Fiction: Pen and Paper

“I’m tired.” I said
“You always look tired.” She said

The door swings shut behind me and I walk a little way out onto the dusty forecourt. There are a few rusty oil drums sitting alongside a chain link fence. I find one that isn’t collecting water and sit on it, staring up at the sky. It’s unusually clear tonight, the wind has died down, and there is very little haze. There aren’t even any clouds and I can see the moon.
Every so often a car will speed past and send a flurry of dust up into the air, clouding my vision. It always settles eventually. A few minutes pass, and I take the letter out of my pocket and turn it over in my fingers a few times. I read the address aloud, my voice sounding strangely quiet, despite the silence around me.
I take a cigarette lighter out of my pocket, and try to light it. There’s not much fuel left and the flint is almost gone, but finally I manage it.
The flame lasts just long enough for the dry paper envelope to catch before it dies out. The letter flares for a moment in my hand. I contemplate throwing it to the ground. I think about stamping on the flames, trying to save the words I’ve written to her. But no. I just let it go.
From seemingly nowhere, a small breath of wind comes trailing its way across the forecourt. I see the clouds of dust it blows up, and think for a moment that it the flames engulfing the paper will be extinguished and leave the letter untouched.
It doesn’t.
The envelope slides lethargically across the ground, all the while burning. It’s taking a while, but slowly the fire is consuming the paper.
At last it goes out, and once again I am left, alone, in silent glow of the motel’s floodlights.

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