“The House on the Side of the Road” Short Story


Staff Writer

The flat planes of the land that we were traveling on seemed to stretch on for miles on end. This was not my first time making the journey despite me only being twelve. But my years did not matter on the road. What mattered was the amount of goods that we were able to bring from one destination to another, if we were strong enough to make the journey. Despite my young age, I already had the desire to prove myself to the grownups of our little town. Plenty of barely-teenagers competed for the same validation. 

I looked around searching for those faces now. Fatigue decorated both of their faces. There were only three of us making the journey, none of us over 14 years. 

We had met only the morning that we left. I knew that they were brothers. The matching dark skin and matching curly brown hair proved that much. They seemed to be almost identical in every way except their eyes. The older brother, Francisco (we called him Pancho) had lighter eyes. When he looked up at the sun they reminded me of honey. The few times that I had seen it, honey seemed so luxurious. 

His brother, Antonio, seemed to have inherited a darker color. Albeit, it didn’t seem to lighten his personality. When we had first met he had looked me straight in the eyes, taken my hand in his and shook it with such vigor that my whole arm shook, all the way to my elbow. I remember looking back at my father with a look of disbelief. He had just looked back at me, holding back a grin. 

It had been difficult to travel with someone as hyper as the two brothers but we had made it work. I had been dreading the expedition. They could  last for days, even months of just walking, trying to get some trading done and earn money and food in these difficult times. The people were growing desperate as the days went on and the revolution showed signs of just beginning. 

The two brothers and their family owned a donkey that they had raised since birth. We had piled most of the goods that we were taking with us. Potatoes, corn, beans and other crops that were to be sold or traded on our stops. 

The start of the journey had been filled with chatter from the two brothers, occasionally asking me a question or two a but Antnoio would talk so fast that I could barely get a word out before he would be rambling about a different subject. As night had moved in on us the chatter had gone down dramatically. Now we were just looking for a proper place to settle down for the first night. And as the sun slowly disappeared over the landscape and the day came to an end, one of the most terrifying experiences of my life was about to begin. 

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