Imaginary Journeys

So, here’s my answer to the picture prompt posted at NaNoWriYe’s DreamWidth yesterday.

prompt-46

Something struck Marian as strange the moment he took the turn onto the country road.  It seemed like an ordinary day.  Clouds covered the sky, threatening rain.  The ground was dry and brown, it would welcome the promised moisture.

Mountains stood in the distance.  Marian could see trees near the horizon, even though there were open fields to each side of the road.  It was beautiful, but normal, day.  The strangeness was something that Marian couldn’t shake.  At the same time, he couldn’t figure out what seemed unusual to him.

Then, he saw her.  A woman was sitting on top of a suitcase that was set directly in the middle of the lane.  He slowed to a stop and she turned to frown at him.  He eyes were covered by large shaded lenses, like Gilbert often wore.  The wide brimmed hat covered her head and shaded her face.  However, her arms were bare.

Scowling, Marian rolled down the window.  Peering out, he called to her.  “Are you all right?” he asked.

She moved to her feet and lifted the suitcase.  “My boyfriend and I had a fight,” she said, shrugging.  “He just… left me here.”

Marian blinked at her.  “So you waited in the middle of the road… hoping he’d come back for you?” he said, shaking his head.

She chuckled and then shrugged.  “Two cars went by, but… they just kept right on going,” she said.  “I figured that, if I parked myself in the middle of the lane, the next car would have to stop.”

Nodding, Marian unlocked the passenger side door.  “I can give you a ride into town, I guess,” he said.

“You’re a life saver,” the woman said, grinning.  She stepped over to the passenger side and then tossed her suitcase in the back seat before sliding into the seat beside Marian.  “I can call my sister from town and she’ll come and get me,” she added.

Marian nodded.  He closed the window and then set out once again.  Frowning, he said, “I’m Marian.”

“Emily North,” the woman replied, flashing another smile his way.

For a while, Marian rode with her in silence.  Then, he realized what he’d been sensing as strange earlier.   “I’ve been dreaming about this,” he said, his voice soft.  He glanced over at Emily.  “I dreamed… about you.”

For a moment, he thought the woman would tell him she was crazy and demand that he pull over, so that she could get out.  Instead, she frowned.  “That’s what my boyfriend and I were fighting about,” she said, shaking her head.  “I said that I’d been dreaming about riding down this stretch of road and… he asked if I was dreaming about doing it with him.”

“But… it was me?” Marian said, blinking.  When she nodded, he looked back out at the highway that stretched out before them.  “He didn’t take it well, you dreaming about another man.”

“Funny thing is… if I hadn’t mentioned it, we wouldn’t be here now, acting out the dream,” she said.  She laughed and Marian flicked a glance at her.  She was shaking her head.  “It’s crazy how things work out.  Isn’t it?”

“It is,” Marian murmured.  He wasn’t going to mention how his dreams always ended.

Emily whistled.  “If my sister ain’t home, I think I’m gonna either laugh or cry,” she said.  When Marian glanced at her, he saw the flush of color in her cheeks and chuckled.  Clearly, her dreamed ended the say way his had.

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