Write-ins will be on Holiday vacation from December 18, 2022 through the first week in January. From now thru Saturday, December 17, the link for all Write-ins is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87293345121?pwd=RGFxVjA4Mkd2Z0FCY2J6b09EUSswdz09
We are going back to keeping the same link for all write-ins. Come join us and get writing.Thanks for allowing us a break. But it’s back to work the second week in January.
Keep writing. Have a Happy New Year and begin your list of goals for 2023. Writing should be the first thing on your list. Set a time, no less than once a week
Here is a great story written at a recent Write-in by K. Garcia during the month of November. She signed up for “Nanowrimo” and set as her personal goal 30 short stories in 30 days. She met that goal too, with a little help from her friends at the BAWL Write-ins.
Death by K. Garcia
Death is card number thirteen in any deck of Tarot cards.
Mana turned the card over and her regular client, Dennis, gasped. He looked at the card a long time and, without looking up, asked, “I seem to recall that’s not exactly a bad card. Am I right about that?”
“Yes, you are right. In the right-side-up position, like this is, it means change. Big change. That’s because the original creators of the Tarot believe death is not the end of us. It is a transition to something else. So, in this case, given this is in the “future” position in this spread, I expect you’re about to go through a major transition.”
Dennis was still staring at the image and asked, “Why do all decks have some sort of grim reaper as a representative if it means transition?”
“Because the deck uses pictures that anyone can understand. It transcends language and culture. Everyone knows the skeleton is a representation of death.
“Okay. That makes sense.” Dennis was quiet as he looked at the spread and lifted his gaze to look around the room. Mana called it her studio, but he always considered it an atelier. Her dark and esoteric place where she practiced her dark arts. This was his fifth time here, but he always spotted something new on the shelves that lined the four walls of the dark room. Today he spotted what had to be a crystal ball. It reflected one of the colored lights and radiated a smoky blue color.
“Do you have any other questions?” she interrupted his thoughts and brought him back to the cards.
“No. No, not today, Mana. I guess I’ll be going.”
He liked her. She didn’t talk much, so he kept coming back. She didn’t prompt him for information or ask him about his love life, family, or anything else. She just let happen whatever was going to happen.
He stood and pulled his thick wallet out of his right rear pocket, fished out a twenty-dollar bill, and handed it to her. “You know, everyone else charges nearly double what you do. What’s that all about?”
“I shouldn’t charge at all. Divination is a sacred gift, and taking money for it is wrong.”
“Then why charge the twenty dollars?”
“Because I have to live, and if I’m doing a job, I cannot do this. So, I charge the bare minimum, and everyone else gets their reading for free when I’ve reached my monthly budget.”
Dennis chuckled, “I’m just unlucky then, I guess.”
“No, you just prefer to come at the beginning of the month.” Her smile was warm and honest. She stood, walked to a box near the rear door, and put the twenty dollars inside it.
“Don’t you worried you’ll get robbed?”
“No. Never. If a person is desperate enough to steal from someone like me, fair play to them. It’s their karma that’s stained, not mine.”
“You’re one of a kind, Mana. Thanks again. I’ll see you in about four weeks.”
“Good evening, Dennis. And please, be careful getting home. That rain is cold and black ice may be in some places.”
He nodded as he pulled on his heavy coat. He shut his cuffs and stood the collar up. He took a sock hat out of his pocket, pulled it down over his ears, and left out the front door without another word.
Outside it was frigid. He suspected it was near freezing; if not now, it probably would be later. He made his way to his old Dodge Dart. Once snuggled inside, despite being nearly forty years old, the car started and purred like the well-tended vehicle it was. It was the only car he’d ever owned, and it still shined.
He drove slowly, which would make his twenty-minute drive more like thirty. But Mana was right, the road was slick, and he didn’t want to have an accident. He’d always been a cautious driver, which is probably why he still had the same car after all these years.
He was about ten minutes from home on the hilly, rural road. Most of the houses sat back from the road and were hard to see, even in the winter when the foliage had died off for the year. He was practically crawling when he took the turn at the bottom of the hill and had to slam on his brakes because there, half in the ditch, half in the road, was a car. His car lurched as he pulled ahead and onto the tiny shoulder.
All the roads in this area had huge ditches on each side of the road. Once you went in, there was no getting out with a tow.
He parked the car, grabbed his gloves, and got out.
He walked back to the distressed vehicle but couldn’t see anything because the windows were all fogged up. He tapped on the glass. There was no response. Harder this time. Nothing. He wiped the window with his left glove, but it remained foggy on the inside. With a little trepidation, he tried the door handle, and it opened. He peeked inside, but no one was in the driver’s or passenger’s seats. The engine was off, but the fans were still blowing. There was no phone, bag, purse, or anything else in the car.
“Weird,” he said to himself.
He decided to leave it and get back on his way. He’d call it in when he got home. He didn’t like to carry his cell phone all the time. He didn’t like the idea of being tracked everywhere, especially when he went to questionable appointments, like tonight.
Walking back to his car, he heard a low sound, like a moan or a groan. It stopped him in his tracks. On this road, it was normal for it to be silent, but what he’d just heard wasn’t normal out here. He held his breath as he waited for it. After a few seconds, when he didn’t hear it again, he started walking and, of course, that’s when he heard it for a second time.
Definitely someone in pain.
He turned toward the opposite side of the road and made his way to the ditch. The road wasn’t icy, but it was slick. When he got to the other side, he saw it wasn’t a person but a raccoon. Poor thing was lying there, bleeding, and looking at him with new panic in his eyes.
“Oh, buddy. I’m so sorry. You look like you’re in pretty bad shape.”
Recently there had been reports of coons testing positive for rabies. He didn’t want to take that chance. He kept a pistol in his glove box. He knew the humane thing would be to put this animal out of its misery.
Dennis had given up hunting decades ago. His father had made him do it, but soon as he could get out of going, he did and hadn’t shot anything since. He wasn’t sure why he had a gun in his car except perhaps from peer pressure. His cousin had given it to him and told him that he needed it, living out in the wilderness and all. There were coyotes, bears, and wolves… Dennis said, “Yeah, but they never bother me.” His cousin insisted, so Dennis took it. Now would be the right time to use it for something decent.
He got the revolver from the glove box. He checked, and it was fully loaded, just like it’d been when he received it. He’d never even bought additional ammo. He shook his head and hoped it’d only take one shot. He took a flashlight as well.
As he made his way back to the ditch, he looked over at the empty car and wondered again why, if the occupant had left the car to get help, hadn’t they turned it off, put on the flashers, and locked it. It was strange, but many things in life are.
He snapped on the flashlight and confirmed it was a coon, alright. And, yeah, the poor thing was mangled beyond repair. He couldn’t stand to look at it. He took the pistol out, aimed it at the pitiful animal, and said a little prayer.
The two boys in the new Tesla already had about six beers each and were working on the last six-pack as they barreled down the hill. The one in the passenger seat, Peter, was messing with the radio while trying to get something metal. Finally, he settled on an industrial rock channel and turned the volume up so loud that the windows shook.
Art, everyone called him Art except his mother, was looking over at Peter and reminding him that he was supposed to be lighting up a joint, “DUDE? What’s the holdup?” he shouted over the music.
“Oh, right!” Pete went digging into the center console, trying to find the baggy of pre-rolls they’d bought earlier that afternoon. They’d been smoking since then. “FOUND IT! Man, this medical stuff is some badass shit, is it not?”
Art looked over and laughed, nodded, and shouted, “HELL YEAH IT …..”
They had no idea what they had just hit. It had all happened so fast. Art was looking at Pete when out of the corner of his eye, he saw the car in the ditch. His reaction was to swerve. That’s when the huge BANG happened. He knew they’d hit something, but what?
Art hit the brakes, and the Tesla backend fishtailed. He pulled up and stopped in the middle of the right next to yet another car, some cherry red Dodge that looked old as the Buddha. His hands shook on the steering wheel.
“Jesus Christ, man. What did I hit? Did you see it?”
Peter was wide-eyed as he turned off the radio. He looked a bit shocked and shook his head, “I didn’t see a thing, man. Oh shit. What should we do?”
Art looked out the windows and didn’t see a thing. He thought about it for a moment and then realized his father would kill him when he saw the damage. Deciding he wanted to know how bad it was, he parked the electric car, and got out to inspect the front end. Peter did too.
Peter whistled low, “Damn, Dude. I thought it’d be a lot worse than that, given how much noise it made.”
“Right?! Me too!”
Art walked back a bit to see if he could find what he hit. There was nothing to see. No signs of anything. “Man. Let’s get the hell out of here!”
He didn’t have to say it twice. Peter was buckled into the passenger side by the time Art put it in gear.
“Let’s head home, man. That’s enough excitement for me for one day.” Peter said with a little waver in his voice.
“Absolutely. But, Dude, what do you think those two cars were doing there?”
“No, idea, man. And I don’t want to know.” He looked over at Art and, in all seriousness,
said, “Man, Let’s never go cruising down that road again.”