Tom Flanders World

Writer of Fiction
 

Tom Week – Bad Doctor

sunset after bad doctor day

11/22/19 – Bad Doctor

Sometimes you just have to admit that you have a bad doctor and move on. That is what I’m doing and I’m very happy about it. I don’t mind a doctor who is stern with me about health issues, but lying to me is unacceptable.

I went for a long bike ride, 17.7 miles. The weather was perfect. I felt like I could ride forever.

Starke Florida has some great sunsets and a couple of camera-shy horses.

11/23/19 – Ocala

We’ve been here before. Good park. 70 TV channels on cable. The best WIFI password in all of Rvdom. Everyone here has a dog.

On Monday we go to one of our favorite parks. Apparently this whole “you can’t find good RV spots in Florida in winter” is a myth.

11/24/19 – Strava PR

It’s rare that I ride the same bike route what with us moving around so much. Today though I did the same Strava segment that I did in February and got a new personal record. I did the same 2.5 miles 3.5 miles an hour faster. That’s a big jump.

Later, I was watching Harry Potter and apparently fell asleep without realizing. The scene jumped and it took me a minute to realize that it was a different movie. Two hours had passed.

11/25/19 – The Outpost

We are once again at The Outpost on Lake Mariana. We are parked right near the water. Watched a beautiful sunset. Lots of ducks begging for food. No alligators yet, but there’s still hope.

12/1/19 – A new month

New energy. I’m back to riding and writing. Tomorrow we go to the ocean.

12/2/19 – Retirement Land

No matter how old and feeble I get I will never live in Vero Beach Florida. At the WalMart it was like Night of the Geriatric Dead. They were like zombies. Sad and disinterested. Just moving through life waiting to die. So sad.

Driving through town just reinforces the waiting-for-death theme. Soulless condos sucking the personality and vitality from their inhabitants. Gated communities protecting inmates from the diversity and glory of the real world. Cookie-cutter lives with rapidly approaching expiration dates.

But the beaches are nice. We are in a county park on an island on the inter-coastal waterway. The ocean is a mile to the east just on the other side of Route A1A. ( If you’re a NASCAR fan you just went “OOHH!” )

The next island over is a bird sanctuary. I’m hoping Pat and I can get over there tomorrow.

12/3/19 – Barrier Island

There are vultures here in the campground. They hang around the little pond waiting to steal food from the cranes.

There are also alligators. All I’ve seen is one tail disappearing into the water. Though I’ve heard the same big splash several times now.

I went for a bike ride and have never done a straighter, flatter ride. 13.1 miles and only 28 feet of elevation.

Tonight an alligator yelled at me. I didn’t know they made noise. They don’t have vocal chords but make a bellowing sound by forcing air through their throats.

12/4/19 – Across the Park

Today’s journey ended 100 yards from where it started. We are in the same park but with a better view of the water, but away from the alligators. Turns out they like to eat little dogs.

Great lunch today at Billie’s. Billy had a heavy Scottish accent. He actually said to one customer with a heavy Alabama accent, “Sorry Laddie I can na understand ye.”

PIX

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

100 Words – Doomed

doomed woods

I was once counted among the doomed of this land, but I found a haven in her arms. She gave me my soul back. Soon though the bill for this kindness will come due.

Fortunately she is not without need. Her line of work pays well when she can find work. Otherwise she must rely on her wits.

She waits for me somewhere in this night. I have the money she needs. She has what I want. We’ll both be satisfied. That is, if we survive. At the moment of exchange anything can go wrong. Tomorrow, will my mother weep?

#100words #fiction

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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: November 23, 2019

Tom Week – Florida

Florida Bird

11/13/19 – Florida Land

One thing I did not miss about Florida was all the stories on the local news about shootings and carjackings.

It’s still cold. Will be warmer tomorrow. Then cooler. Then warmer. Yo-yo weather.

In WalMart today the checkout clerk said to the man in front of me, “Happy Holidays.” He replied, “It’s pronounced Merry Christmas!” She replied, “I’m not a Christian.” He stomped away.

11/14/19 – Starke Reality

I forgot that this park has MavTV on their cable system. Spent much of the day watching obscure forms of motorsport.

Also got some writing done.

Tonya got to sit out in the cold and rock. Her bliss.

Abigail got to meet a big dog who ignored her barking.

11/15/19 – Rainy Day

Lunch at Grannie’s. The best restaurant in Starke Florida. Then to WalMart which had more people in camouflage than I have ever seen.

For a rental car we have a full-size Chevy SUV. It was the only car available. It’s stupid huge.

11/16/19 – Laundry Day

Finally got around to washing my bike clothes. They REALLY needed it.

An ambulance came to visit our neighbors. It was too dark to see what was going on.

11/17/19 – Another Cold Day

Got some writing done. Tonya managed to sit out in her rocker for a while, but got too cold.

Later the sun came out. Everyone emerged from their metal cocoons. Got to meet the neighbors.

Got takeout from Beef’s. Wonderful redneck bar chat while I waited for the food. It was overwhelming though. On the big TVs, side by side, The Raiders, The Patriots, The 49ers and NASCAR.

The best part though was as one couple got up to leave the woman told the man to give her the keys. He was pretty drunk. After refusing twice she kneed him in the groin. He gave up his keys. The guy next to them said to him, “Are you gonna let her get away with that?” He replied, “That’s our system for telling me that I’m really drunk.”

11/18/19 – The Sun is in the Sky

I rode my bike today to the Oddfellows Cemetery, cause, why not. At the gate someone left an offering of flowers, a large eggplant and an empty bottle of Mad Dog 20/20. There’s a story there.

With the sun came the neighbors a-wandering. One guy with a cute little dog was trying to talk to Tonya so I had to go out and explain that she wasn’t being rude. Then he had to tell me his life story. At one point I let Abigail out to bark at his dog but that didn’t phase him.

11/19/19 – Vet Day

Abigail had a vet appointment today. Everything is looking good.

Went to breakfast at lunch at Grannie’s. Yum!

I was going to ride my bike but I wound up writing instead.

11/20/19 – Bad Doctor Day

My Doctor is an asshole. Time to get a new one. He wouldn’t listen to any questions I had about my health. He prescribed medicines with seeing my lab results first. For the second year in a row he referred me to a cardiologist. Even though last year’s told me I had nothing to worry about.

So later I went for a bike ride. Nice weather finally.

PIX

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Tags: | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: November 21, 2019

Tom Week – Halloween

halloween bug, trick or treating

10/31/19 – HALLOWEEN

It’s Halloween. We are camped on the shore of the Intercoastal Waterway in Surf City North Carolina. Not many kids out here. The view is amazing. Big rain is coming tonight. A bit scary because the water is right there and all the houses along the shore are on stilts.

11/1/19 – Day of the Dead

Lazy, dead, same thing. Spent nearly the entire day sitting in my chair. Got some writing done. That was nice.

It was 25 degrees cooler today. It’s still fairly warm, but the drop takes it toll. Time to head further south.

11/1/19 – Laziest Campground Ever

I accomplished nothing today and I’m proud of that.

Many sailboats went by today. I lost count. Yes, I was counting sailboats.

11/3/19 – Time Change and Blue Velvet

We are in Lumberton North Carolina. This is where the movie Blue Velvet was allegedly set, though it wasn’t filmed here.

We changed time today. Abigail is pissed. She’s pretty sure we’re not feeding her at the right time.

This park has an oddly large number of single middle-aged men. Hmmm? No, no registered sex offenders here.

11/4/19 – Serious Near-Coma Laziness

I can’t blame the time change any more. I just had a do-nothing lazy kind of day. Highlight was watching trucks go by on the highway.

11/5/19 – Back to the lake

We are parked once again on the shores of lake Marion. The guy who led us to our site remembered us. It’s weird coming back to a place so soon. The familiarity is disconcerting.

11/6/19 – Tonya’s Birthday

Waffles for breakfast. Grilled cheese for lunch. Pizza for supper. Happy child.

Bike ride. Thirteen miles. Mostly flat. Many back roads. One dog toll booth. (Dog required petting before I was allowed to pass.)

Another wonderful sunset.

PIX

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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: November 6, 2019

Short Story – Bad Boy

bad boy

This is where I tell you the story of the good boy gone bad. Me.

They always used to call me good boy. Then they stopped. I wasn’t trying to be good, or bad. I was just being and doing what I felt like I wanted to be and do. At first it was good. Then, I guess, it was bad.

It started with the broken squirrel. I didn’t understand dead. So even though it wasn’t moving I assumed I could help it if I could unflatten it where the car ran over it. I put it in a cardboard box with a towel like I saw so many people do on TV.

Then I squeezed its sides where it was flat. There was a terrible cracking noise and all its guts and all these bugs came squirting out all over me. I ran to my mother. She threw me in the shower, ripped off all my clothes and left me there freezing for a long time.

She called me bad boy at least twenty times. I stopped counting at twenty, but she said it more. My father called me bad boy too, but just once. Mother threw the squirrel, box, towel and all into the trash. The next day she tried to explain to me what death was.

Death is like broken but it can’t be fixed. It took me a long time to really know the difference. At first I didn’t understand that to be dead something first had to be alive. They tried to explain to me what alive was. If something moves on its own it’s alive. But cars move on their own and they’re not alive.

I gave up trying to figure out and just brought things to my parents to ask them if it was dead or broken. I got called bad boy a lot. Sometimes for breaking things. Sometimes for killing things. I decided it would be better to not break or kill anything so I started spending all my time sitting on my bed.

To try to get me to play outside my parents took my TV away. After that I had to make up TV shows in my head. They all started off good but always ended bad. People killing each other. Animals eating people. Car crashes. Lots of blood. Red became my favorite color.

Then the police brought me home from school. They told my parents I was a bad boy. My parents believed them and didn’t even listen to why I broke that boy’s skull. He was a bully and was hurting the younger kids so I picked up a baseball bat and made him stop.

I thought that stopping a bully would be a good thing. This is what superheroes do. I was protecting the small kids. I’m the good boy. I give up.

So now I have to write this bad boy essay. They better like it cause I know where the warden hides his gun.

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Tags: | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: November 1, 2019

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