(Ed: I entered the Boulder Weekly “101 Word Fiction” contest last year and earned an honorable mention. They’re doing it again and I just submitted this one.)
I almost missed him in that full-length camouflage coat, Vietnam era boonie, Ho Chi Minh beard and braided pigtails.
He was nearly invisible against the backdrop of alders
and beardtongue penstemon.
His thumb was out.
I pulled over.
Marie shouted, “Mike, please don’t stop. Look at him!”
She locked her door.
“Get in, man. Where are you going?”
“Ward. Thank you.”
“Do you live there?”
“No. My Dad is dying. I’m going to be with him.
I’ve been alone in retreat all summer.”
Marie said, “I’m so sorry.”
He said, “So am I. Don’t worry. You’ll be okay.”