How the Wurst Was Won

Slot machine with cupid, rose, and cowboy boot

Source: Carrot Ranch Feb Saddle-Up Saloon

COWSINO STORY SPINE:  On the first Friday of very month, D. Avery hosts a writing challenge and month-long opportunity to talk story writing, and just general horsing around with regulars Kid & Pal at Carrot Ranch’s Saddle Up Saloon. February brings us a trio of picture prompts and the rare opportunity to play with a story spine. The following grew out of my own horseplay, so sashay on over and try for yourself!

How the Wurst Was Won

It was the baste of times, it was the wurst of times, and Thickpuddle McDrawer was up to his mustache in special orders for his Cain’t Be Beat Barbecue Special. Because of this, he once again questioned his decision to not add an extra triangle of cornbread, an oversized pat of honey-butter shaped like a rose, and some miniwurst sausages in Helene’s secret sauce to the regular order-for-two special, and then charge a buck or three more for creativity. People would pay extra for sure. History’d shown him there was something about barbecue, beans and cornbread that brought out the romantic side of those buckaroos. Continue reading

Just-Jot-It-January (Jan 1-3)

Just Jot It JanuarySo, this month I’m doing a challenge to write a micro a day, for Just-Jot-It-January. Thanks to Linda G. Hill, bloggers in the “Play Group” have proposed a one-word prompt for each day. We share our responses back to Linda’s page, and are able to read what others come up with. I’ll post my responses every few days in bundles, to respect your in-boxes. But if a prompt tickles your imagination, please click its connecting link to read more!

Jan 2:  Gobbledygook

Hard Language of Love

“What are you saying to me?” Kathryn squeezed her hands against the sides of her face, and squinted at Polly.

Polly dug her hands deep into her jean front pockets and straightened her arms. The jeans slid down her hips just a half an inch. She looked out the dusty living room window. If she left now, grabbed the duffelbag she’d packed and left in the front hall closet, this conversation would end.

“I can’t understand how you could even consider such a bad idea.” Kathryn’s hands slid down and grabbed their opposite bicep. “I absolutely do not give you my blessing.” She pressed her arms against her chest and lifted her chin.

Polly raised her eyebrows, stretched a tight smile, and shrugged. She didn’t think her aunt would understand, for all the years they’d spent together after her parents had both passed away. But she felt she’d needed to tell Kathryn she was leaving, at the very least.

“You need to sit your fanny right down and explain to me why you won’t marry Teddy. I WAS planning on giving you this house – it’s been on my side of the family for generations – when I died, but you can just forget about THAT, Missy.”

Polly sighed, took the few steps to her aunt and kissed her on the cheek, and wrapped her arms around the woman. Kathryn remained frozen. Stiff. Exactly as Polly had known she would. “Nurses Cross the Continents needs me. I’m really good at this. It’s all I ever wanted.”

“You’re needed here, with me.” Kathryn pulled away. “Stop all this gobbledygook. I’ll make us tea.”

“I’ll write you,” Polly whispered as she backed to the closet door and her waiting bag.

“I won’t write back.”

“Now who’s talking gobbledygook?” chuckled Polly, as she pulled the front door closed behind her.

© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2022)

To see others’ Jan 2 responses click the following:(https://lindaghill.com/2022/01/02/daily-prompt-jusjojan-the-2nd-2022/)

Jan 1:  Resolve (SoCS…oops, acrostic instead of stream of consciousness)

New Year’s Resolution

Red eyes, roiling tum,

Erica’s feeling all the rum.

She could’ve left early, at

Olde Lang Syne,

Looked to her best interest, and toed the line, but

Virtue’s no use when the party’s at home.

Eventually she won’t have to party alone.

© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2022)

Prayer For a New Year

Red sunrise over ocean horizon

Source: Matt Fraser

I meant well, sending her off on an impossible quest for the Silverword Cascade, hoping she’d find distraction and joy during the painful waiting time until her childhood friends return to her; No Baba Yaga am I — my magic is limited to perception only of magic’s heady limerance, and I hadn’t felt her subtle glow. Continue reading

Old World Charm

Kittelson mountain and sea

Solveig had gathered nearly everything Old Baba had asked her to bring for their midnight meeting on the strand and underneath the clear-night crescent of the new moon; the girl had yet to find the final potion ingredient, water scooped in a wooden cup, from the Silverword Cascade, a waterfall rumored to be located in the third chamber of one of the many caves on the far side of Hidden Cove.  Continue reading