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“The Long Haul” by Rachel Wingeier

Character: Police station clerk
Action: Tightening a knot
Setting: A meeting for a subversive group
Prop: Decorative songbirds made from vinyl records

***

The Long Haul

By Rachel Wingeier

Seventy-two hours. The address on the last bill of lading read Port of Long Beach and he was in Baton Rouge. He had seventy-two hours to complete the haul and arrive at the park on time. He went over the route in his mind as he did the pre-trip inspection. About 1,800 miles. He could get there and back by Sunday, even allowing for plenty of downtime. But he didn’t care about the ride back. He cared about only one thing. Being at the park at 3:30pm on Friday.

To make this unusual pit stop happen, Lou was finally going to use some of the vacation time he’d accrued over the years. He’d never taken any before. His boss thought he was a machine, but the truth was that he worked to forget. Every minute he was on the road was one minute not spent sitting in that silent apartment being reminded that there was nothing and no one to stay home for. So he had never taken the time that was owed to him. Not until now.

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