Ride the Dawn

#BlogBattle “Ride” Week 29, Genre: Contemporary?

Ruth knew better than to stand in the front yard. Every time she did, the neighbor across the way would stare at her with those piercing eyes. She couldn’t really see his face, but she could feel him watching her.

As unnerving as it was, she fought the urge to run back inside and waited there, her bare feet sinking into the dewy grass, the sun nearing the horizon.

Any time now she would see it. It was almost always visible in that time between twilight and dawn.

Ruth jumped, her skin prickling with goosebumps when the neighbor’s wooden screen door slammed against the frame. She pulled her gaze away from the sky for a brief second to ascertain the whereabouts of the neighbor.

He stood on his porch, looking at her. She wrested her gaze from his and stared back at the sky, unwilling to miss the passing of the space station where her father now lived, doing his best to prove man could travel the stars, explore the cosmos, rule the universe.

“Let me take you for a ride.”

“Ack! Tristan, you can’t sneak up on me like that.”

There were those bewildering eyes, still staring in to her, but up close now.  He’d crossed on silent feet and left her breathless.

Ruth had known Tristan her whole life. They’d lived across the street from each other and as kids had been great friends, exploring the woods which backed her yard and playing in the stream just beyond the big hill.

But something had changed when they’d entered junior high. She still had no idea what had caused the rift between them, but the look in his eyes now always gave her a wariness she couldn’t place. It seemed ages since he’d actually said a word to her.

“Come on. Ride with me.”

He tilted his head toward his motorcycle parked to the side of his parent’s driveway, a bike he’d spent three summers working construction with his uncle to earn enough to buy. Even in the diffuse morning glow, the chrome had an eye-catching shimmer.

Ruth’s eyebrows scrunched up as she considered his offer or command or whatever it was, but that old familiar longing to be with the friend of her youth bullied her better sense into submission.


He didn’t smile as he turned away to lead her toward his bike, but Ruth sensed Tristan was pleased.

She jogged over to the porch to slip on her shoes. A lightheartedness seeped in, and she flitted across the street where she took the helmet he handed her and climbed on the seat behind him. Ruth buckled the strap of the red helmet under her chin then wrapped her arms around Tristan’s waist, gripping the fabric of his lightweight windbreaker.

It almost felt as though he placed his hand over the top of hers, but the wisp of a feeling was gone as soon as it arrived. She must have imagined it. The breeze was playing tricks on her.

The rumble of the engine filled her ears and the faint flickering of the headlight shown out into the street.

“Hold tight, Rue. This might be a bumpy ride. Just lean with me, okay?”

Rue. How long had it been since anyone had called her that? She smiled without even realizing why.

“Got it.”

With that, he took off, the motorcycle zipping out of the driveway, down the street, around the corner, and on to a dirt road winding up the tallest hill behind her house. It was a short ride, only a few minutes, but it left her breathless with exhilaration.

Ruth relaxed her grip on Tristan’s jacket and shivered in the cool morning air as she climbed off the back of the bike and away from the warmth of his body.

He removed his helmet, then engaged the kickstand, and stepped off the motorcycle. Ruth handed him the one he’d loaned her, and he set them both on the seat before he took off his jacket and wrapped it around her shoulders.

Ruth accepted the jacket without protest. They’d barely said a word to each other in years, and now the silence was deafening. She didn’t have a clue what to say as her mind reeled with curious confusion. Why had he brought her here?

She held the jacket closed with one hand and trailed after Tristan. He climbed the last bit of hill to the summit. It was open and grassy at the top. Large boulders were scattered over the ground, and Tristan made his way to one of the largest where he climbed up on it with dexterous ease then reached his hand down to offer Ruth help up.

She looked at his hand for a second then moved around it to climb up herself. Tristan didn’t act offended, but Ruth was beginning to feel resentful.

“Why are we here?”


He pointed into the pink and blue mingling in the morning sky. There, as plain as the dawn was the space station, a blinking light in the great distance. It rode an invisible line in the sky, carrying the hopes and dreams of a world filled with wonder and her dad, the man who’d taught her to pursue what mattered most to her.

“Wow. I had no idea the view was so good from up here. How did you know?”

“I just guessed.”

She looked over at him sitting next to her on the boulder.



“What happened? Between us. Why did you stop being my friend?”

The whole time Tristan stared up in to the sky.

“I never stopped being your friend.”

“Yes you did. In seventh grade you stopped talking to me, you ignored my knocks on your door. You told your mom to tell me you weren’t home. I finally got the point, but it hurt. You were my best friend.”

“I was afraid.”

“Afraid of what?”

“You’d find out I wanted to kiss you.”

48 responses to “Ride the Dawn”

  1. You have such a way with words, Rachael! I loved reading this, it held me captive the entire time. Every writer gets discouraged about their own writing from time to time–I’ve had quite a bit of that recently myself–but even since the beginning of this year I truly feel that your writing has grown leaps and bounds. I hope mine has a bit too, haha. 😀 Keep confident and chase any self doubts away. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ❤ Thanks, E. I appreciate that vote of confidence. I want nothing more than to improve day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year. I thought you already a talented writer, but you continue to improve. I think you should be most pleased with your character development and how well that is going. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Aww… ❤ Love the love here, lady. Wonderful. (Also, the ride seemed dreamy…)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved this Rachael, it kept me wondering right until the end. Such a sweet ending. 🙂


  4. I loved tbis Rachael, it kept me wondering right until the end. Such a sweet ending. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Marje. I’m sure my lack of knowledge when it comes to how one might see a space station in the sky is sorely lacking, but I’ve got no problem writing about confusion and estrangement. lol I’m glad you liked it! Makes me super happy!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can’t think it could be as sorely lacking as my space station knowledge, good job, glad you’re super happy Rachael. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Some beautiful imagery there! And what a way to end it. I hope he kisses her.. I really do. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me, too. *sigh* Boys are dumb is what I always say. 😉 hehe

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Fabulous! I wanted him to say that! Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wanted him to Do it! Haha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You make me want to write romance IBFF, haven’t had a romance genre urge till I read this

        Liked by 1 person

        1. doooo it! You’re already writing Chick Lit, so it won’t be too far a stretch. Besides, I tend to write cute romance. haha

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Seriously adorable at the end. 🙂 Another great story, per usual!

    PS. I’m hoping to get back to the #BlogBattles next week. I’ve missed it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Claire. I like adorable! 🙂 Good! We’ve missed your stories. ♡

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Lovely ending. Nice pacing. I was worried for your protag and wanted to find out what lay at the end of her destination. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That may have been a reckless thing to do, getting on the back of that motorcycle. 🙂 Thanks, Cathleen! I appreciate your thoughtful feedback. It’s lovely! 🙂


  9. Sorry, my fingers aren’t co-operating. I meant, ‘Rachael’.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is terrific: tension, emotions, an exciting ride and wind in your hair and confession time. Love this one, Rachel. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Tess. I enjoyed writing it, but ended up wishingi I could write more than 1000 words. Also kinda wish I’d done first person instead. 🙂 I’m just so pleased you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh sweet courage! This was wonderful! I could feel the chill and his heat, and see the lights of the space station. You painted the words so clearly. But then you always do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Candice! I gotta admit I’ve been struggling with self-confidence the past couple weeks. More than usual. There are so many talented writers and I find myself wondering if this is just one more thing I’ll only lever be mediocre at. I appreciate your words so much.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rachel you have an incredible talent! A unique voice that no one can match. Never doubt that my sister 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. ♡ Thanks, Candice. I’m so grateful for you and your encouragement.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Feeling is completely mutual! I think we all get discouraged in this road of writing, but we will make it through if we encourage one another

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yes, ma’am, yes, yes, yes. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

      2. I missed th “a” in your name….the blessing of typing via tablet

        Liked by 1 person

        1. And an off spelling of an ancient name. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  12. nice and (I want to live in a space station watching the universe unfold before my very eyes *sigh*)

    aaaawe and a cute ending too


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, B. I’m thinking Ruth wouldn’t have minded going up there with her dad. 😉 I know I wouldn’t. I can start writing creepy guys, but they never stay that way. Haha Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. A great read, you kept the reader clueless until the end. Very entertaining. You even got a space station in there lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love space. I want to go there. 😉 The stars are a beautiful and vast ocean stretching through time, and I want to touch them. 🙂 Thanks, Simon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Youre like me. I think i was born in the wrong time, i want to be Han Solo, Captain Kirk and all the other space explorerers in literature.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yep. Right there with you! Although, I have a rudimentary knowledge of space and the possibility of space travel. It’s still an itch I want to scratch. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Its an itchy itch too isnt it?

            Liked by 1 person

            1. For sure and certain. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Ill scratch yours if you scratch mine lmao!

              Liked by 1 person

            3. new fiction to devour is just right.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. I will… Its time. I dont get much lol

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Only as much as the day allows. Who knew the day could rule over the man with so little effort? Time is a twisted task master.

              Liked by 1 person

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