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Crossword Creations #1: There's an Ogre on My Ulna

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I’ve enjoyed writing for many years. I'm dedicating more time to the craft in my retirement days.

Crossword Creations are Born

One morning before the sun woke up, I found in a stack of papers in my home office the folded, completed crossword puzzle section from our 2 April 2020 edition of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. I remember thinking I must have had a particularly good solving day that day as there were minimal stray marks and corrections on the page.

What also occurred to me, though, as I was preparing to discard the completed crossword, was that I did not have a pending project to hand. I looked at the solved puzzle and an idea began to take shape.

I spent the better part of that morning crafting the flash fiction story that came to me from the words in the crossword solution. I built a spreadsheet to track the only rule of Crossword Creations: every word must be used in the story. The course thus charted, I marked out each word as it was used, let the muse run rampant with whatever ideas came along.

My conception of Crossword Creations was born that morning, though the feat has yet to be replicated. Perhaps one day it will.

Either way, I hope you enjoy this quick little tale as much as I enjoyed putting it together. Or more, even!

Solved crossword puzzle from 2 April 2020 edition of Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Solved crossword puzzle from 2 April 2020 edition of Moscow-Pullman Daily News

There's an Ogre on My Ulna

I was headed to the Depot, keyed up and looking for “oohs” and a score, but certain it would elude after a lifetime of denials. Nattier than usual, wearing sneakers and white with my glasses on, I looked like a college campus nerd, a member of the literati or Ollie Lee ready for Yom Kippur.

I passed my friend Edie, who owns the Palm Reader salon around the corner. She saluted, cat-called and hollered, “Bah ha ha ha! I’m telling Doug!!”

“I’ll sue for libel!” I scream, more nerd-like than literati, but talking really only to myself. Edie was long gone, ‘round the corner, and in any case knew leniency was my wont more than not. Too, Doug and I were no longer a thing as of this morning. Edie just didn't know that yet. Or did she?

Then another thought occurred to me at that very moment:

Hmmm…if a seer says, then maybe I will overcome this inertia. Maybe tonight I am destined to meet my lifetime partner!

And then, just as quickly, another preemptive notion:

Nope, nope, nope. Reset. Ctrl+Alt+Del here, missy. Not going to happen. That is NOT your dole…

But before that second thought was complete, there appeared in a flash an ogre, caught me off guard, sprang out of nowhere and alit erect on my ulna, stuck there like remora to a shark.

I used to drink the driest of ryes

And I loved oh loved me sweet berry pies

But now it’s mash sweet

And I always eat meat

Though young bones are me biggest big prize

— The Ogre on My Ulna

“Tehee,” roared he into my ear, in a panting voice of swallowed helium. I halted in my tracks, lest the beast should be as hungry as bold.

Truly stumped, I wondered who this guy was, this inane goon, like an imagined character from Epcot:

His tongue was taupe-colored; breath rotten onion, Dow chemicals and escargot; teeth dripped goo like raw white of egg. Stagy, ogee-arch ears reminded of Spock from USS Enterprise, though left pointed ENE and right pointed WSW, respectively, and at all times. Tens of hairs looked lonely, like companions had rioted, sorted themselves out, said toodleoo and departed. They appeared also to be nailed in place, ion-charged, and Beaut Blanc-dyed individually by hand. His skin was drier than years’-old cabin firewood stored indoors to avoid morning dews.

He had with him accoutrements, giving his striking appearance even more oomph: The first, which he held in his left hand, was a stuffed animal he’d named Lorelei. It looked like Muppet Ernie, but with two sets of eyes, and it bore a dated CBS tattoo on its chest. When he squeezed it, Lorelei would emote in a beautiful singing voice like Eros Ramazzotti, “Amore. Amore.”

The second was a medal he wore around his neck. It said, “Olé” on the front, and had a poem written on the back:

I used to drink the driest of ryes
And I loved oh loved me sweet berry pies
But now it’s mash sweet
And I always eat meat
Though young bones are me biggest big prize

This all kind of horrified me at first, but I figure as long as he’s stuck to my arm I should be ok.

And besides, I do think he’s kind of cute.

Word Tracker

Goon

x

Tens

x

Libel

x

Ulna

x

Ogee

x

Inane

x

Alit

x

Ogre

x

Tehee

x

Rioted

x

Drier

x

Denials

x

Sorted

x

Erect

x

Nailed

x

Roar

x

Oohs

x

Taupe

x

Yom

x

Lorelei

x

Dow

x

Emote

x

Eros

x

Sets

x

Sprang

x

Epcot

x

Helium

x

Saluted

x

Keyed

x

Remora

x

Cabin

x

Doug

x

Pant

x

Blanc

x

Also

x

Edie

x

Stagy

x

Lest

x

Dyed

x

Down

x

Guard

x

Ollie

x

Onion

x

Nattier

x

Toodleoo

x

Egg

x

Nerd

x

Seers

x

Ion

x

Literati

x

Inertia

x

Bah

x

ENE

x

Lee

x

Ear

x

Ion

x

Score

x

Elude

x

Depot

x

There

x

Dews

x

Ryes

x

Oomph

x

Amore

x

Slops

x

Leniency

x

Escargot

x

Talking

x

Stumped

x

Guy

x

Ole

x

Medal

x

Toady

x

Ernie

x

Dated

x

Dole

x

CBS

x

Alt

x

Baa

x

USS

x

© 2020 greg cain

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