Promises Of What I Seemed To Be

Welcome to day 27 of 30 Days of Writing, a creative writing challenge that has us running on fumes.  Our prompt today is “Side of the road”, like where you’d find roadkill. Don’t forget to link up at the end of this post if you’ve participated in today’s challenge.

Promises Of What I Seemed To Be

desert road

Twenty feet in front of me, a fox darts across the road. It’s the first living thing I’ve seen since Hank Williams dropped me off last night, just outside of Reno. Hank’s real name escapes me now; he’s just one of the many people I’ve met along the way. But his scraggly beard and cowboy hat guarantees his place in my mind as Hank Williams. Anyway, Hank and I parted ways late last night and I’ve been putting one foot in front of the other ever since.

The bar was nearly empty; a drunk passed out in the corner booth, two older fellows at the bar watching football highlights on the television, a table with four young studs playing a drinking game, and another table with three young women desperately trying to get noticed without appearing at all interested. And on the dance floor, one lone couple swaying in time to the music.

“Take me with you,” she said.

I shake off the memories. It’s better to forget. Forget the faces, the places and just make up the names as you go along. Yesterday was Hank Williams, today could be Hank Aaron. Doesn’t matter, really. Just gotta keep putting one foot in front of the other. By tomorrow at the latest, I’ll be in California. Next day or 2  after that and I’ll be in San Francisco.

“Take me with you,” she said.

One foot in front of the other. A distant rumble. I turn to look without ever missing a step. The heat shimmers off the road and makes it hard to see if someone’s coming. Then I spot the dust cloud. And seconds later, a glint of sunlight reflecting off metal. I stick out my thumb. The car passes me by, never slowing down. I catch a fleeting glimpse of a pale face in the window.

“Take me with you,” she said.

Tomorrow, I’ll be in California. Until then, I keep walking along the side of the road. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.


Now go. Visit the other talented bloggers who have joined us for this bumpy ride. Tell them they get 250 points for not selling us for scrap, 500 points if they have a AAA or CAA card.

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  • nonamedufus

    I loved that piece, Nicky. Almost sounds like something from Hunter S. Thompson. I just finished Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone and his stories are still rumbling around in my head. This could have been from one of them.

  • Now I feel sad, but it was great. When is the book coming out?  🙂

  • Nicky, I agree with babs…very sad….has a very lonely feeling to it. Beautifully written.

    I am not going to even try to get cutesy with that.  It kind of reminded me of the Green Day song Boulevard of Broken Dreams.  The loneliness that comes after some type of loss, whether it is a person or a loss of a dream.

  • On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
    warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
    up ahead in the distance I saw a shimmering light…

    That’s what you just reminded me of, one of the greatest rock anthems ever.

    Very atmospheric.  But it feels more like the beginning of a story than the whole thing.  And I’m sure everyone is curious to know more about the ‘take me with you’ girl.

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  • This was simply amazing, Nicky. Full of emotion and lots of questions. You need to write more of it!!

  • Wendy

    Well- written. Pulled out emotions. Wow!

  • Very well written, filled with deep emotion and sadness.  I am curious about the mystery gal. Who is she and will she show up again?

  • Tag you are it!!!!  I nominated you for an award.  Haha!!! 

  • Nicky, this is so beautifully written.  I know she would find her way to SF even if he was hitching rides.  And she will love it when she finally arrives.  There are so many things to see and places to go and she’s going to all of them!

    (And what driver would not take her with them?)

  • Tami Von Zalez

    Travel safe kiddo!  The Land of Fruits and Nuts awaits you.

  • So what happened to the girl?????  Ahhhhhh….you are killing me!!

  • Love your prose. You captured the car trip perfectly with the flow of words. 

    I probably won’t be adding a link until much later today. I’m on lunch now at work.

  • Why, thank you Dufus. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by Thompson, but I’m going to take it as a compliment anyway. 🙂

  • Hah! The book will be out after this challenge is over. Much much after.

    I’m sorry it made you sad. I really wasn’t feeling sad when I wrote it, and I thought it was more mysterious than sad. Hmmm. Maybe the book might take a little longer than I thought. 🙂

  • That picture is awesome. Except the character in my story is a man. I thought I’d hinted at that with his attempt to forget the memories of the “take me with you” girl.

    I do find it so interesting how people interpreted this little slice of a story. Sad, lonely, broken dreams and a feminine antagonist. Not at all how I saw it in my head.

  • I just felt his loneliness I think, but get that book written, it was great 😉

  • Wow, that is high praise and not just because it’s from God! 🙂

    Thank you. I don’t think it’s going to be much consolation, but I’m also curious to know more about the “take me with you” girl. I might have to give her some more thought…

  • Thanks LM. Maybe when this God-forsaken challenge is over…

  • Thanks, Wendy! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  • Thank you, Linda. I must admit, I was inspired by your toast to me and my “great fictional characters and creative writing”. That was a mighty fine toast that I had to live up to! 🙂

    Oh, and I think she’ll be back…

  •  That’s one of the great things about blogging…we can inspire each other. 🙂

  •  Thanks Nicki!

  • Thanks, hon. I’m not sure that she’ll find her way there. He will, though. He’s got a purpose, but I’m not sure what it is. I know it’s not fun though. Maybe, when it’s all done, he’ll make his way back to her. I really don’t know.

  • That actually sounds like a fun place to go 🙂 Thanks, Tami!

  • I’m really not sure what happened to her Nicki. It seems I’m going to have to give it some thought or face your wrath… 🙂

  • Thank you, Lauren! Sometimes, it just happens, you know? No worries about linking late, whenever you get a chance is fine…

  • Wow!   This immediately draws a reader right in.   Very powerful.   I didn’t find it sad at all.   I’m intrigued and want to know much more about this character.   The imagery of the walking and the heat and dust… one foot after another.   This is really great, Nicky.   I hope you’ll expand it to at least a short story.   I want to read more from this Nicky.    

  • You are absolutely right, Linda.

  • Thank you, Jayne. I’m so glad you liked it so much. It’s a scene that’s been playing out in my mind for a while now. The “one foot after another” phrase just wouldn’t leave me alone. I was a little worried it would come out kind of hokey or something. I really only saw it as a vignette, a little slice of a story, but after all the comments today, I think I’ll have to mull it over some more.

  • It’s a beautiful piece as written.  Very poetic.  It doesn’t feel unfinished at all.   You’ve just left your audience wanting more — which is always a good thing. 

     Just play with it and see what happens.   That’s the most fun about writing.  It’s always a process of discovery.

  • Upon re-reading it, I get it but upon the initial reading, I thought the first person character telling the story was thinking about either a past event or implying the need for someone to want her.   The thing that immediately made me think the person was a woman was the phrase “Hank and I parted ways late last night”.  I thought that was a falling out of a relationship and that was the need to move on. 

    So in other words…I had it ALL wrong.  Does it suprise you to know I was a total dud in liturature classes that required us to figure out symbolism??  Totally sucked at it. 

  • Can’t wait to hear!!

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  • Paula Wooters

    Great piece of writing, Nicky!  Now I want to go back and catch up with the other 30 days!

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