by Shawn Phillips

Four - Transition (One)



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Montana. Big Sky the advertised myth. The expanse of the skyline, a view of the marble that is Earth from the inside is quite the reality. Not flat, but a grande stretch of majestic land, waving, and in the distance, a giant castle of dark plum mountains dimunitively rising from the horizon.

I-94 lays in silence from the eastern border all the way to Billings, a trip of some 300 actual miles. Somewhere in the middle, but too far away from Miles City (which is named such for a reason), black metal and glistening chrome decked out with tires and a jack stand smoldered on the shoulder.

200 and some paces ahead a figure evaporated in the heat vapours rising from the asphalt. A shift of whining gears, puffs of smoke and a loud hiss later, a voice.

"Hey there, need a lift?"

She smelled of a week without bathing, the natural body odours clean yet gaining strength. A blue cap advertising a sports team seemed to accent the golden mullet curling around her ears. Among all the lights and knobs and switches a radio crackled out "Devil Went Down to Georgia" through the monotone dash speaker.

Chewing sunflower seeds. "That your Beemer back there?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"Lucky you didn't catch fire. Next town that has any emergency facilities is about an hour away."

Gear shift. "Got a name?"


Nodding. "Dolores. You must be from out east, then."

The CB radio crackles with chopped up sentences.

"I came from the east, yes."

She spat into the CB microphone. "Roger that. I'll be stopping at the weigh station there anyway." A finger points right. "See, I can tell. You're one of those dark, silent types." Pause. "I'm going as far as Coeur d'Alene. That ok?"

"Close enough. Thank you."


I let the wind tell me where to go,
for it has many ears.
I let the sun guide me when I cannot see,
for it sees all.
I let the moon guard when my back is turned,
for it knows the night.
I let the Earth carry me there,
for it is everywhere.


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