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54 pages 1 hour read

Megan Miranda

The Last to Vanish

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2022

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Symbols & Motifs

The Passage Inn

The ambiance created by the weathered building and charming rustic decor of the Passage Inn represent a divide in appearance and reality. Abby reflects on the atmosphere designed by the inn:

The inn appeared older than it was from the outside, with the weatherworn cabins set back from the main three-story structure, and the forest steadily encroaching over the cleared acreage, but that was just how fast nature worked. Inside, the fireplace was gas; the logs, just for show; the antique locks on all the guest room doors could be overridden with an electronic badge (13).

The guests of the Passage Inn want the appearance of roughing it on a camping trip while enjoying high-end creature comforts like daily fresh towels and happy hour. The fireplace especially demonstrates a separation in appearance versus reality. Though it runs on gas, decorative logs and a fire poker provide a cozier appearance of a naturally lit wood fire that warms the room.

Similarly, the “trauma tourists” who visit Cutter’s Pass seek entertainment during their visits, as if they are visiting a haunted house and not investigating the disappearances of real people. Most outsiders passing through Cutter’s Pass care little about the missing people and the trauma inflicted on the small community.

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