Sunday, July 14, 2013

Prompt: Walking on an empty highway…where did you come from? Where are you going?

Michael walked down the dusty road, shifting his pack from left shoulder to right whenever it started to feel uncomfortable. Which was more and more often the farther he went. He’d thought there would be plenty of traffic, someone to pick him up for at least part of his journey. But he hadn’t seen a car in at least 45 minutes, and he wanted nothing more than to lay his pack down, rest his head on it and close his eyes. Certain death. He had to keep moving.

Away from something, or closer to something else? It no longer mattered. Moving was what kept him alive. His memory was fading around the edges, closing in until this road was all that remained. What if no cars came? The sun blazed in the blue, cloudless sky, and he began to think he might be the last person living. He shifted the pack again and wiped his brow. That couldn’t be right, could it? He furrowed his brows in thought as he walked on. Could it?

Dust rose on the horizon. A car, heading in the other direction. He couldn’t go back. Panic tightened his chest. He couldn’t be seen. He’d been counting his steps, praying to a god he had no faith in for a car to appear, and now he was sure it only meant disaster. He scrambled off the road, looking for any shelter, any place to hide. The dust trail wound closer.

There, a washed out gully. He jumped down and crouched low, hoping no one had seen him. They’d drive on, leaving him safe. Alone. He cocked his head, listening. The car engine roared closer, closer. Slowed, and slowed. Idling along the road. Looking for him? He closed his eyes. Please don’t stop. Please don’t get out. Please don’t make me—

The engine roared again and sped away. Michael blew out a breath and dropped his head in relief. Relief to be left alone again on this deserted stretch of road. Suddenly he jumped to his feet. Wait! Come back! He raced to the edge of the road, but the car was already lost from sight.

Michael shook his head in resignation and shuffled the backpack to his other shoulder. He looked after the car one more time, then turned and continued in the direction he’s been heading. He couldn’t go back, anyway.

Dogs in house
Charley, Oliver, Pippin (at writers retreat)

Radio Paradise

Time writing:
20 minutes

July word count:

1 comment:

  1. I'm trying to convey *Michael's* sense of confusion. Is it just confusing for the reader? Maybe not enough story yet to tell...