YAFF Muse: All Roads Lead Home

7 Jul

Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.

Without further delay, this weeks YAFF Muse pic was provided by YAFF Member: Cambria. Don’t forget to check out the other ladies stories, I’ve linked their sites at the end the post. Enjoy!

Autostop By:Criswey

All Roads Lead Home

By: R.M. Gilbert

An old pick up slows at the signal of my extended thumb. A haggard man, who sits behind the wheel, leans over the passenger seat. For a second I swear I hear his bones actually creak. His tired eyes settle on mine. “Where you headed?”

“Wherever,” I say.

He pulls himself straight using the steering wheel. “I’m heading there too I suppose, gonna make one more stop before I go, if’en that’s all right.”

“Sounds fine to me, mister.” Pulling open the door I slide onto the bench seat. The torn fabric from years of use scratches my legs. Rust falls off the door as I try for a second time to slam it shut.

Once rolling, the pick-up chugs along at a whopping 50 miles per hour, which seems much to slow, but it’s faster than I can walk and cooler too.

I glance over at the man in the driver’s seat. Hunched up and looking about a hundred years old, he squints between the steering wheel and dash at the road ahead. Of all the people who stop, why did it have to be someone so…ancient?

“What’cha planning to do when you get to wherever?” He asks.

I hadn’t thought that far ahead. There were no big aspirations, like seeing Sally Mae Preston in lights, or anything. The idea is to get away from this no horse town any way I could. And figure out the rest when I get there. “I’ll probably get a job.”

“You got folks that’ll miss ya?”

There was mom, dad, and Billy. But they’d still enjoy a Sunday cone at the local Dip and Split and manage the farm fine without me.

“I’ll be in touch after I get settled,” I say.

Minutes later we pull off the road, near a black, wrought iron gate, rusted open on its hinges. Overhead, scrolled in twisted iron are the words Millbrook Cemetery.

“Do you mind helping an old man?” He half says and half coughs.

“Sure.” I push open the door and hurry around to help him from the truck. He limps along pointing me in the direction of a small cluster of headstones.

“My families buried up here,” the old man says, “My wife, Ginny, and little Bill.”

“Oh weird that’s my mom’s name and I have a brother Billy.” I pause. “What happened to them? Your family?”

“An automobile accident the day our youngest disappeared.”

“Sorry,” I whisper.

“She took off a long time ago. Never heard from her again, but I go looking for her wherever,” he says then points to two headstones resting in the ground side-by-side. “Ah, well here we are.”

I look down at the headstones. Ginny Preston. Bill Preston Junior. It can’t be. My gaze finds the old man’s.

“I’ve come up here every week since.” He shakes his head. “And pray for another chance.”

“Can you bring me home?” I ask my father.

© 2010, July 6, rmg.

This weeks post was a quick push. I really didn’t think for more than five minutes on the entire writing. Once I came up with the title the rest fell into place.

Do you ever write based on a simple title and see where it leads?

After commenting, be sure to stop by other YAFFER sites to see how the picture inspired them:

Cambria Dillon

R.L. Purdy

Traci Kenworth

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4 Responses to “YAFF Muse: All Roads Lead Home”

  1. Rebekah July 7, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    And another great story! Loved the whole story on this one. At first you think it’s just some old guy coming to help, then you add that nice little twist in at the end. Very cool!

  2. Cambria Dillon July 7, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    Nice twist and good job in sprinkling in the southern flavor. Hmm…I wonder what it is about this picture that makes us think of the south? I guess Northerners know better than to get in someone’s car? 🙂

  3. Jennifer Shirk July 7, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    Oh, very nice, Rachel! I loved the descriptions you used of the car, his driving, and even the old man. And a nice twist again at the end. 🙂

  4. Min July 7, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    Hey lady! Fantastic story! I loved the twist at the end and the sort of fable-esque way of showing how your actions can change the lives of those around you. Really excellent job. 🙂

    As for the question, I’ve never thought of a title and wrote based on that. But I’ve thought of a first line and tried to write from there. I suppose that’s similar.

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