The Road Runner

This week’s homework which I’ve been working on instead of working on my piece for Fiction Friday, which, zomg, is tomorrow.


Describe a place where your character feels trapped. Use the details of the place to suggest your character’s discomfort, claustrophobia, and dread. (1-2 pages)

The Road Runner

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The unchanging horizon of a clear blue sky encircled Joshua, a white-and-denim speck in a pale-gold sea of sand. A thousand steps brought no change in scenery; a day’s trudging made as much of a difference as standing still.

The sun stalked Joshua relentlessly, beating down on his head, his shoulders, his feet. The glare of it pierced his eyes from every direction. His tongue, swollen and numb, filled his parched mouth, making it hard to breathe. Whenever he took a swallow of water, it felt like sandpaper scraping his throat raw.

Joshua spent the days trying to outrun the sun. He spent the nights numbering the stars. The days and nights blended together, and the only real measure of time was the decreasing weight of his waterskin. Whenever Joshua measured time this way, he wished it were the day before. But the days and nights marched on.

The monotony of the desert was sometimes broken by the occasional cactus, arms raised in supplication like the cacti in a Road Runner cartoon. Whenever Joshua came across such a cactus,  he would pause and mimic it. This ritual sometimes lasted for minutes at a time, Joshua upright and motionless, side by side with a cactus — two figures, arms outstretched, communing with each other and with God.

One night, he numbered the millionth star. The cool, grey sand drank up his tears, leaving no trace of them behind. He rose while it was dark, but he could not outrun the sun.

The unchanging horizon of a clear blue sky encircled Joshua, a white-and-denim speck in a pale-gold sea of sand.

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