Just a chipmunk!

I work evenings, four to midnight, and usually spend my time before I leave for work, helping the nurse aid with my mother’s care, and or writing.

On this day I am telling you about, I didn’t feel much like writing, so had settled to watch some TV, and for a short while watched the news, which annoyed me a lot. I’ll not go into why. I changed the channel, several times as a fact, trying to find something interesting to watch, and eventually found myself sitting slumped back on the couch—sort of like I was in a trance—and realized I had been watching a rerun of iCarly for several minutes.


Actually when my sister’s kids were much younger, I used to watch them a lot for her, and they had been big fans of the show, and long ago I had the Nickelodeon station programed in my favorites list on the cable box for them. They are grown up now, one in college and the other in high school, and now that I think of it, I probably should take that off my favorites list or someone might think I’m weird. (Even as I write this I can hear Jennette McCurdy’s voice in my head saying, “Yeah, you probably should do that. Weirdo.”)

Well anyone who has read any of my stories probably knows I’m a little odd, but nevertheless . . .

Anyhow, realizing I had been sitting there for almost a half hour in a zombie like state—that’s not a slam against that television show, just my state of mind at the time—I turned the TV off, straightened up, and then made my mother her meal for later on. By that time it was after one in the afternoon, and I decided, “You know what? Maybe I’ll leave for work early and take a nice slow car ride in.”

This would turn out to be a good idea.

Now it was a chilly, gray day, the sky overcast in heavy gray clouds and had been drizzling rain all morning, just so you know.

I get in my car a little before two in the afternoon, even though I don’t have to be into work until four, and start driving my normal route into work.

Down at the bottom of the hill from my house is a long, winding, wooded road, and I was diving on this as I usually do—I take it down to the end where it eventually connects with 9W and follow that down all the way to 303 and then into work. I was just coming around the sharp bend in the road and had to suddenly put my breaks on as there was a sign there which stated there was “road work ahead.” And standing beside this, was a very tall, lanky looking young man, who even at a distance looked like he could use a shave, wearing a bright red rain jacket and holding up a red flag, who I would soon discover had a very unpleasant personality and the sense of humor a wet dog might have.

For a long moment this man in red, holding up his little red flag, just stood there looking at me in my car while I sat there looking back at him, waiting. From what I could see ahead of me down that road, there was no reason for the sign or him to be standing there like that. I saw no trucks in the road, no work going on. Nothing but the wooded road ahead of me, empty and wet from the drizzle. That was it.

What a weird scene that must have looked like, me sitting in my car on a wooded road that looked as if it was in the middle of nowhere, with some random guy standing there holding up a red flag to stop me, for no apparent reason. . .

After a few minutes of sitting there in my car, looking at this guy, waiting, I became frustrated. Was this guy going to tell me what was going on? Tell me why I had stopped? Wave me through? Give me some direction? Maybe break into song and dance? NO. He just stood there staring at me, chewing on something in his mouth, I assume it was gum, but it could have been chewing tobacco.

After another minute of this I finally rolled down my window and asked, “what’s up?”

The guy just looks at me as if I had said something offensive and then answers, “nothing. what’s up with you?”

Okay, I thought to myself as I looked from him to the sign that said road work was going on, and then down at the empty road ahead of me. “Well, can I  pass through?”

“No,” the guy shouted at me in a very angry tone. “You can’t.”

“I can’t,” I asked again as I looked down the empty road ahead of me. Again I saw no sign of road work, no guys on the side of the road or trucks. Nothing.

“No roads closed,” he shouted back.

Me, being me mumbles to myself, “sorry folks, parks closed. Moose out front should have told you so.”

The guy apparently heard some of that, because he next shouted, “what,” in an angry tone.

Leaning out of the window, thinking fast because I didn’t want to get into an argument with this guy, or anything else—I really didn’t want to get punched in the head because he thought I had called him a moose, that’d really ruin my night—I asked, “the road is closed? Why?”

“Yes it’s closed. Tree came down,” he shouted back at me as he started walking toward my car.

Here we go, I thought to myself as I sat back down. “Tree came down,” I said again as I looked down the empty road. I saw nothing of the sort. “I can’t go through.”

“No you can’t go through. I just told you that. ”

Again, me being myself then shouted, “I shall not pass!” It had just come into my head at that moment.

Apparently the guy was not a fan of the Lord of the Rings and had no idea what I had meant by that, as he glared at me before remarking, “you’re a little wiseass. Or are you on drugs, is that it?”

I smiled at that and blurted out, “well my doctor did put me on medication for my dizzy spells, but I hardly thing that’s a concern of yours.”

“You want me to call a cop down here so you can get a ticket,” he then asks me.

“Not particularly,” I replied as I put my car in reverse and began to turn around. “I’ll just go back from whence I came.”

The guy frowned at me and remarked, “I don’t know where the hell that is.”

“It’s in New Jersey,” I shouted as I turned my car around and started driving away.

It was a good idea I left early, I had thought to myself as I glanced at the clock in the dashboard. I still had plenty of time, of course, but if this had turned out to be something worse and I had been stuck in traffic—as has happened to me a few times—it could have been a problem.

Now what I should have done was to just drive back the way I had come. In the opposite direction from the street I lived on is a traffic light. If I had gone to that, and made the right, at the bottom of the hill was another light, and had I made a right at that, I would have been on 9W, and could have followed that into work.

But I’m an idiot, and instead if doing that, I turned right, into a residential neighborhood. Why? My thinking was that the street would loop around and connect back with the road I had originally been on, hopefully on the other end of the roadblock and I could continue on my way.

And I was right; the road did connect back to the one I had been on when I had encountered mister happy flag man, however, I saw that the entrance was blocked by a bulky dump truck. Two guys in orange hardhats where standing by it talking, one smoking a cigarette. In the distance I could hear the revving buzz of a chainsaw.

“Great,” I said in a not so happy tone, as I glanced at the digital clock again. It was now 2:35 in the afternoon. I still had a lot of time before I had to be to work. “Well, at least I left early today,” mumbled to myself as I started to turn my car around. I decided to head back and follow the route in I had mentioned above.

However, I didn’t make it far, when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye coming from the driveway off to my right. I instantly stepped on the breaks just as a kid riding on a Big Wheel raced down the driveway and into the street.

Luckily I had stopped several feet away from him. The kid skidded to a stop in the middle of the road and just sat there looking at me. He could be no more than five or six-years in age, with a wild mess of black hair and was wearing nothing but under pants.

My first thought was, of course, thank God I had stopped in time. My next was, “why is this kid outside riding a Big Wheel when it’s raining out? And wearing nothing but his under pants no less?”

For a moment I just sat there looking at him, while he sat there looking back at me—as if it was I who was at fault or had done something wrong—and then putting a very annoyed look on his face, this little guy slowly stood up, while shaking his head I might point out, looked at me, rose his right hand up and promptly flipped me the bird—sticking his middle finger up at me.

“Th-heh, what,” I actually stammered aloud over that. He did not just do that to me!

It was at that point that the kid’s mother, at least I assume it was his mother or some other adult family member, came running down the driveway and took him by the arm while talking in a loud tone to him. I really didn’t pay attention to what she was saying, but my guess was she was reprimanding him, as she just about dragged him and his Big Wheel back to the house, all the while glancing over at me and shouting, “sorry,” every now and then.

I watched them for a moment, waiting, mostly because I was afraid the kid would pull free from his mother’s grip and run back into the road, and as I did so, I was suddenly reminded of the one woman from the “Twin Peaks: The Return,” series, the woman strung out on drugs sitting alone in a room with her kid, constantly shouting, “One-One-Nine!”

I actually imagined this kid’s mother shouting that at me as she dragged him up the driveway. “Sorry. One-one-nine!”

A few moments later I was back on the road I had originally been on, heading back toward where I lived. I had noticed at that point that I had half a tank of gas. That wasn’t an issue, as I probably could make it to work and home again on that, but decided that since I had almost an hour to get to work, I might as well head up to the Mobil Mart, which was in the direction I was headed in, and top off the gas and get a cup of coffee.

Actually, I usually do that on my way to work—head up there and get some coffee, a bottle of soda and snacks for my dinner break, and why I hadn’t done that this day, I had no idea. The only excuse that came into my head as I drove in that direction was, “if Woody had gone to the police in the first place, none of this would ever have happened.”

The Mobil Mart, as the name suggested was one of those combination gas stations, convince store and deli. (In the deli section, a real deli I tell you, they have really good roast beef sandwiches.) It was actually a popular stop off and when I pulled into the parking lot it looked fairly busy. Luckily a pump was open, pump number five, and I pulled up to it, parked and got out of my car, heading inside to get my coffee, and whatever I wanted, and would pay for that and my gas on my way out back to my car.

I was greeted on the inside of the door by a very tall, and knowing I’ll probably offend someone with this description, pear shaped man. He was standing there wearing flip-flops, black socks, baggy black shorts, and a blue colored Star Wars shirt, holding up a jug of windshield washer fluid and mumbling to himself about some guy named Jay, and a bicycle.

I stepped around him and went right to the island where the coffee pots were, and began making myself my usual cup of coffee.  Outside that one tall pear shaped man and his bottle of windshield washer fluid; there were a handful of other patrons in the store. A tall man, I recognized from my usual visits here, who often hung out by the lotto register, sipping his coffee. A teenager girl and another boy, probably her boyfriend, were browsing up and down the junk food aisles, another woman talking on her cell phone and some guy eyeing up the freezer where the beer was kept.

Once my coffee was set, I tasted it, taking a nice big sip from the cup and smiled. Since I had thought once before on this afternoon about Twin Peaks, I stole a line from Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), and blurted out, “damn good coffee.”

The woman standing beside me heard that and asked aloud, “is that a comment about my chest?”

What? What a random question I thought as I glanced at her. She was taller than me, although most people are, with long black hair and wearing large, heavy framed glasses. She smirked at me, tossed her hair over her left shoulder and walked off toward a display of chips.

For a moment I stood there glancing from her to my cup of coffee and back again, wondering why she would have even thought my remark about how good my coffee was had anything to do with her chest. Was she that full of herself? Or had she, prior to my walking into the store—without anyone knowing—dunked one of her boobs in the coffee pot? I wasn’t so sure that was a good thing. I didn’t know her, and then considered tossing my coffee out. And why would she do such a thing, I then wondered? I had no idea; maybe she was testing out a new coffee product. Maybe later on in life she intended to open up her own chain of coffee shops titled “Dunk’en Boobs.” But if that was the case that was a lot of work for one woman with only two breast to do.

When I next looked up from my coffee I saw two men standing beside a large display for Monster Sodas, staring at me. The one older man with the glasses I recognized as the store owner. The guy standing beside him holding up a clipboard I assumed was a vendor.

“Good coffee,” I said again as I smiled at the owner.

He nodded his head at me and said, “we’re thinking of getting pumpkin spice. You think it’s too early for pumpkin spice?”

I have never been a fan of pumpkin spice flavored coffee, but didn’t want to deny those that liked such the pleasure of having it, so instead of giving the man a direct answer I just hitched my shoulders up and down in a, “whatever,” gesture.

The woman who had made that remark to me about her chest, walked between us as she carried a bag of potato chips to the front register, and as she went she blurted out, “I heard on the radio that maple is the new autumn flavor.”

I frowned at that, and almost blurted out, “among other things,” but kept my thoughts to myself.

The man who I assumed was a vendor for the store looked at the owner and said, “I don’t have maple.”

“Get blueberry,” the man working the register shouted.

Since I was a regular here, I knew that guy well. While the older man was the owner of this gas station and store, the guy working the register pretty much ran it, and over the last two years I have come to know him well, although I’ll not mention his name here because I don’t know if it’s okay to do so. He looked at me and said, “What do you think? blueberry right?”

I nodded my head as I looked back at the store owner and said, “blueberry is good.”

“I have blueberry,” the vendor commented and he and the store owner went back to talking as I made my way down on of the aisles looking for snacks to take to work to have on my dinner break.

I went to the back freezer and took a bottle of water and one of soda out, and just as I closed the door, I saw that tall, pear shaped man standing there, still holding that jug of windshield wiper fluid and looking confused as he glanced around. Ignoring him I next went to a display of healthy snacks. I know they were healthy snacks because the sign above them said so, and I always believe advertisements.

Yeah right. . .

I took a small bag of trail mix and one of vanilla flavored granola something or other, and went to the front register to pay for all that. Now since I had gotten two healthy snacks I decided to get an unhealthy pack of cigarettes. Anyone in my family who might read this, and if one of my doctors does, I know I am not supposed to be smoking. Don’t yell. All I can say is that I am trying to quit.

As my friend behind the register rung me up, I informed him that I was also going to take ten dollars’ worth of gas on pump five.

“Oh that’s bad,” he told me.

“It is? Why’s it bad?”

“Pump five isn’t working,” he told me and then did something on the register computer screen and said again that it wasn’t working. He then turned and shouted at the kid behind the counter, a tall, lanky young man who looked like he was around eighteen or nineteen-years old who was sitting on a stool behind the counter, looking at his cell phone. “Go outside and put an out of order sign on pump five,” he told the kid, “and then put those cases of soda in the freezer like I asked you to do a half hour ago.”

“Okay,” the kid shouted as he jumped up. His cell phone went flying out of his hands and smacked down on the floor. The kid went to get it, kicked it with his one foot, sending the phone spinning over to the corner of the counter. He went for it again, stumbled and fell down on his hands and knees, and based on the loud thump and the way the counter moved, I assume he might have knocked his head or some other part of himself on it. He instantly jumped up, and glanced around at all of us with an embarrassed look on his face and I assumed he was thinking, “you didn’t see that,” or “I meant that.”

Quickly, he bent back down, picked up his phone and rushed out of the store.

As he left my friend working the register watched him with a disgusted look on his face, and then when the kid walked out of the door he remarked, “lazy mother f-er.” He actually said that, f-er. “He’s useless. Kid doesn’t do anything but sit in the corner on his phone all day long.”

“So tell the boss,” the guy who had been standing by the lotto register remarked. “Get rid of him.”

“Can’t,” my friend remarked. “He came from some agency. We have to let him work for a month before we can get rid of him.”

“That sucks,” the other guy remarked.

I made not comment to any of that, just paid for what I had brought while my friend suggested I pull up to the next pump that opens up and gas up there.

Back outside, the kid they had been talking about was standing beside pump five—he had yet to put a sign on it that stated it didn’t work—and was busy looking at his phone. As I went to get in my car, he held up one hand—while keeping his attention on his pone—and said, “hold on. This pump is out of order.”

I frowned at him as I went to the driver’s side door. “I know,” I muttered. “I’m just backing up.” The kid apparently didn’t remember that I had just been inside when the manager had told me the pump was off. But how could he, as obsessed with his cell phone as he was. I doubted he was very much aware of the world around him and he’d probably never realize how much of the afternoon he had missed as he remained focused on his cell phone.

I slowly backed away from the pump and into an empty parking spot behind it, and sat there trying to think of what to do. It was now three in the afternoon. I looked again at the gas gauge. I had half a tank, and knew I really didn’t need to get gas. I could make it to work and back, probably two times on that if I needed to, but I always liked to play it safe.

Ahead of me was pump 1, which was usually the one I pulled into. A car was already in front of that pump, with a woman standing beside it, pumping gas while talking loudly on her phone. My guess was that she had already been there a while and was almost finished up. Once she was done and left, I’d slip into her spot, do what I needed to do and be on my way.

I have mentioned before in some of the personal things I write about myself that I have, among other health issues, some weird neurological disorder that is somewhat similar to migraine disorder, which causes dizziness, odd auras that mostly involve light, and occasionally I do as a fact get a splitting headache on the left side of my head that hurts so bad if feels like my left eye is going to explode. Along with taking medication to help with the dizziness—I mention that just in case you are worried about me driving—I take a migraine strength aspirin as a precaution, usually just before or as soon as I get to work to prevent that left sided, eye popping, pounding headache from coming.

As I waited for the woman in front of me to finish up, I flipped open the top to my bottle of aspirin and popped one in my mouth for the reasons I already mentioned, and had just washed it down with a mouth full of my coffee—Dunk’en Boob Coffee I had thought to myself as I took another gulp from the cup—when I saw that pear shaped man in the blue Star Wars shirt come waddling out of the store. He didn’t have his bottle of windshield washer fluid with him, I noticed, as walked over to the very same car I was waiting on to movie out of the way of pump 1, opened up the passenger’s side door and slid in.

I had just assumed they knew each other, that man and the woman talking loudly on her cell phone as she fueled her car up. Why else would he just get in her car, right?

Of course I was wrong. That became obvious by the woman shouting into her phone, “Oh my God. No Way! Some freak just got into my car!”

“You have got to be kidding me,” I shouted aloud as I watched the scene unfold.

The woman continued to shout into her phone that some stranger had gotten into her car—well she was using much harsher language than that, language with multiple uses of the F-word along with some other colorful words to described the guy in her car—while at the same time running around her car shouting at the man to get out. This drew the attention of a few people who had been at the gas pumps fueling up and they began to walk toward her to see what was going on. And that kid—who still had yet to put a sign on pump 5 stating it was out of order—started taking pictures or maybe a video, of what was going on with his cell phone. I assumed he instantly would post it to some form of social media, which is pretty much what I just did, isn’t it?

“Get out of my car,” I clearly heard the woman shout. “Someone call the police,” she then shouted as she went to the store. She had apparently forgotten that she had a cell phone held up to her left ear.

“Of for crying out loud,” I sighed as I watched people approaching her car. “I have to get to work,” I then said as I too got out of my car.

By the time she had reached the store front doors, the store owner, my friend the manager, and two other guys were coming out and she raced up to them to tell them what was going on. At the same time two men who had been at the gas pumps had reached her car. This was when that pear shaped man decided to make his exit, and sprang out of her car and raced across the parking lot, thankfully in the opposite direction from me, where there were a set of steps that led up the hill toward an apartment complex.

“There he goes,” she then shouted as she pointed at the pear shaped man. “Call the police on that son-of-a-bitch.”

“Great,” I muttered to myself, realizing that it was now getting late.

For a few minutes there it was a bit of a confusing mess, with everyone who had witnessed what had happened, or thought they had, telling their stories to the store owner and my friend the manager, and the one woman still worked up and cursing her head off about the whole thing, while at the same time talking loudly into her phone to whoever was on the other end about what had happened.

Since I had seen most of what had taken place, I went inside and told my friend the manager that I had to leave for work, and did he need me to stay around and talk to the police if they came. He told me not to worry about it as there were security cameras outside watching the pumps and they had seen everything that had taken place.

So I left. By that time it was just about three-thirty and I had no time left to waste. I didn’t even bother to get gas. I just drove into work, and thankfully nothing else happened.

I actually got to work on time, and for the most part, there isn’t much to tell you about that as work was work and my shift at the plant went well, although we were fairly busy. So busy in fact that I actually took my dinner break late. I usually went for dinner around eight in the evening, but this night had gone at nine. I actually liked that because when my forty-five minute dinner break was over, I had just about two hours to go until my shift was over and I was heading home.

I took my break in my car in the parking lot, as I usually did. I could eat in the break room, as most of the guys did, but didn’t like to, simply because I wanted to get out of the plant and away from the heat and noise for a little while. I should point out that the parking lot beside the plant is beside a large wooded area, with nothing around it for a good distance, and it was quiet out there, with only the sounds of crickets, katydids, and nothing else, so I sat there in my car, eating my health snacks and smoking an unhealthy cigarette, as I checked my cell phone for messages. I had stopped drizzling by that point and was a bit humid out so I had rolled down my windows, and just relaxed.

The only other thing to point out about work that night was that around ten in the evening I caught myself humming the theme music to iCarly, probably because I had heard it before I had left for work, and stood there at my machine thinking to myself. “no I wasn’t!” I then glanced around, thankful that no one around me could hear my private thoughts.

Can you imagine that, working the job I do, around a bunch of hardcore tough guys as I do, and in your head you’re hearing the theme music to iCarly? I quickly tried to make myself think of a Metallica song. Any Metallica song.

That didn’t work out to well.

My shift ended on time without anything unusual happening to me, and when I got back into my car to head home, I realized that when I had been on my break, I had left my car window open. Not that it mattered, it had stopped drizzling hours ago, and besides, I had thought to myself as I started my drive home, my car got to air out from the cigarette smoke.

So there I was, driving along on my way home around 12:30 in the morning, window rolled down, smoking a cigarette—I know—with the radio turned to my 90s grunge station. I was in a pretty good mood. I get to the section where the road winds along the side of the mountain, overlooking the river, and this is when I feel a sudden and firm hit to my right knee. It was the type of sensation you might feel as if someone had put their hand there and held it. As I had thought I was alone in the car this naturally scared the living Hell out of me, and I admittedly, screamed like a little girl, and my cigarette went flying out of my hand into the night.

As soon as I had yelled like that, I felt the hand, or whatever that was on my knee suddenly disappear. That scared me even more and I shouted aloud, “who the hell is in my car!” Who was in my car and why? The first thing that came into my mind was that weirdo I had seen early that day at the Mobil Mart, the guy in the blue Star Wars shirt who had gotten into that woman’s car. Had he somehow found out where I worked, and walked all the way there, climbed into my car and had been hiding in the backseat the entire night, and just now had reached around between the seats and put his hand on my knee, maybe to let me know he was enjoying the ride home or the song I had on the radio?

At the same time I had realized I had stepped on the breaks and almost came to a complete stop in the middle of the road. If it had been midday, I most likely would have been killed in a car accident right then and there, but at this hour, past midnight, the road was empty. Despite knowing this I glanced up at the mirror to see if a car was speeding up behind me and saw nothing but the dark road behind me, and then realized I was drifting off to the left. I corrected that as I let the car coast forward and hit the dome light to look in the rear seats. I saw nothing and no one back there.

“What is my car frikin haunted,” I then asked myself aloud. That had to be the case. If no one was in my car that I could see, then who had put their hand on my knee? A ghost was the only thing I could think of.

I glanced around several times, looking both at the road ahead of me and behind me, as well as in my car trying to figure out what had touched my leg like that while trying to drive. At the same time I was worried about a car speeding up behind me and not seeing me until it was too late and ramming me.

The plastic bag I had my dinner snacks and soda in, from when I had brought them at the store earlier, lay on the floor before the front passenger’s seat and sound of something rustling it, made me glance down there. What I saw was a small brown rodent with a black stripe down its back looking up at me with tiny black eyes. I realized what it was at once.

“A chipmunk!”

As soon as I shouted that the little guy chirped that typical sound chipmunks make when startled and darted under the passenger seat.

“A chipmunk,” I shouted in anger as I glanced back up at the road. “Are you kidding me! A friken chipmunk is in my car.”

Well that’s what I get for leaving my car windows down after my dinner break.

I realized I couldn’t stop there in the middle of the road and try and get the little bugger out of my car, nor could I just continue to drive recklessly and slow as I was either, so I killed the dome light and started driving normal.  Besides it was just a chipmunk, I had thought to myself. It’s not like a rabid pit bull or anything like that. What could it do but chirp at me and be annoying. My thinking was that I’d drive home, park in the driveway and then hunt around for the thing there.

I didn’t make it far when I heard that plastic bag rustle again from the floorboards on the front passenger’s side. This was followed by that alarming chirp sound that all chipmunks make and I heard it scamper into the back seats.

“Little bastard,” I mustered to myself as I concentrated on driving and turned the radio off.

A moment later I felt it on the back of my seat, and assumed it was trying to climb up it, so I shouted, “hay, knock it off back there.”

I heard that chirping sound again and that sensation of something on the back of my seat left. A moment later I heard the bag rustling again. The little bastard was running all over my car in a panic, and was starting to really annoy me. Then I felt something bounce off the back of my seat a second time.

“This is ridiculous,” I shouted aloud. It might just be a chipmunk but I started imagining what would happen if he climbed up the back of the seat and got tangled in my hair. Or wonder if he climbed up one of my pant legs? Worse, I then thought to myself, wonder if he got caught under the break peddle and I went to step on it as I came around the sharp bend in the mountain road, and squished him, and couldn’t put the brakes on because of that, and crossed the double yellow line just as a truck was driving toward me and I had to yank the wheel hard to the right, lost control and went down the steep embankment and was knocked out, only to wake up in the dusky hours of the morning to find a Sasquatch wearing a tutu leaning in my window with a big happy grin on his ape face, and holding up a rubber ducky—squeak, squeak!

Wait. . . What?

Up ahead of me there was a pull off on the side of the road, overlooking the river. It was usually where the hotdog tuck parked during the day. At this hour there was no one there and I pulled into it, parked, flicked the dome light on again and got out of the car.

“Where are you, you little son-of-a-bitch,” I grumbled to myself as I began hunting around the car for the little bastard.

I saw him dart under my seat and go into the back of the car, so I opened up the back door on the driver’s side and looked around for him. In the dim light I saw him run over to the far said away from me, and then run up to the front passenger side.

“Bastard,” I shouted and rounded my car and opened up the front passenger door. I saw quick flicker of movement as the chipmunk darted back under the seat, making that chirping sound they do when startled, so I opened up the other back door and looked around for him. I heard the sound of paper rustling under the passenger’s seat and squatted down and looked under there, just as the chipmunk climbed up into the seat.

“Great,” I shouted. “You little bastard!” I swatted the back of the seat in hopes of scaring him out of there, but all that did was make him squeak loudly and go into hiding. Now how was I going to get him out of there?

I then wondered what that paper rustling sound I had heard under the seat was, and reached under there and pulled out a letter. I was from the V.A clinic and was a reminder that I had an appointment there—last Wednesday.

“Well I missed that,” I muttered as I tossed the paper on the floor and tried to think.

I wasn’t about to reach up there in the seat and try and get that little bastard. I might get bit! And swatting on the seat and yelling at him to get out of my car, chasing him around like I was, would do no good. That’d only scare him into hiding. Well it had hadn’t it?

I decided to shut the dome light off, make it nice and dark, leave all the doors open and step away from the car. Taking my cell phone and my unhealthy pack of cigarettes I stepped over to the side by a tree and waited, hoping that the dark and quiet would make the chipmunk relax, come out of hiding, and hopefully jump out of the car.

So I stood there a while, smoking that unhealthy cigarette, waiting, and realized that this would be the perfect time for a police officer to roll up on me and think I was up to no good. Either that or a creepy, Abraham Lincoln looking woodsmen to come staggering out of the forest on the opposite side of the road and ask me for a light, just before attempting to crush my head while shouting incoherent nonsense.

Feeling frustrated after several minutes, I glanced at my cell phone. I was going on one-thirty in the morning. My mother’s nurse aid had left about an hour ago, which meant my mother was home alone right at that moment. If she wasn’t sleeping, she’d start to have anxiety about being in the house by herself. And I didn’t like leaving her alone for long periods.

I needed to get moving. It suddenly dawned on me then that earlier today I had felt the same thing while trying to get to work, and now here I was at the end of my day, running into another problem that was giving me anxiety about getting home. “What a weird day,” I muttered to myself.

When I went back to the car, I stood there a long moment, being as still as I could, listing for any sounds of the chipmunk moving around in my car. I heard nothing. When I turned the dome light on, I saw no sign of the little bastard, nor did I hear that warning chirping sounds I know chipmunks make wen startled, as he should have made, when startled by the dome light coming on the way it had and flooding the car with light.

Maybe he had climbed out of one of the doors without my knowing or having seen him. I hoped that was the case and decided to close my car up and drive home. Even if the chipmunk was in there, I needed to get moving. Besides, I had thought to myself as I started on my way home. It’s just a damn chipmunk, it’s not like it was a vampire or C.H.U.D! How much damage could it honestly do to me, other than being annoying?

I made it home without further incident and parked in my driveway and decided to leave my windows down a little, just in case he was still in there. I doubted it would rain and if he was in there, this would give him a chance to come out of hiding and climb out of my car while I was sleeping in bed.

My mother was sound asleep, never having known I was late getting home.

The following day was Saturday, and before I went food shopping, I looked around in my car for the chipmunk, but saw no sign of him nor heard any of his usual sounds. I assumed he was gone, but when I returned from shopping I left the windows down just in case.

I had then considered, as I mentioned at the beginning of this story of mine, about deleting that Nickelodeon station, but then didn’t for two reasons. The first being that I have two very young nieces, my brother’s daughters, and they might want me to keep that station programed on my cable box so they can watch it when the visit. And lastly, I myself cannot yet part ways with SpongeBob.

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My heart and brain.

I’ve had an ongoing issue with my heart—to give an example I went to a checkup a while back at the VA clinic and after the doctor examined me he told the nurse to do an E.K.G on me. This was normal as they do that almost ever visit, so I go in the back room with her, lay down on the table and she hooks me up to the machine and runs the strip—stands there looking at it for a long moment and goes. “hummm.” She then runs another strip, looks at it, and asks, “how do you feel?”

“Tired and I have a headache,” I told her.

She tells me to stay there and leaves me hooked up to the machine and walks out of the room, comes back in five minutes later and unhooks me and tells me to go see the doctor, which I do.

Now I walk back into his office/exam room and he’s typing away on his computer and not saying much. I am just sitting there waiting and finally tell him I need to use the restroom, because I really had to urinate badly.

He glances over at me and tells me, “walk slowly.”

Huh? I use the restroom and go back to the exam room and he tells me to lay down, so I do, and he listens to my heart, nods his head and goes back to his desk. At that point a police officer walks in. I’m lying there like, what’s going on. The police officer walks over and looks at me, I’m lying there looking up at him and finally say, “uh, all I did was use the bathroom, and I flushed, and put the seat back down, I swear.” He didn’t laugh. He asks me some basic questions like my name and such, and just as I finish answering him, three EMTs walk in with a stretcher. At that point the doctor turns around and tells me I have to go to the hospital because I have an ongoing abnormal heartbeat.

So I ended up spending eight hours in the ER that day.

Since then, over the last few months I have been seeing a cardiologist, an excellent one I might add.

Recently I have been having episodes where I get very, very dizzy or have episodes where I feel like I’m moving when I sit still. I also see flickering lights and get nauseous. I had assumed this might be linked to my hypertension and the medication I was on and mentioned it to the doctor, and tell him about the last episode I had, where everything suddenly got bright, and I was dizzy and weak, after which I felt dunk for about an hour.

He looks at me and asks very seriously, “well were you drinking?”

“No, I wasn’t drinking, I was getting ready to go to work.”

We talk for a bit more and he suggests that whatever these symptoms are they’re not related to my heart and blood pressure. “It sounds neurological.”

So I ended up going to get an M.R.I on my head. Now here is the weird thing, after the prepping and all on the day of the test, and I was taken into the room where the M.R.I machine was, and saw it, it all looked very familiar and I had a feeling like I had done this before, and I was right. While lying there, by the way that room was cold and that M.R.I machine is loud, but I thought the whole thing interesting—I recalled when I was a young child being in such a machine. As I lay there I then remembered that when I was around ten-yeas in age, I had gone through a series of tests because I had been suffering blinding, pounding headaches that had left me lying in bed for days and would get so bad I would vomit. I had gone through a series of tests back then to make sure I didn’t have a brain tumor or something like that, although I can’t recall what the doctors had said I had wrong with me, I only remembered my mother suggesting that I just got the bad headaches because I was stressed out and nervous over family issues and school . . .

Two days after my last M.R.I I get a call from the doctor’s office with the results. It went something like this…….

The young lady on the phone, “Mister Tamboia we have your results back on the M.R.I.”

Me. “So I have an empty hamster wheel in my head?”

She didn’t laugh and goes on to tell me they saw some “things” and I need follow up with a neurologist, which I did. Turns out, what they saw on my M.R.I was similar to, in a way, to what people who have migraine disorder have, areas of dilated blood vessels in my brain. I always thought I had an odd brain and now I have photography proof of it. The neurologist went on to explain that a lot of what I was experiencing, the dizziness, flickering lights, or seeing light spots, nausea and all else I told him about, are all part of auras migraine suffers experience before the headache hits.

After he said that to me, it dawned on me—because I am a bit of an airhead—that after I had all those symptoms I did often get a very annoying, pounding headache that refused to go away. Not only that, but that I had suffered though such when I was a kid.

For some reason, between late childhood to recently the migraines sort of went away, and while I recall often getting headaches, they were never sever. Our guess is with my blood pressure being whacked out and having been very high, resulted in them coming back in force again, although this time it’s more the auras and less of the pounding headache I recall having when I was a child.

All of that has given me an idea for a story to work on.


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I was gone for a while due to some personal health reasons but am back to writing and hope to get more of my stories up soon.

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The Gray Man of Black Oak Forest, Chapter 4. “I am Mortis.”

(Forgot to post this.)

Without realizing it and I don’t think he would have cared much about it if he had, Donald ran straight toward that narrow lower swath of Black Oak Forest.

Continue reading the rest of the chapter here. Gray Man of Black Oak Forest, Chapter 4. “I am Mortis.”

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Inferos canum vis. Part one.

There are many myths and stories about the forest that surrounds Tranquil Lake. Stories about mysterious lights in the woods, and people vanishing never to be seen again—or the occasional body that turns up—sometimes turning up gnawed upon. There are stories about ghost children, a mysterious abandoned church and a tall, slender phantom like figure that haunts the Black Ash Swamp region of the forest which many of the residents have come to know as the Gray Man, and many children refer to as The Scare Crow man.

While researching these stories I came across a handful which seem to involve a pack of mysterious creatures described as being both dog like and reptilian in appearance, roughly the size of a German Shepherd with heads that look somewhat like a gargoyle’s, usually described as having black fur or dark green scales.

These creatures I have come to think of as Tranquil Lake’s version of the Chupacabra. Although most who have encountered them have called them, “The Howlers,” so named because of the unusual, throaty howling sound they are said to make while hunting.


Continue reading full the full story here The Howlers Part one.

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A Grilled Cheese Nightmare Chapter 4 and the end.

Will Raymond get his Grilled Cheese in the end?


A Grilled Cheese Nightmare Chapter 4, and the End.

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Grilled Cheese Nightmare chapter 3

All Raymond wants to do is make his grilled cheese but things just are not going that easy for him . . .

Standing in the doorway and having witnessed all of this, Little Michael was amazed and worried that his brother had gotten hurt when he had crashed into the tub like that, but when he saw Raymond’s legs moving around as his brother tried to sit up he shouted aloud, “dang, that looked like it hurt!”


A Grilled Cheese Nightmare Chapter 3k10551541

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Grilled Cheesed Nightmare Chapter 2

A Grilled Cheese Nightmare Chapter 2.

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A Grilled Cheese Nightmare

Finished this one and will be putting it up in three parts. This is the first part, the opening.A Grilled Cheese Nightmare.



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Why I take so long putting something new up…


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