Flash FridayFictioneers… Lost Opportunity!

My Truck

She’s gone!!!

I came across her… sentinel on a country lane… green mottled skin slowly rusting to a different hue.  I was conflicted in my feelings toward her.  First surprise, then awe at her beauty.  But so many questions.  Whose? Was she afraid, tucked away in the woods beneath a blanket of leaves?  She looked so forlorn in her abandoned state… yet, somehow majestic in her loneliness.  I was in love.  I wanted to paint her.

I would always take a moment to visit.

Then today… GoneWhisked away by an alien starship, the ground dusted for prints and wiped clean.


It’s Friday, and time for 100-word Flash #FridayFictioneers… 

Flash Fiction over at Madison Woods
When I saw Madison’s photo, I knew exactly what I was going to write about, except I didn’t know how I was going to do it.  After all, this is supposed to be fiction, and I had been kind of cheating lately with the memoir thing.  I think this may be a combo.

I was on Kanaka Bay Road one day (and no… this Island isn’t Hawaiian) and came across this old truck, parked next to the road.  It was beautiful, sitting in the shade, and I thought it would be a great subject to paint.  I love paintings of old abandoned things.  My friend Matt, had painted one recently and I thought he would be the perfect guy to do the job.  He may have been in his Hay Bale Period by then, because I begged him to do it and he wouldn’t budge.  But in his defense, he really would rather do boats, and he is very good.  Next, I begged my friend Jill, but she was more into crows and nature.  I tried to explain that there were trees and things, but to no avail.  Lately she is doing landscapes and has just done a rooster that I think is wonderful.

This begging went on for years with those two.

San Juan Island is blessed with many fine artists, and one of my favorites is famous for her dog paintings.  I should have asked her, but Jaime has moved on to bigger animals now and would most likely not be too interested in my truck.  I might have been able to con her daughter, Jennifer, into doing it… she did a tractor design on one of her County Fair T-Shirts one year… wearable works of art.

I, of course, am far too insecure to try to actually draw or paint the truck myself, although I fully intend to hand tint a black and white photo I made.  I once took a course in hand tinting B&W’s, from Dianne Poinski in Sacramento.

I was walking through the Sacramento Airport a few years ago, and was stopped in my tracks, just like with the truck, by a photo of The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.  That building is another obsession of mine.   It was part of a display of Dianne’s works.  I copied the info, and ended up purchasing a hand tinted photo… it is one of my proudest possessions, right up there with the sketch Christopher Young did for me, of Madame X (another passion), at the Met in NYC.  And a favorite photo of the State Street Subway Entrance, that I had used so many times in Chicago, taken and printed by Jamie Powell Sheppard.  So, I guess I could have done the truck, and still will someday.  When I took the course, Dianne gave us prints of her photos, on special paper, to learn on.  She is a pretty good teacher, because I thought one of my efforts came out pretty well, and I love the photo.

Two days ago, I went back out to Kanaka Bay.  I had not been on that road for about six months, and was looking forward to seeing the truck again.  But, it was gone.  I wasn’t sure I had the right place, but it had to be, since the old fence with the weathered ‘No Trespassing’ sign was there.  There was not a trace of the truck to be found.  I was amazed and a bit disjointed to have lost an old friend.  Perhaps someone is restoring her beauty somewhere… and I will get to visit again.



Thought I’d share this with the Moonshiners this week.  One of my first tries to combine a 100 word flash fiction story with a photo essay.  I had been in Friday Fictioneers less than a month, and had only written one fiction piece for Quill Shiv.  Actually, this is more of a vignette or memoir piece, what would you call it.  But, this was the first time I expanded to write some kind of essay afterwards.  Tune in next week to see what happens to the truck.


Thanks Natalie for keeping the lights on at the Still.

30 responses

  1. Loved both your stories. 🙂 I hope the aliens return the truck soon, so that you can paint it.

  2. Once again, awesome. Makes me miss you.

  3. I would have been sad as well. I LOVE the beauties of the past. Can’t seem to get enough of them. The picture stopped me in my tracks when your blog loaded. Had I seen something like that on the side of the road I would have wanted to pull over and snap a few pictures.

    I recognized the picture from Madison Woods flash fiction as well. Love your story. Nice little twist at the end. I didn’t expect that. Thank you for sharing the story behind the story. 🙂

  4. Two really great stories! Awesome job on this.

  5. I can’t help but wonder what happened to the truck. It saddens me that it disappeared without a trace.

    My story: http://authorbrandonscott.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/sins-of-a-father/

  6. Wistful … what happens when we don’t follow our instincts, or procrastinate in doing so. It’s nice to have aliens to blame it on. Where they take all that stuff might make for an interesting tale in and of itself.

  7. If the truck was taken by aliens, do you suppose it was hauled off to junkyard heaven? Here’s mine: http://www.triplemoonstar.blogspot.com

  8. I also thought of it as a sentinel. Your story had that unexpected twist at the end. I enjoyed it.

    Mine is here: http://erinleary.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/flash-fiction-friday/

  9. A flash that conveys both the past and the future in the one piece. Nice one, and a different take on the prompt, enjoyed it. Loved the photo …


  10. I love the old trucks — they had character. Wonderful story prompted by the picture and your own personal experience. Nicely done. I look forward to your posts–they are touched with delightful nostalgia.

    Mine: http://www.vlgregory-circa1800.vpweb.com/blog.html

  11. She was the alien scout ship, camouflaged for her mission and perfectly so.

    I enjoyed both of your stories and yes, part of me wonders where the truck went. No tracks leading out of there?




  12. I really enjoyed this, the bit about falling in love (men and their cars!) and the mystery of its disappearance. I find your memoire part to be interesting too, adds a nice background to this.

  13. Nice Job Ted, I hope your having a great weekend ♥

  14. Where did it go? How could it leave without a mark? Great tale, Ted. I enjoyed the path you led us on and then the twist at the end. What? Gone? 🙂

    Thanks for commenting on mine. 🙂


  15. This was absolutely wonderful. Love the drawn correlations.

    Here’s mine: http://teschoenborn.com/2012/03/30/friday-fictioneer-4/

  16. Ted I really enjoyed this write up. Many times I have seen old cars, trains, planes, etc. and I think to myself, if only they could talk, what wonderful stories we might hear. It is sad to see these old relics abandoned, as once they were new and their owners beamed with pride.

  17. Intriguing! Was the truck really taken by aliens? Was the truck itself the alien vessel? Was it just towed away and the area cleaned to remove all traces of the truck’s existence?
    I like it. Markedly different from the other entries I’ve read.


  18. great photos ted
    i really think earl scheib came by saw the same truck, felt the same passion to paint it and did it for nothing, he waived his usual (last i heard) price of $199
    txs for sharing
    double m

  19. Love “green mottled skin” – very evocative imagery in here!

  20. Nice stories! I love the comparison of the truck to a woman although she would be a little different than the usual with her green mottled skin….

  21. Wow, did not see that one coming! Great job!

  22. I love this story, and your commentary that followed. I can see where it would be a huge disappointment. I agree with some of your other comments – I didn’t expect that ending!

  23. This flash fiction was so much fun to read. This sort of thing usually happens to artists who want to paint a portrait of a woman. See…stare…poof!

    Great job!


    This is my revision of last week’s Fictioneers’ Flash

  24. Loved hearing the rest of your story, Ted. I must have read this one as an email when you posted your blog because I was surprised I hadn’t already commented on it. Loved it the first time I read it too.

    1. Here’s THE REST OF THE STORY… As Paul Harvey would say… https://tedstrutz.com/2012/04/04/844/

      Thanks Madison… looking forward to this week’s photo…

  25. Love this story Ted…I have good photos of that truck and I am working up to painting it…thanks for sharing my rooster painting…and I love the painting of the truck that you did post….I think R has painted this truck many times…..I hope you get going on your painted photographs….that is a cool thing…

  26. I hope someone restored it. Like you, I’m a sucker for abandoned things. Maybe it’s because they inspire us to tell their stories.

    1. So true, Suzanne. When you see things like that, you think ‘what stories it could tell’, and immediately imagining them.

      My story of what happened to the truck is coming next week.

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