The short story “Last Bridge Burned” by Ron Rash is about a middle-aged man, named Carlyle who owns a little gas station about forty miles from Tennessee.
After he closes the store a young woman walks towards the window. Carlyle is scared but confronts the women. The woman is stranded because someone she hitchhiked with threw her out of the car.
Carlyle helps the woman by offering her to loan the bathroom to clean herself and he gives her food and coffee.
The setting of the story is mostly at a gas station just outside of Asheville in North Carolina, USA. The short story mainly takes place in one night where the woman comes to the gas station and gets helped by Carlyle.
The only other locations described in the short story are the bus station in Asheville where the sun began to rise, which indicates along with the fact that Carlyle had just closed the shop, that the story takes part at night.
The part of town the bus station was located in Asheville was where the tourists did not visit: “The station was in the part of town the tourists didn’t visit.
A few homeless folks lay curled up on the sidewalk, a few more folks who were clearly selling either their bodies or drugs”.2