Printed from WriteWords -


by  DerekH

Posted: Monday, October 18, 2004
Word Count: 235
Summary: My entry for this weeks flash thingy. On the "thumb" theme.

A gaunt figure stands on the hard shoulder, pushing a stiff thumb out through the rain. His name is Danny Bird. His friends used to call him Birdy.

His coat is sodden, his hair plastered to his skull. Raindrops roll off his beakish nose onto his trembling lips, diluting the salty tears.

He holds a sign that says ‘anywhere’. His face says ‘victim’. He’s left nothing behind, waved no one goodbye. He only has what’s coming.

He fishes the motorway for a ride; a way out, another step along the path to the life he knows is out there, somewhere.

A brown Volvo takes the bait, and veers over. The tyres cut through pooling water, slowing, with the crisp crunch of tread on tarmac. It stops just short of the mark, as if making Birdy walk those few feet is down-payment on a hidden fare.

Birdy turns up his collar and considers the invitation. White water-splinters dash through the headlamps’ glow. Rusted wipers squeak and churn, making waves. The ripples melt the featureless form within. The driver doesn’t beckon, just waits.

Birdy gets in, coughing. He’s nervous. Shaking. It’s hard to speak.

“I’ll go as far as you’re going,” is all he can manage.

He clicks the belt secure.

Pulls his coat close.

Slips a hand inside.

And pushes a stiff thumb along the top of the Stanley. Clutching it tight. Until the next stop.