The Road

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Lips dry. Throat parched. His thumb hangs outstretched and limp, arms growing tired and heavy eyes.

It’s been some time since the last car passed by. With nothing on the horizon, this harsh, barren landscape envelopes him entirely as if he were a spider in a bathtub.

This road is his prison and his salvation. Every step is another Everest; the mental strain is taking its toll on his already broken body. Yet, along this unwanted pilgrimage lies his fortune.

Beads of salty sweat roll down a furrowed brow. His mind restless and angry. Why is he doing this? Why is he on this godforsaken road? His bruised and beaten rucksack hits the ground in a cloud of rage and dust.

Eyes closed.

He breathes in.

He breathes out.

Gathering up his bag and brushing off the dirt of the road, he sees a glare of light in the distance. Maybe it’s just his weary, dehydrated mind playing tricks on him.

Waiting, watching, he holds his breath.

The forever-expanding horizon behind him radiates with the mid-afternoon sun. Heat waves rippling up from his road like invisible flames dancing in the air. A metallic speck rips over the glassy blacktop. Heavy tires bare down on the lonely road, rolling like thunder in a canyon.

His eyes fix on the sight of liberation. A smile breaches his sun-kissed face. Arm outstretched once again, thumb to the sky and a silent prayer in his head to any god that might be listening.

The sweet freedom from his captor is racing to him, a childish excitement is palpitating through his body. The car comes to him, then by him, then past him, then away from him. Into the setting sun it drives.

Spirits crushed.

Back to The Road.