so to be where they were going, two girls set out walking and when they came to the same road which would take them over the mountains, they waited for a while in thought to find the same young woman again; not known why yet of so many things, they didn’t understand how everyone else wasn’t as lovely as [she’d] been and when a man pulled over to ask if they were okay, they believed he meant well and explained to him their journey – he told them he was going there too; and they were delighted for this coincidence and the offer he gave for them to ride along in his truck to the magical place they’d been told of and wanted to see – it would be a few hours’ drive and the sun was very warm that day and the windows of the truck’s cab were closed and the knob closest to where the strawberry-blonde was sitting on the passenger side was stuck and she could not get the window down to have any fresh air… but, the man seemed quiet and was not aggressive towards either, and even had bought each a soda when they’d all pulled over for him to fill the truck’s gas tank in a town surrounded by artichoke fields; both girls fell asleep during the next part of the journey as the air in the cab of the truck was thick and stuffy and made them sleepy… it would have only been another hour or two before they’d be at their destination; when they woke up confusion began as it was now dark and it didn’t make sense they had not already arrived where they were going: where pools were so deep in hues of blue they shone royal in purple and with shining sand and water-carved stones and trees so tall, and scattered shoreline flowering shrubs… and beautiful birds that glided while watching you from above.
“where are we,” asked the dark-haired girl…
“huh,” answered the man.
“where are we?”
“oh, we’re almost there.”
but the strawberry-blonde knew the coast and its topography and knew he was lying and they were far far away (now) from their original destination; and unknown to the dark-haired girl, the strawberry-blonde decided not to make mention of this fact so she shut her initial feeling of fear down stat, as she didn’t want her friend to worry nor did she want to let on to the man she was aware of the course change he had made; instead, she agreed with [him] to keep her friend (and him) from becoming aware of the sinister danger this journey had now approached; she assured her friend, he was correct… it would only be a short while longer… the trip had just taken a little longer than planned, she chirped that they must have hit some heavy traffic while the two were asleep(?) – the man agreed, she was correct: that had been what happened; and so the three drove along without incident [until] they came (again) to where the freeway had turned into a length of two-lane road and the speed limit naturally had slowed – it seemed they were now only traveling at around 40 mph instead of the 70 plus the freeway travel had allowed; it was a rambling meadow area now being traveled through and there were no cliffs on the truck’s passenger side of the road.
“hang on,” she quietly said to the dark-haired girl, “this is probably going to hurt.”
“okay then, here we go.”
and they did… with one movement, the strawberry-blonde pulled on the door’s handle to open it and with the dark-haired girl instinctively moving her body into her friend holding on to her from behind – under her arms around her shoulders, the strawberry-blonde used all of her strength to catapult the two of them into a leap… out of the man’s truck as far away from it as possible, throwing the two of them into a field… it must have seemed like total suicide/death to the man, as he never turned around – no! – instead, sped up… the two girls rolled in each others arms into moist fields of sea grass, luckily soft with sand as the soil the plants were rooted in – and after only a few seconds on the ground, the two stood up…
“are you okay?”
“yeah, what was that?”
“we’re just outside of Ventura.”
“farther than we thought, almost to LA. come on, this road is dark, we better start walking; did you catch what time it is?”
“almost seven, but I can’t see anything, it’s too dark.”
“our eyes will adjust, come on – I know we have to continue south as north would take us darker… but see down there (and there were faint lights far off in the distance); we’ll find a way.”
it was strangely warm for such a foggy evening that night and the moisture made it oddly muggy and thick for this coastal journey, and there was no wind – none, as they walked along the side of the road, stepping through what grew next to it, occasionally hearing a tiny crunching noise below their steps… snails they couldn’t see. it became even darker as the fog thickened and their senses weren’t kicking in quickly enough it seemed to keep up with the terrain… now there was no moon, no stars visible, nor where they were not any man-made lights to guide them through the terrain… oops, one would stop almost tripping over a stumped cut away piece of brush or a ditch or a large enough rock to matter if stepped on – but [then] as they walked, around them – only a few at first, but soon there was a swarm – little tiny creatures began to appear, each one hovering over the ground and glowing in bursts of electricity – and with the light of the little creatures present with the two girls as they walked they had enough light to see where their next step(s) would land them… they began to laugh and play along with the fireflies… the tiny bugs escorted them through fields for a couple of miles, while sporadically landing on them at times; and as the two girls laughed in the light, the fireflies seemed to glow even brighter as if they enjoyed the sounds of this game – little flies would light on the girls’ noses and arms and in their hair and then fly away again – it tickled at times and the girls would giggle more – it became a game of equal intention for all participants: so much fun, they’d forgotten they’d been in the middle of darkness only a short time before, and [then] they could [now] see up ahead just a little farther, where the road was going to merge into the interstate again. as they came closer to the interchange, the fireflies’ started fluttering ahead of the two for what seemed a new game of follow the leader, then all of a sudden every single little bug stopped at the same time, now suspended over the two girls, all of them lit as one!: it was as if the two girls were walking with a neon lighted halo around them – [then] just as this was happening a van with teddy bears and wreaths and skulls painted on it came down the road — the van pulled over close behind where the two girls were, now standing very close to the road, on the shoulder…
“wow!” (the exclamation heard by the two girls)… there, pulled-up to park right behind them were two guys – hanging out of their van’s windows, fully open… both driver and passenger sides. “what the?…”
all of the little fireflies flew away at that exact same moment – now were only the headlights of the van shining on them, not as bright as pretty insects had previously made the night for the two, but it was light nonetheless.
(to be continued)