Here is a sample of my new story ” The Rustic Ride” which has not been released. Enjoy.
The Rustic Ride
It was a bright smoldering summer day. The sun was a shimmering orb dangling low just above the thin horizon in the distance. The road was a well-worn gravel trail lined with barely standing shacks and dilapidated trailers. It was bumpy with deep potholes that forced me to hug the shoulder, tearing through brushes and low hanging tree branches that scraped and clawed at the side of the car as I pulled through. The ride was rough, not unlike riding a pugnacious bronco whose sole purpose in life was to see you flying. The car rattled and clanked, shaking so violently and loudly that I feared it might come apart at any moment.
I splashed through puddles dodging potholes my head bouncing off the cab ceiling, while my knees banged against the steering wheel until I finally came to a clearing. To describe this as the longest ten minutes of my life would not be an exaggeration. Finally, I was back on a paved road. The rubber against the road hummed softly lulling me into a semi trance. I was now passing long gated fields with grazing cows and houses set off the road with large flag poles waving the American Flag or variations of the Confederate flag or Gadsden, “Don’t Tread On Me” flag or both in some cases.
Lifted pickup trucks with enormous mud tires caked with dry mud parked crookedly on lush front lawns or on dirt driveways with “Take Back America” or “O’ Bummer” bumper stickers plastered about the chrome bumpers. Whether beat old men with red pot bellies riding lawn mowers in straight lines up one way and down another wearing floppy camouflage hats sipping Bud Lights or sweet tea. The women talked over joined property fences as small children scurried about at their feet.
I approached slow and steady as neighbors in conversation stop in mid-sentence to watch me pass. Their stony stares conveying without words their message that I was not welcome here. I anxiously checked my GPS to see how much farther and was relieved to find that the first leg of my journey was nearly over and I would be able to make it home before dark. In another few miles and I would be there.
I drove another few minutes and was instructed to turn left by my GPS. I looked left and saw nothing but empty fields, no roads. A sense of panic began to creep over me. Had I placed too much faith in my GPS? I instantly regretted not having an actual map on hand. I drove to the end of the dead end road and stopped. My mind was racing, confused, and trying to figure out what I was going to do next.
“I’m lost.” I thought and then got out of the car to gather my bearings. “Why didn’t you bring a map?” I scolded myself as I turned in a circle looking for any signs of life. The heat was oppressive and I was drenched moments after I got out of the car. My head was spinning; my limbs were growing heavier by the moment. I couldn’t afford to pass out, who would find me?
I got back in the car and turned up the AC to full blast. It only took a few minutes before I was feeling rejuvenated. I would have to retrace my path back to the main road. I started the car and turned around and as I began to drive back toward the main road I saw it, a barely noticeable dirt line of a road that had nearly been swallowed by vegetation. The mailbox was rusted and lying half buried on its side. The numbers were faded by the elements and I had to strain my eyes to make them out. I pulled the note from my wallet with the address and checked it against the mailbox, this was the place…