I have spent most of my life traveling the US and abroad. Now it's time to create what I hope are interesting fictional stories.
I have 2 books on Amazon, Mitigating Circumstances and Short Stories for Open Minds.
Consciousness came crawling back from the edge of oblivion as I slowly recognized where the annoying sound was emanating from. I pushed “accept” on my phone and listened to the electronic voice coldly say, “Get up now.” 3 a.m., right on time as usual; not much chance these electronic gadgets would give a guy an extra 15 minutes. No time to lie around complaining. People were counting on me.
My name is Walter and today, January 1, 1980, is my 104th birthday. This makes me the oldest living resident of Rye, New Hampshire. Of course, Rye only has a population of 5,400, so in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal. What makes this day a big deal is I am about to tell a secret that I have been safeguarding for 94 years. The person I’ve chosen to share this secret with is 10 years old, the same age I was when it was told to me.
The two brothers stood atop a rock outcropping two hundred feet above a section of Maine’s coastline, anxiously expecting the events that were about to unfold. At the base of the cliff, the coast road wound its’ way around a picturesque cove. Strategically placed at either end of the cove were a succession of signs that read:
Anyone who is a car enthusiast and even those with only a passing interest will eventually put the peddle to the metal just for the rush. Drive along a deserted country road loaded with curves and switchbacks, top-down, radio playing, and you can’t help yourself. You just have to see how the vehicle handles the curves. Feeling the G force try to force the car out of its lane while you use all your driving prowess to maintain a line, is what driving is all about.
- Top Story - November 2023
If OnlyTop Story - November 2023
Jake is a busy guy. Every time he starts a project or just thinks about starting something, he gets interrupted. Most of the time they’re annoying minor interruptions: phone calls, a knock at the door, text messages from work, the list goes on and on. If only he had a little alone time, he could complete some half-finished projects. No phone calls, texts, or people, for one day. Is that too much to ask? Unfortunately for Jake, his unfinished business list just came due all at the same time.
“Come in central, this is Fuzzy One. Do you copy?” “We copy Fuzzy One. Do you have anything to report?” “Only that I’m really bored. I’m your number one secret squirrel and you assigned me to this clown! My investigative talents are being wasted here.”
A hot topic of conversation in today’s society is called cancel culture. It’s prevalent in every country and every society. Lately, every other month, a new atrocity is brought to light. Schools were supposedly set up by religious organizations to help indigenous children transition from a past culture to a new social structure. What these schools were in reality were concentration camps.
I have been a professional people watcher for the last 150 Earth years. My planet sent me here to observe and report on humans. Using direct observation will determine whether to add Earth to the Interplanetary Consortium or quarantine it. I take my work seriously, and this assignment has been the most difficult I’ve ever undertaken. When the posting was first assigned to me, I felt that in 25–50 years tops I would have my report complete and be ready to move on to my next assignment. Boy, was I wrong!
Isaac spent every day of his seventeen years in Southwest Florida. His parents never traveled outside of Florida. When Isaac was younger, he thought every state had palm trees, flat swampy areas, and alligators. When the temperatures dropped into the fifties, it was winter coat weather. He had heard about snow and even seen pictures of it on television and in the movies but had no idea what it felt like. Ice skating and skiing were bizarre sports he could barely comprehend. In true Florida tradition, his sports were baseball, football, swimming, and fishing.
- Top Story - November 2023
Vocal’s Lost CommunitiesTop Story - November 2023
For those who are unaware or have never counted them, Vocal has 48 communities available for writers to post their work in. The most popular of these by far are Poetry with 40,097 writers and Fiction with 31,637 writers. These numbers come from Vocal’s website and I’m sure they fluctuate from week to week, possibly day to day. These two groups generate most stories published on the site. What I found fascinating is how many Top Stories these two communities garner in a thirty-day period.
OK, I signed up for this job, so I have nothing to complain about. In fairness, though, I volunteered shortly after basic while I was in the middle of AIT (Advanced Infantry Training). The idea of running around Afghanistan with a rifle wasn’t my idea of a good time. So, when a couple of sergeants with a cluster of ribbons on their chests came into our training area and asked for a few volunteers, my hand shot up. I didn’t even know what the job was, but I figured it had to be a step up from being a grunt. That’s how I ended up in the Army’s Bomb Disposal Unit.