The Fork in
A short story by O.Frank
or should I say a Tall Tale
Some stories are called tall tales for reasons but I assure you, by the
whiskers on my face, that this is not one of them. This really happened,
even though I know you probably won't believe me. You see, another reason
that you probably won't believe me is that I'm not a man of means, in
fact I have no means. I call myself a hobo. Now I know what you're thinking,
but you are wrong. I'm not homeless. The outdoors is my home.
Homeless folks lay around on streets begging and such. I never begged
in my life. I once got caught by one of those railroad yard bouncers,
and he said that my train rides were stealing. But I don't believe that
because I never took nothing in my life and that boxcar is moving, if
I'm on it or not.
Well to get back to my story. It all started in the early spring a number
of years ago when I was walking down this most beautiful trail somewhere
in Oklahoma. Anyhow I had just jumped off this here train that has slowed
down cause it was starting up a hill. As we had hit the top of the last
hill, that we had just come over, I seen that there was a town just on
the other side of the forest. Anyhow I was hungry and a Town meant food.
Then I found this trail and started following it. Suddenly I came upon
this fork in the trail. "Drats" I said out loud. You see us
hobos don't like making decisions, that's the whole reason were hobos.
Anyhow I was kind of tired cause I'd been walking for a while. So I sat
down, up against a tree, to think it over and take a breather. Well I
fell asleep, and when I woke up the fork was gone! " Well I'll be?
" I said out loud. I then walked up to where I thought the fork started
and looked around as carefully as I knew how. It became obvious after
a few minutes that I had imagined or dreamed the fork. "Oh well"
I said out loud, I didn't like making decisions anyhow.
I then continued on down the trail. At first I was glad that I didn't
have to make a decision, but then I got to thinking maybe I was going
crazy. Years ago, I had got on a railroad car with a guy who was crazy.
He told me about seeing some of the weirdest things, like pigs flying
and such. He claimed that he could look right through the floor of the
boxcar and see the railroad tracks the train was going over. I didn't
believe him but this experience made me start to wonder.
Anyhow as I walked along I started feeling strange like I was missing
something. I checked all my stuff and it was all there. But it just kept
getting worse. It finely got so bad that I had to go back towards the
train tracks. But I had only walked back for just a few minutes and I
started feeling normal again. So, again I turned around and headed towards
the town. But then the feeling started coming back. So I turned back around
and headed down the path towards the train tracks.
As I got closer and closer to where my tree was a thought I saw someone
through the trees walking the same way I was. " uh oh ", I said
to myself, "This may be trouble". So I slowed down but kept
on walking to see if they knew I was there. He slowed down too. "Oh
no" I said to myself, "He knows I'm here". So I stopped
and he stopped. "Oh my God" I said to myself. I just knew this
was big trouble. I stood there real still for long time. But he didn't
move either, So what could I do? I couldn't just stand there forever.
So finally I yelled, "who's there" Out loud. Just as he yelled
too. The exact same thing! That was a relief, because he sounded just
as scared as I was. I then said "I'm a friend" just as he said
the exact same thing. I then start walking again, and looked up and he
had started walking too. I could see the trees were getting thinner. Then
there was my tree just up ahead.
Then, just when I got close to my tree. Suddenly there he was! He looked
just like me! He had the same backpack as I did, and the same walking
stick, and the same tear in his shirt. It was like looking at yourself
in a mirror! We both just stood there shocked, looking at each other.
I suddenly got so sleepy I couldn't hold my eyes open. Then the next thing
I knew, I found myself waking up setting against my tree. I looked up
and there was the fork just like it should've been. Now I can hear you
thinking already. You're saying to yourself that it was just a dream.
I know because that's what I thought at first. But I know it wasn't a
dream, cause I could remember what was down both trails. And I knew just
the right trail to take to get to the town.
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