Old novella I wrote between 2000 and 2008, recently updated!
|Chapter Seven: My Journey Continues!
I walked by night and hid during the day, to avoid being captured. I was making my way south, trying to avoid the center of town. Eventually I arrived at a creek at the north end of town, but it would do no good to try to float down the creek on a twig, because the creek cuts through the center of Matheson City, which would make me a sitting duck.
I made a shelter from twigs and leaves, and hid in some tall grass growing on the high bank of the creek. A noise woke me up in the afternoon, and I looked out from between the leaves of my shelter and saw a woman with a bicycle. A normal-sized woman, who to me at six millimeters tall, was a towering colossus.
She was putting a patch repair kit back in the tool pouch beneath her bicycle seat. I noticed that when she zipped it back up, she had left it open enough so there was enough clearance for me to climb in and hitch a ride. That is, if I could manage to get there and climb in before she took off. She was standing there, taking a drink from her water bottle, so I made a run for it.
Her mountain bike was lying horizontally on the ground, so it was in the best position for me to climb up to the tool pouch. I ran beneath her well-muscled legs, but I knew I didn't have enough time to admire her statuesque beauty or her perfect tan if I wanted to make it to the tool pouch before she resumed her journey. I grabbed onto the zipper of the pouch just before she put her water bottle back and got on her bike. As I climbed up and into the tool pouch, we were already moving.
I fell to the bottom of the polyester tool pouch and banged my knee on a wrench, but the pain didn't even have time to register in my mind before I realized I wasn’t sure exactly where this woman was riding to.
I started getting sleepy, so I curled up and fell asleep. I had gotten accustomed to sleeping during the day while I was out hiking, so to me, this was my normal sleeping period. I slept like a log, and I awoke to a jarring motion that sent me tumbling against the side of the tool pouch. Everything was tilted sideways, so I climbed to the opening of the pouch to take a look around.
I was amazed. During the time I'd been asleep, the bicyclist had pedalled over 7 miles, from the city of Matheson all the way to a small town on the coast adjacent to the tourist town where Jerrica Calypso lived. I recognized some of the hillside and terrain. The bike was leaning on its side against a log, so I climbed out and jumped down onto the log. The woman was tying her shoelaces, so I climbed down on the other side of the log so I'd be out of her view when she stood up again.
After she got on her bike and pedalled up the hill into the distance, I walked around the log to the edge of the road, still hidden in the grass at the side of the road that leads toward Jerrica’s house, which was about a mile and a half away. As I watched the giantess pedal away on her bike, I wondered what the deal was with her. Over the years, I'd seen people like her many times before. These people who wear spandex painted-on shorts and ride bikes across the highways of America. Do these people have jobs? Does their whole life revolve around riding bicycles across the country? And if so, where exactly do they go? Do they just ride for the hell of it? How do they support their bicycling habit?
As I pondered my George Carlin style musings, I thought of the campground on the other side of the road. It was a place called Avalon hot springs. My mother and I had stayed there a year before we moved to this area, when I was still a teenager.
It would take me at the very least an entire day, maybe a day and a half to reach Jerrica’s house, so I figured that it would be best to try to hide among the unsuspecting campers on the other side of the road before I continued on to the last leg of my journey.
I walked to the corner where Highway One and Avalon Creek road intersected. I probably waited about a half an hour before I decided that it was safe to cross. I ran as fast as I could, and it still took me nearly thirty seconds to get to the other side. I was lucky, too; just as I reached the other side, a long stream of traffic went by, and a few bicyclists.
The curb on my side of the road towered over my head, but it was so weather-beaten that the individual pebbles making up the side of the asphalt curb were exposed enough that I could use them to climb up on, like rungs on a ladder. I made my way up, and stood on the top of the curb. I still had a little higher to climb to reach the summit of this micro-mountain I was climbing. I made my way to the top, and stood at the summit. Strands of gold colored grass swayed in the breeze, blowing back and forth so high above me that they seemed like trees.
As I looked down to survey the campsite, I could see that the campground was filled to capacity. It was the middle of September, so that was surprising. There were tents galore, and a lot of motorhomes. No less than half a dozen people were barbecuing, and there was a volleyball game going on. The only bad news was that I saw a couple of dogs down there, so I knew hiding in the camp was out of the question.
Before I left, I stayed and watched the volleyball game. It was kind of nice to be able to watch a sporting event, even if they were just amateurs. When I was staying with Amber, I rarely had the opportunity to watch any kind of sports on TV, because she always watched those kid shows and those stupid soap operas. Any time I asked her if I could watch a ballgame, she was usually on some kind of a power trip, and denied my request, for no other reason than because she enjoyed telling me 'no' whenever I asked her for a special privilege.
I had to cross the street again, and it took even longer to get across this time than it did before. I wasn't worried, though. There was no need to be in a hurry, because it had taken me over a month to get this far, and I was almost to Jerrica’s house, so minor setbacks like this weren't bothering me. After I had crossed Avalon Creek road, I made my way up the hill and onwards down the road that intersected it, southwest towards Jerrica’s house. I had made it a habit of sleeping during the day and walking at night to avoid capture, but I wouldn't need to hide during the day for most of the rest of my journey, because there weren't any houses for another three quarters of a mile. All I needed to do was to watch out for people in cars and an occasional bicyclist who might see me, and I'd be all right.
By nightfall, I was not quite halfway there. The entire town was built parallel to the 101 freeway, and that worked to my advantage. I was in the middle of town, but I didn't have to worry about being seen, because I had crossed the road after it had gotten dark, and I was walking on the other side of a chain link fence that was next to the freeway, on the opposite side of the street as the main street of the town I had to pass through. I continued on through the night, because I didn't think it would've made sense to stop and camp out this close to my destination.
By early dawn the next day, I had arrived in the beach town where Jerrica lived. It was still early morning, so there wasn't much traffic on the street yet. That helped me cross several streets and the main road that cuts through the center of town. By the time the early morning rush was on and people were driving to work, I had made it to the front of the gated community where Jerrica’s upper-middle class well-to-do home was located. Jerrica’s mother was the District Attorney of Matheson county, so it shouldn't have been any surprise that they were this affluent, but it never ceased to amaze me that I knew people who were so upper-class.
And there it was. The familiar driveway with two cars parked there. A pink Volkswagen that had been Jessica's 16th birthday present, and the Mercedes owned by Jessica's mother. The two-story home was just as I remembered it. I walked up to the front door, wondering how I was going to get inside.
There was only one concrete step that I had to ascend to reach the front door, but to me it might as well have been a mile high. Fortunately, there was an agave plant in the planter next to Jessica's front door, and it was high enough to bring me up above the elevation of the 8 inch high concrete step. I began my climb, and after about 15 minutes, I was a couple of feet in the air. As I looked down, I realized that the lowest leaf was too high above the step for me to jump down safely, but if I kept climbing, I could reach the living room window.
Just as I reached the living-room window, I saw a sight that made my skin crawl. It was a cat. It was a black cat that roamed freely through the neighborhood, but I knew if it spotted me, I was through. Felines, at least in my opinion, are nature's most thorough and deadly predators.
I knew I had two choices: either stay and wait for it to leave, or pound on the window and hope someone inside was awake, and hope yet again that if they were awake, that they would open the window in time before the cat pounced on me. I chose to stay and wait.
To Be Continued!