Spike

Photo courtesy of blogs.laweekly now defunct link

Spike’s love for Macie was doomed before dey even said “I do.”

Ya see, dey met at a speakeasy, Da King a Clubs, where Spike used ta work da door. Da owner of da club, Dom Santi.., better yet, let’s just call him Da Boss, had two rules in his joint, keep yer mouth shut, and keep yer hands off da dames. 

For Spike, keepin’ his mouth shut was easy. In fact he was so good at it, Da Boss had him to fit a couple a mugs who couldn’t keep dere traps shut, with concrete shoes- just as an example- if ya know what I mean..  

And da part about da dames? Well Spike never really had to worry about dat. A couple a too many off nights in the fight game had seen to it dat- well, let’s just say, he didn’t have no problem with da dames- because dey never gave him a first look.  

Dat was, until Macie rolled into town.

Da night Spike first seen Macie, all baubles and fringe, dangling off da arm a some made guy, and she batted dose foot long lashes at him- he knew life would never be da same. He just didn’t know at da time, how far away from da same, life could possibly get.

Dees days, he tucks in a shirt dat has da name Harvey stitched ova da pocket and works da swing shift drivin’ a city bus in some sleepy little berg in northern Florida.

On his way out da door each day, he pecks Macie on da pin curls, as still in her bathrobe, she sits in front of da tv, reading da newspaper from da old neighborhood dat he picks up for her every day when he’s out on his route. 

Some days she says things to him like, “Hey, dey got Jimmie da Greek.” or  “Remember dat tall job from da chorus Paulo was always runnin’ after? Looks like he caught her. Says here, dey had one greedy son together, an da bastards suin’ poor Paulo’s widow for half a his estate.”

Today, she didn’t say nothin’. But that was okay wit Spike. In fact when he saw me and Jersey Mike waitin’ for him outside da apartment, and knew we was dere to fit him wit a pair a cement sandals all his own, he said, “I’m kinda glad she didn’t say nothin’. Better to remember her dat way.”

Yeah. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ma say dem was his last words.

This piece incorporates the three phrases from OLWG #21. The phrases were:

  1. They had one greedy son
  2. King of clubs
  3. I do

And that’s about the best I can say for it……

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Excellent

Astrid dabbed the tip of each lash with just a bit more mascara, then waded through her lacquered lashes with the point of an open safety pin, painstakingly separating each individual hair until she was satisfied she had achieved a natural look.

“Well? Wadda ya think?” She turned to her best friend Becky, did her best ‘sultry eyes’ and then burst out laughing. “Oh my god. I’m so nervous!”

“Well, don’t be. You look amazing and everything is going to be fine. On-line dating is just like regular dating, well, except you probably know a little something about the guy before you get naked!” Becky teased.

“Uh! I hope your right! Okay. Lemme see. I know his name is Bud. I know he’s gorgeous. I know he drinks Southern Comfort and smokes weed. I know he’s got one full sleeve and is working on the other. Oh my god, I love tattoos!”

********

Bud picked laboriously at the label on his beer bottle.

“What are you so nervous about?” his buddy Jason asked. “You’re just meeting a girl you met on-line. No big deal.”

“You say that ‘cause you haven’t seen this girl. Way outta my league. Flippin’ gorgeous.”

“Well, she can’t be that hot if she agreed to meet you!” Jason razzed. “After all, you got pictures on the ad right? I mean, she knows what she’s gettin’.”

“Well, yeah, but, about those pictures..”

“Oh my freaking god! Don’t tell me! You put somebody else’s picture up! You idiot!”

“Yeah, but when I put up the ad, I had no intention of ever actually hooking up with anyone I met on there. I was just feelin’ it out, you know, seeing what kind a babes I could draw if I looked like… Well, if I looked like you.” Bud admitted sheepishly, as he busied himself further with the label on his beer in an effort to avoid having to look at Jason.

“You mean you flippin’ put my picture, on your dating ad? Jesus Christ! Now what are you gonna do?”

“Well, I think I kinda have it figured out. She’s gonna come here lookin’ for you, right? So she sees you, she comes over, we get to talking, and the whole time I’m flashin’ my tats, this girl is crazy about ink. She was trippin’ when I was tellin’ her about my sleeves.”

“What’s that got to do with her finding out you’re not me?”

“Hold on! I’m not through yet. So anyway, pull on your coat, cover up those white ass arms. That way she won’t know right away. That’ll give me time to…”

*********

“Hold on. There he is. Why is he wearing that stupid sport coat? Dude looks like a dweeb.”

“Hey, Bud. I’m Astrid.”

“My names not Bud. Mista Inky ova there. He’s Bud.”

“Excellent.”

This piece made use of Michael’s Tale Weaver prompt: Wading and the three phrases provided by the OLWG #20.

  1. my name’s not Bud
  2. Southern Comfort and smoke
  3. pull on your coat

I’m posting this on my phone so I will have to link up later.

Herbert

Herbert had occupied the same weathered bench in Central Park for as long as Roxanne could remember. 

She had met him literally by accident one spring day just before she graduated college. While jogging through the park she had tripped over a crack in the pavement, and face planted- right in front of Herbert’s bench.

In a city of more than eight million people, she would have thought there would have been someone there to come to her aid, but there wasn’t a soul. Well, that is if you didn’t count the crazy homeless man regaling the evils of politics from the pulpit of his park bench. And in all truth, Roxanne did not count him.

“Lying political vipers!” Herbert was shouting at the moment Roxanne came to grips with the fact she was going to have at least try to enlist his aid.

“Nothing they tell you is real! Unholy vessels filled with dirty little secrets! Flee I tell you! Flee now! While their backs are turned!” he ranted rigorously, arms aloft as he passionately exhorted his imaginary congregation to action- yet remained totally oblivious to Roxanne’s plight on the sidewalk- right in front of him.

“Sir!” Roxanne called out to him from the pavement, cautiously at first, as you never know how one of these crazy people was going to react. “Excuse me! Sir? Can you help me? It seems I’ve fallen and…”

At the sound of her voice the forgotten man froze, and looked worriedly around him as if trying to figure out where the voice was coming from. 

More injured than afraid, Roxanne tried again. “Excuse me? Sir?”

“Are you talking to me?” Was Herbert’s shocked reply, as his gaze fell upon Roxanne, his eyes widening as if he was seeing her for the first time. 

“Yes. Yes I am. I was wondering if you could help me. You see I’ve fallen.”

“That’s quite a nasty cut you have there, on your forehead. It may need stitches.” Herbert admonished, as soberly as if they were chatting in church. He dug a neatly folded paper towel out of the inner pocket of his ravaged overcoat and handed it to Roxanne. “This will have to do until we can get someone here to look at it.”

Roxanne accepted the paper towel graciously and applied it to the cut on her forehead without first inspecting it for cleanliness or even thinking twice about from whence it came. “Thank you, Sir. You’re very kind.” She responded with a sincere, albeit slightly dumbfounded smile.

Herbert made short work of retrieving Roxanne’s phone from the grass where it had fallen, and sat faithful guard over her as she placed a call for paramedics.

“I couldn’t help over hearing your name is Roxanne.”  Herbert commented thoughtfully after Roxanne had finished placing the call. “Quite a beautiful name. Of course I am sure you’re acquainted with the story of Cyrano  DeBergerac and his unrequited love for the much sought after Roxane with whom you share the name?” He queried, as Roxanne looked on in wonderment at the man who was just moments before addressing an imaginary public from his perch on a weathered park bench.

“Yes. Yes, I am. I’m sorry. I didn’t catch your name?” her interest was sincere.

“Herbert. Herbert Markham. At your service ma’am.” Herbert introduced himself with the regalia of royalty as he tipped his imaginary bowler and bowed low from the waist. “Always happy to be of service.”

As he spoke, Roxanne noted a distinct twinkle in his eye, a gleam Roxanne would not soon forget. 

In the moments that followed, the paramedics appeared and Herbert retreated to his park bench. As Roxanne was being wheeled away he was off and running again, regaling evils from his park bench pulpit, just as if their discourse had never taken place.

In the weeks that followed, Roxanne made several trips to the park to see Herbert. She’d bring coffee or sandwiches and they would sit on his bench and discuss literature, art, or classical music- until some unscripted sound or movement would trigger him, and off he would go, back into the world of his own creation.

Several years passed. Roxanne had since married and had a daughter, Gwinn, whom Herbert was sure was the modern day incarnation of the Lady Gwendolyn of King Arthur lore, and had taken to calling her such whenever they visited. 

The two of them visited Herbert every Saturday afternoon religiously. Gwinn ever anxious to hear the next in Herbert’s unending repertoire of tremendously tall tales, and Roxanne because watching the two of them interact together gave her unsurpassed joy. 

One Saturday, Herbert was not in his usual place when they arrived. Roxanne was concerned, but didn’t let on- for Gwinn’s sake. She masked her concern by explaining that Herbert probably had something important to do that day, after all he had other things to do than just sit here and wait for them. Didn’t he?

The second week they arrived to find no Herbert, Roxanne inquired with one of the mounted policemen that patrolled that area of the park.

“The crazy old coot that hung out on that bench?” He responded with a tone of amusement, “We carted him off to the funny farm. Straight jacket and all. Musta been last week sometime. Maybe the week before that. Why’d you wanna know?”

“He’s our friend!” Gwinn cried out, visibly hurt the policeman was speaking of Herbert with such callous.

“Yeah, well your friend was one crazy old coot!” the cop laughed as he heeled his horse and continued on his beat- nonplussed by the little girls obvious distress.

“Why did that police call Herbert crazy, Mom? He’s not is he?” The little girl asked from the brink of tears.

“No honey, no. Herbert is not crazy. He is, mentally ill. There is a difference. Herbert has a disease. A disease for which the cure is often worse than the disease itself I’m afraid.” Roxanne answered thoughtfully- thankful for the silence that followed as she was unsure as to how one went about explaining mental illness to a four year old child in any more detail than that.

This piece incorporates the three prompt phrases provided by the OLWG #19 and Misky’s Twiglet, ‘a weathered bench’.

The phrases were:

  1. Dirty little secrets
  2. The cure is worse
  3. Nothing they tell you is real

Alaska Vacation

“I dreamed of making this trip my whole life.” Homer commented to Ethel from his seat in the Denali Star dining car, as it hugged the edge of a lesser mountainside in the Alaska Range, a mere 200 feet above the Tanana River and crossed under the George Parks Highway, headed for the home of The Great One. “I just never imagined I’d be so old when I did it.”

“I never imagined a vacation in Alaska would mean life in flip flops.” Ethel quipped disparagingly as she surveyed the disrepair of her pedicure, “And me, without a nail salon in sight.”

“Quit fussin’ about your toe polish. With or without it, your still the prettiest girl in the room.” Homer responded adoringly, as he looked around and realized- there wasn’t a ‘girl’ in the room under 65.

Ethel’s eyes followed Homers gaze. “We’re not really as old as all these ‘old people’, are we?” She whispered from behind the breakfast menu she was pretending to peruse.

“Hell no!” Homer barked. “Age is just a number. It’s all in how you feel. I don’t feel any different than I did when I was 25.”

“Me either!” Ethel chimed in, the sparkle of youth twinkling through her rose tinted progressive lenses. “Cholesterol be damned! I’m having the Benedict!”

“Make it two!” Homer signaled to the waiter letting him know they were ready to order, “But, tell ‘em to go easy on the cayenne, these old pipes ain’t what they used to be!”

This piece was inspired by Crispina Kemp’s photo prompt, on her weekly Crimson’s Creative Challenge and incorporated the phrases provided by the OLWG #18. The phrases were:

  1. I don’t feel any different
  2. Life in flip flops
  3. Go easy on the cayenne

Gravitas

Photo courtesy of Walmart

Rivulets of sweat trickled down the small of my back as I waited, watching him from the alley. The big-mouth Mexican bastard I had once called my friend, pawing all over some sweet little senorita- her letting him coo and kiss on her until finally, I guess her father had had enough, as the porch light went on, and he called her inside. 

But there would be a next time.  A time when nobody would be there to protect her. A time when he would keep purring and promising and pushing himself on her until she was too scared or too confused or too whatever it is a girl gets when she just decides it’s just easier to do what he wants than to fight him off anymore. 

And then, as if she wasn’t someone’s daughter or someone’s sister- as if no one cared about her, no one loved her, he’ll use her too. She’ll become just another notch on his belt. Just another conquest to brag about to his cabrones. Just another puta that had fallen prey.

Just like my sister.

An unspeakable anger welled up inside me when I thought about not only what he had done to my sister, but what he had said about her afterward. How he had told any guy that would listen that she was begging for it, that she was a freak, that there was no way she could have been a virgin, and if he hadn’t seen the blood for himself he would never have believed it.

My anger grew vicious as I heard his footfalls approaching the alley where I lay in wait. When he crossed the opening I leapt on him, catching him in a choke hold, and dragged him back into the alley. Slipping the gun from my waist, I pulled back the hammer, slipping one in the chamber, and rested the mouth of the cylinder against his temple.

“You fucked up muchacho.” I whispered desperately into his ear as I pressed the gun more firmly against his temple. “You fucked with my sister and if that wasn’t reason enough for me to kill you, you ran you’re fucking mouth about it. You told all your little cabrones what a puta you made out of my sister. My fucking sister! I thought you were my friend!”

My arm tightened around his throat, till I heard the unmistakable sound of piss streaming down the legs of his pants. I let go then. Let him slip down into the puddle that was fast forming at his feet.

“Your a big man, aren’t ya? Big man with the ladies. Big man with a big mouth sitting in a big puddle. What have you got to say for yourself now, big man? Open that big mouth of yours and give me one good reason I shouldn’t kill you.” I chided him, as I lowered my gun, and eased back the hammer. My need to kill him having dissipated with his dignidad into that puddle of degradation.

As I turned to walk away, I could hear him crying and muttering something over and over to himself in Spanish, “Aye, dios mio. Soy muy hacicon. Soy muy hacicon.” 

I didn’t know what it meant, and it really didn’t matter anymore. I got what I came for. His gravitas, his dignity. Exactly what he had stolen from my sister. An eye for an eye.

This was a tough one. OLWG #16. The phrases were:

  1. As if no one cared
  2. soy muy hocicon
  3. One in the chamber

Not sure if I like this one or not. But I wove in all the prompts, and that’s what I am challenging myself to do. Oh, and gravitas means dignity in Latin. Just liked the word so much I had to use it…..