chapter 4

the drive back felt like an eternity. though she was driving, the long straight highway before her slowly faded from view. her hands mechanically steered the dust- and nat-covered convertible. her right foot rested heavily on the gas pedal, and the vehicle moved, quite steadily, at 80 miles per hour, past the familiar slaughterhouses, strawberry fields, and absolute nothingness.

the man next to her, she had known for many years... the drive was routine to them. in times past, they had conversed freely, chatted, sang along to songs they knew, laughed candidly even at the repugnant smell of cow indigestion. the drive was short and easy then.

today, it was anything but.