Dawn crept long-fingered across the sky as the train pulled into the station.
The train stopped.
The doors opened.
Only Ambrose got off.
He stumbled down the train’s four metal steps onto the platform. He stood there wavering as the train waited for passengers who did not exist.
After waiting a decent amount of time, it cried out and left the station.
Ambrose stood alone with the strengthening dawn.
He wanted to crawl under a building – somewhere dark and cool – and wait for night to return.
But he wanted to go home.
He wanted to sprawl out in his own bed, surrounded by his own scent, and sleep.
He just wanted to go home.
Ambrose rubbed his hands all over his face and sighed. “I’m not going to get anywhere by just standing still.”
He left the platform and walked the long walk home.
The sun rose, turning from sulky orange to seething yellow bright.
Ambrose walked down Main Street with the hope of hitching a ride.
Yet, the roads stayed maddeningly free of cars, motorcycles, and bikes.
“This city is full of lazy, unmotivated, uncaring bums. WHY AREN’T THERE ANY TAXIS?” He rubbed his forehead with the heel of his hands. “Is it too much to ask for a bus?”
It took him an entire forever to reach the end of Main Street and it took him twice as long to get to the residential area.
And he still wasn’t home.
The oak trees lining the road offered some shade, but no relief. The sun shined down on him with a mean-spirited determination. It seemed to follow the top of his head no matter which way he turned.
No breaks from the sun’s heat.
If I weren’t a vampire, I’d probably die from heat stroke right about now.
The houses grew further and further apart. Their facades more run down. Their yards grew thick and out of control with weeds and trees sprouting wherever they wished.
Until, at last, he reached a dead end.
Ambrose walked past the Dead End sign into a wild field of long grasses towering high over his head.Crickets and cicadas sang competing songs with neither side really winning.
He walked down a narrow deer trail for about a mile until.
He entered a vast clearing dominated by a medium-sized castle complete with moat.