Five Hours to Chicago

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Five Hours to Chicago is a story written by Kimyō Tabibito. It ran in Issue 53 at, and is mirrored at


Two anxious queer kids, a 20 year old Astrovan, and a rest stop somewhere in Michigan.

Weird, the things we'd do for the people we loved. Like hop in a rusting blue bucket and drive a thousand miles to try and get them home for an emergency, so they didn't have to fly, so they didn't need to take the meds they hated so much to be calm enough to handle the plane.

Author Notes[edit]

Five Hours to Chicago came out of nowhere on a Saturday afternoon and it felt like it would find a good home in S2B2. The working title was Anxious Queer Kid Roadtrip, and I came perilously close to just keeping that as the title. Francis, the van, is a true depiction of my very first car. He was a good van and there are times I miss him (he was great to camp in, and make out in the back of). The rest stop they stop at is...actually on the wrong side of the road on I-69, just outside of Swartz Creek (which is right next door to Flint). I took some artistic liberties and moved it to the the other side of the freeway. They end up in Michigan because they drove through Canada from Vermont, which makes the trip a little shorter and much faster, having made a similar trip myself.

A Mini Playlist

The Kids Aren't Alright - Fall Out Boy

Amy, aka the Spent Gladiator

A Beginning Song - The Decemberists (Imagine this was the song playing as they pulled out of the rest stop)

Major props to my beta's for helping me with the mess of getting my tenses in the right order when I decided I needed to rewrite the whole thing from present to past tense.

External Reviews[edit]

  • "Five Hours to Chicago by Kimyo Tabibito is about Eliot and Riley who are on a mysterious road trip. We learn just enough about them to be very curious for more and to care. The story feels like a small moment in a much bigger one, almost like we're reading chapter 17--the calm before the storm--and chapter 18 is going to make you flip your shit. This has a lot of detail packed into a short piece."
  • "Two guys driving from Vermont to Chicago (through Michigan? isn’t Michigan out of the way for EVERYTHING? why would you ever go through Michigan?), spend the night in a truck stop, and get up to some things. Curious and sweet, left me wanting more of the story."