Hump Day Kick Start – Gypsy Edition

Song of the Day: Blurry by Puddle of Mudd

Hump Day Kick Start – for your muse, a writing picture prompt, or just a visual treat.

rf getty rail tie trip

I’ve traveled to Atlanta this week for the annual Romance Writers of America conference. When I came across this picture while searching for a writing prompt I thought this was perfect. Make her blonde and I look just like her. Well, maybe not. Still, what a great picture to get the creative juices flowing.

Who is this beauty? Where is she going? Is she fleeing from somewhere or someone? Is she running to a lover? Embarking on an adventure. What’s in her suitcase? Is everything she owns inside? Or is there something more sinister, like thousands of bills or a severed body part? What’s with the ukulele? Does she earn her travel expenses by playing songs she learned from her gypsy parents?

So many possibilities.

Though I am away, I still want to hear your take.

14 Responses to Hump Day Kick Start – Gypsy Edition

  1. OMG! Like, where’s a taxi? All I wanted was a nitrous balloon. Walking sucks, man.


  2. jbrayweber says:

    LOL. I can always count on you for a laugh, Kristen.


  3. Sarah Andre says:

    That’s no gypsy. That’s my Muse taking a hike after seeing no hottie Humpday guy. 😦

    I have your atrocious centerpiece. Almost had to walk thru the lobby with a paper bag over my head. Will give it to you during the lit signing. Oh, that’s happening now…


  4. jbrayweber says:

    Come on, Sarah. You proudly walked through HUNDREDS of people carrying that thing. And then you reluctantly handed it over. Admit it. You wanted that atrocious centerpiece, too. And by the way, my girls loved it. I’m such a good mommy. 😉
    Seriously. You are such a good friend! Big Smooches!


  5. jeff7salter says:

    Sorry to be late to the party … and on a day you’ve selected a sweet young thang to be the prompt. Cool.
    Okay, here’s Lucinda’s story.
    She thrown all her valuables into an old suitcase, grabbed her mom’s gypsy necklace, and took the blasted ukelele only to spite Herman, the creep she was fleeing.
    Knowing Herman would have his minions watching all the roads and terminals, she went cross country until she reached a railroad track she’d not even known about.
    “Might as well follow this,” she thought, reasoning that it would have to take her somewhere. “Somewhere is better than nowhere.”
    After about two hours in the hot sun, but still looking remarkably fresh, Lucinda spotted something, on the tracks, moving toward her. Clearly not a complete train or even a locomotive, this was much smaller. Looked like a baggage dolly at a bus station.
    But something was moving furiously ON that dolly as it sped towards her. But what?
    She held up her hand to shield her eyes
    “It’s a man!” To be sure, a man with no shirt. As he got much closer, it was also clear he was a well muscled man.
    “Must be great exercise pumping that thing.”
    Though he had stopped pumping about 40 yards away, he still coasted well past her. He was breathing heavily as she walked toward him warily.
    “Do you know me?” asked Lucinda, figuring if he was a hired goon that he’d have her name or description.
    “No, darlin’. Why? Are you famous? Maybe a Nashville singer.” he nodded toward her musical instrument.
    She tossed Herman’s beloved ukelele to the briars beside the track. “No, no fame, no singing, and no instrument. Just me.”
    He wiped sweat from his forehead with a large tanned hand. When his arms went back down, his chest was still heaving from the exertion.


  6. jeff7salter says:

    “So what are you doing out here on that … thing?” Lucinda pointed to his conveyance.
    “It’s my handcar, darlin'” He smiled and then looked back over his broad shoulders. “That marker back there makes nine miles just in the last hour.”
    Lucinda’s eyes were on his bare torso, but her mind was conjuring a faster mode of travel in her escape from Horrible Herman. “Got room for a passenger?” she asked.
    The mysterious, sweaty, muscular man stopped panting from his former exertion and took a moment to appraise Lucinda from head to toe. The scrutiny made her blush.
    “Well, Darlin’, I’ve got room on the other half of this handcar, but anybody on this handcar will be pumping, not riding.”


  7. jeff7salter says:

    When he said ‘pumping’ he smiled again … then his eyes drank in Lucinda’s entire body once more.
    “Where are you headed in this buggy?”
    “I’m taking the handcar to the museum in the next city. It’s what you might call its last patrol.”
    “Patrol?” she eyed his powerful arms as he stretched out the kinks.
    “these old handcars used to run the length of the lines … when men would check everything from loose spikes to crossing signs.”
    “I’ve only seen them in movies,” she replied.
    The muscular sweaty, half-naked man looked back over his broad shoulders again. “Well, darlin’ if you’re riding with me, you’re pumping. And we better start moving, because in about half an hour we’re gonna have company.”
    She struggled to hoist her heavy suitcase. “What kind of company?”
    He smiled again. “Three locomotives and about a hundred freight cars … heading to the city.”


  8. jeff7salter says:

    “What happens if they get to us before we get to the city?” asked Lucinda, also looking down the track behind the man.
    “There are two sidings we can take,” he pointed. “But if we get stuck on that long bridge, it won’d be pretty. So either get on or move out of my way. I need to start pumping.”
    He didn’t smile that time.
    He didn’t offer to help her up either.
    She climbed up awkwardly and then put her hands on the handle, warm from the sun. The man had already begun pumping it. “What do I do?”:
    I push down and then you. then me, then you. Multiply that by a thousand. Now get moving.” He watched as she bent way forward on the downward thrust. “You need to get out of those fluffy sleeves, darlin’ … you’ll probably get all tangled up.”


  9. jeff7salter says:

    All she had on was her turquoise bikini. She considered mentioning that, but it was clear the man’s eyes had already made that assessment.
    “Let’s go, darlin’. I can’ wait around for you to be modest. If you ride with me, we’re pumping. And pumping fast. This is a pump trolley, not a ride at the county fair.”
    She removed the gaudy beach covering and crammed it into the suitcase along with her necklace. “Okay, guess I’m ready.” she intercepted the motion of the handle as it was already moving at about half speed. With each downward thrust, she leaned over so much that her girls practically spilled out of her bikini top. Lucinda wondered if the mystery man had noticed.
    She followed the line of his eyes and knew he had already memorized most of her bosom.
    “What’s your name anyway? I mean, since we’re sharing a railroad car together.”
    He increased the tempo of his thrusts and caused her to match his rhythm. “Why, you can call me John Henry, if you like.”
    “Is that your name?”
    He smiled again. “No. And I’m not stopping in the next city to give away this handcar either.”


  10. jeff7salter says:

    anybody home?


  11. jbrayweber says:

    Sorry, Jeff. I was in Atlanta this week, so now it is MY turn to be late to the party.
    This story is by far the best you’ve sent. I absolutely adore it! 😀 You should expand it into a short story. And I’ll even give you the information on where to get the photo for a cover. (Or, if you just want to print it out and tack it to your computer to stare at it.) Kudos, Jeff. You win me over on this round. *lifts drink in a toast*


  12. jeff7salter says:

    Thanks, Jenn.
    And here I just thought I was being ignored again …


  13. jbrayweber says:

    Never, Jeff. I could never ignore you. I like you too much. 😀


  14. jeff7salter says:

    aw, shucks, M’am.
    [ blushing ]


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