“Ugh, I hate snow,” Paisley muttered to herself as she drove home from the store.
She was not looking forward to the impending snowstorm as she had already lost her heat, but at least she was prepared. Canned food, candles, plenty of bottles of water, if she ended up being snowed in then at least she would have everything she needed.
It was night’s like this that she wished she lived in town. At least then she would be close to neighbours and help should she need it during the storm. But then she wouldn’t be able to have her horses right there with her on her property. She used to agist her two horses, Walnut and Hazelnut, on a property ten miles from her house, but between work, and life, she was hardly able to make it out to see them once a week. Now she got to see them every day. It was definitely worth the other compromises she had to make.
The wind howled, and a gust buffeted her car, if she didn’t drive a huge SUV it probably would have pushed her off the road. Snow was coming down hard and fast and she hoped it didn’t get too bad until she was home and settled, she didn’t want to have to lug all these bags inside in the pouring snow.
Another gust of wind tried to send her car heading straight towards a ditch and Paisley had to battle the steering wheel to keep it on the road and going in a straight line. She couldn’t wait to be home, cuddled up with her do on the couch, wrapped up in a blanket, in front of a roaring fire.
She was close to home, only a half mile to go when something caught her eye.
It was dark and snowing but she saw a man.
He was standing in the middle of the road.
He wasn’t moving.
There was something in his hands.
Paisley squinted, trying to see more clearly through the blur of the snow and the nearly completely dark night.
It looked like . . .
It looked like . . .
It looked like a head.
A human head.
That couldn’t be right.
She must just be imagining it, it wasn’t like the light from her headlights really gave her a clear view of anything.
She was getting closer and a bad feeling settled in her gut. She wasn’t more than a dozen yards or so from him now and moving quickly closer, but he still hadn’t moved.
He lifted a hand and this time she knew that what she was seeing wasn’t her overactive imagination kicking into high gear.
It was gun.
And he was pointing it directly at her.
With a scream that she wondered if he could hear over the howl of the wind she turned the wheel hard to the right.
Her wheels caught on the ice and her car spun wildly out of control.
Still the man didn’t move.
As her car slid on the ice toward a ditch a loud crack shattered her back window and pain exploded like a bomb through her body.
Paisley tried to move, she tried to drive, she tried to think.
She found she could do none of those things.
All she could do was slide towards unconsciousness as her car slid towards the ditch.
It hit with such force it tossed her against the steering wheel, then whipped her back against her seat. Pure, burning agony like nothing she had ever felt before washed her away into its inky blackness, leaving her completely helpless and at the mercy of whoever had been standing in the road.