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August 3, 2020 Fiction

Pacific Theater

Brett Stuckel

Pacific Theater photo

An endless line of army trucks clogged the other side of the Pennsylvania highway. I gawked at them, and spurred by a vague sense of ownership, snap-decided to find out their destination. I exited, immediately remerged, and joined their convoy rolling west.

Twelve hours later, I surrendered to sleep at a rest stop. But when I returned to the highway, the infinite convoy continued. I cruised with them for seven days: west, north, east, south, east, north, east, west, south, east, north, west, south, west, south. An angel hair loop until we reached Santa Monica beach.

The army trucks parked hood-high in the waves, and the saltwater ate their camouflage to reveal glittering iridescent swirls. They flapped their roof hatches against the ocean's surface, and rolled and breached, and spouted cones of froth from their exhausts. At dusk, they slipped away from shore and disappeared.

I drove back to Pittsburgh, to my folding table and chair and tiny television, and the news said Breaking: Peace in the Pacific.

 

image: Carol Highsmith


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