Road Trip

The car sat in the apartment parking lot. The huge, white mass of metal only cost $300. I did put a new carb on it, but the Ninety Eight was pretty clean and ran well otherwise. And it had the racing 455 in it. I don’t think that old hippie I bought it off of knew that. One of my friends had put an old guitar pick on a string and hung it from the rear view mirror. I thought that was a nice touch, since I was learning how to play. And now, I was going on my first solo road trip with my first car.

It was 6:00 AM and the traffic was as light as my mood. First stop: Tybee Island. The beach awaited me with its lovely ladies and good clubs. Slowing down for road construction, I wonder why freeways never got finished. Finally, I am on 75 south and picking up speed. Macon appears and disappears quickly as I transition on to 16. Now let’s see what this car can do.

Turning out onto Holcomb Bridge, the anticipation of the open road and the celebration of my mis-spent youth awaited me. The exits slip away. Sgoda Road. Dry Branch. Cochran. Dublin. The last State Patrol post for the next 100 miles comes up on the right. Yep. Now is the time. The Olds slowly picks up speed. It isn’t a drag car, but it seemed to accelerate forever. Looking down, I’ve buried the spedo. The Malibu never got up this high. I decide to test that with a flying mile.

Passing post 56, I begin counting. One, one thousand. Two, one thousand…

I figure I am doing about 115. The car is a handful. The shocks on this tub were pretty worn out and the front end bobbed like a porpoise. I didn’t care. I was nineteen and as immortal as Lazarus. I could handle anything the car could throw at me. I had brought a ham sandwich with me to eat along the way. Quite a feeling chomping away while pecan groves and onion fields flash by.

In what seems a too short of time, the 95 interchange comes into view. I ease the car down. The exit to my Uncle’s house is coming up. I was happy. Everything was running good.

Blue lights filled the rear view mirror.

Oh, crap. I pull over. The State Patrolman unfolded himself out of the slicktop and strode towards the car. I make sure my hands are visible as I sweat hard in the South Georgia sun.

“Son. I need to see your license and proof of insurance.”

“Yes, Sir.” I give him the documents.

“Did you know you were going 76 in a 55 mile per hour zone, Son?”

“Oh, no Sir. I must have not been paying attention.” I take a very deep breath.

“I will have to write you a citation.” He said.

“That is fine, Sir.” Inwardly, I thank God this wasn’t 20 miles up the road. I would be in the back of that cruiser.

“Here you go. Sign here and please slow down. I just cleaned up a wreck with kid about your age yesterday. “

I sign the ticket. He gets back into the slicktop and disappears off the next exit. This is going to be one hell of a trip.

Gone Fishin’ (Blogophilia 13.14)

“K-9, I honestly don’t know why we stopped here. There is no intelligent life to be found.”

The group has decided to take a break. Or as rock bands call it, a “hiatus”.

I can understand that. Fourteen years is a long time for a gig to run. I’ve been writing for thirteen of them. Week in and week out, I waited for the notification of the prompts. Some people like Crosswords. I like to build Flash Fiction (mostly).

Early on, I did a lot of parody and I often used cartoon characters as guides.

But when I look back, I don’t believe I used Marvin or K-9 in a blog.

I’ve had long serial stories and built some cool characters. Whether it was Jeremy the Bomber, Kari the Death Angel, or Harry Handy, these things would live in my head waiting for their stories to be told. I’ve always gone for the ordinary and the broken people normally ignored in most fiction. We don’t need another fit, curvy blonde. I’d rather have an overweight redhead with a balding, paunchy husband who struggle together in love.

So what’s up for the summer? The garden in the new house is coming up.

There are a couple of construction projects that need to be done. No travel until the fall. Then I’m going to Florida for a week.

It should be fun.


Pic guesses- Five tone theme, Close encounters, No intelligent life (in blog), alien abduction, space, after the gold rush, all in a dream

One thing: Who is your favorite character or series of mine? I’d like to know.

Amanda Jo (Blogophilia 11.14)

Red with curl
I will always
Remember you as
I wandered past the horses
You were such a precocious
Child, vulnerable to the whims
Of mercurial parents. Why? I refuse
To answer that question on the grounds
That I don’t know the answer.
All I know is years have
Passed since you launched
Into the sea
That we call
Sort of


Topic: Dave Coon

Pic: Heather Blomquist

PIc Guesses: Trail, Primrose path, favorite places, the woods, wide way, quietitude, greenery, hiking, on the way.

Another Day on the Darkside (Blogophilia 10.14)

Marty Mammon, Senior Demon Director of Compliance for Devil’s Quill, is in his office in a non-descript building outside Arlington, VA.


“It’s a great day in Hell. Marty Mammon, here. How may I inconvenience you?”

“Oh hey, Dick. How are things. Really? Maker is ramping up his orders? I can’t say I’m surprised. But, mark my words, He’ll change his mind once the Moaning Karens get loud enough. I’ve seen the cycle too many times.”

Yes, I did start the new Scarcity Script. Early indications are good. Gas tanks are going dry all up the East Coast. No. It isn’t related to Zuck’s Covid one from last year. We had a demon called Afreet write it. What’s an Afreet? You remember the Aladdin story, right? One of those. He owed us wishes. No, no threats. He was more than happy to run up some evil magic. I’ve never understood what Afreets had against mortals. That grudge is from before my time and never written down.

Oh, Yeah. Sandy Wrath borrowed Afreet for a Maker Industries project, but I have no idea what he had in mind. What’s that ? Ouch. I guess we should have seen that coming, with the damage those Center Space Mortals have done since the 3.16 project. Would the Scarcity Script work in conjunction with Wrath’s deal? I make no promises, but if Maker Industries wants to go there we certainly can. I mean, we’ve done effective take out projects in the area before and every failed experiment is one step closer to success.”

“Yeah, I’ll keep you posted on any new developments and see you Tuesday at the status meeting.”



Topic-Dahlia Ramone

Pic-Colleen Keller Breunig

Pic guesses: Serenade, comfort, buddies, captive audience, on the stoop, evening.

For those of you new to the blog, here is the full list of Devil’s Quill pieces for your enjoyment:

Gold Branch (Blogophilia 9.14)

It’s funny, the notification for this week’s writing assignment came in while I was entering my favorite hiking spot.

150 acres of hardwood paradise two miles from the new house. I’ve been hiking this trail for years.

If you follow me on Facebook , Blogger and Instagram, you’ll recognize some of the places. Like The Point, which is about a mile down from the trail head.

You can come down to river to pray.

And ponder the meaning of life here by calm waters.

The name came from the discovery of gold north of here in 1828.

However, the glittery things by the water is Fool’s Gold.

Further down the trail, you round a point along the river bank where you can hear the sounds of the Rowing Club practicing there strokes.

An excellent place to leave the world behind.

I’ll be writing about more of the hikes around here as I go along.


Topic (By the water)- Lissa Fallon

Pic-Dave Coon

Pic guesses: Calm (in blog), lone tree, skiff, fishing, flat boat, still water.

Podium (Blogophilia 8.14)

Oh, Darling

Please believe me

I saw you on the podium

In a proud moment of your life

Ready to take on the world

On your own terms

Only to find out

You can’t take it with you.

So, dance with me in the sun

And laugh.


Topic-Craig Fallon

Pic Dahlia Ramone

Pic guesses: Dance, sunrise, native, joy, field, life

A Walk at the Farm (Blogophlia 7.14)

I recently moved to a new home adjacent to one of the units of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. With immediate access to almost 20 miles of trail, It is paradise to a day hiker like me.

But the coolest place to hike isn’t on Federal land. It is Hyde Farm , a Cobb County operated cultural site and park about a half mile walk from the house.

The old barn

Back when I was in high school, it was a working farm. In typical teenage fashion, we would skip school and go to the parking lot of Morgan Falls dam, which is at the bottom of the ravine below the farm and party. We would see old Mr. Hyde (he was pretty old back then) plowing the lower field with his mule, fussing about one thing or another. Sometimes, we’d get ambitious and swim across the river to the far bank, only to have him threaten to call the police on us.

Morgan Falls from the far shore

In the 1970s, in response to a large bridge project, the river park system was proposed as a way to protect the riverbank from erosion and development. Someone with clout managed to get President Carter’s ear, who shepherded the bill through Congress, saying since a lot of the low lying area was utility easements, it would a great idea to keep them from being developed. It was fairly successful.

When the government approached Mr. Hyde to see if he would be interested, the refused. And after he passed away, his family was even more adamant. They had heard the developer’s money call and had subdivided the property in several places, including the land my subdivision sits on.

Finally, after much thought, negotiation, and a delinquent property tax bill, the family did agree to deed over the central 40 acres with the original buildings to Cobb County with the understanding the farm would be preserved.

When you come down the main road, you feel like you have stepped back in time to the early part of the 20th century.

Well House

The County has chosen not to paint or whitewash anything but to leave the wood to age naturally, but do other repairs (like the roof) to maintain the integrity of the structures.

The main house

The farm consists of the main house, a seven stall horse barn, a couple of tool sheds, five chicken coups (one of which is still working with about a dozen hens),

a hay loft, a outhouse, and an old fashioned dog house. An arbor of Muscadine vines runs along a pasture fence.

A Caretaker lives on the property and makes sure nothing burns down or gets vandalized.

There are about a mile of paths around the property. It is so quiet, you don’t realize you are not in the middle of suburbia. Instead, you wish for a pony to ride and to forget about the world.

I might have found paradise. And I didn’t need the dashboard light.


It’s a Writer Choice week.

I thought about making a Quaalude joke, but that would have gone better with last week’s post.

Topic-Step Back in time

Hard prompt-Use a Jim Steinman/Meatloaf lyric (Paradise by the Dashboard Light)

Easy Prompt-Chickens.

Pic-Collen Keller Bruenig

Pic guesses. Cherrytree Lane, Primrose Path, Avenue, spring, arbor, pink dream

688 (Blogophilia 6.14)

Streetlights in windows
Illuminating boxes
With a joint smoking mushrooms
They gather
Not a natural hair color in sight
Listening to a foghorn Oracle
Screech of doom
Perennially young
Perennially angry
They’ll dance in the dark
‘Till the world ends
And make love
In the aftermath.


Topic-Dave Coon

Pic-Craig Fallon

Pic guesses: Aftermath (in blog), Mushroom (in blog), Kaboom, We are all bastards, The end, Doomsday, Wake up

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