(If you’re just now tuning in, this is another installment that is part of an ongoing series. You can start at the beginning- youloveben.com/choose-your-own-adventure)
As the sun starts to set, the surrounding desert comes to life: coyotes, birds, snakes, all start shifting around the periphery of your makeshift little camp. There are more than a few times that you hear what sounds like that scuffling sound, but you never really see where it’s coming from.
It sounds big, almost like someone shaking an autumn tree… trying to make it drop it’s leaves. Which still doesn’t make it feel any less creepy than what you thought it sounded like earlier: one big-ass spider. But then again you have a serious thing against spiders, so it’s probably just your imagination running wild with the idea.
You try to just not think about it. The dying light looks brilliant for a time, setting oblique shadows dancing across the hills and desert floor.
After the last rays of light shift ever darker purple and violet and then inky dark night, the stars come on in full force. At first only the planets and brighter stars, but then an hour passes by without notice… and yet you can’t stop gawking at the uncountable, distant lights. So many stars!
Nothing really seems to be going on around you on the outskirts of some abandoned desert town, so you finally get over the sounds and the stars and try instead to get some sleep. By tomorrow morning you’ll be well on your way to Tonapah.