Tom Flanders World

Writer of Fiction
100 Words – Crossroads


I sat waiting for midnight at the crossroads. People came and went knowing better than to look me in the eye. They’ve heard the myths about me. The new myths, the modern myths woven from ignorance and fear. The old truth lost in time.

She arrived, right on time, head held high looking me right in the eyes. Proving Papa wrong.

I pointed to the road from which she came. I told her that road was comfort. To the left, contentment. Behind me, boredom. To the right, danger.

Without hesitation she chose the road to danger. She will be rewarded.

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Tags: | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: February 16, 2019

Tom Week – Detours


Medical Detours and Adventures


We are official Floridians. Thank you Janet. We all have our new IDs. The RV has a new title and tags. We’re registered to vote. Yee Hah!

Unfortunately, Abbie was barking and running after a dog and she hurt her leg. It’s looking a little better this evening but we may going to see the vet tomorrow.


No sleep last night. Random acid reflux. Usually this only lasts a couple hours before fading, but last night it lasted all night.

The new lights arrived today. No more wandering around with flashlights.


Slept much last night. Only woke for a while cause Tonya was having a conversation with someone who wasn’t there. Abbie got me up at eight for food and a walk, but went back to bed for a couple more hours.

I installed the new ceiling lights today. They are SO bright!

We went to a seafood place for supper. The waitress brought Pat and Tonya the kid’s portions and it was still way much food.


Great touristy bike ride today. Lot’s of funky pictures. Then it was laundry time.

My weight is down to 189. Yee Hah! That’s 76 pounds gone so far.


Good news: Abigail won’t need surgery for her leg.

More good news: New diabetes meds are working.

Bad news: There was something odd about my EKG so I have to see a cardiologist.


Up at 6AM to get to Jacksonville for Tonya’s 9:30 Social Security appointment. Some traffic but we still got there early. Surprisingly we were done before 9:30. Amazing.

Lazy afternoon. Some of us took naps.


Visited the cardiologist today. It seems that I’m going to be OK. One the what the doctor called fibers is misfiring. There are many things that can cause this. Most likely an imbalance of electrolytes, which may be caused by my blood sugar issues.

So no more tests needed and I don’t have to go back for a year.

And no, I’m not unaware of the irony of going to the heart doctor on Valentine’s day.


masonic lodge

How many plots have been plotted in this old building?

bike seat

My bike seat has been pollinated.


I appear to have cycled into an Italian neo-realist Roadrunner cartoon.

stone bull

Up close, this is one sad old bull.

abandoned businesses

If you need bike insurance you’re double out of luck.

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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: February 14, 2019

100 Words – Old Bar

old bar sign

I went to meet you at the old bar. I got stuck under a street lamp, watching the neon pulse down the alley. Then I saw you in the window drinking Rolling Rock and laughing. Then I was there with you only you were young and I was old.

I wanted to kiss you, but you wanted to go see the band. They were wild, hiding fear behind noise. You were right. They don’t yet see the glory they will obtain. We danced and I became young and awkward again. Watching you glow and move. I wanted to touch you.

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Tags: | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: February 9, 2019

Tom Week – Life in Flor-odd-a

Stuff in Flor-odd-a

It should be called Flor-odd-a


Finally have all my meds. The nice woman at Walgreens had to call the CVS in Oklahoma five times before they faxed her what she needed to fill my prescription.

We left the wonderful lake behind. There’s nothing wrong with the new campground, but there’s no lake to look at. It’s also not very level. The jacks are unhappy. I may have to get out the lego blocks to lift the tires.


I did thirteen miles on the bike today along the only road that Google Maps said had bike lanes. Along the way I saw several side roads that had nice wide bike lanes. Apparently I need a better source for bike route planning.


Lazy day. Saving up my energy to half-watch the Super Bowl. (Or maybe the puppy bowl.)

We got creepy new neighbors. Their rig does not look new, but it’s in good shape. It has a paper license plate from Ohio that expires in two weeks. The RV doesn’t appear to have ever been in snow. The weirdest part is that they needed two of the camp people to help them hook up. Like it was their first time.

Also, I may have discovered the route of my blood sugar problem. Running an experiment tonight. I’ll know for sure tomorrow.


We’re back in Starke FL, which is the closest park to our mailing address. What I had forgotten until we got here is that this is where we were when we had to Rex down. His spirit is haunting us.

My blood sugar was still high this morning but it’s trending lower today. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.


Picked up the rental car this morning. Another Toyota Camry. Then a ten mile bike ride. Found more bike lanes that don’t show up on Google Maps.

Later did laundry. Bad pain day for Pat. I don’t think I helped much.

Blood sugar better again, but still too high.


Rode my bike to make a Dr. appointment. Slowly conquering the details. More laundry to do.


We got the RV’s VIN notarized today. Tomorrow we take all our paperwork to the DMV and see what happens. Did 13 miles on the bike all on long flat empty roads. Bliss.


abigail the dog

Abigail is sure those French fries were meant for her.


I thought our RV was complicated.

white vehicles

We are camping in the land of white vehicles.

parking lot with race vehicles

Just another day at Cracker Barrel

Walgreens sign

Something odd is happening at this Walgreens

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Tags: | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: February 7, 2019

Short Story – Camping Karaoke

camping karaoke microphone

Camping Karaoke

The sunset on the lake made me sad. Another day and no alligators spotted. What’s the use of camping next to a swampy Florida lake if there aren’t any alligators?

Music from the bar up the road tempted me out. My friends’ arguments about how drinking in bars isn’t part of camping did nothing to deter me. I left them to their smokey, burnt marshmallow sharing of tales of their decades-gone glory school days.

The road back to the highway was starlit and noisy. The insects and frogs seemed to be in tune with the twangy guitars ahead. It was one of those weird moments when I knew I was supposed to be afraid of the deep dark woods, but I wasn’t. Too much noise and vision for that.

The roadhouse was across a four lane highway that wasn’t all that busy but the cars came fast out of the growing dark. They didn’t all have their headlights on yet. It took a while for enough of a break to sprint to the medium. On the medium the fear hit. I was surrounded by speeding cars who had no expectation of a person being here. I could almost hear the thump of my body bouncing off a hood.

Finally there was a break and I made it to the dirt parking lot. Oddly, the music seemed no louder as I got closer. That changed when I opened the door. The music blared with all possible noise then stopped. It wasn’t for my presence, just the end of the song.

Or maybe it was me. By the time I made my way to the nearest bar stool I noticed that I was the only man in the place. I had wandered into that rarest of rare bar experiences, the Lesbian Country Music Karaoke night.

Surprisingly, nobody seemed to be bothered by my presence, so I took the same attitude. I successfully ordered, payed for and drank a beer. Listened to some loud off-key drunken sing-sobbing. Had another beer and realized that I was having a good time. Didn’t know any of the songs being sung, but so what.

Then it happened. This tiny little woman came up to me and said that I had to do the male part of the song she wanted to sing. I told her I didn’t know the song and she said, “That’s why they have the words on the screen you dumb breeder.”

I looked around for support but found none. So I followed the little woman up to the stage. The woman in charge set up a second microphone and pointed out the back-up singer’s monitor. I didn’t know such a thing existed.

The music began and the little woman sang, badly. I’m talking raccoon in heat bad. Then words appeared on my screen. I more spoke them than sang them. I sounded like William Shatner on an off night. The lyrics were somewhere short of Dick and Jane on downers. It was hard not to laugh.

The song ended and the audience clapped. The bartender came up to the stage and dragged me out the front door. She gave me a shove and said, “OK, we’re done with ya.” She shut the door and I heard it lock.

I was halfway across the scary though now mostly empty highway when I realized that there was no music. Apparently nobody wanted to follow our train wreck of a duet.

Back at the campground everyone was already tucked in. I sat watching the dark lake, trying to figure out what I had done to earn the karmic punishment of that bar. Then my mind wandered off into the universe trying to figure out everything else. At some point it got very cold but I didn’t notice.

Then the sun came up. It was beautiful. I wished for the next adventure and climbed into my sleeping bag.



Comments and critiques are welcome. Please be cruel but not abusive.

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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: February 4, 2019

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