"Damn it," the woman mumbled, banging the dash of her beat up, old Toyota Corolla until the radio crackled to life.
Looking up, she saw only a blur of black streak from the woods to her left. "Shit," she hollered, slamming on the brakes. The car skidded to rest on the shoulder. No bump, that's good, she thought, leaping from the vehicle, scanning the woods. Her heart was pounding. She felt a surge of relief to see the enormous tom turkey staring back at her. "And you have a great day, Mr. T.," she announced before returning to her vehicle and roaring off due east to her quotidien job.
"...the man, a refugee from Iraq, had spent ten days in the desert. He felt he had no other choice than to make a run for the border and escape his own country, leaving his wife and three children behind. The man is said to have survived by traveling at night and living in boxcars when he could find them."
The radio made a tortured sound before the signal was, again, lost. The woman wore her disgust openly, but used the barren, prairie landscape in winter to calm her nerves which, of late, had become frayed at the edges.
Ten days, that must have been wild...ten whole days, by himself, in the middle of nowhere. Looking out the windows, she could not help but wonder what that those ten days must have been like for a man fleeing real violence. A shadow of a smile soon erupted into a full-blown grin. "If he can do it, I can, too," she announced. She began laughing but never quite abandoned the thought. She thought about the man all day and most of the night.
The following morning, she was drinking her coffee, staring out the large casement windows, and gazing at the buttes across the highway. It had snowed heavily the night before, yet still the pines stood erect across the vast expanse of wilderness, the trees on top of the buttes forming a prickly, inhospitable barrier to progress.
I would have to cross those buttes, she mused. Cross the buttes and hit the flats. Sand flats. Cold as hell this time of year...and the wind. Yep, I would have to bundle up. I...I don't think my parka will stand up to that wind chill.
"As a matter of fact, I know it won't," she said aloud to her cat who stared at her with cool, green eyes. "And then what? Where do I go? What direction?" she finished her coffee and sat down to eat her usual breakfast, in her usual way, in her perfectly ordinary kitchen in the middle of nowhere.
With each bite, she stared ou the window. Chew, sip, chew, sip. Maybe I will just up and leave for ten days. Nobody will even notice. But I know I can do it. Still...I have to fix my parka and make sure I get enough protein. She shook her head side-to-side. Setting her plate in the same place in the kitchen sink, she went upstairs to get dressed.
She did not make it to work that day. And everyone wondered where she had gone. They did notice and she was...missed.