Monday, March 30, 2009

Chapter 2, Post 1: The Man Who Does Not Exist

“Not even if you paid me,” Elizabeth Bailey said to the cowed car rental clerk showing her a ding-riddled, 1996 Toyota Corolla. “I reserved a Ford Explorer -- a new one!”

Thirteen hours and a few thousand miles in her past, she had boarded a 747 jet at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. For the trip above the Rockies, she had set down in Denver, trading the jumbo jet for a 20-person propeller plane. In Helena, a biplane buzzed impatiently, waiting for her atop the cracked tarmac. It seated four, including the captain, but she was the only passenger.

The tiny airport in Ephesus, Montana, had no terminal. It made do with a few rusted sheds that served as hangars. Elizabeth could see no billboards. No large buildings obscured the horizon. Instead of honking cabbies and yelling traffic cops, only the occasional bawl from one of the cattle grazing in the fields bordering the runway disturbed the soft thrush of wind. L

ooking around, Elizabeth realized she was farther from her Upper East Side apartment than she’d ever been in her life. She had the strangest idea; that somehow she had slipped out of time.

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