sometimes surrender is inevitable

Lavender Roaring Fork Clinchfield was, in the main, a hopeful fellow. Ever since the mines played out, and the river sought more hospitable neighbors, the elegant edifices erected in more prosperous times had slowly fallen into filthy decay. It would be an oxymoron to label the town’s elaborate desires as urban renewal, but a horde bent on pillage would be hard pressed to make things worse. For once, he was not dressed to the nines. The lazy spin of the bedroom ceiling fan cast slashing shadows through the dappled light of oaks in summer flush. Miss Generous Tupelo beckoned again.

The Daily Post prompt
Three Word Wednesday prompt

Authors note: This link Iron Hollows Fiction goes to the “Iron Hollows” category of 100-drabble fiction segments or click each drabble link below. They are not serially linked but rather vignettes set in and around the fictional town of Iron Hollows.

Dramatis Personae:
Lavender Roaring Fork Clinchfield. True scion of the South: notable for his fashion plate and bachelorhood.
Chromium. An American Blue Gascon fond of sniffing the ladies.
Miss Forsythia and Miss Hydrangea. Perky and together in that way.
Troubadour Peppermint. Deceased founder and savvy huckster.
Sanctimonious Poppermince. Direct male descendant, current mayor and a disappointment.
Generous Tupelo. A woman with eyes for fun and a body for sin.

“the legend of the time before”
“along the non-existent waterfront”
“gunpowder explodes, fireworks delight”
“clouds play peek-a-boo with moon”
“homemade gravy for the grits”
“unsuccessful sultry spring seduction”
“where there is snow there are complaints”
“thankfully the tavern had stocked up”
“air as crisp as a grilled McIntosh”
“auction night to fill the food pantry”
“discontent brews in men’s souls”
“boogie to classic carols”


for every way there is a choice

for slope
of no hope
someone will throw rope
or maybe walk away and cope

The Daily Post prompt

Mope: ORIGIN mid 16th cent. (the early noun sense being ‘fool or simpleton’): perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare with Swedish dialect mopa ‘to sulk.’

finding signs along the way of the oldest profession

I wrote this years ago as a response to sex trafficking and, it is even more relevant today. I would ask that in the midst of all the holiday cheer and celebration, you remember those that do not have the option of family and friends to fall back on.

“Seeking divine intervention”

couldn’t remember why
on her knees
idling motor
impatient fingers gripping
see nothing
hear everything
suppress panic
no place to run
hiding never worked
only the rats ever understood
dignity was a luxury

sleep elusive
window open to smothering heat
sudden zephyr
scrap enters
an A

she laughs
mocking sound
alien in the hostile night
she leaves
enough take for a ticket away
first bus
a single bag
memories fade with hiss of brakes

over the driver’s shoulder
one hundred miles traveled
three more ahead
wind tower spins
steady shadows
reflection off the blade enters
an N

she smirks
fellow jetsam oblivious
they snore
examines dirty sneakers
swaying aisle
restroom in rear
accepts a twenty
renders service
a girl needs to eat

maybe it’s noon
or two o’clock
hardy matters
wise now to the ways of transit
avoids procurers
good samaritans
locks stall to count
only two-fifty
blank stare
normal graffiti of numbers
lies and slanders
over the dispenser
a lurid orange mark
a G

fleeing now
never answered before

another quick blow
feels nothing

meal value
stomach rumbles in protest
inner-city crowd
she blends in
even with color
clothes worn
faces worse
children everywhere with mothers
hard-eyed men watch




unfolds paper napkin for lap
tucks another under chin
always manners
bloody juice
cheese and pickles
sauce reminds her

on the wrapper
printed on the shiny foil
an E

this time
finishes burger
washes hands
lifeless eyes in pitted glass
she wonders
about the sink
would it stain
does it hurt
finds herself outside
lost as ever
concrete covered with old gum
fresh vomit
brown bottles
and homeless

she smiles now
all the comforts
a grate
some cardboard
patched coat
no need for prayers

looks to the skies
sun sets behind towering city center
black finger touches slum
an L

head down
she sprints
ignoring the feathers
probably left by scattering pigeons
fear pounding
lungs bursting

curses fluently
fingers ripped jeans
notices red dripping
levers up
she’s left something behind in the shape of
an S

only now does she break
racking sobs
huddled inward
her mind rebels
she cannot
will not
ever believe
an angel
would care about her

it starts to build

ground fog swirls beneath
velvet crystal chandelier
diffuse saffron light
commence morning performance
an ovation of birdsong

Ovation: ORIGIN early 16th cent. ( sense 2): from Latin ovatio(n-), from ovare ‘exult.’ The word had the sense ‘exultation’ from the mid 17th to early 19th cent.

quiet begins within

strong gales threaten joy
dark clouds scuttle across sky
create safe retreat

Haiku Horizons prompt
The Daily Post prompt

Joy: ORIGIN Middle English: from Old French joie, based on Latin gaudium, from gaudere ‘rejoice.’

Scuttle: ORIGIN late 15th cent. (as a noun): perhaps from Old French escoutille, from the Spanish diminutive escotilla ‘hatchway.’ The verb dates from the mid 17th cent.

friends are the true gifts

is there anyone
who gives you bounty
who with a
a single phrase
a hug
a kiss
a wink
a smile
is there anyone
who gives you love

The Daily Post prompt

Bounty: ORIGIN Middle English (denoting goodness or generosity): from Old French bonte ‘goodness,’ from Latin bonitas, from bonus ‘good.’ The sense ‘monetary reward’ dates from the early 18th cent.