Exit 25

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The black strip cuts through the forest of green, and you sail along, eyes focused on the road strips that fly under the side mirror, out of sight and behind as the car sails onward. You push the pedal on, patiently steering along the curve through the green forest.

And then it appears. Above the treetops, out there in the distance, it pops up, if only for a moment. It then disappears, swallowed by the canopy once more.

You press on the gas pedal, excited at the sight that evades you. With the accelerator humming, you weave around the other cars as the parkway sails by, the wind buffeting around the windshield. The thick trees on either bank of the rhode are a blur, gone in the blink of an eye.

The trees break to reveal a grassland, a stream weaving under the overpass and into the distance. The top of the tower appears again, out there in the distance, but one last cluster of trees shields it as your sight is caught by the wetlands; the grass out there is slowly changing from the dead brown of winter to the yellow and green of spring, and only today you just begin to notice it. On the other side of the parkway, the islands can be seen, houses only a small, textured line on the horizon. The ferris wheel can be seen toward the end of the island, and you smile, comforted by the sight. You press the pedal, excited and pleased by the classic skyline of the island you call home, and the car zooms onward.

The horizon is clear now, the trees dissipated, and you can finally see the powerplant, spewing white puffs into the sky. The cloudmaker, you think, as you pass under the toll booth, pretending as you did as a child that it was that grey and blue paneled tower that was responsible for the clouds in the sky.

Adrenaline reaches its peak as you zoom away from the tolls, and join the line of traffic on the bridge, the entire land in full view. The bay reaches out, a long plain of separation between the island and the mainland. You see boats zooming from here to the island, far off, and lean back in your seat, a grin on your face as you feel perfectly at home on this bridge. As the adrenaline fades, you look out the passager window, seeing the bayside bar, its name in bold yellow letters against the woods that nestle it. Maybe you’ll go there tonight.

You get off the parkway, surrounded by a new forest. It is not a long venture however, as you see the exit sign on the side of the inn. Not much more than a half mile off is the exit; as it approaches, and the other cars zoom by, on beyond the overpass, you leave your blinker on as you steer toward the sign that approaches.

Exit 25

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