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The Book

by S.E. Reid

“Dammit, Evelyn.”

Monty’s fingers tightened on the steering wheel of the seafoam-green Plymouth station wagon, while his wife sat beside him, her spine stiff. The girls sat in the backseat, afraid to make a sound.

“Don’t you swear at me, Montgomery Henderson,” said Evelyn. “I’m only telling you I can’t find us on the map.”

Sitting atop the open map of the Midwest across her lap was a crisp, new copy of The Negro Motorist Green-Book for 1955, which they had purchased at an Esso station in Greeley three days earlier to replace their old one from the last time they had taken a family road trip. The Book had led them faithfully from Denver to Scottsbluff, through Nebraska to Mount Rushmore, and from Rapid City to Sioux Falls. But this was the longest leg of the trip—South Dakota to Chicago—and somewhere along the line they had taken a wrong turn. The Book was of little help if they didn’t know where they were.

“Where the hell are we?” Monty squinted through his glasses and th…

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