W.I.D., part 28: A Cliff in the Desert

Here’s the REAL part 28…. 🙂

Whatever I Draw

by Eliza May

When Tullier awoke, it was still dark because of the immense cloud of dust kicked up by the crowd of cars. He groggily asked what time it was, and in response, Jaxon said, “About 7:30 a.m. You’ve been asleep for ten hours.”

“Really?” Tullier yawned.

“Yeah. Oh, and I should probably mention that we’re currently in the middle of a car chase.”

Tullier awoke completely, sitting bolt upright. “What?!”

“Yep. The Pens have been chasing us for about five hours now.”

“And you didn’t want to wake me up and tell me?”

“Um, no. You needed rest.”

Tullier clenched his jaw and tightly closed his eyes for a moment, trying to keep a grip on his sanity. Then he relaxed slightly. “Okay. How close are they? I can’t see anything in this dust.”

“Well, we’re not really sure. A couple of hours ago, one of our cars from the back came speeding close by to us, and the Pencils inside signalled to us that we were being followed. Then more cars from the rear came up to the front and passed us, some of them pretty smashed up, so the rest of us all started going faster. While we keep driving, we’re safe. The most the Pens can do is try to shoot out our tires, but with the dust, it’s hard for them to see us.”

Tullier nodded slowly, lapsing into silence. After a couple of minutes, he asked, “How are we on fuel?”

Jaxon frowned as he checked the fuel gauge. “We’re running kinda low. Probably have another hour before we run out. But it’s a miracle we got this far in the first place. The cars you drew have amazing gas mileage.”

Tullier remembered what Kirk had told him about his Pencil drawing specifically what was in his mind, and he vaguely recalled having wished for a car that wouldn’t need to be fueled up. Internally, he grinned. However, even though they had gotten this far, there was still the problem of there only being an hour left before they were completely out–and once their cars stopped, the Pens would overwhelm them. While they continued driving, they were safe. Otherwise, they would all be killed… unless something lay ahead that would provide refuge. “Are we headed someplace in particular?” he asked.

“Yeah, actually. While you were sleeping, the rest of us all conferred. Apparently, there’s an old Pencil fort in the Wastelands, and we’re 97% sure that we’re heading in the right direction.”

“Doesn’t sound as comforting as if you were 99% sure, but I guess it’s a lot better than nothing. How far away is it? And just how huge is the Wastelands? I mean, we’ve been driving for hours! And according to you, the Pens are right behind us!”

Jaxon grinned. “In answer to your second question, the Wastelands is almost thirty thousand square miles. In answer to your first…. I’m not really sure.”

“We’ve got to get out of this dust cloud,” the young woman in the back said. “Otherwise, we could completely pass by the fort even if we are headed in the right direction.”

Tullier nodded. “She’s got a point. We have to get out of this.”

“Brilliant,” Jaxon said sarcastically. “Any suggestions on how?”

Tullier shrugged. “Just go sideways, out of this cloud, but keep heading forward, too. Cut across diagonally.”

“Do you have any idea of just how huge this cloud is?” Jaxon demanded.

“No. Do you?”

“It could be miles wide!” Jaxon cried.

“Or it could not. Anyway, there’s really nothing else to do.”

Jaxon sighed, and for the next half hour, they cut at a right diagonal through the cloud, on several occasions barely missing collisions with other cars. He was about to grumble about the futility of their endeavor, when with a shout of joy, he realized that the dust was thinning. A yellowish light filtered through the immense cloud. A couple minutes later, the car shot out of the dust into the bright midmorning light.

The car erupted into shouts of joy, and hugs were exchanged all around. Then Tullier’s eye caught something in the distance. “Look!” he shouted.

It was unmistakable. Although their eyes were still adjusting to the light, it was impossible to miss the cliff that rose before them in the distance, and built into it, what looked like a fortress.

Tullier spoke in a somewhat dazed voice. “We almost missed it. If we hadn’t gotten out of the dust cloud when we did, we would have missed it and smashed into the cliff.” His eyes opened wide as he realized what he had just said. “The cliff! They’ll all crash into the cliff!”

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