A.A. Nour is a researcher and a writer, and sometimes those two things overlap. She is an Odyssey Writing Workshop grad, and she's passionate about psychology and research rabbit holes. She lives in Chicago with her husband and a plethora of adorable creatures that have made a home in her backyard.
The Hitchhiker on Souls’ Road
Of all places, Sam did not expect to wake in the back of a fire-red, flat-bed pickup truck. Especially a moving one. Particularly an unfamiliar, moving one.
Sam shoved her boots against one side to stop from rolling. With a whimper and a healthy dose of adrenaline, she clambered to a crouch, hanging fast to one side. Dust whooshed into her face; she sputtered, falling backwards and rolling anyway. A blank, blue sky stretched above. When she managed to right herself again, she squinted before peering over. Sandy plains spread in all directions, freckled with tumbleweeds. No buildings, no signs, no nothing. Definitely not Boston.
Over the edge, a far fall and quick road blurred below. Surely she’d break her neck if she jumped.
Fighting a swell of panic, Sam wrangled with her bonds only to realize . . . well, she wasn’t tied up. She’d just assumed, being in the truck and all. That was something?
Sam swallowed. It’s fine, it’s fine, she told herself. Maybe she passed out and some Samaritan scooped her up to take her . . . to the middle of the desert.
Maybe she’s dreaming. Yes!
Another tumble drove her shoulder painfully into the front cabin. Oof, dreaming didn’t hurt this much.
Pressed against the cabin, Sam managed to scramble up toward the little slider window thingy. Cupping one hand against the glare, she found:
Some biker dude. Sorta? With long blonde hair, a leather jacket, and wraparound shades, he sure looked the part. But he also appeared very . . . put together? Like he bathed regularly. And shaved. If Disney ever made a movie about a renegade with a heart of gold, they’d cast this guy.
Heart of gold? Sam crushed her forehead against the window. She was in a strange car with a strange dude who could one hundred percent crush her windpipe as easily as he blew his nose. And somehow—by looking at him—she got the vibe he just, didn't want to?