The Daily Spur Presents…Rian O’Malley

Rian O’Malley considered himself pretty hardcore.

He didn’t have a tattoo. That would have been too much of a geek thing to do. He went to a burn aesthetician and had artistically arranged burn marks seared into his skin.

He deliberately gave off an aloof vibe. He didn’t care about anyone and he never would.

But that wasn’t true.

There was one someone. Someone who had mattered to him. Someone who he had loved, but never told.

Hardcore aloof guys weren’t supposed to go admitting their feelings left and right. That was the emo kid thing to do. And Rian O’Malley was no emo kid.

Yet, he thought of her often and wished that he had spoken his mind. Maybe she would have accepted him. She was a pretty tough chick herself, even if she never fully crossed over into full hardcoredom.

He had loved talking to her and watching her emerald tongue stud sparkle with every movement of her tongue. It was entrancing.

Her name was Kailey MacGregor and she was gone.

He had always expected her to go out with a full-fledged bang. She was just that kind of girl.

She went out with a shrieking crash instead.


It took him a long time to get up the courage to go to the crash site.

It took him eleven months’ worth of days to finally go. He only went because he was pretty sure that it was a hardcore thing to do — go to a crash site and poke around. Maybe get some dirt under his fingernails.

Yeah. Sounded very hardcore to him.

He drove his Danger Machine motorcycle to the site. His shaggy red hair blew straight back, making him feel powerful and awesome. He felt like a renegade spy, speeding away from the enemy’s base. He felt like a character from an obscure dystopian anime.

He felt wonderfully alive.

He reached the spot.

He slowed to a halt and sat astride his vehicle.

There was nothing to see.

Her car was gone. Obviously. There would be no reason why they’d just leave a smashed up car along the side of the road for eleven months.

Rian tapped his right foot on the ground as he debated about what to do. He got off his bike and carefully set it down.

The air was cold. It was probably going to snow.

He looked up at the heavy gray clouds.

Yeah. It was definitely going to snow.

He shivered.

There was really nothing to see. This side of the road looked just like that side of the road and that side of the road and that side and that side.

Rian rubbed his hands up and down his arms. He was wearing a jacket. He may have been hardcore, but he wasn’t stupid. He knew better than to not wear a jacket when going for a bike ride this time of the year.

He looked up at the sky again.

Especially when it looked like it was going to snow.

Rian sighed and gave up on his stalling technique. He walked about in careful circles, searching for something, anything that he could hold on to. Something that he would definitely remember as Kailey’s.

He had a small hope that he’d find her tongue ring, but he worried about what that would mean if he did find it. How would it get out of her tongue? How would it get out of her mouth?

He did not like this train of thought. So, he knocked it off a high wire bridge.

There was nothing conspicuous on the road. Not even a rearview mirror.

He scuffled the toes of his black boots in the gravel along the side of the road.



He kicked extra hard.

Something flew out of the gravel and landed next to his motorcycle.

He went over to it.

Snow fell in dismally small flakes.

He knelt and picked it up.

It was a cheap necklace. Nothing to get all that excited about. Just a black shoelace cord with a plastic wine jug charm. The whole thing looked like something from a junky 25¢ machine.

But he didn’t drop it to the ground.

He didn’t throw it away.

Rian knew this necklace. He knew that it held a small secret. He twisted the top off the wine jug and looked inside.

The snow flakes grew larger.

He gasped softly.

Kailey’s spare emerald stud lay inside the jug.

Rian O’Malley considered himself hardcore. He didn’t care about anyone. He was cool and aloof. He was as tough as they got.

But the sight of that tongue ring sparkling in the day’s dimming light caught him off guard and off balance.

He thought of her.

He thought of Kailey MacGregor.

He broke down and cried.


Sent From My IPhone

I took a picture of you the other day.
You were asleep and you made me smile.
So, I took a picture of you on my iPhone
and sent it to you.

But there was a mistake in the system.
And something went askew.
The picture never went to you.

It went to your mean ex-girlfriend
who drew needlessly elaborate horns on your head
and sent it to her half-brother
who drew fangs peeking out of your mouth
and sent it to his half-sister
who drew green eyes on your closed lids
and sent it to her step-mother
who drew a speech bubble with the words
“I wish to eat your soul” coming out of your mouth
and sent it to her father-in-law
who drew very bad elephant ears on the sides of your head
and sent it to his brother-in-law, the minister,
who tsked the whole lot of them
and sent the picture back to you.

July 2019 Writing Prompts

A Writing Weirdo

A writing weirdo sits in the corner. Oh, she doesn’t seem all that weird. No unusual sunglasses or bizarre tan lines.

As a matter of fact, she doesn’t have any tan lines at all.

She looks ordinary. She sits in her corner with her tea and scone, nothing outstanding about her.

But then…


She pulls out her computer and she brings up her document. A wicked little gleam comes to life in her eyes. Her mouth turns up in a gleeful smile. She mutters as she types, but she mutters too quietly for anyone to understand.

Every now and then, she make a random hand gesture as if trying to hammer some point home. Or maybe she’s practicing an archaic form of sign language. It is honestly hard to tell.

She bites her lower lip and tries not to laugh, but somehow a laugh breaks free. She hunches over and types fast and hard with complete abandon.

A nice looking gentleman sits next to her and tries to strike up a conversation.

She raises her head and gives him a vague, glazed over answer before returning to her domain.

Her tea gets too cold. Her scone gets too dry.

The gentleman gives up on conversation attempts and leaves.

And she keeps typing mysterious things on her computer with a wild, carefree glee.

July 2019 Writing Prompts

Prodigal Brother

Author’s Note: Didi Oviatt has put up a new WIP Writing Challenge for this month. This time the theme is Prodigal Return, which feels custom made for my Jack Jilhouse/Lord Deama characters

How could I resist such a challenge? Although, in all honesty, I don’t know how likely this scenario is for these characters with all the bad blood between them. But one can never tell just what might happen. 😉 So, without any further ado, here is my prodigal return story!


Lord Deama walked with downcast gaze. His long, cat-like ears lay flat against his head.

I know the air here. I remember its scent.

The way it feels.

The way it always tastes like home.

But will they really welcome me back? After everything that has been said? After everything that I have done?

Asree was right. This is a foolish errand. It’s suicidal.

They will have me killed on sight.

They will not welcome me home. Why would they? I wouldn’t welcome them back if we switched places.

His ears lay completely flat against the shape of his head.

I just want to be home. I want to be with my brothers. I want us to be the way we always were: three against the world.

I don’t know if that’s possible anymore.

Deama stopped at the end of the path and raised his head. As always, his feet had known the way home.

He looked upon a large, rambling castle and he knew it. Every little bit of it.

Every slatted brick.

Every rock.

Every small feature.

He knew the layout of every room.

The odd way sound echoed in the halls.

He remembered running the halls with his two brothers, shouting and laughing at the echoes.

Can we ever return to that time? Can we be that close again? I don’t know. So much has changed.

I have changed.

He shook his head. “No. They won’t want me back.” He exhaled through his nostrils. “I will not have them tell me to leave. I can leave just fine on my own.” He turned to return to the Hishal Ghen fiefdom.

He froze.

His brothers, Lord Glorna and Lord Eina, stood on the other side of the open gate.

All three stood in a tableau: the two brothers on the outside of the gate, Deama in the inside. They stood there, all three stunned and speechless. None of them certain enough to make the first move.

Deama exhaled through his nostrils again. “Glorna. Eina.”

“Deama.” Glorna’s ears rotated uneasily. “Why are you here?”

I knew it! They don’t want me to—

Eina stepped forward. “Are you here to stay?”

Deama and Glorna gave each other assessing looks. Deama swallowed. “If you want me to stay.”

Glorna positioned himself in front of his youngest brother. “Can we trust you? Last time, you tried to—-”

“I know what I tried to do, Glorna. I was angry. I was hurt. I was not in a rational mind set.” He held out his hands palm-side up in a peace gesture. “But I have changed, Glor. I have changed for the better. Will you let me come home?”

“How do I know this isn’t a trick? How can I trust you?”

Deama contemplated the different ways to answer that question. He chose the most direct one. He knelt before him and spread his hands on the dirt path. He bowed his head. “I submit myself to your command.”

Glorna hesitated before approaching him. “Deama.” He went down on his knees and stroked his oldest brother’s head. “My brother, you are home.”

Deama raised his head. “Do you mean it?”

“I do.” He hugged him. “I’ve missed you.”

Eina came over and joined in the hugging. “I’ve missed you too.”


One Espresso Cupcake

He came every day.
“Just here for my usual –
One espresso cupcake.”
That is what he would say.

She smiled when he came in.
She counted on seeing him every day.
She always made sure there would be
One espresso cupcake waiting.
Just for him.
Every day.

He smiled and laughed with her.
Every single day.
“Just here for my usual –
One espresso cupcake.”
Was what he’d say.

She missed him when he didn’t show up.
She put his espresso cupcake with the others.
She missed the sound of his voice.
She wondered if he was okay.

Then, he showed up the next day.
“Just here for my usual –
One espresso cupcake.”
Is what she expected him to say.

But he smiled that smile she liked.
And he said,
“Just here for my usual –
One espresso cupcake plus
One more espresso cupcake
Just for you.”

That was then.
And ten years have passed.
A wedding band circles her finger
Just like it circles his finger.

And she still sets aside
One espresso cupcake
Just for him.
Every day.

July 2019 Writing Prompts

Twilight Dreams

I dream of you when
Twilight comes falling.
The pink of sunset becomes
The dark denim of not quite night.

I dream of you when
Twilight becomes night
And all is silent.
I dream of you.

The way you entered
And filled
A room.

I dream of you when
Night falls away
Into the light of dawn
Into the bright of day.

I dream of the way
You seemed so careless
You made me feel carefree
You were the most careful man I knew.
So, I dream of you.

All through the day
Into twilight’s hush
Into night’s sleep.
I dream of you.

July 2019 Writing Prompts