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Thursday, September 15, 2011

#FridayFlash: On the Georgia Road 3

If you've missed others in this irregular series:

On the Georgia Road 1
On the Georgia Road 2

“Lanier Fest runs Friday through Tuesday. If you’re short on gas — and aren’t we all? — MARTA is running shuttles from the Doraville station. The shuttles leave at 9 a.m. and noon, and return to Doraville at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. If you’re staying overnight, each passenger is allowed a bag as long as it fits in your lap or at your feet. Call the MARTA hotline, shown at the bottom of your screen, for further details or last-minute schedule changes.

“While Lake Lanier will be busy this weekend, many other Georgia lakes are all but becalmed, deep in Unincorporated territory. In today’s segment of ‘On the Georgia Road,’ Sean McKinzie visits Lake Arrowhead in Cherokee County. Sean?”

Cut to: Sean McKinzie, exterior, freeway shoulder. Unincorporated Area sign in background. “Hi Marcia. Located just a few miles north of Canton, Lake Arrowhead was one of Georgia’s most scenic planned communities. Many homeowners commuted to Marietta or even Atlanta, or had a second home and spent weekends on the golf course. That all changed with the ESPA in 2015, when all of Cherokee County was designated an Unincorporated Area. The homes are still there, and some are still occupied. We went ‘On the Georgia Road’ to learn more.”

Cut to: interviewee, interior. Title: “Andrew Kelly / Lake Arrowhead Homeowner” “It’s a really beautiful house. I couldn’t afford the commute, but I think one of my neighbors was going to try sticking it out. I’ve got a housesitter watching the place, and I keep thinking I’m gonna take a long weekend up there before summer runs out. My wife’s kind of afraid to go there, though. She thinks we’ll get shot the minute we cross the county line or something.”

Cut to: Sean, interior, moving vehicle. “While I-575 is technically incorporated, the Army leaves spur highways to local enforcement. The State Patrol took on the responsibility, and is giving us an escort to the old Riverstone retail district. From there, a Cherokee County deputy will take us to Lake Arrowhead.”

Cut to: deputy, exterior, abandoned retail strip in background. Title: “Roy Hart, Deputy” “Gettin’ cut off like this hasn’t been easy, but it ain’t all bad. It’s mostly peaceful here, kinda like the old days. People settle their differences among themselves, and they don’t get us involved. We got a task force down in Woodstock, keepin’ meth labs busted up and all; but up here it’s not too bad.”

Cut to: exterior shot, edge of college campus, shot from moving car. “This is what used to be Reinhardt University’s main campus, in the heart of Waleska. We took this footage for our business anchor, Reinhardt alumnus Isaac White, but we learned some interesting facts about the campus that we’ll cover in another segment. The south entrance to Lake Arrowhead is just a few miles past the campus.”

Cut to: exterior, guardhouse. “Lake Arrowhead was always a gated community, but now the gate security is armed. Fortunately, we were expected. Once inside, we saw bicycles and foot traffic, and only two other cars along the way.”

Cut to: exterior, lake house. “This is Andrew Kelly’s lake house. Mr. Kelly hired a local businessman, Jackie Barnes, to keep his house looked after and maintained. ‘J.B.,’ as his friends know him, watches — and lives — at both this house and the house next door.”

Cut to: exterior, housesitter, lakeshore. Kids splashing in the water, adults grilling or fishing on the shore or from rowboats. Title: “Jackie Barnes, Housesitter” “There’s been a few incidents, but nothin’ we can’t handle ourselves.” Cut to: hand patting holster, then back to J.B. “This ain’t some kind of impregnable fortress. The security folks do a good job, but they can’t catch every single fool who slips in cross-country. Gettin’ in is the easy part. The question is, when you come out, are you goin’ to jail or the cemetery?

“Yeah, the owners keep sayin’ they’re gonna come up and stay a few days or even a week, but we ain’t seen ‘em yet. If one ever does come up, we’ll just stay in the other house until they leave. I don’t think we’ll ever see both of ‘em up here at the same time though. But if it happens? Plenty of houses in here that ain’t bein’ looked after, you know. We’ll check ‘em out for free.

“A couple of the neighbors bring groceries when they go out. We eat lotsa fish too. Squirrels, groundhogs, rabbits if we trap ‘em. The mission brings canned goods, sometimes a little produce, out to the gate for people in here sometimes too. The golf course is shut down, so some of us have gardens on the fairways.”

Cut to: exterior, lake house. Solar panels and satellite dish on roof. Sean: “Mr. Kelly’s neighbor, Vikram Patel, is one of several homeowners who have succeeded in staying. Mr. Patel works for Marietta-based Trileo Communications as an engineer.”

Cut to: exterior, Indian interviewee. Title: “Vikram Patel / Homeowner” “It is very peaceful out here. I think I have heard a powerboat maybe… two, maybe three times all summer. Very quiet. I work all day, check in maybe two, three times. On Fridays, I drive to Marietta to my office. Sonali buys our groceries, and anything else we need, while I work. It is a very good arrangement. We get a large tax break for living out here, too.

“My sister conducts a home school for our children and some of the housesitters’ children. That works well, the children are in a good environment and nobody has to worry about gas.”

Cut to: exterior, Sean, close-up. “Like anywhere else in America, resourceful businesspeople are always ready to satisfy a need. Whether it’s property protection or simply transportation or food distribution — or even food procurement — commerce goes on, even in unincorporated areas.” Camera pulls back, showing Sean in a boat with a fisherman holding up a fish. “On the Georgia Road, I’m Sean McKinzie.”


  1. This really felt like I was watching and listening to a documentary. Hey it just shows how resourceful business can be, where there's a will there's a way!


  2. It's a fun style, to also freely jump around locales and time lines. I wondered from the opening paragraph if this wasn't set in an established dystopia of yours. I was right, right?

  3. Morning!

    Helen, there's always someone ready to make a buck off someone else's trouble. :D

    John, it's similar to FAR Future, but not the same universe. This is really more of a counter to Vacationlanders, in which entire states get thrown out of the Union. I thought there were a few things about it that made it *too* unrealistic, but the overall idea was too good to ignore.

  4. I enjoy your Georgia Road stuff! I was also wondering if this isn't based on your WiP - the world feels so well-established.

  5. Thanks, Sonia. I've had a lot of practice writing peak oil fiction, so I guess it just comes natural. I'm trying to make each one of these stand alone, as I have no specific plot or arc I'm following.

  6. Hay, Far. Gotta go back and start from the from the first one. Looking forward to reading all 3. Vacation really put me behind.

  7. Every time I read these, I think that maybe their situation isn't as bad as all that. They all seem to enjoy the peace.

  8. You're actually making me look forward to the time when we run out of oil!

  9. Great experiment with form and style, able to shift through POV with ease. A most realistic future.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  10. Morning!

    Boran, hope you enjoy them. Vacation does tend to eat into Internet time, huh? ;-)

    Icy, it's TV news… on this side of the pond, that means it's a little "fluffy."

    Michael, sometimes I wish it would just happen so we could get it over with!

    Thanks, Adam. The "script" style does help with the POV shifts.


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