The road stretched out ahead and behind him for miles, the roadside markers and ghost gums glowing whitely in the full moon and the occasional lowing of a cow disturbing the silence.
The distant sound of an engine carried through the still night air and he stopped, cocking his head to one side before he determined that the vehicle was ahead of him. Thomas hurried ahead to where the trees where well clear of the road edges, where a hitchhiker would be better seen from a distance and crossed the road. As the car neared he stuck his arm out.
A battered, once blue, ute pulled up along side him and a gravelly voice offered Thomas a lift. He got into the old car and exchanged the usual introductions and pleasantries. Where are you from? Where are you going? What do you? Thomas smiled politely and answered the questions in his soft, almost effeminate voice.
His responses were the kind of thing a stranger would expect to hear. Discussion of the weather or a shared comment on the shire council needing to replace the section of armco on the bend by the river before some tourist drove through the gap.
The truth was that Thomas wasn't travelling to or from anywhere, but neither was he drifting. As the driver laid a too familiar hand on Thomas' knee, the boy's lightning fast reaction proved that he wasn't an easy mark. The knife handle sticking out of the driver's chest told another story, Thomas was on the hunt.
With the driver's ute pushed down into the ditch beside the road, Thomas brushed his hands off, settled his pack on his shoulders and walked into the night, the ghost of a smile on his lips.
15minuteficlets — word #78: deserted