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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Digital Detox (04/24/14)

TITLE: Macklin Mountain Road Trip
By Joe Moreland


Will Macklin rushed out of the house at a dead run, trying to get to the car befrore his father began leaning on the horn again. He almost made it, but, just as he reached for the door handle, the inevitable happened.


Will yanked open the door and slid into the back seat. “Was that really necessary? You saw I was here already.”

Will's father , Jim, was behind the wheel. Will's grandpa, also named Jim, sat in the passenger seat. Both men were decked out identically in what Will like to call their “fishunting” clothes. They looked at one another now, both of them holding up their hands, palms facing downward; then waggled back them and forth in the international sign for “so-so”.

“Nnn-yeeah! It had to be done!” They yelled in unison, then laughed together. Will shrugged his shoulders and sighed as he settled against the back of his seat.

“Every stinkin' time.” He muttered under his breath.

Ten minutes of driving later, they were involved in a forty-five minute expedition to get Will's great-grandpa,also Will, deposited into the car, next to his namesake. As the old man put it, he liked to “meander a bit.”

The oldest Macklin was as different from the two Jims as possible. They were corny pranksters; Grandpa Will was a “take time to smell the roses” type of guy.

Will felt no real connection to any of them – especially not during this annual trip.

“Macklin Mountain, here we come!” Yelled Will's dad as they hit the road again.

“Woo-hoo! You said it sonny boy!” Chimed in his front seat companion.

Grandpa Will leaned over to whisper conspiratorily to Will. “I shoulda never let that boy name his kid after hisself. Gone plumb to his head. Still acts like a dang kid hisself most of the time.”

“I think they're just nuts.”

Elder Will chuckled. “Can't fuss with you none on that account, boy. Sure can't.”

As they settled into the monotonous two hour drive up to Macklin Mountain, Will decided to break out his headphones before the two Jims decided to play some sort of road game. He reached into his duffle bag and started fishing around. The stupid things always seemed to settle into the bottom.

“I spy something that starts with a 'T'!” Will's dad yelled.

“What?” The older Jim yelled back. Will continued to dig in his bag.

“I said I spy something with a 'T'!”

“What? You have s pie with a bee?”

“No! Teee! I see something that starts with a 'T'!”


“Right...never mind. We passed it about half a mile ago.”

“You passed what? You need to see the doctor?”

Something wasn't right. Will couldn't find his headphones anywhere.

“No! I don't need to see a doctor. But you need to get your ears checked!”

Will's hand stopped. Slowly he tilted his head up to look at his grandfather who was staring right back; Will's headphones hung over his ears along with one of those fake arrows, made to look like it's going straight through the head. only in this case it was straight through Will's headphones.

“These dang things don't work! When I'm wearing 'em, I can't hear a word anyone says!”

Will stared in horror as Grandpa Jim snatched the headphones off his head and threw them out the window.

“Nooo!” Will tried to roll down his own window in time to catch them, but by the time he got the manual hand crank started, the expensive gear, along with his music, was gone.

“Wow! What a difference! I can hear just fine now. What did you say you spied, Jimmy?”

The two men laughed and laughed over the teenager's discomfort. Finally Will's dad eyed him in the rearview mirror.

“You know the rules, son. No modern conveniences on the Macklin Mountain trip.”

Will settled into a sulky pout. He felt a really bad week coming on.

Grandpa Will leaned over to whisper to him again. “Don't worry, boy,” he said with a wink and a mischevious grin. “I pulled their cooler of beer out of the trunk when I was putting my stuff back there. I think I may have left it sitting next to the car.”

Will burst out laughing.

Grandpa Jim turned to look at him with a big, lop-sided grin. “That's the spirit, boy!”

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This article has been read 260 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 05/02/14
You sure have a way with dialogue, and atmosphere. What a fun, genuine, engaging read. Loved the relationships among the men. Felt very real.
Marty Wellington 05/02/14
Wonderful dialogue and cute story line with the teenager losing his music. Noticed a few typos and, may be a personal preference, but I found using the same names a bit confusing. A great read. Well done!
Matt Guddat05/02/14
Really enjoyed the characters here. Not sure if I liked the double name thing, but well crafted.
Tracy Nunes 05/02/14
This was fun. It made me wish I was part of the Macklin family. Wonderful writing!
C D Swanson 05/04/14
A delightful romp and fun read!

God bless~
Mar  05/07/14
Cute story and dialogue! Especially liked Gramps the best!