words with friends as prompt

My cousin and I have been occasionally writing stories using the boards we create with our words with friends games.  This is a story written in the style of “the onion” (which won’t take my unsolicited manuscript according to their website…..such a bummer). If you want to try it and have your story posted, send it to me.  I’m happy to take unsolicited work.

Here are the words and the story follows:

An, Azine, Dazed, Ne, Oi, Crumby, Glum, Creel, Ego, Club, Bedded, Hardies, Hi, Meta, Ayin, Tag, Ti, An, Aa, Poots, Fools, Ska, Haven, Retro, Pox, To, Tort, Sox, Er, Sees, Heth, Haji, Wife, El, Liven, Hip, Qis, Quit, Sup, Ahi, Wet, She, aw

Study Shows that Poots End More Marriages Than Originally Thought

While many relationships may survive smelly sox, the crumby mess left by cracker eating spouses, and the wet spot, it has been determined by an international study of marriage that an abundance of poots may serve to end more than 50% of marriages.  The study, conducted by El Ne, an internationally acclaimed group of marital scientists, updated earlier statistics that said a mere 30% of marriages ended due to excessive pooting.

Said one wife, “my house smelled like the old creel my pa used for carrying his ahi home.  I couldn’t take it no more.  And it was even worse when he bedded me!” she continued, “he thinks he fools me with his moans but I heard the poots and smelled them even more.”

El Ne scientists studying the chemical nature of poots have determined that they are a meta-azine compound that often leaves the nearby non-pooter dazed and unable to focus.  One local Retro-Ska Club had to be closed down after a group of men who were celebrating a bachelor party arrived from a nearby chili feed.  Health department officials called to the scene put a red tag on the club until further notice.  When asked for comment the men had no understanding of the problem they’d caused and continued with the alphabet drinking game they were playing.  “Give me an ayin…AYIN…give me a heth…HETH.”  This writer does not have high hopes for the longevity of the groom’s marriage.

According to statistics provided, it is not always the man who brings this pox to the marriage.  Occasionally, and only very occasionally, it is the woman.  Because the female ego does not seem to celebrate the poot in the same way that the male ego does, this information was more difficult to obtain.  Said one husband who asked to remain anonymous, “Er, my home was meant to be a haven, but I had to quit it.  Oi.  I love my wife but I couldn’t bear to sup with her even.   I was forced to become a Haji so my wife wouldn’t know the real reason I stayed away so long.”  This sort of glum response was common among men.  All of the men interviewed were among the 50% who remained in their marriages, trying anything, including wrapping their wives hips in ti leaves to muffle the smell.

Scientists studying the problem have determined that meditation can mitigate the issue to a degree.  Managing qis through meditation will liven the digestive system and eliminate much of the ‘over’ pooting.  This allows for an ‘aa’ reaction rather than the typical ‘aw-wwwwww’ that leads to marital demise.  

Due to the frequent incidence of these marriages ending in civil court, many jurisdictions have enacted tort law to handle their disposition.  While the occurrence of pooting seems to be unintentional, some spouses are accusing their partners of negligent acts resulting from ingestion of inappropriate foods.  “Hi,” said one anonymous wronged woman, “he was downstairs in his basement building something and I could hear the hardies hit the anvil.  Then there was an explosion that shook the house.  I went downstairs to see to things and was knocked clean out by the smell.  When I came to he was standing over me smiling like he’d just accomplished a great act.  He was proud and I know’d he’d eaten those beans again.  I just cain’t take it anymore and I need out of this marriage.”

While the seriousness of this situation is undeniable, many court clerks are struggling to remain calm.  Particularly the male clerks, which only exacerbates the situation.

Rachel and Leah

“How do I look?”

“What?  Just a minute.  It’s almost the end of the game.”

Hubby sunk deeper into the leather cushions, beak thrust forward, intent on the movement on the television screen.  The announcer was screaming.  28 to 27 and the quarterback threw an interception.  I slid my shoes off and under the coffee table.  My perfectly painted toes sparkled against the white carpet.  I snuggled my toes into the plush wool, smiling as I nibbled on a juicy yellow apple, liquid dripping down my chin, and wondered about its resemblance to an aphrodisiac mandrake.   Or is that a poisonous mandrake?  No matter.  I slipped the strap of my top down to my elbow, exposing the shoulder nearest him.  My bare breasts rubbed the inside of the fabric.

He sensed my movement and leaned further forward.  The announcer was nearly hoarse. 

Hubby groaned and I turned to the screen to see if it was time yet.  No, three minutes left and his team was losing.  I unbuttoned the top of my jeans and settled further back into the deep cushions.  I rested my hand gently at the top of my thigh, fingers brushing the inseam between my legs.  Apparently it was a very exciting game and hubby was conflicted.  His eyes slipped momentarily away from the screen and settled on my hand.  I watched his jeans bulge.


He growled as he turned away from the television and rolled on top of me.

“I should never have left home to watch a game here….your sister isn’t nearly as distracting.”

I smiled and spread my legs.  He licked the apple juice from my chin.  And I thought again about the mandrake…poison or passion?


To grow dark, gloomy. It’s really a word. But it does sound like something my children made up. Like ‘snory’…a boring story (Benjamin’s word) or ‘lasterday’….anytime before now (Emily’s word). Your assignment for this labor day weekend is to use these words, all 3 of them, in a story, not a snory, and get it published. Anywhere. Here counts. I’ll publish it on my blog. Have a great weekend!

1. Genesis: Noah

She was always giving, taking back, giving, taking back.  Every time she took back he promised himself it would be the last.  Then he would think back to the beginning, and before he could go, she was giving again.  So he stayed.  They built a life together, working odd jobs, they bought this double-wide, made some friends.  But every time he got comfortable, she’d let him fall.  She’d go back to an old boyfriend, spend food money on her drugs, tell the neighbors his secrets.

This time was different.  No amount of rainbows and wine would convince him.  He turned off the lamp and rolled over on the couch, suddenly aware of his nakedness.  He tried to get up, reaching for clothes that weren’t there, and fell back with a thud.  The sound of crickets and the light from the streetlamp hurt his head.  He realized he hadn’t closed the door and pulled himself off the couch, across the musty room.  As he reached for the knob, he saw her staring in at him.  She smiled, but it wasn’t kind.  She laughed and turned away, walked toward the sound of women’s voices laced with liquor.  He heard his name and slammed the door.  He didn’t bother locking it.  She had a key.  He fell to his knees and dragged himself back to the couch.  He put the pillow over his head.  It stank of her cheap perfume and someone else’s body.

The world spun.  Then gentle hands took the pillow.  He saw a face he didn’t know.  He felt her breath, heard the sound of her voice, but couldn’t make out words.  She took the horrible blanket off the back of the couch and laid it across him, looking away.   He opened his lips to tell her no, it gave him a rash, but the blanket felt like a cloud wrapped in the sun’s warmth. He lay back down and closed his eyes, expecting the world to swirl around him.  But it didn’t.  He slept and she stayed with him.  Still speaking without ever moving her lips.  She spoke to him all night, telling him all she knew.  Telling him what was next.  She told him she was not the youngest child.  The woman he lived with was.

When he woke he was alone.  The woman from last night was gone.  He smelled her breath and felt the sound of her voice in his veins.  Her invisible hands caressed his face, his neck as he pulled himself off the couch and made coffee.  He was dressed in clothes he’d never seen before.  They were clean, untorn.  How had she changed him he wondered.  How was she here but not?  Why was he erect after so much wine?  And where was the woman he lived with?

While the coffee brewed he went to the closet and removed everything that wasn’t his.  He put it in a box and addressed it.  He understood why he’d never been able to leave.  This was his home.  He opened the door and carried the box down the step to the truck.  He tossed it in the back.  The post office would deliver it East, and he knew she’d follow.  She would wander until she found the box.  It contained everything she needed.  Everything but him.

2. Genesis: b’reishit

She knew that he had a particular opinion about women writers and particularly about her writing.  And this was her most important piece so far.  So she kept it to herself.

“Dear, dinner’s ready”.  She busied herself setting out the dinner plates and wine glasses and pulled the challah out of the oven and dressed it with the cover she’d embroidered for him for their wedding.  She didn’t know if he liked the cover, he never commented, but they’d been using it weekly for 3 years now and she didn’t want him to think that anything was different.  Especially now.  She hoped that her anticipation didn’t show.

He arrived at the table, gave her the dry kiss on the cheek she always received before lighting the candles.  She wondered what it would be like to go to the service on Friday night.  They were a modern couple, she knew that many modern couples attended services together.  Once she’d broached the subject, but he’d just looked at her through his glasses in that way that made her feel unclean.  His only interest in religion was his version of the Friday night mitzvah.  She knew how he saw things.  She’d seen his draft of Creation.  That was what got her started.  That’s why she had to write her story.

When she’d mailed his draft for him a week ago, she’d sent hers along as well.  This story would pay well, plus it was an important story to write.  The Editor said that generations of people would read it.  She’d worked hard on hers, harder than she’d ever worked on any piece for submission.  She felt it was perfect.  She’d crafted every word carefully, eliminating all but the necessary.  Each day was drawn exquisitely and with just enough color to retain interest.  The creation of man and woman did not outshine the rest of creation.  They were all equal:  the day and night, the creatures great and small, the plants, animals, trees and of course man and woman.  She’d done her part in crafting the story as she believed The Editor wanted it drawn.  Clear and concise with minimal embellishment.  The story itself, she believed, was what was important.  This was plot driven, it did not require dramatization or decoration.

His was flowery and poetic.  It made her laugh.  And sometimes it made her cry.  When they were dating he used to pretend to be flowery and poetic.  Bringing her gifts and soliciting her mood with wine until she relinquished her virginity to his naive and selfish need.  Without ever saying the words, he’d convinced her that fulfilling his needs would satisfy hers.  Flowers and candy had camouflaged the truth.  She should have seen through it.  No matter how you slice it, caste is caste.  She’d seen Boxing Helena with him.  He thought it was true love.  He tried to convince her that if she really loved him their Friday night mitzvah would be wonderful just because it pleased him.  He whispered in her ear all of the things that inspired his desire never noticing the desert he created.

Friday night passed in its usual way and Saturday morning bloomed rainy and dark.  His mood was bright as he rolled out of bed and proudly wagged his manhood at her.  Dutifully she smiled, wondering why she bothered.  He wouldn’t notice.  Then he stepped into the shower to wash away remnants of the spent night.  She got up and changed the sheets quickly while he whistled Enigma.  She marveled at his ability to whistle the un-whistlable.  Then she threw on her robe and ran downstairs to get the mail.  She knew he would be looking for his response today.  She found the envelope with her name on it and The Editor’s name in the return address.  His was there as well.  She opened hers as she heard him turn off the shower.

“I’ll be down for breakfast in a minute” he shouted.  He had never even learned to turn on the coffee pot.  She had to set it with the timer the night before if she wanted coffee when she came downstairs.  Breakfast would have to wait a few minutes.

She skimmed the letter as the coffee began to burble. 

“Thank you Mrs.” it read,  “We find your story fitting and true and exactly what we have been looking for.  We’d like to publish your story in our Anthology.”  But there was more.  They would publish a second story as well.  Immediately following.  They called it a doublet.  They hoped she wouldn’t mind.  She heard his step on the stair and put her letter on the stove under the fry pan.  She turned the heat on high and cracked eggs into the pan.  She didn’t turn when he walked into the room, but she heard the paper shuffle as he searched the mail.

He picked up his letter and tore it open, dropping the envelope on the floor for her to retrieve.  “They’ve accepted my story!” he shouted.  He slapped her behind and tossed the sheet on the counter, never taking time to read the rest of the letter.  Then he grabbed her hand and pulled her toward the stair, ready to repeat last night’s mitzvah.  He had won.  He’d have his prize.  She turned off the stove.

He presumed her tears were tears of joy.

In Madagascar

I’ve been in mourning for 2 weeks, 3 days, 6 hours and 40 minutes.  I’m going to take a mini-vacation now.  I’ll be

In Madagascar

Early eve

She slid quietly into her slip

Gazed fondly through the sheer

At her bellybutton

Thoughtlessness gone

Now hearing the chirp of each cicada

In the pungent pre-night air.

I hope you enjoy my trip.

who are those people?

One of my many chores is going through all of the digital photos I’ve downloaded onto my computer, printing them and putting them in some sort of order.  Unfortunately my artistic talent doesn’t always translate into fabulous photos.  I’ve got some amazing foreground pictures with all kinds of weirdness in the background or off to the side of whatever I found interesting.  Very often I get a shot of people I don’t know taking up more of the frame than the ones I do know.  So what to do?  Toss them?  Oh no.  First of all, I toss very little.  It can all be used for something.  I might need it someday.  My favorite thing to do with those odd pictures is to make up stories about whatever I didn’t intend to take.

story writing exercise:  Find a photo or a picture in a magazine or on the internet that includes people that you don’t know.  Write their story….do they know each other?  are they friends or lovers?  enemies maybe?  will they meet?  is one of them a criminal?  are they brothers who’ve never met?  Write in enough detail so that your reader can see the people without ever seeing the photo.

My first real post….am I getting it?

Writing prompts can be a word or a thought.  Some of the most interesting prompts can be found in the subject line of spam email.  Who thinks of these things?  Not that I’m recommending spam as an entrance into great literature, but it can spur the mind in interesting directions.  Have a look at your junk mail before you delete it next time.  Then, for ten minutes, empty your mind and write whatever comes into your head.  Use a timer.  If nothing else it will clear out all of the garbage that would have ended up in your great american novel had you not taken the time to dispose of it.  If you like, share it with the rest of us.  Writes can be anything, comments only positive.

I’ll go first…”something’s burning” was the prompt.

She’s sitting alone.  Her cigarette between her first and second finger, floating a foot above the table.  Her fingernails are perfect.  Perfectly manicured.  Perfectly pink.  There is no nicotine stain.  She doesn’t smoke often.  She is trying to create an impression.  And she doesn’t really like to smoke.  He can tell.  She rarely inhales and when she drops her hand to flick her ashes they tumble sideways out of the ashtray onto the old linoleum floor.  Finally the cigarette burns down and she stubs it clumsily, looking out cautiously from under her blackened lashes.

She sees him watching her.  Looks away.  Maybe relief crosses her brow as she lifts her coffee cup and sips.  Finally the cigarette is done and she can go back to her real vice.  He gets up and walks toward her table.  He has to turn sideways to avoid the woman’s purse at the table next to hers.  He’s going to the restroom.  He turns toward her.  Her hand is resting next to her coffee cup at the edge of the table.  She feels the rough fabric of his jeans brush her knuckles.  She doesn’t look up.  Her other hand slides quietly under the table and rests in her lap.  Her fingertips brush the top of her thighs.