“Hey Kid. Wow, what time is it?”

“Dunno, been losin’ track a time, Pal, though I think there’s a couple more days ta respond ta that particular prompt.”

“Like, I hardly know what day it is, but reckon it’s time fer another show here at the Saddle Up Saloon. Sean Prentiss’ll be a tough act ta follow though.”

“There was some good craft talk here last week, fer sure. Oh, yeah, this week folks show their craft by reading fer us. It’s Five At the Mic time, the Monday afore the third Tuesday when Charli Mills hosts another one.”

“Don’t know where she finds the time. Though she sometimes loses track a time too. October was a TUFF month.”

“Yep, so we got a double feature today, with Ranchers that read in September an’ four that read in October.”

“Let’s git started then. Here’s five folks thet stepped up to the mic in September. First up is Susan Budig. Speakin’ a craft! Susan uses this opportunity ta share two points a view on the same scene. Have a listen.”

“What a great exercise, gits ya ta thinkin’ twice on yer story.”

“Yep, TUFF-like thet was. Let’s stay in the same neighborhood an’ hear now from Paula Moyer. Paula’s a memoirist but dang not all mem’ries is easy ones.”

“Pal, I’m feelin’ like folks is usin’ writin’ in powerful ways here.”

“Yep, Kid, an’ next up Ellen Best presents us with two pieces a fiction filled with realistic tension an’ emotion.

“Whoa, Pal. I was a might skeered through the first story. What a hard workin’ kid in the second story. Makes ya think.”

 “Sure does, Kid. An’ now Susan Spitulnik is gonna read us some memoir ‘bout disappearances, a rabbit, an’ a woman with tricks up her sleeves.”

“Magic?”

“Magical writin’ ‘bout real life, Kid.”

“Oh, Pal. Reckon some things jist cain’t be disappeared. But September is long gone. Our last reader from that 5 at the Mic event is MJ Mallon. She’s usually writes YA fiction but seems ta been inspired by things that annoy her ta write poetry.”

“Thet’s the reason fer her rhyme, gittin’ disgruntled with folks?”

“Jist listen Pal.”

“Oh my, don’t cross thet one! She’ll put ya in a poem. Seriously, Kid, ever’one a these writers did some brave work with their writin’ an’ braver still ta share it live with us. I’m proud ta have ‘em all up on the Saloon stage.”

“Well we got four more readin’s Pal, these next ones was read in October in amongst all the other goin’s ons. Let’s have MJ  go first fer this group. You’ll see she’s agin influenced by current events but presents a serious piece a short fiction this time.”

“Mebbe fittin’ ta follow thet up with a readin’ by Anne Goodwin . Tell ya, she ain’t got no shortage a short stories.”

“Yep, but here we git an excerpt from a WIP, an’ git ta meet anuther character.”

“A whip?”

“A work in progress. Jeez, Pal. Anne Goodwin’s got plenny a them goin’ on too, lotsa novel ideas. Shush, here she goes.”

“There’s more ta thet story, guaranteed.”

“Yep. Okay, this next reader is gonna share nine 99-word scenes featurin’ some recurrin’ characters a hers, an’ I ain’t talkin’ ‘bout the two a us.”

“Yep, folks, that was our so-called writer. Thinkin’ she should git subtitles next time.”

“Shush Kid, leave it be. Who’s battin’ cleanup?”

Bill Engleson is gonna hit a homerun with his word play in this last piece, Pal. Listen carefully.”

“That was quite a blast from the past. Clever fellow that Bill.”

“Yep.”

“Ain’t we got anuther Canadian ta feature?”

“Yep.”

“Well?”

“Oh! Pal, Ann Edall Robson has got so much goin’ on I’m hopin’ ta git her back here special, give ‘er the entire stage.”

“Well thet’d be a hoot an’ a half! But let’s be sure an’ thank all the folks thet read their work here at the Saloon this round. Be sure an’ visit them an’ say howdy. An’ see Charli Mills ‘bout steppin’ up ta the mic yersef.”

If asked, Pal & Kid will deny that they spill from the pen of D. Avery. They claim to be free ranging characters who live and work at Carrot Ranch and now serve up something more or less fresh every Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up for a wild ride as a saloon guest, contact them via averydede.1@gmail.com.


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