Eventually, the lights of the small town came into view. As he neared the outskirts of the burg, he noticed a truck stop/diner. He stopped there to eat and ask directions to the bus station. As he walked in the door to the place, he got curious looks from the truckers and regulars that were there. Well, he was used to getting funny looks; that didn't bother him as much as knowing he'd have to pay for his food with the hundred dollars. The money was in twenties, but he had no way of knowing that, so he was apprehensive.
He sat down at a table, and when the waitress came over with a menu, he ordered pancakes and molasses. He still had a molasses habit and needed a fix really bad. As he got involved in eating his food, he didn't notice the truckers give each other knowing looks...the leering, the elbowing, the whispered words...dirty hippie, fag, weirdo, mountain trash. Some dared others to see if he needed to hitch a ride with them.
As Ghost finished eating, he could barely keep his eyes open. He was exhausted. His head nodded a couple of times, even though he tried to stay awake, but finally succumbed and laid his head on his arms, right there at the table. He was drifting to sleep, when someone shook his shoulder. He startled awake, looking up at a fairly normal looking trucker, if truckers were actually normal looking. Ghost didn't know...he'd never met one before.
"Noticed you falling asleep, dude," said the man, as he stood next to Ghost. "Where ya headed?"
Ghost swallowed and wiped a bit of drool from his mouth, "Uh, the bus station, I reckon," he said.
The man, who had accepted the dare continued, "Well, I'm heading west all the way to California with my load. You're welcome to ride along if you want."
Ghost blinked and tried to think..."Is this a good thing or a bad thing?" He didn't know this guy, maybe he's a serial killer or something, and then..."I wouldn't have to deal with the bus thing. I could just give this guy some money to take me along."
He tried to sense if he should accept or not, but couldn't get a reading on it; his brain was too tired. So, he nodded and said, ok, but that he'd pay him for taking him along on the road. The guy clapped him on the back and said,
"Good decision, I'm leaving in about half an hour. Meet me at my truck, the one with the blue cab." He started to walk away, then turned back, "Oh, I paid for your food already, don't worry about it."
Ghost got his backpack and went to splash water on his face, trying to wake himself up more. Was what happened just now real, or a dream?
The man went over to his buddies and gave them a thumbs up sign. They guffawed and jeered and said, "Have fun with your little hippie, if you know what we mean. He's all yours. If he's any good, you can pass him on to us. We'll keep driving him around all over the country, until we've all had a turn at him," they laughed.
"No, if he's any good, I'll keep him for myself," the guy said, as Ghost came back into the room. He looked over at them, then went ouside in the still hot, but cooling night air.
He spotted the blue cab truck, but didn't go over yet. He stood in the parking lot and stared up at the stars. The smell of diesel was heavy in the air. He tried to summon up a vision of what would come next, but his mind was a blank right now. Just then the doors opened, and the man came out.
"Come on," he motioned for Ghost to follow. As they reached the semi, Ghost looked up and up...the truck was huge. He'd never been next to one before. How do you get in it, he wondered. The man had made a check of the tires and the load on the trailer, then came to the passenger side, pulled out a ladder from a hidden compartment in the side of the cab.
"Get on in," he said.
Ghost was still in awe of the huge truck though, and just stood there. Even the lowest rung of the ladder was pretty high. The man rolled his eyes, as he pushed Ghost up to the ladder, telling him to climb, and he helped boost Ghost up.
They pulled away from the truck stop and onto the highway heading west. The man didn't say much, concentrating on his driving, and soon the steady roar and rocking motion of the truck put Ghost to sleep, his head leaning on the window. He was too tired to dream. If he'd been able to though, he would have tried to get out of there at all costs.
The trucker kept glancing over at Ghost. His thoughts rambled along with the passing miles. All that talk back at the truck stop was just that...talk, he figured... trying to one up the guys.Then his mind went in a 'what if' direction. What if he was to have some fun with this little hippie hitch-hiker? He licked his lips and looked over at Ghost again. This could be interesting. He'd never had a real urge to do anything with a guy before. Hell, he'd had women from coast to coast, but it had been awhile since the last one. A sudden stirring began to seep into his thoughts. Hmmm...maybe I should at least try it, and this is a good opportunity. No one would have to know, if he didn't say anything.
His breathing came a little faster. He looked at Ghost again. He is kinda cute, I guess, maybe he knows the score and does this all the time. Up ahead there was a rest stop. He figured he could pull over and see what would happen. If it worked out, fine...if not, he'd just leave the kid there. So, he planned his move in the next few miles. He slowed the semi, pulling into the parking area. No one else was there.
Next installment coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing!