She drove along the winding lane, the baby deer nestled in her arms. She was wearing a dark suit, a laboratory coat, an ID card. Her eyes were swollen with crying. The cut was bleeding steadily. It was beginning to snow.
She joined the department last year, a tenured faculty member. Her mind sheered away from images she didn’t want to dwell on. Field observations. A yellow-beaked alpine chough. A stagnant ditch. A hairline crack down the middle of the glass. A pool of blood.
Sleep still eluded her.
The dismal weather made the late afternoon seem like evening. The rising wind bent the long grass. A beam of light flashed in front of her. Smoke appeared on the horizon. She suddenly went cold with a dreadful certainty. A sob escaped her lips. She tried to compose herself. She wouldn’t put it past him to lay a trap for her.