Recorded Live, This is Audio Adventures with Joshua David Ling

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Mike Kraft is your standard lonely trucker on the open road. But something paranormal keeps following him.

This, is Ghost Trucker

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And now...

Ghost Trucker, Episode 1, Stragglers

1 - Truck STOOOOPPP!!!

“I’ll never forget the songs we sang.
I’ll never forget the games we played.
I’ll never forget the times we had.
And I owe it all to you.”

Mike Kraft scoffed at the lyrics on the radio
Inside that run-down truck stop.
He had a long way to go to Fort Bragg, California
And his mind needed to be tip-top.

An old man sat on a guitar stool,
Behind the counter, chewing gum.
He stared at a tv listlessly,
Seeming to have no fun.

“Y’all ain’t got the jerky I want.
What you reckon is the best?”

The man to no notice of Mike,
So Mike continued to press.

“I said, you ain’t got the jerky I want!”

“I heard ya before!
I don’t know, I don’t eat jerky!”

“Then what good are ya for?”

The man grabbed a shotgun off his counter,
And began to head toward Mike.
Mike put his hands up in a placating gesture.

“Hey, I didn’t want a fi-”

“Shhh!!!”

The man hushed him,
And walked past Mike to the door.

“There’s a storm brewing out on route 50.
There’s lots of danger in store.
Many have gone down that road,
And many have been driven mad.
Your truck may survive that white-hot desert.
But will your mind last?”

Mike laughed aloud and sighed aloud.

“That’s a good one there.
I’ve done this run eight times before.
But you sure did give me a scare!
Look, I’ll just take this one here.
Will you ring me up?”

The man put his gun back on the counter,
And sat down with a huff.
He rang up Mike and said no more.
Mike went back out to his truck.

“Stupid crazy small town men.
I wish I had another spot for my truck.”

He climbed inside and dialed the radio.
And soon, he began to drink.
He looked at a few pictures on his wall,
And just sat there, trying to think.

He saw his Mom, his Dad and others,
But he stared at an empty spot.

“Get some good sleep tonight Mike.”
It’s a long road ahead-”

“STOOOOOPPPPPP!!!”

Mike jumped at the sudden scream from his speakers,
The radio crackled and popped.
But a moment later, his signal came back.
And he searched around for his glock.

But nothing else happened that night.
And in fact, he slept well.
It’s a good thing too because he would need it,
To make it through the desert’s spells.

2 - Melanie

As Mike Kraft flew down the highway,
The radio continued it’s static.
The interference was getting to him,
As was the enigmatic-
Moment several hours ago
When the radio screamed at him.
And the weather wasn’t looking good either.
In fact, it looked rather grim.

As the road stretched on and on,
A tiny shape came into view.
It was so dark that he almost missed it,
And his alertness he renewed.
He swerved to avoid the human-ish object,
But felt that something was hit. 
He cursed under his breath,
And pulled over to take a look at it.

He ran back fifty yards or so,
And saw a little girl.
She was shaking in the cold of the desert,
And fright had rocked her world.
She stared down at the remnants
Of a Hard-cover backpack,
The victim of Mike’s eighteen wheels,
And when Mike shouted, She shouted back.

“What the flying squirrel are you doing?!
Do you realize where you are!?”

“I’m walking to California. Is it very far?!”

The girl shook with cold and fear.
Mike couldn’t believe his eyes.
He grabbed his phone from out of his pocket,
And lifted it to the skies.

“No signal, figures.
Dispatch has been pinching pennies,
Downgrading our phone service and plans.
What a bunch of ninnies...
Girl, what is your name?”

She took a moment to respond,
As Mike grew patient with her.

“Melanie is my name.”

“Well, I’m not leaving you here, for sure.
Come with me to the next town,
And the police can help you there.”

They gathered up her undamaged belongings
And got aboard his truck,
And drove on to the next town,
To see what would be their luck.

3 - More Signs

The night air was still upon their route. 
Not even a little breeze. 
Melanie lay cuddled up in the passenger seat, 
As he drove steadily, and with ease.

Now that she had drifted to sleep,
He flipped on his radio.
Hoping to find a good station,
To keep him alert and on the go.
He flipped to the first channel on the dial,

“I’ll never forget the songs we sang.
I’ll never forget the games we played.
I’ll never forget the times we had.
And I owe it all to you.”

Mike changed the station, 
He hated that song. 
But it buzzed and crackled, 
And before too long, 
It repeated those same four lines again, 
And he punched the radio
In frustration then. 

““I’ll never forget the songs we sang.
I’ll never forget the games we played.
I’ll never forget the times we had.
And I owe it all to you.”

Melanie stirred at the sound of the punch,
And the swelling of the tune.
Then Mike tried to turn it off,
But the song fought through the gloom-
Of the night, and the darkness around,
And and began to grow louder
Than every other sound.

“I’ll never forget the songs we sang.
I’ll never forget the games we played.
I’ll never forget the times we had.
And I owe it all to you.”

Melanie stirred as Mike grew cold,
And the noise continued to grow.
But Mike had to hold his wheel tight,
And keep his eyes on the road.
For even though he felt no wind-
Against the sides of his rig,
The overhead roadway signs quavered,
And started to do a jig. 

Melanie screamed as one fell down, 
And Mike had to swerve to pass. 
Others began to melt like butter, 
As they went under an overpass. 

“Just hang on!”

Mike screamed aloud, 
As they rocketed down the road, 
And Melanie closed her eyes shut,
And tried to be brave and bold.

4 - Bacon and Eggs

The next thing Melanie knew
She was waking up in a bed.
She smelled bacon and eggs cooking
Which soothed her aching head.


Mike: “Hey! You wakin' up over there?”


The gruff trucker yelled to her.
She covered her ears with a pillow
And he laughed:


Mike: “Just makin' sure!”


A few moments later, Melanie yawned,
And stretched her tiny arms.
Mike brought a plate over to her,
And she smiled at the breakfast warm.


Mike: “Ya ain't much of a morning person, huh?”


Melanie shook her head.


Mike: “Probably still freaked out about last night.”


Melanie shivered with dread.
Up until then she believed
The previous nightmare
Had been simply that.
But Mike's voice grew grave as he took off
His beige, dusty, trucker cap.


Mike: “You remember it too, huh?
I'm not sure what went down.
I saw things, and then they were gone.
Then we just... Went into town.
You had fallen asleep by then,
So I just carried you.
I'm gonna take you to the Sherriff's office later.
They'll be able to help you.”


Melanie made to protest,
But Mike cut her off.
His phone rang and he answered it,
And began to loudly talk.
His attention toward her shifted,
And he began to pace
All over the hotel room
While she ate the food on her plate.


As she ate, however,
And Mike with someone jawed-
She thought she heard a set of strings
As if from heaven or God.
She listened closely and followed the sound
To their exit door.
And then she peeked to see if Mike
Was still yammering away from her.


Mike's attention was completely fixed
On whatever this phone call was.
So Melanie slipped out of the room
Without so much as a pause.

5 - Moment of Joy

Melanie walked slowly,
As if not to scare away-
The beautiful sonic creatures
That floated her way.
Every shimmering note
Seemed like a song in itself.
They'd spring with life and fire in a moment
Then dance back down with a yelp.
They seemed fraught with sorrow and pain
But hope still lingered within.
Then she saw the man playing
And helplessly grinned.


A man in his late 20's
With brown skin and poorly cut hair
Was sitting on a bench by the hotel
Laying his heart bare.
His eyes were closed as he silently mouthed
Words to go with his song.
A baseball cap laid beside him on the bench
Disgustingly dingy and worn.
It'd once been bright and white.
But the dust and fabric's cuts
Served to make it almost brown
With all the sweat and muck.


Melanie bobbed her head,
And her toes began to tap.
And before she knew it, she was dancing
And putting coins in his cap.
He smiled and kept playing
Quickening his pace.
She giggled and the two shared a joy
Within that tiny space.


But soon he played discordantly
And fumbled to a stop.
Melanie turned and saw Mike
Standing with his arms crossed.


Mike: “What do you think you're doing, boy!?
She's a little girl!
Come on, Melanie. We're going to the Sheriff.”


Mike took her and twirled-
Her around and off they went,
To try to get her back home.
Leaving the guitarist by himself
Confused and alone.

6 - The Sheriff

"If she doesn't want to give me her last name,"
The Sheriff calmly said,
"Then all I can do is post her picture
And simply hope for the best.
My wife said she can stay with us.
And she's coming to pick her up."


Mike: "Sounds good to me, Sheriff,
I just need to get back to my truck."


Sheriff: "Sorry it took me so long.
We got over a dozen calls last night.
Must be a full moon or something.
Everyone's full of fright.
Seeing things like ghosts and junk,
Reasonable people too."


Mike: "Huh." Was all that Mike could say,
But deep inside he knew,
Something was following him down the road,
But he didn't know how.


Mike: "Well thanks for taking the girl, Sheriff.
I'm gonna head out now.


...


During that conversation between
The Sheriff and Mike Kraft,
Melanie was in the other room
Lying down on her back.
She stared up at the ceiling fan,
And then she heard a sound.
The man's guitar was playing again,
And she sat up and looked around.


She checked to see that Mike and the Sheriff
Were still discussing her fate.
She rolled her eyes at some of their words,
And slipped out the back gate.


Thinking: "They can't tell me what to do.
I've got to get away."


She followed the sound of that guitar
Her siren song did play.

7 - Hitchin' A Ride

Mike Kraft thundered down the road
Finally on track, it seemed.

Mike: "Finally, some peace and quiet."

Mike to himself beamed.
He'd cut a couple of wires last night,
In his FM Radio.
Hopefully there'd be no more freak shows
For his many miles left to go.

Bang and clang! Went several noises
That nearly made him swerve.
Something was back in his trailer!
So he pulled off the road to serve
A bit of Texan justice
To whatever made that noise.
He pulled his hand gun out of the dash,
And walked back to the door, poised.

He inspected the plastic seal,
And saw it had definitely been cut.
He sighed in both relief and worry.

Mike: "This is just my luck."

He lifted the latch and shined his gun-light
Into the trailer, then.
All the cargo was accounted for it seemed.

Mike: "Come out, you cluckin' hens!"

Then sheepishly from behind a pallet,
Came Melanie and the man with the guitar.
Melanie had her arms crossed,
And The man's we're in the air.

Mike: "Why won't you two leave me alone?!"

He said lowering his weapon fast.

The man: "She came in the truck, and I tried to stop her!"

The man said blurted out in a blast.

Melanie: "I saw a ghost get in the truck!"

Mike: "Both of you get out, now!"

They carefully came out of the trailer,
And dropped down to the ground.

8 - Black Ash

Mike: "There ain't no Ghosts, Mel!"

Mike said climbing into the trailer.

He shuffled about the pallets,
with full plastic containers.
Mike knew he was going to lose
Money since the seal was broke.
Especially since he knew that
It was a Government load.

He ripped the lid off of one and peered deep inside.
Melanie winced and held her friend,
All three's nerves were fried.

Mike looked in and saw,
Some sort of black ash.
He knew this was going to a disposal facility,
So he didn't want to ask.
He closed the lid and then hopped down.

Mike: "Now what should I do with y'all?"

His yelled above his roaring truck,
But then it began to stall.
He stood a moment, slightly confused,
Then went to start it again.
But no matter how he turned the key,
No sound came from within.

9 - Peanut Butter and Jelly

Mike: "I took a quick look, but it seems like
It'd be smarter to wait for the mechanic."

Mike told his two guests while they sat
In his truck's apartment, feeling manic.

Mike: "I had to use a satellite phone.
I purchased with my own coin back in town.
Stupid dispatch been pinchin' pennies.
I told them: 'What happens if we break down?!"
We're really out in the sticks.
Gotta conserve energy in case things get dicey.
Either of you want a sandwich?"

They both nodded, and he made PB and J,
And they sat and enjoyed their meal.
Well, enjoy isn't exactly right,
As everyone did feel
The tension within that tiny room,
Mike decided to break the silence.

Mike: "Boy WHY ARE you following this girl around?"
He asked with great defiance.

Man: My name is Ozzie. I'd appreciate
If you'd use my name, kind sir."

Mike: "Well, Ozzie what's your game?
What team are you playing for?"

Melanie: "Stop being mean! He's just trying to help."

Mike: "Well, that's what I'm afraid of, Mel.
Look, why don't you just start from the beginning.
I'm sure you've got a tall tale to tell."

10 - Ozzie

The Music-man with latin skin
Took a deep breath and his story did begin.

"My name is Oswaldo Dominguez.
Most people call me, Ozzie.
I've been hitchhiking from Palestina, Mexico
Like a one-minded kamikaze.
My family sent me to the States
Their situation is dire.
Twice our town has been burned
By deliberately set fires.

I am almost at the end of my funds.
I had almost given up hope.
Then this girl, who reminds me of my daughter
Threw me a saving rope.

She told me you're going to California.
And Along the way we'd go-
Out from you and your truck
And hitchhike to San Francisco.
From there I can find a path to make it big
And play my guitar and be found,
And perhaps that will save me familia
And our little town."

Mike: "You left your family? Don't Palestina have jobs?
I'm sorry, Oz, but your story's a little odd!
How dare you abandon your family like that!"

Ozzie: "I had no choice!"

Then they all noticed something VERY... BAD...

Instead their roadside assistance savior,
They saw a most-threatening sight.
1 dozen black SUVs
Sailed down Route 50 through the night.
Men with suits arrived and stepped out,
Surrounding the whole truck then,
The 3 of our heroes sat silently freaking
In Mike Kraft's truck cabin.

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*Improvised Outro*

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