WHUMP! Clunk! Thud! The car leaped suddenly and shook as it ran over something in the road. Jolted out of her reverie, Geneve started to slow down. A sudden blast from the horn of the semi behind her let her know that she should rethink that idea. She continued driving until the truck passed, leaving her alone in the dark.
She looked at the road ahead of her. Now where am I? Did I miss the turn back to the highway? The traffic had thinned considerably and a glance in the mirror confirmed there was no one behind her. Pulling over to the side, she turned on her hazard lights, stepped out and walked to the front of the car. Opening the hood, she stared for a moment at the engine. After a moment she closed the hood and looked underneath the car. Nothing. Exhausting her non-existent knowledge of car repair, she walked back to the door and got in. Starting the car again, she slowly eased back on the road. The stars shone bright overhead and the moon was low in the sky. Something rattled inside the engine. She looked at the tiny clock on her dashboard: 4:45. Shit it's getting close to morning. What time does the sun come up around here? Is dawn earlier or later in the mountains? I can't remember. Where the hell am I? No one's passed me and I can't see any lights. Come on, isn't there a ranch or a cabin or something around here? Civilization? All roads lead to Rome? She drummed her fingers on the steering wheel in frustration.
Something green at the edge of her headlights caught her eye. Looking up eagerly, she watched the highway sign as it came closer "Eagle 32" it read. Oh good. Geneve thought pressing down harder on the gas. The rattle in the engine got louder. Hang on, she thought, patting the dashboard, just a few more miles and I'll get you all the care you need. The signs, suddenly numerous, counted down the miles 24... 17... 5... Geneve poured on the speed. An occasional house light now shone in the hills around her. "Come on..." she muttered to herself and the car. "Just a little farther." The engine increased its protesting rattle until – Bang! She smelled smoke. Pulling over to the side of the road for the second time that night. Geneve put her hands over her face and leaned back in her seat. "Aw fuck, no." she moaned, "Come on! I was so close! I was almost in town! Shit. What am I going to do now?" dragging her hands down her face, she let her head drop on to the steering wheel. As she did so, something down the road caught her eye. Red? She leaned forward, staring. Opening the door, she got out of the car to get a better look, walking forward a few steps down the hill. It was a bicycle reflector attached to the side of a black steel mailbox. Silver letters on the side spelled out "Kvan" and a dirt and gravel driveway lead up the hill to a mobile home.
Geneve looked at it doubtfully, then shrugged. "Not like I have a choice." she told herself, and started walking up the driveway, following a set of fresh tire tracks. An old pickup truck was parked closest to the trailer. Behind it there was a large and very new-looking SUV. The house itself was not much to look at: faded siding and a small porch with stairs, a large hole in the skirt near the ground at the far end. A small light burned next to the door on the porch.