Aaooga! Aaooga!

With only one exception, it has been since July 1st since I have responded to an OWLG prompt. Obviously, my attention and creative energies have been focused elsewhere. This past week I’ve been snowed/iced in. Nothing better to do but write (well, there are several better things, but they can wait).

The following is a very fast, no over-thinking, “flashy” stab at the 75 prompts I’ve missed (75?!), plus the 3 new ones. I embraced the spirit of OWG to just jump in and go, fingers a-flyin’ over the keyboard. I made no attempt to develop or weave them together into any sort of story or stories. Mostly, it’s vignettes or simple turns of phrase.

The prompts are in bold. Happy New Year!

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In a more organic way‘ is one of those phrases that annoys me. A version of “keeping it real”, which is also annoying, it doesn’t have the gravitas people think because it always comes off sounding a shallow, corny turn of phrase. What does it actually mean? How does something come about, if not in an organic, or real way, because, what isn’t organic or real? The synthetic, or an alchemy, is not something of another dimension that doesn’t exist in our galaxy. Right? Real is real. Someone can really (pun intended) be a put-on. A thing’s evolution; it’s process comes from a basic starting point, whether its chemical base has been manufactured or has been left to its own devices, it’s “way” cannot be claimed it is any less “real” or “organic” than anything else. Natural vs. unnatural would be better.

===

“Chase and Veronica and the devil makes three,” the old woman scoffed. “Hope you lock ’em up and throw away the key.”
The detective asked, “What do you know about Chase and Veronica?”
“Ya know Bonnie and Clyde? HA! A figment of a Disney fantasy story, compared to those two.”

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Abigail approached everything in life like a girl with a grudge, cursing and snapping at anyone who dared speak to her. The worst of it was the obligatory visits to her grandparents family gatherings. She despised everyone of her relations, and particularly hated the way they were with each other when everyone was forced together. This time, she had had enough. She grabbed one of her grandmother’s favored antique Spanish porcelain figurines and hurled it down at her feet. It shattered in a million pieces when it hit the ground. Abigail stood definitely over the shards, glaring at everyone, silently daring them all.

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You lost more than your hair: You lost your faith. In yourself, and others. The world. I know you’ve been dealt a very bad hand, but many others before you have had to play that bad hand as well. Just keep living, and believe one day not only will your hair return, you’ll notice you feel alive again.

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Take her to church. The moment I read this prompt, the chorus refrain from the popular song, “Take Me to Church” popped in my head. Talk about being bewitched. Obviously, religion gets her all worked up.

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We’re going to the store. Need anything? Nope. I’m good. But, thanks for asking. (I mean, what else do you do with that prompt?)

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Earl emerged from the burned-out camp site, clawing his way across the hot, ashen ground. He slid into the river, submerging in the cool water. That was all he could remember. Sitting at the bar days later, slumped all the way over his beer, with dirt of the burnt ground still under his nails and smoke still in his lungs, Earl began to sob.

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Take away the dark, creepy forests; the ragged black clothing; the wild, untamed hair; the high-pitched cackling and the boiling cauldron. Strip all that away, and you still had a bevy of maniacal spirits. They were everywhere. Walking along the street, shopping in the stores, riding on the busses, working in the offices, drinking in bars and dancing in clubs. City witches, with their glowering stare from behind smokey eyes, long glossy locks, revealing fashion, spiked stilettos, blood-red lips sipping iced cocktails, and a mocking laugh to match their disdain.

===

Aggie’s shot rang out and a thousand blackbirds filled the sky, their deafening caws scattering the hands in all directions ducking for cover.

===

Daryl survived for years selling Persian carpets, bone China, sterling service ware and fine jewelry out of his car to gullible merchants up and down the Connecticut and Hudson Rivers.

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A bunch of fives,” Nadine quipped.
“What’ya mean, a bunch a’fives?” Bob replied.
“I mean, I have fives. A bunch of ‘em.”
“Well? show ‘em!”
Nadine laid the four fives out. Bob slammed his hand on the table.
“That mean I win?” Nadine asked.
Bob grunted.
“Hey, now. It’s just a game.”

===

Just because I don’t want you to live here, or that I can only take your company in very short visits, doesn’t mean I don’t love you.

===

C’mon down, you’re the next contestant on the Price is Right! (what else goes with that prompt? I ask you!)

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Adaku was accustomed to not only being one of the lone female scientists on a project, but the only Nigerian doctor any team of doctors, researchers or scientists encountered in their careers.

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“Scold me! Scream bloody murder! Tell me to leave and never come back! Whatever! Just, for fuck sake, say something!”
“Oh, OK, you want me to be some two-pot screamer? Some crazy bitch going all bat-shit on your ass? You got it. Fuck you! Just, fuck you! I got a jealous heart, alright? Not gonna apologize for that. Can’t…won’t forgive you. No way. So, this is how’s it gonna end. Right now. Just like that. Gimme your house keys.”

===

I love this city and will miss living here. It will make return visits all the sweeter. But, the time has come to move on so I can start writing the next chapter.

===

Robert slowly filed through the gently used love letters, noting the date on the stamp and the return addresses. Obviously, his grandmother read and re-read these many times over. His grandfather lived in dozens of places in those years. Robert couldn’t imagine how tortured his grandfather’s soul must have been when he finally returned home to discover his wife had been given only weeks to live.

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Whoa! You look amazing! Be still my heart!

===

From the bottom of the Tarot Reader’s deck, Dirk pulled a seven of clubs. Tina smiled. She finally got a man whose fate is a responsibility to honesty and integrity.

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Whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, except that it just might kill you, period. Just sayin’.

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It happened in 1863 in a hidden canyon just outside of Natchez. They say there were no screams, no wailing, no tears. No more did anyone ever hear from or see the McHenry clan again.

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Just tell ‘em I’m payin’ for everything. Then, the rest will be easy money.

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There was nothing like a summer’s late afternoon, thought Rocco, sitting in his rocking chair, sipping whisky in the shade of the giant oak, watching the occasional hawk soar by as the blue sky faded into evening’s gold, pink and twilight’s lavender.

===

He received letters from strangers begging him for help. It took time, but eventually, he cotton to the idea of becoming the kind of hero they were pleading for him to be.

===

Seated across from the man conducting the interview, Marisol hoped he couldn’t see her foot swinging from her crossed legs under the table. He seemed to have an endless number of questions, to which she patiently lied in every one of her replies. She almost never prayed, but, if the good Lord could see his way to getting her this job, Marisol silently promised she would end each day in Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrows lighting a candle to Saint Joseph instead of kicking up her heels and kicking back shots at Jose McMurphy’s.

===

Little Kelly kneeled over the dying calf, gently coaxing it. Grandpa knelt beside her, wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close. “She can’t hear you anymore, sweetie.”

===

“Notice the light? The way it falls on the floor through the cracks and broken seams in the wood?” asked Stephanie. “Can’t you see how cool this barn could be as, say, a summer event venue? Weddings? Concerts?”
The old rancher scoffed. “Concerts? You kiddin’?”
“Small concerts. Of course. Ensembles. Chamber music!”
The old rancher seemed to be considering the idea. “Nah,” he finally concluded. “Burn it down – for the nails.”

===

Be a world traveler for $15 or less! See street dogs, old shoes and an imaginary Arizona! Eight-year-old Mickey stood proudly beside the large poster he made from yellow butcher paper and watercolor paint. In his hand he held a basket with a small sign that read, ‘Deposit your $15 here. I like cash please.’

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Spit out the sun! Play your horn, Leo! Grab life and go, go, go!

===

Baseball cards and overcoats, table lamps and typewriters, the place was stacked from floor to ceiling with everything Albert needed to furnish his new apartment.

===

burgundy skies / look the devil in the eye / all the tears in the world / you’re my favorite kind of crazy

===

The bride’s waiting

===

The place was built by a great uncle, I think, or maybe a cousin, some generations back. At the time, it was located a good distance outside Halifax, but these days it sits comfortably in the suburbs. I nailed the windows shut and double bolted the doors. Tough to have to close the old family homestead up, but as the song goes, the times, they are a changin’.

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Whatever he believed, his was no god worth worrying about. Clearly consequence, kharma, the golden rule, or any of the rest of it had no place in his world. The ungrateful brute was selling truth out.

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He was just another Mr. Jones in the joint, with that sickly greenish-blackish color of a Kambaba Jasper stone.

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The sacred, or the grotesque, the roses and the weeds, the yin and yang, all of it is what makes life worth living. Afterall, you cannot appreciate the warmth of the bright yellow sun without the cold grey of the clouds.

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Tanya was one of them smoky hot girls you see behind the bar at the Five-n-Dime Tavern downtown, pouring the poor man’s poison by the gallon and dishing out whip-smart comebacks for every attempt the bastards tried at getting on her good side or in her pants.

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Girl Scout Cookie season was the one bright spot during the pandemic, because nothing about it had to change: Girls and their parents/scout leaders still set up card tables outside grocery stores hawking their goods. Any bit of life-as-expected last year was a God-send.

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The muliebral approach to spoiling for a fight is to be slow, but steady; constant and easy in the trick before taking the first swing.

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From his car he could see the dried, cracked and broken land on either side of the road for miles around. For the first time he felt afraid. Truly frightened.

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don’t explain …  brings another song to mind. Problem is, it’s been an age since I’ve heard it. “don’t explain” is part of a refrain, but I can’t think of any more of the song, nor who wrote/performed it. Ugh!

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El Paso princess, Ciudad Juarez darling, walking the border between childhood and womanhood, go toward your future with your head held high.

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Danny watched his mother walk away. He turned to look up at the strange woman holding his hand and then back at his mother, who now was driving off in her car. Years later, as an old man, he could still vividly recall the moment.

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belly full of gin / with a child too soon to be / dig two graves tonight

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Writing is not to be avoided! If it’s the thing that you can do all day long and feel nothing but happiness, even in the moments of frustration, then make it your go-to rather than your blow-off.

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The red Valentine cards with giant hearts cut from white paper doilies sat in their box on the kitchen table. Carol stared at them, fantasizing about how they would look if she ripped half the hearts off of each. 

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I’m on a one-way street to the next thing in my life. There’s no going back now. I am so excited! I’ve sold the condo and am renting a place close to work. So, what is next? That’s just it! I don’t know, but now I have the ability, the freedom, to go for it.

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“Apostrophe’s don’t make plural’s?”
Correct! Just asPh also phonetically makes an f. See what I did there? HA! Anyway, it’s simple, really.”

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The Lamberts opened their Orleans inspired restaurant, La Chèvre Poire et Vin, in June 2019. They were among the very first establishments that had to close only 2 weeks into the shutdown. Years of planning, gone in a moment.

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Red from the petrol station. This prompt seemed specifically about something for which I had no idea. So, I looked it up on the internet. Every time I type a question into a browser’s search, I always think of my father. He never got used to the immediacy of an internet search. For my parents and generations before, if you wanted an answer to a mystery, you took on discovery as you would a weeks or months-long project. It required many trips to reference libraries, news article archives, and, if you are lucky enough, a willing professional who would divulge insider information.

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5 thoughts on “Aaooga! Aaooga!

  1. Fantastic! I like what you’ve done here…missed having you around.
    On New Years I went to celebrate with friends. Got halfway to their house and realized that the bottle I’d planned to bring was still sitting on the kitchen table. I stopped and picked up a bottle of cheap red from the petrol station.
    Hope the new year treats you right.
    Embrace your writing – you’re too good not to.
    Enjoy the new digs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What I discovered: Red refers to a dye that’s added to fuel to identify it as the “correct” type in the correct vessel. Other colors are used, too. It’s designed to catch cheating merchants (selling home fuel as motor fuel to avoid higher taxes, etc). I have a friend who likes to joke that the gas station near her home is her “vintner”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is always a challenge in reading what others write to know what is fiction and what is not. I know I mi the two and it really is only me who knows what’s what. Whatever new good things you have in your future – may they continue.

    I enjoyed reading your prompted writing. Hope you are able to whether the weather! I was away and now I’m back to attempt a new year. I don’t make resolutions. I try and live in the moment. This year I get my ‘official’ Old Lady Card. That might help reduce the cost of my perscription for strengthening old bones. But hey the New Year has just begun and with pen in hand or keyboard at the ready we shall write! Right?

    All the best ~Jules

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading all of that! It really did help pass the time. Most of the snow/ice has melted, but the side roads are still a mess. I hope to stay on top of my writing this year!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We had that issue a few years (well quite a bit acutally) when neighborhoods are the last to be cleaned up. But there was an emergency and two plows, a firetruck and an ambulance had to get to a house. They ended up making a huge go round the block which helped clear us out. Or we would have been stuck (it was the blizard of ’96 I think).

        While there were some ‘crimpes’ we got to get away – to the Bahmas for just a few days. Hard to wake back up in 31 F weather 😉

        Happy New Year!!

        Liked by 1 person

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