“Appalachian Trail Diary” is a work of fan fiction and is not written for profit, only for entertainment. This author does not own “Inuyasha”, which is owned by Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Yomiuri TV, Sunrise and Viz Media.
April 1, 2009
My name is Kagome Higurashi, and this is my diary. This girl, Sango, gave it to me. It’s really just a cheap spiral notebook, and she gave me the pencil I’m using to write in it. It’s all chewed on, but I’m not gonna gripe, cause it’s one of the few things I own that I didn’t have to steal from Mr. Bradley. The old canvas boy scout backpack that I’m carrying my stuff in? Stole it from Mr. Bradley. The steak knife I’ve got shoved in the waistband of my jeans? Stole it out of his kitchen, after I used it to stab him with. The jerk.
That’s his April Fool’s Day present from me. Mr. Bradley was my foster father. Actually he was just a big dumb asshole guy married to this woman that gets her money from Social Service, for taking in kids like me. I’ve been in plenty of foster homes, and this one wasn’t that much worse than most of them, it’s just I’ve got this problem. See, I just turned 15. And that’s a problem. I was kind of a cute kid, and that wasn’t so bad, but when I got into junior high, I started growing. You know. My legs started getting really long, and my chest started getting big, and jerks like Mr. Bradley started to think they could do whatever they want to me. But I guess Mr. Bradley learned otherwise. Mr. Bradley used to tell stories about the time he spent in Viet Nam. He was always talking about the prostitutes they had there. He called me his “cherry girl”. Is that sick, or what?
Surprise, Mr. Bradley!!! Anyway, now I guess I’m in big trouble. ‘Cause no matter how bad foster homes are, everybody knows that they’re nothing compared to the places they send you when you do something really bad, like stab your foster dad in the chest with a steak knife. So I guess this whole mess is my April Fool’s Day present, too.
I had a room down in the Bradley’s basement, just a cot in one corner, really, with a musty sleeping bag to sleep in. Mr. Bradley kept his old crap down there, so when I knew I had to hit the road I grabbed his old green backpack, rolled up the sleeping bag, took the two pairs of jeans and two tee-shirts and two sweatshirts that I actually do own, and Mr. Bradley’s old Carhartt jacket, and took off. My jacket, that I really owned, was pink and puffy. Mrs. Bradley bought it for me at the Goodwill. She gave the new jacket she was supposed to buy for me to her daughter, Sara. I kind of liked that pink jacket. It had Hello Kitty on it. But it was really bright, and I knew I didn’t want to stand out, ‘cause the cops were definitely going to come looking for me and Hello Kitty. I stuffed Hello Kitty in a garbage bag, and dumped it into the neighbor’s dumpster. Fortunately for me, the TA is only a few miles from the Bradley’s neighborhood, as the crow flies.
Do you know about the TA? It’s a truck stop. Actually, I was born in the bathroom of a TA. One just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I guess my mom didn’t want me, cause she left me there, in the sink. No diaper, no blanket, no nothing. And yeah, I’m not white, okay, or even black, for that matter. I’m part oriental, probably Japanese. That’s why I grew up in foster care. Who wants a blue-eyed Japanese kid when you can adopt some nice white or black kid. Enough about that. I don’t really care. So anyway, when I had to get away fast, the TA was the first place I thought of. Dumb kids steal cars, and then get caught. Dumb kids stand along side the road with their thumb out. If they’re lucky, they get picked up by the cops. If they’re not lucky, some perv picks them up and does something really bad to them. The trick is, you don’t get in the ten-year-old Buick with the “Jesus Saves” bumper stickers on the fender. Nuh, uh. That’s just asking for trouble. Smart kids like me know that if you need to get out of town fast, you go to a truck stop and try to hitch a ride with an over-the-road truck driver.
So I was in the diner at this truck stop, dipping fries in ketchup and trying to make them last. I had my eye out for a certain kind of guy. Who didn’t look like a crackhead or Jeffrey Dahmer. Maybe a grandfatherly type, you know? Well, this wild looking chick wearing black leather pants and boots struts up to the counter, gets like twenty burgers, and a humungous coke, and sits right down at my table with me! She starts telling me the story of her life, like I really care or something, and I’m like, uh huh, uh huh. Sometimes real life is kind of like school, isn’t it? So anyway, one thing I learned in school is, if some kid is dumb enough to sit at the same table as a loser like you, just be grateful, ‘cause then you’re not alone. The other thing is, they’re probably some kind of a desperate loser too, or something, and they might just share some of those burgers with you….
Well, anyway, she DID share her burgers with me. She told me her name is Sango, no last name, and it turns out she’s on her way to meet this guy in Atlanta, Georgia. She met him on the internet. I didn’t tell her how dumb that is. She seems to be several years older than me, so if she doesn’t know better, that’s her tough luck.
It started raining out, and it turned really cold. Sango asked me where I was going, and I told her I was looking for a ride to Georgia, to go visit my grandmother. It was a really dumb lie. I mean, wouldn’t you think it was kind of a strange coincidence if you meet some girl in a truck stop, and when you ask her where she’s going, it’s the same place as you? But I think Sango’s kind of naïve, cause she didn’t blink an eye when I said it. She just offered me a ride, and I took it. Now it’s dark out, and the rain is just pouring down in buckets, and we’re in this beat up little Volkswagen. Not like a 2000-model or anything. It’s like the kind of car a hippy would have driven in the 60s or something. All rickety, and beat up, and doesn’t even have shoulder harnesses, just seat belts that go across your lap. Sango may not know better than to go meet up with some guy she met on the internet, or pick up some kid at a truck stop, but she does seem to be a pretty good driver. The car even has a gearshift, and she seems to be able to handle it. Other than the clutch thing. Oh, well, she’s a fast driver anyway, and she must be brave, because every time a big truck passes us, we get practically shoved off the road. My feet are getting wet because the floorboards of the car are rusted through.
I guess Sango could tell I was kind of nervous, so she started telling me about how she had always kept a diary, ever since she was a little girl. She told me to look in the little space between the seats. There was this notebook, with this old pencil shoved into the wire spiral thingy that held the book together. She told me it was mine, to keep. The amazing thing is, my new diary has a bright pink cover, just like my Hello Kitty jacket, which will no doubt end up in some landfill in New Jersey. So now I’m holding this little flashlight between my teeth, using it so I can see to write in my new diary. Sango says she can stay up all night, if she stops along the way for coffee. At the rate she’s driving, we’ll be in Atlanta in no time.