The Last Miles


Image Source: Tracey Capone

Ann was starting to get pissed as she stood in front of the AC unit trying to get it off of the ARCTIC BLAST setting. She and Melissa didn’t get much sleep, between the cold and rattling of the air conditioner and anticipation of the homestretch of their trip.

The morning, grey and muted, flicked across the carpet in thin shafts of light as Ann bumped into the heavy motel curtains. She rolled the immense 1970s climate control dial, pressed buttons, punched the panel. Eventually she gave up and went back to the bed. Melissa had pushed the comforter to the floor, and was lying with the sheets pulled up to her chin.

“I would get starkers for you, but it’s too fucking cold in here!” she said. She made a show of her shivering and chattering teeth.

Ann held up her arm, which was a relief map of goose bumps.

“I’ll forgive you,” she said. “This time. We need warming coffee! Wanna stop at the coffee shop for some Route 66 Americana, or would you rather fuel up when we fuel up?”

“Hmmm…” Melissa said. “When will we ever be here again? Let’s linger for a few minutes.”

“Let’s!” Ann said. “And if I happen to see a sombrero or some other form of dumb-ass local ware in the gift shop, and if it happens to end up in the car, weeellll….”

“Yeah, don’t make me change my mind before we even get home!” Melissa said.

300 miles to go. Ann and Melissa were starting the day in a frigid, run down New Mexico motel room, and they would end it at the beginning of their new life together. They lingered at the door before returning the key, knowing that this was a moment they would both remember for a long time. The last miles before home. Then they got in the car, turned up the heat and hit the gas.

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13 comments
  1. Okay, Brian. I’m getting a little tired of your being such a great writer. Can you dial it down a notch so the rest of us don’t look so bad?

    This feels icky and sad. You’ve transported me to a place I’d rather not be. Glad I didn’t have to linger too long at the Blue Spruce.

    • Whaaa? That’s so funny: I was feeling happy and ready to get home after a sub-par night. :D

  2. Once again you’ve left me wanting to know more about these people who live in your head.
    And once again, you give me only a snippet and leave me to wallow in my own frustration.

    Are they a couple? Friends? Where are they coming from? Where is home? What color was the sombrero?
    You’ll never tell.

    Hmph.

    • I know nothing.

      Well, I know some things…

  3. Tracey said:

    Great job Brian! You left me wondering as well and, having seen the Blue Spruce live I can tell you that you likely nailed it on the head ;) Thank you!

    • Your photo made it so easy, Tracey. Thanks again!

  4. Brian, you are quite the prolific writer! And you never miss. I like this. I didn’t find it sad at all. I do wonder where Ann and Melissa will be beginning their new life (not driving off the edge of the Grand Canyon, I hope) and what the back-story is. I also wonder if any of your vignettes have inspired longer pieces. They *all* seem like they have a lot more story in them.

  5. Thanks, I appreciate it, Jeannette! I think long-form works may be in the future, but can’t really say, as I’m just inching along trying to figure out what I’m doing here. We shall see. Hopefully more eyes on the work will lead to…….???

  6. Sarah said:

    Brian, you are an amazing writer!! I can’t even tell you how much I LOVE this! I love that you leave some things up to your reader to imagine. That’s such a smart thing to do. This is a great story that leaves me wanting to know more about the characters. Perfect!

    • Sarah, thanks so much! I definitely try to strip away everything but the essence so my readers can fill in their own detail. I’m really glad you’re enjoying my work and your own interpretation!

  7. Wow.. you really have a great writing talent. I really enjoyed this blog and reading what you posted. Never lose your amazing talent.. you just have a great way with words and details. Great post

    • Kay, thank you so much. I really appreciate that. I’m digging your work as well and looking forward to more interaction down the road!

  8. I like this story.Brian. Thank you!

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