The idea for this submission came from Lori Nelson-Clonts, one of the wonderful women in my writing critique group. I love the concept of her yet-unpublished novel – “The Good Luck Fortune Cookie” and wanted to share it with all of you. I chopped her story line down to 150-words.


Sitting at the crossroad of this way and that in her life, Akiri pondered her significance in the family business.
Her brother made Okonomiyaki from a two-hundred-year-old recipe.
Her sister played the Binzasara. Music men drove miles to enjoy while eating her brother’s creations and staring at Makiko’s hands.
Mother ran the kitchen. Father counted yen.
For other members of the family, customer interaction was essential.
Meanwhile, Akiri was cloistered in an upstairs room, listening to private conversations piped through microphones hidden beneath tables in the restaurant. Beside her desk, a box held a thousand slips of paper on which she wrote “special” fortunes gleaned from conversations between diners.
Akiri turned declarations of love, admissions of fear, anything, and everything into “fortune.” Nothing was sacred. She often felt like a spy.
Still, before each customer parted Akiri managed to slip hope inside homemade fortune cookies – served free at the end of every meal.

(150 words)

broken-face-liz Photo by Liz Young

“That must have been one hell of a party.”
“Rebecca! Language!”
“Oh, Father, really.”
“Don’t ‘Oh, Father me.'”
“Well, did I have fun?”
“If you consider drinking home brew with stable hands and smoking cigarettes with parlor maids fun then, yes, you had a splendid time.”
“Gosh, no wonder I feel a bit out of sorts.”
“Out of sorts. Do you remember milking Mrs. O’Leary’s cow?”
“Yes, you left the lantern in the shed. When the cow kicked it over all you said was, ‘It’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight.'”
“God, I did have fun!”

This story was written for What Pegman Saw, a delightful writing practice started by K. Rawson where the writer has 150 words to write a story from beginning to end. Thanks, K!

Raised Catholic, Angela could barely believe she was wandering the aisles of Sonora Market looking for – what?
Voodoo magic? Mysticism? She wasn’t sure.
At last, she found the table of colorful plastic figurines she’d been searching for all morning.
“Santisima Muerte will always be there for you.” Grandma Sophia had said these words hundreds of times.
“Black Muerte for cursing rituals. White Muerte for spiritual cleansing. Red for love. In times of trouble, go to the Santisima.”
Of course, Grandma was a bit of a kook. The entire village knew that. On the other hand, Angela needed help. No matter which Muerte granted it. Black? White? Red? Who cared. Shrugging one shoulder, Angela scooped one of each on top of the magic soap, holy water spray and dried skunk bunched together at the bottom of her bag.
Tonight Roberto would either fall in love with her, or he would die.

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The Tale Teller

Posted: February 8, 2017 in Friday Fictioneers

Yeah! It’s Wednesday-Friday again. I’m looking out my window at snow covered cedar branches while enjoying the warmth in Ted Strutz’s photo prompt. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields we have yet another 100-word challenge. Here I go.


I am paid to tell stories.
I sit, waiting for a commission, surrounded by pools of thought and fragments of people’s lives that
vie to be bound together by thin branches of lies and a few shoots of truth.
Generally, my tales are cool like tidewater on a summer’s day. Young maiden’s requests.
Often, the stories become hot and inflamed like a wound. Boy’s tales. Men’s tales.
Teens petition stories to circumvent the stumbling blocks of life.
Grandmothers? Stories from the past.
As long as the people come I will never be required to walk the shores of reality.


A Man Scorned

Posted: February 4, 2017 in What Pegman Saw

This 148-word “poem” (parenthesis because I don’t consider myself a poet by any means) is for the weekly What Pegman Saw writing challenge. How wonderful that K Rawson, our fearless leader, picked my suggestion of Norway for the Google Map prompt. Thanks, K!

My heart is on fire
My lungs hurt
My skin ripples with pain
even as it
swells with longing and lust

The small, golden threads
of love
and laughter
you left behind

Have shredded

Transformed themselves
into unbidden thoughts
of destruction
Angles of regret

Pools of anger

If I had given you
one more smile
a happier home
another child
A beautiful child
My soul

Would you have stayed?

Don’t answer
It makes no difference
Because I offered
all that

And gave you more

My love
Carried on a bed
of one thousand stars
supported by
four crescents of the moon

All I had

Yes, my heart is on fire
but the flames are no longer
fed by embers of hope

Keep an eye over one shoulder
One ear to the east
the other one west

For I am coming
to deliver
what you richly deserve
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Posted: February 1, 2017 in Friday Fictioneers
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roger-bultot-flowerPHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Up here, at this height, Felicia saw the world perfectly, everything was clear.
Up here, there wasn’t a thing Felicia couldn’t do.
Her artwork covered the walls, her journals were packed with poems.

Down there, her mind went all muddy as if she were a fish swimming in flood water.
The air became thin. Noises grew louder. Her skin felt too small, itchy.
She slid along the wall when men passed by. Ran if one moved behind her.
Women? No better.

Today the scars on her back feel swollen and raw.
Each man is her father, every woman her mom.

The Snitch

Posted: January 28, 2017 in What Pegman Saw
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Today, what Pegman Saw took us to Buffalo, New York. So many places to visit! Perhaps I was hungry because I ended up at a Pizza Parlor.


Sure we sold pizza.
But that ain’t all we tossed over the counter.
Leo? Sold the girls. Big ones, little ones, fat, skinny. You get the picture.
Tony? Ran the fights. Men. Women. Dogs. Didn’t give a rats ass who beat up who, long as our pockets was full of coin.
Zelda? Ha! An ace that one. Best bookie me and the boys ever met.
A mix of legs and fire and chutzpah. Bettin’ fellows threatened to wager their favorite grandmother just so’s they could win a slice of the moolah Zelda kept tucked inside her bra. Never came to it, though. That dame was brainy.
Let those fools win just enough to bring ’em back next day. Smartest one of us all.
No one’s real clear about what happened. We’re just glad our Zelda takes time out from runnin’ the Bocce Club
to visit us here in the joint.
(150 Words)