Sam had been driving for over an hour now. It was a relief to be out of the city, away from the hustle & the bustle, the endless meetings and the rat race. The city that once was a huge part of his dream, which he called home, was now nothing more than the gateway to hell.
The only thing that kept him going was his wife, Tina. Ever since they’d found out that Tina was pregnant, she’d been living with her parents in the country, for the well being of their first child, who was now 3 months due.
Another half hour, and Sam would be back with his Cream puff.
The roads were empty, as far as the eye could see. Tall mountains and fir trees stretched on both sides at the far end of the terrain. The sun was setting, splashing the skies with shades of red, orange and deep purple. The evening breeze blew gently, carrying the autumn leaves along. It looked picturesque and surreal, like a Van Gogh painting.
Sam was driving as fast as he could, immersing himself in the depth of his solitude, lost in his thoughts.
Suddenly, he stamped his foot on the brakes. The tires screeched under pressure, and the car jerked to a complete halt just inches away from a Siberian husky that was blocking his way. The dog sat there-nonchalant, as Sam gathered his senses after a minute. He was furious at this imbecile dog.
“Get off the road, you stupid adorable thing” he screamed at it, leaning his head out of the car window. He could drive around, but was too stubborn to do so.
Left with no alternative, he got out of the car to coerce his new nemesis off the road. It had worn a dog collar that read Mr. Skittles.
“All right, Mr. Skittles, off you go!” Sam towered over the dog. Mr. Skittles looked up at him, and wagged his tail in joy.
“Seriously! Stop giving me the puppy face look and get going. Shoo, Shoo!” Sam said impatiently, pointing the way.
Mr. Skittles stood up and happily circled around Sam before scampering off to a small house on the other side of the road, which now caught Sam’s eye. It reminded him of his childhood home, when his parents were still together.
A swing hung lopsided from a nearby tree branch, outside the courtyard. He swung it gently, and the ropes rustled against the branches. He walked up to the unlocked gate and pushed it hesitantly. He knew that he had to get home to his wife, and this was clearly trespassing.
“Meh! I could ask the owner, if they’re interested in selling the property.” Sam mumbled to himself as he walked past the rusted mailbox that had Barnacle house etched across it.
He was about to ring the doorbell, when he heard a voice call out his name.
“Sam! Sam, you came back. I knew you’d come back”
He turned around to see an old woman in her late 70’s hunching over an iron cane, squinting as she gazed up at him with a look of absolute surprise and joy.
Astounded, that she knew his name, he uttered “I, I’m sorry, who-who are you?”
She stared disbelievingly at him for a minute, her face contorting with agony, before finally speaking the words that her mind could conjure.
“Sam Barnacle, I’m your wife, Tina!”