tagNon-EroticCircles in Time

Circles in Time


Nerves on end. Eighteen-year-old Karen picked up her duffel bag and shuffled down the highway. Out of one eye she followed the squad car's progress as it pulled away. The officer hadn't questioned her on the fake birth certificate she'd produced for identification. It seemed that the local highway patrol men were used to unkempt transients hiking through and were only interested in putting a name to whomever they might have to scrape off the pavement.

The adrenaline left from the encounter had momentarily taken the edge off the dull ache that seemed to have set up permanent residence in her legs. She winced slightly as each step aggravated the blisters on her feet, and her back was stiff from sleeping in culverts and under bridges.

Karen's last ride had dumped her out in the desert between Phoenix and Palm Springs. The man driving acted as if he'd consumed the contents of an entire liquor store. He had the speedometer pegged within seconds of picking her up, and although she knew the next city was a long way off, she was relieved when the man finally stopped to let her out.

Karen plodded along, grumbling over her present circumstances, Alone in the cold, she loathed being out here, filthy and flea infested from not having had a bath in several days, and having nothing to eat but a bag of damp, stale corn chips she'd found on the side of the road.

Karen felt an emptiness well up inside, and stifling unwanted tears, she cursed the world for putting her out on the streets. Bitterness and rage boiled up inside her. She told herself she didn't need anyone's help or company, ignoring the undercurrent of insignificant doubts that always accompanied this line of thought.

Karen focused on the brake lights of a burgundy Lincoln halting on the roads shoulder a few hundred feet ahead of her. Her feet and legs responded grudgingly, as she tried to jog up to the waiting car.

The man inside wore a light blue dress shirt and blue slacks. He had apparently kicked his loafers off into the floorboard. He appeared to be in his late fifties. His hair was snow white and so fine one could almost see through it. He was one of those people who looks as if they'd never lost their baby fat. His face and hands had a pinkish color that glowed hotter as he struggled to move a well polished, leather briefcase out of the front passenger's seat.

The man appeared slightly nervous as Karen got in, telling him how much she appreciated the ride. It was getting dark, and the man asked if she had a place to stay. Karen felt a familiar foreboding and told the man she planned to continue hiking through the night.

He explained that he had a motel room rented in the next town and that she could get washed up plus get a good night's rest. After several minutes of being prevailed upon by the man, Karen reluctantly agreed. She thanked the man and fell into a disturbed silence.

At the hotel room the man found reasons to enter the bathroom several times while Karen showered. Later, after eating some of the pizza he had ordered, Karen lay very still, trying to feign sleep, acutely aware of the empty distance on the bed between herself and he. She felt him roll over and drape an arm around her. The man awkwardly wormed himself on top of her. His old, soft skin made Karen's skin crawl as she forced herself to lie still. After a while the man rolled back to his side of the bed, having finished soiling her recently cleaned body, He told her what a sweet little girl she was, and thanked her for not being mean to a lonely old man. Karen lay silently, staring at the ceiling.

The next morning the man bought them breakfast and gave Karen three dollars for something to eat later on. He hugged her and seemed slightly distraught as he dropped her off on a road that led back to the highway.

Karen bought a pack of cigarettes and a box of matches before walking out onto the road. Her clothes felt filthier than before since she hadn't had a chance to wash them when she showered. Her legs soon began to ache, and the blisters on her feet were broken again by the time she reached the highway.

Karen struggled to dwell on the previous night's events. She finally gave up when a squad car pulled up on the road's shoulder behind her. Karen set down her duffel bag and reached for the birth certificate inside...

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byDarchphayze© 0 comments/ 9305 views/ 0 favorites
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