The link: Ronovan writes
The challenge: Take your favorite quote from a movie and use it as inspiration for your entry this week. If you want more direction, make it the last sentence in your piece
The movie quote: “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.” from Back to the Future
Length: 620 words
Puzzle of the Stars
I take the blame for this. When I suggested the road trip I was just trying to think of a way to break my flatmate Joe out of a bad habit. Every night he’d come home from the bank and spend the evening sitting with a puzzle book. Curled up over his Sudoku and cryptic crosswords like an old man. It didn’t seem healthy.
“We’ll drive down to Cornwall, stop off at a few pubs, camp out in fields. It will be a total change from the humdrum,” I said, pleased to see his glimmer of interest. Time to break free.
It was week of pub lunches and getting lost on winding roads before Joe began to change. By day we’d carry on as normal, bickering like a married couple. But at night, as I’d shout at him to help me with the tent, he’d ignore me and just stare up at the stars. Every night, red-faced and huffing from battling canvas I’d ask him,
“What are you looking at, you numpty?”
And without tearing his eyes from the sky, he’d whisper something obscure like,
“What does it all mean though? All those lights blinking on and off, there must be a pattern.” And then he’d carry on staring while I stomped off to find firewood.
By the eighth night I’d had enough and told him we’d be sleeping out under those stars, since he liked them so much. After we’d parked, I pulled our sleeping bags out of the car and threw them into a field. Sitting on a clump of grass, he gave me a faraway smile as a response and let his eyes drift upwards, while I climbed into my sleeping bag in what I hoped conveyed an irritated manner. I was just dozing off when he started speaking again,
“I think I’ve nearly worked it out.”
“What?” I asked, as if I didn’t want to know at all.
“The puzzle of the stars.”
“It’s not a puzzle, Joe,” I said with a sliver of patience. “They’re just stars.”
Maybe we should pick up a bumper book of crosswords from a cornershop tomorrow, he was clearly suffering from withdrawal. I should have tried to wean him off slowly. He started speaking again, his voice suddenly intense. After a week of this star-gazing wispy nighttime musing, it was a bit of a shock to hear actual inflection to his words, as if he had woken up.
“You’re wrong. It’s a puzzle. Like a treasure hunt, you just have to work out what the clues are, where they’re pointing. That’s how you find the treasure.”
“Sure thing, Joe,” I sigh, and turn over to sleep.
I don’t know how much later it was when he woke me.
“We’re going,” he said, shaking me. Too close, his eyes reflecting light, but all around us was blackness. There was a mischievous fire to his voice, like a drunken goblin on a mission.
I was still saying,
“What?” while he was jumping up and running for the car.
I was saying,
“What?” again, as he started the engine. In panic, I stumbled from my sleeping bag, staggered to the car and leaped in the passenger side as he drove away, my door not even closed. But he didn’t head down the road, instead he swerved into the field.
“I get it!” he shouted, driving alongside a line of trees and further into nowhere. Branches shrieked against the windows, leaves slapped at the windscreen.
“What are you doing?” I wailed. With a euphoric grin he said,
“Solving the puzzle.” His face pure wild innocence, free of sanity.
“You’ve left the road! We’re not on the road!” I howl.
“Roads?” he said, “Where we’re going we don’t need roads.”