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The Sun Still Shines Every Day

Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:10 am
by Oldrac the Chitinous
I wrote a few more words to go with the other words that I wrote back here. Next scene's going to be more interesting than this one, but it's wicked late right now.

For those of you just joining us, this is The Sun Shines Every Day, a story about a magical hobo in the Great Depression who is being pursued by Fascist cyborgs that may or may not be after the Lindbergh baby.

The highway was only fifteen minutes west of the farm. It was an easy walk, and the sun was still low enough that it wasn’t uncomfortable yet. Another five minutes and a yellow pickup appeared in the distance, heading north to Kansas City. I put out my thumb and it wasn’t long before the truck was rolling to a stop in front of me.

It was a fair-looking truck, a Ford, and in good condition. It was dusty, but then, everything out here was dusty. The driver was a man of at least sixty years, dressed in a rumpled suit, with skin that looked like leather and oiled-black gray hair and eyes that seemed to have no color at all. On the seat next to him was white Stetson hat with a black ribbon tied around the original band. I approached the passenger window and he looked at me without blinking.

“How do?” he said.

“Are you going to Kansas City?”

He glanced forward, then looked back at me and nodded. “This road don’t go anywhere else.”

“Would you mind if I went with you?”

“Not at all.”

I took another step toward the door. He took his right hand from the steering wheel and gave his hat a casual flick with two fingers. It fell on the floor and uncovered a revolver that must have been as old as he was.

“Plenty of room in the back,” he said.

“All right.” I stepped back. “My name’s Jimmy.”


“What are you going to Kansas City for, Cyrus?” I was hoping that, if Amy was here and invisible, I could give her some time to climb into the truck. Cyrus squinted at me for a moment.

“Funeral. For a friend.”

“Not Lou Yorba, by any chance?”

The old man’s expression softened a little, went from suspicion to curiosity and then to sympathy, and he shook his head very slightly. “Sorry, friend.”

“Same to you, mister. Thanks for the lift.” I walked around to the back of the truck and climbed in over the gate. There were some dry sticks and a little dirt in the back, but it was otherwise empty. I took a seat in the corner and the truck started rolling again.

We drove past fields belonging to several different farms. Some were planted, some weren’t. None of them looked prosperous. The sun was getting more insistent. Still no clouds anywhere in sight.

I picked up one of the sticks and poked at the bed of the truck across from where I was sitting. I didn’t find any invisible passengers there, just a few stowaway doodlebugs. I didn’t know if I was relieved or disappointed.

When it came down to it, there was a lot I didn’t know where Amy was concerned. I didn’t know her last name, for one thing, or where she’d come from. I really didn’t know what to make of her remark that she was playing nanny to the Lindbergh baby. I hadn’t kept up with the papers real well since I’d been on the road, but when the kidnapping happened the year before last, folks talked about it enough that I figure I knew just about what there was to know. Including, significantly, that the poor kid turned up dead in New Jersey somewhere within a couple of months.

So it wasn’t true, what she’d said, but it wasn’t a very good lie, either. And she’d acted like she wanted me to call her out on it.

Either way, it didn’t change the fact that the men with black capes seemed to be following her. Capes and rifles and bayonets. Those men were making my existence a lot more precarious than I’d been counting on when I jumped on the train for Missouri.

The truck went over a rut and the dirt and doodlebugs all jumped up in the air together and settled back down again.

Now that I was thinking of it, nothing said I had to stay here. Ermine wouldn’t miss me too much, not after I’d turned up unasked in his house, and judging by the empty spot next to me in the truck bed, Amy wasn’t too concerned about my sticking around to look out for her.

“I’m going to get on a train going west tonight,” I said out loud, and I believed it more after I’d said it than before. Nobody said anything back. I lay down in the shadow of the side of the truck and looked up at the infinite blue sky above me and didn’t think of anything in particular.

At some point the empty fields turned into empty houses, and then some houses that weren’t empty, and before too long we were back in the city. I got out of the truck when Cyrus stopped it at a gas station. A colored pump boy came out of the shack and didn’t look at either of us when he said “mornin’, sir” and started pumping. I told my driver “Thanks” and “Sayonara” and got an “Mm-hmm” in response, and in a few moments he was on the road again.

Word count: Whatevs.

Re: The Sun Still Shines Every Day

Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:23 pm
by smiley_cow
I was hoping you'd write more on this. Really I think I just love the premise, but it's a pretty fun story.

Re: The Sun Still Shines Every Day

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:37 am
by Oldrac the Chitinous
It's this thing again!

I didn’t have much hope for sneaking anywhere near the trains during the day, when the yards would be full of workers. I spent the rest of the day rambling between between drugstores and parks and one library, trying more than anything else to stay out of the sun. When it was finally dark, I found my way back to the tracks.

Off in the distance in either direction, I could see the flashlights of the two bulls on patrol in the yard, little twinkling stars casting pale circles that danced over the cars and the ground. They were too far away to see me, but they wouldn’t stay that way. The few cars I could see me were all stock cars, which are nice enough to ride in, if you don’t mind the smell, but don’t do any good for someone trying to hide. I edged my way between two of them, and only stumbled a little getting to the next train over.

Somewhere nearby, I could the hear gravel ground under feet that weren’t mine. The bulls’ lights were still far away, so there was probably someone else here that wasn’t supposed to be. I froze, not that I expected it to do any good - They would have heard me by now. I couldn’t hear any more noises, and I didn’t know which way the other footsteps had come from.

As slowly and quietly as I could manage, I picked up the largest stone I could reach, and I stepped off of the rocks and onto the ties.

[A sentence about turning the corner goes here]

A brilliant light snapped on not more than two feet from my eyes, and I was blind, but I was ready. I swung out with the stone clenched in my fist, and again, and the light shattered and the man in whose face it was mounted stumbled back in shock. Then a second light turned on behind him, and there was a bayonet buried in my gut being jerked upward.

I could feel my breath going out my abdomen. It was more disconcerting than painful. I tried to call for the guard, who was still still spraying his flashlight all over the far end of the train yard, but instead of words all I got was blood. The two men were arguing, but I didn’t understand what they were saying. I felt my knees getting weaker. I tried to remember the last thing I had said, but it was hard to focus. I hoped that my last words had been good.

Re: The Sun Still Shines Every Day

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:44 am
by Kimra
You posted more! Excellent. :D