Spur of the moment : #writephoto prompt challenge

If you want to participate, here’s the link:  https://scvincent.com/2017/10/19/thursday-photo-prompt-spur-writephoto/


I wiped at the particles of dust floating around my eyes. At 13, I had no use for attics and cared nothing about what was in a cedar chest older than my mother.

My phone chimed and I started to reach for it.

“Don’t you dare!”  My mother warned me.  “Answer that and you’ll lose your phone for a month!”


“This is too important to be interrupted by a bunch of stupid LOL’s,”  Mom said.  “Elmira!”

“I hate that name, more than I hate my life! Why am I in this smelly attic?”

“You were named after your great, great-grandfather,” she said.

“I knew that.  Why couldn’t he be named John instead.  Johnna is a cool name!”

Mom sighed, giving me that look again.  She lifted a shoe box older than the dirt landing in my hair and said, “These spurs belonged to Elmer McCurdy, a great train robber! The legend has been handed down from father to son.”

Mom still used a rotary phone.  If I was polite, I might have some fun.  “May I look up his name?”

Mom solemnly nodded yes.  

There were several sources, all in agreement.  I passed the phone along to her with a smile.

“Elmer robbed a train of $46.00 and was shot trying to escape,”  I said.  “We can dig up his body and keep it in the attic with his spurs.”

“What?!”  My mother yelled.  

“He was embalmed and used as a carnival attraction, after that a haunted house and wax museum bought his body.  In 1976, it was used for some ancient series about an expensive man.  He’s buried in Kansas, someplace called Boot Hill, but if you dig him up, I’ll make a video.”

“He…he was…a joke?”  My mother asked.

I hadn’t seen tears down her face since the day my father almost died on my 10th birthday.  I had to wait a month to see that princess movie.  Carol’s mom offered to take me, but my bitch of a mom had told her no.

“Can I go now?”  I asked.  “I want to ask Carol if her father’s had his last cancer treatment.”

“Oh, God…yes,” mom said.

I climbed down the ladder where mom could hear me the best, and called Carol.  “How’s your father doing?  I’m so sorry.  Let me ask my mom.  Mom?  Can I go to Carol’s house?”


Carol’s dad was having treatments…for skin cancer, and this was his last one.  But he was nowhere near death.  Mom would find out, but I hadn’t said he was dying and he did have cancer.

Out the door, down the block and free at last, I called Carol again.

“Ella!  You made it!  Krista’s party starts in 20 minutes!  You have a dress?”

“I stole one from my mom,” I giggled.  “She’s too old for it anyway.”

“Dave’s gonna be there.  Is it low-cut?

“You’ll see,” I chuckled.

When mom finds out, she’ll kill me.  Wonder if I can be embalmed with arsenic and displayed in this dress for eternity?