“Americana” Inspired by North Dakota

“They say that the spirits come out on stormy nights like these.”

The girl turned around to see where the voice came from. An old lady was seated by the diner she just stopped at. But when she left the place she swore there was no one around.

“Sorry, what?” The girl said, before getting back to her hitchhiking plan.

“The storm. Tonight. It will bring out the spirits.”

“What storm? It’s 90 degrees out here.” The girl adjusted her backpack and was about to turn away from the old lady. She was tired and sore from walking and trying to hitch rides. She stopped at every roadside attractions for a bathroom and some food, and this diner was her last stop before finding a motel for the evening… if she could afford it. She wasn’t even positive what city she was in. Somewhere in the Midwest. Somewhere far from home.

“You’ll see,” the old lady said. “If the trickster comes out to play, don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Okay, the girl thought, this lady is crazy. “Thanks for the tip.”

“You had better get to shelter. The trees say there will be lightning,” the old crone wheezed. “Haven’t had one of these in a long time.”

“Where is the nearest motel?” The girl had slept outdoors before but since apparently a storm was coming, she wanted to make sure she could have a bed tonight.

“Farther down the path.”

That didn’t help, the girl thought. “How do you know there will be a storm? Did the spirits tell you?”

“As a matter of fact they did. They warned me of this fateful night. Look around you, you never know when they may show up. Darkness is coming, child, be careful.”

The girl looked around her. Nothing. Just the empty road ahead and the small diner behind her. There was nothing to worry about.

But as she looked back at the woman, she was gone. No sign left of her. The girl shivered. And suddenly thunder struck, the world went dark, and the rain began. A summer storm was hitting.

Well… the girl thought. Better get a move on before those spirits get to me. She laughed to herself, “They say spirits come out,” she mocked the old woman.

“Or so they say,” she heard a voice speak. But again, no one was around.