February 2016

Alligator Whisperer

This was a fun creative writing prompt from Writer’s Digest. Let me know what you think!

You are an expert at capturing alligators—they call you “The Alligator Whisperer.” Your work has helped scientists gather extensive information on the life of alligators and you are hailed as a hero in the scientific community. Everything is going great until one day the alligators start hunting you. What do you do?

She ran as fast as she could. The earth betraying her every step, threatening to deliver her to their gaping jaws with each twist and turn.

The trees. I need to reach the trees.

Lungs bursting in the struggle to survive. Heart straining against her chest, leaping ahead and carving a path to safety. Sweat spraying from outstretched fingers with every stride. Droplets caught the sun and released it in a rapid fire pantomime of her life’s work. Gathering beneath her breasts, beading down her belly, and bursting from the dam forming rivulets down her legs. She was fairly certain it wasn’t just sweat weighing down her boots and she was not afraid to admit it.

So fast. How could they have turned so fast?

The rustling was getting closer, and she didn’t spare a glance back. She would make it or she wouldn’t.

There it is, three, two, one.

Leaping up she grasped the branch with her sweaty palm. Slipping almost instantly, she used her tenuous grasp to wrap her other arm, and then hook her leg around the lifeline. Clinging ferociously to the scaly branch while she gasped for air and begged her spasming muscles to grip just a little tighter. Bellowing in frustrated rage the beasts gathered beneath her. Their claws scratching at the tree, their jaws snapping with fearsome power. Catching her breath, she stared in awe at the milieu swarming beneath her.

How could this have happened? Where did I go wrong?

Nearly a decade of research and still she was ill prepared for this moment. “The Alligator Whisperer” once a self proclaimed title she trumpeted with pride, now felt like a funeral dirge years in the making. She was never the Whisperer, it was always them whispering, until now. Now they were the trumpeters.

Always so sure of herself, so confident she understood these primitive creatures. What did she know? She only knew she was running out of time. Her pride and bravado had finally done her in. She watched as they continued to multiply beneath her temporary haven. Their weight slowly forcing her tree to the point of no return. She had no weapon. She prided herself on never needing them. No weapon. No phone. No hope.

I’m a leader in my field. Crack. I’m accepting an award next week. Shudder. I have trophies. Snap.

Her weight and their rage brought the tree down quickly. Her screams went unheard.



Day One

My first day in my RV was physically taxing and only mildly productive. I originally wanted to stay in the empty lot beside my sister’s house, get everything organized, work on a few things like installing my composting toilet, and pay zero dollars. That did not go as planned.

As a newbie I did not realize that when you have a new or “new to you” RV you really need to be hooked up to everything in order to check out what works and what doesn’t. For instance, my fridge has a switch to run off either electric or gas. While I was unplugged I had it switched to gas power. For some reason it won’t work under gas power. However, it will while under electric power. Perhaps I just need to “jiggle” some wires and hit it with a hammer a few times?

The other incredibly important item I need to install is my composting toilet. I already ripped out my old one and left it in the garbage. That part was easy. Now the much more difficult project is installing mine. While space is not an issue, because I am driving a beast, proper ventilation and wiring the unit is an issue. For those who do not know the unit I purchased requires minimal power in order to run the internal fan. This keeps the decomposition process going smoothly without smelling.

Another annoying tidbit is when I went over to Lowe’s to get a cap for the water line it was too big. How in the world can I measure something with a measuring tape, purchase a cap in the corresponding size, and then it be too large? There must be a trade secret to measuring plumbing fixtures I am unaware of.

The final item is my windshield. I had the passenger side windshield replaced at the same Camping World where I purchased my unit. During the all day rain-a-thon a couple of days ago it started leaking. BAD. At least that item is under warranty, and there shouldn’t be an issue getting it resealed.

Well those are lessons learned on Day One, bring it Day Two.

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