Humor & Comedy

Crooked Creek: A Comedy about Writer's Block and a Neurotic Home Owners Association


This book will launch on Dec 5, 2020. Currently, only those with the link can see it. 🔒

Billy's first novel launched him into literary stardom. Now all he has to do is write a second book. His decision to move back to his home town might not have been in his best interest. His Neurotic home owner's association has different plans to manipulate and distract him.
This novella was created to make you laugh. It is sardonic and ironic with a dry sense of humor. If you have ever been part of a Home Owner's Association than you know what I am talking about. The length of this novella was done on purpose so you could enjoy so many laughs by the pool, beach, or playground and then move on with your busy life. The Jungian Analytical themes are hidden deep within the story in able to let its simplicity shine. This is the new Second Edition that has been professionally edited.

Writer's Block

Everyone’s a writer. Tell anyone that you are and see the reactions.

The short story they puked onto the page in sixth grade about their

braces being too tight. The great idea for the cliché Southern

Romance novel desperately screaming out how they are unsatisfied

with their lover. Writing is so romantic until you sit down in front of

the keyboard and try to bang something out. If I could slit my wrists

and let it pour onto the page, I would. I’d make the sacrifice.

You write a great one, and people want more. The pressure

pounded my head like a bad hippy drum circle. The ones where

they’re so stoned they don’t know their rhythm stinks worse than

their patchouli. I didn’t feel like a beatnik hippy artist after letting

one manuscript pour through me like an endless fountain tapped

into the collective unconscious. The stories and feelings of all those

ancestors of my lineage that came before me driving the creative

forces. The great deeds they did that lived on within me.

I felt like a putz that needed a miracle. Maybe I was the one that

made the drum circle sound like garbage.

As I looked out the window of my condo at Crooked Creek in

Greenville, South Carolina, my wobbly writer’s table danced back

and forth. I popped two aspirin.

The wretched view from my desk out the window was some

horrific yellow police tape. It ran all over the common area. The

bright yellow tape circled around trees and over railings. It zigged

and zagged everywhere. It looked like there had been a triple

homicide or a mass shooting.

The police were not involved. It was worse. The HOA hung it with

pleasure about a month ago to highlight the major infraction, the

cardinal sin I made when I moved into this place. I planted English

boxwoods and impatiens without the HOA approval. It was their

crime scene.

Today the Condo manager and some other concerned citizens were

on the scene. They had the maintenance man digging up the plants

and throwing them onto the cracked concrete. One of the old fogies

thought he was the lead detective of the crime unit as he pointed at

my Condo and lowered his cheap sunglasses. He knew it was me

that planted those English boxwoods disrupting the peace. It was me

that killed those plants when I foolishly went against the


The bodies of the impatiens and boxwoods splattered

on the hard concrete as they were heaved from the ground. The

maintenance man seemed to be enjoying it. A li􀄴le too much. He

jabbed the shovel into the ground after the death of another

boxwood. His wiry body leaned against the shovel in the hot, humid

sun, savoring the moment. He pulled a pack of Kool menthols from

his hip pocket and lit one with matches. His afterglow shined for all

to witness as he mumbled about the tenets thinking they owned the

common areas.

I popped the cork off of some inexpensive table wine. It made me

feel better that it was imported from Tuscany. I found that the cheap

stuff from the Chianti region tasted good if it was aged in concrete

vats. I don’t drink on the job, but I knew those bozos outside were

eventually going to make it over here once they finished flexing the

robust muscles of the Crooked Creek HOA. They couldn’t let it go.

I chugged the wine and decided to hit the problem with a good

confrontation. I slipped out the screen door on the side of my condo.

I went around the building and came up behind them to add some

drama. Maybe throw them off guard.

“What time is the lynching?” I asked, winking at the maintenance

man so as not to offend him. It didn’t work. He gave me the I’ll-kill-you


“Billy, you can’t just move in here and plant what you want.” Mrs.

Smith said. I fought with her before moving my furniture in on a

Sunday. I lost. I ended up sleeping in the back of the U-Haul truck as

I didn't have a padlock, and all the stores were closed. I am sure

some old codger rated me out that day. Probably the same one that

rated me out on the plants. It was impossible to pick out the narc as

they all ran around, giving each other cookies and muffins.

“Can I have Jewish guests visit me? My agent is from New York

City. Does this Nazi regime allow it?” I asked.

“You have an agent?” Mrs. Smith asked.

“He ain't no supermodel. I don't know why he would need an

agent.” The maintenance man said and then flashed his gold teeth.

“I was hoping we might get this police tape cleaned up. It’s a

terrible view from my writing desk,” I said. “I don’t write crime


“I had the best detective idea for a novel when I lived in New York

City,” Mrs. Smith started. “I always wanted to write it down.”

Mention you are a writer to anyone. You’ll see. It’s never what you

have written. They never ask about the process or the characters.

Nope, it just goes into some egotistical rant about how they are

secretly a writer on the edge of greatness if they just sat down and


“My agent is hounding me for another book. Can you write it and

let me put my name on it? I’m not beyond a ghostwriter at this

point.” I said.

“Will you look at my writing if I start putting something down?”

She asked.

The English boxwoods and impatiens wilted on the ground. This

lady had some nerves. As she killed my carefully planned out

English garden, she asked for constructive criticism on her novel that

was only sentences away from the toast of New York City.

“Mrs. Smith, it would be my pleasure.” I always said yes as that

put it back onto the person to sit down and actually write it, which

they rarely ever did. That would require the person to break through

the romance into the art.

“I hate to interrupt this book club meeting,” The plant detective

called out.

“This is Tony Platenum,” Mrs. Smith said. “He is the head of the


“Hi Tony, I’m Billy. Top-notch job here. You know if you dig them

up on a cloudy, rainy day, the transplant might have a be􀄴er success

rate.” I said to the plant detective.

“These are going in the dumpster,” Tony said. “You can’t plant

without our permission. We’re going to have to add a covenant to

the rules to stop people from doing this type of thing.”

“The outrage,” I said. “Do people do this a lot? Beautify the

complex for free? Wait, I get it; what if they put out some tacky

plants. God forbid.”

“We take the rules very seriously,” Tony said.

“Tony is very involved in Crooked Creek.” Mrs. Smith said.

“You live here, Tony?” I asked.

“No, I live over in the Chanticleer Country Club,” Tony said.

“You are the head of the board, and you don’t live here?” I asked.

“No, he doesn’t live here,” Mrs. Smith said.

“What is your association with the Condos?” I asked.

“I work with the older widows here,” Tony said. “I purchase the

condos from them, and I clean them up and sell them. It gives them

peace of mind.”

“He is a great asset to the community,” Mrs. Smith said. The

maintenance man nodded his head in agreement.

“Wow, you're something else,” I said.

“Mr. Platenum has been head of the HOA here for fifteen years,”

Mrs. Smith bragged.

“Mrs. Smith, do you live here?” I asked.

“Lord, no, I live over by the Greenville Country Club,” Mrs. Smith

said. “I run things for the real estate company that manages the

complex. I run a cleaning service here on-site too. If you ever need a

maid service.”

“You two have quite the operation running here.” I couldn’t

believe these people.

To top it off, the maintenance man was over the formalities of using

a shovel. He looked like he was in the barnyard wringing chicken necks

as he pulled out the boxwoods and tossed them to their deaths. They

fried in the southern heat.

I find an ability within myself to sit with two opposing thoughts. In

this situation, the first thought was to punch Tony square in the

mouth and then bitch slap Mrs. Smith into another zip code. The

other was to run off back to my condo in defeat. Nowadays, I just

stood there and sat with any dribble coming out of someone. The

garbage just dumped out of their mouths. They were getting bored

with me as they were playing the Tyrant King and Queen, and I

refused to play the feeble subject.

“I’ll get those pages for you to review,” Mrs. Smith said.

“I can’t wait,” I said.

“We’re understood. No more plants,” Tony said.

“I will keep my philosophical enquires into the sublime and

beautiful to myself,” I said. They shook their heads and walked off. I

don’t think anyone had sat with their abuse and given it back in a

subtle way before.

“What did you write about in your book?” The maintenance man

asked. He was the only one there after the two tyrants left. It was

surprising to hear someone actually ask about writing.

“I wrote a coming of age story about the death of textiles and

industrialization in the South,” I said.

“Sounds deep.” He spat on the concrete.

“People liked it, but I blew it all away in New York City,” I said.

“The money and the traction to publish another quickly.”

“I can’t read words in books. Never could, but I can read people

real good. Mister, when you get that second book out of you,” he

said. “If you dumb enough to piss away all that money again. Call

me. I always wanted to bite the Big Apple.”

“I think those days are over. I’m going to save my money and keep

writing after this next book,” I said.

“Oh, Billy. Don’t sell yourself short,” he said. “I think you are a

complete dumb ass and could blow through your money again.” He

pulled out a boxwood with his hand and threw it at me.

“Jesus,” I said. What a psychopath.

“You and your damn sob story making my job harder,” he said,

“Don’t you dare do anything without your Momma or Daddy’s

permission here.”

I just stood there. He was deep on a really messed up frequency.

He could read people and then act out on it.

“Okay,” I said.

“Seriously, Billy run along,” he said, “You are starting to creep me

out watching me bend over to pull these boxwoods out the ground.

With them being so formal and sophisticated and all.”

“I'll just go and watch you from my window; that seems more

appropriate now,” I said.

“That ain’t creepy neither,” The maintenance man said. “Write

your damn book and get on down the road. Dumbass."

About the author

I love sardonic and ironic humor especially mixing in Jungian Analytical Concepts into the writing in a subtle way. It makes me laugh when I am writing it. I hope it makes you laugh also. I love reviews. Any ones, good or bad. They are so great to read. It helps so much. view profile

Published on September 16, 2020

30000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Humor & Comedy

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