Elise Danielle Irwin is an aspiring author of Fantasy novels. She is a Student at Full Sail University, pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment. In her spare time, she likes to travel. Visiting diverse countries and cultures has influenced the stories and characters she creates. She lives in Florida with her family and their dog, Ozzy.
She needed an escape from her stressful life, an adventure, an escape. She felt the urge to run away, so she grabbed her rucksack. As faded and worn as it was, it remained special to her. Slinging it across her shoulder, she left the decrepit apartment complex.
Ally stood on the side of the dusty road, her thumb out, hoping to signal a ride. She had never hitch hiked before. She could feel the butterflies in her stomach with the anticipation, the adrenaline pumping through her veins. Despite her nerves, she relished in the freedom of believing there was nowhere she had to be, only where she wanted to be. Already, she felt as if she was no longer suffocating. The resonating sound of a truck’s engine revving down, it’s deep treaded tires crunching on the gravely, dry dirt pulled Ally from her thoughts. A well-kept truck rolled to a stop in front of her, the dust from the road giving the brilliant red paint a muted look. The driver, a burly bearded man, ten years her senior she guessed, with his black cap covering most of his brown, slightly greying hair rolled down the passenger side window and leaned towards her. “Where are you headed?” he asked in a husky voice. “As far as you’ll take me.” Ally answered confidently, hoping her voice wouldn’t portray her anxiety. He crooked his head, unlatching the passenger door, giving it a little shove. “Hop in.”
As Ally climbed in, he shifted away from her. The leather seat was warm under her as she slid in, her soft, cut-off jean shorts allowing most of her long legs to feel the heat. The cab of the truck smelled of tobacco, coffee, and the man’s piney cologne. The air conditioning blasting on her soft sun kissed skin felt refreshing after standing out in the heat for so long. The engine roared to life, and the man swerved into traffic. The driver and passenger didn’t talk, the only sound was from the radio, where country music flowed softly through the speakers. The lack of forced conversation was a blessing. Ally looked out through the open window, the rushing air blowing through her long blonde hair. The mix of cold air coming from inside the truck, and the warm air from outside was relaxing. Tapping her Converse clad foot to the beat of the music, the scenery passed by like a scene from a movie.
Ally hadn’t realized she had drifted off, until the sound of the truck’s heavy door shutting woke her. They had pulled into a truck stop somewhere in Kansas, guessing from the license plates. The sky was orange and red as the sun set. Soon, the driver returned to his truck, and as he approached, he tipped his hat to her in farewell. She took the hint that it was the end of her ride. She climbed out of the cab, and watched as he drove away, his taillights growing smaller until she could no longer see them. Ally shouldered her bag and walk along the road as she sought out a new ride, this one to the nearest motel, where she could consider the next step in her journey.