Category Archives: Jonah’s Story

Jonah’s Story Part I: Ain’t No Jive

Jonah’s Story Part I:
Ain’t No Jive

I thought that they were Angels,
But much to my surprise
They climbed aboard their Starship
And headed for the Skies!
Come, sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me!

Come Sail Away


I had been underground for six weeks: Extreme Spelunking.

As I take off my re-breather I notice a scent in the air that I cannot place. Burnt hair? Melted plastic? I gag as a reflex. What the hell is that smell? As I exit the cave and walk 2 miles back to my truck with my gear, I notice that the Ranger Station is closed even though his Jeep is parked out front. Also the parking lot is empty which is unusual for a Sunday morning. Trying to put my apprehensions out of my mind I get on Route 96 and head for home. I pass no one on the road and even the Wal-Mart looks closed.

I pull into a Dollar General and I go into shock when I finally saw the blue sky above. Where are all the People? Because of the enormity of the desolation, I find relief in the clouds. I see a Red Tailed Hawk soaring above my head: a good Omen for a Bad Day. Staring at the sky, I repeat over and over: “My God what have we done?” Then I fall on my knees and weep. I lose time in my grief and soon the sun sets. As the dark descends I am completely blown away that the street lights turn on at Dusk. What the fuck is going on? What happened to the EMP?

That night I cheer myself by writing a song:

Let me lay it out real clear.
The moment of Truth is near.
Fear not! All will be well:
Hunky-dory. Peachy. Swell.

Dark dreams have the power to kill,
Like swallowing a bitter Pill.
“Live and let Live” is what they say.
Well then, you better get the hell outta my way.

Depression is just Self-Pity manifest:
A time to be less than my best.
So here I am on the Road:
No letters, no email, no phone.

Utterly and completely Alone.
Not a Soul in sight.
So I force myself,
To turn my thoughts to the Light.

My only Hope is to stay Alive.
My prayers to God I send
And that ain’t no Jive.
Fences will we mend:
Much more than just Survive.
Strive every day for the End.

Thankfully, I have a dreamless sleep that first night and I wake at Dawn. I am beyond low, in the depths of a deep Depression I can seemingly not shake. So I sing my song again which lifts my spirits just enough to pack for the road ahead. With the shelves undisturbed, I find all the supplies I needed at the soulless Wal-Mart: a large backpack, canned goods, bread, lunchmeat, boots (two pair), dozens of CDs and DVDs (for boredom), plenty of guns with ammo, several books and maps, camping supplies, a propane stove and of course coffee and a pot. What did I forget to bring?

Not a single corpse to be found. Was I Left Behind from some all-inclusive Rapture? Where has the radiation gone? More and more evidence showed that the attack was not nuclear at all. No fallout, no radiation, no EMP. What the hell happened? Maybe a biological weapon? Conventional bombs? Chemical? Where are all the bodies of the dead? Why are the birds and other animals unaffected? Where is the electricity coming from? Too many questions and no answers, at least for now.

I find a Jeep with the keys in the ignition, a full tank of gas, GPS and a CD player, so I grab all I can and I throw my pack and other supplies in the back seat and drive out of town on interstate 24: Free of only the occasional car on the shoulder. Most of the traffic appears to be heading into Nashville rather than running from. Very confusing. Where did the hundreds of thousands citizens disappear to? Do I really want to know? More unanswered questions . . . So while I drive, I decide to write another song:


Somebody’s World Ends Every Day:
The Death of Man’s Ignorance, they say.
I would ride that Missile like fate.
You better get your Afterlife Straight.

Where have all the people Gone?
Is it Darkest before the Dawn?
So many Unanswered Questions:
Where are the Solutions?

These Lyrics keep me Sane.
Am I the New Age Cain?
Marked for life by Homicide?
Or should I seek solace in Suicide?

The Guilt of the Survivor is my Lot.
No markers on this Funeral Plot.
Alone I drive to who knows where.
What the hell is that over there?

I break my reverie when I see a semi jack knifed in front of me outside of LaVergne. I decide to check it out. Oh my God! A corpse! Or what’s left after the turkey buzzards had a crack at him. I’m no CSI, but the body appears to be badly burned: a crispy critter. The semi is also covered with burned and melted parts and the load has been completely destroyed. I take plenty of pictures with a digital camera I grabbed at Wal-Mart on a whim. Observe with an Objective Mind is my new motto.

I’m Friends with the Monster under my Bed. I get along with the Voices in my Head.

As I get back in my Jeep an old conversation pops into my head. In high school I once asked Susie Solomann out on a date. See declared: “Jonah, I wouldn’t go out on a date with you even if you were the last man on Earth!” Well, now I am, you bitch. Where the hell are you?

What are you gonna do when you get to Nashville? I approached Nashville from the Southeast. More and more I find myself talking out loud to myself. No big deal given the present circumstances. My concern grows when I start a conversation with myself complete with different voices and points of view. They used to call that Schizophrenia, but to me it feels perfectly Natural. Look for survivors, of course. What are you gonna do when you find someone? I do not know, yet. What if they aren’t friendly? Then we’ll kill them. Really? Yes, of course, we will.
As I drive toward the outskirts of Nashville, I see more and more abandoned cars. Entering the valley, it becomes more and more difficult to navigate as the road fills with vehicles. Eventually, I must drive in the median then on the wrong side of the road which is mostly free of cars. Still, no more corpses appear which is a real relief. I make camp at a Hampton Inn and Suites. The clean linens feel great.

I wake in a cold sweat from a nightmare: I was a Hawk in the sky, flying over the Desolation of an unknown city on the coast. San Francisco? No, East Coast. Where? Baltimore! That’s the Inner Harbor and the Aquarium! I soar to a lower altitude and I see people, dozens of them. They are raiding a K-Mart and loading stuff into U-Haul trucks. One of the women sees me, waves and smiles. Then she screams, “See ya soon, Jonah!”

I could not shake the shrillness of her Scream and its Message: go to Baltimore. Her voice haunting in the morning light: I take a few minutes to get my bearings. Oh yeah, Hampton Inn and Suites has sheets that are no longer clean. Go ram it. Maybe I’ll write another song . . .

End Part One

Copyright 2014 Joel Paddon


The True Story of . . . How It All Went Terribly, Wonderfully Wrong

The True Story of . . . How It All Went Terribly, Wonderfully Wrong

I already mentioned the hormones which Java and Joshua had in spades. John the Ranger had already graduated from that stage, thankfully. For Joshua it was extremely painful because he was interested in just one girl: Ruthie, who as I’ve already mentioned was off limits. This factor succeeded in only one way. Joshua’s boyish lust turned into puppy love, while for Java it was just plain lust. But Java was focused on Ruthie none the less.

You must remember that young ladies have hormones too. Ruthie however was almost drunk with the power she had over Java and Joshua. They would gladly fulfill her every wish and whim. Anyone looking from the objective outside could see through Ruthie’s game, but Java and Joshua were oblivious to the fact. In fact she was using them for their weakness. They were together so much they were nicknamed the Three. Not the best of intentions, but no good deed goes unpunished.

One night the Three snuck out of their houses and headed to the woods armed with a large bottle of peppermint schnapps. Quickly, they got drunk and Joshua soon passed out. At first Ruthie and Java just stared drunkenly at each other. Naturally, they started to make out, awkwardly: Too much spit and too much tongue. Either way they both became very horny and tried their best to take off each other’s clothes. Next thing you know, they are in the water skinny dipping. In the shallow water Ruthie breasts glistened in the moon light. Shallower was a fully erect Java, overcome with desire. So Java took Ruthie into his arms from behind, cradling her firm breasts in his hands. Finally they made fumbling, drunken love on a blanket on the beach of Lake Gratitude. Yes, son, you were conceived on the beach of Lake Gratitude. I tell you this with only a hint of irony, given you current situation.

So there I was, on the beach covered with Ruthie’s sweet sweat and kisses when I dosed off with Ruthie’s breasts cupped in my hands, spooning. I slept restlessly and I woke suddenly at dawn: I was alone. It took several minutes to find my shoes and clothes, so I ran back to where Joshua had passed out and he was gone as well. It occurred to me that last night with Ruthie may have been a dream, until I saw the hickey on my neck in my car’s rearview mirror. Wow, shit, this is a big deal. Did anyone see us? I tried to cover the hickey with the collar of my shirt without success. Could she have given me a hickey and that was that? My gut told me a different story, unfortunately.

I just slept with the Shaman’s youngest daughter and there will be Hell to pay if anyone finds out. Questions piled up in my head like a derailed train: How long has Ruthie been up? Where’s Joshua? Why can’t I find my other sock? Why didn’t I use a condom? Was she a Virgin too? Goramn it where is Ruthie? Does she have any more regret than I do? First thing I need to do is find her and see if her memories are less foggy and confused than mine. So I ran full tilt toward her house.

When I arrived Ruthie gave me an awkward smile as she watered her mother’s roses. “Hi, Jarl. How are you.’’ She asked nonchalantly. “Mother doesn’t want me to get water on the leaves as they can lead to a fungus among us.” She smiled less awkwardly but still forced.

“What about when it rains?” Continuing with general conversation.

“Good point, Jarl.” By now the smile was real: “Did you have fun last night?” Not general any more.

“Uh.” I was actually thinking about it. “Definitely.”

“Oh, Jarl!” She put down the hose. “What have we done?” And grabbed me in an embrace and started to cry. Oh shit. This can’t be good. Crying makes me very uncomfortable. It reminds me of my Mother’s crying jags resulting from her manic episodes.

“Why are you crying Ruthie?” Truly confused.

“Because you just got me knocked up.”

I grabbed her shoulders and pushed her away so I could look in her tear stained eyes. “Say what? How could you possibly know already?” Flabbergasted.

Ruthie met my gaze and that made me very uncomfortable. “I have the gift of foresight. Knew last night would happen and what the consequences would be. I’m actually glad that it is done. I was giddy with anticipation.”

“Wait! You knew? What the fuck?”

She laughed, which I didn’t like. “Exactly. Now we can screw whenever we want.”
That pleasant thought was soon supplanted by: “I’m not ready to be a Father.”

“Nor I a Mother. But that doesn’t mean It ain’t gonna happen. I love you, Java!” She started to cry again and held me tighter than ever. I never did like the song but “Ruthie was a little bit Queer” seemed apropos.

The Truth Comes Out

Laugh Out Loud

Two months later after many nights on the beach Ruthie could no longer hide her bulging belly, so she sat down at the kitchen table with her Mother: “I’m pregnant with Java’s son.”

“I know. You can hide no secrets from me, littlest daughter.”

“Oh!” Ruthie was taken aback. “How long have you known?”

“Since the first day, of course! You can hide no secrets from me, little one.”

Under her breath. “Goramn it!”

“Don’t swear at my table, Ruthie Ann Shaman!”

“Sorry, Mom.”

. . . Meanwhile at Java’s house . . .


Jonah’s Story: Thor’s Hammer

Wodin and His Ravens Woke Up early, and so did we all for the entire Racket. Once again I was Sleep Deprived. I cannot go on this Way and Avoid a Manic Episode. I need Lithium, badly. My only Conciliation was that Wodin was Hung Over. After breakfast of leftover stew, we packed in Silence for Wodin’s sake. The Ravens had other Ideas and did not shut up until they finally Flew Off.

“My Head is breaking in half.” Wodin said to anyone who would Listen.

“You should’ve quit while you were ahead.” Jo commented. “Why don’t you take some Tylenol?”

“What does ‘tie lean all’ mean?”

“You know, Tylenol, for headaches.”

“I’m not from around Here.” Wodin admitted.


So we set out with a new member of our Crew. Wodin had told us nothing of how he and his Ravens came to be in the Woods. In His time, we’ll Know. With His Dry Sense of Humor, he reminded me of my paternal grandfather, Wally.

“How ‘bout another story?”

“Sure Wodin.” Replied Rebekah.

“Funny or Sad?”

“How bout both?”

“Hmm . . . Let’s see . . . Romeo and Suzette?”

“You mean Juliet?”

“Who?” He thought. “No. Too bloody. How Bout Thor’s Wedding? Frost Giants are the only Casualties.”

“That sounds like Fun.”

“Tons o’ Fun. Caw, caw!” The Ravens Laughed with Him. The first time I’d heard Wodin Laugh Out Loud. He continued: “This Story Teaches us the Power of Deception in the Right Circumstances.”

“That’s a Moral?”

“Sure. As Good as Any.”

“So a Frost Giant had stolen Thor’s Hammer, Mjolnir, and He was Pissed and Powerless. The Giants were demanding Freya’s hand in marriage in exchange for Mjolnir. Thor was Forced to ask his half-brother, Loki, for help which he did begrudgingly. So this was Loki’s Plan: Dress Thor up like a Bushing Bride and the Giants would not recognize Him so he could Steal back Mjolnir. Good Plan, right?”

“I guess so.” I guessed.

“So Loki had a great time Dressing up Thor: the corset was the Hardest Part. Thor had to shave his beard, of course, and it was the first time he’d Shaved since he was a man grown. Then came his legs which took twice as long and drew more blood than the face. Finally Loki curled up his blond hair and Thor passed for a very Ugly Woman.

“A God in Drag? Scandalous!” I exclaimed.

“No doubt.”

“What happened next?” Asked Rebeka.

“Loki added heavy makeup to finish off the effect. Then it was off to the Wedding in Odin’s goat chariot.”

“Goat Chariot?” I laughed out loud.

“Odin’s Favorite goat was named Heidrun and was a female. The goat supplied mead to the gods.”

“Yuch!” Exclaimed Jo. “Goat Mead?”

“Just Plain old Mead.”

“From a Goat!”

“A Magic Goat, of course!”

“So ‘Freya’ arrived at the Home of the Frost Giants giddy with anticipation. No sign of the Deception, yet. Thor took the place of Honor next to the Betrothed. First the Feast and then the Ceremony. Thor was famished so he tore into the bread basket. Salmon was the first course and Thor ate seven whole salmon. He washed it down with eight mugs of mead. The giants noticed and ask Loki what was going on. “Oh she’s just Nervous and has an appetite.” The explanation was accepted by the Giants. Then Thor’s makeup started to run as well as his beard began to grow back in. Loki had an excuse for that too: “She’s just a Blushing Bride.” Again the Giants were fooled by the Master Trickster. Finally, it was time for the Gifts.

“I present my Beautiful Bride with Thor’s Hammer, Mjolnir!” Declared the King of the Giants. As it was handed to Him, Thor grabbed Mjolnir and the Spell was Broken. He slew the King and then the rest of the Wedding Party as the Guests ran for the Exits. Thunder Rumbled and Lightning Crashed as Thor had His Revenge.”

“‘Revenge is a Dish best served Cold.’ So say the Klingons.” I added.

“So it is, my Friend.”

Copyright 2014 Joel Paddon