To be a writer…..

“While experts and tourism promoters always urge calm and statisticians go on about how we are more likely to be attacked by a cow than a shark, that is small comfort for those swimming in the ocean rather than hanging around a farm.”  June 29, Washington Post story by Will Greenberg about shark attacks.

Now I am afraid on land too.  I’m especially fearful of the Chik-A-Fil signs, what are they really doing on those billboards?  Obviously, cow attacks go under reported here.  Animal Planet has subcome to pressure from the diary industry.  Otherwise, this would be Cow Week instead!

After three days in the ocean, I can’t even find a kid with a styrofoam fin!  Seriously, coming from Washington Post.  I’m thinking cover up.  I’ll be submitting a story about cow attacks soon.  I just need to find the Mid Atlantic Cow Regional Data Service.  Hey, the Sharks have one.  Cows are more dangerous.  The writer tells me so……
Is Cows of Death too strong of a title?



The Troll Bridge


Part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge.  Photo prompt courtesy of Dawn M Miller

“Grandma, I need a piece of silver.”

Grandma looks down at Annabelle.   Pink ribbons flapping in the breeze fron her ponytail, little bits of sand and dirt on bottom of her poppy print dress.   Highly Sunday fashionable at 6.

“Now Annabelle, what do you need with a piece of silver? ”

“There’s a terrible ugly troll underunder the bridge.  He has Mr Cuddles…he will eat Mr Cuddles if I don’t give him a piece of silver.  Please, he just can’t eat Mr Cuddles.  He’s a mean troll.  I think he will eat him right away.  We got to hurry.   Come on grandma!” Annabelle is practically dancing and grabbing Grandma’s arm.

“Honey, we don’t carry silver any more.  That mean troll with just have to change his demands.  Annabelle, you have him come over and I’ll talk to him.”

Annabelle flys off to the stone bridge.  She crouches down by the drainage pipe.  Grandma sees her hands move as she talks.  Grandma remembers doing the same thing years ago.  Little girls and imagination.  

Suddenly, a dark figure appears in the pipe.  An ugly green-brown head. Pointed temples project sideways, black scraggly hair haphazardly attached to him, large brown teeth exposed from his mouth.  Annabelle is dragging him to her. In his other arm, a small white poodle.  Horror of a real  beast, coupled with the defense of a young girl.

“Now you leave us be!  That’s not your dog or ours either.  Annabelle, we as leaving. ..Right Now!”

Annabelle drops his arm. Mr cuddles bites the troll and follows Annabelle. Both run to Grandma, turning to look back at the troll.

“Mary Ellen Samples. You owe me two pieces of silver now.  I remember all little girls.  I’ll be here.  Sixty years from now too.

Bruce the Shark


Forty sunny summers ago.  A Shark named Bruce swam into our darkest fears.   A broken mechanical shark made the movie because it wasn’t seen for most of the movie.  Forty years later a long away from Amityville (yes that Amityville) I’m in the Carolinas and they’re feeding on people again.

Come on in the water is fine! 😉

Blue House


The Mayor and the town manager waved as their next victim approached. Summertime was prime time. The sleepy town of Blue House was alive with tourist after tourist. All Charlie and Richie had to do is wait.

Across the street, Charlie’s sister ran a dinner called the Blue Bell. The beverage store was Richmond’s brother’s. The day was waiting fur a tourist to park abd walk somewhere else. Richie would tow it to Charlie’s impound lot. $200 cash each time.

“Charlie I’m calling Ohio. I’ll put a fifty on it. Where you taking?”

“Tennessee. … I’ll take Tennessee.”

They spin the top of a couple long necks and wait. One beer turns to six.

“Hell, we’ve been here half the day. We ain’t never getting any cash today. Why don’t we just take that one on the end” Richie pointing out a red car.

“Nah, as Mayor, ya know I can’t do that. Besides it from Ohio. You ain’t cheatin me out of a fifty that easy. ”

“Wait, that green one. They’re walking behind the building. Give em another minute and they’re cars hooked. Just like flys on shit.”

Richie runs high tailing towing it away. They’re missing money today.

When Governor Perkins found his prize restored Impaled gone. The would be hell to pay!

Eye of the Dragon – Picture It and Write

They had been the rage.  Dragon lizards.  At two to three feet long, they were dangerous enough for a boy.  Safe enough for parent when in a fish tank.  The pretty blackish blue made them irresistible.  Fredrick had a great business.  Bring in a dozen and leave with a over thousand bucks.  Every town loved the lizards.

No one ever questioned where they came from.  They were so cute.  They clung to people.  If you put them down, they cried till you picked them back up.  A new town would see Fredrick drive in with his beat up pickup.  Hard to miss with white front and black bed.  He would show them off,sell and leave.

The next day mom would come after her babies and eat the town’s people for stealing her babies.  So the next time you see a strange new pet for sale.  Wait till tomorrow to buy it.

celebrate every day you can travel

In response to Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Celebrate Good Times.”


It’s summer.   Beach weather, hot sticky, nhouses of tourists descend like locusts on to the beach… wait I’m one of the locusts.   Renting a condo To celebrate summer, that is it’s own good news.

This week’s keys.

A short walk to the beach.

Starting with full bottles of bourbon

State parks and gardens half hour away.

Beating rest of tourists to grocery .

Seven days nothing to do

The Tobacco Barn

“Ashley, don’t you love the rolling hills.  Come on, they’re baby mountains.   Green trees and fields.   This is so much better than couped up in a city.” Eric is trying to see if Ashley is still there.   She’s been quiet and staring for an hour.

“It’s the same hills an hour ago, and an hour before that.  Little patches of farms.  I like to see something.  You know with people.   I should have known a weekend in woods wasn’t my thing.  You remember first bear and I’m out of there.  Jenny talked me into this.   She didn’t want to be alone with you two idiots.”

The highway twists and turns. The hills are getting big with longer climbs and bigger curves. Large barns and farm houses crown the hills in groups. Cattle and deer fill up fields between them.

Climbing up hill, the engine light comes on. Eric sees it. He’s not sure about problem but knows not to say anything. “Just a sensor” thought slides past his lips. On the back side, the car starts to sputter. The next exit is seven miles distant. The car makes the first half mile.

“What’s wrong with the car? Oh my god, we’re nowhere. You can fix it, right? !” Ashley is a little more than nervous.

“I got to check. It just died. Ashley, it’ll be fine. We have our phones. We’re on a major freeway. If I can’t figure it out.” Eric has no idea about anything under the hood. He just wants to check for phone service out of her sight. It fails.

“Eric..the phone has no signal. NONE! We are stranded. Where are they? Did they leave first out after us. Maybe they can get us.” Ashley panics easily and completely.

To their left is a freeway to the right a field. Across the field of green wheat, a black barn, then a tobacco field with short plants, then a white farm house. Can’t be more than a fifteen minute walk. Hope traffic provides assistance or hope for a landline at the farm.

“Ashley, we can wait. But if I go to that house, they’ll have a phone. I’ll get someone to tie us and fix the car. We’ll be on the way in no time.”

“Do you think I’m starting here? ! No way. I’m going. You better be right. I don’t know why you think people still have phones like that. Maybe in that field, ours will work.”

Hopping the guardrail, the side of the road drops a couple hundred feet, steeply before leaving to a field. Ten minutes later, they have reached the green wheat. They are surprised to find the field is soft and swampy. Their nice new crosstrainers are not looking so good. Jeans are taking on mud on the bottom. And one woman is getting a touch angry. The field looked smaller from above. The soft footing is draining.

“Eric, you said fifteen minutes. It been at least half hour. It’s. .. great the fucking phone has died. We’re as good as dead. I know we should have stayed with the car. My shoes are ruined. These jeans are getting destroyed. We better get help quick or I’m going home! ”

“The barn is right there, another couple minutes. Maybe there’s a phone there. We’ll be alright. Calm down.”

“Don’t tell me to calm down!! You got is into this. Your junk car and you. Get it fixed and get us out of here!”

The rest of the hike to barn is nervously quiet. The barn is huge. Loose panels and lofts. Some of last year’s tobacco hangs like tan ghosts from the beams high above. The inside is split in three long aisles. Collections of straw, stalks, and farm equipment look tossed into an obstacle course.

A soft voice drifts toward them. A loud voice screams back “I’ll kill you. String your innards all over that field. Yonder to them hills. Who the hell will know you was here? Just who the hell would even look! ” The voice is from an unseen man.

Eric and Ashley find a wall to hide up against. They’re in the wrong place. But until the phone chimes a “low battery” warning, no-one knew they were there.

Big Picture


Ok it’s a big picture of an acre and a half.  The Ansel Adams picture doesn’t happen in flat areas.  But biodiversity reigns in this semi-suburbia savannah.   Sixty varieties ans species of trees and shrubs support twenty three full time bird species and about another dozen during the summer.   Snakes under foot.  Frogs singing afternoon till next morning.   Dragonflies and damselflies fight for air supremacy over two ponds.   That snapping turtle you can’t see has been thrown out of pond twice, but walks half mile back. Don’t pay attention to the deer behind the tree.


But if panoramic view is assignment.   Let’s go to Oregon.   The haystack and the Pacific