Tom Flanders World

Writer of Fiction

100 Words – Drunken Score

drunken woman

Her face looked like carved marble but was soft as cotton. My pursuit of her was pure folly. She wasn’t just out of my league, she was playing a completely different game.

I was drunk and barely coherent when I saw her at the bar, sitting alone, and went over to ask her out. It took a couple tries before she understand what I was trying to say. She took my phone out of my pocket and entered her number.

My friends tried to convince me to wait to call her. I ignored them. We went to dinner that night.

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

Tom Week – New Jersey

new jersey parking lot

9/25/19 – Slept Late

Checkout time is 11AM. Pat was the first one awake, at 10:20AM. Rush, rush, rush. We were only a few minutes late out the gate, but now we’re all exhausted.

We stopped at a WalMart which turned out to be in New Jersey. The problem with that is they charge you $6.50 to leave New Jersey. Cause nobody would pay to get in.

9/26/19 – Fixins

I fixed a couple things around the RV today. Got some errands done online. Pat did some cleaning. It’s not all fun and games in the big yellow truck.

9/27/19 – Amish Country

We’re in New Holland PA. Just east of Intercourse. We saw buggies and honor-system produce stands and lots of hefty women in long skirts doing yard work. And big horses. Like, can pull down a barn all by themselves big.

Because of the nice weather the campground is full and we are stuck on the back lot which can only be reached by going the wrong way down a one way street. No cable or wifi on the back forty, just drainage ditches and darkness.

9/28/19 – Black Vultures

Walking Abigail in the woods today we were swooped upon by what I thought were giant crows or ravens. We weren’t being attacked. They just wanted to scare us away. Turns out the birds were black vultures. They have five foot wingspans and tiny heads. A bit smaller than turkey vultures but way cooler-looking.

9/29/19 – Intercourse

We drove through Intercourse PA today. My inner teenager insisted.

9/30/19 – Yo Yo Weather

We are in a strange place. Rather than a continuous temperature arc, it wanders up and down all day and night. Dress in layers, y’all.

10/1/19 – October

The summer is gone. The month of my birth is here. We are in Delaware. Not far from where the rest of my family had a get-together last year. I couldn’t make it then. Bad timing.


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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: October 2, 2019

Tom Week – Sodom Mountain

horse near Sodom Mountain

9/19/19 – Sodom Mountain

Seriously, we are at the Sodom Mountain Campground. Pat has yet to turn into a pillar of salt. That means a lot to me.

I tried climbing the mountain but only made it about half way up. Above that the trails were too steep and loose rocky for me.

Next stop Gomorrah Valley?

9/20/19 – Hopewell Junction

Hopewell Junction is not a town. It is a “hamlet” within the town of East Fishkill, which is of course, just east of Fishkill New York.

9/21/19 – Writing Day

Got a whole bunch of writing done today. Perfect day for a bike ride but no safe roads around.

Pat is making pumpkins.

Abigail complains that we aren’t feeding her enough but the vet says she’s a good weight.

I’ve been sitting in this chair for too long.

9/22/19 – Pennsylvania

We are in Stroudsburg Pennsylvania. No two people pronounce it the same. When you point that out they all say that they pronounce it correctly and the other people must be from New Jersey. New Jersey is two miles away.

The woman checking people in at the campground is extremely bored and makes jokes to pass the time. The old couple in front of me were not amused. She was so happy when I joked back.

9/23/19 – Bonking

Went for a long bike ride today. Too long. I had to change my route due to poor road conditions. This happened a couple times and added many miles to my trip. Oh yeah, 90 degrees. In addition the hills were again much larger than Google Maps suggested.

I finally got to the bike trail I was aiming for and it was wonderfully flat. For the first five miles. Then it was a nightmare of impossibly steep hills with horrible surface. The trail was dirt, covered by gravel, covered by moss, covered by rotting leaves.

When I got back to the paved road it leveled out a bit, but I was so worn out it took me over an hour to go the last five miles. Such fun.

9/24/19 – Rest Day

Took a day off to nap and do nothing.


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Tags: | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: September 25, 2019

100 Words – Pain

person in pain

The torrential pain swept across her body. She did not scream. There were no tears. A slight tremor. The ghost of a wince. She sipped her tea and contemplated her cards. Her cardmates gossiped on, unaware.

Later, back in her room, she takes three of the gray pills her nephew sends her from Mexico. She drowns them down with the vodka her neighbor with the limp leaves in her milk box every Sunday Morning. She leaves money for him but he never takes it.

Nobody else knows what has become of their former mayor. Praying for death. Weeping for relief.

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

Short Story – Bad Meditation

scary meditation face

Meditation was supposed to be relaxing. Nobody told me about the nightmares, or medimares or whatever the hell you call them. The visions of horror that jump out of the nothingness of the cleared mind. Not horror like you see in movies. Personal horror. Seeing yourself strangling puppies kind of horror.

It started about a month after my first attempt at meditation. It took me that long to learn how to clear my thoughts. To think about nothing. It was a slow process but there was progress. Then one day I did it. I was just there and there was nothing. I was relaxed and receptive.

Then my six grade teacher was there, only he wasn’t just being his usual asshole self. He was carving runes into the skin of my friends and there was nothing I could do to stop him.

Another time I was sitting, feeling very mellow and free, and suddenly I saw myself picking up a kitten and throwing her against the wall over and over again. That one sent me to the therapist.

Obviously I was doing something wrong the therapist told me. She had me do my deep breathing and relaxation ritual. She kept whispering good and yes. Slowly she, and everything else faded away. I felt calm. My last thought was to let go of thinking about not thinking. Then out of nowhere came the vision of my aunt falling from a great height and splattering on the sidewalk.

The therapist suggested that meditation might not be my thing. Instead, she gave me some pills to try to help me relax.

No more pills! At least when the meditation went bad I could snap out of it pretty quickly. The pills trapped me in the nightmare. Hours of dogs with knives, talking bloody cabbages and me, killing or hurting everyone and everything I could get my hands on.

The therapist got mad at me when I described my childhood as normal. After a few sessions she hypnotized me. When she brought me back up she pissed, having found nothing to blame the horrors on.

I’m a nice person. Never arrested, well once, drunk in public the night of my college graduation, but I never hurt anybody. The thought of these horrors living in my brain makes me vomit. Literally. I started to wonder if I’m too nice a person, working too hard to suppress the bad in me.

No meditation. No pills. Just sleep. It happened again. I was in a workshop. On the counter was a bird cage with eleven robins. I took each one and crushed it’s beak with a vice. The noises they made. I woke after the eleventh had surrendered its beak. Surely I am insane. I never want to sleep again.

My therapist has given up on me. She says I’m not trying to get better. She referred me to a new doctor. In our first meeting he wired me up to a bunch of machines, asked me a bunch of questions and said “huh” a lot.

A week later they removed the tumor.Facebook LogoTwitter Logo

Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: June 5, 2019


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