Thursday, May 5, 2016

Trip (flash fiction, 700 words.)

The Studebaker had done well on this trip for the last 800 miles. He still had a thousand to go. It wasn’t that he wanted to travel. He had to relocate because of his job as an insurance agent at a new agency. 1959 was turning out to be a good year with a whole new set of beginnings.
  Charlie was headed to his new job in Los Angeles, and on a whim, he decided he wanted to go through the mountains for part of the trip. It would be fun he told himself. He’d never been to the Rocky Mountains before and he wanted to see them at least once. He might never get the chance to do it again.
  He knew his life would change greatly from what it had been in Des Moines. It was okay though, he’d always rolled with the punches no matter what came about. He commonly told himself, don’t let the bastards get down.
  Having listened to the monotony of the wind noise for far too long he reached over and turned on the radio. Static filled the car. He turned the dial to find a station to no avail. Only the static emanated from the speaker. With a frown he turned the radio off again.
  His stomach growled. It had been several hours since he had eaten last. In the next town I’ll find a diner.
  After the next curve billowing fog filled the air ahead which derailed his thoughts. Pay attention Charlie. He reached over and turned on the headlights which were on the high beams. The light glared and he couldn’t see much of anything, including the road. Tapping the floor switch he switched to low beams.
  As he drove the fog grew thicker. He eased up on the pedal so the car would slow. His heart rate increased and his breathing got faster.
  After what had seemed like a long time the pavement ended. The car swerved on the dirt and he almost lost control. Stomping on the brakes he slowed the car to about 20 miles per hour.
  Continuing on the road became a pair of wagon ruts. He had to slow down even more. The car rocked with all of the dips in the turf. What in the hell happened to the road? His forward momentum slowed to a crawl.
  Seeing a log cabin by the creek he drove toward it. He had to find out what was going on. At least he thought he could find out where he would meet up with the road again. This track wasn’t going to get him anywhere. Charlie gawked at his surroundings as he got close to the cabin and stopped the car.
  A strange looking man stepped up on the creek bank. He was wearing some kind of a pelt for a hat and he looked like a trapper from the old days. The rifle he was holding looked an old repeating rifle.
  “What in tarnation is that thing?!”
  “You’ve never seen a car before?” Charlie was shocked.
  “What’s a car?” An oblivious expression covered the man’s face.
  Charlie shook his head. This had to be a nightmare. When the hell am I? There was nothing he could compare this to.
  “I think I’m lost. Could you tell me how to get back to the highway?”
  “I guess you turn around and head back the way you came.” The trapper spit into the grass.
  Charlie had to know a little more about something. “Can you tell me where I’m at?”
  The man spit in the grass again and pointed the rifle at Charlie. “You’re in Mexico. You aren’t going to tell those bastards I’m here, are you?”
  “No, I won’t. I’ll leave now.”
  “Have a good day then.” The man held the rifle up and kept watching as Charlie attempted to turn the car around. Afraid of get shot he tried hurrying up. He had to get back to the road as fast as he could. As soon as he was out of sight of the cabin he breathed a sigh of relief. This would be a trip he’d never forget.

The end

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