Tom Flanders World

Writer of Fiction

100 Words – Dream Scream


Never learn how to scream in your dreams. You will regret it. That paralysis is there to protect you and those around you. I know. I learned to scream in my dreams. I learned to fight the demons, and I have the holes in my wall to prove it.

It was the snake demon again, only this time I was ready. I swung as hard as I could and caught right across its nose. It kept coming. Another blow from me and it flinched. I woke up.

I could hear my wife breathing. “Did I hit you?” “No” she said.

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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: April 4, 2020

Short Story – City Folks/Creepy Woods

creep woods

I thought I had lucked out. A state park with plenty of available spaces right on a lake. Oh what a fool I was. One bar on the cell phones means no WIFI. The TV finds no channels. The radio finds no stations. As the sun set a heavy mist formed upon the lake. The clouds are blocking the moon. We are in total darkness. Total isolation.

The morning came as a thick fog. It might have well still been night as far as I could see. I counted seven steps before losing sight of the camper. Found it again by walking backwards. The dog was afraid to poop. Didn’t blame her. Told her she had to go anyway.

There were noises in the water. A couple of small skidding splashes like ducks landing. Then there was a big splash and a gator’s bellow. I decided it would be okay if the dog pooped inside under the circumstances.

A couple hours later the fog lifted like it was being vacuumed up into the sky. There was no wind. The water was as smooth as glass. A gator’s head popped out of the water over by the bat house, then sank away. That was the last we saw of it.

At first I thought it was a bird house, but it turns out it was a bat house. This did not comfort my wife, so no wandering around at dusk for her. Thanks to the dog, I did. Didn’t see or hear any bats, but we heard some bull frogs arguing about religion. I don’t speak frog, but religion is the only thing that would elicit that much passion in an argument.

About midnight, on the dog’s last walk, the night had become humid and lit by a big moon. The bats came. You could hear the wings flap. There was no screeching, but that was almost worse. Then they were gone. I guess all the bugs had been eaten.

The next morning was misty, but not so bad. That splashing and gator groans were back, but I figured that as long as they’re splashing they’re not on the land. Then the dog started yelping. She was covered with fire ants. It took ten minutes to pull them all off her. Another five to get them off me. Youch.

When we got back to the camper I noticed the muddy paw prints on the door. The dog was freaking at the smell. I guess on the way out she was too busy to notice. I took a picture with my phone thinking, “That was one big raccoon.” I looked it up in the Boy Scout manual I got at a yard sale for a quarter. Yes, they were bear prints. Well pulled out as soon as visibility allowed.

Maybe motels are more our speed.

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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: April 3, 2020

Tom Week – Alligator Time

toy alligator

3/26/20 – Saw an alligator

Sitting in the RV this afternoon I saw a dark lump out on the lake. I walked down to the shore to what it was. An alligator! It was just floating there so I was able to get a decent picture. Then he submerged and was gone.

3/27/20 – All Along The Spillway

The lake is a weird place wind-wise. No matter which way you are going the wind seems to be in your face. Turns out that is caused by how the spillway was built. Weird.

3/28/20 – Laundry Cart Shopping

Not shopping for a laundry cart. Shopping with a laundry cart. I felt kind of like a bag lady but since I have to walk to the store it made bringing stuff home much easier. It’s only a half mile, but still.

Speaking of shopping; the stores here are starting to fill up again. I found everything I needed except for water.

3/29/20 – Not a tornado

Whatever that was last night it was definitely not a tornado. I woke in the middle of the night to the sound of a train going by. Which is kind of impossible since there are no train tracks anywhere near here. Then it hit me, all those tornado descriptions, “It sounded like a freight train.”

Then the RV started rocking in the wind. Fortunately, that didn’t last too long. The wind died down a bit and the rain came down. It’s a myth that it doesn’t rain hard during a tornado, but it’s a comforting myth.

3/30/20 – Water Day, not

The theory was that stores would get deliveries on Monday morning so there would be plenty of water available. My theory was mostly correct, however I failed to fully define my terms.

By “water” I meant drinking water that does not taste like ass. Dollar General had a shelf full of Dasani. Kroger had a huge pile of Ozarka. Neither is considered drinkable by any of the occupants of the big yellow truck.

3/31/20 – Cold Day in Jackson

It rained hard again last night but no freight train wind. Today is 30 degrees colder than yesterday. Tonya still insisted to go out and rock.

Today I did a bunch of research on the best place to be during the lockdown. The answer might be here.

4/1/20 – Safe Shopping Day

Had to go shopping today. I wore a face mask just in case. Found a bunch more food that’s missing from the shelves.


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Tags: | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: April 1, 2020

100 Words – The Cliff


I stood at the top of the tremendous cliff pulling her up. She wasn’t sure this was a good idea and suggested several alternatives including, “Maybe you should just climb down from there.” I told her not to worry.

This was her idea. She said we needed adventure. Said we had to get out of the house. Maybe this wasn’t what she meant, but here we were.

She repeatedly asked if I was strong enough. I repeatedly said yes. Turns out I was lying. My arms grew tired. The rope slipped. She landed with a sickening thud. I miss her.


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Tags: | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: March 28, 2020

How Not to do a How To

how not to car

How Not To How To

I’ve never done a how-to video before. I figured the best way to learn how to do one is to do one. So I did one. I made mistakes, but this is how you learn. Now if I ever need to make another, I’ll make fewer mistakes. Eventually, I’ll know what I’m doing.

Don’t get me wrong, the video isn’t completely without merit. It’s just twice as long as it needs to be does not demonstrate any cardboard car building talent on my part.

So here’s what I did wrong:

  • I should have done a run through with another model. This would have prepared and prevented the on-camera delays.
  • I should have used a second camera off to the side to use as cut-aways to cover up glitches and awkward moments.
  • I should have put the part sheets between me and the car. That would cut down the times I blocked the subject from the camera.
  • My lets-find-out-together approach did not work well. Viewers expect some level of expertise from the maker of the how-to video.

So there’s the big four issues with the video. Even at almost 60 I’m still capable of learning. The video is embedded below if you care to watch.

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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: March 26, 2020


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