Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login


The kid was quiet for the first several hours after he had picked her up. Obe glanced at her occasionally, particularly when he changed the radio station, looking for a sign that he had found the one she liked. She was quiet, but expressive, and she wrinkled her nose for the first five that he tried. When he found a classic rock channel, she smiled slightly and her shoulders relaxed. She was staring out the window at the endless dusty desert, but he caught her stealing glances back at him several times. Obe was patient, and waited for her to start the conversation.
    “I don’t remember how I got out here,” she said finally.
    “That’s okay. Most people don’t.”
    “Yeah, but it seems weird that I don’t remember how I got in the middle of nowhere.”
    “Does it?”
    “Yeah. How did you get here?”
    Obe smiled. The girl, who had told him she wanted to be called Ida, had found her chatter. “Oh, I drove,” he replied.
    “I knew that.” She gave him a narrow eyed look. “I meant where did you come from?”
    He pointed a thumb over his shoulder. “Back that way, and, to answer your next question, I’m going that way.” He pointed forward.
    “That wasn’t my next question.” She folded her arms and flipped her hair out of her eyes with a toss of her head, trying to look like a teenager. He hadn’t asked, but he didn’t think she was quite there yet. Her face was too round, and she still had the body of a child. Her long blonde hair was pulled away from her face with a purple headband. She was regarding him closely with her wide blue eyes. “Why don’t you cut your beard?” she asked finally.
    He looked at her, surprised. “Is that your next question?”
    She nodded, still staring at him.
    He stroked his facial hair, glancing at himself in the mirror. The blonde strands fell to his breastbone and was nearly as fine as the hair on his crown. They were beginning to silver at the ends, but it wasn’t too bad yet. He thought it went well with the spider webs of cracks and wrinkles at the corners of his eyes and mouth and deepening creases in his forehead. It made him seem softer, less old and craggy. He told her so.
    She tilted her head and narrowed her eyes. He could see that she was re-evaluating her earlier opinion, whatever it was. Her mouth twisted, and she finally shrugged. “I don’t think you look old.”
    Obe laughed. “Then it seems to be working.”
    She smiled reluctantly and fell quiet again for a little while, staring ahead at the dusty road stretched out before them. “Do you mind if I turn up the radio a little bit?” she asked. She was already reaching for the dial.
    Obe shrugged. “Whatever makes you happy.”
    Ida turned up the music and eventually started rocking her head to the beat of an old Aerosmith song. Surreptitiously, she drummed her fingers on her knees, trying to keep up with the drumbeats coming from the old stereo system. “Did you ever play an instrument?” she asked.
    “I played the guitar a little bit, and tried the piano, but I never got too into it. I just like to listen.”
    “Oh. I always wanted to play the guitar. I thought it’d be cool to be in a band.”
    “Why didn’t you?”
    Her face wrinkled up, concentrating. “I don’t remember. I was going to, but something happened.” She thought about it a little more, and then her features smoothed out. “I don’t remember,” she said again.
    Obe nodded understandingly.

The desert landscape, pretty in its own dead right, rolled past them. The scrub nearest the road zipped past in a blur, but the sandy fields and plateaus in the distance seemed in no hurry. The sun was still high in the sky, but it had started tipping to the west. Obe rolled down his window a little bit to get the air stirred up. It was cooler than it looked, a comfortable seventy degrees. Ida’s hair whipped around her face as if it was caught up in a hurricane. She tried to keep it pulled down and out of the way, but she soon gave it up.
    “I always thought it’d be hotter in the desert,” she said. She had rolled down her own window to stick her hand out and let it drift in the air current.
    “Well, this isn’t exactly a normal desert.”
    Bored with using her hand as a tiny wing, Ida grew restless in her seat. She began to explore her side of the car, bending forward to peek under the seat, opening the glove box and finally slithering over the seat to find out what was in the back. She wouldn’t find much besides a little dirt and his toolbox. Obe took pride in the cleanliness of his vehicle. He had lived in it for long enough that any clutter or mess was depressing.
    Obe glanced at her in the rearview mirror. The girl was lying on her stomach across the leather backseat. She had opened his toolbox and was looking at the tools, taking them out, one by one, and turning them over before replacing them.
    “Are these for fixing the car?” She leaned into the front seat, holding up a ten millimeter wrench for him to see.
    “Yes,” Obe replied. “Not a lot of shops around here, so I do my own work when she needs it.” He heard her drop the wrench back in the toolbox and shut the lid. With a grunt, she scrambled back into the front seat.
    “Where are we going?” she asked, pushing her hair out of her face.
    “I told you. That way.” He pointed through the windshield. The road stretched out ahead of them in a long straight line. A few mountains rose up beyond where the road shrank into obscurity, but they were a long way off.
    Ida scowled. “Why are we going that way? When can I go home?”
    Obe sighed. He had wondered when she was going to ask that question. He wasn’t sure he was ready to give her the answer. She was younger than anyone he had come across out here for a long time, and he had been surprised to find that he had grown attached to the girl already. The hair and beard were to keep him from looking as old as he was, but she made him start to feel younger, too. It was nice to have a companion who didn’t act forlorn and bewildered the entire time they were with him.
    “Soon. I’ll take you home soon,” he replied quietly.
    Satisfied with the answer, she settled into her seat again. She suddenly sat bolt upright and pointed. “Look!” she cried. “There’s somebody on the road!”
    And there was. Obe slowed his old Charger and stopped when he pulled up next to a scared looking young woman. She peered worriedly into his car, folding her arms tightly around herself. Obe saw that she was reluctant to get in, but she relaxed when she noticed Ida. He wasn’t surprised that the kid’s presence was calming.
    “Slide over to the middle, Ida,” he said. “Let’s let her in.”
    She cranked the handle and pushed the door open before scooting across the leather. The woman staggered around the open door and nearly fell into the car. “Where-Where am I?” she asked in a small voice.
    “You’re lost, too?” Ida asked brightly. Obe marveled at how little that seemed to bother her.
    “What’s your name, sweetheart?” he asked gently.
    “Um, Ana, I think. How did I get here?” She looked around for a seatbelt, and folded her arms around herself again when she found none.
    Obe didn’t answer the question. He never knew how until he finally took these people where they needed to go. Besides, he was a driver, not an explainer. She would figure it out for herself soon enough anyways. Obe was sympathetic, but they still tested his patience sometimes. Ida struck up a one sided conversation with the woman, asking questions or explaining what little she knew. She talked a little bit about the car. Obe listened to that bit, surprised at how much she knew. It wasn’t much, but a lot for an eleven year old girl.
    “I always wanted one,” she explained when she saw him looking at her. Ida didn’t seem fazed by the blank look on the woman’s face nor the fact that Ana never answered any of her questions. Ana did start to relax though.
    At a lull in Ida’s stream of chatter, Ana looked at Obe. “Where are we going?”
    Ida’s arm shot out, pointing at the road. “That way!” she said, casting an impish look back at him.
    Obe laughed. “Yep. Don’t worry, sweetheart. I’ll have you home soon enough.”
    Ana’s brow furrowed. “Home soon?” she looked around. “I don’t remember living in a desert.”
    “All the same,” he replied.
    Ida looked back and forth between them but said nothing.
    A gravel offshoot appeared in the road, and Obe turned to follow it. His old car bumped over the trail, and he took it slow to keep from shaking them to pieces. It wound a little ways before ending in a circular driveway in front of a weather beaten farmhouse. Ana shrank back into her seat while Ida leaned forward. The little girl behaved so differently than the others. Obe thought that must have been what endeared her to him.
    “Come on, Ana,” he said, opening his door with a creak. He got out of the car, groaning slightly. Years in the army jumping out of planes had taken their toll, and some of his height. Time spent sitting in the car had done the rest. Sometimes, he felt nearly a foot shorter than the six feet he used to be. He put his hands up and stretched, ignoring the cracks and complaints his body gave him. It was too late to worry about damaging himself further now.
    Ana, still jumpy, crept out of the passenger side. Ida started to follow. Obe leaned into the car. “Stay here, girl,” he said sternly.
    She looked hurt. “But I wanna see inside,” she said.
    Obe shook his head. “This isn’t your stop, and it’s none of your business. Stay here.” He shut her in the car and began walking Ana to the porch. Halfway there, he turned and wagged a warning finger at Ida, who stuck her tongue out at him. At first, he was shocked by the lack of maturity, but, when she smirked, he knew that she had only put on a show of defiance. He watched her clamber into the back seat to dig around in the toolbox again, and continued to the house, content that she would not follow.
    It didn’t take him long to return to the car. It never did anymore. He didn’t know if people were taking things better nowadays, or if he was just getting better, but, in the end, he supposed it didn’t matter. The job got done.
    Ida tried to jump out and startle him when he slid back behind the wheel. He glanced at her. “You can’t scare me,” he remarked, turning on the car and putting it in reverse.
    She made a face. “Well, that’s no fun.”
    He turned left when he reached the paved road again. The sun had made its way down the sky, and some low hanging clouds near the mountains nearly blotted it out. Obe wondered if they would reach the road. He rolled down his window. The air that rushed in had the sharp tang of coming rain, although that didn’t necessarily mean anything.
    “Where are we going now?” Ida asked before answering her own question. “I know. I know. That way.” She pointed through the windshield.

Obe had never carried someone for this long and had never had more than one in his car at a time. He knew that he was going to have to take care of her soon, but he kept putting it off.
    When Obe picked up and dropped off two more, Ida didn’t ask to go inside. He wasn’t sure what she did while he was gone, but she picked up talking right where she left off each time. He gave the appropriate ‘hmm’ or ‘oh, really?’ but he only really listened to half of what she said. It was nice to hear a human voice though, young and confident and perfectly content to sit in a car with an old man.
    A run down garage appeared on the side of the road, and he pulled into it. He needed to change the oil. He pulled his toolbox from the back seat and took out the oil can and filter from the trunk. The jacks were already in the garage. Ida sat on an overturned bucket and watched him work. She asked questions until he offered to show her what he was doing.
    Careful not to bump the car, she crept under the car next to him. She laughed, delighted when he offered her a wrench to finish undoing the nut he had started. He carefully showed her each step, and she repeated his instructions, as if committing it to memory. They crawled out, and he lowered the car.
    “Now we wash off and keep going,” he said.
    It was beginning to darken, partly due to the clouds and partly due to sunset. Obe sighed. He knew that he should drop Ida off. The driveway appeared at the crest of the hill, and he turned down it.
    “Are we almost there?” she asked, looking out the window curiously.
    “I’m afraid so,” Obe replied. He stopped in front of another large house, grayed with age. “You’re going inside this time.”
    She looked excited at first, but hesitated. A strange look clouded her face as she looked at the house. Reluctantly, the girl left the car.
    “We won’t be too long, will we?” She looked up at him as he walked her toward the house.
    “Just a couple of minutes.”
    Ida turned to gaze back at the car. She paused and backed up a step when they reached the door.
    “What’s wrong, girl?” he asked. He opened the door and motioned for her to go inside.
    She stared at the darkened opening. “I’m not coming back out, am I?” she asked. Her voice was hollow. She was beginning to have the same, fearful, distant look the others always wore.
    “I’m afraid not.” Obe led her inside.
    She looked around the rooms as she followed him to the back of the house and the basement door. “It looks like home,” she murmured. “Except I don’t live in a desert.” She paused several feet from the door.
    Obe took out a ring of keys and began looking for the right one. In truth, he knew which one it was, but he didn’t want to open that door too quickly. He had never minded this part of the job before, but now it struck him as obscene. A shadow passed by them, and there was the click of a door shutting. It was a muffled sound, as if it came from far away. The stairs on the other side creaked.
    Ida shook her head. “I don’t wanna go down there,” she whispered when he opened the door. She stared at the dark opening and took a step backwards. A soft, pained moan drifted up the stairs, followed by the ghostly echo of a man angrily shouting. Squeezing her eyes shut, Ida stuck her fingers in her ears. “I don’t wanna remember anything. I don’t wanna remember this. Don’t make me go down there.”
    Obe put his hand gently on her shoulder and pushed her forward, closer to the darkened stairs. It seemed to get colder when a small, shrill cry blew past them. Ida screamed, trying to drown out the sound. Her voice melded with the echo of herself.
    “Don’t hurt me. Please, stop!” she moaned. Her face became pale, and bruise-like shadows ringed her eyes.
    He had to turn away, couldn’t stand to see this transformation in her. “Remembering is the only thing left for you.” He pushed her forward another step.
    She looked at him with tear stained eyes. “This is dead, isn’t it?” she asked. “I’m dead?”
    Obe nodded. “Sometimes, people come here, lost and scared, and I take them back where they need to go. This is your last stop.”
    “But you must be dead, too. You’re not stopping.” She blinked at him hopefully.
    Obe shook his head. “No, I never stop. That’s not my job.” He pushed her forward again, although more reluctantly this time.
    Her head bowed. Sobbing softly, Ida walked through the doorway. She paused with her foot hanging above the first step. Obe watched her waver there and then start to go down. She was mostly in shadow and wouldn’t look back at him. He gritted his teeth, hating to see her go. The sounds drifting from the dark basement were louder now, and he couldn’t stand them. He knew that the kid must remember some of what had happened to her by now. Her shivering confirmed it.
    With a sigh, he put his hand out and pulled her back out of the darkness. He might have to let her go someday, but he couldn’t right now. Ida hugged him fiercely, nearly knocking him backwards. She buried her face in his beard.
    “I want to stay with you. Please, let me stay with you,” she sobbed over and over.
    Obe stroked her hair with one hand and shut the door with the other. It locked on its own.
The moon was shining when they left the house. It painted everything bone white. Ida leaped off the porch and ran to the car while Obe walked more slowly.
    The old Charger rattled to life, and Obe backed her slowly away from the house. By the time he had turned off the driveway and back onto the road, Ida had curled up against her door and fallen asleep. It would be nice to have the kid along for the ride, at least for a little while. She gave the dead road some life. He was already feeling young again.
I had this uploaded before, but I took it down again because I wanted to do a lot of retooling. There were quite a few typos, some unnecessary bits, and I wanted to change the characters' names.

Note: Obe is pronounced "Obi" as in Obi-wan.

The Preview Image is my own drawing, depicting one of the old houses in the story. Whether it is Ana's or Ida's, I will never tell. It was drawn with a Sharpie marker.
Add a Comment:
 

Daily Deviation

Given 2013-04-06
Last Stops by ~brietta-a-m-f is a very atmospheric tale, with an unusual set-up which succeeds hard at delivering an unexpected resolution. It's the sort of piece to give you goosebumps, to make the mind go Kaboom, praises the suggester. ( Suggested by Clockchat and Featured by Nichrysalis )
:iconpro-mole:
pro-mole Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I've started reading your stories on the bus from and to work(best use of my free time I've done in a while :D ) and the ones I've read so far have such solid and well-written interpersonal relations that they make my heart get all warm and fuzzy, aaaaaaaaa :la:

So far this one is my favorite but I'm still a little way in. Looking forward for more, yes I am. :)
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeahhhhhhh. The characters are my bread and butter in the literary realm. They're part of the reason my writing usually takes so long. I don't let them out until they are fully formed and can walk on their own. Glad you enjoy them!

Last Stops is one of my masterpieces, and by far the most popular. I have to admit, this is one of my favorites, too!
Reply
:icongoodoldbaz:
GoodOldBaz Featured By Owner May 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That one was kinda scary too. I admit, I was kind of thinking that maybe she was dead toward the beginning of the story, but, scary as it was, I couldn't stop reading it - that's the mark of a truly good author! Again, your writing style is simply magical. May I ask, what inspired this? Like, what ever gave you the idea of writing it? Sometimes I think I'd like to write stuff like this - haha, but I think my mum would kill me! :XD:

This was really good - well done!
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner May 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm glad you like it!

I had this image of an old man, a young girl, a '71 Dodge Charger and the desert. After that, I just wrote. It took only three days to write the first draft, although I spent months working and re-tooling until I felt it was as near perfect as I could get it.
Reply
:icongoodoldbaz:
GoodOldBaz Featured By Owner May 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
hmmm... that's so interesting!
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner May 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:icongoodoldbaz:
GoodOldBaz Featured By Owner May 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
sure!
Reply
:iconbrain-tree:
brain-tree Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013   General Artist
This is wonderful, a pleasure to read.

"Bored with using her hand as a tiny wing, Ida grew restless in her seat. She began to explore her side of the car, bending forward to peek under the seat, opening the glove box and finally slithering over the seat to find out what was in the back. She wouldn’t find much besides a little dirt and his toolbox. Obe took pride in the cleanliness of his vehicle. He had lived in it for long enough that any clutter or mess was depressing."

That has to be my favourite paragraph, right there. Great job!
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much! I'm glad you found it enjoyable!

Do you mind if I ask what made you like that particular paragraph so much?
Reply
:iconbrain-tree:
brain-tree Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013   General Artist
Because it's so true about spending lots of time in a vehicle, if you're a driver or something. It gets extremely depressing to see trash sitting around you all the time, and not doing anything about it.

It was something I could relate to, and the imagery is nice (the imagery is nice throughout the entire piece, though, to be sure)
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Aaahhhh. You make a great point!

I've spent so much time driving across the U.S., I had plenty of material to draw from in writing this. It's pretty cool that you picked out the little things!

Thanks again for the kind words!
Reply
:iconkweenasue:
kweenasue Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You made me fall in love with reading short stories again. This was brilliant, ahhhh my heart swelled up with a bit of sadness and joy. <small>
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm very glad you liked it! Although I certainly hope the joy outweighs the sadness!
Reply
:iconemospacepolarbear:
EmoSpacePolarBear Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
This is such a beautiful story. I fell in love with Obe's reluctance to let Ida go. My eyes started watering when he pulled her back from the memories. So beautiful.
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much! I'm glad my work affected you in such a way!
Reply
:iconmeadowmaiden:
MeadowMaiden Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is... simply beautiful, you know? Ida's brightness and chatter is a -perfect- match with Obe's gentle personality; imagining him letting her work on the car is heartwarming in the best sense. The ending had just the right amounts of fear and tension and bittersweetness, and the last two lines made me smile, just a little. Beautiful, beautiful piece.
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! It's makes my happy to hear (read) you say that! You're so very kind!
Reply
:iconjakathine:
Jakathine Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Student General Artist
Beautiful... :aww:
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much!!!
Reply
:iconj-uyen3:
j-uyen3 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
When I first saw how long this was, I was almost too lazy to read it. I am really glad that I did, though; it was great! :)
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for giving it a chance! I'm glad you liked it!
Reply
:iconj-uyen3:
j-uyen3 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're very welcome!!! :)
Reply
:iconkarinta:
Karinta Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Student General Artist
Wow. Wow, wow, wow. Beautiful story, and an interesting concept. :hug:










:-)
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much! :tighthug:
Reply
:iconkarinta:
Karinta Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013  Student General Artist
Aw, you're welcome. :glomp:!
Reply
:iconkeimeii:
Keimeii Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013
Aha! Dead! Just like I thought. >D

Good job on this, Congraz for the DD
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much!
Reply
:iconpastmisfortunes:
PastMisfortunes Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
"He never knew how until he finally took these people where they needed to go" was the line that clued me in to what the "secret" to the story was. Similar ideas like this have been used before, but this was still very original. I think the most well-written (and my favorite) part was the end of the story, when Obe takes Ida home. All in all, this was amazing. Congrats on the DD. Love how the drawing sets the mood too, by the way.
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I actually used one of those similar ideas to craft the foundation for this story. I always liked Charon in Greek mythology, and I wanted to do something with him. But of course, it had to be my own, so the river became a desert, and the boat an old Charger.

I am very glad you liked the story, and the illustration for it as well!

And thank you very much for the :+fav: !
Reply
:iconlightsonluna:
LightsOnLuna Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I like this! There's not a lot of stories I have the patience to read but I'm glad I read this one because it was great. I liked Ida's character.
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much! I'm glad you gave it a chance!
Reply
:iconshineeserendipity:
ShineeSerenDipity Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Student Writer
Wow, I'm speechless! This is so good! Every bit intriguing and different! Congrats!
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much! That means a lot to me!
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on your well-deserved DD!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconlainloveplz: :iconflyingheartsplz: :clap::clap::clap:
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much!
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're very welcome dear!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::tighthug: :iconflyingheartsplz:
Reply
:iconaspirin111:
aspirin111 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
a very good read! I'm not good at expressing myself and my thoughts with words so I'll just leave it with " I loved this!" and it's not very often I love short stories on dA!
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much! I'm glad you found this to exceed your normal expectations!
Reply
:iconelecxra:
elecxra Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Congratulations on such an amazingly beautiful Daily Deviation! ♥
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much! :hug:
Reply
:iconblacksand459:
Blacksand459 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
As the other commenters have said, this story is phenomenal!! :clap:

While I'm not able to give a proper critique, and at the risk of sounding dramatic, I think this is one of the best stories I've read on DA in a long time. Could it use some polish here and there?

Little, if any, in my opinion. B-)

In terms of it's sheer ability to immerse the reader in the environment, this is a stellar piece. The dialogue is great! You know why? As soon as you begin reading, it's no longer words on a page, but pictures in your mind, as you allow the reader to smell the dry, desert air and the hear the low rumble of the V8 under the hood.

My heart went out to the little girl; the ending leaves the reader with at least the illusion of hope that the little girl won't have to face those terrors she endured in her brief lifetime again.

You said in one of the comments that this story flowed out when you wrote it, and that you were surprised at how well received it has been. Sometimes the best stories are the ones that simply flow. And I'm surprised that this doesn't have a thousand faves at least. :nod:

I would love to read more of their adventures. But even if there isn't more, this is an excellent piece of writing. Kudos to you for a well-deserved DD!!! :D :trophy:
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so very much for your kind words! Reading your comment was actually the first time I realized that it had! So thank you for making me aware!

I am very glad that you liked my little story. However, I don't believe there will be more for them. Their story has been told, and so many others are still waiting to come into the light!
Reply
:iconmissdudette:
MissDudette Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013
:clap:
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
    Congrats on the well deserved DD! :dalove:
    Have a nice day! :heart:
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much!
Reply
:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
    My pleasure :happybounce:
Reply
:iconclockchat:
Clockchat Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013
Goosebumps all over my skin. Despite the lateness of the hour, my eyes are wide open, my senses far from falling prey to slumber. I'll be damned just ... there are times where critics encounter a piece that packs so much punch, as to steal the words from their mouths, unable to express just how much they gained from reading such a tale. That's happening to me right now. Must be unfair for the writer, that the stories that provoke their readers to become speechless, won't receive the feedback they're deserving of; this, of course, derived from their breathtaking quality. Unwilling to leave emptiness in a space reserved for a proper comment, I'll force myself to manifest why I loved this piece so. Don't forget, however, that I'm doing it out of a sense of justice on your part. Because, going by pure honesty, "speechless" is right. These words will simulate (but won't make) justice to what I felt.

What do we have here, for starters? An old-timer, driving across the desert with a young girl that doesn't recall how she got in there. From the beginning I'm already intrigued by the events that will unfold; how could I not, with such a set-up? It could lead to many stories, but hardly a generic one, and besides, "generic" is something that's absent from your gallery. We're treated to the chemistry between these two individuals, who are at opposites regarding experience in life ... and beyond, as we'll soon find out. Anyone who's read your past work should expect superb characterization to show up, and does it ever. Reacting to reactions, is how wise 'ole Obe squeezes some words out of Ida, whose youthful charm makes the old man grow attached to her fairly quickly, making her the one who's spent the most time in his unnatural vehicle.

In a masterful revelation, we find out what Obe does for a living (for the living?) and things go down. Things? Whole lives! We see how those who have lost the rights to remain among the living have to descend out of this Earth. The trip is far from pleasant; on the contrary, being literally the last road between life and what lies beyond, it'd seem they have to go out facing it all, especially the cruel realities usually hidden from view by one's mind. But these persons don't have the luxury Celisse did in "The Ring". There's no mind to escape to. In this case, the mind seems to take whatever memories one wants to bury deep down, and take them back to the surface, so everything unpleasant, anything rough that occurred in one's life, is experienced once more before departing.

Now, just imagine an eleven years old girl having to go through that. More so one whom The Reaper himself has developed paternal feelings for. He won't let her have it ... just yet. There's this bittersweet aura that covers the whole work because of this ending. It's just a matter of time before Ida will have to go to that house. That's all Obe can give to her. A bit more time after her natural clock stopped ticking. Temporal relief from a destiny no one's safe from ... But hey, push her away from the suffering a bit longer.

At this part of the commentary, I'm meant to point out technical aspects whose modification could improve the piece. Obe may as well take me with him, for my brain's dead for such a labor. Nothing comes to mind right now. I may take another look at this down the (undead) road, and then determine if there's something worth pointing out. So instead, I want to know something. I don't know if this was intentional or not, please tell me. "Ida" is Spanish for "gone", when referring to a female. I thought this was an excellent touch in an already flawless tale.

I share something with Obe. He feels young at the end of the story. After reading this, I feel very, VERY young in the world of writing. A killer tale, infused with so much life. Do I even need to type that eight-letters word which begins with F and ends with Avorite?
Reply
:iconbrietta-a-m-f:
brietta-a-m-f Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so very much! I almost don't know how to respond without sounding arrogant or falsely modest. In the end, I'm blown away by how much love this piece is getting, as I wrote it quickly, and it hasn't had the same creative birthing pains as many of the others. This is one where the story truly wrote itself. In the beginning, I just set out to write about a roadtrip after finishing a long one (of so many) in my own life.

My Spanish isn't very good, and I didn't know that Ida translated into "gone." It is an awesome touch, jut not a planned one! I only knew that it was a Greek name meaning "nymph."
Reply
:iconsentienttree:
sentienttree Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I really loved this. Especially the ending. I may have teared up a bit, if we're being honest. X)
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

:iconbrietta-a-m-f: More from brietta-a-m-f


Featured in Collections

DD DLD Lit by Blacksand459

Literature by SylveraDrake

Lit by sentienttree


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
February 4, 2013
File Size
18.2 KB
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
4,701
Favourites
127 (who?)
Comments
64
×