Hitchhiking (Fear of the unknown)



He had been waiting for hours. No one stopped. Every car, which really had not been many, had passed him as if he didn’t exist. Now he was tired. He went into the forest behind him, sat down and pulled up some bread and cheese. He didn’t have much food left, but it would do for tonight.

He was in the middle of nowhere. Some strange truck driver had let him off, taking in on a dirt road, telling him it was a better bet to stay on this one. He had stepped out to catch another ride. Usually not too hard to do, but this time he had been out of luck, or maybe it was the area. The last village had been rather creepy.

He probably would have to sleep there, it was getting darker. Tomorrow morning will be better, he thought. It’s always easier to catch a ride in the morning.

He put up his hammock and opened his sleeping bag, made a camp. Darkness arrived. Silence.

He sat there, thinking about the last thing the truck driver had said before he left: Be careful, strange things happen out here at night. Strange things? Probably just a bad joke. After a while he got tired and snuck himself into the sleeping bag. He was just about to fall asleep when a sound was heard in darkness, a crack! followed by strange moan of agony. He sat up, looked around. Some animal, he thought. Soon he slept.

He woke up by the impact of his body hitting the ground. It hurt. His hammock had broken. But he had put it up well, like always? He looked at the rope. It was cut with something sharp. A knife or something. He got his flash light. The moving light made the shadows move in a creepy way, as if something was fleeing the light.

Hello? He said. Is anyone there?

No answer. Silence and darkness devoured everything. He was getting scared. What had happened? He looked at the rope again. It was cut, all right. But who could have done that? There didn’t seem to be anyone around.

Maybe someone didn’t like him being there. Maybe if he just moved away a bit, he could get out of the zone where someone was bothered. He started packing his bag.

OK, I’m leaving! He said out loud.

He packed his stuff fast and walked down towards the road. He heard a car. He wanted that ride badly, but he wouldn’t get there in time. The car stopped when he was still in the dark woods.

The door opened. Need a ride? An old man’s voice. He couldn’t see his face, the car had no lights inside.

What are you doing out here at this hour, son? He said. Aren’t you scared?

Scared of what? Responded the boy. Truth was he was.

Of the monsters! The old man laughed a wicked laugh. These forests are crawling with monsters!

The boy laughed nervously, not sure if he was joking or not.

They drove on for a while in silence.

So what are you doing out here? Asked the boy. The old man didn’t answer. He didn’t ask anything else. No one spoke.

The moon came out from the carpet of clouds. He looked over at the old man. He had a huge fang on one side of his mouth. One of his eyes seemed to be looking at him all the time, while the other one were looking to the road. His head was abnormally large, with a horn on the far side of his forehead. The boy blinked. He’d never seen anyone like that before. Was it some kind of mutation, or was he even human? His hands were hairy, clawed and big. The boy was thinking of asking him to stop, to let him out, but he didn’t say anything. He didn’t want to be alone in the dark. He was scared. Scared of everything.

They saw a gas station in the distance, where the road entered the highway.

I’ll let you off there, said the strange creature. Got a job to do!

He drove into the station area and let him off.

Thanks for the ride! Said the boy getting out.

Good luck to you, son, he said. Be careful who you ride with!

The car drove away. He could hear the man laughing his creepy laughter. He looked around. This would be a better spot to catch a ride.



Beyond Faith and Reason



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