Tom Flanders World

Writer of Fiction

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

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 (1) | 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


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