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Adjustment Period, the Rescue

On the Road with Patricia and Dale

By Dana CrandellPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 1 min read
Top Story - May 2023
Adjustment Period, the Rescue
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

The US Army convoy had come to a halt. The poor woman sitting in front of the lead Humvee had obviously lost her mind. There was a spare one in front of her, lying in a pile of bones and goo.

The sergeant gently pulled the crying, incoherently jabbering lady to her feet and helped her into the back seat.

“Should we back up, Sir?” he asked, pointing to the mound of rubble ahead.

“No time,” the colonel replied.

As they pulled forward, the soldiers began to sing.

“Over hill, over dale...

Patricia laughed maniacally.


Artist's Note: If you didn't make any sense of this story, please start with the first episode of the microfiction series, Adjustment Period. It wasn't supposed to be a series, but with a little help from my clever and amazing friends, I couldn't help it!

Thanks to the indomitable Randy Wayne Jellison-Knock for the punspiration on this one! Please click below to read his incredible works:

There are so many more to thank, but I'm going to have another good opportunity to do that, thanks to Judey Kalchik, who offered the brilliant suggestion of a pillar post, which I have started creating, now that the Microfiction Magic Challenge is coming to a close. Speaking of brilliant, please check out her stories:

To all of those friends who wanted more of Dale and Patricia, I can only say that I needed to write this one to preserve my own sanity (and possibly my marriage.) Just kidding about the second part; Pam handles my neuroses well. For my part, I can't begin to tell you what it's like to walk around with Dalebrain. Then again, maybe I should just point to the zombies as an example.

Miracles happen, right? Perhaps Dale will be resurrected at some point. Perhaps Patricia will have her own series. For now, there's a pillar post to write and many more characters running around in the gray matter.

Thank you, my friends and readers!

MicrofictionSci FiLoveHumorHorror

About the Creator

Dana Crandell

Dad, Stedpad, Grandpa, Husband, lover of Nature and dogs.

Poet, Writer, Editor, Photographer, Artist and Tech/Internet nerd. Content writer by trade. Vocal Creator by choice.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  4. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (38)

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  • Donna Fox (HKB)12 months ago

    Dana this was such a great series to follow, I loved it every step of the way! I also love your humble nature in sharing the credit with your friends and colleagues! It's a beautiful thing to see! 💖

  • Phil Flannery12 months ago

    I read this one first. Now I get it.

  • Loryne Andawey12 months ago

    Damn! Patricia truly had it rough. Tragically sweet that Dale stuck with her until the end ❤

  • K. C. Wexlar12 months ago

    Congrats on a top story - i liked these characters! if you have time

  • J. S. Wade12 months ago

    Laughing. I know who Dale is, who the heck is Hill? Backstory needed. 😂 Congratulations on TS. Vocal got a deal on this one.

  • Novel paradise12 months ago

    I've recently written a story and I would greatly appreciate your feedback on it. I value your opinion and think your insights would be incredibly helpful in improving my writing.

  • Gina C.12 months ago

    Yes!! Congrats on Top Story, Dana!! 😍😍

  • Roy Stevens12 months ago

    Laughter being the best medicine, all of these disintegrating zombies should be starting to reassemble right about now. Congrats my friend!

  • Misty Rae12 months ago

    Well done, congrats on the top story and thank you for the laugh. ;)

  • JBaz12 months ago

    Well done, interesting….what ever will happen? Congratulations

  • Gerald Holmes12 months ago

    Well, you got me laughing again. Great job and congrats on the Top Story.

  • Melissa Ingoldsby12 months ago

    Interesting turn of events! Congratulations on top story

  • Cathy holmes12 months ago

    Yay. Congrats on the TS

  • Congratulations 🎉 💖✨

  • Lamar Wiggins12 months ago

    Thanks again for caring to make us laugh again with this final installment. It was definitely a memorable series. And congrats on the well-deserved Top Story!

  • Princessfavour12 months ago

    Wow nice waiting for more

  • Judey Kalchik 12 months ago

    Yay! And so glad that you'll make that master post! Especially now as microfic will live on- it's a good thing to... hey! Maybe I should write an artivce about it!

  • Kristen Balyeat12 months ago

    Haha! Don’t I know how I missed this one! Such a great finale!!! Amazing little series, Dana. Can’t wait to see what you do next.

  • Great job...congrats, my friend

  • Paul Stewart12 months ago

    Dana, thank you...thank you for making us all smile and laugh at the saga of Patricia and Dale. It was well worth reading all of them. No filler, all killer.

  • Mackenzie Davis12 months ago

    Lol love the pun in this one, and very well-imagined! There’s a solid contrast between Patricia’s freak out and the humor of the song that makes everything so realistic and vivid. I think this might be my favorite in the series. 😊

  • Heather Hubler12 months ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Congratulations on your Top Story

  • Heather Hubler12 months ago

    Bravo! I love that the song ended up being an inadvertent send off for our beloved Dale. Your Dalebrain is brilliant!

  • Mariann Carroll12 months ago

    Enjoyed this, the song is stuck in my head

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