WoE Writing Challenge: The Bucking Bull

The screen door slapped Katie’s butt as she carried groceries into the kitchen. She sighed. Her daddy sat in the same chair she’d left him in two hours ago. Dark shadows haunted his eyes. He’d been like this since the funeral.

“Daddy, help me put things away.” Fear made her voice sharp, but he didn’t notice.

After finishing, she sat down beside him and picked up one of his calloused hands. She held it tightly, needing the contact, but he jerked it away.

Tears burned her eyes. She refused them. Instead, she pleaded, “Let’s have dinner at the fire pit tonight. We’ll have hot dogs and tell stories, like we used to.”

He pushed himself away and gruffly said. “Child, I’m going to sleep.”

As he climbed the creaky wooden stairs, Katie’s tears fell sloppily down her cheeks.

Later, her mama’s brother, Gene joined her at the fire pit. He was helping with the farm. They roasted hot dogs and marshmallows.

As stars popped out in the indigo sky, Uncle Gene told Katie funny stories about her mama when she was growing up. Their laughter echoed in the dark.

The porch light came on and the screen door banged open. Katie watched her daddy walk slowly to the fire pit. He sat by her. She smelled Ivory soap and felt a twinge of hope. He had bathed.

Gene stirred the fire and said, “Good to see you, John.”

“I heard the two of you talking about Louise. You forgot to tell her the bucking bull story.”

Raising his eyebrows, Gene chuckled, “That’s your story to tell, not mine.”

Katie encouraged him. “Yeah, tell me the story, Daddy.”

Her daddy began to talk. “It was my fault. We went to her boss’s Western party. Tom had one of those mechanical bull machines there. The guys bet on which of the ladies could stay on the longest.

“I guess I needed to impress Tom because I bet a hundred dollars on your mama, money we sorely needed for the farm. I figured if she rode horses, she’d stay on that bull machine.

“To be fair, your mama warned me. She called me a fool and said mechanical bulls were more like Tilt-A-Whirls, than horses. She reminded me why she didn’t like Tilt-A-Whirls.

“Well, Tom’s girlfriend, Caroline had the longest time of six seconds. Then, it was your mama’s turn. Without hesitating, she climbed on that bull. It started bucking and spinning. Your mama’s face turned green.” He looked at Katie and smiled.

Frustrated, Katie yelled, “What happened?”

“She got violently sick. Everyone was ducking and running, but she hung on and rode that bull for seven seconds. She wasn’t about to lose that money. Your mama was one stubborn lady.”

Katie watched as the memory made her daddy burst into thigh-slapping laughter. As she joined him, relief filled her heart.

Sometimes the past is the place you go for comfort.

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WoENewButton-e1363040457539This story is for a Write on Edge Writing Prompt: Week Two. We had a choice between a picture and the following quote:

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there. ~ L. P. Hartley: The Go-Between (1953)

My story is loosely based on the quote. I want to thank everyone at Write on Edge. I haven’t been able to write fiction lately and I’ve missed it. I feel a bit rusty. This challenge called to me and even though I took some liberties with the prompt, it felt so good to put down some words and tell a story again:~)


Story Photo: Bad Hair Day

copyright by sara b. healy

The Haircut

I sat down in the chair.
He gave a haughty stare.
He said, I know just what to do.”
I asked, “Can I really trust you?”
He said, “Sure. I’ll fix everything.
Don’t you worry; I’m the hair king!”
I listened to snip, snip, snip,
Waiting for the perfect clip.
Now, my hair hangs uneven
Thanks to a cut by Stephen.*

This poem is loosely based on a Red Writing Hood prompt. The prompt was to write something about hair and I think the idea was to write a story, a character sketch or anything other than what I ended up writing. But sometimes you just have to go where your muse takes you!

Since no story developed, I began a desperate search for a picture to put something up at my site. I found this one and “VOILÀ!”  Somehow, the picture, the prompt and my muse decided to play together. It’s not exactly what Cheryl intended with her Write on Edge prompt,  but I had lots of fun writing this. In addition, I’ve been in that chair many times:~)

What about you?

  • Have you been in a chair like Stephen’s?
  • Care to share any of your stories about hair cuts?

* This poem is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental. So, for any of the hair stylists out there named Stephen, this means I’m not talking about you:~)

Note to my readers: 

I will be around the blogosphere off and on in December. My daughter and her husband will soon be visiting from England. As I don’t get to see them very often, I plan on spending as much time as possible with them. I know you will understand:~)

Fun with words

Poor Jane (Best read aloud!)

Everyone thought
She was insane.
Things that were bought
Simply bored her lively brain.
She stole things, but wasn’t caught.
It made her bold — Stole the weathervane
Chickens and coop, she grabbed the whole lot.
The lady had ten sticky fingers she couldn’t contain.
When the circular staircase vanished, Jane got her mug shot!

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This is a writing in response to the above picture prompt from Write on Edge. While it definitely made the word count of 600 words, I’m not sure it’s actually fiction, nonfiction, and it might even be doubtful as poetry, but it was so much fun to write:~)

Sometimes writing should be just that— fun and effervescent. Like blowing up a balloon and watching it float up into the clouds.

I think we, as writers, sometimes forget how much fun it is to finger paint with our words, giving them no great intent or power. Instead, letting them be a splash of colors on white paper; plain and simple, but lots of fun to create:~)


Source of the photograph: Pinterest