the Chipesten bridge: a story circle

Communications consultant Sara Herfstadter pulled out of the concrete parking garage and onto highway 9, with little traffic impeding her. When she came to the Chipesten Bridge, though, she found it closed. Cursing softly, she made an aggressive U-turn that caused a driver in a beige Civic to lay on the horn. Sara knew there was an alternative bridge somewhere south of the county line, a rickety wood-and-stone number that offered the only alternative over the Chipesten in a half-hour’s drive. The sun sank fast as she navigated unfamiliar, poorly-paved roads, and had just reached the tops of the trees when she spotted the old bridge. There was a line of cars ahead of her – dozens of people had had the same idea. Sara cranked the radio and sang along to twangy country music with her foot on the brake. In tiny increments she eased her way toward the bridge, which looked even more dilapidated than she had imagined. When she reached it, she crawled forward, feeling each creak of the wooden planks beneath her tires. After an agonizing few minutes, the roar of the rushing Chipesten reaching for her, Sara emerged on the other side, onto a hard-pack dirt road, only to find it backed up with traffic straight on to the black horizon.

Logan Bright

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