Using the height of the moon as a guide, Tom headed in its direction, the only other company the bare trees of the Australian outback.
Blowing out his last stick of bubble gum he let it pop and cover his nose and for a moment he felt like a child again. A safe child whose mother would smother him in a warm blanket and tell him everything was going to be all right.
His eyes locked onto a light on the horizon, a gated track leading to it. As Tom walked nearer he saw movement behind the light, one corner of a small single-storey house.
He reached the gate and read the sign. ‘Private Property – Trespassers will be eliminated’.
“Eliminated?” Tom said out loud. “That’s ridiculous. It should be prosecuted. Who eliminates people? He looked around him, turning in a slow meticulous circle. Having spent the last three hours trying to find signs of life, someone to take him to the nearest town, someone to return to fix his rental car, he decided he’d risk being ‘eliminated’.
Signs didn’t mean what they said. They were just there to scare. It would work with most people but when faced with no other option, it didn’t scare Tom. So he opened the gate then closed it behind him, reverently as if it would help his case. He started walking the two or three hundred yards to the house, slowly in case of confrontation at any moment. He was about halfway when he heard a click, his right foot hitting something hard. He froze to the spot and looked down, but saw nothing but earth. Heart thumping, he crouched down, careful not to move his feet then screamed as he brushed away the dirt with his fingers.
Picture above courtesy of morguefile.com.
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