Tom Flanders World

Writer of Fiction

Fun with Cycling

fun cycling

The joys of cycling. White van waited till I was close to pull out, then drove 10 miles an hour.

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

Short Story – The Phone Will Ring

the phone

Another sunrise. Another day of waiting. Sitting on the back deck with a line in the water drinking too many beers. It might help if I had bait or hooks or stuff like that, but I find that fishing is much more relaxing without all that catching fish business.

The phone will ring soon. Or later. Or never. Well, so far it has never not rang, but that is always a possibility. It will happen one day. The phone will never ring again and I’ll be stuck here pretending to fish and drinking beer for the rest of my life.

What if the phone doesn’t ring? I can’t just fish for the rest of my life. I’ll need a hobby. I could collect things. That sounds boring enough to kill me. Maybe I could watch every movie ever made. Maybe I could build things, as long as they’re not too hard to build.

I have a friend who builds paper cars. Most of them are pretty easy. A color printer, some scissors and some tape are all you need. When he first showed me his collection I assumed he was insane. Though when faced with the idea of never working again, I can almost see his point.

The problem with paper cars is that while they look cool and are easy to build they are ultimately worthless. My friend is zen enough, or zenough, to think that having a worthless hobby is a good thing. I’d prefer to do something of value I could pass on to the young ones.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any young ones. Nobody to carry on my legacy, which I also don’t have. I guess getting one of them wife people would have helped, but I never got the hang of those relationship things. Maybe paper cars wouldn’t be so bad.

So this is where the mid-life crisis is supposed to happen. Only it doesn’t, happen. Every time I get close to having one I’m overwhelmed with contentment. Then the phone will ring and I’m off on another job and become too busy to think about such things.

The problem is that I have no reason to worry, so I tend to be not very good at it. My brain doesn’t stick like other people’s. My brother has a wife, kids, a dog and a paid-for house, but he worries all the time. Me, I analyze things, decide on an action, then let it go.

Boy, I can spew some bullshit when I get rolling. If I didn’t worry, I wouldn’t be babbling on about not worrying. I’m not ready for this. Let the phone ring just one more time. I’ll prepare for next time. If it doesn’t ring, I’ll be ready.

Then the phone rang. A job. A long job. I won’t have to worry about the phone ringing for at least a year. Then what? I’ve been checking out paper car web sites, but haven’t mustered any interest. Maybe stamps. Maybe travel. Maybe hookers.


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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: January 31, 2020

Tom Week – Back in Orange Land

orange land through the windshield

1/23/20 – Orange Land

We’ve been in Florida(AKA Orange Land) for quite a while and have often wondered where all the oranges are. Today we found them.

This park is much friendlier than the last. Our new neighbors all wave and say hello, even the guy with the Trump flag. We are parked on a little hill. Make we wonder if they have a flooding problem. Fortunately, no rain in sight.

Also, it’s warm again. Yeah!

1/24/20 – Wauchuca Warmth

Got in a good bike ride today. 9.98 miles. Almost 10. Let’s call it 10.

I got invited to play shuffleboard today. Yes, that’s the life I live.

1/25/20 – The Dog Wash Saga

Abigail needs a bath. She’s constantly scratching herself. So we found a car wash that also has a dog watch. Then I found a campground so that the dog wash was mostly on the way. We found the car wash no problem, but the dog wash was closed. Disappointing.

Then we get to the campground and I take Abigail to the fenced-in dog area. You guessed it, they have a dog wash. Yee Hay.

1/26/20 – Kissimmee

It’s rare that you have an eight letter word that only has four letters. We are only four miles from Disney World. The campground is on Seven Dwarves Lane. Tourist helicopters fly overhead all day. At least I hope they’re tourist helicopters.

1/27/20 – Back on Barrier Island

This place is instant relaxation. A county park and bird sanctuary. There also alligators, dolphins and vultures. I guess vultures qualify as birds, just don’t tell them I said that.

1/28/20 – Riding in the Wind

Big wind today. Shouldn’t be surprising for a January on Barrier Island. For the first half of the ride I was going straight into the wind. Averaged 7 miles an hour. On the way back, with the wind, 14 miles an hour. Yee Haw Indeed.

1/29/20 – Back in Space 15

We are The Outpost, one of our favorite places. We were last here Thanksgiving week, in this very same spot. The ducks are still here.

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Tags: | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: January 30, 2020

100 Words – Dig

dig dirty hands

She tried to dig up the feelings I’d buried deep inside. It took a year of constant effort, but she finally wore me down. What she found destroyed her and landed me back in jail. Fortunately she escaped the apartment before any permanent damage could be done.

Why do people think that all feelings are positive? It’s not fair. I spent decades of hard work and therapy to make myself as normal as possible. Then she came along and made me love her. She couldn’t accept that parts of me are bad. She wanted the whole experience. She got it.


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Tags: ,, | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: January 25, 2020

Tom Week – Ocala to Pine Island

duck not in Ocala

1/18/20 – Last Day in Ocala

We stayed here in Ocala for a week because I was hoping to get a Dr. appointment right away. Didn’t happen. So we had to just hang out in the land of malls for a while. A nice park, but not much for scenery at our spot.

1/19/20 – The Unpronouncable City

We are in Thonotosassa Florida. Even the people who live here disagree on how it’s pronounced. Today was hot, humid and occasionally rainy. Tomorrow is going to be 20 degrees cooler. Winter winter go away.

1/20/20 – Suspect Neighbors

Drug dealers, Trump supporters, people living in school buses and a guy who switches the magnetic signs on his pickup truck a couple times a day. I love this place. The ducks are cool too.

1/21/20 – Go South Old Man

This is the furthest south we’ve been in Florida. This is what I picture when I think of Florida. Tiny shacks of businesses lining the road. Much funkiness. Too bad it’s so very cold.

1/22/20 – Pine Island

When people talk about not being able to find a campground in Florida, what they mean is the southern third of Florida. I just spent 90 minutes finding nothing that didn’t cost over $100 a day. Turned back north and found a $40 spot with WIFI and cable TV.

Called one park that wouldn’t let us in because we have three people. That’s a new one.


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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: January 22, 2020


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