This is a short story I wrote when I was fourteen. I’m busy with the book right now, otherwise I would give ya something new. Enjoy this for now, it’s decent, or so I think. Remember to comment!
Chris was beginning to question the wisdom of the trip. His ancient border collie sat next to him on the front lawn, panting and wheezing in the dew of the morning air. A fog had moved in off the lake overnight and covered the town in a hazy blanket.
Chris looked down onto the sparse layer of grass which, like his dog, like himself, appeared to be balding. He picked up and handful of wet loam and squeezed it in his hand. The drops of water fell off the ball of him palm. He fondled the small mass of earth for a moment before dropping it, wiping his hands on his jeans twice, and slapping both his knees with both hands. He stood. His car, packed with all the things a senile old man might need, or so his doctors implied, waited at the ready. When he had moved a few paces away, his dog slowly stirred and lumbered after him.
Chris was nearing his eightieth birthday, and looked every one of those years. He had bags under his eyes and spotted skin. His hair had transplanted itself from the top of his head to his back. He quivered a little from old age, and as he was sure, an undiagnosed terminal disease.
He pulled his ring of keys out from his pocket and pushed one into the keyhole on the door. The dog leaped in momentarily, and Christopher sat, taking inventory of his trunk. He sighed miserably, noting that an good portion of his truck-space was reserved for his medicines. It was a small trunk, he would admit, but the idea that he was so dependent on anything made him feel vulnerable. Who was he that he couldn’t survive on his own? That he owed his existence to his doctors continued work? And where did it stop?
That was just it. He couldn’t care less when, it was where. He imagined death was just falling asleep, before the dreams came. Sleep wasn’t bad, even if he didn’t dream at all. It would be like never waking up from something he couldn’t remember. The only thing he wanted to know was what he would be surrounded by when it happened. That was the reason for the trip. He wanted control over one last thing. He had told his doctors, and he now wished he hadn’t. Doing this one last thing independent from all outside help was what meant most to him. He was happy to know that his mind hadn’t failed him yet.
When he reached the highway, he briefly checked his hands for dirt, and then patted the back of his dog’s head. His name was Hercules. Fat, waddling Hercules. The model canine. Hercules lifted his head and peered at Chris. The old Volvo rattled on down the interstate.
“Something tells me we won’t get very far,” Chris mentioned to his dog.
The dog barked and put his head out the open window. Chris turned on the radio. He sighed remembering some the family who used to ride in the back seat of his station wagon on long vacations.
A bus of young children passed him around exit one-hundred and two. They stared at him. Just as one of them may have had a realization that he had once been a child a long time ago, Chris thought of it too. It was not such a simple thing to think after all. It surprised his how hurt he felt, that youth still existed in places, even after he had become old. That there were young lives just beginning, embittered him.
Somewhere outside of Syracuse, Chris stopped for directions, having past the same church seven times. Chris lowered the window further and pulled Hercules’s collar so that the dog flopped into the back seat.
A young woman bent at the hip and looked into the car, across the passenger’s side. She tucked a lock of long blonde hair behind her ear. She had gentle features, smooth skin, all in all very feminine and quite striking in her looks.
“Looking for something, I take it?” Her voice was firm and calming.
Chris had never been a womanizer, and he was probably sixty years her senior. Still, he questioned how he might have acted differently were he a younger man.
“Yes, uh, I’m sorry but, can you point me towards,” he fingered an area on his map, “Lake Cazenovia?”
“Mhmm,” she pointed and explained that it was south by south east, “And it’s no trouble, you don’t have to apologize.”
Chris sighed and looked at her, he thanked her probably more than he needed to.
Playing it by the day, as he always had, Chris put the car into gear, and pulled away.