The stranger climbs into my truck holding a bag tight against her belly. “I saw your coming foretold in the entrails of roadside carrion,” she announces as I shift into first. “Thank you for heeding the call.”

You never know what you’re going to get with hitchhikers. I’ve learned it’s safer to just roll with it. “Of course,” I reply casually. “I’m a vessel for the higher power.”

A quick nod, approving my response.

“How long you been traveling?” I ask. It’s usually a safe question.

“I heard my call on the sacred dawn of the equinox. I must travel eastward until the long night when evil seeks to take dominion over the earth.”

“That’s a long time on the road.” Always acknowledge the heart of what they’re saying; don’t feed into the delusions.

“I am grateful,” she answers, “to be considered worthy of this ordeal.” Then those large sunken eyes turn toward me. “You must have a great destiny to have been bequeathed so much suffering.”

Don’t feed the delusions… “What do you know about my suffering?”

“None can outrun the long night,” she says soberly, “but when it passes, the world will be reborn. So too shall you.”

* * *

Story by Gregory Fox
Photo by Adil from Pexels