Kinsey Feeley is currently studying Creative Writing in Orlando, FL. However, she was born and raised in Missoula, MT. Her favorite pastimes are singing, dancing, and acting. You can follow her on Twitter at @kinseyfeeley.
Hitching a Ride
Sarah slumped on the hood of her old Volkswagen Bug on the side of a Montana highway.
“I can’t believe I’m out of gas!” she exclaimed. “It’s not like I can walk the 30 miles to the nearest gas station.”
So there she was, out of gas, no service, and miles away from anything, really. What the hell was she going to do? Other cars zoomed past at various speeds, obviously not really caring what the speed limit was.
Suddenly, she spotted an old Chevy pulling off the road in front of her. The guy that got out of the car looked to be about 40 years old with long facial hair and curly dark brown hair to match.
“Hey! Everything all right here, Miss?” he asked as he walked over to her.
“Yeah, I guess. My car ran out of gas so I pulled over.”
“Is there someone coming?”
“I don’t think so.” Sarah held up her phone. “No service area.”
“Well, I could take you to the next town if you want.”
“Really? Oh my gosh! That would be so great. I don’t know how to thank you.”
“Oh, we can work something out when we get there. The name’s Earl.” He held out his hand to her.
The two got into Earl’s rusty old pickup, and Sarah couldn’t help but notice that he had one of those hula girls on his dashboard. It was kind of tacky, shaking like crazy as the car sped down the road at 85 miles per hour.
“So how old are you, Sarah?” Earl asked, breaking the awkward silence.
“Seventeen, but I’ll be eighteen in December.”
“Where you headed all by yourself?”
“I’m going up to Flathead for the long weekend with some friends. Everyone else got there yesterday or earlier today, but my parents are super strict about missing school so I had to wait.”
Earl turned on the local country station, and Sarah sat and watched as the trees flew by. Suddenly, a gas station interrupted Sarah’s view through the window. Then a few houses and a grocery store, and a restaurant.
“Umm...Earl? You just passed right through Post Creek. You could’ve dropped me off somewhere there.”
“Oh shoot, sorry.” He pulled off on the next exit, and drove right into the woods.
“Where are we going? I thought we were turning around”
“I know a shortcut through these woods.”
Okay, now Sarah was starting to get a little scared. “We should turn around. Just take me back to Lincoln.”
Earl stopped the car in a very secluded part of the woods. Sarah was sure there was no one for miles in any direction. He gave her a knowing smile. “Get out,” he said.
“I don’t understand. What’s going on? Where are we?”
“Come on, sweetheart. Just get out of the car for a second.”
“Get out of the damn car!” he yelled.
“O-Okay,” she said nervously.
Sarah trembled in fear as Earl crept closer. Her foot met a large tree root and she tumbled backwards, colliding with the hard forest floor. Earl took this opportunity to lower himself on top of her.
“This is how you’re going to pay me.”
She closed her eyes.