I had once told Hermes that among all the tools a good traveler must have, the most important asset was luck. It was in a situation that was not too different from the trouble that we were now in, as I recall. For this reason, it would have been harder to admit that it was our luck that had run out first as we burned up the last of our gas causing Hermes to slowly putter to a stop punctuated with a less than triumphant I told you so. After all, we had been lucky in finding a collection of trees not far from the road with low enough branches to hang a small tarp off of as a sort of makeshift shelter.
Currently it was dark, and cold, and every now and then we would hear the telltale trickle of water or feel the occasional spatter of wetness that foreboded the coming rain.
"I am going to rust out here, and you are going to catch pneumonia and die." Hermes deadpanned.
"There's no need to be dramatic. The next country can't be too far down the road, we just have to be patient for a while until the rain lets up a bit."
"That's easy for you to say, you'll already be gone by the time I get picked up and taken away to be sold as scrap." I stared at Hermes for a moment as the moonlight glinted off of his headlight. He knew we had been stranded in far more dire situations before. Clearly his complaining was meant to be my punishment for not listening to him earlier on.
"I bet the guy that comes to scrape me off of the side of the road will be a huge man named Road Kill with a dark, waxy mustache and a pair of sunglasses that he never takes off." Hermes continued to whine, and I let him. It was probably best to let him get it out of his system now, rather than have him be more upset with me later.
I sighed as I began to analyze our current situation. If only I hadn't talked with that one man at the last rest stop. Had he not assured me that we didn't have much farther to go before we hit the next country, we probably wouldn't have gotten ourselves in this situation in the first place. I hate to even think it, but it seems that our luck is just about as worn out as my leaky tent. Why is it that it always seems to start raining whenever it feels like things can't get any worse?
I leaned back against the hard birch and listened as Hermes continued describe in detail his incredulous story of how we would be found here on the side of the road. There was really no point in sorting out the details now—as off putting as this road bump was, we'd be on our way soon enough anyways. Luck was tricky that way; it could shift as easily as the changing winds.
Looking up to the huge expanse of cloudy darkness, I couldn't help but notice that the troublesome rain started to fall at a more even pace.
For lack of a better thing to do, I focused on the sound of the droplets that had started to pelt against the tarp.
"…. Huh?" Unabashedly, I tilted my head to face Hermes who had apparently finished his story about our untimely demise. I probably should have felt a bit more guilty about earlier, but I guess it didn't really matter that much now anyways.
"I just asked if you could see that weird light out there in the distance."
I looked out towards the edge of the road where we had come from. Although in accompaniment with the rain a fine layer of mist was obscuring my vision, sure enough there in the distance I saw the same small, bobbing light that Hermes had recognized earlier. Standing up by the edge of the tarp, I squinted my eyes to get a closer look at the approaching anomaly. I could just barely make out the outline of a shadowy figure attached to the glowing light. "It looks like there's a person on the road!" I announced as I pulled the hood of my rain jacked up over my head. "I'll be right back, I'm going to go ask them for help." I nodded to Hermes as I exited the sanctuary of the shelter.
"Just be careful Kino," Hermes grumbled as I closed the distance between the stranger and myself, "It's in situations like these where unsuspecting travelers get hopelessly lost, leaving their poor, defenseless motorads to rust on the side of the road!"