The Awakening

From a collection of 100-word stories & wonders

Traveling a lonely road to nowhere, an exhausted hitchhiker stretches out under the Milky Way… then everything changes in an instant. Photo of Rose Chafer by Chrumps, via Wikimedia.

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Taillights. Then hopper buzz. Tomas lowered his thumb, shuffled off the roadside, stretched out on lumpy soil. Hungry, lost, alone, he gazed up into a broad white river of stars. Something flared, streaked across the sky. Tomas’s breath caught. Wind gusted, soughed through sagebrush and pungent juniper, spattered his face with glittering earth. He blinked. A thrumming scarab beetle, glowing iridescent green, alighted on his nose, then thrummed away. Suddenly, intensely aware, Tomas sat up, quivering on the verge of some great revelation he already owned, short of words. Hairs bristling, he sprang up. Headlights! He ran toward them, waving.

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