It’s late night. She’s driving on an empty highway. The radio is playing something lively. She’s heading toward South Carolina. A new life. A new job. A new town.
She’s got a lot going for her. She’s fresh out of college, smart, ambitious, she comes from a good family, she’s got all the support she can stand.
She’s giddy about her new job. She starts on Monday. She’ll get her own office, good benefits, the whole enchilada. She’s wondering where life is going to take her next, and she’s pure excitement.
She doesn’t see the deer jump in front of her. All she hears is the sound of crunching.
It’s over fast. She smashes into a guardrail, her vehicle tumbles a few times. There is blood in her vision, but she’s not hurt—it’s a miracle.
Her car is wrecked, she’s stuck in a ditch, but she’s alive with no broken bones. She tries to crawl out of the vehicle, but the door is jammed.
That’s when she hears something. Footsteps in the brush. A man crawls into her vehicle through the shattered windshield. He pulls her free.
Her new friend says, “You’re gonna be alright.”
It’s dark. They hike toward the highway to flag a car down. When she gets to the road, the man is gone.
Bill has cancer. It started as a skin problem on his back. It grew fast. It spread. Doctors operate and cut it out.
After the invasive procedure, he lies on a hospital bed, subjected to lethal doses of daytime television. Bill is beyond sad. He has no wife, no children, no immediate family to visit him. He’s never felt as alone as he does today.
He sees a child, standing by the open door. He doesn’t know how the boy got in. Only friends and family are allowed to visit—Bill has neither.
The kid must be about ten or eleven.…