With Twilight Behind the Hills

My thumb felt frostbitten, I'd held it out so long. I wasn't surprised. A big man, scruffy and unwashed? I wasn't a safe bet, especially with twilight disappearing behind the hills. I saw a flicker of light far down the road. Maybe my last chance.

A lot of things brought me to this moment. Some good choices, maybe more bad ones, and bad luck mixed with bad timing. I'll still swear up and down the Hudson that any other year, my business would've done just fine. But with the economy...

I kept my thumb out. No telling how far ahead the driver was looking. The lights looked colder than normal. Those new, blue-colored lights?

So maybe quitting my job was a bad idea. And telling my boss just how much he smelled may have burned a bridge. But how was I to know that the investments I liquidated for funds were about to leap in value?

The closer the lights got, the more I could see a wobble, like the driver was palsied. I took a step away from the road.

I tried a dozen jobs, anything that'd keep me afloat. They only wanted pliable teenagers and immigrants.

A carriage pulled up, transparent with a ghostly blue lanterns hanging from the front. The driver flickered like a bad special effect. He asked if I wanted a ride to the front. General Washington would take any body he could get, he said.

It wasn't like I had any other job offers.