DizzyDragon.com - A small ripple in a big ocean
18 years online. 1999-2017.

Short Stories

This site hosted at: Terrapin Domains

Logo courtesy of: Hardline Graphics

Short Story Collection

Don Roble — Amazon

Don Roble — Barnes&Noble

Don Roble —Apple




The Orange Blossom Special Doesn’t Run Here Anymore, Mosh
(Another story based on the Appalachia books)


Mosh Henry was sitting on the trestle feeling blue and muttering to himself. Someone had called the Sheriff’s office. Joe Bob was the first to respond. When Mosh saw this he started to laugh before realizing he was feeling blue. He decided to ignore Joe Bob. He knew the Sheriff would eventually come out. A suicide was too uncommon for the Sheriff to miss. Mosh didn’t want anyone less to talk him out of it. He had his pride.

“Mosh, I know ya can hear me,” Joe Bob yelled up. Mosh pretended not to hear him.

“Mosh Henry! You come down from there right now! Don’t make me come up there!” This was Mother Mary yelling. She didn’t care much what Mosh did as long as it didn’t make her son, the Sheriff, look bad. Mosh all scattered on the road would do that. Mother Mary was very protective of her son.

“Don’t you be coming up here. I aim to let the Orange Blossom Special run me over. It’d be quick and I’d never know I was dead. Leave me be.”

Mother Mary yelled up,” Mosh, you’re a plain fool. The Orange Blossom Special is a song. They ain’t been no train using this trestle for thirty years. Ya notice they ain’t no tracks leadin’ to the trestle?”

Mosh hadn’t noticed. Now he felt foolish. He looked down at the gathering crowd. He sure wasn’t going to jump. To Hell with these dumbasses. He wasn’t up here to entertain them. He wasn’t going to jump and make amess on the road like a run-over rabbit. Mosh was afraid of heights as it was and it had taken all his nerve to come up here. Now what?

The Reverend Mr. Black arrived at the scene. One of his flock had called him and told him about it. The Reverend Mr. Black was hesitant since Mosh Henry wasn’t a member of his church and was probably going to Hell anyway. On the other hand, it would look bad if he didn’t make an appearance. He yelled up to Mosh. “Mosh Henry, if you jump off that trestle you’re going to Hell. The Good Lord doesn’t like it when you decide it’s time to go home to Jesus. No, sir, he doesn’t like it at all.”

Mosh decided to ignore Rev. Mr. Black. He wasn’t his preacher and how would he know whether Jesus let’s a man decide to go on his own choosing. He was going to wait for the Sheriff no matter what. He’d let the Sheriff get him down after some talking. Maybe he’d make the Sheriff come up and get him to come down. That would depend on the Sheriff’s mood. Mosh hoped Mother Mary didn’t come up after him. There was as good a chance as not of her tossing him over the edge by accident or not.She was a mean one,that Mother Mary.

This was all about some bad shine he sold. There were a few people who became ill from it. A couple of people went blind for a few days. Moshe found out when he went to Pokey Harris’ place.

“Mosh, you sold me a bad load of booze. You know I mix it in all my other stuff. A little more profit for me. All of a sudden folk’s are gettin’ sick. A couple of them went blind and are just now getting back to seeing. I want a refund.”

Refund? Moshe wasn’t about to do that.

“Moshe, the Crawford boys are really upset. They went to Doc Soames and asked if they were ever going to get their sight back. You want to know what that old quack told them? ‘We’ll have to wait and see.’ They didn’t laugh.”

Suddenly Moshe was lifted off the floor. Teech Boom had grabbed him by the throat and was holding him up in the air. Moshe couldn’t breath. Teech didn’t say a word. He only held Moshe up, letting him suffocate.

“Tech, put Moshe down.”

Teech glanced over to the side. He was still not seeing too well yet but he recognized the voice. It was stupid Earl.

“Earl, ya need to be mindin’ yer own business. This don’t concern you.”

“Teech, let Mosh down.”

That wasn’t Earl. That was Bubba. He was the one man Teech was afraid of. Bubba wasn’t easy to anger but he didn’t know when to quit in a fight.

“Teech, the shine may a made ya a bit blind for a while but did it make ya stupid too?”

No, it didn’t. He let Moshe down. As soon as Moshe got his wind he ran out.

The Sheriff pulled up. He got out and looked up at Moshe Henry standing on the trestle. The Sheriff didn’t like any kind of of trouble in Wabash County. He didn’t mind the Crawford boys getting a couple of days of free shelter and food when they were really down and out. He didn’t want much more than that. Now, old Moshe is fooling around on the trestle.

He went over to Mother Mary and said, “Mom, what’s that old coot doing up there and why am I here?”

“You’re here cause I called the station an’ told ‘em to get ya out here. Moshe went up there an’ said he was goin’ to get himself run over by the Orange Blossom Special.”

“Mom, that’s a song.There hasn’t been a train running here since I was a kid. Moshe know it.”

“Well, maybe he does and maybe he don’t. He now says he’s goin’ to jump from the trestle. I don’t particularly believe it ‘cause I know for a fact he’s afraid a heights.”

Just then, Deputy Joe Bob opened the trunk of his car.. He pulled a blanket from the squad car and yelled for the Crawford boys to come with him. He and the boys went underneath the trestle and opened the blanket up.

The Sheriff went over to them. He had an idea what was up and couldn’t help going over to Joe Bob. Joe Bob had one corner up and the Crawford boys were holding the other corners. The Sheriff looked them and said, “Joe Bob, I don’t always think of you as quick but I don’t think you’re stupid. What in tarnation are you doing?”

“Well, we was thinkin’ that if Moshe jumps or even falls we might be a help.”

“Joe Bob, whether he jumps or falls won’t matter. You might get this blanket under him but he’ll be traveling so fast he’ll go right on through.”

“Sheriff, we thought a that. We was thinkin’ we’d break his fall some. Then maybe we could catch ‘im on the bounce.”

The Sheriff walked away from that. He looked up again at Moshe and yelled, “Moshe Henry, get your butt on down here. You know there ain’t no train coming. You just want attention. Get down here or I’ll have to climb up this hillside and then give you some attention.”

Moshe yelled down,”You sound a lot like yer threatin’ me, Sheriff.”

“Moshe, I don’t threaten, I do. Okay, I’m coming up.”

The hill wasn’t that high. It was man-made for the trestle. Since no one was supposed to be climbing it the railroad made it very steep. This is what the Sheriff was trying to avoid. As he climbed up he became angrier and angrier. He had better things to do than fool with Moshe Henry. He got to the top breathing hard and tired.

“Listen up here, Mosh. I ain’t puttin’ up with your bullshit. Either you walk down right now or I’m going to throw you off this trestle.”

“You can’t do that. Yer the law,” Mosh told him.

“Yea, Mosh. I get to decide what a crime is. Now, like I said, ‘walk down or get thrown down.’ Mosh, I like your shine but you can be replaced.”

Mosh started walking and falling down the trestle and thinking , ‘I’m gonna piss in his next bottle.’

“Hey, Mosh, don’t even think of pissing in my next delivery. I can sniff piss out pretty easily. If I do, I’ll pour half of it down your throat and pump the rest up your ass.”


My Supposed Good Health Was A Lie Right From The Start
(Another story based on the Appalachia books)


My Supposed Good Health Was A Lie Right From The Start

I’ve been living under the illusion that health and injury were one and the same. Now, living under an illusion is nothing unusual for me. What’s unusual is figuring out that I’m doing it. I’m a good one to lie to myself. If you can’t lie well to yourself you can’t lie well to others. Memorize that. Not that I ever do that. I have missed very little work in my lifetime. Well, of course my lifetime. I have suffered very few injuries so I thought I was healthy as a horse.

Granted, I once had a job that put my fingers a quarter-inch from a sanding belt going fourteen- hundred RPM’s. It was very touchy at best. As matter of fact, touching would cut a finger off. I never did that but I was on a first name basis with the ER nurses. I used to tell the new interns how to stitch my fingers.

“Hey, I’m a doctor.”

“Umm, Doctor, he does know more about stitching than you do. I’m surprised he doesn’t do his own. Probably comes here to take a break from work.”

I always said I was as healthy as a horse. Well, that can’t be true. For openers, I have no way of knowing if a horse is healthy. I’m not a vet and I’m afraid of horses. A horse could be on its last legs and I wouldn’t know it until it fell on me. Then we’d both be unhealthy. The horse wouldn’t care since a horse only lays down to birth and die. If it fell on me, I’d be dead. See, I don’t birth.

I’ve been deaf in one ear since childhood. Also, I have been partially deaf in the other ear too. That has led to a whole range of problems. For instance, I didn’t know I was deaf until I was eight or nine. Prior to that I thought other people were stupid. Later I thought people were stupid for other reasons. I don’t always hear what you said as opposed to what I think you said. I have only 80 per cent word comprehension. That’s pretty bad although not always.

Yes, sometimes I’ve made huge mistakes in not hearing what you said but I’ve also gotten out of much trouble by pleading just that. Some people, like the missus, claim I hear what I want to hear. I deny that even when it’s true.

I kept getting ear infections. They’d go away or I’d get penicillin to cure it. I did that right until the day I lost my taste buds. Then the right side of my face started drooping. Uh, oh. Thespecialist saidthe infections had dug a tunnel from the ear canal to the skull. He needed to go in and fix it. Turns out, itwent through the skull and was on the brain membrane. He had to call in a brain specialist to help. People were told, stories came out and now people I know say I had to have brain surgery. They said it didn’t work.


I was born crossed-eyed. I’m talking one eye looking ahead and one looking at the other. I could see two bats and claim there were an entire flock or a herd of them or whatever they fly as. I actually did that once. I went screaming to my mother. She told me to go back out and don’t bother her unless they were vampire bats.

“Vampire bats? How would I know if they were vampire bats?”

“By the foam on their mouths.”

“How would I see that?”

“When they bite you.”

Mom was a real pip.

I had my gallbladder go bad. I was told by the doctor he needed to remove it. I thought, Do I need to have it removed? To Hell with his quota. He said it wouldn’t go away on its own. There were stones in the gall bladder trying to pass out and that was causing the pain. Sometimes they would get out and the pain would stop. Sometimes they would drop back in and the pain would stop. Either way, the pain stopped. He told me it was like being kicked in the crunchies. I had grave doubts about that.


Yea, well, be that as it may I wasn’t going to get cut when I didn’t have to. Well, the day came when I was in so much pain I couldn’t make my own decisions. That’s the story my wife tells me anyway.

The doctor came out and told my wife the gall bladder had become gangrenous and I was lucky to be alive. He said I needed adult supervision. She told him, “Yea? You try it.”

My wife’s a pip too.

Then there was a previously told heart surgery. You don’t want to hear a heart specialist say, “Uh, oh.” You don’t want to hear, ‘that’s it. I can’t go any farther.’ You really don’t want to hear, ‘I need to get a surgeon to do this.’ ”

Five blockages. A claim I had recently had a heart attack. Well, I did what was needed and,umm, I didn’t do my own surgery. A doctor did do that. I allowed it. I also paid for it.

I have sleep apnea and narcolepsy. I can sleep anytime. I don’t have it so much that I just doze off at any time. I can doze off at will. If I’m bored or if I’m not interested in what I;, not hearing. I’ve been in trouble a few times for that. Yet, at the same time, I have sleep apnea. The tests shows I stop breathing every 40 seconds. Then the brain wakes me up to take a breath ad nauseam. I have to use an air machine to stay asleep.

Maybe I’m the pip.

35 years ago I spent a fortune to get caps. I wanted to be a pretty boy.No sense in sayingotherwise. Everybody on the social network sees it. I liked to shine. Well, they’ve held up pretty good over the years.

I was sitting there eating a salami sandwich with my puppy. She’s good at not stealing from me. I took a bite of my sandwich and it didn’t feel right. I looked at the sandwich but it looked right, I also looked at some teeth. What!

My dog grabbed them and took off. I guess her reasoning was they weren’t food so she was allowed to take them. I chased her down the hall to the bedroom. She crawled under the bed. It’s something she can do but I can’t. I called her nicely; I called her harshly. I got stick to use when my wife came in.

“What do you think you’re going to do with that stick?”

“I’m going to get my teeth back from Sadie.”

“You’re going to what?”

“Teeth. Going to get my teeth. She stole them from me.”

“You’re teeth? That’s what you’re telling me?”

I thought about it. It did sound stupid. Uh! I grinned at her to show the missing teeth, er, caps. She then asked how the dog stole the teeth out of my mouth. What? I finally got it straightened out while she got the teeth back.

I went to the dentist. He knew why I was there but his assistant didn’t. She asked why I was so glum. I told her,”I’ve got my teeth in a bag. I’m not happy.”

I ended up with a three tooth plate. It’s a perfect match so I’m still a pretty boy. You can look it up.

I used to smoke. I smoked for 50 years. After a couple of years my pulmonary doctor asked if I’d like to try a new CT scan procedure to test for cancer very early. Hell, yes. Turns out I don’t even have a scar from all that smoking.

I went back for my med check. He asked if I'd like to be a part of a study and get another free scan. Free! Yes, count me in. I went across the hall to talk to the study specialist.

“This won’t cost you anything. You have to fill out this form and agree to allow us to use the info and so on. Oh, we need to take some blood samples from time to time. We’ll pay you 50 dollars each time.

So, here I am. I’m doing what I said I’d never do. I’d starve before I’d do this.

I’m selling my blood.

Book  Jack And The Giant Private Eyes

Book  It Was The Night Before Christmas And Down The Hall:


Poems And Rhymes Of Our Times
...by Brian Cecil and Megan Cassavoy


 That Child Within

The Rob Saga
The Rob Saga is available as an ebook and in paperback.. It is available at Createspace and Amazon.

There are people living on the edge in what is called Appalachia. They're called ridgerunners, rednecks, hillbillies and backwoods mountaineers. No one thinks of them very often. They don't earn much to society's standards.They stay where they are because they love the area. They are hard workers when they have work and self-sufficient to an extent not known to "outsiders." They are also very funny; they have a great sense of humor about themselves.

They are the salt of the earth and the backbone of America. Their stories are America's stories. These are the stories Of Appalachia.

Book is available as an e-book or in paperback.
See a preview.

Appalachia Again

More stories of the people of Appalachia.

More of Joe Bob, Bubba and Earl, Mosh Henry and all of the rest of the good folks in Wabash County.

Book is available as an e-book or in paperback.

See a preview.

Funny Stories Don Roble
Funny Stories
See a preview.

Funny Stuff To Read OnThe Commuter Bus, Train, Plane, HOV Lane.- paperback

Funny Stuff To Read OnThe Commuter Bus, Train, Plane, HOV Lane.



copyright© Don Roble 1999-2017
All material on this site protected by copyrights.
All rights reserved to the various owners.