Dine In, Carry Out

Algy jammed everything back onto the last tabletop after wiping it clean.

Edith said, “Easy now.”

“Rob sent me another letter,” Algy told her.

“Did he?”

“He wants me to send him my paycheck.”

“Ohh.” The sound was a cross between a groan and a sigh. Edith went to the cash drawer, counting the money twice over to be sure. Then she asked, “Did you write him back this time?”

Algy grunted.

“You did, didn’t you.”

Slowly Algy nodded.  “I said to ask me nicely.”

Edith counted out several stacks of bills, then went into the office for her deposit slips. Returning, she asked, “If he does, what then?”

“I’ll tell him it’s too late. That’s my college money.”

Edith smiled. “Good,” she said. She dropped the deposit in her purse and started for the door.

Algy didn’t follow her at once. “Do you really think Granddad will let me have this place when I’m older?”

Edith turned back. “What did that letter say?”

Algy drew a deep breath. “That you and Granddad would be throwing good money after bad to let the restaurant fall to a big headed fool like me.”

Edith shook her head and held a hand out to her grandson. “He’s the fool to say that.”

“That’s why I told him to ask nicely.” Algy joined his grandmother. He didn’t take her hand, but instead held the door. “It’s why I’m waiting for him to ask again to say no.”

“Good,” Edith repeated. She turned and locked the door .“He just wants to get your goat. He’s got a lot of nerve to ask, though.”

“It’s because he still thinks he’s my father,” Algy told her. “But he’s not anymore, is he?”

“No,” said Edith. “And he won’t ever be again.”

Algy opened the driver’s door for his grandmother before going around to his own side. “Then I don’t ever have to give him my money.”

“You don’t ever have to give him anything at all.”



The fools over at  Trifecta have assigned us the third definition of fool. And I pity the fool who doesn’t rise to the challenge. {ahem. sometimes, the puns will out}


The Story of The Three Little Pigs


Those crafty Trifecta editors are at it again, asking us for a retold story in 33 words. Here’s mine. NB: “w/” is one word unconnected with “expertise”. There’s a space.


I’m not talking ballet here. I’m trying to explain the hedony. I throw myself forward lusting into the Dionysian spontaneity. The arena is carnality alive, and all of us are hungry sybarites while the music plays. We blare, and trumpet, and thunder. I do not fall into their arms expecting asylum.  And yet, there is a safe core where the rhythm is deep enough to hold me if I dive in, so long as I keep time with my body while I ride to the shore. This is not sanctuary but an entry point. The dance begins in the air.


Linking up here with Trifecta, this week brought to you by the word “safe”.

This is also my submission for Lance’s 100 word song response. This week’s song is The Black Crows’ Hotel Illness. My response is as much to the group as this specific tune. I heart The Black Crows.

Street Scene

“Well, that’s a first.” Caren added the last of the bound carpet strips to the furniture piled at the curb.

Todd grunted an answer, but she couldn’t hear him, because he was hunkered behind the sofa, while she stood in front of the recliners. They still needed to flip those up onto the couch in order to fit the whole mountain on the narrow grass stripe between sidewalk and street. These tenants left so much that hauling it and the carpet out took them well into the night.

“We ought to get a management company,” Caren went on. “My back isn’t up for this kind of lifting.”

Todd came around to join her. “Costs more than it’s worth,” he told her. And she thought he was right. Probably.

He stood behind her, and she leaned into him while he slid one hand under her shirt to rub the base of her spine. Above them, the moon waxed heavy and low, some optical illusion driving it down towards the earth.

Caren complained, “I ache.”

“Me too,” Todd agreed. But his voice suggested a different kind of ache entirely from the one caused by lifting too much without a proper dolly.

“You can’t be serious. Here?”

He didn’t answer her with words, but instead pulled their bodies together tight, front to back.

“Here then.”

They tumbled awkwardly over the couch arms and left their clothing on the sidewalk. The chairs in front of the couch and the late hour promised sufficient privacy as long as the tenants didn’t suddenly return wanting their possessions.

They wrapped themselves together, one into the other, coiled so it was hard to see where she ended and he began. They bore down on each other like the earth-driven moon. And that moon. Oh the moon. How it yearned to reach the ground.


This week, the Trifextra prompt asked us to write a love scene 3 to 333 words long that neither turned Trifextra in to TrifeXXXtra nor used any of the following 33 words:

Shallow Grave

“Pick your glass,” Miss Anna said. “There’s three, all alike.”

“Oh, no ma’am. We trust you,” Trevor said quickly.

Miss Anna laughed. No music in her voice, but no needles, either. “No you don’t” she said. “Nor would I in your shoes. Pick. But don’t drink. Not yet.”

“Did you really hex Mark for what he did to those cats?” asked Paul.

Miss Anna didn’t laugh this time. Just shook her head.

“But you could have,” Paul continued. It wasn’t a question.

Miss Anna nodded.

The choice in beverages suddenly seemed very important indeed. Trevor closed his eyes and picked blind, then Paul did the same. Then, Miss Anna said, “Now, which one of you saw it?”

And Trevor said, “Me,” without hesitation. They weren’t talking cats now.

“Shut up!” said Paul.

“It’s all right,” said Miss Anna. “I won’t call the police. We all know that stepfather of yours would have your mother dead before they’d finished digging up the grave, and he’d do it if she was at work and if work was a hundred miles away.”

Miss Anna had just repeated exactly what Randy said to Paul and Trevor’s mother after she and he came back to the trailer from burying the yellow haired man. Paul sucked in a breath and looked at Trevor. Miss Anna lived too far away to have overheard.

“Me,” Trevor repeated. “I saw. Do you need me to tell you?”

“No.” The old woman shook her head. “Now’s when we drink, by the way.” They did, and Miss Anna continued, “I saw it, too, but I don’t have any personal enmity in the matter. This must be done by someone who saw the thing, and who carries it with anger, and maybe a little bit of hatred in his heart. Is that you Trevor? Go deep now, before you answer me.”

Finally, Trevor said, “Yes’m.” Just the one word, but it satisfied the woman.

“Good,” she said. “Then we’ve something to discuss.”


Part two of this story is now up here.

We’re going deep this week over at Trifecta, where we’ve been tasked with using the third definition of ‘deep’ from the Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary in a story of between 33 and 333 words.

Fiction: Or Else

Ogee Smith wasn’t trans; he just came back a girl. It happens all the time. Man in one life, woman in the next, somewhere in between in a third. Sometimes, the cosmic gears get all fuckowack and a body comes back wrong and spends a lifetime adjusting. But not Ogee. Ogee came back a girl, but he really hadn’t made the change yet.

And finding a shrink who understood? Ogee’s parents visited thirteen. When Ogee said, “I need to understand gender expectations because I used to be a boy,” the psychiatrists and psychologists started spouting codes.

So when she was eight, Ogee’s parents took her to a regression therapist. “The problem,” the regressionist said before putting Ogee under, “isn’t gender expectations. It’s that you don’t know who you were, so you can’t know who you are becoming.”

Ogee sat obediently still while the woman lit candles and began the hypnotic induction. But then, long after the child had been placed into what the regressionist called ‘the suggestible state’, Ogee suddenly giggled looked right through the woman. She said, “I’m not the one who’s most confused here. You are.” Then, Ogee turned to her parents and explained, “I am an image of an image of an image of myself, as we all are. This is her first life, poor thing. She’s doing this for others because she thinks she has something of her own back there to find. But there’s nothing really. Don’t worry dear,” Ogee hopped up and patted the therapist’s arm. “After a couple of go-rounds you’ll get a sense, as long as you leave yourself open.”

The little girl turned and walked out. “I think we’d better work this out ourselves,” she said to her parents. If I can remember how I shifted last time, I’m sure things will all start falling into place. Can we stop someplace with a toilet? I’ve got to piss like a racehorse before we get out of town.”


This week at Trifecta: