposed to leave from HOU to LHR in ten days. He never questioned why a farm boy and a US Army Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic from Texas would be posted to Buckingham Palace, charged with guarding the Queen. He didn’t question the orders though. He was happy to leave Fort Drum even if it was only for a little while before they discovered their mistake.



This week’s prompts were:

  1. couldn’t hardly breathe
  2. Oh Boy
  3. I got tired

OLWG# 181- Bluegrass Anonymous

Written for OLWG#181


Martha could hear it from halfway down the block, maybe even further but she became conscious of it when she was abreast of the Burton house, halfway down the block.

“Damn him,” she hollered as she broke into a run. She had to stop it before it got out of control. It was unmistakably ‘Bluegrass Music.’ It was loud, and that could only mean one thing, Cooper had fallen off the wagon, and he’d been doing so well.

As she neared the house, Martha began yelling for him, “Cooper? Cooper? Are you here? Are you all right?” She turned up the front walk to the house that she and Cooper had shared for the last eight months. Bursting through the front door, she was shocked by the number of people in her Living Room. Most of them were sitting around the perimeter of the room on furniture that had been pushed away to the fringes. The ages of this group ranged from pre-teen kids to grandmas and grandpas in their sixties and seventies.

The elderly women wore paisley print, or flowered, house dresses, sensible shoes, and “cat-eye” glasses. Some had their glasses hooked to rhinestone chains that wrapped around the backs of their necks. The old men primarily wore black or khaki trousers over their boots and long sleeve white shirts; tucked in and buttoned high. Some sported western hats, but most were bareheaded.

The younger men and boys wore three button shirts with white piping around the neck or button-down shirts, but the trousers they had chosen were the same as what their elders wore. Young ladies and girls wore pastel blouses with Peter Pan collars. They had skirts, cut just below their knees that would flare out if they twirled. Flat or low heeled Mary Janes completed the young women’s attire and provided a solid thump when they danced.

They were all clapping and stomping their feet as they watched two young men clog dancing in the middle of the floor, where Martha’s couch used to sit.

The sliding glass doors to the deck were all open wide. There was a band playing out there. They were playing loud. This was what Martha had heard from down the street. The band consisted of an elderly gentleman, wearing a string tie and playing a brass body National Guitar. Next to him a thirty-something-year-old woman pounding on a dog house bass, you could almost see smoke coming from the F hole, the music was so hot. A middle-aged fat guy with only a couple of teeth visible was picking a four-string tenor banjo that was traditionally tuned to provide that punch, that twang, that sound that could cut through the band’s mix. The fourth guy: Martha had seen at the market a couple of times, she didn’t know his name but knew he must live around here. He had patchy white hair and a white fiddle to match.

She looked around and spotted Cooper leaning against the deck rail and wove her way through the crowd to confront him.

“Goddamnit, Cooper! What the hell are you doing? You promised me. You promised, No more bluegrass. Remember?” Cooper couldn’t look around her, but it still took him some time to realize that she was there.

When he did, he smiled that lazy smile of his. That smile that was probably the reason Martha had fallen so hard for him in the first place.

“Coop,” she said, “Are you going to throw all your hard work out the window? The Rehab Centre? The twelve-step program? The meetings every morning? You’ve come so far Coop – you can’t backslide now! Not now.”

She saw clarity bounce back into his eyes. “This is my group, Martha we’re having one of our meetings now. We’re having it here, at our house. See that guy leaning by the kitchen sink? He’s my sponsor. I called him when I began to feel the mountain music coming on. Do you know what he did? He started clogging. I could hear it over the phone. He’s good too. I’m not going to fight it anymore, Martha. I love bluegrass. I think you do too.”



This week’s prompts were:

  1. bluegrass
  2. the center of my world
  3. seeking Amrapali