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

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

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
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
There would always be pain – no escaping it.


time’s up – step away

The prompts

  1. the greedy man
  2. twisted memories

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

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

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

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

ZOZO- 22.Aug.22 The Writer

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

“I’ll see you in helllll…” Timmons, the evil landowner, yelled as his fingers slipped from the railing and he plummeted into the abyss.

I stopped typing and adjusted my cheaters to read what I had just written. Then pushing away from the desk, I reached for the glass that still contained a couple drops of whiskey which I leaned back and coaxed down my neck.

Yeah, I thought to myself, that wraps everything into a neat package. I like my bad guys’ dead and this bad guy was gonna have plenty time to think about what awaited him before he was flattened on the rocks below. Now all I need do is get Winston back to the ranch to rescue Amanda. They can live happily ever after.

I was feeling pretty proud of myself when it occurred to me that this drivel I was congratulating myself for was too formulaic, too predictable. It was a load of crap. Immediately, impulsively, I picked up the two hundred and thirty-seven stacked neatly on the desk return and  dropped them into the bin. My readers deserved better, and so did I.

Pulling my bottle from the lower desk drawer I poured a healthy shot into the glass. I rolled two sheets of blank paper beneath the platen, put my hands behind my head and considered my story.

Timmons needed to end up with Amanda who, it turns out, has loved him since high school, but had been afraid of expressing her emotions. Now that her true feelings are out they will marry and have a passel of kids who will grow up to be politicians. They will control the county and become even bigger landowners. Winston needs to end up destitute, maybe horribly disfigured, or even, killed in the war, without anyone really caring.


time’s up – step away

The prompts

  1. twisted memory
  2. I deserve better
  3. I’ll see you in hell


ZOZO- 11.Jul.22 The Young and the Useless

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

Janet got up off the sofa, pointed the remote to mute the television and crossed the room to answer the door. She wasn’t expecting it to be Robert. She wasn’t sure who she was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t Robert.

“Rob?” she said when she realized who it was, “What are you doing here? I mean, I wasn’t expecting you. What’s up?”

“I’ve been trying to call you all morning, Janet, but for most of the morning, all I’m getting is a busy signal. I thought I should come over and see if something’s wrong. ‘You OK?”

Janet knew that he would be getting a busy signal, but she didn’t think he would come over to check on her. She’d seen him on the caller ID the first three times he’d called and taken the phone off the hook. She didn’t want to talk with Robert. She was over Robert. She was over his sense of entitlement. She was over his misogynistic attitude. She was over his ego, and now he was here.

“Yeah, I’m OK,” she answered and she glanced over to the phone hanging on the wall by the breakfast bar, “Oh, shit, would you look at that! The phone’s off the hook. How’d I do that? Come on in, Rob. Let me turn off the TV.”

Picking up the remote she pressed the power button and watched today’s episode of ‘The Young and the Useless’ go black on the screen. She had been just about to find out if Dr Young was the father of Carrie’s baby. Damn.

Robert was a real pain in the ass. She was probably going to have to move out of town to get rid of him.

“Come on in, Rob. Want a cup of coffee? I’ve got some donuts that I picked up from the Piggly Wiggly. Most of them are Maple glazed but I may have some sprinkles.”


time’s up – step away

The prompts

  1. phone’s off the hook
  2. gotta move out of town


ZOZO- 04.Jul.22 He Said, She Said

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

“You’re just saying that because you’re high.” he said

“Not true, I really mean it, and besides I’m not high.” she said

“You gotta be,” he said, “Cause, I am, and you’ve been keeping pace all night long.”

“No. Now think about it. You come over to help whenever I need you. I never treat you like a guest. I take you for granted, serve you left overs, make you mow the lawn, fix my car, and paint the living room. You never complain, and you should. All I ever do is take advantage of you.” she rolled another, and reached for the matches. She held the flame to the tip of the blunt and lit it, inhaling deeply before she passed it over.

He drew deeply on the hand rolled cigarette and held the smoke in while he replied, “I don’t want you to think of me as a guest. I want you to think of me as a friend. The left overs at your house are better than the freshly baked goods at my house. I burn everything I try to cook.” He exhaled explosively, when he couldn’t hold the smoke in any longer.

“I just don’t want you to think I don’t appreciate everything you do for me.” she said and took the joint that he held out.

“I’ll let you know when to worry about that,” he said.

He leaned back in the chair and closed his eyes. He started humming an old Allman Brothers tune.

She set the smoke down in the ash tray and put her head in her hands. She fell asleep.

He dozed off and on for a while, but when he woke he pushed his chair back and made his way to the door.


time’s up – step away

The prompts:

    1. treat you like a guest
    2. left overs
    3. weed smoker’s regret

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