January 2013

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05 January 2013

The prompts were:
1. My superhero’s special power is…
2. Doughnut shop.  Pig.  Jet Pack
3. I turned the corner and saw it all over the road

Begin writing
I went into the doughnut shop and tried to look inconspicuous.  It’s hard to look inconspicuous when you have several thousand dollars stuffed into your shirt.   I realized that the shop assistant was waiting for me to order so I blurted out, “Can I have one of those chocolate ones with the Bavarian Creme?” She nodded her head and moved down the counter.  I looked around.
Damn.   There was a cop making a pig of himself.  He had half a dozen cake donuts spread in front of him. They all had white icing and rainbow sprinkles.  Gotta stay cool, I thought as I grinned wide and considered again that the cop was making a pig of himself.
I needed to lay low for a while so when my doughnut arrived I asked for a large coffee as well.  “Room for cream, honey?” the doughnut lady asked.  I looked at her name tag. ‘Irene’.
“No thanks, Irene, I’ll just have it black.”  She turned to pour me some coffee and I glanced at the peace officer.  He was occupied with the third doughnut and paying no attention to me.  I reached down the neck of my t-shirt and grabbed a bill.  Fortunately it was only a 10, not something bigger.
Irene came back and put my coffee next to the bag with my donut, “three dollars” she said.  I handed her the 10, got my change , put a buck in the tip jar and took a seat as far away from the cop as possible.  I tried to look nonchalant.
Did I break the law? Not sure.  I was minding my own business, looking at new jet packs in the window at Sears.  They were Craftsman brand so they would be top quality I knew.  Little pricy though.  I was distracted by a loud crash and a commotion in the street.  There had been an accident.  I hurried around the corner and saw it all over the road.  Money, lots and lots of money.  All denominations seemed to be well represented.  The armored car had rolled and the doors had apparently popped open.  The drivers were already out and chasing their precious cargo down the street.  The pile of money at my feet seemed to be singing to me:
“No one’s been harmed
No one’s been hurt
Please pick us up
And put us in your shirt”
So I did.
As soon as I did, I felt guilty.  Not too guilty though.  I made my way down the block with full intentions of making myself scarce.  I couldn’t wait to see how many dead presidents I had just liberated.  The doughnut shop was a port of opportunity.
Time is up. Put down your writing implements and step away from the paper. 

12 January 2013

The prompts were:
1. He tried to look like he had a little money
2. The sharp report pierced the air
3. But hey, I’m big in Japan

Begin writing
Don’t know what came over me this morning.  I woke up about three minutes before the alarm went off and didn’t have to endure that sudden and raucous ringing that never failed to leave me hanging from the ceiling by my fingernails.  The coffee was done brewing so, no waiting for caffeine.  The pilot on the water heater did not go out last night so there was hot water for my shower.  I found a clean shirt in the closet so I did not have to rummage through the hamper for my wardrobe.
Maybe, now that I think about it, all of these good omens WERE what came over me this morning.  All signs are pointing towards a good day.  Still have to go to work though… Still have to spend at least 8 hours cold calling people I have never met and try to sell them something.  Wonder what we are selling today?
I’m a good salesman and a better telemarketer.  Over the course of my career I have sold strangers everything from bibles to cologne.  Time shares, insurance, investment opportunities, flooring and new roofs.  I guess it’s true what they say, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” “You just happened to answer the phone at the right time.” “Once in a life time opportunity.” And so on and so on.
I never aspired to be a telemarketer when I was growing up.  Like most kids I wanted to be a rock star or a sports hero.  Telemarketing was something I just fell into and found I had a talent for.
I answered a blind ad in the newspaper’s “Help Wanted” section of the Classifieds.  This was back when newspapers had Classified Sections.  Hell, this was back when they had newspapers. I had tried to look like I didn’t need a job.  I had tried to look like I had a little money so I had spent my last three bucks to get a new haircut for the interview.  The interview was downtown at 2133 Piedras Blvd.  2133 Piedras turned out to be a staircase between a dive bar and a thrift store.  It did not look promising at all but, I had come this far, so I went up the stairs.
The door on the landing was propped open so I peeked in first.  There were probably thirty people; men and women, old and young, and all of them were speaking on the phones.  They all had reams of paper in front of them and they were scribbling furiously as the spoke.  This was back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and before computers roamed the office.
A big guy with thin hair, long jowls and a red face looked up and motioned for me to come over.
Time is up. Put down your writing implements and step away from the paper.

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19 January 2013

The prompts were:
1. The drag queen walked into the dairy queen
2. The nanny
3. Before night falls

Begin writing
The drag queen walked into the Dairy Queen.  He wasn’t moving very fast so the building was undamaged.  His nose might have been broken though.  I had hoped to not have to worry about shit like this.  My shift at the hospital was over and all I wanted was a chocolate dipped cone and to be left alone.  But, I was bound to go and offer assistance else my Hippocratic oath would be reduced to a hypocritic oath.
I got out of my car and approached the drag queen.  “Are you OK?” I asked, “That looked like it might have hurt.”  As drag queens go, this one was singularly unattractive.  His 5 o’clock shadow was a bit too predominate. So was his eye makeup.
“I’ll be OK” he sniveled and looked up at me, “I guess my Karma is catching up to me today.”  His eyes were tearing up and his nose was flattened to the right side of his face.
“I can call you an ambulance so that you can have that looked at.” I pointed to his nose. “Wait, what do you mean your karma is catching up to you?”
“I’ve been a jerk all day.  I probably deserve this” he looked down and continued, “when I left the house this morning the first thing I saw was that my neighbors dog had pooped on my lawn again.  That started it. I scooped it up with a shovel and deposited it on his car.”
I laughed, “that’s not so bad” I said.
“There’s more though.  When I got to work I was immediately told to go the boss’s office.  The found out that I had plagiarized all the collateral for the MacArthur account.  I got fired.”
“OK, that’s a bit worse but I don’t think you deserve a broken nose for it.”
“There’s more though. The landscapers were at the building when I was escorted out.  I grabbed a chainsaw off their truck and took out two trees in front of the building before I had to run for it.  Security was running after me and I could hear sirens approaching.”
“I got away by running into a residential neighborhood and through back yards.  I found this yellow sundress on someone’s clothes line and took it.  I thought a disguise might help me get away.  I can’t go home because the cop’s will be there.  My frock did not match my shoes or black socks so I had to steal these pumps from Payless and some makeup from the CVS”
“You should have stolen a bottle of foundation to cover your beard,” I quipped.
“It’s not funny,” he sobbed, “I have been wandering around the city all day doing terrible things.  I filled all the handicapped parking spots with shopping carts at the super market.  I pushed the buttons for a walk signal to cross busy streets just so the traffic would have to stop.  I didn’t even want to cross the street.  I stole apples from the farmer’s market,
Time is up. Put down your writing implements and step away from the paper.

26 January 2013

The prompts were:
1.  When I dug up the box I found…
2.  Varsity blues
3.  This is quite a performance you’re putting on

Begin writing

This is quite the performance you’re putting on she thought to herself as she pushed her curly red hair back behind her ears again and peered down from the parapet at the crowd below.  She wondered if insanity was hereditary or if it was the result of outside stimuli.  Maybe it was a disease. Maybe it was contagious.  Maybe she had caught it from her mother years ago.  Maybe she had caught it from Saul.  Her mother had been a crazy bitch, for sure.  Saul had just been… deficient.

They had both helped her to make a lot of money but she had sacrificed so much, so much more than she realized at the time.  She turned her head a bit and averted her eyes when the angle of the spotlight made her squint.  She wished that the crowd would quiet down some.  She couldn’t quite make out what the policeman with the bullhorn was yelling at her.  Didn’t really matter though.  She was going to leave as soon as she finished this bottle of bourbon.  It was already more than half gone and it wasn’t a big bottle.  That was another amusing thing about her current situation…bourbon, she didn’t even like bourbon.  She was a white wine and barbiturates kinda gal.  Meth was nirvana when she could get it.  What the hell was she doing with bourbon?  She couldn’t remember.

When she had been on TV everyone loved her, or at least it had seemed that way at the time.  She thought her mom had loved her but if that had been true why did Mom call her, Baby BooBoo?  What a stupid name.  She thought Saul had loved her and she had certainly loved him.  She had loved him so much she had given herself to him when she was only 9 years old.  He had accepted the gift – serious character flaw.  Billy, her bodyguard in those days, must have suspected something because she had never been allowed to be alone with Saul again after that one night.  Saul had come to work a few days later with his nose bandaged and two black eyes.  He had told everyone that he had had some work done. What did she know? She accepted that BS at face value and Saul had died of a heroin overdose less than a year later.  Seriously flawed, for sure.

Mom had told her that Baby BooBoo was a name that Saul and the producers had insisted she use for the sake of the show but, when she had confronted the staff they told her that it was mom who had insisted.  Not that it made any difference now, the damage was done.

Another long pull on the bottle and another glance below.  The cop with the bullhorn was still trying to tell her something, she thought, but she still couldn’t make it out through the noise of the crowd.  There were a lot more news vans now than there had been and a helicopter was circling above.  It had spotlights too.  Lord knows this was not the first time she had been in a spotlight but, it had been years.  And, the years had not been kind.  She was only 26 but when she looked in the mirror it was an old wrinkled toothless hag who peered back.  The hard living had taken its toll.  Although she had amassed millions before she was a teenager it was all gone.  Gone to unscrupulous agents and show business characters, gone to meth dealers, race tracks, and casinos.  Gone to finance speak easys and saloons.  Drinking establishments that had started out as the Ritz and somehow now all seemed to be the type with grime on the bar tops and three or more TV sets showing sporting events of one type or another.  She was a drinker now.  A serious drinker when she could afford it.  Methamphetamines were cheaper than booze though and the haze came quicker.  Ahh, the haze!  When she was in the haze she could forget that she had been Baby BooBoo.  She could forget everything and just drift.

Another pull on the bottle, damn, it’s empty.  Time to go.  She balanced on the edge and looked down.  Only eight stories but that should be enough.  Gonna find a haze that lasts forever.  

Time is up. Put down your writing implements and step away from the paper.