Bamboo Ridge Year of the Dog writing contest rules for December : )

Writers, feel free to add on to any one of the following choices. There are three choices. Don’t forget to include the preceding parts of the story when you post your your addition.

There will be three more chances to add on to the pieces: This month, January, and February. This advance notice is given so that, if need be, you can gear your pieces accordingly.

This time you can write

EXACTLY 100 words


EXACTLY 200 words


EXACTLY 400 words

* * * * * Story Number One * * * * *

Part 1

“So wat da buggah said?”

ma madda asked afta ma

fadda dropped me off.

“About wat?”

“About wat?” she said,

mocking me. “How about

wat he wen promise fo

pay me in child support?

About wat?

How about wat he owes

me fo trowing one brick

true ma windshield?”

She sat at the table gazing

out da window, her eyes

neva meeting mine.

I always hated wen she

brought him up.

Even yeas afta, wen I

taut she wen foget him

longtime already, she

go, out of da blue,

“Dat buggah was one

real piece of shit

I tell you.”

Part 2

I neva saw ma fadda

trow da concrete brick

true da windshield of

ma madda’s cah

but was obvious wen

I came home from

school dat day an wen

see da brick laying

on her dash

dea must have been

plenny angah, plenny

violence fo lodge da brick

halfway true da glass.

Ma madda could do

dat to one man, drag

her finganails true da

chalkboard of his back.

She wen leave da brick

like dat for days an wen

call all her friends

fo checkom out.

“Imagine driving around

town wit dat!” she wen

say, an everyone

wen laugh.

Part 3

Wen I was young

ma fadda wen move

us to one small town

fo make one new life.

He really moved us

so he could be wit

his new fling.

Ma madda neva knew

til was too late.

Da night she found out

she came home

smelling like cigarettes

an booze.

I could hear her

sobbing in her room.

I opened da doa

an she stay laying

naked in bed, weeping.

I wanted fo comfort

her but I felt shame

since she no mo


All I could do was

shut da doa quietly

as she cried herself

to sleep.

Part 4

One story ma madda

could tell ova an ova

again is da one wea ma

fadda wen almost get

run ova by his mistress

in our yard.

“She was da crazy one,

driving around in her cah,

screaming at da top of

her lungs, ‘I goin kill you!’

An just like one true punk

he go diving in da bushes

afta she wen accelerate,

lights blazing in his eyes.

Dat witch used to drive

by our house every

damn night!

I could see her from

our lanai, her head

sticking out da window,

driving back an fort,

back an fort.”

Part 5

I came home

from school an

heard fighting


Ma madda was

yelling at da top

of her lungs.

“You bastard!

You coward!

How could you

do dis to us?”

I took a seat

on our steps

an waited fo da

scrap to end.

“How could

you cheat on

yo own damn


I neva heard

any sounds

coming from

ma fadda.

“I want you out

of dis house!

I want you out

of our lives!”

One doa wen

slam an ma

madda was


I opened ma

bag an found

one piece candy.

Wen taste like


an cream.

* * * * * Story Number Two * * * * *

So What da Buggah Said?

Part 1

“So what da buggah said?” Rudy the barber asks me.

“Some bullshit about Denise and Chris.”

I’m waiting for a haircut. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Christopher Andaya enter. He’s dark, looks real Hawaiian.

“Chris, whas’up?”

Suddenly he pulls a knife, comes at me. I grab my gun inside my jacket and shoot him three times, but instead of dying, he turns around and staggers outside. I follow.

I say, “Chris, you’re supposed to be dead already,” and boom, he goes down. I flip him over.

His face looks weird, his eyes all glassy, looking up at me like I’m God.

Part 2

“Hey, Chris. No ack. We bot’ know dis not no real gun. Don’ go Deadman’s Gulch on me.”

“You mean Old Pali Road?”

“Yeah, wotevahs. Wit’ one trunkload of pork.”

“An’ da cah when stall.”

“An’ no staht.”

“Bumebye dey trow away da pork.”

“Hey, if dey when turn da cah aroun’ an’ head’m back down da mountain . . .?”



“Dey gif da peeg to somebody goin’ da uddah way.”

“To town?”


“K’den, bra. Bra, you doing OK?”

“Yeah, no. Nevah bettah.”

“Den gif back da gun.”

“Dis not no real gun.”

“Gif’m to me, Chris.”

“Firs’, da shiv.”

Part 3

I feel the warmth disappear, see the light. Where –

“You talk plenny kine when you asleep,” Rudy says.

I feel my face. Clean. This guy can handle a straight razor. “I fell asleep?”

“Yeah. You was talking all kine. Had someting about a Chris somebody. Someting about Denise. What’s wit all da guns an knives an shooting? Whas wit God? Tell me you not born again.”

“I . . . Rudy, I haven’t seen Denise for days. I don’t know where she is. You haven’t heard of Chris Andaya?”

“Oh, Chris Andaya. Scary. He get someting to do wit Denise?”

Part 4

“She nevah go your mom’s?” Rudy asks.

I tell him no, it’s my mom who said she couldn’t get ahold of Denise.

“Rudy, you know Andaya. Like I said, Kuroda been talking shit about Chris and Denise.”

“Not good. Yeah, no, I nevah hear nuttin’”

Rudy knows people. But you gotta pay up front. Like a haircut and a shave is a good start, but maybe just a down-payment depending. Maybe you gotta tip heavy kine.

Rudy knows people as tough as Chris. Maybe tougher. People who come from dark spaces, do their job, disappear. You’d never see them strolling the mall at Ala Moana. The only time you see these guys is when they materialize on your doorstep. And the only thing they bring is bad news. Sometimes a warning, sometimes a little hurt, and sometimes, well, you know. They’re like ghosts.

“Rudy, who can I talk to? I need to know if she’s gone back to work. If she really is mixed up with Chris again.”

Rudy rubs his chin. “You mean someone you can talk to, or someone who only goin’ talk to me?”

“Whoever, Rudy. Whatever you can do to help my sister. You tell me.”

Part 5

Rudy runs the razor over the strop, thinking. The steel looks lethal.

One time mom, Denise, and I visited the Daoist monastery up Nu’uanu. We heard this music coming from the back. Amazing. We went around the side and found this maybe 70-something woman playing flute. We sat. Her music was other worldly.

When she stopped, Denise clapped. I didn’t think that’s what you should do, but Denise, she just does things like that. Spontaneous. The woman smiled, then thanked her.

“That flute looks heavy,” my mom said.

The woman laughed softly. “It’s a good weapon.”

The blade flashes against the dark leather. “I tell you what,” Rudy says. “I tink bettah I talk to my friends first. You like um talk, hard, to Kuroda, see what he really know?”

I thought about that bastard. Miles Kuroda had been an asshole even back in elementary school. He learned kung fu then high-jacked kids and beat them up. Listening to that fucker snear about Denise being back with Chris Andaya made me want to kill him. He thought he was tough? A gun beats martial arts every time.

Worst of all, if Denise was with Chris, it was my fault.

“Nah, Rudy, if can find out where she is, would be great. Fucking Miles may just be talking out his ass.”

Rudy runs his finger down the blade of the razor. He looks up at me and smiles a wicked smile. “Dat Kuroda, I really hate dat punk.”

I picture blood bursting out of Miles Kuroda’s slashed throat and smile my own wicked smile.

“Mahalo, Rudy, what do I owe you?”

“Ah, one nice ahi nex time you go out. If canna catch, den one case Bud.”

Wow. That’s a deal. Rudy could ask for the moon if he wants it.

* * * * * Story Number Three * * * * *

Wishing Well

Part 1

When you wish for something hard enough, you just might get it. Then

comes the part about how hard you thought about what happens next, as

in being careful what you wish for. Jiminy Cricket says nothing about

which star you should wish upon, nor about possible evil consequences

of choosing poorly. How about the venerable first star I see tonight?

Does that imply a filter, a guarantee against bad choices and evil

consequences? Suppose you say you’re bored stiff and wish something

interesting would happen? By interesting you mean? Who cares? Nothing

could be worse than this. Let’s give it a shot: I really wish

something interesting would happen. Oh-oh.

Part 2

Wisharama in Wishitopia in G-flat minor

How old were you when you realized “I wish I knew” does not

necessarily mean you want to know?

What it more likely means is that you don’t want to take the time to

find out. Or it’s not worth knowing. Or you’re too lazy. Or . . .

Or maybe you do know but telling would take too dang long. Or you

don’t want us to know. Or . . .

How old are you, anyway? What makes any of this the least bit scary? (Isn’t it?)

I wish I knew. I wish, really wish, you’d think hard about it, then

let us all know.

Part 3

The list of things people wish for is endless. Ever try to visualize

“endless”? What’d you see?

I see a long, long adding-machine tape with individual handwritten

entry after entry after entry, curling and unfurling slowly out into

dark and endless space, destination infinity, wherever it can be


I wish I could see what Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking saw. Or what

Neil Degrasse Tyson sees.

Elon Musk. Does he really wish to spawn the movement that puts humans

everywhere? Literally everywhere? Would that be wishing well? I wish I


Wait. I know.

Only look at planet Earth. Clever humanstuff everywhere. Everywhere!

Purely natural stuff nowhere. Nowhere! (Hippie stuff, we smugly


Will we learn better over time? Or will we remain too clever by half

until the too-rapidly-nearing end? When the cows come home? When what

goes around comes around?

What do you wish to be when you grow up? An NFL star? Rock star? Movie

star? Media star? Multijillionaire on-line entrepreneur? Maybe a

pussygrabbing USA President? (Or, you know, grab whatever.)

How about alive and well in a shared natural setting? Are we wishing

well? Wish you knew?

You know you know.

Part 4

If it’s worth wishing for,

It must be worth working for.

If you wish/work hard enough for something worthy,

Will luck be a Sinatra lady?


“The harder I practice,

The luckier I get.” —Tom Watson, golfer.

“Pray for a good harvest,

but keep on hoeing.” —Future Farmers of America.

Praying. Anything like wishing?

Are they the same?

One sma’keed time I wished for something worthy

and got it.

By praying?

Don’t recall being into prayer yet.

Mom prayed. Both grandmas.

Couldn’t’ve hurt. Could’ve helped.

Working definitely helped.

The desired object was a bicycle.

Arden Farms Dairy and the City of Bremerton co-sponsored a traffic

safety jingle contest for kids, parental help allowed, even


We did seven entries, each one penned carefully, laboriously by my

reluctant second-grade hand. The first six were random shots. Maybes.

The seventh was my own inspiration, the simple idea of connecting

traffic light colors to their one-word directives:

Red is for stop.

Green is for go.

Yellow is for slow.

By then experienced jingleists, we massaged it into something we all

liked, I copied it neatly, and we sent it in. This was the one. We

were sure of it. And it was.

Mrs. Bostrom bolted out of her house clutching The Bremerton Sun to

her chest, shouting my name. “You won!” she cheered, shouting my name

again. “You won!”

In a special box on the front page, on a list of jingle contest

winners, my name.

At the presentation ceremony, the neatly racked boys’ bikes looked

sturdy, solid, and plain. All except for one gleaming red-and-white

tank model, a ruby among agates.

I wanted that very one, of course. Who wouldn’t? But to get it? I

fervently wished it would be awarded to me. And it was.


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