by Dabria Karapita, Age 16, Canada
Artwork by Lucy Zhang
The fiction prompt for April required that authors name at least three different destinations in their entry.
My finger traces the small line on the map, and I lift my head to look out the window at the passing countryside. Rolling fields of golden wheat greet my view, like an unending ribbon of gold trailing across the earth.
“There sure is a lot of wheat here,” I say. “I never really think about it until we’re driving down the highway, passing rows and rows of it. It doesn’t seem to end!”
“Saskatchewan is definitely known for its wheat,” Dad says from the driver’s seat. “Just like Alberta is known for its oil, and British Columbia for its rain. But Saskatchewan has more to offer than just our harvest.”
“Really?” I raise my eyebrows, looking around again. “Well…what else do we have to offer?”
“Did you know that Canada’s largest geothermal mineral water pool is in Moose Jaw? And so are the tunnels, where the notorious gangster, Al Capone, had his hideout.”
“That sounds cool. Can we take a trip to Moose Jaw sometime?” I ask, nibbling on the chipped edge of my painted blue nail.
“Sure, Hailey. Add it to the list.”
I pull a spiral notepad out of my denim bag, uncap a purple gel pen, and begin scribbling. When I finish, I lift my feet out onto the dashboard in an attempt to alleviate the pressure of being in a constant sitting position. “Can we stop somewhere to stretch our legs? I’m hungry.”
“You’re always hungry,” Dad says, a smile in his voice. “We picked up a sundae, licorice, and gum back in Theodore. Or does your stomach not remember that?”
“Da-ad! That was ages ago in travel time! I’m a growing sixteen-year-old. Besides, I’m sure a package of beef jerky would taste pretty good right about now.”
Dad’s eyes light up; I have him with the word beef.
Soon we’re pulling into the parking lot of a gas station in Lanigan. We take a bathroom break, pick up the beef, and Dad lets me grab a chocolate milk as well. Then we head back into the truck, and there’s silence in the vehicle as we hit the road and chomp down on the tough jerky.
After a bit, I say, “I like going on road trips with you.”
“Ah, I get it; I buy you whatever food you want.”
“No!” I protest, sucking on a slice of the dried meat. “You always make it so much fun. And we talk about everything under the sun. A lot of my girlfriends don’t get to spend much time with their fathers.”
Dad nods. “That’s true. Plus I’m pretty easy to convince to buy you things, huh?”
I playfully reach to smack his arm. “If you’re going to be that way, I’m taking the last piece of jerky.” I reach for the package.
After a few minutes of watching the pavement zoom under us, I look over at him. I take in his short, curly brown hair, the small wrinkles around his eyes, his full lips; I memorize his face. Because one day this road trip will be a memory, the past, and I want to remember every bit of it.
Dad silently slides his right hand into my left hand, and I smile broadly.
“Let’s take road trips like this forever,” I say.
In a soft voice, my dad says, “Anywhere and everywhere, Hail.”
Dabria Karapita loves reading, writing, and coffee. She sees the world in words, and constantly has a new story being spun in her head.