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

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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

OLWG#95- Loisada

 Written for OLWG#95



When I moved to New York, I had it in my head that I needed to live in that neighbourhood because… well because I was a big fan of David Peel and The Lower East Side Band. I used to go outside and walk the streets communing with the ghosts of all the famous people who had grown up there. The neighbourhood is ripe with spirits. People like The Marx Brothers, Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson, The Gershwins, and Jimmy Durante; to name a few.

My mother had been born somewhere below Delancey, and I saw her once. It was late on a spring afternoon, right before dinner time. I was walking near the corner of Broome and Orchard. Mom was younger than she had ever been when I knew her; she was maybe sixteen or seventeen years old. She was smoking. I don’t know for sure that she saw me, but I think she must have.

She did a double take, reddened, and flipped her cigarette into the street with a practised hand then looked into my eyes and mouthed my name, “TN?”

I greeted her politely then watched as her smile turned over and her eyes glaze. She shook her head, glanced up and down the street a few times, perplexed; then she too vanished in the dusky, fading light. I’ve gone back a few times but I’ve never seen her again.


This week’s prompts were:

  1. outside
  2. just ice
  3. Hi, Mom

OLWG#93- You Have Nothing to Do?

Inspired tonight by Dr. Theodor Geisel to whom I deeply apologize

Written for OLWG#93



I went to the closet
but the closet was
locked. There wasn’t a bell so
I knocked and I knocked.

As I waited I danced
to the song in my head. Kind of regretting
some things that I’ve said. But soon, I
was tripping a light so fantastic, that
the time, it would seem, became quite elastic
I forgot who I was, and what I was doing,
then finally I stopped and I just stood there stewing.

Why wouldn’t anyone
answer the door? Am I so
unwelcome? Am I such a bore?
Maybe they’re out, and no
one’s at home? Should I come back
later or just leave them alone?

I turned from the closet, I turned on my heel
and as soon as I did, I heard someone squeal,
“You can’t leave
that way, no you can’t leave like that.”

I turned back around and I spotted a cat;
who grinned like a Cheshire with a red
and white hat. He scratched his head,
then he looked at his shoe then he asked me,
“Don’t stand there like you’ve nothing to do?
Did you come to hang out? Have some tea and a chat?
Are you just going to leave? Just going to scat?”


This week’s prompts were:

  1. Should I come back later
  2. The closet was locked
  3. Time becomes elastic