The Rider – Part 1

I’ve had this particular piece sitting on the WordPress servers for about a month now. My initial goal, although a bit lofty, was to actually finish it up a bit more. I think that I may have better luck breaking it up into different “chapters”, returning to it when I can. Feel free to comment with any thoughts on how it’s going so far. I’ve got two different directions that I’m thinking of taking it; unsure which one will win out right now.

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Hitchhiker1The lighter jack wouldn’t work. I wish I would have known that before I left the house. This was going to be a long drive already, but having no way to charge my phone would make it even longer. I had bought into the new digital music age hook, line and sinker. That was great as long as you had a battery for your player of choice. I guess I could dig into my dash and see if I had any actual CDs. It’d been awhile since I’d listened to any of my older, non-digital music.

The whole reason I had even agreed to this trip was because the entire family knew of my brother’s condition. Injured over “there” by an IED, they had initially fixed him up but had removed both of his legs. As a lifelong runner, this had obliterated his spirit. Upon his recovery, he’d begun to mistreat his wife and became an insufferable, impetuous jerk to virtually everyone he came into contact with. After months and months of his constant yelling and smacking whenever she was within reach, she had left. No one thought any less of her; no one in their right mind would be treated like that voluntarily. Luckily, there had been no kids involved because they hadn’t gotten around to that yet.

Since she had left, my brother had fallen in and out of long periods of depression. Some of these periods involved drugs, some alcohol, and others involved middle-of-the-night phone calls from any number of law enforcement agencies informing my parents that he’d been arrested and was in their custody, could he please be picked up.

Lost in my thoughts, and unconsciously shaking my head, I almost didn’t notice the man along the road ahead of me. I raised my foot off the gas pedal, as though I wanted a closer look. He was tall, with an almost unnatural bend to his spine. As I came to a slow roll in front of him, the gravel under the tires groaned and popped. He leaned his head down by the passenger window and, with a deeper voice than I would have expected from him, said “Hello there stranger. Would you mind giving me a lift?”

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2 thoughts on “The Rider – Part 1”

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