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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 45 | volume VIII | November-December, 2005



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 45November-December, 2005

The Long Road

p. 1
Bob Yirka

    ”You want sugar with that?”
    He looked at her a moment, considering.
    “Will it get me to Sedona?”
    Her expression taunted him.
    “No honey, but I got something in back that might.”
    He looked at her hands, big soft puffy ones. He wondered if she'd ever been to California, if she'd ever been anyplace.
    “You got any pie back there?”
    She took a step back, looking him over, just like all the others.
    “I don't think so.”
    She looked him right in the eye. “I think we're all outta pie today.”
    They always were.
    “Well, never mind then.”
    He turned and looked towards the door.
    “You got anybody there?”
    Conversation he didn't need. “No, I'm just goin'.”
    He swung back to look at her. “Is that alright with you?”
    He didn't wait for her reply, just continued.
    “I gotta get there by morning.”
    “Yeah, everybody always does.”
    She bent over to pick up his empty plate.
    “It won't matter, ya know.”
    He knew.
    He swung himself away from her, sealing his fate.
    “Gotta go.”
    He gave here two twenties, and got up to leave.
    “Thanks ma'am, it's been a treat.”
    He didn't bother answering her query, just kept walking. It didn't matter. Outside it was hot, dusty.
    “A man could lose himself out here.” He reminded himself.
    “A man could die”.
    He made his way over to the only truck parked outside. As he climbed in, he thought about the woman behind the counter, and sighed.
    He listened to the engine roar to life, grateful that it fired. Maybe he'd make it after all.
    He drove steady, feeling the vibration, feeling the heat rising up out of the mist to greet him.
    He'd forgotten, again, how much he missed the desert, how much he missed it all.
    When the engine started crackling, he wasn't surprised. It seemed somehow that it was meant to be. He drove on regardless, wondering how much further he'd go.
    Didn't take long. Soon enough the engine died, and he and the truck rolled to a heavy stop.
    He knew what was behind him, so he looked up ahead. Nothing he hadn't seen before. He also knew that out there, beyond the black, beyond the heat, were the mountains. He knew he'd never get there too.
    He pulled out a pack and fired up, thinking once again about the woman behind the counter. He smiled, knowing she would be amused.
    Headlights travel forever when there's nothing there to stop them – someone would be passing by soon enough. He considered a nap.
    He felt it pulling him in, taking him away. He relaxed, and

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