The Woman Who Screamed


“Johnny, we have to get the tent set up before it rains. I can see lightning off in the distance,” Jill said to her boyfriend of two years, Johnny.

Jill and Johnny were students at a university deep in the Daniel Boone National Forest in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. After their Friday classes were over, they had decided to camp and hike for the weekend. The area is a popular hiking spot.

“How is the campfire coming along, Jill?” Johnny asked.

“Great,” Jill replied. “Almost ready to light it.”

“Now all we have left to do is hang the rope in the trees for the food and we’re finished setting up the campsite. Then we can go for a short hike before dark,” Johnny said. “Well, if it doesn’t rain. I see the lightning too but it is off in the distance. It just looks like heat lightning.

Jill and Johnny were hanging a rope for food in the trees because black bears lived in the area and that was one way to possibly keep them stealing their food. Other smaller animals would also make it a feast. Lots of other, smaller animals lived in the forest as well such as raccoons and opossum that would also steal food.

Jill and Johnny finished setting up their campsite. They each grabbed an apple for their hike. Johnny retrieved their fishing poles and bait as they left to hike, telling Jill they were going to catch their dinner in the little stream that ran near their camp. There was trout in that stream and Johnny could already taste it. It was delicious cooked over a campfire and they had brought all the fixins’ to go with the fish just in case they could catch a few.

All of a sudden they heard a scream. Johnny turned to Jill, who had stopped dead in her tracks with her mouth open. “That sounded like a woman,” he said. Jill started to run toward the sound of the scream and Johnny followed her. They looked around everywhere and saw nothing. No people. Not another scream. Nothing. There was a cliff on the right side of their trail. They tentatively looked over the side of the cliff but saw no signs that anyone had fallen.

Johnny and Jill walked slowly back to where they had dropped their tackle box and fishing poles. They decided to call 911 and let the police handle this because they didn’t know what to do next. They had no weapons on them, not even a bow and arrow.

The couple went on to the stream where they planned to catch their dinner. It had turned into a partly cloudy day, but night was approaching. They baited their fishing hooks and threw them in the water. Johnny and Jill sat there in companionable silence and suddenly, Johnny had a big bite. As he pulled the fish in, he saw it wasn’t a fish at all. It was a turtle! Neither were in the mood for a turtle for dinner.

As Johnny baited his hook to try again, Jill quietly said his name. Then she said it again. When he looked at her, she nodded her head to the side. Johnny looked up and there stood a woman, covered in mud and clutching herself around her middle, tears streaming down her face.

There was no fish for dinner that night, but Johnny and Jill were back at camp with the woman who had screamed and the police and paramedics. The police were out in the forest looking for the man who had pushed the woman off the cliff. The paramedics were tending to the woman. Her family, under the crescent moon, were profusely thanking the two college students for possibly saving her life. #blogpropellant #amwriting #amblogging #writing

Literary device – elephant

Cubing the Stories 15





The Snollygoster Politician


“Oh, he is a snollygoster, all right. That Donald, he is a right snollygoster,” the old man said as he stood on the street corner talking to a group of folks that had gathered round him.

“What’s a snollygoster, mister?” Asked a young fellow who was part of the group.

The old man replied, “We don’t want to vote for a snollygoster, young man. A snollygoster is a right unprincipled fellow. He can be anyone, but is usually one of those unscrupulous politicians. Ha! In the old times, they smoked big cigars, carried carpetbags, wore flowered waistcoats, and were very shrewd and loud and proud in getting their point across to the public.”

The old man continued, “I think they are a bit more in disguise now. They are still loud and proud, but if they are politicians, they wear expensive suits, give speeches that promise the world, but they are really out for themselves and not for the people they are trying to represent. They are shrewd, however. You have to be more shrewd to spot one. You can usually spot their egos before you can see them.”

The young man nodded his head and started talking softly to the other people standing around the old man who was obviously holding court on that street corner. There were rumblings in that crowd. It was hard to tell if they were with the old man or against him. The crowd was growing.

The place was a street corner in New York City in the U.S. The time was October, 2016, only a month before the U.S. Presidential election. The candidates for President of the United States were probably two of the most disliked candidates ever running for President and it was clear that the old man was talking about one of them, Donald Trump, the businessman turned politician. There were rumors about both candidates, but new information had just popped up about Mr. Trump. Disturbing information. This information had apparently sparked the discussion on the street corner that day.

A middle-aged woman in the crowd spoke out. “Donald Trump is a snollygoster. We should all be able to see it. He says he is supportive of women’s issues, but look at the new information we just learned. Trump has even admitted that it’s true.”

Someone else in the crowd asked, “What information? Tell us.”

The middle-aged woman said, “Donald Trump made extremely lewd and sexually aggressive comments about women, citing that he could do anything he wanted to women because of his “star” status before a television show in 2005. His words were captured on tape because he said them on a hot mic pinned to his lapel. He had been married to his current wife, Melania Trump, only a few months at the time. Mr. Trump admitted the remarks were made but was not apologetic.”

There was a louder rumbling in the crowd after that explanation.

The middle-aged woman continued, “How can we, as a society who professes to give equal opportunity to everyone, vote for a candidate for President who has such disregard for such a large segment of our population?”

A cheer went up from the crowd surrounding the old man. Obviously, the crowd was an anti-Trump crowd or at least a crowd eager to hear the information the wise old man was imparting to them.

The old man said, “There have been many other revelations about this Donald that make us wonder how he can deal with foreign leaders who are women, governors and senators and representatives who are women, staff who are women, and women’s issues that come across his desk. He obviously has a blatant disregard for women and only values them in the bedroom.”

A loud male voice said, “But what can we do? He is very close to the other candidate in the polls. He may win!”

“We have to stop this carpetbagger, this snollygoster,” the old man said. “Do what Americans do best. Revolt! Go to his rallies and demonstrate against him. Make him drop that snollygoster cigar out of his mouth and lose his cool. Don’t vote for him and tell everyone you know!”

The old man said, “Remember the stories of the Old West where a covered wagon would pull up into towns and everyone would gather round because they knew there was a salesman on it selling products that might help their ailments? A salesman would appear in a flamboyant costume and have all kinds of products — elixirs to help their rheumatism, potions to cure whatever ailed them? Those elixirs and potions all turned out to be nothing more than snake oil. Nothing at all that would help and the people paid good money for them because they were desperate.”

“Yes,” the crowd, that had tripled in size, cried.

“That Donald is offering us snake oil if he becomes President. What he offers sounds good to some of us who are desperate but it will turn out to be nothing that will help us and will probably hurt us instead. He is the snollygoster in the flamboyant costume and the loud voice,” said the old man.

At that point, the crowd was whipped into a frenzy. Someone had gone into a local store and had gotten material to make signs and posters. Everyone was down on the ground making anti-Donald posters to carry. The crowd numbered at least 500 people.

The old man slipped quietly away. He had done his work on that particular street corner. He was off to another street corner in another part of New York City. You see, the old man was not as old as he seemed. He was a Viet Nam veteran who loved his country. He was also ill and did not have long to live. But, he and some of us buddies from that war were not about to see their beloved country taken over by a carpetbagger. They were spread out all over the U.S., doing exactly what the old man was doing. They were on street corners all over America, holding court, telling the truth about the snollygoster determined to highjack their beloved country. They were not going to let that happen.

The old man trudged on.

#blogpropellant #amwriting #amblogging #writing #realDonaldTrump #politics

TBP’s On-Line Writer’s Guild #33

Random Number 3



My Issues with Wal-Mart


Many people will say that Wal-Mart has given people in small communities, particularly, a low-cost way to shop. That may be true. But at what cost? What are they buying? Is the quality of those low-cost goods adequate for the people buying them?

First, at what cost is Wal-mart to local communities? Has it been worth it, or not, to bring Wal-mart into small communities for low-income shoppers. Some would say Wal-mart appeals primarily to down and out shoppers. In the small town where i live, everyone shops at Wal-mart, from the down and out to the working person to the happy couple and to the teenager. Do you know why? There is no other place to shop.

It’s an interesting phenomenon. My town is not that small. It is a university town. When I was growing up here, there was a thriving business district on Main Street. There are a few viable storefronts left on Main Street but very few. When Wal-mart came to town, the small business person could not compete with Wal-Mart’s lower prices. Many of our businesses went out of business. It seemed that the bright sunshine shined only on Wal-mart. The cost of Wal-mart was the loss of the small business in my town as it is in so many small towns. They were also offered incentives to locate here, tantamount to giving them the proverbial ice cream with a cherry and sugar on top.

Wal-Mart has no twin in the business world. Many call them the worst company in America, primarily for some of their labor practices. Even though they have a problematic relationship with their employees, they refuse to even consider allowing labor unions to get involved. As one of America’s top companies, they set a bad example by not only using a lot of foreign labor but also child labor overseas. Look at where Wal-Mart’s products are made sometime. I think you will find almost all are made overseas.

In an effort to be fair, Wal-Mart does offer valuable goods and services that some people could not afford otherwise. But their quality is suspect. They have a large electronics section which is valuable in a small community, but no significant computer repair. They offer gardening implements and outdoor plants, in season. They offer indoor plants year round, such as the Christmas cactus.They offer everything from clothes to groceries to soft goods for the home.

But, in this writer’s opinion, none of that makes up for what they take away from a community. I will write more about this company and its problematic business model in a blog post in the future. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #Wal-Mart

Thematically Correct