Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chapter 3, Post 10: The Man Who Does Not Exist

Elizabeth believed she was just a mile or two from Route BB, which seventeen miles later would connect her to Forest Service Road 8244. From there, it was a simple right turn and thirty-eight bumpy miles to the proposed mining site and the meeting with Bridger Coal’s science team.

If she’d known the truth, that she was more than twenty miles and two turns removed from where she believed herself to be, she might have been all right. Her concern, not of the storm, but that she might fail to make her appointment, might have been enough to make her turn back and seek directions.

“Those mountains can be a hazard.” The hotel manager had said when she checked out. “Where ever it is you’re headed, you know how to get there?”

“I’ve got a map. Directions. I’m prepared.”

“That’s not the same thing,” he said, but, anxious to be on the road, Elizabeth had barely heard him, his voice lost amidst the slamming of the office door as she exited.

Elizabeth rolled down the driver’s side window, clearing the worst of the accumulated snow. Seeing its opportunity, the wind stole a few precious notes of the music drifting from the CD player and carried them out into the wilderness.

Pulling onto the road, Elizabeth steered the wheel toward the 12,700 foot apex of Weeping River Pass, in exactly the wrong direction.


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