Cross Roads (For EcoDude's story contest)
Maureen "Mo" Britton is a 15-year-old living- well, living nowhere. She's just another homeless person. Or- is she?
Rates are needed for the contest, so I'd really appreciate it if you took the time! ^.^ Thank you, and enjoy! I edited it slightly sinds last time, in case you read it before. It's not very noticable, though.
It was only a matter of time before the sun would descent to blend in with the desert-like landscape, and she knew she'd need to find a town before that. Sleeping right here, in this place...the thought caused the girl to automatically quicken her pace. A bird made a sound which made shivers run over her spine, despite the afore mentioned heat. Her feet shuffled along, the dirt smudging her bare toes. In fact, she didn't have any shoes on. Lost them due to something that had happened, she didn't really remember what...
Her heartbeat quickened as she saw a sign. The girl panted in excitement as she came on a dirt road and she started running, enjoying the feel of a tough path under her bloodied feet. Sharp, tiny pebbles under them nearly made her fall over, but it couldn't stop her from sprinting.
The girl stopped as she realized it wasn't pointing towards any town. It was simply a sign made out of old, rotten wood, stating:
And another one crossed over it:
It was just a railroad crossing. That was all it was. No towns, no nothing.
She swallowed her disappointment. I might as well follow where it goes. It has to end somewhere.
But she knew it was too late. The sun was descending and the air was cooling off rapidly, announcing that the night wouldn't hold any warmth for her.
The lonely traveller gave up and sagged to the ground, where she started crying; or at least, she tried to, but she didn't have any water left for her tears. Instead the girl uttered raw moans and strangled sobs which made her throat burn, like a fire kindling from her lungs and then slowly crawling up her passage.
"Lonely?" a calm, quiet voice inquired.
The girl jumped up. "W-what?" she stammered, her knees shaking under her weight as she tried to find the source of the noise. She took a wobbly, frightened step back as she spotted the boy leaning against one of the rotten signs, looking as if he'd disappeared out of nowhere.
"You were crying. Desperate, lonely, angry, scared?" he mused, his head sagging to the right a bit as if that improved his view. Which it probably did.
"Who are you?" she whispered, her voice cracking slightly.
The man- no, he was still a boy...or was he? A man-boy. Young adult, that was the word. The young adult just shrugged. "My name doesn't matter. You look parched."
Despite the strange situation, the girl let out a husky chuckle and heaved her eyes to the sky. "Yeah, I am."
He eyed her carefully and pursed his lips. "Want some water?"
She licked the rim of her mouth eagerly and turned her gaze to him. "Yes. Do you have any?"
In response, he tossed her a bottle smudged with dirt on the outside. The girl hesitated before opening the lid, her raw fingers having slight trouble with it. "W-why are you here?"
He paused, and then decidedly ignored her question, uttering his words slowly, "The town is not very far away. About an hour on foot."
"Why can't I see it, then?"
The corner of his mouth tugged up at her paranoia and a dimple appeared on his chin. "It's behind one of those low mountains over there. That's why."
There was something about him that made the girl take a step forward and examine him. He had a normal nose, average lips that looked cracked and a sun-tanned face that was smudged with dirt. His face wasn't ugly, just...unexceptional. Something about the way his cheekbones were shaped made her suspect some foreign blood. His hair was cropped in a sloppy way, of which the color seemed blonde, but she couldn't quite tell because of all the filth in it.
But his eyes, they were what'd caught her attention; distant and chestnut colored, yet there was something in them, a longing. They seemed lonely; rather like a stray dog that didn't dare to approach a human, yet wanted to be petted.
The words had left her dehydrated mouth before she could stop them, leaving her mind strangely vacant. "Are you coming with me?"
A perturbed look crossed his face--as if he was about to make a run for it--but then it disappeared, leaving his countenance emotionless. "I'm Flynn."
"I'm Maureen, but you can call me Mo."