What happened next?

I haven’t written in ages, not that I haven’t had ideas for what to write, but I’ve just been stuck in this weird limbo state where I don’t want to tell stories about my life anymore, but I do want to write something, but then, if I don’t write stories about myself, about what? 

Finally I’ve opted to go for a little bit of creative writing, so, warning: this blog is taking a detour and I can’t make any promises about anything anymore. 

This first mini experiment is called “What Happened Next” and comes from this prompt  at writetodone.com. The idea: write a 350 (or less) word story based on an image of a guy hitchhiking. 


 

Americans must not like hitchhikers, Franz began to think as he found himself stranded on a remote stretch of Highway 1, watching the last rays of sun flutter through the trees as if they were waving goodbye.

 

He stuck his hand back into his jacket pocket as yet another car ignored his outstretched thumb and walked west along the silence of the forest. Around him, small ferns curled together in clusters under monstrous sequoias, quivering with the weight of dew, and pine needles coating the ground shone with the damp of recent rain. He looked around, shivering as the solitude wrapped around him like a wet blanket.

 

Traveling with Cosette had been so easy, he thought, remembering two weeks before when the trucker had picked them up on the side of the 101 and she spent the whole trip grinning out the window like a dog, her hair a flag waving in the dust and car exhaust. Now she was probably in  on some futon in San Francisco, spooning that rock climber with the man bun. Franz hated him.

 

He wished himself back in his flat in Vienna, in his square little bedroom with the yellow lamp and wall clock and parakeet, but of course he was not there, he was alone in this forest trudging down a highway by the light of his phone’s flashlight app.

 

The wildness of the California coast, which he had once found invigorating, darkened into a threatening nocturnal fog that crept through the trees and pooled around his feet. The night crackled and hummed as he waded through the fog, descending westward into darkness, with nothing to do but continue walking, waiting for the dawn to rise behind him and light his path once more towards wherever he was headed.

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