excerpt from ROAD KILL COUNTING BOOK
TOMMY MCGUIRE UNCLASPED a sweat-stuck hand from the truck’s steering wheel and used it to rub his temple. Blue and white lightning flashed across the windshield threatening to shatter the glass. Just beyond the hood, the twisting county road disappeared, in its place a white field of pain. The pickup swerved.
The hand leapt back to its former position at ten-o’clock and the endless blacktop reappeared. Tommy, feeling as if he’d been caught jerking off and not massaging the walnut-sized canker of twisted nerves, which had been slowly eroding the left side of his skull for the past…God knew how long it’d been, glanced sideways at Gail and murmured, “Yeah?”
“You okay?” She’d been asleep. Her ripe pregnant form leaned against the passenger door. A motel pillow rested between her head and the window glass.
“Right as rain.”
“You want me to drive?”
“Naw, I’m good for awhile yet. Go back to sleep.”
No, he wasn’t. Sure. About anything. The world had basically ended overnight. As his kid brother Cody used to say, all bets were off. Used to. Cody—always the hero—one of those in the first wave to volunteer. Cody, whose hunting cabin Tommy and his passenger now headed toward unsure of what the next day might bring.
He glanced again at Gail. A stranger, really. Another survivor trying to escape the inevitable. He’d picked her up two days earlier. She and her father had been hitchhiking along the interstate. Two days ago—back when the four-lanes were still safe to drive.
She’d fallen back to sleep, her face aglow in the afternoon sunlight.
“Yeah,” he muttered. “I’m sure.