People on the Highway

With the book promotion (free book right here!) going on, I thought perhaps now is time to get back into the series that started it all.  Ah, nostalgia.

I took a new job about six months ago.  No longer working from home, I have taken to a regular commute.  I’m only on the road for thirty to forty minutes in the morning, but rejoining the commuter lifestyle has been incredibly odd.  That is in part because I am on the road at 5:00 in the morning.

5am is a totally different beast than 7am.

Most notably, car accidents are different at 5am.

Today’s tale: Dude, where’s my bumper? Continue reading

Getting Ready

“Clothes, shoes, coats, bags. Let’s get going, gang!” Tyson Smith had said this sentence time and time again.  “You have five minutes.”

Two children, too young to really understand what ‘time management’ meant, ran about the house doing anything other than listen to their father.  Tyson was unsure if the children were purposely ignoring him, or rather so entrenched in their current game they were incapable of hearing him.

“Four minutes,” Tyson said. His voice growing louder, more impatient.

“Dad, I need help finding my bag,” the oldest child asked.

“Okay. Where was it last?” Tyson asked.

A seven minute story followed. They were no closer to finding the bag.

“Dad, need help with my bag,” said the youngest.

Four minutes passed before Tyson realized the young one, still new to the language, was trying to mimic the older sibling.

“Dad! I can’t get my shoe on,” the oldest shouted.

Tyson had been through this before as well.  It was never easier.

“Okay, everyone in the car!” Tyson ordered.  Loud, curt, tired; half an hour had passed since the five minute warning.  Control was a feeling he no longer understood.

Ten minutes later, the car seats were buckled and Tyson readied to back the car out of the garage.

“Where are we going, dad?” the oldest asked.

Tyson huffed, rested his forehead on the steering wheel and muttered, “I don’t even remember.”

 

 

Thanks for reading!
My short story “lunch hour read” collection People on the Highway is free now through February 10! Click here for your copy (share and review if you would, please!) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VUE2OQS  Thanks!

Erik, Dale, and the Mine

Erik sat on  boulder. A wet, very pointy boulder.  He was not exactly thrilled with the way the day had gone.

“Maybe if we turn back and try a right at the last intersection?” Dale offered his insight.

Erik did not know if he wanted to reply.  When the two entered the old mine, Dale was so confident that he knew the paths inside and out.  Now they were deep within the earth with little food, little light and little patience.

“I’m sorry about this, Erik,” Dale said, the humiliation in his voice not missed. Continue reading

The Castle of Doefferlien

castle

“Interesting tidbit about the Castle of Doefferlien.  Built in 6th century, it housed the royal Doeffer family.  Little is known of  the empire as it was only in existence for 70 years when neighboring clans united under a single ruler and ultimately ate the royal family,” Sherry’s voice trailed off.  She had tried so hard to avoid the cannibalism that ended the empire.

She watched the tourists  squirm as she tried to recover the tour. “It is also asymmetrical.  Experts guess the architect was ‘messing with’ the royals. He was eaten by invaders as well.”

Dang it, Sherry, she cursed quietly.

 

Lynn Hears the News

Lynn stepped out of the grocery store with the usual items in plastic bags she always felt guilty about using.  Bread, milk, eggs, some fruit and a pack of gum.  It was a normal day.  The sun shined above, birds tweeted in the tall oaks that surrounded the store and other shoppers gave awkward smiles to each other as they passed.

She walked to her car, popped the trunk open and hoped her milk would not topple over if she turned right too hard.

Before she could make her way to the driver’s seat, the ground beneath her rumbled.  The source of the disturbance showed itself quickly as a convoy of camouflaged trucks rolled down the main road beside the store.  Sitting inside the trucks were soldiers in gas masks and elaborate protective gear.  Odd drill Lynn thought as she stepped into the driver’s seat.

Turning on the radio, the afternoon DJs were just ending a caller.

“Whoa there now, profanity kills the line,” said ‘Leadbelly’ Tom, co host of the Snark Before Dark Show.  He could be described as the ‘squirrel’ host; high energy, little focus.

“Yeah, sorry folks,” apologized ‘Big Belly’ John.  His soothing baritone voice made him the one to always issue apologies for vulgar callers.

“Still, for those heading north you apparently want to ready yourselves for the zombie apocalypse,’ Tom said.

“Which brings up an important topic, Tom.  How would you survive the Zombie hordes?”

Lynn stopped listening and returned her attention to the military convoy.  They were going north.  They were wearing some very odd gear.  She wondered if Snark Before Dark had just accidentally broken the biggest news story of the year.

She started her car and called her mom.

“Mom,” she said when the phone was answered, “get the kids ready for a trip, would you? I’ll be home in about ten minutes then we’re heading south.”

Deck and Amy and the Cheese Party

“These hash browns taste like funnel cake,” Deck said to Amy when their host was out of ear shot.

“Pretend you’re at a fair and deal with it.  We are out of here in half an hour,” Amy said.  She stomped on Deck’s foot for good measure.

“I was almost kidnapped at a county fair once.  True story,” Deck said.

“I wish I had known that prior to making mention of it.  I apologize,” Amy worried she did actually know that.

The two had been invited to attend a wine, cheese and fancy sausages tasting at the home of one Amy’s work friends.  Unable to say no to much of anything, Amy agreed to attend.  Usually a Friday night was spent binge watching back seasons of Castle or, more recently, devouring Stranger Things to see all the homages they missed the first two run times they watched it.  Deck and Amy were homebodies, and right now their goal was to get their bodies back home. Continue reading

The Stars Align

“Why have you summoned the council this day, Brother Orion?” Asked the Council Elder.

The question was on the mind of all ten council members assembled around the altar.  The council members stood in their flowing red robes, faces hidden under deep hoods.  The room was poorly lit by flickering candles. On the altar sat a book none other than Brother Orion recognized.

“Council, I have made a discovery,” Brother Orion said.  “This tome tells of a cosmic alignment.  Stars and planets falling into place in such a way that, if we put the altar in the right spot, our goals will be achieved.”

Even from under their hoods, Brother Orion saw smiles from the Council.

“What do we need to do?” The Elder asked.

“The alignment occurs only once every 7,000 years,” Brother Orion informed them.

“Excellent.  The next alignment approaches then?” The Elder asked.

“Well, not exactly.  The last alignment was in June of ’92.  But it is good we begin preparing now.”

“Wait, wait, wait,” Council Member Cleo said, pulling her hood off her head, “So we have 6, 975 years until this plan will come into play? Don’t get me wrong, advancing the goals of the cult is always good, but 6975 years from now will more than double the entirety of human history?”

“Well,” Brother Orion started.

“Do we need to plan 7,000 years out? I always thought of our cult as more of a beer and foosball thing with the occasional group chant,” interjected Council Member Rico.

“Yeah, but planning ahead will allow future members to,” Orion was cut off again.

“I’m inclined to agree with Rico here,” The Council Elder interrupted, “file the book, send me an Outlook reminder to make a note about the discovery in the Elder’s log and we’ll go on with our charitable contributions and golf tournaments as normal.  For now though, burgers and beer pong!”

The council cheered and exited the room.  Brother Orion pulled out his phone and started a calendar reminder for the Elder.