Zalty didn't mind the darkness. The street lights lit the way. She was running. Running away from that other kind of darkness that had smothered and held her, knocked her out. It had taken all of her will to walk out the door. Now she had to put as much distance between herself and the house as she could. Before they woke up, before they could act.
She ran along the train track until she reached the highway. There she stood, back pack beside her stamping to keep out the cold, trying to thumb a ride. A huge truck pulled over.
The driver a large sandy haired man would down his window.
"Where are you headed?"
"Climb in. I can take you part of the way"
He had a kind face she thought. He wouldn't do her any harm. Of course with that build and those muscles she wouldn't stand a chance if she was wrong. But it was getting colder and it would be a bit warmer up there in the cab. She climbed up.
"No funny business now. The name's Doug."
Great a part time comic. She hoped he wouldn't talk too much. her head was full and she was feeling dizzy with it all.
"Welcome aboard Zalty. This is my truck and I don't pick folks up very often. I'm used to my own company on the road and I have a better half at home. The rules are simple. No eating, no smoking and no changing the music. You got that?
"Yep. I do"
"So what's a young woman like you doing out here all by yourself?"
"Finding a new life"
"What are you running from? police, a bloke or something else?"
"It's a bloke isn't it"
" It's always a bloke. But look. I really don't want to talk about it. Okay?
Doug leans forward and switches on the DVD player. Loud country music fills the cab.
This is worse than talking to him thinks Zalty. Almost. But she is willing to compress herself for a few hours into the very small space of the cabin. To sit so closely to this stranger with his huge arms and deep voice.The music jangles on her nerves. This is a different kind of imprisonment she thinks, but it's only temporary, only on the way. Soon I'll be far enough away she muses. Soon I'll find peace.