writing

ZOZO 12.01.23- Friday Nights

Written in 15 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard



Larry dragged himself out of bed and, with eyes half open, stumbled to the kitchen. His hair was wild atop his head. The stubble on his cheeks was coarse and sandpaper rough. His boxer shorts did not hang straight, they were twisted around his waist, misaligned. The taste of battling dragons lingered in his mouth.

He had one thought. He needed a pitcher of bloody Marys to cut the pain lurking in the shadows behind his eyes. To silence the screams of the dragons, put them back into their lairs, and organize his thoughts.

Saturday mornings.
Saturday mornings suck.
Why do others always villainize Mondays, when it takes all day Saturday to approach even a semblance of normalcy.
Saturday mornings suck.

Friday nights, on the other hand…
Friday nights were fine! True freedom
On Friday nights Larry was always rich. Money was no object.
He was handsome,
good looking,
wise,
funny and entertaining.
But when Saturday morning rolled around, his head usually hurt. Hurt bad.

##

time’s up – step away


The prompts

  1. lonely indecision
  2. bloody Marys
  3. Friday night

writing

ZOZO 05.01.23- Nancy Pérez-Quiñones

Written in 10 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard



Elizabeth held her breath as the emcee announced the winner.

“Miss Alamogordo!” he exclaimed and the crowd went wild. Liz turned to the right and spotted the winner down the row of beauty queens.

It was Nancy Pérez-Quiñones.

Of course, it was.

And, she was feigning surprise.

She wasn’t surprised.

In fact, Nancy was probably the one who had stolen Liz’s own lucky underwear.

The French cut pink ones.

The ones that, had she been wearing them today, would have ensured Liz’s coronation.

Nancy was from Tularosa. She knew that Liz had lucky underwear. They had attended grade school together. Liz had worn those panties when she won “Otero County Rodeo Queen”. Elizabeth had foolishly told Nancy that she attributed that win to her new found lucky undies.

Fuck Nancy Pérez-Quiñones!

She was such a bitch.

What had that malicious she-devil done with the charmed undergarments?

##

time’s up – step away


The prompts

  1. beauty contest
  2. blood
  3. lucky underwear

writing

ZoZo 15.December.22- A Couple of Prompts means A Couple of Go’s

Written in 16 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard



First Go

You’ve changed, she said

I should hope so

The old you would never have said that. Why did you say that now?

I thought about her question for a while, because, I’m not that old me, anymore, I replied This is another me. I didn’t like that other guy anymore. I grew weary of having him around. No one liked him. He was a Dick.

Well, you weren’t that bad, although you did tend to revel in your authority, or at least the authority you believed you had.

Yeah, you hit the nail on the head there. I learned about authority when I decided to change.

I learned about authority when I began to remake myself.
I figured out that the only one I could even pretend to have authority over was myself, and I had no business trying to tell anyone else what to do or when to do it, or how it should be done.

You’re still kind of a Dick though, she advised.

I know, but I’m working on it.

Second Go

Detective Constable Sue Holmes pushed open the door of the ancient brick garage beneath the bridge and shone her torch into the gloom. The stench was overpowering and she backed out. She pulled a scarf from her jacket pocket and tied it around the lower part of her face. She went back in and looked around.

Later, on the hand held, she called it into the precinct.

“I’ve got a possible 187,” she reported to dispatch, “although, it looks more like a sacrifice than a simple murder. You should send backup and a coroner. I haven’t found his head yet. I’m still looking.”

##

time’s up – step away


The prompts

  1. looks more like a sacrifice
  2. another me
  3. the apple revels in its authority

writing

ZoZo 08.December.22 Chapman

Written in 20 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard



The wedding party reached Bachfok just before sunset on a parade of Elephants. The bride and her family filled the front of the procession. The groom and his supporters were in the rear. It was a strict separation except for a few guests who intermingled in the centre. The maid of honour and the best man scandalously rode together on the same beast about halfway down the procession.

The bride, known as Min-ha, was from a wealthy family of landowners outside the capital. Their holdings included the vast farmlands and orchards near Kebel. The groom was an American, Daniel Chapman, who rumour had it was a deserter from the military in 1967, finding his way out of Vietnam and eventually settling here. Of course, that had been long ago. He had assimilated and spoke the language fluently by now. He was closer in age to his father-in-law than to his bride, a fact he was most proud of, but which his new family viewed with significant disdain. His saving grace, and the reason his father-in-law had agreed to the union, was that Daniel was quite wealthy. He had assimilated well into the culture of his new country and now controlled over 50% of the country’s opium production, which was vast. The combined families represented over 20% of the entire food and drug production of their little corner of SE Asia, and all was good… for a while.

It was about ten years later when Min-ha’s father passed. His body had become emaciated by his addictions and his zest for life. He was so slight and weakened that no one noticed he was dying. No one heard his dying words, no one, except Chapman, who now stood to inherit the entire fortune: all that his wife’s family had owned for generations and everything that he, himself, had accumulated since escaping Vietnam.

##

time’s up – step away


The prompts

  1. nobody heard his dying words
  2. this is all my fault
  3. arriving by elephant

writing

ZoZo 17.November.22 Spycraft

Written in 15 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard



Marquez walked nonchalantly to the park bench and sat at the end, just as he had done for the three days previous. The first day he had sat for 15 minutes and when no one appeared he left. The second day he sat alone for 30 minutes before departing. Yesterday he waited for only five minutes.

Today, almost immediately after he sat down a tall, thin, woman; with long, straight, dark hair sat down next to him. She carried a tiny dog in her purse.

“Do you have the diamond?” he said aloud, albeit softly enough that only his new companion could hear.

She sat up straight and dug around the dog to retrieve package and a lighter. She pulled a long slender cigarette from the pack and lit it, inhaling deeply, “Indeed,” she said as she exhaled, “In the cigarette pack.” She set the cellophane package on the bench next to her leg.

Marquez retrieved the package, brushing his fingertips along her thigh as he did. He felt the package and looked in from the top, before smiling, and proffering a single brass key on a chain, “Lincoln Street bus station, locker 223,” he said as he stood beginning to walk away. Then as if suddenly remembering something he turned back. “I felt something when I brushed your leg,” he said, “did you feel it too?”

She just scowled at him.

“Would you be interested in joining me for a grilled cheese lunch at the diner?” He continued.

She shook her head.

Marquez stared at her face longingly, then turned and left the park via the south path.

##

time’s up – step away


The prompts

  1. do you have the diamond
  2. outside of your comfort zone
  3. best time of day

writing

ZoZo 03.November.22 A Greedy Man

Written in 10 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard



In his twisted mind the twisted memories spun around and around the synapses that stood like signposts and navigational aids to mark the way.
His Mother
his money
his job
his Lovers
his Wife…
And his legacy.
There was even a dog, that seemed to spring from nowhere, she was named Kona.
The man could never have enough
he could never be satisfied
and only the best would sooth his tortured soul
even then, it was only for a little while. The thirst could never be quenched.
He wanted the moon
he wanted the stars
money meant nothing to him.
He had enough.
Pleasure, pain, debauchery.
Those were what he craved,
longed for.
He had forsaken his mother, his wife and the dog
he lived for his lovers and for
experiences with which he was
unfamiliar.
How long could this go on?

There was a twisted man who walked a twisted mile
To reach a twisted house filled with twisted desires

And pain
Pain
There would always be pain – no escaping it.

##

time’s up – step away


The prompts

  1. the greedy man
  2. twisted memories

writing

ZoZo 20.October.22 The circle of life.

Written in 20 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard



Enid had that old red suitcase. She’d had it for years. It had been her Mama’s suitcase before she passed away.

Enid was a trouper, a show girl, an actress, just like her Mama had been. That suitcase had traveled back and forth, across the country, at least a couple hundred times. Mostly on trains, but sometimes in the back of an automobile or a pickup truck; the stories that bag could most likely tell.

It was covered in embroidered patches now, New York, Atlanta, LA, Chicago, and Denver, just to name a few. Enid had made it a point to visit as many of the places that her Mama had done. She worked in many of the theatres where her Mama had worked, too. Even played some of the same parts that she had played, sang the same songs that she remembered her Mama used to sing to her as they rode the rails. Sometimes in first class, sometimes in boxcars.

The show must go on! There was always work, for a talented and versatile performer. That’s what Enid had learned from Mama. Don’t let yourself become dependent on some no good man. She had learned that too.

Enid never knew who her father was. She didn’t need to know. She was an independent woman.

She had spent some time with men, just like her Mama had done when a show ran for a long time. That mostly happened in big cities, Like New York, or San Francisco, or Dallas. Not too long ago she had spent almost six months in Kansas City, of all places. She had met a gentleman there, a stagehand, who claimed to be a distant relative of Wyatt Earp. He had been a kind man and she had allowed him to become a little more familiar than she mighta should have. It wasn’t the first time, but now she was beginning to feel a little nauseated in the mornings. Her appetite was off.

She suspected that she was going to pass this suitcase on to her own daughter soon.

##

time’s up – step away


The prompts

  1. so kind of you
  2. a battered old suitcase
  3. where we’ve been

writing

Zozo- 29.Sep.2022 Breaking the Ice

Written in 20 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard


They say that you can’t go home again, and it’s true. I tried it once and wound up sitting with all my family members talking over the rim of my coffee cup to anyone who happened to be sitting on the other side of the table. It sucked. I couldn’t think of anything to say. I had nothing in common with these people anymore, and I somehow lost my ability to relate a story. Any story.

That first evening, I started telling my cousin Renee about a time when I had the flu and she didn’t really seem interested at all. I figured out why when I learned she wasn’t my cousin, Renee. She was a friend of my cousin who had stopped by to pick Renee up and go to a concert at the Event Centre.

I asked who they were going to see and she told me the name of an artist I had never heard of. She added that they were going to be late if my cousin wasn’t ready soon.

“We’re going to miss the opening act!” she complained.

“Who is that?” I asked.

“Some old group I never heard of.” She told me. “Fleetweed something or other…”

“Fleetweed Mud?” I queried.

“I don’t know, maybe. They’re supposed to be pretty good though. My mom used to like them.”

“Tell you what,” I suggested. “Why don’t you and I go? Renee doesn’t seem that interested, she’s not even here, and I used to like Fleetweed Mud. If that’s the opening act, I wouldn’t mind seeing them.”

“Let’s go then.” She said, and then she introduced herself, “I’m Marie.”

“You want me to drive Marie?” I asked. “I’ve got some weed in my luggage, Let me get it.”

“Oh, not for me, I don’t smoke that stuff.”

“I know, I have some homemade mescaline. I’ll get that instead.”

She smiled and jingled her keys. “I don’t mind driving.”

##

time’s up – step away


The prompts

  1. have some of this
  2. a dog wandered
  3. had the flu
  4. talking over the cup rim

writing

ZOZO- 22.Sep.2022 Cowboy Burt

Written in 20 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard


Burt got down from his horse, Ranger, and untied the canteen. As he drank he walked to a point of land that afforded a panoramic view of the valley that stretched below. Nothing but rocks, dirt, and cactus as far as the eye could see.

Goddamn, this stinkin’ desert, he thought outloud, speaking to no one in particular, merely pronouncing the fact.

He returned to Ranger and pulled some hard tack and jerky from the saddlebag before walking back to the point, where he settled down beneath the spreading branches of a large Cholla. He leaned back and made himself comfortable and looked up at the empty sky. Only the contrails of a couple fighter jets, long ago vanished over the horizon, and a flock of buzzards circling nearby, to the east.

Burt fell asleep in the mottled sun that made its way through the branches of the large cactus. He dreamed.

In his dream he shared a bed with Consuela, they made love and then lay together. He studied her bedroom eyes and ran his hands across her smooth and supple body.

“I wrote a poem for you, Burt,” she whispered, as she nuzzled her lips against his neck. Her breath warm on his skin.

In his contentment Burt could only manage a rumbling, “Hmmm. Let’s hear it, Cariño.”

Consuela sat up and leaned back against the cactus. She pulled the bed sheet up and held it beneath her breasts. Then she stared at the empty sky, cleared her throat, smiled, and recited softly, “There was a cowboy from Nantucket…”

“I like it already,” Burt interrupted her.

##

time’s up – step away


The prompts

  1. bedroom eyes
  2. made up and written down
  3. an empty sky

writing

ZOZO- 07.Sep.2022 An Exercise in Writing

Written in 20 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers- Raw, unedited, exactly as it flowed through my fingers to the keyboard


He staggers forth from The Dew Drop Inn
drunk on the heady perfume of whiskey, country music, and whores trying to earn a quick buck.
Daringly he ventures into the darkness, all alone, and
puts slow moving lampposts to good use as props.
Walking sticks to keep him upright.
Unseeingly he passes the night bugs as they fly towards the lamps like screaming Zeros.


Crawling bugs who move across the pavement and along the walls.
He cannot see them but intuitively he knows that some will be be rolling silently in the mud that lies curbside.He slides up the street to where his truck awaits, and
a buttery crescent moon, holding water, floats lazily overhead.
It looks like Cheshire cat, or
the grin of a fool.
Or maybe, maybe like the expression on the face of the magician whose newest illusion
has just worked perfectly.

The crowd is amazed.     

##

time’s up – step away


The prompts

  1. a buttery moon
  2. Is that all
  3. crawling the walls