If you’ve ever been for a long hike without water, the last few miles will test how bad you want to make it home. Your stomach clenches, your eyes burn, and your legs want to give in to gravity. Frank was not going to stop walking. If he’d had water, he would’ve been tempted to stay with his gold because walking away from hundreds of millions of dollars is unnatural. It can be downright depressing. It is like finding a winning lottery ticket in a parking lot and letting it blow away.

In the desert, water is more valuable; it keeps you alive; and Frank knew this. He was closer to the steel beast now and water was on his mind, clear and cool, dripping down his head, messaging his burned skin, and refreshing his insides. The Semi was silver with blue trim. Red flames licked the engine and tinted black windows made it look unreal, like it didn’t haul normal things. A door opened and a small man with a potbelly climbed down to the pavement. His Nascar hat and black sunglasses made him look fast.

“You look like you need somethin’ to drink,” he said.

Frank nodded and the trucker returned with a Big Gulp. “Mountain Dew; this will chase your worries away.” Frank held the cup in his hands and heard the ice cubes bumping into each other. Nothing sounded better. He popped the lid and drank the green liquid, feeling an injection of energy.

“Where are you headed?” The trucker asked.

Owing to his dehydration and dazed mind, Frank didn’t have the good sense to lie. “I need to make a deposit in the nearest bank.”

“What do you need to deposit?”

“Dreams,” Frank said.

“Oh, I realize a man’s business is a man’s business. I didn’t mean to pry. If you feel strong enough, climb aboard and I’ll take you there. It’s at least 100 miles due west. Frank climbed the ladder and sat inside the beast. Its brain lit up; lights and navigation cast colors into the dark interior.

“It’s dangerous to be out there alone; you can die easily from many things, but I’m sure you already know that,” the trucker said.

Frank nodded. He didn’t want to get involved with idle chit-chat. He just wanted to keep drinking and no matter how much Mountain Dew he drank, his thirst continued.

“If you need a refill, I’ve got lots of cans in the back. I’ve even got ice in the cooler by your feet. Now we need to make good time and chase the sun. My name’s Jordan.” He extended a hand, missing a finger and a thumb and Frank grabbed it, never happier to make someone else’s acquaintance.

Jordan flipped the radio switch, turning on country music. It was a woman’s voice and she was singing about her love that she had lost. The steel beast roared to life and the gears shifted into first as the sun set behind the nearest hill. Jordan shifted into second and then into third. His rig ate up the asphalt in a mad rush to catch the disappearing light. The hills were red and the sky was turning black. The 18-wheeler roared up the canyon, not losing any speed.

There was a whole new stretch of land to cover before the sun decided to go to sleep and Jordan needed to chase it. This time he would catch it. The West is where the sun sets. It’s where dreams are found and fortunes are made. Not a word was exchanged in the cab that evening, but Frank and Jordan were thinking about the same thing; dreams that can’t go to sleep and dreams that must be realized.

4 thoughts on “Chapter 5 Chasing the Sun

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