Pre-podcast Live Writing Sprints, August, 2020

All these stories were written LIVE by J. R. Nichols in fifteen minutes or less, and were read on the air and published here without editing.  
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Today’s Prompt: NO PROMPT But I wrote a Drabble.
Hear/watch this piece read on the podcast

To celebrate, we each wrote a Drabble – a 100 word story.
Since writing a Drabble is a particular challenge (pieces MUST be EXACTLY 100 words), the ladies on the podcast voted not to have to also perform a sprint today.
I can’t say as I blame them. It is difficult to get an entire story out in just one hundred words, including a beginning, middle and end. It is much MORE difficult to do that and then make sure you have not gone OVER the word count limit!
See? ^^^ 105 words already and I haven’t “said” anything! :p

Anyway, tune in today at 10 AM Eastern to hear our Drabbles and a selection of Drabbles created by our AWESOME audience! (that’s YOU!)

And before I go, I want to say, “thank you.” YOU, the VIEWER or LISTENER of our podcast are the reason we have been around for 100 episodes! So, thank you so very much for your support and encouragement.

Here’s to 100 episodes, and here’s looking forward to hundreds more!

See you on the podcast!

Today’s Prompt: “She had never seen a place so beautiful…”
Watch this story written LIVE!
Hear/Watch this piece read on the podcast

Katerina turned the ring over in her hand. It was the last thing her grandmother had given her before leaving for the new world – a world Katerina now believed she would never see with her own eyes – large and brown, like her Nanas.

She slipped the ring onto her finger and the stone swung to hang like a swinging peach on a skinny branch. It would be years before she would be able to wear it, she knew, but all good things came in their time, Nana always said.

“Rina, lunch,” her mother had finished the chores early. She would be in a good mood. Katerina slipped the ring back into it’s black velvet box and tucked it into her apron pocket.

“Tell me about Nana,” she said, when she’d grown tired of pushing her spaghetti-os around in the bowl and they’d started to remind her of the secret she had stashed beneath the table. Her mother grumbled, as she always did, about not having time to sit and chew fat, but perched, as she always did, on the cracked yellow vinyl of her combination step-stool and bar chair, removed her kerchief, and shook out her hair with one of her large, capable hands.

“Your grandmother is dead to me,” she said, in a tone that was supposed to let Katerina know she did not care one bit. But Katerina knew she cared. She cared about Nana’s ring.

“She had to go, Mama. She took a trip with Grandpop there. “To a place called, “Kentucky.” She said she had never seen a place so beautiful.”

“You know where is a more beautiful place?” Mama snapped her kerchief. “The most beautiful place is where your family is.”

She was off, then, about Grandma’s obligations to the family, the vacuum she had left in the community.
But she never said a word about any of Grandma’s dreams.

I went to my room and pulled the little velvet box out of my pocket.
I squeezed it as hard as I could, and I prayed that Grandma was thinking of me, perhaps while plucking something exotic from the skinny gnarled branch of a Kentucky fruit tree.

Today’s Prompt: “Spend the entire sprint describing the physical attributes of a single character.”
Watch this story written LIVE!
Hear/watch this piece read on the podcast

Paul stood about six foot one, but he claimed an extra half inch to anyone who stopped long enough to listen. He took his coffee one cream, one sugar, though the list of people who knew this fact was dwindling, and he didn’t see opportunities to train a new “go fer” anywhere on his (admittedly, very short, now) horizon.

He had a hooked nose which he wiped with a hanky when he felt a drip, or when he felt nervous, which was mostly anytime he was talking to a lady, the unfortunate result of which being the big misunderstanding between he and Mrs. Lafferty about an allergy to her gooseberry pie. Of course, once the matter was settled, the married women in town sent their pies via husband-delivery service and the single ladies and widows remembered to mention how high the pollen count was the last time they checked it when they stopped by to sit on the porch a spell and drop off a basket of fried chicken or a bowl of layered ribbon jello. 

He had an old dog who spent most days sleeping near the toe of his worn work boots. He always wished he was a fancy enough man for cowboy boots, but something about a pointed toe didn’t go right with his stocky physique. Trying on cowboy boots was the only time he complained much about his build, though – he appreciated being strong, able to take on most chores that needed doin in spite of the fact that the face he took his blade to each morning seemed to have more creases to navigate lately and the whiskers that tickled the back of his neck from the place where they’d fallen into his shirt collar were salt and pepper now.

The coon dog didn’t seem to care how old he got, and the feeling was mutual. He’d seen the dog’s own decreptitude as a sort of mirror of his own, mostly believed watching the aging mutt was the one thing that kept im in check and aware that his life was slipping away.

“It’s okay,” he thought, “It can keep on slippin.”

He’d had enough of the struggle to stay in one place. The farm going back to the bank was just the first step of the long slide back, back to where he’d come from, back to the time before Lorraine and the kids and the drought and the terrible fights that sent her back to Chicago and the kids away to Art School and San Francisco.
He reached for his flask and braced himself for the punch of the shine on his lips, the way he had since he first tried the stuff as a boy of nine. He wondered: if anyone his Pa knew saw him today, would they think him a spector? Some sort of remnant cut away from the fabric of a man who had managed to accomplish something with his meger 45 years?  Paul had six on him and was fixin’ to start from scratch.
He bent down to pat the coon dog and muttered, “good boy,” then he put the flask to his lips again.

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