The forest swallowed sound, spreading a rolling hush. Walking through the trees was like marching through an abandoned future.
When a car coughed up the trail, the hikers heard it coming for miles. The driver slowed beside them, asked how they’d ended up in this strange in between place.
“I’m from the village up the way,” the driver said in heavily accented English.
“We’re going past it, I think. Do you know A—?”
The driver nodded. “I’ll get you to my village.”
There was little more to lose, so the hikers got in the car. The doors and windows of the vehicle shut out the trees. The clock, the gas gauge, the radio – the ordinary flow of time returned, even with nothing but static coming from the speakers.
The driver passed the village and continued on to the hikers’ destination.
“Thank you,” one of the hikers said. “You didn’t have to…”
“What is good for you, is good for me,” the driver said with a shrug.