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Flash Fiction: Who Is This Nearly Naked Adonis?

MizBejabbers has been a professional writer/editor for all of her adult life. Before that, she was just a little girl storyteller.

Amtrak station at end of Markham Street on a gloomy day

Amtrak station at end of Markham Street on a gloomy day

Now That's a Sight for Sore Eyes!

He walks fast down Markham Street from the direction of the Salvation Army headquarters. You know, where the homeless eat and sometimes sleep. His bright orange Nikes could be a sign of the homeless, given to him by a charitable organization, but his buzz cut sun-bleached hair says he is not. The homeless can’t afford buzz cuts. Their shaggy unkempt hair usually gives them away. There’s some other stuff about him that adds to his being out of place.

His posture is proudly erect, and his naked tan muscular shoulders almost rival Arnie in his heyday. He wears light beige Bermudas that show his lean tanned legs, and on his back he carries a camouflage backpack. He is stylishly sock-less. Nope, he ain’t no homeless, and it is unlikely that he blew into town on a train. There's no gym around, so he can't be headed there.

This is one helluva looker, if you ladies know what I mean. Hollywood, eat your heart out!

The Amtrack Station is at the dead end of the street in the direction at his back. It’s highly unlikely that he came in on a train shirtless. In fact, he looks as cool and fresh on this 88 degree morning as if he just stepped out of an air conditioned car. Now I’m really curious. Let’s follow him and see if we can find out where he is going.

John Wayne Can't Hold a Candle to Our Guy!

flash-fiction-who-is-this-half-naked-adonis

He keeps up the fast pace for a couple more blocks; this isn’t easy going keepin’ up with him, you know. He turns into an alley. Hmmm, let’s enter cautiously now. Driving slowly. Very suspicious like, our subject approaches an old car, a faded dark blue sedan with a few dents. Wait, he is unlocking it. He slips off his bermudas to reveal short red swim trunks. He gets in and drives off. Glad I didn’t get out of my car to follow him. I take off behind him, staying just a few cars behind.

Gotta make the traffic lights and don’t lose him. Whew, success! Now we’re driving down Interstate 30. After a couple of miles, he turns to the left and merges onto Interstate 40. I drop back farther behind so as not to be suspicious. Four more miles, and he’s doing 70 in a 65 mph zone. Now he’s taking the Crystal Hill Exit. Hey, that’s the exit to my house, I’m sure gonna follow him now to see what he’s up to in my neighborhood.

I don’t get very far because he pulls his car in behind the Exxon station on the left side of the road. Naked except for his red swim shorts and orange sneakers, he gets out of the car carrying the camouflage backpack and walks out to the knoll beside the overpass. By now I’m parked in the lot of that station behind a Crape Myrtle. I observe him put down his pack and kneel beside it. He pulls out a super-sized plastic cup from Sonic.

I’m expecting him to bring out a canteen and pour himself a drink, but whaaat! He pulls out a black handgun and hides it in the cup. Then he stands up leaving his pack on the ground, looking every inch a hitchhiker. A hitchhiker who points his cup with the gun in it at the first approaching car.

OMG, I get it now! I’ve seen his kind before. Watch out for him, he’s dangerous! Try your best to avoid Cpl. Bill Williams, distinguished Afghanistan war veteran and present radar gunner for the state police. Adonis disguised as a hitchhiker, he’ll get you. You will pay!

Except This Wasn't No Chick in Shorts!

What Would You think?

© 2018 Doris James MizBejabbers

Comments

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on May 20, 2020:

Greetings, dear friend Kenneth. I don't know what happened to my answer to your comment. I did comment back six months ago. Strange things are happening on this website.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 20, 2020:

The end was unexpected. Loved this story.

Kenneth A Avery on October 29, 2019:

Doris . . .Hi. Just flying over -- thought I'd greet you.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on October 29, 2019:

Ha! Hadn't thought about it that way, Tiyasha! Thanks for reading and commenting.

Tiyasha Maitra from Gurgaon on October 29, 2019:

Brilliant narration and a nice jumpy ending.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 04, 2019:

Thanks for your input, Mel. The real one caught my husband's eye, too, but Larry was a state trooper for a few years after he got out of the military. Your statement: "It seems like a counterintuitive speed trap...." Is partly true, just leave out the word "counterintuitive". About that time, it seems our state was needing revenue, and troopers were catching speeders any way they could. I think the guy was dressed that way to try to stay as cool as he could on a hot day. I don't think he was trying to be provocative, but he sho' nuff succeeded.

Mel Carriere from San Diego California on July 03, 2019:

Being a heterosexual male, the sight of a buffed near naked guy in red shorts, no less, would probably repel me. But who can comprehend the complicated female mind? Not I. It seems like a counterintuitive speed trap, however, because the way you describe it the ladies will be slowing down to have a look, not speeding up. I love your little tale of roadside tail.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on December 12, 2018:

Oh, he was too good lookin' to ignore. No joke, the real one had class. As we used to say, that one can eat crackers in my bed any day, but then, times have changed, haven't they? Too bad it pays to be suspicious now. Thanks for reading and commenting, Britta. Sorry it took so long to get back to you.

Britta Nicole Miller from Earth on November 27, 2018:

That ending! I wasn't expecting that, not at all. Half-naked and pointing a cup at cars. I would think he's crazy and avoid that odd man. I have been forwarned.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on August 02, 2018:

Brian, I wasn't ridiculing Arnie. He was a beautiful man in his heyday. I was using him as an example of a physique. Most bodybuilders are just a flash in the pan and very few people would even remember their names.

Homeless people here get free services when available, but those opportunities are few and far between. They can't all get free haircuts and dental work every month. Sometimes they have to go months in between and some don't have transportation to get to the free events to participate. As I said if you saw those folks lined up to get their meals at the Salvation Army twice a day, you would find that the ones with the new clothes and free haircuts were far in the minority.

I wondered at the guy standing in the 95-100 degree hot sun in swim trunks all day. He was certainly risking skin cancer. That in itself was peculiar even for the South.

Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on August 02, 2018:

People in Kalamazoo and elsewhere in Michigan currently have a favorable view of Arnold Swarznegger, Doris, because he came out publicly in support of bipartisan efforts to end gerrymandering. Interesting true story re the traffic cop "hitchhiking" in a swimming suit. I suppose in Southern heat that wouldn't be peculiar. When I was looking at Google Images photos of homeless persons, there was a series showing a man giving homeless persons free sidewalk haircuts. A thoughtful gift.

Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington, DC USA on August 02, 2018:

Yes I know, Doris, and peace to you sister.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on August 01, 2018:

We all have our own paths, Elijah. As long as you follow your soul contract, you'll be ok in this world. Peace, brother.

Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington, DC USA on August 01, 2018:

Doris, your invitation is a temptation but my destiny demands I remain here in DC.

The way I pay for mind is "I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends" the city of Washington, DC taking on themselves most of that cost. However, I have live in DC houseless for a few months as I was from August 9, 1976 until October 10, 2012 when VA began getting the houseless off the streets. I took my retirement from 1962 until '76 before following the teachings of Christ to become a wandering observer of all things and sharing my observations with anyone wanting to hear it. That caused me to be directed to come to DC 2/14/2009 and when I got here I was ordered to remain here indefinitely waiting to fulfill my destiny.

I live so close to the environment that I've helped money dependent people out with almost half of that. I have free water but no food stamps and pay electricity and still have nearly half of my $978.00 monthly income. What can I say? Thank you for the invitation out of this cold and back to the warner south? Okay, thank you. LOL

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 31, 2018:

Elijah, you should live in Little Rock. I own a duplex. One side is about 1,000 sq. ft. with a fire place and formal dining room. I rent it for $600 a month. The other is about 700 sq. ft. and rents for $500 mo. Both have water paid. It is in a historic district and is in very good condition. I don't know how people above the Mason Dixon line pay so much for their apartments. The big boys are moving in on us with their Three or four hundred thousand dollar condos and the city has raised the taxes on my property so high now that I'm going to have to sell it. It's a shame.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 31, 2018:

Hi, Brian, I'll answer your important question first. "Arnie" is Arnold Swarznegger. You know, the body builder, TV action star and former Governor of California. Remember him, wonder whatever happened to him?

Thanks to a bunch of caring people (who says Southerners don't care), some of the homeless around my neck of the woods dress better than the rest of us. However, if you go to work at 7:30 am and drive by the Salvation Army like I did for a number of years, you would see a line of scruffy looking people lined up to get breakfast before they are sent out on the streets for the day. Quite a few, both men and women, needed tonsorial attention.

The part about the "hitchhiker" in red swimming trunks is true. My story is based on truth. For about three summers, a state trooper really posed as a hitchhiker on I-40 just a half mile from my house. He did exactly as I described. He held a radar gun in a jumbo plastic drink cup aimed at cars on the interstate. He didn't come back this summer. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington, DC USA on July 30, 2018:

Brian,

That's cheep. You should be in DC where I have 488 sq. ft. of floor space and mine cost $1,100 a month and is supposed to go up once they renovate the building.

Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on July 30, 2018:

Clever story, effectively told.

I searched Google Images on homeless. Of the photos of homeless men in which I could see the hair, 7 had unkempt shaggy hair and 21 had hair that was neither unkempt nor shaggy. So 75% did not and 25% did have unkempt shaggy hair. That is understandable given that a haircut is a lot cheaper than rent. Here in Kalamazoo, it is hard to find even a room to rent for under $400 per month; the median price of a haircut is $28, and cheap ones are half that.

In the 1950s and 1960s, I did a lot of hitchhiking and saw and picked up a lot of hitchhikers. I haven't seen a hitchhiker in years. Never one wearing only a swimming suit. That's an imaginative touch.

Who is Arnie?

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 29, 2018:

Genna, that is "the Duke"! I was shocked to find it while I was searching for a man in red swimming trunks. I never did find a usable photo of a hunk in red swimming trunks, so I decided to use John Wayne instead. I think I like him better in chaps. Quite out of character, right? He's got pretty legs, though.

Thanks for your compliment and for commenting.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on July 29, 2018:

Loved this...what an eye for detail, imagination, and humor. So well done. By the way, that pic looks like John Wayne.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 27, 2018:

Loved your comment, Chitrangada. Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 27, 2018:

Enjoyed your great story and you kept the attention from the beginning till the end.

You have a great imagination and a wonderful story teller.

Thanks for this good read!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 21, 2018:

Thank you for the compliment, Manatita. Yes he was, LOL.

manatita44 from london on July 21, 2018:

Nice story Miz. Sizzling and voluptuous start and interesting end. Cool!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 19, 2018:

Elijah, I never know what my devious little muse will come up with next. I'm waiting, too. Glad you enjoyed it and commented, my friend.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 19, 2018:

Bill, I had to say it first before somebody accused me of it (sexist). I actually wrote this story two winters ago and put it on the back burner to wait for hot weather. Then old age set in and I forgot about it. Our hot weather brought it out again. Thanks for reading and commenting, my friend.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 19, 2018:

Mary, I followed him only in my imagination. However, I really do live nearby, and I saw him often enough to know that he wasn't a real hitchhiker. He was just posing as one. Glad you enjoyed the story and commented.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 19, 2018:

Paula, I'm very sure because the guy spent about three summers aiming that cup at traffic. My husband was a state trooper for a couple of years after the Vietnam War, and he was sure that was what this guy was doing. One day I watched somebody who apparently thought the guy was a hitchhiker stop to try to give him a ride. The trooper very courteously turned him down.

I wish I knew the story behind the John Wayne photo. Takes away our illusions of manliness, don't it, Girlfriend? LOL

Thanks for the compliment on my hair. It was nearly black when I was young, and I don't bleach it. Brunettes in my family are usually white headed before 30. Our father's genetics, you know. Thanks girlfriend for your kind words.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 19, 2018:

Zulma, I appreciate your comment. I really couldn't think of any other way to write it.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 19, 2018:

Glenis, the narrator was kind of a stalker wasn't she? Don't worry, that part was pure fiction, and I didn't stalk either guy who inspired the story. When I was looking for photos, the John Wayne photo just popped up. I'd never seen it before either, and I think he should stick to wearing chaps. If he were a woman, I'd say he had pretty legs. Thanks for your observations.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 19, 2018:

John, this guy was a real inspiration for a writer. He could have been a model for a beach boy. Talk about disguises, I couldn't believe the state police would do this. I kind of miss him and wish he'd come back. LOL

Thanks for reading and your wonderful comment, my friend.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 19, 2018:

Sexist, not you, Kenneth, ME!

Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington, DC USA on July 19, 2018:

MizB, You had my attention from beginning to ending and now have it waiting to read what the next part will contain. Short, suspenseful to the very end and completely enjoyed!!!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 19, 2018:

Sexist be damned, MizB! That was just plain funny! There wasn't one word I didn't enjoy, from the opening hook to the surprise ending. Well done my friend.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on July 19, 2018:

That was an interesting follow. You are brave to do this but I know when curiosity beckons, we can't just let it go. Enjoyed the story.

Suzie from Carson City on July 19, 2018:

Quite a surprising ending! Are you POSITIVE it was a radar check?...or just "some crazy guy," for real??! LOL. Frankly MzB, that aged photo shocked me more than the story! Never would I have believed we'd ever see 'The Duke," in a pair of short-shorts & espadrilles, sporting a shoulder bag!! Now THAT'S an eyeful!! Cute story,

BTW....nice snapshot of you! Your hair is simply gorgeous! :) Paula

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on July 19, 2018:

I love stories that have a twist. I like the way you invited us to join you in following this guy. Nice touch.

Glen Rix from UK on July 18, 2018:

Love it, despite worrying that the voice in the narrative is a stalker! Great imaginative short story that builds suspense very effectively. I was right there, following young man. don’t think I have ever been treated to a view of John Wayne’s bare legs so that was a bonus.LOL.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on July 18, 2018:

MizB, you have outdone yourself. Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction...I didn't believe this guy in red swim shorts carrying a radar gun in a cup could be real, but he was. The ending was a total surprise to me. The John Wayne photo...my God and the Short Shorts video brought back memories. Well done.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 18, 2018:

Flourish, Honeychile, that's John Wayne in that photo! Can you believe it? I thought that would resonate. I'm not exaggerating about the real guy in the red bathing shorts though. Wish I could have taken a photo of him. He spent about 3 summers shooting cars with his radar on I-40. I haven't seen him in a couple of years.Thanks for a great comment.

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 18, 2018:

You got me with this one! I had no idea where it was going. You are such a hoot. I laughed at that photo as well — of the man with camel toes in his Daisy Dukes carrying a man purse and wearing espadrilles.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 18, 2018:

Val and Kenneth, two of my dearest friends. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Do you think HP will take it down for being sexist?

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on July 18, 2018:

Doris -- amazing and oh, so colorful. I loved this. Thanks for your neat way in telling about wardrobe, car, travel and those little details that for many of us, escape the lot of us.

Thanks again and continue to do such a fine job.

Peace.

Val Karas from Canada on July 18, 2018:

Doris---Oh, so that was you following me, LOL!!!

Great story, you should really write books, my friend, I like your style a lot.