Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wordzzle # 21

The Ten Word Challenge will be: gouged, symmetrical, Spanish moss, ATV, parallel parking, Luscious, origami, amphibian, turkey, gravy train

The Mini Challenge: pouring rain, mastiff, church bells, wedding dress, stock car races
You all know the drill by now. I'm too lazy to do more than one story; in fact I just continue the same story. I revel in my literary slovenliness.
McCool and the Gang part whatever

Claude loved Marseilles, what a great town to live in as a child. He had enjoyed the boisterous seaport, the wild weather and citizens while growing up. Right up till the time of the chemical plant explosion that first maimed and disfigured, and then after years of pain and suffering, killed his mother. His father had been luckier he supposed; he had died outright. His old man had worked at the DuPont facility for pesticides for many years. Neither parent had thought much about using the company assisted housing outside the plant's doors. All that changed when the terrible accident had gouged out a city block with the resulting explosion. It had not been a symmetrical event. The factory workers housing and the plant itself had borne the brunt of the force.

The executives, who lived in the hills overlooking the site from their Spanish moss covered estates felt the ground shake, heard the sirens and then the church bells that rang for days to commemorate the 346 dead and injured, but they lost only those at work that Saturday. The majority of the dead were the families living outside the gates and the maintenance workers on duty. Had young Claude not gone with his friends to ride their ancient ATV in the hills that Saturday morning he would have suffered the same fate as his mother: excruciating chemical burns and then death. He had watched his once luscious and vibrant mother waste away in perpetual agony.

All this seemed as if a bad dream till he awoke in a sweat in the seedy Cuban district of Miami and realized it was just the same recurring nightmare he'd had since he was twelve.

Claude rose from the bed and padded silently to the window. He checked his car (recently stolen and replated) that he'd put in the parallel parking slot beneath his second floor window. With what he had stored in the trunk it could never be too far from his sight. He turned from the view of street, the car, and the pouring rain back to the bed and looked with an amphibian smile upon the sleeping form.

Perhaps he should slap the hooker awake and teach her once again that working for him was no ride on a gravy train with biscuit wheels. (Where had he heard that before he wondered? Biscuit wheels?)

Claude washed his face in the basin, opened the door to let the large brown mastiff named "Cherie" that he kept constantly at his side out to do her business. No one would attempt to steal the dog and Cherie would bring her sweet self back to his door when finished. In spite of her fearful appearance she was a loving and faithful companion; the only one that Claude had ever known.

The first call that McCool made was to his friend and mentor in Big Sur, Jack Preston. Jack was an imminent environmental historian and general trivia hound of all things ecological. McCool knew he would get all the scoop on the "Butcher" from him. What he hadn't expected was a message on Jack's machine stating that he and long time lady love Arlene were away in Sacramento having her fitted for a wedding dress. The thought of Jack getting married seemed as likely to Thomas as Jack becoming a NASCAR fan and going to stock car races.
McCool left a message and congratulated Jack on making an honest woman out of Arlene, or was it the other way around? He looked toward Sgt Johnson and laughing said, "Old Jack is getting married man, are you going to be next?"

Paul looked deep into his whiskey glass and took a puff of the great cigar McCool had provided before answering. "Zan and I have talked about it Tom, it just never seems to be the right time." McCool lifted one of the quaint origami birds that the owners placed about their home each day. He let it loose over the railing and watched it glide toward the girls and the pool.

"Don't wait too long for the perfect time Paul, people drift away from you sometimes, just like that little paper pelican." They both looked down as the delicate paper creature landed at Zandilla's feet. “OK turkey, you’re getting a little too cute now, don’t you think?” Johnson remarked. McCool just grinned and shrugged his shoulders. “Who knows man, looks like an omen if you ask me” he answered.


Raven said...

Love it. Nice to get some background on the made ecologist.... and romance too. Ah... life is good.

Dianne said...

Claude is scary but I'm feeling so much empathy for him. I hate/love conflicted emotions ;)

and as Raven said - it's nice to have a bit of romance going on.

Jay said...

Excellent installment. A little romance is nice, but women sure do complicate things sometimes. haha ;-)

Richard said...

raven: funny what drives some people, isn't it?

dianne: we all have our demons.

Jay: the world isn't complete without the fairer sex Jay.

Thanks to all for reading.


the teach said...

"ride on a gravy train with biscuit wheels." I love that, Richard! But I've never heard that before...have you written about that before? :)

Richard said...

Mary: no I haven't, just thought Claude would wonder where he had heard it.


Jeff B said...

"Don't wait too long for the perfect time Paul, people drift away from you sometimes, just like that little paper pelican."

I loved the symbolism is this action. It created a powerful image and one that a whole story could be based from.

Well done again.

Richard said...

Thanks Jeff