Ode to Georgia — FFfPP

Title:  Ode to Georgia
Word count:  185 words


1361226489r9nsl MorgueFile

If Georgia could use a sun-bleached cow’s skull, Kacy figured she could. When she asked her mother, her mother got weird.

“You want what? You need your head examined. No one in their right mind wants a dried-up cow skull. It’s against the law.” Her mother continued ranting.

Kacy stopped listening, planning to stop at the butcher shop after school.

“You’re one of those artsy kids, aren’t you?” the butcher asked concentrating on his work.

“I’m an artist too, you know. Most people don’t think so. The way I figure it, this animal,” he paused, jabbing the knifepoint at the hunk of meat he was cutting. “This animal gave its life so we can eat. It’s my job to use every bit. Make sure nothing gets wasted.”

“Come back next week. I’ll have your cow skull. Okay?”

Kacy nodded.

A week later, the butcher presented her with her very own cow skull.

“You’ll do a good job. That’s one lucky cow,” he said handing Kacy the carefully wrapped and tied package.

He smiled as Kacy left the shop, holding the skull tightly against her chest.


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

In Time of Need — FFfPP

Title:  In Time of Need
Word count: 175 words


14946675160vn34 AugustMorgue File

It was a recurring dream, a nightmare really. She walked through fog barely able to see, her next steps uncertain and precarious. Searching.  Pursuing and pursued. The dark specter, a constant force, pushing her forward, denying her rest, threatening to overtake her. And then she screamed.

This time she did not wake. The dream was real. Her heart pounded, echoed in her ears, drowned rational thought. Her stomach tightened, choked her throat, cut off her air supply. She gasped and lurched forward, not ready to die. Salvation lay hidden in the fog.

Running now, adrenaline coursing through her body pushing her past her limits, and beyond the edge. Her next step did not hit the ground, she tumbled, falling, reaching, grasping nothing. A hand caught her, suspended in time, she searched the hooded face and saw only darkness.

“I can grant more than Salvation.”

The words filled her head, and she closed her eyes.

“Where is Salvation in your time of need?”

Despair consumed her.

“You only need to say the word.”

She nodded.



Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Honey — FFfPP Week 38

Title:  Honey
Word count: 190 words


MorgueFileJune2018 1418535473h5g6w

Honey showed up on the farm one warm spring morning. She was thin, her fur matted and dotted with cockleburs. Honey was shy but friendly enough. After a good meal, she allowed me to comb her and gently remove the burs. I called her Honey because of the color of her coat, but the name accurately described her personality. Honey proved to be a good hunter, she would disappear and return with prize captures of pigeons, mice, and other varmints. I exchanged her quarry for a meal, a bath, and quiet companionship.

All summer I watched after her, knowing she was more than capable of taking care of herself but happy when Honey came to visit me. Summer faded to fall, and I received news Rob suffered injuries in the war. Each day I waited, and Honey waited with me. The days crept, and my worry grew. How badly was he hurt, and did he have someone caring for him? The day came, and Rob arrived. His wounds were deep, but they would mend. I heard Honey moved on to Johnson’s farm where Rachel waited for news of her husband.


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Chevy — FFfPP Week 37

Title:  Chevy
Word count:  180 words


MorgueFile May 2018 1413924415vgvbk

This summer we lost the red Chevy pickup in a sea of weeds. Bob asked if I remembered seeing it. I pointed to a patch of six-foot-high water hemp and redroot pigweed. Dotted here and there was Queen Anne’s Lace, milkweed, and thistle. As the weeds swayed in the breeze, you could glimpse the top of the cab.

“Hm, someone needs to see about that,” Bob said before he turned and headed to the barn. A couple hours later, Bob had dispatched the weeds, and the Chevy stood proudly on the rough-cut field.

“The Chevy looks lonely out in the field all by its lonesome,” I said to Bob as we sipped our morning coffee in the kitchen.

“I suppose someone should do something about that,” Bob said before draining his coffee cup. He set the cup in the sink, gave me a peck on the cheek and headed to work.

Later, I paused my work and saw the Chevy had new friends.  Piled on the truck’s bed, in the cab, and the ground were hundreds of pumpkins. I laughed.


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

World’s End — FFfPP Week 36

Title:  World’s End
Word count:  200 words

section of high rise apartment building

Michael (Black) Ritter pexels-photo-41506

I spin through revolving doors leaving sirens, bus exhaust and the thundering din of a thousand people behind me. Hank waves from the security desk where he chats with another guard. I enter the metal cube, the doors close and I fly skyward. Up and up, forty-five stories in the air. My ears pop as I ascend, and a melodic ring tells me I have arrived. I am home.

The apartment is sparse; I require only the essentials. It is a welcome relief from the sensory overload that pummels my nerves whenever I am elsewhere. Floor to ceiling windows enclose the apartment and offer views of the city skyline, the sea, and sky. Clouds roll, black and foreboding advancing on my sliver of heaven, my haven at the World’s End.

I lay on the hardwood floor as the storm engulfs me. The building shifts and sways, glass windows bulge and wind howls through spaces and gaps I cannot see. Rain pelts the windows while far below tiny people sprout umbrellas and traffic slows. I envy the storms rage, an emotion from which I am banned. My apartment cradles me, rocks me, eases tension from my soul. At last, I sleep.


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The Gift — FFfPP Week 35

Title:  The Gift
Word count:  200 words

MorgueFile May 2018 file1831341080767

Daddy said Mother’s Day was coming, and we needed a nice gift for Mommy.

“I know. Breakfast in bed,” I said. Daddy agreed. We decided pancakes, syrup, juice, coffee and a flower would make a pretty breakfast tray.

The big day arrived. Daddy woke us early and warned us to be quiet. We sneaked downstairs to create Mommy’s breakfast tray. She was surprised! When she ate, we raced downstairs to eat our pancakes.

The kitchen was messy, and I loaded the dishwasher and started it like Mommy does. I wanted to help, but I didn’t realize there was a difference. Soap is soap, isn’t it? The dishwasher spewed bubbles everywhere. They crept from the sides and leaked out the bottom. They cascaded over the top joining the ones on the floor.  The bubbles advanced filling the kitchen floor. I didn’t know what to do.

“Mommy,” I cried.

She raced into the room wading through bubbles to stop the dishwasher. I thought she would be mad, but Mommy laughed. She grabbed my hands, and we danced. As we danced, they swirled around us and bubbles floated into the air. Mommy said she loved bubbles. They were the best Mother’s Day gift.


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Clean Water — FFfPP Week 34

Title:  Clean Water
Word count:   180 words

MorgueFile May 2018 1421077743edokn

Chipo didn’t like this, not one bit. Ma had always walked two kilometers to the river to collect their daily water. As Chipo grew, she helped to carry the heavy containers. They used the water to cook, bathe, wash their clothes and water the cows. She remembered the men digging the well. They spoke in loud voices and their loud machine made the earth shake. They located it in the middle of the village, a dozen steps from their front door. They told Ma and Chipo they wouldn’t need to walk to the river and Chipo thought it would be wonderful.

They left, and she and Ma no longer walked to the river. Then the water changed, it tasted funny and Chipo stopped drinking it. Ma said it was fine. Weeks passed, the water turned brown, and the well sputtered and sprayed. Then it ran dry and Chipo resumed her daily trips, but Ma stayed in bed too ill to walk the two kilometers.  A week later, Ma died.

Now they returned to fix the well. Chipo walked to the river.


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Labor of Love – FFfPP Week 33

Title:  Labor of Love
Word count:   200 words

Daria Shevtsova pexels-photo-1070945

The first fingers of dawn hadn’t touched the black velvet curtain of darkness when Laroux flipped on the kitchen lights. Overhead, the fluorescents bounced off spotless stainless steel and bleached white tiles. Wednesdays were her favorite day of the week. She had three hours alone, to play in the kitchen.

Laroux tied her apron and gathered the ingredients, yeast, sugar, salt, oil, and flour. Yeast was a special ingredient, the origin of life. Baking took simple items and used chemistry, art, and kneading to form an aromatic loaf. She measured yeast into warm water, watching it bloom before stirring in the remaining ingredients. Laroux continued adding flour, forming a soft dough she turned onto the marble bench. She gathered the sponge, pushing bits together until it stuck in a lumpy ball. Now came the fun, the hard work.

The heel of her hand dug into the dough moving like an earth mover compacting dirt, stretching the dough on the marble, then folding it into a ball. Laroux repeated the actions, developing the gluten in the flour. Then, she and the dough rested. The dough doubled in size, ready for the oven. Laroux created bread with love to please the senses.


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Duplicity — FFfPP Week 32

Title:  Duplicity
Word count:  184 words

MorgueFile May 2018 1400068700w0086

Lisette tried to look inconspicuous as she walked past the restaurant’s main window. The restaurant was empty, so she adjusted her sandal’s strap and scanned the interior. The main dining room held twelve linen-covered tables. She noticed everything, but she focused on the oil paintings. Eight hung in the room and she dismissed each one. It had to be here. She pretended to shuffle through her purse and saw it hanging behind the hostess stand. Lisette pulled her phone from her purse and walked away.

Jean-Pierre took over the family restaurant from his father, but times changed, the neighborhood changed, and the business suffered. His grown children had no interested in running the family business. It was time he retired, so he closed the doors. They had a party to say goodbye to the neighborhood and his loyal customers. The next morning Jean-Pierre dismantled his life. He removed the oil painting from the wall where it hung all these years. This one painting was his retirement fund.

Jean-Pierre took the painting to a dozen appraisers. They agreed his original Edward Hopper was a fake.



Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Lesson One — FFfPP Week 31

Title: Lesson One
Word count: 170 words

MorgueFile May 2018 1382470355ix82z

Marissa watched the car back down the driveway and listened to the garage door close. Why couldn’t they hurry? In the street, the car stopped, and Marissa wanted to scream. Finally, the car moved forward. When it turned the corner, she slid from the window seat to the floor, tossing cushions as she moved. Hinges creaked as she lifted the seat pushing aside blankets. She tripped the concealed lever that opened the secret compartment.

Marissa grabbed the leather ties and pulled the package from its hiding place. She sat cross-legged and placed the package in her lap. It only took a moment to unwrap the soft kid leather protecting her precious book. Marissa caressed the cover and marveled at the embossed details.

She opened the cover to the marked page. She needed something simple to begin. A storm should work. Marissa turned pages until she found one. She touched the pendant on the necklace she wore and read the words aloud. Outside the window, dark clouds rolled across the sky.


Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer