Beyond Cuckoo

Golf on the Lost Coast – Shelter Cove

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A tidbit of flash fiction to accompany my photos.

“How late can I order the Fish and Chips?”

“Four-thirty, but I’d check with Scott in the bar before you get settled. It’s a week night but they could run out,” answered Carla, the campground hostess, as she handed back my credit card. “I put you in spot 12 next to the Tim. He’s real quiet, you’ll hardly notice him.”

“Okay, thanks,” I said shoving the card into my wallet and headed out along the weathered deck to the café next-door. Once inside, I checked out the tourist paraphernalia—t-shirts, jackets, mugs—the usual—all inscribed with, ‘I Survived the Road to Shelter Cove’. I could still smell the heated brake shoes of the RV as we zig-zagged down the mountain-side.

“What can I get for ya?” A voice called out from a back room.

“I’m gonna need some fish and chips around 4:30. Is that too late?” I shouted back at the door.

“Better make it 4:15. Are you staying in the campground?”

“Yeah,” I said, still talking through an open door, to a hidden voice, behind a wall.

“Okay, I’ll save ya an order. What’s your name?”


“First name Kelly? Or last name?”

“First name.”

“Okay, see ya then, Kelly.”

Outside local fishermen were fueling up on the local beer and the same deep-fried fare I had ordered. The meal, from what I read in the local travelers’ guides, seemed to be famous in these parts. It would have to be for folks to brave the drive around switch-back curves and sudden drops with no guardrails. I ignored the smiles from the younger guys and slipped back into the driver’s seat of the RV. My destination–spot 12, sandwiched between a weathered Airstream trailer and what seemed to be an abandoned Casita-brand mini-trailer. Miscellaneous stuff, not quite junk, leaned against the Casita’s tow bar. I eyed the dilapidated golf club bag, filled with equally worn clubs, and then glanced across the gravel drive, at what could have once been called a golf course.

I retrieved my dinner order at the appointed time and leisurely munched away at probably the freshest, most delicious, battered cod and hand-cut french fries that I’ve had for some time. As I sipped beer the Casita’s door squeaked open and a tussled-haired twenty-something man spilled out followed by a well-fed beagle. He seemed to have a destination in mind when he grabbed for the golf bag. Across the way, a skinny man with scraggy beard had wheeled an equally dated golf bag up to the first hole and pulled out a driver club. As the first golfer and dog approached the second, the two men nodded and without a word the match began. There didn’t seem to be any rules involved and when balls went off-course they were retrieved, re-positioned and hit again. No one was keeping score. When the full five holes were played, the men shook hands and walked away in opposite directions. The beagle waited patiently for his master to follow him back to the trailer and the two went inside and shut the door. Today’s game was over.



About the Author:

Elaine Webster writes fiction, creative non-fiction, essays and poetry from her studio in Windsor, California—the heart of Sonoma County Wine County. “It’s easy to be creative surrounded by the beauty of Northern California. We have the best of everything—good wine, food, art, culture and sense of community.”
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  1. Julaina Kleist  January 13, 2018

    Elaine, I love how you fictionalized what I assume was a real event you observed? Happy travels.

    • Elaine Webster  January 13, 2018

      A real event? Definitely. You can’t make up this stuff. Makes me think of those early reality shows like “People Are Funny”. I’ve included photo proof. No fake news here.


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