145 Extracted Words – The Tease – April 2020

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a work in progress, inspired by this month’s Wordle at mindlovemisery’s menagerie .



Coat – alone – certainty – car – exclude – idoneous – own man – sob story – next – heavy – absorb – beige

Alone in the certainty of loneliness, alone in the back seat of his own car, he waited for the heavy rain to cease. But then, why should it? The idoneous storm front served as a soundtrack to his sob story. “Be the next great thing,” his mentor had said. “Be your own man.” Of course, she chose to exclude the fact that such idealism would transform him into a pauper. True, he sported hipster glasses and beige, knee-high stockings, but still, living in his car surely qualified him as a pauper.

He yawned. The night promised to absorb his dreams, like the brown and yellow leaves that soaked up the runoff, gurgling over clogged storm drains. He fell asleep cold, doomed to wake in the morning, once again inspired to coat the world in metaphor.


London Lucky.


Ever since he was 14, just a pinfeather, preened on the darkly wet streets of Piccadilly, he had been opening doors, toting bags and tipping his cockade-pinned bowler to the lodgers of the Stable Cross Arms. He had watched a thousand gentlemen walk through those doors, women on their arms, some their wives, some not. Doctors, barristers, clergy, each as capable as the next of ignoring the irony of their hemmablind moralities. It didn’t matter to him. There business was their own and Lucky could keep a secret.

Every week, he slogged toward his paycheck and the weekend frivolity it subsidized, one held door at a time. Now, silver in the eyebrows and stooped in the back, he left the younger lads the heavy lifting, but he still kept his weekly appointments with that emerald edifice from Berry Bros. and Rudd on James Street. Saying his offs to the staff and concierge, tipping his hat to the young lady in marigold that had just completed her last set in the lounge, he scurried in half steps down the stairs to the Tube, rocketed under Buckingham Palace and popped out under Trafalgar Square, reentering the boggy, summer air of Westminster, just east of St. James Street. His chest felt weighted, as if he were walking underwater. He stopped for a moment, gathering his breath while leaning against a brick wall, like Tiny Tim’s crutch. Eventually, he entered the opaque, green-glass door of the distillery and purchased his weekend spirits. “Don’t forget to look under the cap, Pops,” the young clerk commented as he bagged the doorman’s quality gin. “500 quid times a thousand. That’s what it’s worth, you find that gold token.” Berry Bros. and Rudd had their annual treasure hunt under way. Every bottle purchased had the potential to bestow a fortune. The single cap with a golden nail placed in its underside and engraved with a coded message (to make it difficult to falsify) would reveal the winner. “Good luck to you, Lucky.”

He scurried home, started some porridge simmering on the stove and sat down to the table – an able, functional piece of new world mahogany. He grasped the smooth, green bottle in his chapped and mottled hands. He peeled the sealing foil slowly, sliver by sliver, until the final shred fell away, releasing the cap. He pulled the cork stopper straight up and it broke free loudly, with the “pop” of an index finger being pulled from puckered lips. He had to draw a breath, and then one more, before slowly turning the cap over …

Another Monday, his dress the same, his manner perhaps just a liter lighter. He opened the door for a wealthy couple that could barely be pestered to acknowledge his existence. The decorous lady stepped forward toward the London mist, demanding an umbrella be held over her head. The gentleman looked toward Lucky, snapping his fingers tersely, as if addressing a beast of burden. He had an urge to inform the pair that he could buy and sell them twice over and still have enough coin in his pocket to enjoy tea and cricket at Lord’s, but instead he remained silently deferential, all while picking at the remnants of cod between his teeth with his newly acquired gold nail. Lucky could keep a secret.


Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, November 16th, 2016.




mountain wind pauses

silent dark boreal sighs –

Earth breathes in then out




view original prompt here





176 Extracted Words – The Tease – October 2016

October 2016

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a wordle titled “Ethanol”.

What’s a wordle?

He raps on the door of the loft, vociferating threats of expulsion until the deadbolt finally slides to the side. The moderately warped door springs open of its own accord.p6260056

“What the hell?” Rays from the dirty sunlight of winter shine on the far wall, revealing an electric mudslide of bright acrylic, launched and lobbed at a sheet of plywood, propped on the ceramic ledges of an unplumbed wash basin.

“I learned how to do this last quarter,” his son beams.

He inhales the scene. His boy is wearing a tattered frock (most certainly salvaged from one of the old boxes in the corner), covered in the same psychedelic velvet that adorns the painting and half the wall behind it.

“They teach this in engineering school?” he rubs his forearm, running his hand over some fresh, tribal ink, still red with irritation. His heartbeat is rapid, his neck bulges from the aerobics of morbid fascination.





Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, September 7th, 2016. Simplicity.



flee into the woods

path blocked by spider’s web –

ooh yuck run away




view original prompt here





Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, August 24th, 2016.



young nebula glows

all births come after midnight –

Earth spins silently



view original prompt here





Flowing to the Sea – Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille July 6th 2016

Flowing to the Sea



Magma flows to the sea like it did ten million years ago. Glacial icefalls flow to the sea, like they did ten thousand years ago. We flow to the sea, like we did ten hundred days ago. We learn, we live, we remember, we cherish, we return.

beneath the long sun

we rejoin the warm sea sand

seashell memories




View original prompt here.



Flight- Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille – June 1, 2016 – Prayer




free birds enter cloudsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

faith guides flocks through misty air –

sunlit wings give thanks



View original prompt here.


Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, May 18th, 2016.




This entry requires re-visiting a haiku previously written, so it’s possible you might recognize the opening lines.


tears drop in ocean

cloaking pain with saltwater

eternal waves roll


and then it becomes …


everything returns

waves and whales riding currents

tides and love a swell


view original prompt here





Parallax – Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille – May 4, 2016 – Tan Renga




Winter rice fields–
railroad tracks running
a level above them

A train’s steam is there and gone

parallax tricks with delight




view original prompt here