Short Stories

Short vignettes about the world around me though my imagination "remembers" things differently.

Osprey's Tail Tale

Osprey’s Tail Tale

October 6, 2020 |

A completely true (except for the parts I made up) tale about an Osprey’s tail that brought up some blinding memories.

Road Rage

Road Rage

September 2, 2020 |

Our peaceful morning walk was shattered by the shouts and taunts from a passing vehicle—a moment of unbridled road rage.

Crappy Little Short Story

A Crappy Little Short Story

January 8, 2020 |

This is not a literary masterpiece. It’s a crappy little short story. A tale of rainy weather, dog walking, and the necessary output from those efforts.

please and thank you

Please and Thank You

October 9, 2019 |

A simple good morning, hello, please, and thank you make strangers smile at each other. Wouldn’t the world be great if we did more of that?

Murrells Inlet Sunrise

Change of Scenery

August 7, 2019 |

The simplest explanation why we are leaving Maggie Valley and moving to Murrells Inlet is a change of scenery. The complete truth is more complex.

Running on Empty

Running On Empty

July 12, 2019 |

Rural highways, small towns, a big funeral, and lots of crops, but no service stations in sight and I was running on empty.

Black Magic

Black Magic

December 19, 2018 |

How do you create black magic in the middle of the night? Two dogs, two rabbits, a bright flashlight, a social media post, and an evil overlord.

Cave Entrapment

Cave Entrapment Of The Minor Kind

July 11, 2018 |

The heroic rescue of the boys in Thailand sparked the memory of my own spelunking experience which included a cave entrapment of the minor kind.

Eyes Wide Open Title

Eyes Wide Open

June 18, 2018 |

The middle of the night. A dark bedroom. My sleep disturbed. I find myself clutching the covers with my eyes wide open. Oh, the horror.

Brad And His Date

Brad And His Date

April 9, 2018 |

A wink-and-a-smile charming young man, Brad was a scoundrel. A mostly true tale of Brad and his date on a sidewalk in Folly Beach, South Carolina.

Tide Pod Challenge

Tide Pod Challenge

January 24, 2018 |

The Tide Pod Challenge is the latest teenage craze sweeping social media. Good thing we weren’t that stupid as kids. Or were we?

I wasn't driving!

I Wasn’t Driving

January 9, 2018 |

SHORT STORY – Law Enforcement Officers have a most challenging job, but sometimes their stories have great levity – such as this one with the protest, “I wasn’t driving!”

Christmas Eve Grocery Shopping Nightmare

Christmas Eve Grocery Shopping Nightmare

December 20, 2017 |

The insanity. I know better. I plotted. I planned. But, I failed. I needed three critical items so I was grocery shopping on Christmas Eve.

Late Delivery

A Late Delivery: Christmas 1988

December 13, 2017 |

A very old story – The actual letter I sent my sister for Christmas 1988 in my best attempt to explain why a late delivery meant her present was delayed.

Middle Name Club

Middle Name Club

December 6, 2017 |

My father thought it would be cool to go through life using your middle name. So, he did it. Not to himself. To me. I am D. Kirk Wall.

Harry Truman Saved My Life

November 8, 2017 |

Two chance encounters epitomize the meaning of Veterans Day – a soldier crossing Omaha beach and another who said Harry Truman saved his life.

Mystical Talking Jack-O’-Lantern

October 26, 2017 |

A magical thing happened every Halloween in my neighborhood – a talking jack-o’-lantern conversed with neighborhood children.

Internet Down

Internet Down

October 19, 2017 |

Working from home in a secluded, beautiful location sounds wonderful – until you discover your connection with the outside world is gone. Internet Down.

I Speak Southern

I Speak Southern

October 5, 2017 |

When the times call for it, I can speak Southern – a thick, syrupy, not understood by those from outside the South Southern.

Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria

September 21, 2017 |

September 14, 1989 – Hurricane Hugo slammed into the Northeastern corner of Puerto Rico with hurricane force winds of 125 miles per hour, caused wide spread flooding, killing 12, leaving 28,000 people homeless, and destroying economically critical banana and coffee crops. September 20, 2017 – Hurricane Maria, with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour…

Making The Grade

Making The Grade

September 13, 2017 |

For several years, I taught an Introduction to Accounting course at a major university where I witnessed students going to extremes to make the grade.

Hurricane Hugo Dawn - Courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce

Hurricane Hugo Dawn

September 7, 2017 |

My best wishes and thoughts for everyone dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and facing the onslaught of Hurricane Irma. Mine is but a story of inconvenience and it pales in comparison. Friday, September 22, 1989 – The window glowed with the early light of dawn. Fearing I had overslept, I looked for the…

Touring Mansions

Touring Mansions

August 28, 2017 |

Saturday evening, we were invited to an event in a local residence that turned into an unforgettable adventure touring mansions.

Vampire Eclipse

August 21, 2017 |

The shadows stretched across the room as the skies darkened outside, barely illuminating the ancient coffin in the far corner. The lid cracked open, Mordis’ long fingers extending outward into the room. Wrapping his hand around the edge, he pushed the lid open, the hinges squealing in protest. The 300-year-old vampire sat up and looked carefully at the darkening skies outside of the window.  Comfortable that he…

Canine Solar Eclipse Glasses

Canine Solar Eclipse Glasses

August 19, 2017 |

Can we talk about a controversial topic?  No, not politics. That would be easy in comparison.  We need to talk about pets and the solar eclipse. Do dogs need to wear solar eclipse glasses? Should they just stay inside so they don’t damage their eyes?  Facebook is full of warnings about dogs who will need seeing eye dogs…

Rise Of The Radical Alt-Center

August 18, 2017 |

Our country reached a boiling point of political friction this past week and much discussion has centered around the “many sides” involved. Most of the attention has been focused on the alt-right, but some have also discussed the actions of the alt-left. But our main stream media, as always, fails to tell us the whole…

Don’t Wear Sunglasses To An Eclipse

August 14, 2017 |

Since our area is in the path of totality for next week’s solar eclipse, the North Carolina Highway Patrol issued a press statement listing several safety reminders. Many of them are quite reasonable: Be patient Expect traffic delays Arrive early But further down the list come items that you would hope a licensed driver doesn’t…

Mowing Is A Pain In The Ass

August 7, 2017 |

Mowing is a pain in the ass. My dislike for mowing began early when my father insisted I mow the lawn. I protested about the unfairness of it all, but he pointed to the food I ate, the bed I slept in and the clothes I wore. He always fought dirty like that. I would grumble about how none of my friends were forced to…

modern torture devices

Modern Torture Devices

July 31, 2017 |

Our ancestors worried more about becoming dinner than watching what they ate. Today, exercise equipment has become our modern torture devices.

Of Mice and Men - The Eviction

Of Mice and Men: The Eviction

July 24, 2017 |

After battling mice in my grill for several years, I took desperate measures. And then I wondered about the mouse’s point of view.

Seeing The Light

July 17, 2017 |

Changing light bulbs should be such a simple task, but nothing is simple when progressive eyeglasses and technology intervene.

The Past Will Haunt You

July 10, 2017 |

The past will haunt you in many ways, especially if you have to clean out decades of storage boxes that you haven’t opened in years.

Frenetic Fireworks Finale

July 3, 2017 |

Professional fireworks shows abound on Independence Day but are not accessible to Boy Scouts attending summer camp on July 4. To remedy that misfortune one year, four bored camp counselors – Caleb, Michael, Jacob, and David – launched some stashed fireworks to entertain the campers. Cheers greeted the few sparklers and Roman Candles, though the…

Tall Boys Play Basketball

Tall Boys Play Basketball

June 26, 2017 |

Everyone assumes tall boys play basketball, which can be a real challenge for tall boys who lack any natural talent for the game.

Long Distance Trouble

June 19, 2017 |

The dreaded full name shouted by your parents. You could hear it anywhere in the neighborhood and knew that you were in long distance trouble.

Language Skills

The Fun of Language Skills

June 12, 2017 |

Don settled into his chair, tired from the long day. Annual meetings of location managers are an evil business necessity, a mixture of informative and dull, friendly and competitive, fun and excruciating. At least the big boss had picked an excellent Chinese restaurant for the evening’s meal, a chance to relax with the team. Except…

Enthusiastic Airline Gate Agent

June 5, 2017 |

Frequent fliers know how refreshing an enthusiastic airline gate agent can be. Unfortunately, this agent was a little too enthusiastic.

Culturally Appropriate Dinner Party Menu

Culturally Appropriate Dinner Party Menu

May 29, 2017 |

in this age of acute political correctness, imagine my horror when I discovered I was not preparing a culturally appropriate dinner party menu.

Magic 8 Ball

Magic 8 Ball

May 22, 2017 |

The Magic 8 Ball saw a future I wasn’t expecting – the possibility of a run in with the TSA at the airport because of a slight liquid rule.

Nutcracker And The Decapitated Angel

May 15, 2017 |

Last Monday, I shared some mishaps that I have had as a flyman – the person on a stage responsible for flying scenery, props, and even people on or off a stage. This week, I share one of my favorite stage stories – the beautiful, heartwarming Christmas classic ballet, The Nutcracker, and how a decapitated…

Flymen, Maypoles and Burning Witches

May 8, 2017 |

What do Flymen, Maypoles, and Burning Witches have in common? More than you might think when I am working on a stage crew.

Grasping A Hot Reality

May 1, 2017 |

The danger for dogs in hot cars on summer days is real. But grasping the hot reality of exactly what is dangerous can be quite challenging for some.

not bad for an old guy

Not Bad For An Old Guy

April 24, 2017 |

My high school and college years were dotted with various jobs, work to cover the expenses of higher education. Most were seasonal like the ranger’s assistant during the summers or various jobs on campus.  Quite a few were day jobs, pay for a few hours of work loading or unloading trucks. The cargo of the…

Journeys, Detours and Destinations

April 17, 2017 |

I have consolidated websites, so felt it was a good time to explain the journeys and detours taken to this point, and the destinations I have in mind.

Brakes Screeching. Collision Imminent.

April 6, 2017 |

Brakes screeching. Tires smoking. Horn blaring. Collision Imminent. No matter how hard I tried, I would not avoid crashing into the car in front of me. Despite being a popular destination, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, lacks any interstates. Traffic crowds the divided highways and two-lane roads dotted with roadside businesses. Drivers have to remain alert…

Paging Standby Passenger Walt

March 13, 2017 |

Anyone who has flown in many airplanes has stories of turmoil, missed flights, and other headaches. But how many people can tell a tale of deceit to board a flight? Let me tell you about Standby Passenger Walt. My story takes place in the mid 1990’s. I was flying to Fayetteville, Arkansas on TWA, an…

Small Town Justice – The Saga Of Little Joe

February 28, 2017 |

While the following really happened, I have changed the name of both the town and the person involved to protect the innocent. Or the guilty. For nearly a decade, I worked in the temporary staffing industry handling the administrative duties needed to keep a company operating, including dealing with employees who stole from the company.…

Customer Call Center Commandments

February 21, 2017 |

Last week, I had the misfortune of calling not one, but two customer service departments for some assistance. After dealing with interactive voice response systems, obnoxious hold music, and interminable waits for customer service staff, I believe I am now qualified to issue the following Customer Call Center Commandments: Thou shalt not say “Your call is…

Shipping Fees, Bright Lights, and Suicidal Rabbits

February 9, 2017 |

To illustrate this story, several products are referenced along with a link to them on Amazon. Please note that these links are all a part of an Amazon Affiliate program and I receive a small fee if you chose to purchase, though using the link does not increase your price. We receive no other compensation for…

Chaotic Morning – How Not To Begin A Day

February 2, 2017 |

I treasure the pre-dawn quiet to slowly awaken, savor the peace and quiet, and avoid a chaotic morning – unlike yesterday.

No Mythology Like Snow Mythology

January 6, 2017 |

As the Southern US is receiving its first (and possibly last) snow of the season, I am reminded of all of the snow mythology that I heard growing up. Now I know snow. I know it well. The snow did not slow me down one bit. I suffered through the harshness. I saw the Flight of…

Blue Light Madness Unleashed

December 15, 2016 |

In my job as a Ranger’s Assistant, I had a Land Cruiser with a blue light that I was forbidden to use. Today, I tell you about the last time I turned it on. As I have described in a previous story, one of my many summer jobs working my way through college was as a…

Things That Go Bump In The Woodpile

December 5, 2016 |

Retrieve wood from the woodpile. Carry it into the house. Build the first fire of the season. No danger, right? Oh, sure, there was the time that I did that in the dead of winter, slipped on a patch of snow, fell with an armload of firewood, and broke two toes. That might have had…

Beware The Evil Escalator

November 23, 2016 |

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching here in the U.S.—a time to show our thanks by gorging on food until we’re miserable and complaining about leftovers. Retailers, however, have a different goal. They remind us this is the official start of the Christmas shopping season. Of course, many of them have been reminding us for a couple…

The Revenge Of The College Boy

October 27, 2016 |

Anyone who has ever worked a manual labor job to help pay for college has heard the taunt, “College Boy.” Let’s face it, college may help you understand certain things, but most of those things are fairly useless in summer jobs. And the people who get to manage “College Boys” do enjoy rolling their eyes…

Our neighborhood from the imagination of a nine-year-old.

Flight of the Abominable Snowman

October 20, 2016 |

Most people claim that the Abominable Snowman is a myth, but I know he is real. In fact, I know he can even fly. I actually witnessed the flight.

Don’t Try This Recipe For Broiled Vidalia Onions

October 13, 2016 |

I am well known for publishing my tongue-in-cheek “Kitchen Tip of the Day” (a book I really need to compile), so I highly recommend that you DON’T try this recipe for broiled Vidalia Onions. Most people in the United States and Canada are aware of the sweet taste of a Vidalia Onion. I wanted to share…

Missing The Point Of Eye Tests

October 6, 2016 |

I was ten years old when I started wearing glasses. It would have been much earlier, but I was missing the point of eye tests. To explain this, you first need to understand that academics came easy. My first few years of school consisted of near perfect scores on all tests. As strange as this…

Go Home, Tourist, Go Home

September 28, 2016 |

Living in a tourist area has more positives than not, but sometimes I empathize with a little Charleston girl shouting, “Go home, tourist, go home.” I love meeting many of the people who visit this area. I have had many a great conversation with people from all around the world. Seriously, everywhere. A few years…

High School Nightmare Of Politics

September 22, 2016 |

My dream transported back more years than I care to count. Back to the world of cliques, petty rivalries, and insecurities. Nothing at all like the adult world. Or maybe exactly like the adult world. Welcome to my high school nightmare. Two big clubs were arch rivals of each other, fighting over insignificant things. Rumor had…

Amazon – A Retailing Dinosaur

August 17, 2016 |

Without a doubt, Amazon has revolutionized the retailing industry. They dominate e-commerce retailing in the Western World. So what logical person calls them a retailing dinosaur? Me. My opinion only matters if you accept me as a sane person. In fairness, questioning my sanity is not difficult. I just posted that cartoon for all to…

A Great Man

A Great Man

June 14, 2011 |

This post originally appeared on The Thundering Herd website – June 14, 2011 On Sunday evening, the world lost a great man.  He may not have been famous and most of you may never have met him, but he was great nonetheless.  I want to take a moment to tell you about him. He was…

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