The Wanderer, Pt. 1

Here is a beginning to a short story that I wrote solely to get my mind going. However, I might expand on it in the future if I like the direction it takes. So, without further ado…

Eventually, he stopped counting the cross-ties. The town was too far. The sun was draping the hills, climbing down to darkness. Soon—shelter.

He hadn’t seen any farms. Like they’d want him anyhow. For now, he was ignoring that fact, pushing out the ever-present granite stares. He’d had enough of that, enough of it all.

After all, he had to have a reason to leave.

Didn’t think much about them anymore. His world had shrunk, and he loved it. Only the tracks, the steel ribbons. Metal and smoke conquered him with ease. The allure of visiting far places, when he was never going anywhere.

Only wandering.

Shadows everywhere. He paused, had been thinking far too long. The town… who needed that damned town? Sure, might be better food, but what was food when it came from a heavy hand? What was a good bed when you couldn’t sleep? What was the point in going back, when a bird’s call gave more than a human face? He didn’t know, and he didn’t try to know. Yes, let them all build up their blocks until they fall down. Wait those few short days and then laugh in their faces.

He found himself down by a low creek bed. Perhaps here, but he wasn’t sure.

He wandered down-stream, listening. Nothing above the slow gurgle except the rustle of a branch, the light playing of the wind. He thought he heard voices and ducked low. Far off to his left, two hunters were hurrying home. He watched the blur of pelts. Rifles slung on their backs, they pointed towards a spot farther down the creek.

Perhaps shelter was to be had tonight.

Part Two can be found here.

Copyright Michael Nellis 2018


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