Showing posts from August, 2020

California 1952

“ Go out and play in the brush for a bit and watch out for the snakes.” Mom would hasten me out for an hour or two of respite. Tall brush land lay beyond the groves surrounding town, town surrounding small colleges that came first to this land of latent blooms bringing dignity and purpose to those lucky to live nearby. And off I’d trek for high adventure across lands sweet - smelling muddy in winter and acrid in dry dust summer. Hawks turn lazy circles watching for jackrabbits, lizards. Familiar paths led out to a small airport to the east, past the control channel hastily thrown up after the big flood of ’38 with heavy rusting wire net holding rocks in place. Tall Sumac schooners sailed across chamise seas, casting parasol shade for those brave enough to climb inside. Hours spent dreaming cool trout creeks and what girls were like. Found artifactual discards of a world yet to come out there, whiskey bottles, old Playboys, cast off condoms, broken glass, spent cartridge casin

100 word challenge

  Can you write a story in 100 words or fewer? Any genre. #worthingflash accepts a variety of types of story. Email your story to If you include a mailing address there is a prize of the audiobook “Brevity”. #worthingflash has had 21000 visitors so your work will have quite an audience.    

Hot Load

“ Here’s where you stand,” Robbie’s Grandfathers voice was tight. “Now pay attention.” Robbie had heard about hot loading smudge pots since he was young. Never thought he’d ever actually do it. He reveled in the flickering glow of the heaters, their muffled ‘puk-a-puk-a’ sound, and their sweet/acrid stink. He loved to hear a hundred pots all puttering at once, and their soft orange glow lighting the rows of trees in the darkness. But hot loading—pouring fuel directly into the burning tanks—scared him. At thirteen years old it was Robbie ’s second year on the crew. They’d gotten the call from Grandad that tonight’s freeze would be deep and long. His parents hadn’t heard the KFI fruit frost service report at 8 pm because they were at the Christmas Eve service at church. By the time Grandad caught them, it was 9 pm and already down to 36 degrees. His father and Robbie didn’t bother going to bed. By ten the wind machine fired up and they were lighting. By four in the morning it

Rattlesnake and Rabbit

Cyndi comes home from camp completely obsessed with rabbits. She saw a little one eaten by a rattlesnake early in the morning when she slipped away at dawn to hike alone through the desert. You ask, "You went off by yourself?" She is a serious eight year old, with the eyes of a forty-three year old woman who has seen war or plague or faminine, something like that. "I just needed to get away," she says. "Those girls can be a lot." You can’t disagree with her there, and since she’s been home, she’s been researching rabbits, reading about them in encyclopedias, begging you to go out to the scrub and help her find them. It’s been three days that she’s been back, and you’ve been hoping that her attention will snap to something else, but it hasn’t yet, and you think it might not for a while. She begs you to get a book about rabbits. So you take her to the bookstore, holding her hand as you walk the aisle. The salesperson takes you to the c

Park Ave 2

The children painting  Age 20 I walk by the park on my way to pick up bolillos and pan dulce. I cut across through the grass and stop by the usual smoke spot to watch the trees and have a cigarette. As I walk towards the once abandoned stage, I see children gathered, orchestrating a mural with tiny hands and giant brushes. There’s a bright green table; on top there is a  jug of water with sliced strawberries and blueberries, aside them small cups of yogurts with berries on top. I walk up to the group of adults and ask, “What’s up with this?”   A woman with a high ponytail and very defined cheekbones replied, “Oh the kids are painting a mural to honor their Aztec heritage, would you like to join?”  I force a laugh and feel my face burn up , “Yeah I’d love to” She hands me a brush and asks me to fill the blank spaces with yellow paint.  When I was their age, I learned how to jump fences. Shit Boyfriend Shit Comfort  Age 15 I’m at the park waiting for Andy. Now, i

Coffee With My Dead Grandmother

I order Americanos, because she always liked the name. She strokes my hand with pruned fingers. "How've you been?" I inhale her scent, which is unchanged. "Could be better." "Are you proud of me?" "If I were, you wouldn't need to ask."  She finishes her biscuit, leaving only a crumb. This story is by Nod Ghosh