Yes, this is filled with whisky

Yes, this is filled with whisky

Friday, July 22, 2016

The How The Hell Did Janet Get Pried Out Of New York? writing contest


Yes, dear readers, I am Not In New York this morning. Verily unto thee, I am on my way to Vermont. I'm not sure what one does in Vermont. Not ride the subway is likely. Not sneer at tourists is also likely. I think there are cows.  Perhaps one will be hollering "cowabunga!" on a skateboard....it's all deliciously uncertain!**


This great disturbance in The Force should be marked by a writing contest of course

The usual rules apply:

1. Write a story using 100 words or fewer.

2. Use these words in the story:
cow
league
road
trip
pry

3. You must use the whole word, but that whole word can be part of a larger word. The letters for the
prompt must appear in consecutive order. They cannot be backwards.
Thus: cow/cowabunga is ok, but pry/pretty is not.

4. Post the entry in the comment column of THIS blog post.

5. One entry per person. If you need a mulligan (a do-over) erase your entry and post again. It helps to work out your entry first, then post.

6. International entries are allowed, but prizes may vary for international addresses.

7. Titles count as part of the word count (you don't need a title)

8. Under no circumstances should you tweet anything about your particular entry to me. Example: "Hope you like my entry about Felix Buttonweezer!" This is grounds for disqualification.

8a. There are no circumstances in which it is ok to ask for feedback from ME on your contest entry. NONE. (You can however discuss your entry with the commenters in the comment trail...just leave me out of it.)

9. It's ok to tweet about the contest generally.
Example: "I just entered the flash fiction contest on Janet's blog and I didn't even get a lousy t-shirt"

10. Please do not post anything but contest entries. (Not for example "I love Felix Buttonweezer's entry!")

11. You agree that your contest entry can remain posted on the blog for the life of the blog. In other words, you can't later ask me to delete the entry and any comments about the entry at a later date.

12. The stories must be self-contained. That is: do not include links or footnotes to explain any part of the story. Those extras will not be considered part of the story.


Contest opens: 9am (EDT) 7/23/16

Contest closes: 9am (EDT) 7/24/16


If you're wondering how much time you have before the contest closes: click here.

If you'd like to see the entries that have won previous contests, there's an .xls spread sheet here http://www.colindsmith.com/TreasureChest/

(Thanks to Colin Smith for organizing and maintaining this!)

Questions? Tweet to me @Janet_Reid
Ready? SET?

Not yet!

SORRRY!!!!!! I got caught up in yammering to writers!!
I'm late opening the contest!
BAD AGENT




Sorry, too late, contest is closed.

:(


**All levity aside, I'm looking forward to being with the Vermont League of Writers at their conference, talking about query letters, and tormenting writers in person




51 comments:

Michael Seese said...

"Not The Flower"




You cower. Despite the swelter, you can't stop shivering. The voices are right above you. Poppa warned you about them. The men from the Dark League. Now they're here.

Words fall through the cracks like dust.

"Lilies? Yes, they're beautiful flowers. Oh..."

"Jennings Road. Can't say I'm familiar..."

"Broad daylight..."

"I’ll call if..."

Then silence. Again.

Someone begins prying up a floorboard. Gut-ripping fear gives way to relief when Poppa's face appears.

"Can I come out now?" you ask.

"Not yet, pumpkin. They might come back. Don't worry. You're not the girl they're looking for. I promise."

Erin Scruggs said...

Her sister tightens her corset, tying a bow. Yawning, her natural laughter hushed.

Exasperated by thoughts of another road to travel, another train, another safe place.

She quietly hums a ballet tune, in remembrance of a family trip to Moscow. Happier times. Prying her tired eyes from painted windows, she and her three sisters descend to the basement to join the others.

A rain of fire from bayonets. Smoke fills the underground. Her papa, her siblings silenced at once. Hidden jewels lining her corset sparing her. She spies a soldier, in league, they escape together.

Now, the reign of freedom.

Timothy Lowe said...

Prying the tiny body from the corpse’s jaws was going to prove difficult.

Killing the damn thing had been child’s play. Easy-peasy. First convince Daddy to take you to A Girl and A Gun Shooting League. Then learn the basics: stripping your firearm, loading your firearm, learning to hit the broad side of a barn.

Finally, corner the cowardly bastard. He’ll be busy, slobbering over his prize.

Yes, pulling the trigger had been simple. But getting Emmy back would require the jaws of life.

“I told you to let go,” Sarah said, peering at her doll in the dog’s mouth.

Sherry Howard said...



What in the hell is that?

Well, sheriff, seems to be a shark.

We don't have sharks in rural Vermont. You must be tripping.

No, sir. Shark, bull shark. Pry that mouth open, you'll see. Got a call about some cows with nips out of them. They can't get in their lake without that sumbitch taking a bite. Beat’s all.

That damn mystery writers league is in town again. Sounds like their idea of a joke. They need to take this thing and hit the road. Or just use the damn thing for target practice. Sharks don't belong here.

Marie McKay said...

She'd tripped while escaping; the pain in her ankle making her feel sick and cold.
She cowered now in the inkblot shadows, avoiding the prying gaze of the angry eagle who seemed in league with the mean rabbit at the doorway.
She saw the shape she feared the most growing larger; the monster on its road to finding her again. This time, she was cornered. Trapped. But for the dark and beautiful butterfly that cast its eyes across the room, and swept down to pick her up on giant wing. 

Dena Pawling said...


Blorg lowered the exit ramp and turned to his colleague. “Let us fulfill the purpose of our trip.”

They descended to the road. Pryt approached a retreating life form with a strange head covering. “Take me to your leader.”

“You idiot!” Blorg scowled, whacking Pryt upside his starboard head. Good help was so hard to find.

The life form turned. Blorg squinted, sounding out the words on the head covering. “Make... America... great... again...”

The life form shook its single head. “What leader?” It shuffled sadly away.

Defeated, Blorg and Pryt ascended the ramp.

No intelligent life here.

Steve Forti said...

Left at the intersection.

Right into traffic.

Left patience at home, rear-ended a pinstriped Miata.

Right place, right road to meet its driver.

Left her number with the insurance information.

Right words chosen to earn a first date.

Left our inhibitions behind.

Right to the jeweler, but need a loan. 15% APR. Yikes. Still worth it.

Left at the altar.

Right in the middle of the ceremony.

Left beleaguered by broken dreams.

Right to the bottom of a bottle.

Left my will to live behind.

Right where she stomped it out.

Left with one option – cowardice.

Right into traffic.

Megan V said...

Road trip.
Fields.
Corn all the way.
Parents up front want a league of their own.
They’re one player short though.
They need me.
Gossipry filters through their cracked windows.
Laughter skitters from the back.
The game is I spy.
Is it that? Is it this?
They give up, but can’t miss.
“Cow!”
Their world crashes into black and white.
Hello, it’s me.

abnormalalien (Jamie A. Elias) said...

It's a great day when I get to watch Graceful at work. The cowlick in his hair gets tossed around by the salty breeze. The sun glints across the words printed on the broad back of his wetsuit.

World Surf League.

The best triple whammy is headed our way.

I know if I can just grab onto the back of Graceful's board, he can teach me to be like him.

I let out a groaning "Whoops!" as I pry shards of Graceful out of my teeth.

Amy Schaefer said...

"Not to pry, but who keeps a thirty-year-old toothbrush?"

"It's lucky," grunted Boomer.

I sat back. Sunset cloaked the river as the sun dropped behind the skyscrapers ashore. 'Course, I was watching from a garbage scow, which kinda took the zing out of it.

Ignoring the stench, I adjusted my gloves and rejoined the fray.

Boomer stripped a blacked banana peel from his precious He-Man toothbrush and broke into a broad smile.

"Next time, eBay," I groused.

My ridiculously sentimental colleague and I rested atop the stinking trash, beneath a purpling sky, and gazed on creation.

Masters of the universe.

RosannaM said...

I slid a hundred into the slot machine, played once and cashed out. I did it a few more times, then hit the road. Casinos dotted the Pacific Northwest like the sprinkles on my twenty-first birthday cake, and I aimed to hit them all.

The pit boss scowled at me like I was out of my league, but dealt me in. Up eighty and I left. Losing money wasn’t in the plan. I had waited nine years for this trip. Nine years since I had had to pry the map to old man Cooper’s buried treasure from his stiffening fingers.

Mallory Love said...

Momma scoffed the first time I blamed Rebecca. The broken vase? Magic marker on the Cadillac? Chickens squawking through Momma’s Junior League meeting? All Rebecca. And all accusations met with skeptical scowls.

“Rachel, enough!” Momma yelled, prying congealed roadkill from the bathtub. “Rebecca didn’t do this. You know that!”

My jaw ticked just as my foot jerked out, accidentally tripping her on her way to the trash.

“I knew it! Rebecca’s your favorite.” The truth spat out.

Momma’s expression twisted. Solemnly staring, she backed out of the room.

Finally! She understood.

Glancing in the mirror, I grinned.

Rebecca smiled back.

Just Jan said...



Dad’s memory isn’t what it used to be.

He doesn’t remember the kids down the road who teased me for wearing long sleeves all summer. Or that I missed a season of Little League because of a broken arm. Or how, when my teachers tried to pry, he’d scowl and say, “She’s clumsy, I guess.”

“Did he trip again?” the visiting nurse asks, wincing at the fresh abrasion over Dad’s temple.

I nod, confident she won’t find the bruises decorating his rib cage or the burns that crisscross the back of his legs. “He’s clumsy. It runs in the family.”

Tamara Shoemaker said...

Tamara Shoemaker
Word Count: 99

I died at the hands of an angel with a stainless steel knife.

I studied the fierce eyes beneath the scowl that creased his broad forehead, and my mind whispered that he was out of my league.

He'd warned me not to pry. Every time he'd stripped his bloodstained gloves and tossed them in the bin, he'd speared me with a glance.

He was an angel who carved miracles into his patients' skins.

When his knife carved me, searing glory blinded me. He was an angel from the pit of hell with the blood of thousands on his hands.

french sojourn said...


I watched her from the shadows in a bush league, roadhouse bar. She was searching for redemption the same way she viewed the world, from the bottom of a shot glass.

I knew her, a cowed and broken woman. Her faith had rewarded her with a stillborn, a daughter that lived for five minutes, and a son missing in some foreign sandbox.

I tripped getting up and used my cane to balance myself. I wasn’t as spry as I used to be. I hobbled over.

“Excuse me,” I said to her.

She turned and froze.

“Don’t be so sad, Ma.”

DeadSpiderEye said...

By the time I caught up with Helf, he thought he'd sold me a cowslip, I decided to put him right on the subject, 'Where d'ya think you're goin''. Startled he turned and tripped in the road. 'Spill it Hefl,' I barked.

'Nein bitte nicht,' he protested.

As I yanked to him to his feet, it fell to the floor, 'Well what have we here'. He tried to pry it from my fingers as I retrieved it but it was too late, 'Marvin Spengler, junior league 1912, platinum edition, thanks Helf that's all I needed for the set'.

Beth said...


“What’d you and him do for fun here, anyway? Trip cows?”

“It’s tip cows, and no. Watch the road. It should be right along here.”

“There?” He pointed at a sagging mailbox, much beleaguered by woodbine and baseball bats.

“That’s it.” The lane petered out after a mile. “Now we walk.”

Three arguments, two hours of digging, and one hornet’s nest later, they were prying the lid from a metal box.

“How much?”

“He didn’t say.”

The box popped open.

“Stamps? Dude. He punked you good.”

“But he said --”

“They’re not even real. Look, the airplane’s upside down.”

Steph Ellis said...

Rory shrank from her cold fury. Brow-beaten and beleaguered he offered no defence; an act timed to perfection. Amy would get her damned road trip. And having told half the neighbourhood they were off, no one would come prying.

He allowed her to dismiss him, pausing only to give his usual pathetic smile, wanting to see the triumph in her eyes, the signal for him to finally act, to enjoy her realisation of fear and understanding as he carved the scowl deeper into her face. This was his moment and he was looking forward to the journey.

Colin Smith said...

Jonesy picked up the bat and weighed it in his broad hands. A Louisville Slugger, prime maple. He gripped the handle and swung at the air. It felt good. Light, but powerful. He checked his posture—legs apart, knees bent slightly—and remembered every word they said.

“You’re a minor leaguer, Jonesy.”

Crack.

“A coward.”

Crack.

“A liability.”

Crack.

“Take a trip—”

Crack.

“Find another job.”

Crack.

Jonesy wiped the sweat from his forehead, and kicked the broken body of Jimmy the Shark, smearing blood across Jimmy’s shag-top rya rug.

Jonesy smiled. He had just graduated to the Majors.

Craig F said...

I saw him sitting on the edge of the stage and plopped down next to him.

“Sorry I’m late, league play ran over. How’d it go?”

“You are looking at it.”

I saw two stoners who looked like they had lost their car during a roadtrip.

“Maybe Vermont isn’t the right place.”

“The people are here.”

“I’ve seen Pumpkin Chunkin too. I know it can pry people from the woodwork. Maybe it’s the theme.”

“The RC Cola and Moonpie festival is a big hit in Carolina.”

“Yeah but the Moxie and Cowpie festival doesn’t sound quite as appetizing.”

Leilani said...

She tripped along the road beside me, all innocent and coy. Jersey hussy! What did he see in that cow? But today, I would pry her loose from him.

“Go on,” I urged. “He’s waiting.”

She pressed the farmhouse bell with a single, dainty digit. Larson peered through the window. He scowled. “I ain’t fixin that gate again!”

I looked at the far side of the yard. After all, she and I were colleagues. I didn’t have to watch.

The lariat snaked over my neck. I jerked my head up, wild-horned. Wait! It’s supposed to be her! Hamburger her!

LizellaPrescott said...

The girl tripped along, fifty paces ahead of her mother. She wished she were anyone else’s daughter. Her mother was an abomination to the Lord.

She saw the farm boy loitering beside the muddy road, his back straight and hair bright. She hoped he would smile.

Instead, he sneered. “Whorespawn.”

She froze. He circled and clicked his tongue, touching her hair and pulling at her dress. She was frightened. Beleaguered.

A wet clod of dirt hit the boy in the face. He ran, cursing. Her mother wiped her hands on her skirt. Hester Prynne was a sinner, not a coward.

Claire Bobrow said...

Ben: I hate it when we have to bury one.

Jerry: City dweller got in over her head.

Ben: Found her with a spoon clutched in her hand. Couldn't even pry it loose.

Jerry: Yeah, she was out of her league.

Ben: Guess it was the fudge cows that got her.

Jerry: Or maybe the coffee liqueur.

Ben: Total shame. Not like the road's paved with ways to use chocolate cookie crumb swirls.

Jerry: Pretty trippy name, too.

Ben: Vermonty Python? Yeah, the Flavor Graveyard's full of 'em.

Jerry: Shoulda given that city dweller Pfish Food, like she asked for.

Richa Agni said...

Don’t play God. The words of the self-righteous and the ignorant. When the first “prototypes” moved, those people finally shut up, scowled to themselves, left him alone. No God here, anyway, he figured.

When they stood up, walked long enough to trip over their own feet, he shut himself in. His colleagues worried, but they had no business to. What he’d done was far beyond them all.

Soon the “prototypes” were spry, could make any athlete seem like a zero. Add in the intelligence, and—

After this, everyone would believe in a God, and it would be him.

Sara Halle said...

The maple monopoly had been stripped of power, thanks to my Quebec syrup heist. Ben, Jerry, and cow colleagues had vowed to support me. Away from prying eyes, I congratulated myself.
Then an unexpected visitor arrived.
"It's been a long time," I stammered.
"I get better with age." He smiled. "Unlike you."
Anger flashed, but as always I kept my cool. "You want something?"
"You're gonna hit the road. I'm the big cheese here."
I laughed. "Not anymore — I rule Vermont now."
"That's why I brought outside help." Cheddar nodded toward the door. "Ice cream — meet my cousin from Wisconsin."

Celia Reaves said...

Hey, whatcha doin’?
Huntin’! See ‘er over yonder?
Aw, man, you’ll get in trouble.
Like when you stole a Guernsey that time?
That’s tripe! I wuz framed!
Anyway, seein' how folks ‘round here feel ‘bout them things, I’ll be a hero, a damn hero.
Mebbe. Whatcha usin’ for shot?
These here ex-presso beans.
Yep, that oughta work.
Here she comes. Almost…
Jehosephat! Stop! Get in the Jeep!
‘R’ you loco? What the--?
Can’t you see all them teeth?
Holy--She’s one o’ them sharks! Run!
* * * * *
With apologies to the good people of Vermont.

Johnell DeWitt said...

Farmer Pryor snored over the dainty trip of hooves and the clatter of keys as Mabel scurried by. He’d missed his morning coffee, and nothing could wake him. Not even his truck backfiring as three of his Jersey cows rumbled down the road.
“We’ve done it,” squealed Mabel. “Big Apple, here we come!”
“I hope it’s a Macintosh? That’s my fave,” said Daisy.
“Daisy, you’re dumber than straw,” said Gladys. “We’re going to New York City.”
“City? Don’t you think we’ll stick out?” asked Daisy.
“Of course not, we’re Jerseys.”
Thus began the adventures for the League of Unrepentant Cows.

Patricia Cox said...

“Daisy and I are engaged. Don’t have a cow.”

“A lowly stripper.” His mother beleaguered him. “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? You’re udderly ridiculous. She’s milking you for your money.”

He tried buttering her up, but mom hadn’t wanted to chew the cud.

He took stock of the situation. The steaks were high. Talking till the cows came home would solve nothing. A road trip to the pasture would.

The shovel clinked against some cow chips as he patted the dirt pile.

“Enjoy the bovines, mother.” He spryly hoofed it as he left.

Jennifer Delozier said...

Hey Diddle Diddle

The Dairy News: “Spry Cow Botches Lunar Leap!”

Lil’ Dog sniffed at the headlines. “I bet against her in Vegas, and lemme tell ya, I won big. You know what that bovine braggart said? ‘I’m in the big leagues now, baby. Saturn or bust.’” He tossed another steak on the grill. “I told her to hit the road.”

“Udder shame. Probably tripped over Jupiter, or something.” Cat fiddled with his dish. “Where’d you get these steaks? Outta this world. You could cut ’em with a spoon.”

Lil’ Dog laughed. “One guess, sport. I’ll give you one guess.”

RKeelan said...

"Have you met my colleague, Mr. Buttons?" He held up a clown puppet with buttons for eyes.

"Hello!" He modulated his voice and bobbed the puppet. "We queried you!"

I screwed my eyes shut, picturing the headline:

NYC AGENT KILLED IN FIASCO WITH CLOWN

"You requested a full from us."

My eyes opened. "...I did?"

"It's about a small town clown on a road trip to New York City."

I remembered that one. It was... good.

My eyes slid over to the clown. "Which of you wrote it?"

"I did."

Mr. Buttons began to clap.

"Rye whiskey?" I offered.

Robert Ceres said...

"Hey!" I flopped onto the sofa, hugging Amy's dad, and flashing leg. “Can I use your shower? There’s a line upstairs.”

"Morning Lea. Guest bath’s right there,” he said, smiling broadly and prying free.

We chatted, his eyes never below mine, until he asked about Dad.

I left. Washed my ugly face, chest, cow breasts, legs, everything between. Almost felt clean, wrapped in steam, safe in my dream.

I dressed in my sweatshirt, ripped jeans, and cap.

We made pancakes. He called me his extra daughter.

Party over, Amy said goodbyes. Time to leave. Pray.

He looked over. "You okay?"

Brigid said...

Lucinda was the kind of fairy who wore 10,000 league boots to squaredance. Lovely lady (spry dancer), but only the desperate asked for her help.

"Typically one quests to earn wishes," Lucinda said peevishly. "Rescuing my cow, or waving a broadsword heroically."

"But that's for 3 wishes. I only need one. Please."

Lucinda sighed. "Choose wisely, speak carefully."

"I would like a basket that fills itself with any food I request."

"That's IT?" A basket appeared with a pop. "What are you? Queen of a starving country? A failing chef?"

She spoke around her chicken. "Oh no, pregnant with triplets."

Uncle Blodge said...

Two miles to Smallville. I knew I was in the country; every field had cows in it.
This road trip had better be worth it. If this kid were for real, it would be.
The greatest prospect ever, safe from prying eyes in this little town.
The directions said three miles, look for the grey house with the twin silos.
There it is. I park, get out and walk to the door.
A couple is waiting for me.
“Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Kent. I’m here to see if your son wants to play major league baseball for the Chicago Cubs.”

Peggy Rothschild said...

They parted a quarter-LEAGUE from Grandma’s. Following the stranger’s suggestion, Vermelho plucked trailside flowers and fashioned a nosegay before finishing the journey.

The front door stood open. Odd. Ma said Grandma wasn’t feeling too sPRY. Vermelho pushed back her hood and entered. A form huddled on the narrow cot by the hearth.

“Grandma?”

Beneath a frilly nightcap, hairy ears twitched, hungry eyes sCOWled.

What big teeth!

One razor-sharp poinT RIPped her cloak. Vermelho chucked the bottle of Madeira at her attacker, fleeing through the woods to the safety of the village ROAD.

She never should’ve talked to the wolfish stranger.

Angel L. said...

The crumbling lines, obviously once roads, littered the seabed below. Disappointment cradled in my chest. This is not what I wanted to find twenty thousand leagues under the sea.

A fin passed by at the edge of my vision and I craned my neck, tripping in my attempt to see. Bright green eyes struck me, stilling me briefly.

I shrank, cowering when I heard her voice slither in my mind compelling me to do it. My hands moved of their own volition. Careless as they turned the locks, prying open the door and releasing me into the deep.

Karen McCoy said...

Beleaguered, he squeezed his overlarge body into the golden chair. “I’ll bet I could get a milkshake and a grilled cheese at the White House at 3am. What gives?”

“Hotel has different rules,” I said, effete. “I’ll keep trying.”

“Stinks. I always get milkshakes on the road.”

True enough. Newspapers were already comparing him to bloated dairy cows.

The phone rang.

“Good news?” he asked when I’d hung up.

“Trip is set, Hound Dog,” I said with a spry in my step. “You’ll get to experience White House dining after all.”

Katie Loves Coffee said...

A deafening roar was my only warning. I threw my beleaguered frame across the yellow line to avoid the irony of getting flattened mere moments after bolting from my prison. I tripped on the loose gravel of the shoulder before righting myself and taking one last look - the metal cage had lost its shine but not its menace. Bessy chewed her cud, utterly disinterested in my plight. Of course, a cow won’t pry or wax philosophical. Only a human would ask a question when the answer was so clear. Why would I cross the road? Escape, dear friends. Escape.

Michael J. Craft said...

"Don't step onto the road," the sheriff shouted. "Lest you wish for arrest."

I turned to my fellow Activists, made courageous eye contact with my brother. Rain fell on our heads, over our eyes. We made our stand at the sidewalk's edge.

"You cannot herd us like cows," one of my Activists said.

"We're trained ranchers." The sheriff smirked.

The officers approached. "Stand firm," I shouted to the League. "Hold the line. Stand firm, Renaldo."

Renaldo took a defiant step, innocently slipped, and tripped onto the road. The officers pounced with prying hands.

"Brother! No!" Another Activist gone. Gone forever!

lizosisek said...

We count cows as we drive south, because it’s easier than counting our mistakes. We’ve played the blame game enough to be league MVPs. Why go down that road again?

We pass a billboard for a triple X store. Maybe…

No. Sex won’t fix five years of distance, regret and crippling grief our only glue. No matter how kinky it is, or how spry we are.

We pull into the cemetery. Visit separately with our children. We know the routine, though we haven’t signed the papers.

This is how our marriage ends – with separate mourning for everything we made together.

Scott G said...

My first night on patrol, I saw two dead bodies.

One lay on the road next to my car.

Dispatch said a guy tripped-out on crack just robbed the “Cash-n-Go” on Sixth. My colleagues told me to take the call. Don’t be a coward. Earn your stripes.

I caught him prying open the alley door. “Halt! Police!” I yelled. He ran. In my gun-sight, he looked like a robber.

Turned out he lived in the apartment above the pawnshop next door.

He was ten.

Gun quivering in hand, the second dead body stared back at me in the rear-view mirror.

Lisa B Capp said...

No cows to tip in Vermont she laments
The league she addressed
A room of malcontents.

The queen of literary stand up
Attendees are entertained,
But, tell me is her vodka in an IV really strained?

Up the road, to Montreal, the trip she pursues
after prying 15%....
the rights to pursue.

As she exits the room, we ask...did we hear?
Merry Christmas to all, and to all good cheer!

Loved meeting you Janet! Awesome session. Lisa B Capp

John Davis Frain said...

Only a few remaining in this one-road town.

GinnySue was no more’n a spry thirteen first time she brought one home.

Settin’ round the fire pit, GinnySue holdin’ Aiden’s hand, me cleaning my Remington. “Tell one a your stories, Daddy,” she begs.

Picked one about the drifter come up from Oklahoma. One called me coward account I wouldn’t let him date GinnySue till she’s eighteen. Wasn’t in GinnySue’s league.

“He’s still waiting.” Point my Remington at Aiden’s shoes. “Right ’neath where you’re settin’.”

Aiden tripped, he run off so fast.

Saturday, after GinnySue bring home that Zach kid? I’m done.

Kae Ridwyn said...

In his efforts to beleaguer his prey, the hunter had dug pits, dropped anvils, and laid traps innumerable.
But his prey had managed to evade every one.
And it had been years.

He scowled.

He’d catch him this time; he was a genius! Super-genius, in fact.

He’d paint a stripe down his back and lie prone in the middle of the road. All he need do when he heard his target approach was arise and catch him. The spry old bird wouldn’t escape this time.

The blast of wind swept past just as he laid down his brush.

Meep! Meep!

tell me later said...

I'd never met Donald in person, but there was no avoiding him on Twitter. He called us every name in the book: broads, cows, and a few more that would never make it into a kids' movie.

I could forgive what he said about me. What he said about my colleagues had to be punished.

So I called in a favor.

"Just cause him some trouble. Trip him on the sidewalk. Mess up his bedsheets. Pry his window open and wail whenever he so much as blinks."

"Got it," my invisible friend says.

"Thank you."

That will take the troll down, I'm positive.

After all, who's he gonna call? Not us.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Quiet makes it hard to relax, hard to get my bearings, hard to accept that city living is behind me and country living, in Joe’s hometown, is life.

Can’t stand the smell of cow dung.
I want sirens, horns and the league of the faceless who ignore me. I want spry tongues and tripe talk instead of sly smiles telling me the road doesn’t go there from here.

Mom said, “Follow your husband.” I did.
I hated it, so I left.
Now, new owners of the farm get a well fertilized garden.
I just hope they don’t dig deep.

CynthiaMc said...

The CowBelles won me in a poker game.

"I'm not going."

"You can't always get what you want," my old manager sang in a parody of what I sang to him - never mind.

I hit the road with the worst team in the league.

When the umpire trips you, then calls you out, things have to change.

"I hate to pry..." my roommate said.

"I wouldn't sleep with him. He traded me."

Mama said "Bloom where you're planted."

Pitched a no-hitter against my old team.

"I want you back."

"Play me."

I'm a good pitcher.

I'm a great poker player.

Donnaeve said...

Away from Mama, she starts.

“Get away from me, you little prick.”

I think about tripping her while my fingers worry a cowlick. Hers are busy texting.

When a stranger’s car sidles up, I dare to speak, “That ain’t the school bus.”

She yanks my arm. “Shut up, moron. One word, you’ll regret it.”

She climbs in, and the car speeds down the road.

I consider her words, the outcome.


Mama’s worried.

Not me. I eat like a horse, sleep even better.

Bonus. Despite the police, those prying questions, my Little League game improves.

Not one word.

Definitely no regrets.

LynnRodz said...

"See the cows." Dad points over yonder.

"Where dad, where?" We all look.

"Shh, I'll roll down the window so you can hear 'em."

We listen.

"Mooo." My little sister echoes dad.

Our family outings were fun when I was Suzy and Tommy's age, but I'm older now.

"If you see a kangaroo, let me know." Dad says. "Let's sing our favorite Opry song." Dad belts out, "Like a band of gypsies going down the highway..."

The back screen door opens, mom pokes her head out. "Let me tackle a guess — road trip. Come inside now, it's time for dinner."

Kregger said...

"It's called cow shit," she said pedantically chewing a sprig of alfalfa. "Not cattle shit."

"But, if the herd isn't 100% heifers or milkers, it's inaccurate." he said, peering down the road.

Her spry head bob flicked a fly while saying, "Your tripe is stupid."

The semi stopped at the meat processing plant's security gate.

The truck driver yelled at the guard, "I got a load of cows for hamburgers and steaks."

A voice lowed from the bed of the trailer, "Dude, there are steers back here too."

They ignored his plea.

Guess no one cared.

Jason Magnason said...

I am a cowboy. Make no mistake about it, I aint no pry bar holding, Hollywood- league, dust-kicking rope-slinger. I am the real deal. On the road, out on the range and in the wilderness, that’s where I roam. Laying under the stars – the midnight breeze lulls me to sleep and I am free. I am a cowboy. Weathered leather and the gentle smell of fire licks the cold away. Dawn’s brush strokes paint the wild open plains with the colors of life, love and prosperity. This is where I live. This is my home. I am a cowboy.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

“I couldn’t even pry it out of his hands,” I said as I shoved the soundproof door shut and glanced at my colleague. His expression was as stripped of all hope as mine. We chorused a sigh.

“What are the great big, broad implications?” he asked.

I shrugged and shook my head. “It could alienate fans for years, or . . .” We both turned to the control panel. The recording needle spiked in a mocking rhythm.

“I can’t take it.” I leaned forward and slapped the toggle switch to the studio microphone. “Stop!” I shouted. “No more cowbell!”