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The Hitchhicker

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As I was walking down the sandy hot road I was stumbling upon myself to get to where I wanted to go, California. I always wanted to go to California and it beats the Las Vegas anytime. I didn't have a car but nothing would stop me from getting towards where I wanted to go. The sweat caused my shirt to get clung to my chest as if it were stuck to me. The road was filled of creatures getting out the gaudiness of Las Vegas as if gambling and drinking was not enough to drown the self-loathing away. I, on the other hand, was just heading for the sea leaving my troubles away. The only things I had were a few books, a map, and about a hundred dollars to my name. It was a dream for me, an 18-year-old boy who wanted to become a man by pursuing my dreams. I believed by completing this trip I would earn my patch as one. I have always felt restricted because of the family issues I had. So, I decided to go on my separate way to California, where everything is limitless. I grabbed a few clothes, all the money I earned during my summer job, and just headed west. Suddenly, My hair began to burst into flames from the mighty sun.

As the day got colder and the sun began to fall into its usual sleep, I had no other choice but to hitchhike my way to the nearest town. I was miles away from any civilization and no living thing passed through my sight. I felt as if my only choice was to dig myself a hole to pass the night, I had not eaten anything and began to grow weak because of this. My legs began to give out on me and my head began to ache. I would have thought after the sun had gone that it would have been just fine, but I was fooled. The night terrified me but the only choice I had was to continue walking. I did not want to spend my night in the strange wilderness with uncertain things lurking around. The intense heat of the sun had already taken its toll on me. I began to loss conscious of my eyesight and my surroundings began to grow more dangerously but it was already too late. My head slammed the sharp sand and my troubles began to go away.

I widen my eyes to the sight of the roar of the sun I quickly started to blink outrageously. I proceeded to get up upon my feet. When my eyes finally adjusted to the bright blistering rays of the sun I saw a man with a five o’ clock shadow plastered on his face a couple of step away from me. The man seemed to be speaking to me but all I heard was mumbling, my hearing had seemed to be fading back to me. The man looked rigid, he paused and finally I heard his voice clearly.

“I said are you alright, boy?” said the man, he had a familiar face and I continued to stare at him.

“Could be better” I said, trying to comprehend what had just happened.

“Did you sleep here all night here or something?” He asked.

“I guess I felt asleep” I said, I assumed that I slept but did not have knowledge for how long. I was as surprised as he was.

“What is your name, boy?” He said meanwhile he had a glazed look on his face as if he was surprised I had not been eaten alive by the desert.
“James” I replied.

“That’s my name as well” He grinned. “Where are you headed boy?” He asked.

“California” I said, staring to question myself about it.

“That is where I am headed” he quickly responded “Maybe I can give you a lift there, I don’t like traveling by myself” said the man.
“That would be great” I exclaimed ”Thank you” with great relief I responded. Finally I got a ride straight for California it felt like my dreams were actually going to come true. I climbed up from the sand and walked down to his truck. The truck was black and had a dent on its front. I did not bother to ask about it, so I just proceeded to get inside before he changed his mind. I sat down in the passenger seat and faced the man.
“Have you eaten anything, boy” the man asked.

“No, I’m starving that’s for sure” I said as I was pleading for a meal.

“Alright then I’ll find us a place close by” he said. An old blues cassette tape was playing and it was giving me a desire for some shuteye. I felt like I still needed to get some more rest.

“Is it alright if I get some sleep” I said “More sleep?” He questioned me “Didn’t you get enough?” turning his head towards me he laughed “Sure, go right ahead in the meantime ill find us a place.” I closed my eyes and let the old folk music guide me through my sleep. A while later I woke up to a nudge on my elbow, I opened my eyes to see that we were parked in front of an old diner. The lights were dazzling and nearly blinded me.

“Wake up kid” he recited still nudging me. “I found us a place” he said I was thrilled to see a diner after all these days my stomach was aching for a meal. I quickly got out of the car and entered the diner. The diner was vacant, it felt so alone at the same time it felt full of life. Something felt wrong but I couldn’t seem to wrap myself around it.

“It seems like no one is working today” I said questioning why a diner would have it doors open but no worker operating it. The strange feelings I had dangerously became to worry me.

“Maybe it wasn’t their day, maybe they are set for another date” James uttered. I did not fully understand but I had a feeling he meant something else as well. “Maybe you should go into the restroom your rather dirty” he insisted. I agreed with him I was a bit filthy, I slept in the sand for who knows how long.

“You are right, I’ll be back” I said. My first intention was to clean myself up. I couldn’t help but notice a newspaper article next to me, the newspaper article had a headline that read

“Manhunt continues for driver in Sierra desert classified as hit and run.” My eyes quickly went down to the description of the crime.

“Official said the body had been stranded for days and the flesh of the corpse had rotten experts say the incident must have occurred on December 7, 1971.” The date the newspaper was issued was March 12, 1972. Lights flickered in my brain and I started hearing noise. I heard noises of trucks and pedestrians then ambulances. Last thing I heard and saw was a honk and the front lights of a black truck.



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