The Bridge That Would Not Burn

by Christina Rauh Fishburne presents
a serialization in 14 parts

Week Fourteen:
in which there is acceptable proof of some aliveness at the threshold of a covered bridge, despite the exhaustion of wishing, “good morning.”

Atchison waited at the top of the cab for Charlotte to return from relieving herself. The cold had cut his legs from his body. He felt nothing. His heartbeat and visible breath in the blue air was acceptable proof he lived. He waited at the threshold of more than just the wooden bridge. Golden light poured slowly over other side of the riverbank as the sun rose higher above the mountains.
A splash to his left.
A sickening at his core.
Dark hair, woolen skirts, cream cuffs made a star. Open eyes watched the sky as the current sewed threads of blood down river.
A thin man in a checkered cap. A flashing blade.
A pistol in Atchison’s hand. Inexplicable musculature. Mesmerizing reflex.
The shot.

Atchison collapsed onto the driver’s seat. He couldn’t move his legs. He couldn’t go to her. The illusion of their escape still shimmered in the center of the bridge. From inside the cab he heard the child stir.
“It’s alright,” he heard himself say. He shifted to lean over the side and look through the window where she stretched carefully.
“Good morning, sir,” Alice yawned.
Though the road turned rocky and the clouds rolled in from the east, and though it exhausted every fiber of his being, he replied, “Good morning.”

You may enjoy the full story of The Bridge That Would Not Burn, here.
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