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Road Essays
FFCC99: Orphan Uhoria Labyrinth
FFCC33: Orphan Uhoria Blue Highway: A comparison of The Sentinel and Three-Quarters Dead
FFCC00: Orphan Uhoria Interstate: The Polar Express, Waiting for Augusta, and Winterhouse
FF99FF: Orphan wildlands cornfield
Road Narrative Update for September 2018

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FFCC00: Orphan Uhoria Interstate: The Polar Express, Waiting for Augusta, and Winterhouse: 10/18/18

FFCC33: Orphan Uhoria Interstate

The next category of the road narrative spectrum is FFCC00, or the orphan traveling through time via an interstate or railroad. Stories like this involve a solo traveler on what should be a surefire route encountering incongruous time.

Three examples of FFCC00 narratives are The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, Waiting for Augusta by Jessica Lawson, and Winterhouse by Ben Guterson. Both protagonists have families but travel alone over Christmas for very different reasons. During the Christmas holiday both experience events that are out of time, one in the form of Christmas magic and the other in the form of a restless spirit.

In Waiting for Augusta, Benjamin follows the railroad tracks to Augusta to scatter his father's ashes at the golf course. He has a traveling companion whom he believes is alive, but isn't. In Winterhouse, Elizabeth Somers, is left with money and instructions to stay at Winterhouse while her aunt and uncle have left on a much nice vacation. In The Polar Express, a boy is summoned to the North Pole by a magical train. It's a train that shows up with tracks and makes its own clearcut path to a magical, impossible place. Somer's train (and bus) are regular trains but they take her to a hotel with a curse and ghostly history.

In both stories, the uhoria is tied to the destination. No time beyond what should pass normally passes for both travelers, meaning that the temporal risks to them is minimal. More time passes for the journey to the North Pole and for the adventures there than are in a night's worth of sleep. For Elizabeth Somers, it's house and the ghosts that seem out of time. Time for Elizabeth, though, passes normally.

Another way that a narrative could be written from these three elements is to have an orphan or solo traveler pick up a ghost on the interstate (maybe hitchhiking from a rest stop) or to sit with the ghost on a train. Waiting for Augusta by Jessica Lawson follows this method. A living boy takes a road trip with a ghost, except he doesn't know she's a ghost until nearly the end of the book. For this project, I don't count dead companions as protagonists, which is why a road narrative with apparently two travelers falls under the orphan heading.

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