Daniel Bird Daniel Bird
Recommendations: 47

" - He’s always coming up with new ideas for golfing equipment…a gun that shoots tees into hard ground, a tiny beeper inside a ball that helps you find it in deep rough, a weight in the shaft of the club that is released by the push of a button so that the weight drops down the shaft and into the head, giving extra momentum to the swing right at impact. - " Don these ideas are just brilliant! And the way you execute the telling of the man, being sometimes quiet, that sometimes you can't shut him up, that he's a thinker...well, that is intriguing and I think that you did not yet mention his name offers a little more mystique, making one hold close their patience until the time to meet him has come. I like this. Very good writing, and a very good execution of offering your reader hints into the stranger's personality. Good stuff Don!

Daniel Bird Daniel Bird
Recommendations: 47

" - the sun was half of a ball sitting on the edge of the horizon - " I like that little detail. Excellent!

Daniel Bird Daniel Bird
Recommendations: 47

" - I had almost reached my driveway when I heard the whisper of tires on the pavement and stepped instinctively off of the narrow highway blacktop. - " The word 'blacktop' in this sentence is unnecessary Don. The sentence would flow smooth without it.

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Don Yarber Don Yarber
Recommendations: 42

Out of Gas

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She had a friend.

Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

He didn’t have much to say when I asked him for a ride.  He just nodded, mumbled something about being low on gas, and motioned for me to get in his little Dodge Dakota truck.  I got in and stretched my long legs out, hoping that he wouldn’t put some ragged rock or rap on the radio.  Thank God he didn’t, and that pleased me.
       There’s really something weird about the Dude.  He’s not very talkative at times, then at other times you can’t shut him up.  Mostly, he’s a thinker.  A lot of the guys at the golf course think that he’s stupid.  Those that know him  best realize that he’s far from stupid, almost brilliant.  He’s always coming up with new ideas for golfing equipment…a gun that shoots tees into hard ground, a tiny beeper inside a ball that helps you find it in deep rough, a weight in the shaft of the club that is released by the push of a button so that the weight drops down the shaft and into the head, giving extra momentum to the swing right at impact.
       Nuts!  Well some of his ideas are nuts, some are brilliant.  
       He writes books.  Murder mysteries.  He’s sold one to almost every golfer at the club.
       But the thing that I really found curious about him was why he never put gas in his truck.  I bet I’ve asked for a ride at least 5 times, and each time he mumbles something about being low on gas.  Each time I’ve glanced at his gas gage, not wanting to say anything, but not worrying too much about the truck dying before I got home.  We always managed to make it as far as my house.  I knew he had at least 8 or 9 miles to go before he got home, and it occurred to me that he might be running out of gas before he got home.
       One day he was unusually quiet when I rode with him.  It was like he was concentrating real hard on something.  Something that was difficult for him to think about.  As I sat there in the passenger seat wondering what it was that was occupying his thought processes, I noticed that there was a little bit of energy moving inside the cab of the truck.  You know, like a fan running on low speed.  I glanced at his AC knob and it was completely off.  No blower, no fan, no nothing.  The radio was off.  I hit the “up” switch on the passenger side window and it didn’t move.  I looked at his window and it appeared to be all the way up.  Yet there was an unmistakable force moving in the cab.
       It was almost dark, the sun was half of a ball sitting on the edge of the horizon, a few purple streaked clouds lingered like blankets on a sleeping child, rumpled and still.  I watched as the last flickering streaks of daylight sank beyond the tree-line on the horizon.  Then I saw the glow.  It was in the cab.
       Try this sometime:  turn on a tiny light, like a small LCD flashlight, or a night light, somewhere in your house.  Turn the rest of the lights off and go to bed.  Set your alarm to wake you at 2 a.m. when it is really dark outside.  
       You’ll be able to see a real faint glow from the light you left on.  You’ll be able to get out of bed, after letting your eyes adjust, and you will be able to walk to that light.  
       That’s how it was in the cab.   I could feel the heat from the light that was glowing.  I followed the source with my eyes and found that the light was emanating from his eyes.  It freaked me out, let me tell you.
       “Hey man,” I said, my voice kind of quavering.  “Whatever that trick is you are doing with your eyes, you're really spooking me!”
       He just stared straight ahead, his hands on the wheel of his truck.  He didn’t look at me or answer right away.  It was like the glow from his eyes was taking every ounce of strength he could muster and there was none left to speak, turn his head, or acknowledge me.
       “That’s really weird, man,” I said.  “If you are doing that to scare the crap out of me, it’s about to work!”  I could feel my lower intestines cramping in rebellion to the fear seeping down through my veins.
       He just stared ahead.
       I thought that something might have happened to him, a stray bullet from a hunters gun might have zipped through the window with such force that I didn’t hear glass shattering.  
       I reached out and touched his right shoulder.  It was almost hot to my touch.  I jerked my hand back.  
       He finally turned his head and looked at me.  The light went out immediately, the energy force I had so distinctly felt, disappeared instantly.  At the same time the truck’s forward motion slowed perceptively, and as he glanced back at the road, he found a wide spot on the shoulder and expertly guided the truck off of the highway.  It was pitch black by now, and the lights on the truck faded within seconds to nothing.  
       “Out of gas,” he said, smiling.  “I was hoping I could get to your house at least.  Might have made it if you hadn’t touched my arm and ……” he shut up suddenly like he had said too much.
       “What’s that got to do with running out of gas, Don?” I asked.
       “Huh?  Oh…nothing, just thinking about something.”
       “Well, I can walk home from here, it’s only about a quarter of a mile,” I said.  “I might have a can of gas in my garage, If I do, I’ll call you on your cell phone and walk back with it.”
       “Yeah, OK.” he said.
       I got out and started walking.  I had almost reached my driveway when I heard the whisper of tires on the pavement and stepped instinctively off of the narrow highway.  A maroon truck went by, not fast, but somewhere around 40 mph.  I did a double take and looked up at its receding tail lights.  That looked like Don’s truck.
       I glanced back down the highway.  The road was as straight as an arrow for at least 3 miles back in the direction from whence we had come, and I should have been able to see Don’s truck perhaps 400 yards behind me.  There was no truck there.  I snapped my head around again and just caught the glow of tail lights as they disappeared over a slight hill ahead.  
       That was Don’s truck.  
       Oh well, I thought.  Maybe he wasn’t out of gas after all, or maybe he had a can in the bed with a little bit of gas.  
       I turned up my driveway and within ten minutes I was watching the news, sipping on a cold beer and relaxing in my recliner.  I should have offered to buy him some gas, I guess.
       The next day I was deeply engrossed in trying to hit a nine iron over a tree between me and the green.  I heard a golf cart coming up the path from number one’s tee box and just as I hit the shot I heard the cart leave the blacktop path and start across the fairway.  I turned and saw that it was Don, driving his white golf cart towards me.  He drove an EZGo cart, gasoline powered, while almost everyone at the club drove Yamaha’s or Club Cars.  Leave it to Don to be different.  
       He joined me on the next tee and we played the rest of the holes on the front nine.  It was strange, but now that I think about it, I don’t remember hearing his cart again.  I drive an electric cart and it makes very little sound, but most of the gasoline carts have a distinctive sound to their engines.  His had none.  
       “Get a new cart, Don?” I asked him.
       “No, same one,” he said.
       “I thought you drove a gasoline cart,” I said.
       He got back in his cart as I started away towards the next tee box.  He followed in his cart and I could hear the sound of the gasoline engine.  We both hit good tee shots, mine landed at about 125 out and rolled to about 90 out.  His shot was not quite as long as mine, but rolled about 30 yards more and we were nearly even in the fairway.  I pulled my cart up to the right of the two golf balls to check my range finder.  It was 92 yards to the center of the green.  I hit my shot to within 10 feet of the pin and Don hit his nearly in the hole, it stopped 4 feet past the hole.  
       “Good ball,” I said, and started to drive away.
       He followed.  His cart didn’t make a whisper of a sound.
       “Hey Don,” I yelled.  He turned and looked at me and suddenly I could hear his cart running.
       “Stop a minute,” I said.  He pulled next to my cart and stopped.
       “Tell me something,” I said.  “Last night after I got out and walked to my house, I thought I saw you go by in your truck, even though you ran out of gas a quarter of a mile back.  Now, I listen for your cart motor and don’t hear it.  What kind of invention have you come up with to convert from gas to electric at just a thought?”
       “Well, It’s just something I’ve been experimenting with,” he said.
       “Look, Don,” I said.  “We’ve been friends a long time.  Can you tell me what’s going on?”
       “Maybe I can show you,” he said.  We had reached the next tee box.  It was a par three hole, 142 yards from tee to center of the green.
       “Please be very quiet, don’t say anything, don’t move, don’t distract me in any way, please.”
       “OK” I said.  Some of the other guys have told me that Don gets upset when you talk while he’s hitting.
       I stood still, not moving a muscle, not hardly even breathing as Don took an 8 iron, teed his ball low and hit it with a full swing.
       The ball started right, sweeping up and out over the lake like an egret in flight.
       I saw the flash then.  It was like a sudden beam of light.  The sun was bright but the flash was brighter.  The ball was suddenly enveloped in a bluish light.  It made a ninety degree turn to the left, traveled five yards, then a ninety degree turn back to the right.  Then it gently drew towards the green, hitting on the front edge.  It rolled towards the right of the flag, sixteen or seventeen feet.  Then it turned blue again and made a left turn, rolled towards the flag and kissed the flag pole before dropping in the hole.
       A hole in one!  I stood there in shock and awe!
       Then it dawned on me. 3 comments

      “You moved it,” I said.
       “Like I move my truck,” he said.  “I’ve found a power that I had almost forgotten.  It’s telekinetic energy.  When I was a kid I could move my toy cars around by just wanting them to move.  When I played marbles, I could hit my opponents marbles or my own by wanting to do so.”
       “That’s amazing,” I said.
       “Not really,” he said.  “We’re all born with it.  As we grow most of us lose it.  Maybe one person out of every million are able to reach back into their early childhood and remember how to do it.”
       “Wow,” was all I could say.
       “Please don’t tell anyone,” he begged.  “If the guys find out, they’ll never play golf with me again.  I don’t use it all the time.  I try to be fair as much as I can.  I use it when I have to, just to make things fair for everyone.”
       I was so stunned I couldn’t speak.  I played the rest of the round with him, and true to his word, he played fair.  I almost beat him, as a matter of fact.  I was playing good, and I think that he slacked off a little just so I could win, but at the last minute I saw a few blue flashes, and his ball did funny things.
       That night I asked him for a ride home.
       He mumbled something about being almost out of gas.  

                     THE END

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