Alta’s Boarding House

PROMPTUARIUM: They don’t know.

Wilhelm Roegge


On the top floor of Mrs Alta Wellington’s  house is an attic that has been divided into two rooms. One room is bright and sunny and Alta rents that room to an artist named Jorry Tomford.

Jorry is a painter, and a sometimes sculptor who likes to take his sketchbook to the park by the river. He sits at a bench on the main path and as he sketches he will look up from his pad and grit his teeth and scowl at people as people walk by so that they will have no doubt that they have interupted an important work of art in progress

But they haven’t of course. Jorry hasn’t painted a picture or gone to parties and drank to much or had affairs with women who drank poison after turned them away from his door and denied them his love since he took the room at Mrs. Wellingston’s house.

The other room is a little darker and a little cooler on hot Summer days and freezing on slightly cooler days and that room is occupied by Neely Hanan who writes stories about vampires who tear open women’s corsets before  they drink their victim’s blood and poems  where she compares women’s breasts to cupcakes and chocolate cordials.

Neely will tell you she doesn’t write “rapey” stories but really, she does. She also likes to day dream about pushing people in front of buses or cars and then walking away.

Neely and Jorry sometimes pass each other going up or down the attic stairs and sometimes they leave the house at exactly the same time and never once  have they said hello to each other, or goodby or even go to Hell.

As far as they were concerned the other did not exist.

One day they were forced into a conversation, so on that day they had to actually look each other in the eye.

As they were both leaving the house that day they both saw a newspaper on the hall table and on the front page was a picture of a circus train and in front of the cars where tigers and lions rode were some of the performers decked out in their costumes.

Nobody was smiling-except for the tigers.

The headline read: Circus Train Disapears on route to Seattle, Washington

300 Passengers, Crew and Animals Unaccounted For.

Neely reached out for the paper, she picked it up and read it. Then she handed it to Jorry.

” You know what this means, don’t you? ” she asked Jorry.

Jorry folded the paper in half, then he rolled it up. ” She’s going to be bringing in new tennants.” he said.

” I suppose she’s going to want our rooms. ”

” As if it’s our fault she-”

Jorry and Neely hear a click. It’s as loud as a gunshot and as the sound echoes and begins to fade away they both look up and then they look at each other and scowl.


Alta is sitting in front of her laptop with a yellowpost it note stuck to the side. It reads:

Check this out – from 1918

Circus Train Disapears on route to Seattle, Washington

300 Passengers, Crew and Animals Unaccounted For.

She opens up a new  window and makes a few notes and then she goes to another tab marked” Crazy Artist ” and closes it and then she clicks one that says” Serial Killer author “.

Her finger circles around and around the delete key, she bites her lip and then she looks at the post it and smiles and then she hits the delete key.


On the top floor of Mrs Alta Wellington’s house is an attic that has been divided into three rooms.

One room is dark,  the other room  is light and the third room  has a bars across it’s windows and Mrs Alta’s five new tennants will be arriving shortly after dusk, by train.




RDP Monday Prompt: Fluid

Louis Reckelbus (Belgian, 1864-1958)
Au Bréguinage de Bruges. 1912.

I like it when the sun is shining and the birds are singing and the warm Spring air stinks like freshly waxed cars and  lighter fluid warming on charcoal briquettes and

sometimes in these sweet moments

I look up into the sky and  with the sun  shining down on my upturned face  I ask it ” Are you going to give me skin cancer today, or are we good? ”

The Sun never replies but I do hear dogs barking and people laughing and music sailing through the air like rocks being launched by a kid in a blindfold with his Grandpa’s old slingshot on a dare.

I do enjoy days like that, they smell funny, they sound funny, they taste like burnt marshmellows and Strawberrry Wine Coolers.

Those are good days. I’m glad to say I was there. Even if it was only for a little while.

During the Spring I like to go to the beach at night when the tide rolling in is as black as a Witch’s heart and  ghost ships are sailing by  to nowhere

I can hear  thumping  and thudding from driftwood  as they are pushed carelessly to shore and I am sure I can hear the slick cool rocks  hissing at the cold Sea water ” Is this the day you wear me down to nothing or are we good? ”

Those are good nights. I like them the best. And sometimes I wish I was always there.

Moonlit Night. Wrecked ship
Ivan Aivazovsky


Try It On For Size

Word of the Day Challenge: Borrow

Chaim Soutine

My skin

my bones

my crooked smile

my cats, my dogs

my time on the clock

You wanted to touch them, hold them, own them for awhile

it would be fun, you said.


My home

my friends, my herb garden

the meteor shower I could have seen

but you needed that spot I was standing on

to see it better, to  feel it with more passion

what a rush, it would be  so much fun

besides,  you wore my life better with that leopard tatoo, you said.


My demons

my nighmares, the things I buried in the basement

inside of the walls, under the beds, inside of the closets, that I

locked safely away with skeleton keys, are you feeding them, caring for them?

Please let me know if you have had fun

living with them,  dreaming  them, sleeping with them

they’ve told me you aren’t! Say it isn’t so!


That can’t possibly be true.

My skin, my bones, the  demons and nightmares I locked away with

skeleton keys were all the little pieces of me

that made my life

the thing you wanted to borrow so badly

because  you said,

it would be fun.