Battle Of The Dirt Road Monster


I kicked the ball high into the hot, sticky, gray South Georgia sky, watching it tumble slowly over and over as it climbed thru the baking, wispy clouds.

At least that’s what I was pretending it was doing, and it was one of those summer days that’s too hot to do anything but pretend.
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It is miserable today….

The air is so thick and humid it makes it tough for even a finely tuned physical specimen of 6 years old to run, jump and breathe to his utmost ability.

When the 2000 lb ball came back down to me, assisted by gravity and heavy air, I held it away from me, to hot to wrap my arms around.

That’s when I heard it.

I had felt the distant rumbling 9.0 earthquake before.
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The dirt road monster was coming back.

Battle!

I looked around in excitement and saw a faded badminton racket on the dirt ground.

Perfect! I snatched it up and quickly changed it into a bazooka.

My powers of pretend are strong today.

I also noticed that I had all kinds of grenades and bombs around my feet and at least 2 more bazookas and OMG! A Lazer beam gun!

I looked up and quickly judged the physics as the oncoming monster approached, calculating in my charged brain, the speed of the monster and my ability to get the bazooka loaded, aimed and fired.
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I also tried to figure if I might have time to get a couple of grenades in the air.
It’s gonna be close, I thought, as my trembling fingers worked the sights of the bazooka.

I raised the bazooka to my shoulder and drew a bead on the beast, the strings of the racket, fading in and out as I chose the best firing trajectory.

The huge front grill of the dirt road monster gleamed in the hot, Georgia sun.
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The huge stacks pumped out plumes of black smoke. Clouds of dusty, red clay swirling in its wake; a deadly Vortex of poisonous gas trailing behind as the beast punched thru the sound barrier, bearing down on my yard.

The tires went “rumrumrumrum”
The engine went “grgrgrgrgr”

This was gonna be a tough shot. I had to time it perfectly.

I cleared the range and fired.
Dang it! The shot went wide!

I dropped the useless bazooka racket and snatched up some grenades and started chucking them thru the thick air, screaming in despair as I watched the grenades fall short and explode helplessly in the ditch by the road.
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The dirt road monster was almost on top of me!

The tires went “rumrumrumrum”
The monster growled “I’m gonna eat you, uuuuuuuu”

I had one chance left for peace between our species!

I sprinted to the end of our dirt drive, ferociously pumping my arm in the air, high and hard to make sure the beast would notice me.

The dirt road monsters scream blasted thru the hot air; a howling, ripping blare of sound that tore a shrill of laughter from my throat, my heart trying to pound out of my chest.
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My arm pumped the sky and I yelled as loud as I could as the beast roared by, the vortex of swirling, red clay death passing over me with no effect, mixed with the smell of diesel fuel and fresh cut Pine trees.

The dirt road monster drove away.
The vortex of death slowly fell to the earth.
The growl of the hungry motor faded.
The smell of the harvested pine trees on its trailer, stuck to my face and skin.

That’s a good smell.

The kind of smell that you remember for 45 years.

The memory of a big truck with big stacks, big smoke and big pretend; honking his big horn for a small boy on a dirt road.

One day, I’m gonna be a trucker and honk for a kid.

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I honk for kids!

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